As the owner or manager of a restaurant, it’s natural that you’re flat out looking at many of your business’s everyday operational components. However, to achieve tremendous growth and turn your restaurant into the powerhouse you hope it to be, it’s vital to market the brand and its wares. One option to consider is influencer marketing.
Many hospitality entrepreneurs haven’t gone down this path yet, but it can be an innovative and often lucrative marketing tactic to test out. It’s time to learn the basics of influencer marketing and how you might utilize it in your venture.
Understanding Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing refers to situations where people, influencers with an extensive profile and the ability to affect how a brand gets viewed, promote and sell products or services. The idea of businesses partnering with well-known names and faces isn’t new, as it’s something that’s been around for decades. However, today’s influencer term relates to those who have a large following on social media and use this audience to market wares online.
Organizations can pay influencers for their voice in different ways. For example, this can be done with monetary payments or with free products, discounts, or other incentives. The benefit for businesses in using influencers is that their followers trust these people. In turn, influencer recommendations and other content get taken seriously, and people are more likely to make a purchase or complete some other call-to-action.
Consumers place much less trust in traditional advertising campaigns now and often don’t pay much attention to it at all. Trusted brand advocates can help cut through the noise, though, as their content is seen, by their followers at least, to come from a place of authority.
Types of Influencer Marketing
If you’re interested in using influencer marketing for your restaurant, it’s crucial to understand the different ways you might go about this. You can work with influencers by making them long-term brand ambassadors who promote your business, dishes, and dining experience on their social media pages, website, and related avenues. This activity is generally done for a set period, and you’ll want to ensure that the influencer you choose can’t plug any of your competitors while they’re an ambassador for your firm.
When you want to see more direct results, where customers make bookings and dining right away with you, consider creating incentives. Influencers can use them for marketing your latest menu items or deals and get consumers to head into your restaurant. Influencers get rewarded for the referrals they send your way.
You could, for instance, have influencers mention a limited-time coupon or discount code consumers don’t want to miss out on. Influencers make money through affiliate links here, earning a percentage or dollar amount every time someone clicks through to your restaurant’s social media page or website or makes a booking online, etc.
Many restaurants also find they achieve solid results from running competitions and giveaways that influencers promote. If you want to get the word out more about your business and engage consumers, consider having an influencer send a special text message to their database via a mobile marketing platform for restaurants or a sponsored blog post online.
You could also have an influencer attend an event at your restaurant or hire them to take over your social media pages for a period to boost traffic to your website and premises. Find influencers you feel are a good fit for your brand and chat with them about ideas they might have for marketing strategies, too.
Tips for Top Results with Influencer Marketing
To get the most out of influencer marketing, refrain from picking people to work with until you’re clear about your business goals and what you want the promotions to achieve. Then, don’t just go with any influencer you can get to respond. Choose the right person or people with high numbers of engaged followers in your specific niche.
Locate influencers who are likely to have a genuine interest in what you offer and how you do it. For instance, a vegan restaurant would search for influencers who already live a vegan lifestyle and possess animal-friendly values. Put together a shortlist of people you’re interested in working with. Then, try to build a relationship with them before contacting them and asking them to get involved with your restaurant.
Authentic connections help you test if the fit is correct and increases the likelihood that people will respond to your approaches. When pitching, look for ways to show how the partnership can add value to the influencer’s life and projects, not just tick boxes for you.
With so much competition these days in the hospitality arena, anything you can do to make your restaurant stand out for the right reasons is helpful. Approach influencer marketing with a clear strategy to boost your chances of success.