Blogs have been one of the most influential marketing tools in recent advertising history. They’re a phenomenon — they truly are.
Most businesses, especially restaurants, have a difficult time directly connecting with customers, and all patrons know is what they see in the dining room. This is their perception of a restaurant. I myself, as a true gastronome, want more. Much more. Luckily, blogs feed me with just that.
When looking for a nice place to have dinner, I always jump online and browse reviews. More importantly, I look for for photos (and possibly even videos) of prepared food. I want to see what I’m eating before I eat it. There’s just something about seeing amazing food that adds a “wow” factor to restaurants and often draws me to them. Blogs are the best and most effective way to offer diners a glimpse at what a restaurant is all about.
Now, on to the knitty gritty… How to use a blog to market your restaurant:
1) A Tool for Updates
Use your blog to update customers on new menu additions, important changes to your staff, restaurant improvements and anything else you can think of.
2) Make Them Salivate
Post photos and videos of your best dishes on a regular basis. Do you serve a surf ‘n turf with filet mignon and a whole lobster? Well, let us see! Forget a crappy description that has been duplicated millions of times over the years. Show us media. Show us the goods.
The ideal scenario would be to upload your videos on YouTube and other video sites, with proper keywords, then embed them into your blog. This in essence kills two birds with one stone.
3) Get Answers
Blogs allow the ability to post polls and receive comments from visitors. Do your customers like the new menu you created? What is everyone’s favorite dish? What should be added to the menu? Did the fire pit burn your bum? These are all topics that should be opened for discussion. Let your customers be a part of the business, and therefore feel at home when dining at your location. Remember, the goal is not to make money on customers, it’s to take them on a culinary carpet ride. That should be your focus.
4) Online Marketing
Blog articles are an excellent marketing tool. If you’re offering a new special, create a blog post outlining such. Then, socially bookmark the article on related websites.
Also, blogs allow the ability to post banner advertisements in the sidebar or header, which can be used to feature new dishes or specials. Have a new Pre-Fixe menu? Take a photo, add some text, then slap a banner on the blog.
Since blogs rank very well in search engines, even with optimized page titles on your main site, you will find that blog posts rank much higher. When thinking of submitting a press release to a paid site, make sure you think twice. I would post it on my blog instead.
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