Updated: Apr 7, 2020
When it comes to engaging and shareable content, video is second to none. Whether you plan on creating consistent content for your social media channels, or just want to make a great impression on the landing page of your website, video is a great option.
The restaurant industry is fertile ground for creating engaging content. After all, what's more visually appealing and emotive than an incredible plate of food?
As we'll discover in this blog, there are plenty of angles you can take when creating videos for your restaurant. Above all, it's essential to produce content that is relevant to your customer's needs. In today's post, we'll:
Talk about the benefits of video content in general.
Ask ourselves what your customers' needs are and how you can fulfill them through your video.
Assess how best to convey your USPs in video form
Cover the most important places to post your video
Take a look at some examples of restaurant video marketing.
Summarize with some tips and reminders for best practices.
What is video marketing, and how can it help your restaurant?
Video marketing refers to any use of video to promote your brand, whether that's on your website, on social media, through paid ads on the internet, or advertising on broadcast television.
Video marketing is used in all industries. Let's explore why video is a popular way for restaurants to build their brand, and connect with their customers:
Video content is more shareable
Forbes reports that video content is shared 1,200% more than text and links... combined! It's no wonder then that video is deemed to be the most powerful online advertising tool for businesses of all sizes.
Video content is more memorable
People absorb and retain information from video content more deeply than with written or audio content—great news when you want your brand to adhere to people's minds.
An international study that surveyed over 375 000 people found that 84% of people expect brands to create content. Customer engagement online is now firmly established as a vital part of any marketing strategy. You've got to reach people where they are with content that they genuinely want. Video is a way to concisely deliver a lot of information while keeping your audience engaged.
How to use video to promote your restaurant effectively
Understand what type of content your customers desire
So, we've established that video content is an excellent tool for online marketing. However, you've got to ensure that you're offering your customers what they crave or need. To be effective, you've got to put in the effort to research your customer base, and fully understand how your brand can meet their needs.
According to Marketing Week, "60% of content created by brands is just clutter". That's a real sign that people aren't making an effort to understand their consumers.
The article also revealed that too many brands are concerned with entertaining their audience, and forget that their videos should have a specific purpose. Quoting Havas' Global Chief Insights Officer, Maria Garrido, the article reads:
"Brands get rose-tinted glasses about entertaining people and think that is all consumers want. [...] What brands need to do is break down their content, take a step back, and ask, for their industry, what the role of content is. Whether it is to inspire, educating, help, reward, inform or entertain, then rank them and work out what is a 'must-have,' where the opportunities are and what they should not be focusing on at all."
So what are the possible roles for restaurant video marketing? The easiest way to answer that question is to first get into your patron's mindset and think about the decision process when choosing a restaurant. What are some of the inquiries your customers will ask of you?
Questions to ask yourself to get in-tune with the customer mindset:
Answering these questions for your brand will help you deduce what kind of content will be appropriate for your audience. So we recommend writing down and reflecting on your answers.
Is your location advantageous?
Do you have fantastic views?
Are you in the heart of a vibrant city or beautiful countryside?
Are you near a popular tourist destination?
What's the look and feel of your neighborhood?
What type of food do you serve?
Do you cater for large groups or parties? What's the ambiance like?
Is it relaxed - a great place to meet with friends
Formal - ideal for a business lunch, a special occasion.
Romantic - perfect for an anniversary or a date.
Family-friendly - parents want to know they can feel comfortable bringing their kids with them.
Do you cater to people with unique dietary requirements?
Vegan or vegetarian?
Is it an independent restaurant?
There is value in being an independent, small business. The service is more personal, and there is a cachet in supporting local enterprises.
Are the cuisine and decor authentic?
What is the inspiration behind your cuisine? Do you use family recipes? Were you inspired while traveling? Is the cuisine typical to your city, your neighborhood, or your community?
Does the decor match the cuisine? Going to a restaurant is a full experience. If you've invested in your decor, you need to showcase it.
Do you have a policy for sustainability / fair trade? Do you consider food waste?
Consumers are increasingly making their purchasing decisions based on whether or not they are socially responsible. A Nielsen report on sales data revealed that "nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment."
What's the ordering process like?
Is there a table service?
Do you offer a take-out or delivery service?
Do you accept vouchers or offer group deals?
You might be able to think of a few more questions specific to your area or the type of cuisine you serve. Take a look at your list and think about what answers you think will be most attractive, or most relevant to your customers. Underline them, or highlight them. Now think about the messaging of your content. Is it to inform, inspire, educate, entertain, etc.
To help you, let's break down the list given by Maria Garrido, above, and apply some possible answers.
What's the role of your content?
There are plenty of opportunities for you to create informative video content for your customers. for example:
Create a tour of your restaurant, invite virtual customers to get a sense of the ambiance. Show your clientele, so the audience gets familiar with the vibe, for example, is the restaurant family-friendly or caters to a younger crowd. Show the chefs at work, professionally cooking food, and preparing dishes.
Interview the CEO to reveal the restaurant's roots and influences. Create value and entertainment through storytelling. People love stories and ultimately make for compelling content and better brand association. So dive into storytelling.
Interview the head chef. Talk passionately about the food.
Visit a supplier at their farm. Show the provenance of the ingredients.
Show your chefs preparing one of your most popular dishes. Show every stage so that the audience can appreciate the love and attention given to each plate.
Film the place or person who inspired your cuisine.
This category is a little more niche, but depending on your customer base, there is a real opportunity to create original, shareable content.
If you're serving a niche cuisine, talk about the culture and heritage of the food. Show your audience unusual, specially sourced ingredients and talk about their nutritional properties.
If your customer base is concerned with social responsibility, create a video that sensitively addresses the problems in the food industry, and how you're structured to be more sustainable and to take care of your workers and your supply chain.
If you offer food for special dietary needs, you could show how your kitchen is prepared to prevent cross-contamination, or share what ingredients you substitute. People with allergies or intolerances can be distrusting of restaurants, so showing the care and attention you take in preparing their food can go a long way.
It might be that your restaurant or eatery fulfills a specific need for your client. Say you're a popular lunch destination for office workers; a helpful video might explain that your offerings include take away and delivery services.
If you're positioned in a vibrant neighborhood or tourist spot, consider a video that highlights to customers what fun, cool, and exciting things they can do before or after visiting your restaurant, that way, you use your favorable surroundings as a selling tool. We have seen this first hand in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, Florida.
Think about popular cooking shows (not including Kitchen Nightmares) and take inspiration. You could host a cooking show revealing how to prepare a world-famous dish. Careful, though, we don't want to give away too many in-house proprietary secrets.
The above are just a few springboard suggestions, and it's not an exhaustive list. It's also worth noting that you can, of course, create a video with multiple roles, and which contains one or more sections. In our examples, you'll be able to see that it's common for restaurant marketing videos to fulfill multiple roles. They can be informative and inspiring.
If you're still unsure as to which style of video will showcase your restaurant best, and be of most use to your customers, it's time to assess your unique selling propositions (USPs)
How to identify your USPs and incorporate them into your video marketing
Most business owners are acutely aware of the unique benefits of their business from the very start: they write them into their business plan. This may be true for you, but the restaurant industry is subject to change, so your USPs may have evolved or shifted from when you first conceived of them.
Restauranteurs are incredible at adapting and evolving to meet new demands and changes in tastes. Neighborhoods also change: your barrio could well be unrecognizable from when you first established your restaurant, and in that case, your clientele may well have changed significantly too. You can develop another USP just by surviving: long-standing, successful restaurants have a prestige of their own that has evolved over the years.
So if it's been a while since you assessed the unique selling propositions of your restaurant, let's take a breath and consider them now. Here are some examples of USPs, and how to portray them in your video:
E.g., fun and vibrant atmosphere / local hangout/ chilled Sunday afternoon vibes remember eating out is an all-round experience. Sure, the food's got to be great, but the ambiance has to suit the occasion too. If you're after a relaxed, casual meal with your family, you're not going to choose a fine-dining restaurant where you're frightened to dirty the napkins.
The ambiance of your restaurant could be a critical deciding factor for your customers. If you think that's the case, it's important to convey it in your marketing video.
Include a few shots of your customers relaxed and enjoying the ambiance while socializing with friends, co-workers, or family. Choose music that reflects the vibe of your restaurant.
Consider highlighting your location on the marketing videos with a prominent esta