The taste for takeout is here to stay. What once was a novel idea reserved for the nights when dad burnt the casserole, to becoming a pandemic fueled lifeline for dine-ins everywhere, to now 66% of American consumers stating that they ordered takeout or delivery for dinner last week (National Restaurant Association).
People want their favorite restaurant dishes, but in their own dining rooms. Couple that with higher-than-ever expectations for seamless online ordering, and you’ve got every reason to keep reading this post.
Fortunately, at DBM our favorite dish is digital marketing. So, here’s 10 smart ways to increase food orders through your online channels.
Help hungry customers find your website by listing in local online directories. This includes Yelp, but there are others. You can check your existing listings on Moz and update them as needed, and be sure to claim your Google My Business and Bing profile to appear more regularly in local search results.
If keywords are the language of search engines, the more fluent your website is the better. Using hyper-local keywords across your blogs, page titles, captions, and URLS’s can charm these little search boxes into sharing your site more often and to the right audience. For example, a customer’s search for “independent coffee shop in downtown Seattle” would bring up your business with the right keywords at play.
Socializing isn’t for everyone, even online. But think of social media as the piazza of the internet, and apps like Instagram and Twitter as direct lines to your customer base. If utilized (even sparingly), these channels can be an excellent way to engage. Consider running polls and contests to spark a conversation, with your best-dressed menu items posing for a photo or two. Content should be inviting, exciting, and most of all, appetizing.
The phrase ‘order online’ is essentially the same as ‘mobile order’ these days. With 79% of customers ordering with their phones, there’s never been a better time to prioritize your mobile menu. The idea is simple: get your customer through the ordering funnel as seamlessly as possible with a well-organized platform designed specifically for mobile devices.
Paid advertisements are a great way to test small-ish campaigns with target audiences, using the results to buoy larger marketing efforts. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer parameters to narrow your demographic by local area, income level, interests, and hobbies so you’re not just throwing ad dollars to the wind.
You can still offer a unique dining experience to customers even if they prefer to dine at home. Set the theme of the night with a unique playlist to stream, or by offering cooking live streams that they’re sure to tell their friends about. A well-intentioned idea can set the mood just as effectively as the design of your restaurant.
As we discussed in our previous post, email marketing is still the top performer in the digital marketing arena. It’s estimated that there’s a whopping $42 dollar return on every $1 spent on email marketing. So get out there and grab some emails: offer a sign-up incentive like coupon codes or exclusive deals, and then continue offering incentives for subscribers. Loyalty programs work, especially when they are designed with purpose and delivered with style.
Did we mention the importance of building loyalty? Limited offers, exclusive deals, early access incentives – these are just a few ways to reward customers for their continued patronage and keep them coming back.
Make it as easy as possible for customers to share reviews. Whether that’s on social media, your website itself, or on a business listing, the process needs to be more convenient than a microwave dinner. Include a review link in post-order emails and respond to as many reviews as you can, a little goes a long way.
You want your photography to be as appetizing as your food, so it’s important to have best practices to refer to when snapping your menu selections. Photos should be clean, clear, and consistent with your branding to catch eyes and convert sales.
Try one, try them all, and whatever your intensity level may be we hope these 10 tips galvanize your online channels and produce insightful results to make finely-tuned feedback adjustments. And, it’s worth mentioning that these handy tips extend beyond just food-service, and can have potent applications in virtually any sector of the digital marketplace.