Food businesses, whether bricks-and-mortar or pure eCommerce, need an online presence.
It’s just non-negotiable nowadays.
You want people to magically stumble across your business? The closest you’ll get to that (online) is engaging, helpful, regularly updated content.
Content marketing for restaurants (or any other kind of food business), is the magic dust that brings potential new customers straight to your (internet) door.
Why food blogging is an essential part of content marketing for restaurants
Content is a cornerstone of SEO.
- Consistently publish high-quality content, in a strategic manner
- Research & use focused keywords (and keyword phrases) throughout your content
- Optimise website content (using on-page SEO techniques, like meta titles & snippets)
SEO can take a lot of time and investment. Nowadays, SEO relies on far more than optimised keywords and other on-page elements. Having said that, laying the foundations for proper on-page SEO can give you a running start towards being found by Google and the like.
It is very tempting to use social media only to tell people about your business. But your social media posts have a lot of noise to compete with. Social media updates can feel like shouting into a crowded room.
Sharing content that is interesting and valuable to your audience is the way to get them to like, share and ultimately click through.
With a food blog full of content you’ll always have a fresh topic to post to social media about. One that your potential customers actually want to talk to you about
Making Your Business Shareable
If social shares are bringing people to your site, they must be enjoying it and finding it useful. And what do people do with the things they enjoy and find useful? Share them with their friends (or colleagues).
Position yourself as the expert
I’m going to take a wild guess, and say that you probably know what you’re talking about when it comes to your business and industry, right? But do potential customers know that?
The content on your business’ food blog should let your expertise shine. Fill every post with confidence and impart your unique knowledge. Leave readers in no doubt that you are the expert
Build a level of trust between you and your blog readers:
- Use content to show that you’re the expert in your field
- Consistently deliver genuinely useful and engaging information
- Act like the go-to resource
The trust you build up means that, when they’re ready to visit or buy, your business is the one customers think of first.
This ‘know, like and trust’ factor is an essential part of marketing today.
How to start a food blog as part of your business’ content marketing strategy
First, you need to set up your food blog.
If you don’t have a website already, read my guide to starting your food blog here.
Once you’ve got the technical side up and running, its time to work on the content.
Come up with ideas for food blog posts
There are a million and one ways you can come up with ideas for what to write on your food blog. I’m planning another, more in-depth post exploring content topic ideation. For now though, here are 3 ideas:
Recipes seem, to me, like the obvious place to start for a food blog
Some businesses may worry though, about giving away their ‘secrets’. At the end of the day, that’s your call. If you produce something truly unique with a secret recipe that needs guarding like the recipe for Coca Cola or KFC, then, by all means, take that secret to your grave. If not, your customers might appreciate you sharing the recipe for popular dishes that they can’t get year-round.
Recipes are also great for product-based food businesses. Do you produce/sell something that could be an ingredient (a type of flour, or a varietyd of spread)? By developing and sharing recipes using your product, you could even drive sales.
2. Local or industry news
Many local independent restaurants, cafes and bars become a hub for information in their town – a place where people come to swap gossip.
I’m not suggesting you turn your blog into your town’s answer to Heat Magazine, but sharing local news stories (and adding your own spin) could be a great way to build trust and authority.
Equally, putting your own twist on industry news can build credibility in that sphere. Try setting up Google Alerts and following the news for stories relating to your sector. Then, report on those news stories (and how they relate to your products) on your blog.
Customers may respond well to a behind-the-scenes view of your business and what you do.
Share personal, humorous or interesting stories. Things like a day-in-the-life, or profile of the people in the business, or the process and history of your dishes & products
This kind of ‘behind-the-curtain’ view of your business can add authenticity to your brand.
Create a content calendar for your food blog
Coming up with lots of ideas for blog posts is great.
“Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. “Content Marketing Institute
A content calendar then is a tool that helps you to deliver strategic content. At it’s most simple, its just that: a calendar where you plan out upcoming content creation & distribution
By putting a strategic content calendar in place, you can:
- Ensure that you’re producing a mix of content types, for different customer types
- Allow time before publishing to put solid SEO foundations in place for each post
- Allow time after publishing to distribute content on social media and other channels
- Quantify your efforts by measuring the performance of each post
Find the time to actually create your content
Now that you know what content you’re creating and have a plan to deliver it, its time to knuckle down and produce some content.
This is the part that can trip people up. Once you get into the swing of idea generation it can be easy to pump out a whole list of post titles. A basic content calendar really just involves adding dates to those title.
But if you don’t sit down and actually produce the content, it was all for nought. Realistically, you have 3 options here:
- Carve out time in your own schedule to write, edit, post and distribute content regularly
- Outsource or delegate the whole thing to someone else
- Work with someone (whether that’s a person on your team or a freelancer like me) who can take your expertise (via written notes, voice notes or interview) and wrap it up in a pretty (and search engine optimised) blog-post-shaped-parcel.
Not to blow my own trumpet Actually, I think I will blow my own trumpet:
I’m quite good at food blogging. It’s my speciality. It’s that one dish I can just throw together, with five minutes notice and an empty fridge and still impress a table full of people.
You know the one.
Content marketing for restaurants and other food businesses should be at the core of food marketing. As well as being a foundational element of SEO, awesome content can build your ‘know, like and trust’ factor with customers. But it takes more than just a few random blog posts here and there. Talk to me about blogging & content marketing services for food businesses.