This is a guest post by Michael Sandoval. Michael is the online community manager for Better Cater. Michael consults Fortune 1000 companies on online marketing, product development, and strategy. During his free time he enjoys golf and cooking organic dishes.
If you are into the restaurant business, you’ll find a goldmine of opportunities if you launch an online marketing campaign. This is something that not too many caterers or restauranteurs have found out, so if you want to see your business grow and remain competitive, tapping into the virtually unlimited online world can be the best solution for your fledgling business.
Plan what you want to achieve
Now, why go online? There must be one or so many reasons why. It could be that you want to boost your sales, you want more people to know about your cuisines, or you just want the whole world to know that you’re offering the best food in your area. Whatever it is, your online marketing strategy should be doable, feasible and achievable within a time span. And the results should also be profound, or else, you’re only wasting your time and money.
Open a website
Any online marketing campaign has to start and end with your website. This will serve as your portfolio where your prospects will look up to whenever they feel interested to what’s in the house. Your website should have everything anyone will be looking for: from the services you’re offering, to your menus, down to your exact location and contact information.
Post your menu
Your menus—your specialty—are the number reason why people will care to check out your website! So keep them coming and sustain their interest by constantly updating and revising your menus. Make it complete and specific, from the appetizers down to your wine list. Make it extra special by offering seasonal cuisines, especially during holidays and special occasions.
Post pictures…. Lots of ‘em
A picture is worth millions of words. You don’t make people crave by just telling them that you have some of the most mouthwatering dishes. You attract your people to try out your dishes by showing them you got it. The best images mean only one thing: better reputation for your restaurant or catering business and a major, positive impact in the eyes of your clients.
Always interact with your clients. It could be a message on Facebook or Twitter, email or an SMS. It could be a question that needs immediate answer or a compliment that needs your affirmation. Whatever it is, don’t waste time. Respond to it immediately and your clients will be delighted enough to think that your business is something that cares for and addresses their concern.
Surprise your customers
Customers will be happy about to hear something good from you. It could be a big discount, freebies, or extra special service. They love surprises and they love it more when you offer it with wide open arms. So keep the good news coming and your patrons swell in numbers!
Always say (write, actually) something about your business
The online world is so full of competition and you can only make an edge if you always write something good about your restaurant. This is where blogging comes in, together with article directory posts and press releases. You blog should be your business’ showcase of all the good things about it, from answering your clients’ questions to writing about your latest gigs. If you want to prove that you’re someone to reckon with, then let the whole world know you’re the fount of cooking expertise by regularly writing informative and well-research works for other people’s websites, article directories, ezines and press releases.
With these seven online marketing strategies, there’s no reason why you can’t win the tough competition. So cook your way to success and amaze your customers with the sumptuous cuisines that you have in store for them.