The Restaurant Industry.
The restaurant industry is one of the most popular industries in the Sri Lankan Market or any other country on the planet. Even though there are many restaurants ranging from street-style restaurants to five-star restaurants, it is quite surprising that almost ¾ of the restaurants in Sri Lanka have near to no web presence at all. With digital marketing certainly growing rapidly it is the platform to be used for marketing.
Potential customers for this industry are from all age ranges. However, certain restaurants have restrictions (mainly luxurious) on who should be their customers. For example, some high-end restaurants do not allow children under the age of 6. Almost all Street-style restaurants and other non-luxurious restaurants allow everyone from toddlers in their pampers to senior citizens with their walking sticks. With the potential customer range for this industry spanning in a wide way, attracting customers digitally will not be a difficulty compared to other industries which have a specific customer base.
Currently, most of the marketing for the restaurant industry in Sri Lanka is being carried out via consumer magazines, leaflets, billboard and newspapers. With leaflets and billboards being the most used platforms still, it generated actual results years ago. The results today via billboards and leaflets are not as much as they used to be earlier because people are used to checking their social media feed or searching for places online, therefore, causing the individuals to miss the advertisements.
Digital Marketing Strategies suitable for a restaurant.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – With the growing number of restaurants today, most individuals are confused as to which one to chose or else eager to try out a new restaurant. Their first reaction would be to google for a restaurant nearby them. If your restaurant does not pop-up in the top search results, you will surely miss out quite a large number of potential customers. This is where SEM comes in, which will make sure to give your website more prominence. SEM includes Pay-per-click (PPC), Cost per impression (COI), Search Analytics and Web analytics.
Learn more about SEO and PPC services here: PPC Services Sri Lanka – DoMedia Digital Marketing Agency Sri Lanka
Social Media Marketing (SMM) – Restaurants which do have an online presence mostly use social media marketing (most businesses think digital marketing means social media marketing alone). Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising. For restaurants, posting images of their best selling cuisines, 10-60 second videos of their chefs in action and posting about special offers would be the ideal way to use Social Media Marketing.
- Multi-product (Carousel Ads) – This format allows you to add up to 10 images and/or videos, links and headlines, or CTA (Call to Action) in a single unit. Carousel ads tend to perform quite well as they include more information because it is like there are several advertisements and it is more interactive.
- Canvas Advertisements- Canvases open from Facebook ads in News Feed to reveal a full-screen experience where advertisers can use a mix of video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons to build a beautiful and effective brand and product experience on mobile.
- Collection Advertisements – Collection advertisements have many CTA (Calls to Action) within the advertisement itself, thus making it simpler for the customer to get started. This format of advertisements is only available for mobile phones.
- Events Advertisements – These ads help increase awareness for your next event at your restaurant, such as barbeques, dinner dances and so on. The event ads can be used to target people who might be interested in your event and re-target those who have shown interest in the past.
- Offer Claims- Attract attention with a deal or discount using Facebook Offer claims. These ads are customizable, constructive and simple. With its ability to reach new people, boost sales and send automatic reminders it is sure to get people shopping with you.
- Local Awareness Advertisements- Get the attention of people in the vicinity of your restaurant. This will show advertisements to anyone who is close to your restaurant (Living, Working or people just passing by). This is sure to increase your restaurant’s popularity.
- Photo Ads- Photo ads allow businesses to showcase their products through captivating images. If you’re already crafting top-notch visual content, Instagram photo ads give you the platform to share it with even more people.
- Video Ads- Number of people watching Instagram videos are getting larger and larger every year. Videos about recipes and other useful tips used in your restaurant can be useful in increasing the number of fans to your restaurant.
- Carousel Ads- Carousel ads let users swipe through a series of images or videos, with a call-to-action button to connect them directly to your website. They allow you to tell a longer story about your restaurant, allowing you to highlight multiple cuisines served, in a maximum of 10 images or videos.
- Story Ads- Instagram Stories Ads are full-screen ads that appear to users between Stories they are already viewing from people they follow. 300 million Instagram users view Stories every day, representing a huge audience that you can reach with your ad! These types of advertisements can be used to inform people of the deals and discounts currently at your restaurant.
Content Marketing– Content Marketing so often considered as the future of marketing. It’s actually a unique type of marketing, where interesting type of content related to the business is posted giving the viewer value while not expecting them to be your client. Though this seems very absurd this marketing strategy has proven to produce astonishing results (3x more leads. 6x higher conversion rates and 3.5x more traffic generated to the website)
Influencer Marketing– Word of mouth marketing will always remain to be the most trusted form of marketing. A review by a food critic is sure to boost your popularity. Sri Lankan Food critics on Instagram (also known as food Instagrammers) are quite popular and are sure to give your restaurant an honest review which would increase your customers. Unfortunately as of yet (January 2019), there are no Sri Lankan food critics on Youtube to review the cuisines via video.
Video– Videos are the most prefered way of content for almost every individual today. Providing pleasure to the eyes, this marketing method is very captivating. Restaurants could make videos of customers reviewing their product in just a few words, a chat with the chef, important tips when making a dish, the story of the restaurant said by the founder of the business or even just a clip of how things run in the restaurant. These videos are sure to drive in real business results.
*All these digital Marketing strategies would be possible only if the restaurant has a website of their own and/or accounts on different social media platforms.
In 2019, it is safe to consider restaurants who haven’t entered the digital arena to be medieval, or rather pre-historic. If you are already in the digital market, contact us for free consultancy on how you can improve and enhance your digital marketing strategies. If not, you might want to think twice if you are going to turn a blind eye and continue working away from the digital world.