Approximately 60% of restaurants don’t make it past their first year. With tight margins and a competitive market, it makes sense that running a great food service business and keeping it afloat is a serious challenge! One culprit that leads to many failures is poor marketing.
That’s right, even the best restaurant might have a hard time becoming profitable if there’s no marketing strategy in place. Do you have one?
If you haven’t already started working on your Arizona food service content marketing strategy, what are you waiting for? We’re here to talk about why content marketing is so beneficial and how you can start using it to your advantage.
Read on to learn more!
First: What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is just one type of digital marketing, but it’s an important one. It involves the creation of online material (in this case, “content”) in the form of blog posts, videos, photo captions, and more.
It isn’t purely promotional on the surface, but it generates interest in a brand from potential customers who previously may have not been aware of it. It’s incredibly effective in the food service realm.
When people think of content marketing, they may think of endless AI-generated blog posts, but this isn’t the case. Good content marketing is creative, well-written, and effective.
What Are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
So why would you decide to utilize content marketing for your business when there are so many other options? Well, first, your Arizona food marketing plan should be diverse. Content marketing is only one part of it.
That said, here are a few reasons why content marketing should be on your radar if you haven’t already started implementing it.
Increased Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is everything for a food service business. In food service, you’re competing with hundreds of other businesses within your niche, and new food service establishments pop up every day. Even if you’re in a “niche” category of food service, you still need to somehow get the attention of potential customers.
You can serve the best food with the highest-quality service, but if you don’t get your name out there, your business won’t be successful.
Content marketing improves your brand awareness across several channels at once. You can use it on your website as well as on social media (cross-posting is a great use of content) to bring your business in front of the eyes of brand-new potential customers.
When you use content marketing, you also improve SEO (search engine optimization). This means that your website ends up closer to the first page of results when someone inputs a relevant query in their search engine of choice.
For example, if someone was searching for “Phoenix Ethiopian restaurants” and that’s the cuisine that you offer, you’re more likely to show up early on the results page above your competitors if you have good SEO.
Connect With Your Audience
Content marketing allows you to connect with your audience. Instead of being a faceless business, your business will seem approachable and interesting. The more interested in your content your viewers are, the more interested they’ll be in your food.
It also allows you to answer any potential questions that viewers have before they ask. It will compel them to stick around and read what you have to say.
If your content is interesting, your audience may even share it (as long as it provides value).
Establish Your Business as an Authority
Certain types of content make your Arizona food service company seem more trustworthy and reliable.
Let’s go back to the Ethiopian restaurant example. Let’s say you create a piece of content about the types of foods and spices that are popular in Ethiopia (and, of course, mention that you serve many of those foods in your restaurant).
Because this is an informational post that’s not strictly for “marketing” purposes, people may notice that you clearly know what you’re talking about. They’re more likely to trust a business that knows about the history of Ethiopian food to serve that food. They may also keep coming back for more information (which will improve your SEO).
Digital marketing services in Phoenix, or anywhere really, can get expensive. It’s no secret that margins in the food service industry are tight, so many business owners are hesitant to spend money if they don’t have to.
Content marketing provides long-term value. Building your SEO yields long-term results for a short price, and you can continue re-posting your content on your social media channels long-term (though it’s always helpful to continue making updates when you can).
Tips and Strategies for Effective Arizona Food Service Content Marketing
So how should you get started? If you don’t yet have an Arizona food service marketing plan, don’t worry. Here are a few quick tips.
Establish Your Goals
First and foremost, you need to know what you want to accomplish with your current marketing plan. Now, novice marketers may think “Well, we want more customers.”
Yes, that’s true, but this is such a vague goal that there’s no real way to track your progress. Aim for SMART goals. SMART stands for:
So instead of “We want more customers,” what would a SMART goal be? Perhaps something along the lines of “We want to increase our business by 20% by the end of this fiscal quarter by utilizing a content marketing strategy.”
This is a goal that’s not so large that it’s not achievable (depending on your current business) and you’re able to track it.
Determine Your Target Audience
Who are you marketing towards? Your target audience shouldn’t be “everyone,” especially when you’re in food service.
You’re aiming for people who:
- Live in or are visiting the location of your business
- May be interested in the type of food you offer
- Have income that suits your price point
Using the Ethiopian food example again, you may have an extensive vegetarian or vegan menu, so one marketing campaign may feature content that targets plant-based people in your part of Arizona. Getting specific helps you.
Diversify Your Content Plan
Content isn’t just blog posts. Your content will also be in video form, social media posts, and more. By diversifying, you’re giving yourself more opportunities to create and show off fantastic content (and providing more avenues for people to see it).
Focus on SEO
As we mentioned, SEO is everything. While you shouldn’t sacrifice the quality of your content for SEO value (after all, there’s a such thing as bad SEO, and you don’t want that), you should always have SEO in the back of your mind when you’re producing content.
Consider what’s more likely to boost your website up the rank of your search engine of choice and then work around it.
Build Your Brand Image
Your content is going to be instrumental in building your brand image. Make it count!
By the time you start a content marketing strategy, you should already have somewhat of a brand image in place. Make sure that you’re using your content strategy to boost and define that image, and make sure you stay consistent.
For example, what’s your brand’s “voice?”
If the voice of your brand has always been friendly, warm, and approachable, you’ll want to keep that consistent when you start producing content. This will strengthen your brand. If you change things up too much, you’ll confuse your customers.
Every piece of content is a new opportunity to further develop your brand image.
Keywords: Find What Works
Keywords are essential when it comes to creating effective content.
Keywords are what help people find your content when they’re searching for relevant information or businesses online. They can be both general and specific (and it’s a good idea to mix and match them for the best results).
For our Ethiopian restaurant example, marketers may want to use keywords like:
- “Ethiopian food”
- “Ethiopian cuisine”
- “Ethiopian meals”
- “Vegetarian food”
This will be alongside more specific location keywords like:
- “Ethiopian food in Phoenix”
- “Vegetarian food in Phoenix”
- “Best places to eat in Phoenix”
Don’t over-stuff your content with keywords, however. They should always fit naturally into the content.
Examples of Successful Campaigns
So how do other brands use content marketing?
One great example is McDonald’s releasing content (in this case, videos) that describe exactly how their food is made. This appealed to people who worried that McDonald’s didn’t serve “real food.”
Dunkin Donuts created a video content campaign with Buzzfeed in which people try their food and drinks for the first time. This capitalized on the “first time” trend and appealed to a young audience.
Large brands are using content marketing all the time!
Is Content Marketing Part of Your Arizona Food Service Marketing Plan?
If you haven’t started taking advantage of the benefits of content marketing, what are you waiting for? Arizona food service content marketing is a great way to connect with your audience, build brand awareness, and most importantly, gain a ton of new customers who are excited to try your delicious food!
It’s an effective method that yields long-term benefits.
If you’re looking for AZ marketing services to help you spread brand awareness, we want to help! Reach out to request a free digital marketing strategy from Glacier Code today!