Quality Digital Strategy For Restaurants

A Guided High Quality Digital Marketing Strategy For Restaurants

Digital marketing strategies fall into several different categories of action. These include web design, SEO, paid marketing, content marketing, eMail marketing and others.

These different aspects when combined deliver the overall digital strategy.

Clearly tactics that fall under each sub heading will have similarities across industry types and business sectors. A one size fits all approach to creating digital marketing strategies is not recommended.

At Digital marketers Nairobi we deal with clients from many different business sectors. We have experience of creating bespoke strategies that are specifically tailored or customized to suit specific business types.

“You need to answer important questions like “How will my community know I exist?” and “How can I attract people to my restaurant? Your answers lie in restaurant digital marketing. While some validity can be found in the traditional means of advertising such as handing out flyers, direct mailing services, and radio commercials, the world has largely gone digital. If you don’t have an online presence, you might as well close up shop.” Source

In this post we explore the outline of a guided digital marketing strategy for Kenyan restaurants in the hospitality sector.

1) Background

For any restaurant owner of digital marketers creating strategies in this business sector it is important to set the stage by defining exactly what type of restaurant will be served by this guide.

We are discussing strategies for stand alone restaurant businesses. That is, they are not a sub department of a larger hotel or hospitality business.

This guide is for an independently functioning business, which may or may not have several branches, but definitely has the one main key branch in a particular location. The restaurant caters to both food and drink and has no accommodation attached to the hospitality business. There are staff and the business has a management structure. In other words it is a complete, independent set up, running a restaurant business.

Now that we understand the type of business at which this guided digital marketing strategy is aimed, let us start with developing the strategy at the top with the audit.

2) Audit

The starting point of any digital marketing strategy in any sector is the audit.

In the digital strategy audit the objectives are to establish

a) What exists in terms of operational tactics
Under this section we are trying to establish exactly what the business has by way of an existing digital marketing strategy.

Is there a website and social media accounts ? Is there any ongoing and active search engine optimization ? Who in the business handles content creation and updates for the business ?

b) The business goals
Here we list the detailed business goals as set out by the business management. These goals will inform the digital strategies chosen further down the line.

c) How well do the tactics and business goals align
Finally under this section we determine how close an alignment there is between the goals and the operational digital strategies. This ultimately is the measure of success of the strategies.

At the end of the audit we have a clear idea of where the business is and where it intends to go. We can now start to define strategies and associated digital tactics to deliver the desired outcomes.

3) Critical Digital Marketing Strategy Elements

Taking each outcome from the audit in turn we would then start to break down the digital strategy into components. The audit will have revealed much about the restaurant’s existing digital marketing strategy.

If there is none we would necessarily start by mapping out the entire ecosystem. If a strategy exists, we would start to optimize the different aspects of the model, including removal of non performing elements and the addition of new ones.

In this stage the emphasis is on definition and prioritization of the key elements that go into making the digital strategy

Let’s look at key elements in turn

a) Website

In all digital marketing strategies for Kenyan businesses we place the central emphasis on the business website. This is where the entire strategy revolves. The website is where the business has maximum control over operational tactics.

The business website will have been evaluated in the audit. In this rationalization step the strengths will be enhanced and the weaknesses addressed.

At Digital marketers Nairobi, a well designed and functional website is a key and top priority for restaurants. A website is the key link between business goals and digital marketing strategies.

Digital Marketers Nairobi recommends a review of your restaurant website or creation of a brand new one if none exists. The design should emphasis imagery and accentuate the food and bar menu as well as patron amenities using high quality photographs

b) Social Media

These days most business clients are to be found on one social media platform or another. It is, therefore inconceivable a fully formed and working digital marketing strategy will have no social media presence.

The social media platforms on which to have a presence and the nature of engagements are addressed in this stage of strategy build.

Restaurants are by nature visual businesses. They entice diners and visitors with quality photography of their menus. Social media is exactly the environment in which an photocentric approach pays dividends in high engagement rates.

Digital Marketers Nairobi recommends a review of your restaurant social media presence. The emphasis is on creating platforms that support the website with high quality imagery. This strategy must also be geared to uniquely inform, and engage with followers and social media prospects.

c) Content & eMail Marketing

A website and social media account with no content might as well not exist. The essence of all digital marketing strategies is the provision of relevant and valuable content to users of the various elements in the business digital ecosystem.

Rationalization of the audit requires an assessment is made of the content marketing strategy in the restaurant. Who is in charge of producing content and what processes do they use to do this vital digital marketing task ? How is the content they produce aligned to business goals ?

By asking such questions and deriving clear answers, a content strategy begins to emerge that fits in with the rest of the digital ecosystem as well as being aligned to the business goals.

Alongside the content strategy an important element in digital strategy is eMail marketing. By creating lists of emails a powerful eMail marketing strategy can be implemented. This will help the restaurant stay in touch with actual and prospective patrons. eMail compliments the content strategy and together they drive big advances in business growth.

Digital Marketers Nairobi recommends a review of your content and eMail marketing strategies. The emphasis is on creating content that builds prospect and customer trust, loyalty and top of mind branding. The eMail component allows you to tailor specific messages to individual prospects and customers, driving engagement rates higher.

These three elements are critical to a restaurant’s digital marketing strategy.

4) Supporting Digital Marketing Strategy Elements

Having implemented a website, social media presence, a content and eMail marketing strategy the following elements can be added to the mix to complete the strategy depending on the priorities and budgets available to the restaurant business.

a) Search Engine Optimization

This is an ongoing process to optimise the website’s relevance and performance in relation to search engines. Whilst, as we will see shortly, paid advertising is an alternative, organic searches and ranking highly on search results is a very important aspect of digital marketing.

For restaurants which are physical businesses it is also critical that they not only employ SEO tactics but also emphasize local business SEO. As a restaurant the clientele and patrons are most likely to come from a local area. It therefore makes sense to target people living in the general area of the restaurant rather than in a wider but irrelevant geographical region.

Digital Marketers Nairobi recommends SEO as a complimentary and vital aspect of the digital strategy. SEO for restaurants will help them rank higher on search engine results pages and enhance visibility in organic searches. We also advice a vibrant presence and busy profile on Google My Business. This will build and enhance the local visibility of the restaurant via free search and map listings on Google.

b) Paid Marketing

Whilst the business organic and internal digital marketing strategies are bedding down starting to deliver traffic it may, if the business budget can afford it, be prudent to implement a paid advertising strategy on both display and search networks as well as on social media platforms.

This tactic can and does deliver results quickly. However, it requires constant Optimization to ensure the traffic generated and return on investment corresponds to what the restaurant business can bear and aligns to the business goals.

Digital Marketers Nairobi advises a cautious approach to paid advertising especially in the first three to six months of starting campaigns. The need for constant campaign performance monitoring and optimization makes this a long term tool in the strategy toolkit. It must be handled with caution to ensure an appropriate return on investment and reduce potential wastage of money.

c) Analytics and Testing

Business decisions wherever possible should be driven by data and quantitative evidence. Implementing a digital analytics strategy to collect and analyse data is important for future audits and periodic reporting for tactical business decision making.

At Digital Marketers Nairobi we also advice the use of constant A/B testing techniques to ensure that where analytics data is inconclusive hypothesis about the strategy is put to a test to ensure that continuously evolving best practice for the strategy is achieved.

Digital Marketers Nairobi recommends the use of analytics and testing strategies for the entire digital marketing strategy as early in the project as possible. Data drive decisions make for better outcomes. Collecting and analyzing data is the only sure way of doing this.

Digital Marketers in Nairobi https://digitalmarketers.co.ke is a one stop shop for best of class full digital marketing consultancy services in Kenya.

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