Optimizing Influencer Marketing For Restaurants

Online familiarity fostered through influencer marketing on social media can help restaurants gain more traction and broaden their customer base. Recently, Matter Communications surveyed 1000 US consumers and found that 56% of respondents were interested in seeing food influencer posts. 51% of them further reported that they are likely to act on these posts.
Whether a restaurant hasn’t been meeting its sales target or a new business is attempting to create brand awareness, social media, and influencer marketing for restaurants can be excellent tools for their digital marketing efforts. Not only do food influencers provide reviews for restaurants, but they also accompany their posts with visuals that generate familiarity with the brand image of the restaurants.
Restaurants can begin to engage in influencer marketing by contacting influencers on popular social media platforms and inviting them to dine at their establishment. This article describes the best ways to utilize influencer marketing for restaurants to increase sales and brand awareness.

1. A budget for Influencer marketing

As a prerequisite to engaging in restaurant influencer marketing, it’s good practice to plan a budget. To invite a restaurant influencer, restaurants must consider the amount they want to invest in promoting their brand. In some cases, influencers have a set fee for their posts and content beyond a dining experience in return for their services. Depending on their social media reach and the quality of content they produce, matching their additional rates could be a viable option. In such cases, knowing the limitations based on a budget beforehand would be best.

2. Appealing to the target customer

Influencers promote a range of brands and products, and there is a variety in their target audiences. Therefore, prior research on influencer marketing trends is necessary to identify which influencers and approaches would reach the ideal customer. For example, restaurants specializing in upscale dining should aim to find a restaurant influencer that frequents such places in their posts rather than perhaps someone who specializes in reviewing street food or specific food items. Restaurateurs can also approach influencers that do not exclusively review restaurants but target the ideal customer base due to the profile of their social media following. The order of action should be to identify the target customers and which social media platforms they are likely to use. Then, research which influencers on these platforms would be popular with that audience and extend an invitation to them.

3. A tempting invitation

Due to the popularity of influencer marketing for restaurants, many influencers are booked far in advance. They tend to have a packed schedule, and something eye-catching can pique their interest. For example, highlighting a unique aspect of the restaurant that makes it stand out or mentioning a particularly newsworthy event in the invitation can engage the receiver’s interest. If an influencer is in high demand, this information can convince them to prioritize viewing the brand that stands out. Influencers are also likely to accept the offer if the restaurant relates to their own target audience and fits their brand image. Additionally, offering a dining experience for two or a special discount rate in the invitation can go a long way.

4. Communicating the desired outcome in the invitation

A special offer or paying an additional fee in exchange for content is an investment for restaurateurs, and they can outline their expectations in return. Clear communication in invitations about expectations from the influencer regarding their content can avoid miscommunications later and ensures clarity on the outcome of the investment and the expectations of the influencer when they accept the offer. If the exchange does not appeal to the restaurateur or the influencer, it will be clear before rather than after the fact.

5. Track the impact on sales and social media engagement

Influencer marketing tools enable you to analyze the effect of influencer marketing on a restaurant, using which a comparison of sales and social media engagement from before and after can be done. For example, restaurants can keep track of their social media following after an influencer advertises their establishment on the same platform. Influencers tag restaurants’ social media handles in each post, which directly calls attention to their page and can increase their social media engagement. Additionally, restaurant staff can ask new customers where they came to know about their establishment, which can help keep track of the outcome in sales.

Want to learn more about restaurant marketing to bring the spotlight to your food space? Explore the ideas Primi Digital has in store.

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