It may seem like stating the obvious, and you might think it goes without saying, but we’re gonna anyway: if new customers can’t find out about you, then they won’t be able to buy your fantastic takeaway food.
That’s why effective and ongoing marketing is vital.
It’s also a bit of a myth that marketing is an expensive, time-consuming activity usually done by people in suits in swanky city-centre offices. You might also think this knowledge is outside of the experience and budgets of the average community food business.
It's also a myth that if you are on a food portal, you are getting marketed. The food platform is marketing themselves, what is making you stand out from everyone else in there?
You need to market your business. Fact.
However, it doesn’t matter whether you have 10p or £10k to spend on promoting your takeaway; you’ll eventually need to invest some time into your marketing, especially if you want to stave off increasing competition and want to see business growth.
Its not as complex as you think to market online
Happily, it’s not as complex as you may think. With a few simple tools and a bit of effort, most of the essential work can be done virtually cost-free. This and our next blog will give you much of the information you need.
Let’s look at online or digital marketing.
The Sites That Matter
1. Register With Google
Firstly, register your takeaway in Google Business Pages. This helps to drive traffic from both direct and indirect Google searches from hungry clients looking for you or places like you online.
The key to using Google Business Pages is to add your website, menu or branded app, so customers can just order direct from a Google. Doing this is a ,major order generator. Imagine a customer searching for "Fish and Chips in [your area]" and your direct order link popped up.
If you use a food portal, it is likely that they have already added their links onto your Google Business Page, which will direct your traffic to them. That’s not great as you'll have to pay commission then! Luckily you can put your links ahead of theirs and ask them to remove their links.
2. Get A Facebook Page
Facebook Order Buttons If you have an online ordering app or website, make sure you put a START ORDER button on your Facebook page. This will allow customers to order direct from you without having to remember to go to your website or app.
Facebook Posting is a powerful marketing resource so ensure you create a business Facebook page. Then you’ll need to upload regular content, including promotions and discounts, seasonal dishes, competitions, local news, charity work, new menu items, customer stories, amusing memes and short videos. Keep it light-hearted and in good taste and maybe avoid politics and the like to prevent customer annoyance.
Post links to your ordering system. This is just magic and will get you lots of orders. Throw in the odd discount code or luscious image of your food, and you are quids in.
3. Setup Your Instagram
Set up an Instagram account - this is by far the best platform for posting images of your mouth-watering food. A good related tactic is to run a promotion and ask clients to post pictures of them enjoying your dishes, perhaps with a prize for the best pics. Again post little and often and promote across your social media platforms.
Post your online ordering link into your Instagram Bio for extra clicks
4. Trips Advisor
While Trip Advisor may not be in the premier league of online marketing sites, it can be considered a sleeping giant, especially for food businesses that offer table service. TA fans will go to great lengths in writing long detailed reviews which can provide fantastic testimonials you can add to your other social sites.
Do have a look at this resource to see if it works for your business and, if so, don’t hesitate to register, then encourage or incentivise clients to rate and review you.
Trips advisor lets you add an Order Now button to your online ordering platform - a great way to get extra orders
Yelp is similar to Trip Advisor but covers a broader range of businesses, including shops, dentists, dog groomers etc. Like TA, clients can add reviews and ratings, and the benefits can be similar in terms of testimonials and client feedback. And like all the above, everywhere your business appears online adds to your SEO profile, making it even easier for clients to find you.
6. Your Own Website
Develop your unique online presence—the most straightforward approach is to commission a branded food ordering app and associated website. And because an app is hosted within the massive Apple and Google platforms, the foundations of successful online marketing are built-in by default.
And, of course, getting a branded app ensures you don’t pay huge fees to the large food portals and makes it a doddle to offer your clients genuinely attractive offers, all while making healthy profits.
More challenging options.
All the above are relatively simple for people with average digital skills and should be considered the basics of online marketing. More advanced techniques to consider are paying for keyword-driven Google ads to give your takeaway an advantage. Many businesses use this technology often successfully, but it does require some knowledge and investment for it to be effective.
If you’re not confident with this platform, maybe take some training or look for an agency to do the work for you.
Making Youtube food-based content can be both effective marketing and fun to do. It can be a superb way to promote larger businesses or chains, so do consider this approach.
You’ll need to put in some time to create professional content, so be prepared to fully test your video editing skills. There is a bonus here, though. As well as promoting your business, you’ll also get ad revenues for popular videos and the possibility of selling merchandise such as cookbooks, ingredients and branded clothing.
It’ll be hard work but enjoyable too!
Online Marketing Is Worth The Effort
We wouldn’t blame you for thinking all the above seems like a lot of work. And you’d be right. However, tools such as Buffer or Social Sprout will help place posts over multiple social platforms, and that will save you time.
You can benchmark other food businesses for content ideas and use shared events like sports, Christmas, Easter and other special days for content ideas and promotions. It’s all very doable if you’re willing to dig in.
But it does take time to consistently dream up effective online promotions.
That’s where the D of D team can help. We understand how important online marketing is, so when we build you a branded food ordering app and website, we’ll bring our extensive marketing know-how too.
So let us take the marketing strain and help your takeaway to shine online.
Unlike other food ordering platforms, we’re committed to your success, so call our team today on 0161 222 7672 or visit www.deptofdigital.com to find out more.