Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants to Survive during COVID-19

Digital Marketing

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Just like any other business, the competition in the restaurant industry is getting fierce with each passing year. Today, the decision about what to eat and where to eat is determined by online reviews, locations, prices etc. Most of the customers check online before going out for dinner, so if you don’t have a strong online presence then you are missing out on many potential customers and the opportunity to grow your restaurant business. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy is essential for your restaurant business to find more new customers online. Long Island digital marketing services could help you develop a website, and optimize it to appear among the top search results on all popular search engines.

The outbreak of COVID-19 led to the closing of non- essential businesses and public places to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of the virus. The shutdown of restaurants has led to considerable decline of revenue. Although the restrictions on non- essential businesses have been lifted now, following the social distancing guidelines and safety norms is important. So, this calls for a new and revised digital marketing strategy to follow the rules as well as make up for the loss.

Effective Digital Marketing Strategies

  • Engage with your customers through social media: Social media is one of the best platforms for digital marketing. So, connecting with your customers through social media is the ideal way to reach out to more customers. Engage with your customers empathetically and remember not to push endless marketing and self-promotion. Develop an effective social media marketing strategy that focuses on promoting your new dining experiences and also about how you give importance to your customers’ health and safety. The following are some tips for a good social media strategy:
    • Post pictures and video on social media about the safety measures that you take in your restaurant.
    • Highlight your new menu and special dishes with photos on social media.
    • Post pictures of your new dining area and the ambience that customers can enjoy.
    • Click pictures with staffs at the cooking area, plating area, cleaning station etc and post them on social media.
    • Post reopening updates and share it on social media.

  • Focus on Search Engine Optimization: It is common knowledge that the first link on the search results page gets 10 times more clicks from the users. This means that search results that make it to the top of the organic search results page will get a higher click through rate (CTR). To get higher ranking on search results page, capitalizing on search engine optimization is essential. Optimizing your SEO techniques like creating a responsive website, ensuring good user experience throughout the site, posting keyword optimized content, video SEO, optimizing for voice search, and earning backlinks would help improve your ranking and bring more traffic to your website, and more customers into your restaurant. The SEO efforts may take some time to show positive results but in the long term, an effective SEO strategy will generate more traffic.

  • Use Pay per Click marketing: People staying indoors means increase in screen time. This means that this is the right opportunity for you to use PPC ads on search or social platform to engage with your target audience and this will help you gain a competitive edge. As per Wordstream, Cost Per Click for restaurateurs is reasonably below average because they focus only on takeaway and non-contact delivery services. The fall in CPC may continue until the lockdown is lifted and this reduces the amount one pays a publisher per ad click. So, make use of this opportunity to create more exposure for your restaurant and attract more target audience.
  • Consider online reviews: Online reviews about any place or product greatly influences prospective buyers. Encourage your customers to leave good reviews because it can boost business. Be careful about negative feedback and respond well to negative reviews, and keep your potential customers happy.
  • Develop loyalty with Email list: This is one of the most effective ways to improve sales. Restaurants can send a marketing email highlighting the various safety measures they’re taking for reopening, including how on-premise dining will operate, what menus will be available, and hours of operation. It’s equally important to link to off-premise options for cautious diners as well. Make sure to include a call to action.

  • Use the power of Local SEO: For restaurants, local SEO is more important than ever because today many people are confined to their homes and the screen time also increases. People are looking for restaurants that offer take out services or drive in service. Focusing on Local SEO is essential to improve your local online visibility and reach out to more customers. To begin with, make necessary changes in Google My Business profile during COVID-19:
    • Google is temporarily allowing small changes in Google My Business profile due to the pandemic. Local businesses can now include keywords like take outs or drive thru without any penalty.
    • Google offers COVID related GMB posts that make it easier for businesses to communicate with the customer about the latest updates, announcements and changes like take out delivery, drive thru services and so on.

      local seo
    • Use Yelp profiles to communicate the changes in your business.
    • Restaurants have GMB attributes to mention about take-out, delivery and dine-in. These can be configured via Google Food integration.

      google food integration

This is the right opportunity to make changes to your location page SEO elements. It allows you to make adjustments to your location page title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. This will let your customers know that you are offering alternative services to meet their needs.

All the above stated points will help you maintain your relationship with your customers during the pandemic. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy will allow you to stay connected with loyal customers and help you reach new ones. So, if you wish to promote the re-opening of your restaurants during this COVID 19 crisis, approach Long Island digital marketing services to boost your sales and compensate for the loss that your restaurant faced during the lockdown days.