Do you want to promote your restaurant or hotel online? Read this article on content marketing for restaurants and learn how to create content to attract and retain customers.
“A Fistful of Dollars” is one of the masterpieces of Italian cinema that the whole world envies us. A ‘Spaghetti western’ where the director is Sergio Leone, the lead actor is Clint Eastwood and the music is by Ennio Morricone. A timeless masterpiece that you can watch over and over again without ever getting tired.
In the film, you will find the ‘cold-eyed Texan’ uttering the phrase on the poster from which I took my cue to explain the importance of content marketing for all companies operating within the hospitality industry.
If you run a restaurant or a hotel and do not have a competent team to develop the digital marketing of your business, you are doomed to end up like a man with a gun when he meets an opponent with a rifle: you are a dead man! In this article you will discover that you have a better shot with a rifle than most of your fellow Restaurateurs and Hoteliers who insist on shooting at best with a pistol.
In this article
- Content Marketing for Restaurants and Hotels: Your metaphorical rifle
- Content Marketing for Restaurants and Hotels: what does it mean?
- The figure of the Content Manager: what they can do for your Restaurant or Hotel
- The importance of a Content Management Strategy for a Restaurant or Hotel
- A concrete example: the corporate website
Content Marketing for Restaurants and Hotels: Your metaphorical rifle
Content Marketing is one of the ingredients of the Digital Marketing Plan, which nowadays is indispensable for developing the business of a Restaurant or Hotel.
A Marketing Plan aims to:
- acquire new contacts that will become customers
- retain current ones
- turn them into cash
Hi, my name is Alessia and I am a Content Manager working within Caro Collega, a Marketing agency specialising in developing the untapped potential of Restaurants and Hotels.
The uniqueness of Caro Collega is represented by our founder Giancarlo De Leonardo, a former restaurateur and hotelier who 5 years ago stopped being an entrepreneur and manager to study how to develop the business of Restaurants and Hotels in a modern way thanks to Digital Marketing. Obviously in an economically sustainable way.
Over the past two years, the project has taken shape in the Caro Collega Method, thanks to the involvement of a Dream Team of digital professionals under 30.
This article stems from the awareness Giancarlo has gained in the many years he has been in this sector and concretised in the mantra “if you don’t understand, don’t act or act badly”. We are well aware of the mistrust that an entrepreneur or manager in the hospitality industry may have towards digital marketing as Giancarlo behaved in the same way when he was a Restaurateur and Hotelier.
This is why we are trying to do a lot of outreach, in the hope of enlightening Restaurateurs and Hoteliers and making them understand that if they want to continue to enjoy the unfair competitive advantage we talked about in another article, they must implement digital marketing within their businesses.
Content Marketing for Restaurants and Hotels: what does it mean?
Let’s start now and try to understand together what content marketing is and how it can be used to acquire new customers and retain existing ones.
Content Marketing = developing business through the creation and distribution of useful content to promote a business.
We are not talking about simple advertising messages but about textual, photographic and video content considered of VALUE for a particular niche market that is your current and potential customers.
Where by valuable content we mean posting on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, or creating videos on YouTube or TikTok, or writing articles on the company Blog.
Imagine you are surfing Facebook or Instagram or Google: will you be more attracted by an advertisement or by a nice photo or a nice post or a nice article that is Inspirational, Entertaining or Informative? The answer I think is obvious. In recent years, Content Marketing for Restaurants and Hotels has become one of the most important strategies for the promotion and growth of Restaurants and Hotels. It has come to the fore because traditional marketing techniques such as advertisements in newspapers, on the radio, on TV, on billboards have lost their effectiveness over time.
With content marketing, companies can create and deliver valuable content to their customers, increase brand visibility and improve user engagement (or level of involvement) on digital channels. Translated into ‘ospitalese’, which is the common language of restaurateurs and hoteliers that Giancarlo taught us, you can increase turnover and become happier again.
The figure of the Content Manager: what they can do for your Restaurant or Hotel
To be successful in content marketing, it is essential to have a figure of reference who takes care of content planning and management: My job within the Caro Collega Dream Team is just that, I am a Content Manager.
In other words, within a Digital Marketing Plan, I am in charge of planning, creating and distributing online content in a manner consistent with the reality of each company. My role is important and of great responsibility because I have the task of defining the themes, objectives and distribution channels, as well as coordinating the work of my colleagues who are experts in Copywriting, SEO, Graphics, and Photo and Video production.
A job that requires a lot of skills and a lot of time. This is why one of the most important promises we make to the entrepreneurs we choose as Dear Colleague Partners is that we will dedicate at least 2 hours a day to develop the business and achieve the measurable goals we set together.
To do my job effectively, 2 characteristics are required:
you need in-depth knowledge of your sector. Just think that I spend a lot of time with Giancarlo founder of Caro Colleague who, thanks to his 20 years’ experience in restaurant and hotel management, has taught me to speak the language and think with the heads of restaurateurs and hoteliers; you have to be ‘skilled’ and know the techniques and tools available in digital marketing.
This is where the teamwork we do within the Dear Colleague Dream Team comes in, together with my colleagues, with whom we develop the Digital Marketing Plan using the many tools available to content marketing (photos, videos, copywriting, SEO, social media management).
The importance of a Content Management Strategy for a Restaurant or Hotel
After having seen what content marketing is and what tasks a content manager performs, let’s return to what can be the objectives that a restaurant or hotel can achieve by implementing this activity. One of the phrases I hear most often from Giancarlo is that there is no absolute best Restaurant or Hotel, there are companies that are more COHERENT, that is, that manage to align the real proposal with the digital one.
Translated into ‘ospitalese’ this means intercepting an audience that is looking for an offer in line with ours. For example, a boutique hotel or a fine dining restaurant will necessarily have to have a digital presence made up of a website with professionally edited photos, videos and social channels.
Otherwise, it will be more difficult to be credible to customers looking for such solutions. You don’t know how often we see restaurants and hotels positioned on a premium offer getting lost with websites, brochures and posters produced by the intern on duty.
Apple teaches that when you pay twice the market price for a phone or a PC, it is not because of the different value of the technology, but because of the different positioning work done through marketing! Attracting generic customers who are not really on target with our offer means that we are unlikely to be able to retain them or make them become our ‘evangelisers’ (translated as talking to friends or posting and sharing photos and videos of their experience after visiting us).
A target customer, on the other hand, is one who had an intention in mind that we were able to fulfil, perhaps exceeding their expectations.
This is why we must intentionally and not randomly produce photos, videos, and professional texts that tell the story of the offer of our restaurant or hotel with COHERENCE, trying to be CREATIVE and ORIGINAL, in order to offer VALUABLE CONTENT to our audience.
I take a lot of pride in what I do because the results can be seen in the short term: seeing restaurants and hotels consistently positioned thanks to the work done on social media, the website, the company blog or the company profile on Google is exciting, especially when bookings start pouring in!
A concrete example: the corporate website
Let us now take a concrete look at one of the most important activities I carry out together with the Caro Collega Dream Team when we choose a new project to follow. The first thing we are going to develop is the corporate website, which must meet the parameters set by Google as of June 2021: the core web vitals.
To better understand what I am saying, I invite you to check Page Speed and measure the evaluation Google makes for your site. If you are reading this article, your website will probably not pass this analysis and that means you will always be penalised.
The concept is simple: for Google users are at the heart of the project: if it has to direct them to a website it wants it to reflect the core web vitals. Either you eat this soup or you can throw your business goals out the window.
This is the reason why we at Caro Collega ONLY develop websites that reflect the parameters required by Google and thus become true customer-catching marketing tools.
Below is the process we put in place so that you can understand and adjust accordingly:
Target audience analysis: the first step is to understand who the website is aimed at. This means identifying the audience, understanding their needs, expectations and interests.
This analysis will be crucial for the choice of content, so that it can be accurate, interesting and relevant to the reader.
Defining the objectives to be achieved through the website. These can be multiple: increasing sales, promoting the business or improving its image are the most common.
The objectives should be clear and measurable, so that the effectiveness of the website can be assessed ex post.
Analysing competitors: it is important to identify their strengths and weaknesses, to analyse their ‘tone of voice’ or way of communicating, to understand what they talk about and how they talk about it, and how they meet the needs of their target audience.
Content planning and definition. Once the target audience and the objectives of the site are clear, we develop the content of the website: in this step we design the ‘tree structure’, i.e. the skeleton of what the final site will be (including the various sections, divided into conceptual areas).
Identification of the main themes essential for the choice of positioning to be achieved. At this stage, it is essential to research the best performing keywords to understand what users are searching for on search engines.
This analysis is crucial to ensure that future content is optimised for search engines. For example, have you ever thought that your website might appear at the top of Google results for different search queries such as ‘Fish restaurant in Rome’? Or Boutique Hotel? So without mentioning the name.
Writing texts that must tell the storytelling identified for our restaurant or hotel, focusing on the values that distinguish it. The texts must be written with a view to SEO (as we explained in a previous article) and be clearly, concisely and interestingly organised in headings, subheadings and paragraphs, so that they capture the attention of your audience.
Once the content has been created, the designer will take care of designing the final appearance of the site, based on the previously planned structure. Finally, we proceed with the development and online publication of the website.
Content monitoring and updating: our work does not end with the publication of the content. In fact, on a daily basis we ensure that content is always accurate and up-to-date as well as effective, creating engagement with the audience.
To this end, we use KPIs, i.e. useful metrics for monitoring, such as site traffic and conversion rate.
In conclusion, I hope I have succeeded in telling you the importance of content marketing within a digital marketing plan, an indispensable tool that can become the driving force behind your business and allow you to develop your business in the coming years.
Do you still have doubts? Ask me.
Article written by Giancarlo De Leonardo, former hotelier and restaurateur, now founder of carocollega.com