Businesses in the food sector, including restaurants, cafes, fast food chains, bakeries, and meal delivery, are increasingly realizing the potential of digital marketing tools and techniques.
As consumers spend more time online, they share food pictures, leave reviews, and engage with food brands. Food companies that have ventured into the digital platform reap many benefits like lowering costs, maximizing reach, personalizing engagement, and increasing profitability.
Here are three important strategies for the food industry to reach out to prospects online and convert them.
Social Media Is A Must
With 243.6 million users in the US, social media is no longer a good-to-have but a must-have marketing strategy. Social media is among the most lucrative digital marketing channels for the food and beverage sector.
Research shows that food and beverage brands rank sixth among Facebook’s top ten popular brands. Also, 32% of tweets mention food and drink companies.
Social media offers valuable insights into customer experience and opinions. Customers can reach out to your brands about menus, services, and dining experiences. Social media platforms also provide a low-cost marketing opportunity for food service enterprises.
They level the ground for small and big food companies as both can use different networks to reach customers and generate sales. In fact, 67% of restaurants used social media ads in 2019. Click here for optimal Facebook advertising to get a river of leads and sales at a good CAC.
If your business has not leveraged the power of social media, it is time to do so. You can opt for Facebook, Instagram, Tick Tok, or Twitter, depending on your business needs. Do not just create a business profile and go dormant.
Be active and engage your audience with beautiful pictures of your best dishes, exciting videos of the food-making processes, and any upcoming events. Also, encourage user-generated content by asking your followers and customers to share photos, videos, and reviews about their experience with your brand.
Customer Reviews are Paramount
Customer reviews are crucial for food enterprises in this digital era. According to 2019 Upserve Research, 92% of consumers read restaurant reviews before deciding to dine there, and 33% of diners keep off any restaurant with less than four stars on their reviews.
Reviews are beneficial because they offer social proof to customers and prospects, enhancing confidence in your enterprise. They create trust, validate expertise, and confirm authority. Reviews also increase your brand’s online visibility and, in turn, foot traffic.
As a food enterprise, you should encourage customers to leave reviews on your website and other review sites and monitor the reviews for greater credibility and customer satisfaction. There are numerous sites and platforms for customers to offer feedback on your food business.
The common ones are Yelp, Google Reviews, OpenTable, Trip Advisor, and Zagat. Yelp, for instance, is a powerhouse for reviews in the food industry, receiving 17 million unique visitors each month.
Content Is King
Research shows that 92% of content marketers include blogs in their marketing strategy. Currently, food blogs are incredibly famous, with food lovers and brands showcasing their delectable dishes and sharing recipes.
Food bloggers amass four times more followers than those in other industries. Consumers also trust these bloggers, with 79% of them using food blogs to get information about dishes and recipes.
Since people need food to survive and always desire to try new recipes and healthy options, food blogs will continue to thrive. A good food blog should be well-organized and mobile-friendly, offer recipes that work, use excellent photography, and provide a unique value proposition. Consider sharing your blogs on social media for greater reach.
You can use blogs to achieve different goals. Here are some of them.
- Tell your business story: Besides the delicious foods you offer, followers may want to know how the restaurant started and became famous. You can include photos and videos on the blog to make it more appealing.
- Offer a behind-the-scenes look: While your ice cream parlor makes the best ice cream, buyers may want to learn how it is made. Restaurants may also want to showcase how their signature dishes are made.
- Highlight team members: Diners would like to know the personalities behind their favorite dishes. Blogging about your staff makes your brand genuine and credible.
- Respond to online comments: Blogs are an excellent avenue to respond to positive and negative comments about your business and its offerings. They allow you to explain your side of the story in negative comments and reviews.
- Exhibit new menus and cuisines and current or upcoming promotions.
If you need unique ways to market your food brand and stand out from the pack, digital marketing is the way to go. You have numerous options for tried and tested strategies with low cost and high returns. From social media to customer reviews and blogs, digital marketing will take your food business to the next level.