Updated: Aug 10, 2020
If you have a bricks and mortar food or beverage business chances are you haven’t thought much about customers being able to find you online, beyond having a web page and Instagram. Now foot traffic has dropped off a cliff and you’re competing in a whole different market.
Don’t panic. There are a couple of really simple and some not so simple things you can do to improve your presence. I’ve had 8 years experience in marketing and engagement so I know a thing or two about digital marketing but I’ll be honest with you, some of these ideas I’m stealing straight from the best practice of your peers!
I’ll break it down for you.
1. Find the Facebook Takeaway Group in your area - most areas have a Facebook group to support local hospitality businesses. Find yours and be present in whatever way you can; share your menu, photos, reviews, comment on other posts and offer suggestions for your business and others. Make sure you check the group rules to be sure you are playing fair. If your area doesn’t have a group then create one. This is the place to be guys. Anecdotal feedback is that businesses are being well supported through this channel. Your community is ready and waiting to connect with you! Shout out to Hiruni Peiris @nothcotebakeshop for initiating the Northcote Group.
2. Social Content – Keep the content coming on your Instagram and Facebook. Aside from us having something to repost for you, it makes sure you remain front of mind for your followers. The more people interact with your posts the more Instagram and Facebook algorithms will show your posts.
The best accounts that we have seen have:
a. Great food photos (Google some food photography tips).
b. Post regularly at the appropriate time of day.
c. Most importantly show your personality. Don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera and show people who you are, the personal touch is key right now.
d. You may be a subject matter expert and don’t know it for example do you hand make pasta, mix a mean cocktail or even know more than most about coffee? Share a video telling us about it! We are bored stiff of Netflix so please give us something interesting to watch. @shokuiku are legends at this; follow them on Instagram.
3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Don’t let the language of digital marketing hold you back. This is very simply about giving the Google search bots something relevant to find on your site. I don’t mean to down play the work of SEO specialists, it takes time and effort to complete site audits, keyword research, set up keywords and site performance and measure results over time BUT you can take a first sweep of some hygiene factors that should help.
a. Keywords – make sure the things people might search on Google to find you feature in your site content i.e. if you are an Italian restaurant in Preston think “Italian Restaurant Preston” “Italian Food Delivery Preston” “Best Lasagne Preston”… you get the idea. Make a list and review your site content, make sure to keep it subtle, you still want the content to read well.
b. Links – having your website link to other relevant sites again improves your chances of the bots thinking you are relevant to the search. If someone has written or posted a (positive) article about you then link it to your page in a blog, media or testimonial section. Also have as many relevant sites link to your web page like www.stillserving.com.au, Google My Business, White Pages pretty much any online directory will help.
Remember that if you are using a 3rd party delivery platform you probably don’t want their site to come up before yours when people search for you directly. This can happen! Knowing where you rank and if you need to make some adjustments is a good start.
We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to learn more about something we touch on in this article. We can also help if you need some more personalised support in digital marketing or customer engagement.
The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice.