Blogging should be part of business for any restaurant, cafe or bar that’s serious about its marketing strategy.
For some, the word ‘blog’ might still call to mind images of their niece’s beauty blog or their neighbor’s travel writings, but blogging goes far beyond that.
1. You’ll improve your ranking on search engines and your online reputation
Creating content on your website that is valuable for the audience you’re trying to reach is key to a successful search engine optimization strategy. And a blog is a great place to host that content!
SEO can be a bit tricky, but basically if you share content that people like to read and visit frequently, Google and Bing will start to rank that content higher in search engines. This also means that when people are looking for restaurants in your area, your restaurant is more likely to pop up in their search results. This could bring more customers through the door.
For this to be most effective, you’ll need to host your blog as part of your website. If you already have a website, you can ask your web developer to add a blog platform to that. If you want to use WordPress or Blogger to host your blogs instead, there are ways to integrate them with your website too. Here’s how to integrate your website with your Wordpress blog and how to integrate it with Blogger.
2. You can share original content on your social media channels
Most restaurants, cafes and bars understand that social media is a must. It’s where your customer base is hanging out, so social channels are a great place to connect with them.
Yet it can be difficult to post quality content on your profiles regularly. Or sometimes you may have a lot to say, but the social platform's character limit (here's looking at you, Twitter) holds you back. That’s where your blog can come in.
Write an interesting post with your social media following in mind and share it on your social pages. Your blog will get a visitor boost and your social following will start to grow and become more engaged because you’re sharing unique quality content.
3. You can create PR opportunities
Your blog posts are also great nuggets for others to share. First off, if your blog posts are cool, your likelihood of an online influencer stumbling upon your website increases. Who knows who will end up loving what you do and telling the world about you? We shared some more strategies for getting a food blogger to write about you in a previous blog.
Also, instead of sending old-fashioned press releases, blogs can function as a way in with journalists. If you write something newsworthy or something that’s in any way valuable for publications, your piece may well get picked up.
When writing your blogs, think like a reporter. What would they want to read? Extend this in the way you approach them too. As a reporter, would you be more likely to respond to an impersonal press release, or a helpful email? Tailor your outreach to their needs.
4. You’ll boost traffic to your website – and foot traffic to your venue too
With all these different sources linking to your blogs, you’ll see your overall web traffic go up. People who are interested in your blog posts are likely to click through to the rest of the site to find out more about your restaurant.
Think about it this way: if someone takes time out of their day to read about what’s going on in your hospitality business, your restaurant is likely to resonate with them too. People who are that interested in keeping up-to-date with you are your most valuable audience. Don’t be surprised to meet them in your venue soon.
To turn blog visitors into restaurant visitors, perhaps you can offer a special deal in your blog posts. This could be a coupon, or something fun like: anyone who gives our staff the double thumbs while they order gets 50% off their drink purchase.
5. You’ll build relationships with your customers
The most important benefit of having a blog is the relationships you’ll create with your customers. By blogging, you give people a peek into your restaurant and what it takes to keep it running. You’ll show off your personality and the personalities of your staff.
Featuring your staff in your blog is actually a great way to add some personality to it. And you want to be personal on your blog, because that’s how you’ll get people to really connect with you.
In the end, a successful marketing strategy extends your reach to new people, and turns those people you already know into loyal customers who keep coming back for more. I guarantee you, a blog is a perfect tool for achieving that.
Do you run a blog for your hospitality business? How has it helped you? Share your favorite blogging tips in the comments below!