Digital marketing automation for restaurants is a must for those who want to keep up with the big budgets and aggressive marketing of national chains. However, it’s important to understand what true restaurant marketing automation should entail. To be competitive, your restaurant needs an online presence that’s among the top 5% of all restaurants. And this doesn’t mean spending thousands every month on a 3rd party marketing agency – it means using tools that automate all your digital campaigns so you can set it and forget it.
Let’s first discuss the 4 most important ingredients of restaurant digital marketing success. And by success we mean more than getting your restaurant into the top 5% category. It’s about growing your restaurant’s revenue, attracting more new customers, getting more repeat business, and increasing customer loyalty.
Boost Your Restaurant’s Local & Mobile Search Ranking
Your restaurant must appear in the top 5 results on all local and mobile searches in your area.
1. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly with easy access to your menu, online ordering, reservations, and great pictures of your food. In addition, your phone number, link to directions, and link to reservations should all be easily visible on your restaurant’s website. Finally, make sure that you post links to your social media pages, e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Google.
2. Maintain accurate and consistent details about your restaurants across Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. There are dozens of other search engines, social media sites, review sites, and local directories where you can submit and maintain restaurant details. The more the better. Do not worry, Platr’s search listings manager can submit and maintain your restaurants information across 60+ sites automatically.
3. Generate lots of great reviews for your restaurant. All else being equal search engines, especially Google gives higher ranking to those restaurants with more and higher quality reviews & ratings. Platr provides a free review requester to simplify and automate the generation of great reviews for your restaurant.
4. Responding to your reviews in a timely and considerate manner is yet another criterion Google and other search engines use to determine the search ranking for a restaurant. Platr’s review-responder provides personalized and pre-formulated responses based on the tone and rating of your reviews – so you can respond with a single click.
Publish Great Content on Social Media Accounts Regularly
Your customers and prospects spend a lot of time on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. So, make sure your social media presence is constant and interesting. We recommend 2-3 posts every week. Take advantage of all the events such as the 4th of July, back to school, sporting events, Labor Day, the first day of fall, grandparents’ day, etc. In addition, make sure to create some of your events such as best-wishes-for-this-month’s-birthdays, and seasonal menu announcements. With Platr’s automated social media marketing you can stop worrying about posting great, content customized for your restaurant across all your social media accounts.
Send Great Email Campaigns to Your Guests
Email is still the most effective marketing channel. But you need to make sure that your emails are high-quality, interesting, and include a clear CTA such as order-online or reserve-a-table. You also should make sure to segment your email list into those who dine with you regularly vs. those who have not been to your restaurant in a while. Platr’s automated email marketing tool enables you to do all of this with ease.
Automate Your Restaurant’s Digital Marketing: It Can Be Easy & Affordable
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into having a successful digital marketing strategy for your restaurant. The most important part is consistency and regularity across all channels. This is where automation comes in. You need a good marketing automation platform. Here are the must-have features in your restaurant’s marketing automation platform.
• Digital Marketing Channels
True restaurant marketing automation must cover all the important digital channels for a restaurant, i.e., local search optimization, reputation management, email marketing, and social media marketing. A platform without any one of these features is not worth your time.
• Marketing Calendar
Your marketing outreach needs a frequency and timing that aligns with the major events and matches your customers’ behaviors and expectations. For example, your communications and reminders pre-ordering Thanksgiving meals should start 1-2 weeks prior and should be sent through email and social media posts. A good platform should include 100+ preset events for the entire year and you should have the ability to modify the calendar to fit your schedules and promos.
• Excellent Content & Design
Your restaurant’s marketing outreach, including email campaigns and social media postings, should always feature high-quality content and designs. For instance, your emails should display your logo (brand), use attractive images or animated gifs, and prominently feature CTAs (call to action) such as order-online buttons or links to reservations.
• Pick, Skip and Customize
With the platform you select, ensure that you’re able to easily create and post or schedule your content. Also, look for a feature that allows you to skip some email campaigns or social media postings very easily. Platr automatically creates and schedules amazing (at customized) content for your restaurant. You have the option to skip any email campaign or social media post. You can also create and schedule your own social media posts with Platr’s easy-to-use tools and vast library of images.
• Reporting & Analytics
Finally, the platform you select should also include the ability to track and analyze results so you can see how well your campaigns are performing and make appropriate allocations to promotions and discounts. For example, if your reminder campaigns do just as well as promotional campaigns – then there may not be a need to run steep discounts.
• Affordability is Sustainability
We all know restaurants are facing increasingly tighter budgets and falling margins. The desired platform must be affordable. Very affordable indeed. When it comes to an all-in-one, excellent, and affordable digital marketing platform for restaurants there just aren’t many choices today. It’s a high bar, and Platr takes the number one spot handily.
About Platr: An Automated Digital Marketing Platform for Restaurants
Platr is the leading digital marketing automation platform for restaurants. We provide everything you need to boost your local search listings, generate great reviews, publish interesting content on social media, and email your guests – all automatically.
Try Platr today and see the difference it makes for your restaurant! Visit us at Platr.co.