Food porn at its best (courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)
We love delicious and great tasting food. We love chatting about our latest dining escapades on social media.
If you are Asian, you probably enjoy taking and sharing photos and videos of your food on social networks. You probably also love consuming food related content – recipes, new dishes, menus, the list goes on.
Unfortunately, few F&B operators have embraced content marketing. Many are either too busy with running their operations, intimidated by what’s needed, or unaware of what’s involved.
Well, help is here! Thankfully, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a content marketing rockstar for a F&B business.
Let’s consider 9 steps one can take to pursue content marketing for an F&B business.
First, you need to determine your needs. Ask why you are doing this, and what you hope to achieve.
Common objectives may include the following:
When doing so, remember to establish the metrics used to measure success, both online and offline.
Courtesy of Gaia Ristorante and Bar
Next, you need to know who your customers are, how they decide on places to eat or drink, as well as other considerations. Conduct a quick survey (either online or offline) with questions such as the following:
Beyond interviews, see if you can dig up prior customer transactions. For example, favourite menu items, most talked about dish, and so on. These form the “ammo” for your food related content.
Courtesy of Extra Virgin Pizza
In a labour tight F&B market, it is important to assign clear roles in content marketing. Now this depends on how busy your outlets are, the bandwidth of staff, as well as their interest and passion.
Generally speaking, professionally taken photos (eg menu items, restaurant layout, exteriors, posed shots), design and editorial work should be done before the outlet opens its doors. Slow periods may also be good occasions for kitchen or wait staff to snap photos and share selected menu items.
If need be, do engage professional help to create and curate appropriate food or beverage content.
No, you don’t have to be everywhere. As a matter of fact, focusing your energies on one or two social channels may work better than spreading your resources too thinly.
Example of a content calendar (source: buffer social)
The next step involves developing an editorial/publishing schedule. This would normally include the following:
Courtesy of Jane’s Pantry
Now for the meat of your content itself, focus on what Brad Cohen calls snackable objects. These are “bite sized nuggets of content whose meaning can be grasped quickly (consumed in one bite).”
Here are some ideas for you to chew over:
A key thing here is to include your brand identity (logos or mast heads) in your content.
Encourage them to spread the word via their own social networks. Nudge them to include a link to your website and social media accounts.
To boost social shares, reward customers who share a review on their social networks. All they need to do is to show you (via their mobiles) what they have written, and you can offer them a treat.
Highlight your best customer reviews on your own website and social channels. Use these testimonials as social proof to drive new customers to your outlets.
With their significant online reach and influence, food and lifestyle journalists, bloggers and other content producers are important marketing partners. Read their publications or blogs, and find out how you can be featured – either through public relations (free) or sponsored posts (paid).
You can find out more about working with influencers in The ABCs of Influencer Marketing.
Finally, remember to analyze the results of your content marketing efforts, optimize your content via SEO techniques to improve search ranking for choice keywords, and socialize by sharing them on social platforms.
A key thing to note here is that you need to match what you’ve achieved against your original goals. Have you under performed on certain metrics (eg engagement) while over performing on others (eg followers)?
Adapt your strategies and tactics accordingly, refine what you push out, and hone them to perform better.
Are there other ways to harness content marketing for restaurants and cafes? I’d love to hear your ideas on this.
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