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Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular with brands that think outside the box, aiming to improve brand awareness and attract more customers by relying on more than just traditional marketing strategies.
Restaurants are the perfect market for influencers because food is such an easy thing to promote. Everybody loves good food and showing it off to their friends and followers. If your favorite influencer recommends a restaurant, you’re likely to give it a shot yourself.
In this article, we will dive into the main benefits of restaurant influencer marketing and the steps you need to take to find the right influencers for your business.
7 Benefits of Restaurant Influencer Marketing
1. Boosts brand awareness
Perhaps the most immediate advantage of influencer marketing is increased exposure and reach.
You don’t need to approach influencers with millions of followers to get a good return on investment. Instead, focus on approaching micro-influencers whose target audience is similar to yours.
That way, you’ll get more engagement and even some new loyal customers. People who might not have been aware of your brand will see the marketing campaign as a massive endorsement from someone whose opinions they respect.
2. Increases brand credibility
It’s no secret that word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. If a respected and loved influencer recommends your restaurant, their followers will see that as a vote of confidence, increasing your credibility as a brand.
This is better than paying for an ad because it is more genuine. Don’t try to sway the influencer one way or the other or buy their review. Let your food speak for itself and allow them to give their honest thoughts on it. Authenticity attracts many more potential customers than a scripted ad.
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3. Boosts SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is indispensable for the visibility and popularity of your restaurant. Getting quality backlinks is a pillar of good SEO. Thus, consider link building for restaurants.
Having influencers link to your restaurant website is an excellent step for increasing reach. The more people click on the link, the more traffic you’ll get, which will signal to Google that your website is relevant.
4. Provides fresh content
If you’re in a creative rut and can’t think of engaging content for your social media channels, influencer marketing can come to your rescue.
Whether you’re organizing an Instagram takeover – where you give an influencer access to your social media account for them to post throughout the day – or sharing content they posted on their channels, your profiles will get plenty of new activity.
5. Forges long-term relationships
While not all influencers you work with will become your partners long-term, this type of marketing has the potential to forge mutually beneficial relationships that last.
Continuous collaboration with an influencer means you get to explore different strategies. One campaign can focus on promoting your restaurant menu as a whole, another can involve an exclusive taste testing event for your newest menu item, or even a giveaway for their followers.
6. Boosts ROI
According to a 2020 study, 60% of marketers said that influencer marketing’s return on investment (ROI) is higher than traditional advertising. So, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity?
Influencer marketing is a low-effort, high-reward opportunity that can turn your restaurant brand into the talk of the town. To get even more people talking, you can offer exclusive restaurant promotions and discount codes for the influencer’s followers.
7. Boosts profits
Finally, most marketing campaigns have the same ultimate goal: increasing the restaurant’s profits. The same is true of restaurant influencer marketing. More eyes on your restaurant translate into more sales. It’s as simple as that.
According to a study from Annalect and Twitter, about 40% of customers had purchased something online after seeing it advertised by an influencer on Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. Your restaurant can be a part of that by simply collaborating with influencers.
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How to Find the Right Influencer for Your Restaurant
1. Search for relevant hashtags
A quick way to find influencers targeting the same audience as you is to search for popular food hashtags on Instagram. Then, check out the influencer’s feed to see whether they’re doing partnerships with other restaurants or food brands.
If you like what you see and the influencer has a decent number of followers and engagement, you can send them a DM to propose a collaboration.
2. Use Google alerts
Google alerts is a free tool that allows you to create an alert on a topic that interests you. Whenever there are new Google results on that topic, you will get an email alert.
Set up alerts with mentions of keywords that are related to the food and beverage industry, your restaurant’s niche, or even your restaurant name to monitor what people are saying about you.
These alerts will allow you to find like-minded people interested in the same topics as you are, with whom you could potentially collaborate.
3. Search for topical blogs
If you’re looking for influencers who also have a blog, you can search for relevant keywords related to your industry or brand, followed by the word “blog.”
Most bloggers also have a social media following or at least social media profiles where they share their content. That could be useful if you’re looking to promote your restaurant on multiple platforms.
4. Use influencer marketing software
If you don’t have the time or energy to search for influencers manually, you can employ the services of an influencer marketing company that can help you manage your influencer campaigns from start to finish.
With NeoReach’s influencer search tool, you can easily search influencers or upload and analyze your own using over 40 available filters, including keywords, social platforms, profile performance, and audience demographics – like age, gender, location, language, income, brand affinity, and more.
Restaurant influencer marketing doesn’t have to be a daunting process. In fact, it can be quite easy if you know how to look for the right influencers and have the tools to help you. Ultimately, the benefits more than compensate for the minimal effort you’ll put into setting up your influencer campaigns.
Author Bio: Laura Voicu
Laura is a marketing specialist for Oracle’s GloriaFood. She provides restaurant owners with informative guides and tips for growing their business online and offline.