Business Insight

Online Integration - Making Digital Platforms Work For You

TODAY'S CONSUMERS spend more time online than ever before, so the broader you can extend your digital marketing reach, the greater the chance to engage with these potential customers and drawn them into your establishment.

By integrating each element of your digital marketing strategy, you can make sure you haven’t overlooked any important elements and that all components in the marketing mix are pulling their weight. Here are some of the key areas to consider:

Ensure your website is fully functional
Your website is still the first go-to point for many potential customers, whether it’s to check your opening hours, find out what’s on the menu or see what credit cards you take. So make sure that all that information is available and easy to find. These days, it’s especially important that your website is smartphone-responsive — i.e. that when displayed on a phone screen, it’s both readable and easy to navigate. Is your phone number clickable? Is your menu downloadable? Can customers make a reservation online? Is there a gallery (or link to an Instagram page) showing attractive photos of customers enjoying themselves? All these are must-have ingredients for today’s foodservice website.

Keep social media up to date
Who is managing your social media accounts, and how often are they being updated? If a customer visits your Facebook page and the last post is from a year ago, they may assume you’ve gone out of business. Even worse is if they see complaints from other customers which have gone unanswered. This creates an unprofessional impression — as do poor quality photos and lack of information (especially around opening hours in holiday times), both of which are common problems on foodservice social media pages. Make sure whoever is doing your social media knows what they’re doing and is devoting enough time to the task. At the least, you should ensure that all food photography is attractive and authentic and that new images are being uploaded on a regular basis.

Target potential customers via EDMs
Direct marketing via email has made a comeback in recent years thanks to the rise of platforms like Mailchimp and the ability to ‘boost’ your Facebook posts to reach a wider audience via a fee. And with click-thru rates on emails typically higher than that of social media, it makes sound business sense to invest the time and effort to build an email database of customers. By offering free wi-fi which requires them to use their email address to log in, you can capture this data and use it to send emails on specials, meal deals and the latest additions to the menu.

Is your business listed on Google Maps?
Apps such as Google Maps include local business information including restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs, and it’s important to make sure yours is listed. This means creating a Business Profile on Google, which you can do for free — it also allows you to upload photos and lets you know when a customer posts a review of your business, and even has the functionality to create a free website based on your profile. Find out more at
google.com.au/business