Elite Restaurant Marketing Blog | Restaurant Coaching & Consulting
Chef Marcus Guiliano is an award-winning chef, green restaurateur, real food activist, professional speaker, restaurant consultant & ultra-marathoner. Here you will find Restaurant Coaching & Consulting, Businees Coaching, Business Consulting
Video marketing and restaurants go together like grilled cheese and French fries. Show off your favorite chef in action, interview some of your regulars or highlight some of your best dishes. A video is the next best thing to getting a patron inside your restaurant. A recent survey showed about half of Internet users look for a video before even going to a physical store and 80 percent believed a demonstration video helped them decide on buying. Imagine a local diner researching before they head out for their weekly date night with their spouse. They view several videos while choosing where to eat — yours should be one of them.
When it comes to creating a video for your restaurant, some strategies will make it attract more attention.
1. Interview Your Chef Other than the owner, the chef is one of the most important people in your restaurant. The menu and the taste of the food drive the success of your establishment. When people enjoy your food, they're more likely to return and tell their friends about your restaurant. Let people get to know your chef by interviewing them. Ask questions about where they learned to cook, what their favorite meal is and why their cooking stands out from the other chefs in the city.
2. Record Client Testimonials When it comes to marketing tactics, customer testimonials have an 89 percent effectiveness rating. People tend to trust what others have to say over what the business says about itself, even if they don't personally know the reviewer. Choose some of your regular customers who already love your establishment and dine there often. Ask them if they'd be interested in providing a video testimonial. In addition to reaching potential customers through video marketing, your regular customers will likely share their video interview with all their family and friends and gain potential traffic to your restaurant.
3. Be Authentic Don't pretend your establishment is something it isn't. If your restaurant is a casual diner, show off what you do best. Don't try to look like fine dining if you aren't. Don't act family-friendly if you don't have a kids' menu. Experts know a video that is believable gets more shares. The style of your video affects its authenticity as well. Consider your target audience and what tone speaks to them.
4. Tell Your Story Create a corporate video where you show consumers your personality and dream for the restaurant. Where did you get your start and who started the restaurant? Talk about any struggles in the beginning and how you've overcome them. Don't be afraid to tell funny stories and show off the company culture of your brand.
5. Focus on Local Patrons First Even though it might be tempting to reach out to the world with a global platform like YouTube, focus on driving local traffic to your restaurant first. Residents become repeat patrons and are the backbone of your restaurant. Later, you can always expand into global markets and target travelers to your city via different travel websites or even through targeted advertising of people planning a vacation to your area.
6. Use a 360-Degree View If someone viewed your food in person, the experience would be three-dimensional, so it only makes sense the videos you shoot should be, too. Choose the dishes on your menu with the brightest colors and show them from a 360-degree video view. Allow the viewer to see the steam rising from your pasta and capture the chef pouring a rich, creamy sauce over chicken. Show the dish from all sides and the top.
7. Recipe Videos Have you noticed how many recipe videos are on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube? Tasty, BuzzFeed's recipe video channel, has about 98 million Facebook followers and nearly as many likes. Their videos feature short, yummy recipes and meal ideas. While you don't want to give away your top-secret recipes, you can share a few tips here and there and even create some recipes specifically for online video marketing. If your restaurant patrons love your sliders, offer instructions for making something similar or share most of the recipe, but don't give away the secret of your ground beef seasoning blend. Capture people's interest without giving away all your confidentiality.
8. Keep It Short Most videos uploaded in the last couple of years are under two minutes long. The ideal length of a video varies, depending upon which platform it's for. Experts estimate video length should be:
Instagram — 30 seconds
Twitter — 45 seconds
Facebook — 60 seconds
YouTube — two minutes
There are reasons each length performs best on each platform, but as a rule of thumb, keep the video length to what is suitable for the social media channel you're targeting.
Gain New Loyal Fans Adding videos is another way of marketing your restaurant and bringing in new loyal fans who will visit your establishment for years. Have fun with your videos and show off the best your restaurant has to offer. Highlight your customers, employees and owners in the best light possible. Even a single, high-quality video that highlights what types of dishes you serve is an excellent marketing tool.
TWEET: So, what the *bleep* is a brand, and how do I get one that will make me successful? Let’s define “brand” not in a vacuum, but rather in relation to its partner and BFF: marketing.
“Brand” is one of those words that is either overly misused or completely misunderstood. In either case, it’s not going to do you any favors until you know what it is, why you need it, and how to use it. So, what the *bleep* is a brand, and how do I get one that will make me successful?
A small business owner recently contacted me saying they were looking for “marketing”, which is a common occurrence. So I told them what I always tell people who ask that question: “We don’t offer marketing services; we build brands for service businesses”. To which they quickly replied, “No no no, that is what we need! We want to invest in marketing to get more clients, but we don’t know what to say, so we need help with our brand and message!”
So is this a conversation about branding or marketing?
How do small business owners like the one I spoke to know which service they ought to be shopping for and investing in?
I can tell you this is an article about branding, but it is also going to mention marketing, because you can’t discuss one without the other. Let’s get to it!
Branding vs. Marketing: A Long-Winded but Essential Overview Branding and marketing are such big, elusive concepts that encompass so many overlapping aspects, it’s hard to nail down exactly where one stops and the other begins. Despite all the information via blogs, podcasts, and books about branding and marketing, it feels like most entrepreneurs and freelancers I encounter are still unclear on what exactly a brand is, how it’s different from marketing, and how the two must support each other to increase sales.
The two efforts work together to produce the best results, and neither is fully effective when it is not supported by the other.
Most people focus on the definition of a brand: it’s your mission, why you’re different, what people think about you, what people say about you, and what’s in your collection of all your materials and customer touchpoints. This last piece is the simplest explanation of a brand, but in my opinion, it’s the least useful for your business.
Let’s define “brand” not in a vacuum, but rather in relation to its partner and BFF: marketing.
Think of your brand as the foundation of a house. The sturdier the foundation, the stronger the house you build will be. Put down a weak foundation, and your house will fall over. Put down a strong foundation but no house... and you’re homeless.
Just like marketing and branding, you need both. And the more you go all in on both, the stronger and more enjoyable living in the house will be.
In addition (taking a Marie Kondo-approach to the house analogy), you only want to fill your home with things that add value or bring joy. Otherwise, it becomes cluttered, ineffective, and convoluted to the point where people cannot see your original design or intention.
Okay, enough about the house.
Why Marketing Can’t Exist Without Branding, and Vice Versa Most people go straight to marketing. They hire a marketing company, bypassing the branding element because they need sales now, and branding feels like a “nice to have”.
I get the sentiment, but that’s like when people call me and say, “I really just need sales now, so I’m going to build a passive income product and sell it” – as if that’s the “quick” solution. (“Good luck with that!” says everyone who has ever successfully built a passive income product. I digress.)
It’s the same with marketing without a brand. Try to market a business with no clear voice, focus, message, or reason you’re better than everyone else (besides that you care more, yuck!), and you’ll spend a bunch of time and money to get zero results and then think that this whole “marketing thing” doesn’t work.
But the same is true for building a brand without planning to go all in on your marketing.
Marketing can be as simple as calling up everyone you know and telling them about your brand. That’s not the most efficient method of marketing, but when you need sales and you have a list of people that know, like and trust you, that’s the easiest way to get them.
And if you don’t have a list of people like that, then your only job should be to work with people to develop that list as soon as possible.
Branding takes a bit more work and insight into who you’re trying to serve, how you want them to see you, and how you’d like them to relate your business to their needs. It’s not about creating a brand that’s different just for the sake of being different.
It means getting to the heart of what makes you awesome, why people have wanted to hire you in the past, and why they should want to hire you in the future. And then, you’ll take that and turn it into a noticeable, memorable, shareable brand that can carry your marketing from point to point and make all the right connections.
And once you nail your brand message, it can and should direct all your marketing efforts so that your brand will be consistent in every aspect of your business.
A Strong Foundation + Consistency = Success Not everyone turns out to have a brand as contrarian as “Worstofall Design” like my company, and that is 100% completely and totally okay and does not mean you can’t have wild success. I teach people how to build a brand that stands out from the crowd in my Brandup Bootcamp. Some outcomes are crazier than others, and you should never build a brand with the express and only goal of being different and sacrifice authenticity and truth in the process!
Being specific and focused is most important. And upon that strong foundation you can take your brand message, repeat it, and double down on it all the time. Find ways for people to see your specific and focused brand message and interact with it over and over again, consistently. It doesn’t have to be crazy, in your face, out of this world different – especially if that’s not you. But it does need to be seen by your people over and over again.
Or else you’ll be living on a concrete slab with no roof.
If you want branding to work for you, don’t just dip a toe in. Commit to it with all you’ve got – eat, sleep, breathe, and live your brand, and that will make other people want a piece. Even if you’re in an industry that you believe does branding a certain way, you are not looking at the huge opportunity right in front of you to create an impact that will continue to build value in your business.
If you want to take a different approach to your business’ brand opportunities, take my free Crash Course and ask yourself just three game-changing questions that we use to clarify the brand of all of our private clients.
Pia is the founder of the Bada** Your Brand Methodology that Turns Expertise into Profit, get started here. Sign up for these weekly articles in your inbox.
It all started with so much promise: eight models on a yacht, Kendall Jenner and 400 other social media influencers, but it ended in a debacle producing nearly endless chatter. Since the Netflix and Hulu documentaries about the 2017 Fyre Festival were released in January, a big debate has surfaced about the merit of influencer marketing.
The Fyre Festival may have crashed and burned, but from a pure marketing standpoint, it was quite an achievement when 5,000 people bought $4,000 tickets to attend the event, which promised a VIP, dream-like experience on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma. The reality turned out to be a nightmare where people were forced to sleep in half-built tents and had only meager food items like cold cheese sandwiches to eat.
That outcome serves as a stark reminder that while big visions sell, internal orchestration and authenticity matter. The influencer program delivered incredible results, but the problems arose when the event didn’t deliver the right experience. And since the Fyre Festival involved aspects of youth culture, it’s the perfect example for teaching millennial businesspeople about what happens when marketing is not aligned with other departments of a business. Bad alignment for marketing, sales and product are bad for the customer experience and bad for brands.
Orchestration helps hit the right notes While big visions sell, internal orchestration and authenticity matter. Never has a case for organizational alignment been more black and white. The festival’s promoters proved that paid influencer programs can create a huge buzz as they cleverly employed a simple-yet-mysterious orange logo that was easily shareable on social media. At the same time, this situation illustrates that when marketing, sales and product (the event, in this case) aren’t synced, they end up creating distrust among buyers.
With Fyre Festival, the influencers and marketing website did what they were supposed to do in inspiring people to sign up for an experience. But then the providers of the experience did not deliver, and now Fyre Festival is an icon of distrust. This case study should be taught to show the next generation why one hand needs to talk to the other to succeed in marketing, sales and product.
For both B-to-C and B-to-B brands, Fyre Festival is a reminder that your steak needs to be as good as your sizzle. For B-to-B brands, in particular, it underscores why your webinar should deliver on the promise of the social ad or email message that pitched it. It’s also a reminder of the distrust organizations can create by not correctly aligning business functions, such as sales and marketing. It’s imperative to align on shared objectives and then use all the digital tools and collaboration best practices available to keep your business in rhythm.
Authenticity as an experience The Fyre Festival also illustrates how vital it is for brands to be authentic and human. The risks of not being authentic are severe. As an interviewee in one of the Fyre Festival documentaries observed, “One kid with probably 400 followers posted a picture of cheese on toast that trended and essentially ripped down the festival.”
Companies now have the data at their fingertips to make conversations with prospects and customers not only more targeted but more authentic. The ability to get to know your customers online is central to how digital can make B-to-B marketing more human. For instance, messages can be tailored according to what a buyer states they need on social channels (publicly expressed pain points, in other words) or what data on B-to-B-minded sites tell me about what they’ll likely need. Technology also enables marketing and sales departments to treat each potential client or existing client in a more coordinated and personalized way.
Fyre Festival is a reminder that consumer trust is at an all-time low, which represents an opportunity for both B-to-C and B-to-B brands to stand for both their products’ value and human values. Because modern business is complicated, these goals require each team within the company to internalize the brand promise and deliver it at every touchpoint with the customer.
Why is this idea important now beyond the Fyre Festival catastrophe? Mainly due to millennials coming of age as decision-makers; in fact, 73 percent of millennials who work in business are involved in the technology purchasing process for their companies. This demographic values authenticity more than previous generations of buyers.
In 10 years, a significant percentage of companies, perhaps even a majority, will be led by millennials. It’s more important than ever to inspire your marketing, sales and product teams’ alignment now so you create the right kind of fire in the future.