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Posted by Nakul Iyer on September 27, 2017

Owning and opening a restaurant requires a person to wear many hats. You would think that a chef’s hat would be enough, but in reality, restaurant owners are project managers, contractors, accountants, marketers and so much more. Serving great food and perfecting every piece of your décor is important, yes, but is it enough to thrive in today’s competitive restaurant industry?

Beyond the world-class dining experience your guests have come to expect, what can restaurant owners do to win at online marketing? Here are 5 steps for consideration when taking your brand online: 

1. Understand Your Audience

Who is going to enjoy the food at your restaurant and come back with their friends again and again? Establishing a target demographic and understanding their psychographics is vital when it comes to online marketing. By doing so, you are able to target that specific group of people directly and ensure that you don’t waste any resources when advertising. Not only does being familiar and confident in your target audience give you leverage when marketing, it also provides advantages when making decisions that impact your business, from defining your brand voice to and mapping out your weekly specials. 

2. Knock-out Visuals 

It is true that we eat with our eyes before our mouth, so a unique visual style that is captivating and enticing should start with your branding. After all, that is what your guests will see before they even try the food! Incorporating your brand's style using your colours, custom designs and memorable messaging is how you create brand familiarity that differentiates you from everyone else on the block. 

3. Google It

As a restaurant owner, Google is your friend. You already know this from your own Google search habits, but it is certainly true for restaurants. This is where your potential guests are going find your location, hours, menu, read reviews and even make reservations, so it is important that you are found and found on the first try. Explore ways to highlight your Google presence using search engine optimizationonline advertising and reputation management to give your brand a boost. 

68% of millennials trust online reviews, as opposed to the 34% who trust television advertising

4. Social Media 

While being active and engaging on social media is easier said than done, it is something today's restaurant patrons have come to expect. Participation across the many channels available because you feel like it is something you have to do will lead to mediocre content and an uninterested audience. It is best to pick a channel or two and really give it some thought. How can you stand out on this particular medium? What needs to happen to enable you to share content on a regular basis? 

72% of customers used Facebook to make restaurant or retail decisions based on comments and images shared by others.

Source: http://thesocialmediamonthly.com/why-your-restaurant-needs-social-media/

5. An Authoritative Home Base

2017 is all about websites! You need it and there is no way around it. Of course, putting up a website is not enough but with enough effort, your website can become your brands home base, working for you anytime, anywhere. 

Here are two of our favourites: Chaska - Indian Street Food Obsession and Lazeez Shawarma

57% of consumers order from a restaurant website daily, weekly, or monthly

At the end of the day, there are many avenues to marketing your business in the online space, but it all starts with understanding your audience and doing your due diligence before diving in head first. Here at BTI, we help our clients realize their vision and use insights driven strategy to ensure all tactics work together to support your business goals. 

Wondering what your restaurant would look like in lights? Let's talk!