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MARKETING PLAYBOOK
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Effective marketing is simple by design. ....................................................................................... 2 Finding Your Social Voice................................................................................................................. 30


Your Success: Page By Page................................................................................................................3 Customer Surveys: Their Opinion Matters...................................................................................31
Is DIY right for Y-O-U?......................................................................................................................... 4 Public Relations: Get The Word Out.............................................................................................. 32
Legend for Iconography...................................................................................................................... 4 Holding Hot Ticket Events................................................................................................................ 33
1 A Strategy Is Born............................................................................................................. 5 Outside Events Keep You Top Of Mind......................................................................................... 34
Your Story + A Customer’s Journey................................................................................................. 6 5 Kickstart Marketing with Entry-Level Tactics .......................................................... 35
Making Customers Your Best Friends..............................................................................................7 Facebook Really Boosts Your Business......................................................................................... 37
Get To Know Your Channel Categories.......................................................................................... 8 Instagram: More Than Just Pretty Pictures................................................................................. 38
An Up-Close Look At Channel Types............................................................................................ 10 Email Marketing That Delivers........................................................................................................ 39
share Your Story. Not Everyone Else’s............................................................................................ 11 Direct Mail With Direct Results....................................................................................................... 40
Put Yourself In Their Shoes (And They’ll Eventually Walk In The Door)..............................12 Events That Create Buzz And Content...........................................................................................41
A Content Calendar Keeps Time On Your Side...........................................................................13 Team Advocacy: Loyalty From Within...........................................................................................41
Measure, Analyze And Improve.......................................................................................................14 6 Advanced Tactics............................................................................................................ 42
2 Turning Strategy Into Reality .......................................................................................15 Advanced Ecosystem......................................................................................................................... 43
Set Goals..................................................................................................................................................16 Get Serious About Intriguing Content.......................................................................................... 44
Create Your Ecosystem.......................................................................................................................16 Build Loyalty Instead Of Bland Repeat Business....................................................................... 45
Create Content Pillars.........................................................................................................................18 Amplify Content. Attract Attention................................................................................................ 46
Schedule Your Calendar.....................................................................................................................19 Beyond Facebook: Sharing On Other Social Networks............................................................ 47
Time For Action....................................................................................................................................19 Old School Ads In The Digital Age................................................................................................. 48
3 Stake Your Claim Online ............................................................................................... 20 Get Out And Play At External Events............................................................................................. 48
Craft Your Story.....................................................................................................................................21 Giveaways: Useful To Customers And Your Brand .................................................................. 49
Own Your Local Search and Review Site Presence .................................................................. 22 Keep Thinking To Extend The Brand............................................................................................ 50
Live Where Your Customers Are Most: Social Media................................................................ 23 When Other Opportunities Knock................................................................................................. 50
Piece Together A Press Kit ............................................................................................................... 24 7 Appendix...........................................................................................................................51
Know Who’s Who… And Who Helps Build Your Brand............................................................ 25 1. Emerging Media............................................................................................................................... 52
Get Inside The Inbox: Email Marketing........................................................................................ 26 2. Suggested Tools............................................................................................................................... 52
Website Basics: Do What Works for You....................................................................................... 27 3. How to Hire Partners..................................................................................................................... 52
Climb To The Top Of Search Results ............................................................................................ 28 4. International Review and Citation Websites........................................................................... 53
4 Continue Your Efforts With Community Management & Engagement.................. 29

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 1
INTRODUCTION

EFFECTIVE MARKETING IS SIMPLE BY DESIGN.


You don’t need a Super Bowl ad or a big-time budget to create effective marketing. This playbook will
show you the marketing basics and help you apply them to your business. It may seem intimidating,
but just remind yourself that the best strategies are usually the simplest ones. Start small and before
you know it, you’ll understand all the whys and hows that get results.

In order to keep customers coming back and spreading the word about your bar or restaurant, you’ll
need to implement marketing strategies that tell a story and build a connection with your local
audience. If you’re part of the community, you’ll be top-of-mind when it comes time for customers to
make decisions. Luckily, social media has shifted the way traditional media (billboards, newspaper,
radio, etc) works on a local level, making it much easier for restaurant brands to invest modest
budgets across the board.

You can craft these strategies over the course of a few days and start building the foundation of your
entire marketing strategy. So let’s get started on saving you some time and giving you the right tools
to be effective. The results are right outside your door. This playbook shows you how to bring them in.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 2
YOUR SUCCESS: PAGE BY PAGE
YOU’RE HOLDING QUICK WINS (AND LONG-TERM STRATEGY)
IN YOUR HANDS.

This easy-to-read playbook is packed with ideas, strategies and thoughtstarters


meant to educate and inspire your team. Once you take it all in, you’ll be able to build
your own marketing framework and even create new campaigns and initiatives.

Inside, you’ll also find checklists, estimates (timing, budget and skill level), bullet
points and longer-term strategies. Everything has been written so that you can
find the info you need and dive as deep as you want. We may repeat ourselves a few
times, but that just means those are topics or tips that you should really take to
heart.

Grab a highlighter, dig in and look for the parts that make the most sense for your
business. After that, you’ll be ready to get started!
INTRODUCTION

IS DIY RIGHT MARKETING


FOR Y-O-U? COMPONENT
DIY OUTSIDE HELP
OUTSIDE HELP VS. DIY:
PROS AND CONS
You have full control over your You direct a team, review their
Whether you choose to handle all your work and give feedback.

ò
content calendars.
marketing efforts or pay for outside help They create content and work with
from a specialist, there’s going to be Higher chance of quickly getting Creating Content you through rounds of reviews that
exactly what you want.
some good, bad and annoying aspects of can be time-consuming..
each. There are also a lot of advantages
you’ll want to consider. DIY gives you
greater control, but getting outside help You use current knowledge and
means you’re constantly directing and online research. They provide expert guidance to

ò
reviewing to make sure your brand is Utilizing Strategy create the most effective work
Lower chance of success rate possible.
being portrayed correctly. Check out due to less experience. and Knowledge
these basic marketing elements and
how they’re handled for both options.

You use current knowledge and


LEGEND FOR ICONOGRAPHY online research. They use your direction to

ò
Lower chance of success rate design high quality advertising.
due to less experience.
Designing
TIME INVESTMENT

BUDGET INVESTMENT You create strategy, communicate


it to the team, direct them
You are responsible for throughout the process and
managing your time as you
ò

ò
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY finally approve it.
create strategy, design the work
They implement your strategy
and implement the creative. Time Investment
and work with you for as long as
it takes to get what you want.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 4
1
A STRATEGY IS BORN
Good strategies come from sound thinking. We’ll
give you all the info you need concerning available
media channels and strategy basics so you can
build successful initiatives for your restaurant.
A STRATEGY IS BORN

YOUR STORY + A CUSTOMER’S JOURNEY


WHY THEY’LL COME BACK FOR MORE

Before they become a customer, people probably have little to no knowledge of what Like snowflakes, no two customer journeys are exactly the same. Outside your
your restaurant offers. The ultimate goal? Get them interested, have them decide to restaurant, everyone is focused on their own lives. Your marketing efforts can
try your restaurant, visit repeatedly, then become an advocate for your brand. disappear in the swipe of a finger. But even without all that control, you’re still
in charge or operations, customer service and your strategy. If those remain
Advocates are the pinnacle of marketing. Creating them takes calculated efforts consistent, you can be sure that you’re reaching potential customers in the best
across all restaurant touchpoints and lots of patience. By then, they’ve fallen way possible.
in love with everything about your restaurant. They’ll spread the word. They’ll
defend it. And they’re not quick to abandon it. When you’re creating a marketing strategy, use the following customer journey
chart as a guide and idea generator. Plug in the right tactic at the most optimal
The road from marketing efforts to customer trial is a long, moment and you’ll maximize the effectiveness of your marketing. It could be a
winding and complicated one. chuckle at something you post, an exclusive invite or simply a genuine “thank you.”

UNAWARE AWARE & ADVOCACY


INTERESTED
BOTTOMLINE

Stay true to your brand and guide


people through the customer
journey by using the most effective
tactic at the most effective time.

01 02 03 04

AWARE & NEW TRIAL /


UNIN TERESTED R EPEAT TR IAL

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 6
A STRATEGY IS BORN

MAKING CUSTOMERS YOUR BEST FRIENDS


KNOW THE ECOSYSTEM THEY LIVE IN

Now that you understand a customer’s journey, it’s time to really start thinking
about your strategy for communicating with them. Your first instinct will be to
sell the restaurant and get them to buy, buy, buy! Instead, you’ll actually need to
treat them more like a friend. Speak to them like a real person. Make a lasting
connection and do it by being naturally involved in their journey and providing value
along the way.

If you look at marketing strategies as an ecosystem (a community of interacting


organisms and their physical environment), you begin to see a “community” of
channels and elements. They ultimately form a big picture of how people can flow
through your communications. Each element has a separate purpose, but they all
work together to fuel each other like a well-oiled machine.

All these elements can be divided into three types: Drivers, Destinations, and
Amplifiers. With the right balance of channels feeding into and out of one another,
you’ll be on your way to growing your customer base.

BOTTOMLINE

Balance how Drivers, Destinations and Amplifiers


are working with one another in order to turn
customers into advocates for your brand.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 7
A STRATEGY IS BORN

DRIVERS DESTINATIONS AMPLIFIERS


Digital Display Traditional WOM/Social Sharing

Influencers/WOM Email Marketing Activication-drivers


digital footprint

ò
Comminity Events SMS & LBS Marketing
& Partnerships .COM Online reviews

3rd Party Websites


Urgency-based UGC

Content Marketing
Search Marketing

RESTAURANT / BAR

MARKETING ECOSYSTEM EXAMPLE

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 8
A STRATEGY IS BORN

GET TO KNOW YOUR CHANNEL CATEGORIES


DRIVERS, DESTINATIONS AND AMPLIFIERS

Let’s take a closer look at the channel categories that form an ecosystem: Drivers,
Destinations, and Amplifiers. Each one has a sole purpose and they all work
together to create advocacy. The more you know about each, the stronger your
strategies will be. DRIVERS

DRIVERS: These drive traffic to Destinations. They can be any kind of channel
meant to grab attention, usher people somewhere via a link or call to action (also
known as a CTA), and build consistent traffic.

DESTINATIONS: Places where traffic lands after being directed from a call to action
on Drivers and Amplifiers. Examples include the physical restaurant, a website or
a social media page. The goal of a Destination is to provide a positive experience,
convey information and convert the person to their next stage in the journey. CHANNEL CATEGORIES

ECOSYSTEM
AMPLIFIERS: These are types of media focused on ramping up the power of Drivers
and Destinations. Like salt in a recipe, Amplifiers make the overall recipe better.

One, two or all of these categories can be applied to a marketing channel making
for a dynamic relationship within your ecosystem. Now you’re ready to think about AMPLIFIERS DESTINATIONS
individual channels you can use to craft your restaurant’s marketing ecosystem.

BOTTOMLINE

Understand when and how to use Drivers, Destinations


and Amplifiers so that they can all work in unison.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 9
A STRATEGY IS BORN

AN UP-CLOSE LOOK AT CHANNEL CATEGORY SKILLS REQUIRED AVERAGE COST CONSUMER JOURNEY MOMENT

CHANNEL TYPES Print (Magazine,


Newspaper, Journal)
Driver, Amplifier Design, copywriting Awareness, Interest
Channels are a wide range of media
Billboard, Bus Station,
outlets you can use to create successful Driver, Amplifier Design, copywriting Awareness, Interest
Out of Home (OOH)
initiatives. In order to form a strategy that
Direct Mail Driver, Amplifier Design, copywriting Awareness, Interest, Conversion
fits your restaurant’s story, you’ll need
to understand where they’re best used Television, Youtube/ Driver, Destination, Copywriting, Video Production,
Awareness, Interest
Internet Video Ad Amplifier Direction
in your ecosystem. Here are some of the
most common channels: Copywriting, Voice Talent,
Radio, Internet Radio Driver, Amplifier Awareness, Interest
Direction
Design, copywriting, Community Awareness, Interest, Conversion,
PRO TIP Facebook Driver, Amplifier
Management, Video production Advocacy
Discount marketing may provide a Driver, Destination, Copywriting, Community
quick spike in sales, but it generally Twitter Awareness, Advocacy
Amplifier Management
hurts in the long run. We didn’t include Driver, Destination, Design, Copywriting, Community Awareness, Interest, Conversion,
any deal apps or discount websites Instagram
Amplifier Management, Video production Advocacy
in our list because we find that they
Video, Design, Copywriting,
devalue what your restaurant offers, Snapchat
Driver, Destination,
Production, Community
Awareness, Interest, Conversion,
only bring in thrift seekers and don’t Amplifier Advocacy
Management
build advocacy.
Driver, Destination, Awareness, Interest, Conversion,
Email Newsletter Design, Copywriting, coding
Amplifier Advocacy
Search/Local Listing Driver Copywriting Conversion
BOTTOMLINE
Review Sites (Yelp, Copywriting, Community
Driver Awareness, Advocacy
TripAdvisor) Management
Know all the available channels
Publicity Driver Copywriting, Communications Awareness, Interest
and when to utilize an expert to
use them correctly. Events Driver, Destination
Event Management, Community
Awareness, Interest, Advocacy
Management
Influencer Outreach Driver, Amplifier Communications Awareness, Interest
Team Building Driver, Amplifier Communications, Leadership Advocacy
Website Destination, Amplifier Design, Copywriting, Coding Interest, Conversion, Advocacy
Blog Destination, Amplifier Copywriting Interest, Advocacy

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 10
A STRATEGY IS BORN

SHARE YOUR STORY. NOT EVERYONE ELSE’S.


MAKING CONTENT MARKETING CONNECT

Pictures of your menu items and posts celebrating National <Insert Random Food
Here> Day are ok every once in awhile, but you’ll be doing exactly what most of
your competitors are doing. In order to stand out, tell your story with thoughtful
articles, videos and social posts no one else can own.

Content marketing is your strategy to provide and promote this content on a regular basis.
When you connect it to the right members of your network at the right time and place,
they’ll learn about your story, your location and what connects you to the community.

Every time you have a new piece of content, think about how it can be connected.
For example, if you share a blog post on social media, link to it in your next email
newsletter. Or if you create a YouTube video interview with a food supplier, share it
on your site and with the supplier on social media. No good meal is complete without
great conversation, so use the tools and audiences at your disposal to get people
talking and interact with local audiences.

PRO TIPS
• Content marketing is a two way street. Find other brands and trusted people in your
network that have great original content and share it with your audience. The smart ones BOTTOMLINE
will share your content in return.
• Make it personal. Connect your content with key members of your audience. If you know
a regular’s special is on the menu tonight, tag them in a picture of it. Content marketing never ends, but with the right plan and
gradual adjustments based on results, people will welcome
• Track and measure the success of your content. Then you can see what resonates best
your brand messaging with open arms.
with your audience and adjust future tactics.
• Don’t share every article and post you see. Quality beats quantity.
• You can’t give up after a week. Content marketing is a process that slowly builds on itself.
Consistency is key to success.
• Every post (or any post, honestly) doesn’t need to go viral. Your target audience is
normally a core group of local and loyal fans.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 11
A STRATEGY IS BORN

PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES (AND


THEY’LL EVENTUALLY WALK IN THE DOOR)
STORYTELLING & CONTENT PILLARS

Telling a memorable story means ensuring the content you’re putting into the world
FRESH FOOD/DRINK FRESH FACES COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
builds your brand’s story and keeps the reader in mind. You’re a consumer too, so
think about what you like and don’t like. Seeing repetitive deals and self-promotion Closeup shots of weekly specials Show team in the
would make you end a relationship with other brands. Keeping your relationship weekly specials community working on
interesting and multifaceted means people will want to be around you. Show and tell story nonprofit/charity causes
Show and tell about sourcing from
Content comes in many forms - from writing to photography, story about partners (farms, Promote local events
aural to videography. sourcing from markets, etc) even if we’re not in them
partners (farms,
markets, etc) Share preparation Promote events where
No matter what, your content should have value. It can provide a laugh, insight or
even a tear. You just have to make sure it also has a focus. By creating pillars, or tips and exclusive we have a presence and/
“subjects,” your content will stay on track and tell a larger, balanced story across Share preparation or a booth
all communications. We suggest three pillars, with one being product-focused. tips and exclusive Show images of
recipes people having fun at Post info about special
the bar or tables events happening at our
BOTTOMLINE Share drink location
receipts
Create content pillars and be sure that your content provides
value to customers beyond just deals and discounts.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 12
A STRATEGY IS BORN

A CONTENT CALENDAR KEEPS


TIME ON YOUR SIDE
Once you’ve created all that super engaging content, it’s time to get it organized.
By creating a content calendar schedule that leaks each individual piece into your
channels at the most optimal time, you’ll keep telling your story while ushering
people through their journey.

Once again, keep your customers in mind when planning your calendar. A 2am
Instagram post will probably miss everyone, but a 10:45am post about your food’s
uniqueness could pique the interest of lunch planners. If you want to focus on beverage
content, try 3pm on a Thursday or Friday while office workers are thinking about happy
hours. Just because you’re organizing doesn’t mean you can’t think creatively.

PRO TIP
 igital and social marketing is flexible. If you’re unsure, try different times for
D
various types of content to see what performs best. Keep note of results and further
hone your strategy. Soon, you’ll have people asking for your secret social formula.

BOTTOMLINE
SUGGESTED TOOLS
No special calendar A content calendar is an absolute must in
applications or tools needed. order to keep everything organized.
Google Calendar, iCal, or
other basic calendar software
works perfectly fine if you
take the time to schedule and
implement your plan.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 13
A STRATEGY IS BORN

MEASURE, ANALYZE AND IMPROVE


HOW TO PUT RESULTS TO WORK FOR YOU

Almost every marketing platform you’ll use has some type of analytics tool
that keeps track of how things are performing. Measurement and reporting on
the content you’ve shared provides a road map for the future of your marketing
strategy. Use those results wisely and you’ll save time, money and effort.

Before you can pick out which results to pay attention to, define realistic goals for
your restaurant. Seeing increased revenue is ideal, but that’s going to take time. We’re
looking for engagement that builds brand loyalty and keeps people coming back.

It’s easiest to pick a few metrics for each marketing channel and track them
regularly. More social followers, higher website traffic and increased positive
conversation surrounding your brand are all good indicators of your strategy being
on point. They lead to more buzz, which means more traffic and more revenue.
Once the ball is rolling, consider adjusting your goals as you grow.

When it comes to useful tools you can use to track your efforts, we’ve listed several
in Appendix 2.

PRO TIPS
• Set specific goals for each marketing channel or the overall ecosystem.
• Add time in your calendar for metrics and report reviews.
• Survey restaurant-goers for specific feedback on marketing efforts.
• Keep your reports simple and updated regularly. BOTTOMLINE
• Don’t spend too much time poring over intricate reports and metrics. It’s easy to get
lost in data. The important thing is to find the most important data and use it to hone
your efforts. Create goals, pay attention to results
and adjust your efforts accordingly.
• Avoid waiting until the end of the campaign to track performance. Start with a small
test so you can set some benchmarks for success.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 14
2
TURNING STRATEGY
INTO REALITY
TURNING STRATEGY INTO REALITY

SET GOALS
STEPS
• Set three overarching goals. As we’ve mentioned before, don’t tie your goals
directly to sales. If immediately driving revenue is your focus, you’ll lose the
big picture. Instead, think about the things that engage customers and make
them want to be part of your restaurant’s story. Focus on social follows,
increasing repeat business, gaining coverage in key magazines, and/or
increase in online engagements.
• Mark time on your schedule. Don’t just say you’ll create goals. Carve out time in
your schedule to create and work toward them. Then stick to it!

CREATE YOUR ECOSYSTEM


A well-balanced ecosystem helps you focus your marketing efforts. With a good
mix of Drivers and Amplifiers bringing people to your Destinations, you can move
customers through their journey and on their way to advocacy.

STEPS
• S
 elect at least three key Drivers from the list of potential channels.
These will carry your message and drive traffic.
• P
 ick the Destinations that traffic will be driven to.
We suggest your restaurant and your website for starters.
• C
 hoose three to six Amplifiers to increase the reach of your messaging.
These are usually social and digital channels.
• P
 rint out your ecosystem.
Hang it on the wall. And most importantly, follow it as you fill it with content.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 16
TURNING STRATEGY INTO REALITY

DRIVERS DESTINATIONS AMPLIFIERS

ò ò ò ò

MARKETING PLAYBOOK
ò ò ò ò 17
TURNING STRATEGY INTO REALITY

CREATE CONTENT PILLAR ONE PILLAR TWO PILLAR THREE

PILLARS

In the last section, we talked about


organizing the content you want to 1
create into content pillars. Again,
think about how to tell your unique
story, like Chipotle’s sustainability 2
angle or how Apple always thinks
differently. Showcase what makes
you different and you’ll stand out 3
from the crowd. Dig deep - what
makes you unique?
4

10

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 18
TURNING STRATEGY INTO REALITY

SCHEDULE YOUR CALENDAR


Now that you’ve figured out what you want to say, when are you going to say it?
You’ll save a lot of time by planning your content and marketing efforts across
a couple of months in one sitting, rather than going day-by-day. It may seem
daunting, but it will make things easier later. If you’re stuck, you can always fill in
the holes later.

STEPS
• Setup a new calendar just for your marketing. Make sure it’s not cluttered with
other tasks. If you’re feeling really organized, create sub-calendars for specifics
tasks or channel categories.
• Plan content for 6-8 weeks out. Anything beyond that is a stretch because you
should be reviewing measurements and altering the strategy implementation
as you go.
• Mark time at the beginning of every week for strategy assessment. We suggest 30-
45 minutes for review and adjustments to your plan.
• S
 et push notification alerts in your calendar so you’re reminded to complete
tasks. Don’t let the daily grind pull you away from the importance of ongoing
marketing.

TIME FOR ACTION


Congrats! You now have the three major components of your marketing strategy:
The Ecosystem, Content Pillars & Ideas, and your Calendar. Now, you just have
to do it. Your strategy is only as good as your commitment to implementing it. Get
pumped. You can do this!

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 19
3
STAKE YOUR CLAIM
ONLINE
Imagine always being able to be there to answer questions
about your restaurant when someone brings it up. You
pretty much can if you set up accurate, up-to-date info
across different media outlets. You’ll only need to do a
lot of what this section covers once. Some you’ll want to
update occasionally if anything changes. If you do them
right, they’ll live online forever for anyone looking to find
out about your establishment.
STAKE YOUR CLAIM ONLINE

CRAFT YOUR STORY


HOW OFTEN: ONE TIME
Get Visual With Eye-Catching Photography
By now, you should have a good idea about what your restaurant’s story is and Now is a good time to think about how you’re going to tell your story visually. No
should be able to convey it in a short, intriguing description. You’ll need to get the one’s going to read a thousand words about your restaurant, but they might share
most important part down to 200 characters that you can use on any digital touch one that’s worth that many.
points that require it. If they allow for more space, feel free to use it, but the biggest
impact will be made in those first few sentences. We can’t stress enough how important it is to not cut corners when it comes to
your photography. Staging your restaurant, utilizing a food stylist and finding a
When you bring in new staff members or partners of any kind, have a quick chat photographer that knows how to style shots will be the difference between an
about your restaurant’s story with them. Let them know that they’re about to become image that’s scrolled by and one that’s posted on hundreds of newsfeeds. The right
a touchpoint of your brand and could possibly have the biggest direct impact on photography can be used for endless marketing opportunities, so make it count.
customers. Incentivize their efforts to spark word of mouth and social posts to their
friends and families. You want all your employees to be genuinely excited about what We suggest revisiting photography when something changes on the menu or in the
they’re a part of! interior space. If you have events, you can also hire photography students for a little
less and get a great social photo album out of it. If you want to push the boundaries
Also consider conducting quick early-week BOTTOMLINE further, getting professional, approachable images of key staff members is a good
staff meetings to discuss new marketing move. This will help add a personal touch and put faces to names for diners that
ideas you have and open up the floor to Craft written descriptions of your might become advocates.
hear employee suggestions. brand story in different lengths for
use on social sites. Continue that PRO TIPS
brand story through the use of well-
thought-out photography. • You should have two styles of photography. Professional shots, and “real” photography.
The professional photography is perfect for advertising and phone photography is great
for shots that are in-the-moment.
• Don’t use phone photos for official advertising. Have a professional guide shots of your
food for use across platforms. This is an absolute must.
• Lighting is everything. Study light and use natural textures created by light. Platforms
like Instagram have lots of tools (like a grid for centering shots) that make photos look
their best.
• Look around the subject for things that would make the shot look bad (e.g. glowing exit
signs, a messy table, stains, etc) Remove them for the composition.
• Style food in a natural way, but get creative with cutting into food and showing the
deliciousness.
MARKETING PLAYBOOK 21
STAKE YOUR CLAIM ONLINE

OWN YOUR LOCAL SEARCH


AND REVIEW SITE PRESENCE
HOW OFTEN: ONE TIME (WITH MONITORING)
STEPS
Before they even glance at a menu, people around the world grab their phones or • C laim local search properties and make them yours by adding your unique story,
computers to hit search engines and look up reviews. Unfortunately, where your plus the important facts like address, phone number and website.
restaurant appears in search results and user reviews are based on a lot of factors • C laim your review site properties. Use them as an opportunity to tell your story
you can’t control. further and make genuine connections with customers.
• If general info changes, be sure to update it across all digital properties. It’s a good idea to
The good news? There’s a lot you can control. Provide consistent, accurate set up quarterly calendar reminders to review all this info, just in case.
information across all your digital properties like your site, social media accounts,
local directories and press releases. The same goes for anything you provide for
local reviews, news articles and other social media accounts. PRO TIPS
• Be consistent across all sites. List the same name, phone number, address, and website.
Use Review Sites To Your Advantage • Create separate directory listings, social media accounts and websites for your
locations.
Review sites are unique because they add a lot to the local search mix and create
• Don’t just focus on Google and ignore other search engines. The more information you
engagement opportunities. Reviewers can be opinionated, but as long as you’re can control, the better your results.
interacting with them positively as you monitor these sites, you can spin negative
• Lashing out at negative reviewers is a big no-no. Respond publicly and positively saying
feedback and reward advocacy. you’ll directly message them to discuss the situation.
• You’ve done a lot of work to claim these sites, so don’t forget about them. Keep an eye on
The only way to do this is to claim properties on the most prominent review sites your listings and the information that’s out there to ensure there aren’t any inaccuracies.
like Yelp and TripAdvisor, or the ones people near you use most (for a full list of
international review sites, see Appendix 4). Once you have control of your review
site properties, you can comment and message customers with honest dialogue BOTTOMLINE
about their experience. Not only will those reviewers appreciate it, but it makes the
restaurant more approachable to others reading what you’ve written. The majority of your new business could come from search results and
review sites, so you need a consistent brand on all of them.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 22
STAKE YOUR CLAIM ONLINE

LIVE WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS


ARE MOST: SOCIAL MEDIA
HOW OFTEN: SETUP IS ONE TIME

Let’s move on to one of your most powerful tools: social media. If you haven’t
already, sign up for the platforms you plan on using now (and even ones
you want to lock down for the future). Try to be consistent with the handle
(or username), which should most likely be your restaurant’s name. Keep it
short and simple so people can remember it when they’re looking for you,
interacting with you and tagging you in their posts.

If for some reason the handle you want is taken, get creative but stay simple.
For instance, Wayward Bar & Kitchen in Maryland could be @WaywardBK or
@WaywardM.

Social media accounts will also offer the opportunity to inject your brand’s
identity into the profile pages. Remember that story you created? Social
PRO TIPS
media is a great place to showcase it. It’s always a good idea to update
your profile picture with your logo. Most social profiles have a masthead • You can, and should, update the design elements of your social sites to bring your
or header where you can promote the brand’s experience, the food, a new marketing ecosystem to life. We know you’re not stale, so keep those sites fresh!
promotion, or whatever you feel is important at the time. • Remember the content pillars and schedules you worked so hard on? Your social
media accounts are where it all really shines.
• Use hashtags intelligently so people can find your content. Possibilities include your
city’s official hashtag or a local festival you’re participating in.

BOTTOMLINE

Use social media to engage people with your brand story and become
engrained in the local community.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 23
STAKE YOUR CLAIM ONLINE

PIECE TOGETHER A PRESS KIT


HOW OFTEN: ONE TIME

Your digital press kit is an essential component of telling your brand’s story. When
you create one, think about how you want the press to write about your restaurant
and the people who represent it. It’s not just another place to tell your story; it’s
an opportunity to set your restaurant apart from others. Use it to reinforce your
points of differentiation while building the case for being a local staple. Make sure
it captures the vibe you want people to experience by using images and descriptive
language. Your press kit should show what really makes you stand out.

It’s What’s On The Inside that Counts


Your restaurant’s press kit should be a collection of documents, including photos
of food, photos of your space, key staff headshots and bios, and logo files. All good
press kits will have an overview of the restaurant’s offering, history, and passion.
The story of the brand should be threaded throughout each piece. They should all be
stored in an easy to access space like Dropbox or another server where you can link
to download.

PRO TIPS
• Collect and organize all image files into descriptively named file folders. They should be
in high resolution JPG and TIF file formats.
• Any biographies and ‘About the Restaurant’ text should be in .DOC file formats.
• Logo files should be available in PNG and EPS formats. BOTTOMLINE
• Load the files to Dropbox, Google Drive, or another easily linked and accessed server.
• Create links on your restaurant’s website to download the press kit. A press kit should contain
everything the press needs to learn
• Adding an information block to the download where someone has to enter their name
and email address lets you track and follow up with people who are accessing this
about your brand and create their
information. own stories surrounding it.

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STAKE YOUR CLAIM ONLINE

KNOW WHO’S WHO… PRO TIPS


AND WHO HELPS BUILD YOUR BRAND • Big following + Quality engagement = Good Influencer.
HOW OFTEN: ONE TIME (WITH INFREQUENT CHECK-INS) • If you can, use direct messages to introduce yourself. Let them know your role and ask if
you can contact them in the future. Keep it short and sweet.
In our digital society, almost anyone can become a local influencer, from celebrities and • Save email information for key influencers and reach out intermittently.
media to mom bloggers and amateur restaurant critics. You can easily find them with a • Even if someone has lots of followers, they may not be right for you. Make sure they’re
little research. Gather key info about the influencers you find in your area (email and social active locally and would attract the type of attention your restaurant needs.
handles go a long way), then reach out, connect and build relationships. • Tailor every communication to influencers’ personal social identities. Bulk blasts come
across as cold and usually go unanswered.

BOTTOMLINE

You need local influencers that are active in your community. Get to know them, inform
your employees who they are and try to get influencers on board with your brand.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 25
STAKE YOUR CLAIM ONLINE

GET INSIDE THE INBOX: EMAIL MARKETING


HOW OFTEN: ONE TIME FOR SET UP

Email marketing is a low-cost, high-return media that, when done right, builds awareness,
interest and advocacy. Before you can tap the potential of email marketing, you have
to figure out what emailing tool to use. All the options can be confusing and a little
overwhelming, so we suggest MailChimp if you’re looking to be more advanced with your
email marketing strategies. Iif you plan to be a little more hands off, Fishbowl might be a
better system for you.

PRO TIPS
• Factor in the amount of effort you can put into your email marketing when choosing a
system.
• Set up as much information and as many points of interaction as possible to ensure the
highest deliverability.
• Add a subscription form to your website and social media accounts so people can easily
subscribe to your list.
• Allow customers to sign up for your mailing list when they’re at your restaurant - You’ll
have to type these into the system, but it’s worth it!
• Steer clear of email address lists you don’t own or didn’t build for your restaurant.
• Never use email addresses from business cards of people who didn’t ask to be on the list.

BOTTOMLINE

Build an email list and use it to build


awareness and interest over time.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 26
STAKE YOUR CLAIM ONLINE

WEBSITE BASICS: DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU PRO TIPS


HOW OFTEN: ONE TIME
• Even though you’re related to the hotel, you should have your own site that focuses on
your story and makes it easy for search engines to find you.
Your website is a digital representation of your actual location. Remember, they’re both • Stay away from overly templated designs that you can’t customize. If you do, you’re losing
destinations. Just like restaurant-goers should walk out of your doors happy after a your brand’s story in a big way!
delicious meal, they should leave the site with a positive impression and a desire to • Have a clear and easy to read PDF menu so you can update it as often as you want.
come back for more. • Put your location and contact info front and center in the top part of your site if possible.
• Link to your social media (or pull in newsfeeds to your site) and have a way to sign up for
If you want to can go all out with a site that includes tons of specialized features, you’ll your email list so everything is connected.
want to hire a web design pro. Conversely, a simple do-it-yourself, customizable • If you take reservations, make that process as simple as possible.
website is something most people can create and customize themselves. Systems like • Pick a URL address that is easy to remember and aligns with your social media handles.
SquareSpace are affordable, intuitive and ready-made for any restaurant. All you have
to do is insert your imagery, text and a few special touches to make it your own. Best of
all, systems like these adjust your site to the device your guests are viewing it on.
BOTTOMLINE

Other than your restaurant, your


website might the most important
Destination in your portfolio. No
matter how you choose to build
it, make sure it’s informative and
consistent with your overall story.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 27
STAKE YOUR CLAIM ONLINE

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF SEARCH RESULTS Titles And Meta Descriptions


HOW OFTEN: ONE TIME Titles and Meta Descriptions are the text that’s seen in search engine results. The title
is the clickable text, and the description is the text below it. They offer more than just
search engine results, though. They can also act as a means to entice people to click
Earlier, we discussed search engines and how difficult it can be to force your way to
through to your restaurant’s site.
the top of their results. One way to increase your visibility is through Search Engine
Optimization, or SEO. Basically, search engines want to list your site if it’s relevant
to what someone wants to find. If you have the most finger licking BBQ in Boise, Heading Text
your site should demonstrate that in text and a few other areas we’ll show you. Each page should have a heading. In the code, it should be marked with an “H1” tag,
which denotes it as the header, as well as the most important element on the page.
If you hired someone to design and develop your site, they should handle SEO This tag should include adjectives, if possible.
pretty easily. If you’re using a system like Squarespace, you’ll just have to find
areas to input Title and Meta Descriptions text. That may sound a little daunting, STEPS
but it just means that you’ll want to put keywords in those that people might be
using to find what you do best. • Identify a set of keywords you think your restaurant should own.
• Use these keywords in a natural way throughout the text on your pages, and to write a
SEO is more than just titles and tags, though. It also relies on text found throughout short description sentence and title for each page of your site.
your site. It’s always a good practice to make sure all text is visible by search • Be sure the text you write is relevant and reads in a smooth, unforced manner.
engines. With SquareSpace this happens by default, but a developer may need it
spelled out for them. Because text is so important, having someone who writes Example: Menu Page
good copy (which is just a fancy word for advertising text) is pretty invaluable. Title: Dinner Menu: Best Barbecue in Phoenix, Arizona - Sunny’s BBQ
Hiring a copywriter with solid SEO experience is a good investment here. Description: Sunny’s BBQ touts Phoenix’s best barbecue pork, chicken, and beef brisket.
View our menu of delicious BBQ options and visit us soon.
Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, it’s a big relief to know that you really Heading: Barbecue Dinner Menu
only need to update this info if anything major changes with your business that
might affect how people are searching for you. BOTTOMLINE

We’ve thrown out several words and phrases that may seem foreign, so check out SUGGESTED TOOLS
SEO can be a beast. If you choose to
these key SEO components for a better understanding and a few quick steps to get go it alone, choose your keywords,
your started: Google Analytics Moz Local take it piece by piece and you should
MomentFeed MailChimp start noticing an uptick in your
placement in search results.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 28
4
CONTINUE YOUR EFFORTS WITH
COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT &
ENGAGEMENT
The power of social media goes way beyond simply posting and pushing your
messages into the world. Social media’s power is in its two-way conversation
capabilities and opportunities. Each media outlet has its nuances, but the need
for interaction, engagement and conversation is common across the board.
In this section, we’ll outline the best practices for conversing with your social
media “friends” in a way that’s natural, authentic and effective.
CONTINUE YOUR EFFORTS WITH COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & ENGAGEMENT

FINDING YOUR SOCIAL VOICE


Social media’s blessing and burden is that it is always on. It’s there even if you decide
to ignore it. Therefore, monitoring the chatter on social media, and responding to
people in real time is crucial for effectively building a connection in any market.

There are a lot of tools to choose from when it comes to social media monitoring
and community management. Although you don’t need any special software to
communicate on the platforms, having a single source makes things a lot easier.

Keep your tone conversational, like you’re chatting with friends, but still in line with
your brand. Remember that it’s not the person posting that’s speaking, it’s your
restaurant. The more you post, the more you’ll be able to easily write posts in your
brand’s “voice.”

PRO TIPS
• Every culture has nuances to how they communicate with people in varying degrees
of familiarity. Let your colloquial culture dictate how formal or informal you interact
with people you converse with and interact.
• Social moves fast. If something warrants a response, chime in or message back as
soon as possible.
• Engage in comments, tag people in response, and join the conversation naturally.
• If things get negative, take the conversation out of the public eye with a polite direct
message to the individual that has an issue. NEVER engage in a fight or try and delete
comments.
• If someone does have a complaint, offer an appropriate solution via private message.
Discounts or freebies shouldn’t be your first way to appease the customers. BOTTOMLINE
Sometimes, all it takes is an honest conversation.
• It isn’t worth it to tag brands or celebrities in any situation. It could get people talking, Think of social media as your brand
but you might run into legal headaches that you don’t need. speaking to people one-on-one in a
• Don’t feel the need to always push your restaurant with a constant sales pitch. Stay casual conversation. It should be a natural
natural, write conversationally and pretty soon your brand’s group of friends will extension of your restaurant’s voice.
start to grow.

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CONTINUE YOUR EFFORTS WITH COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & ENGAGEMENT

CUSTOMER SURVEYS: THEIR OPINION


MATTERS
Yelp is great for reviews, but surveys are the way to go for almost instant feedback
of what locals think of your restaurant. As with most things in life, asking the right
questions will yield the kind of feedback you can use to build loyalty and hone the
experience to be better for your audience.

Surveys come in a number of forms. You can have written ones on location, getting
feedback as a manager greets guests and digital surveys. If you’re willing to put
in the effort, a combo of these three give you a bird’s eye view of issues that need
addressing as well as opportunities worth exploring.

You may be surprised by what people are saying. That’s a very good thing, because it
should spark new ideas on improving marketing, customer service and your restaurant’s
atmosphere. We suggest sharing the feedback with all partners and employees so
everyone can develop ideas for constantly improving the restaurant’s brand. BOTTOMLINE

PRO TIPS Customer surveys are a quick way to gather


feedback and share it with your team.
• Figure out three to five questions you want to know the answer to. Any more than
that and you’ll get participation dropoff.
• Encourage staff to point out the survey, then share the feedback with your whole
team.
SUGGESTED TOOLS
• If someone completes a survey, it means they care. This is the perfect time to offer a
value, like a contest entry or exclusive discount. SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are
two excellent (and free!) services to
• Share feedback with your team and partners. You’d be surprised what feedback can
do to spark ideas on better serving customers.
use for collecting feedback digitally.
• Quarterly checkins or surveys sparked by a limited time offer are good. Less is more
when it comes to asking for opinions

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CONTINUE YOUR EFFORTS WITH COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & ENGAGEMENT

PUBLIC RELATIONS: GET THE WORD OUT


Public Relations, or PR for short, is way more than just garnering publicity for
your restaurant. It all begins with getting media coverage for your restaurant’s
events from influencers, critics, bloggers, journalists and other industry
professionals. However, that’s only the beginning.

Truly effective PR strategies include onboarding and aligning communications


across your team, plus creation of new, timely events that get attention and
attendance. It even spans into managing and interacting with the community
in social outlets and in person. When seen from this perspective it’s easy to
understand how important PR really is for a restaurant. Good buzz goes a long
way and bleeds into what you can do with all your other outlets.

Also, be sure to add any PR-related events or news to your content calendar.
Reach out to your social media and influencer connections to get the ball rolling.
And don’t forget to call your photographer so you’ll have even more content once
an event is over.

PRO TIPS
• Effective PR requires an expert who already has relationships to leverage when
it comes to publicity and events. It’s best to find someone local to your area that’s
ingrained in the community for maximum impact and results.
• Train all staff on talking points about the restaurant so they can put it into their own
voice for communication. BOTTOMLINE
• If a journalist or influencer comes to your restaurant, give them a little special
attention without being overbearing.
Good PR spreads across so many
• Only write press releases for things that should garner attention. You don’t want to touchpoints, it can be hard to get a
be seen as the restaurant that cries wolf.
handle on. A PR expert will bring
• If you’re not getting the coverage you want, don’t blame the journalists. Keep thinking ideas to the table, guide you, and
of new ways your restaurant is different and events that demand attention. Once you open you up to the wonderful
find those avenues, you’ll cut through the clutter of other PR pushes. world of public relations.

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CONTINUE YOUR EFFORTS WITH COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & ENGAGEMENT

HOLDING HOT TICKET EVENTS


An event isn’t much of an event if people don’t want to be there. So how do you get
influencers and other locals into the restaurant for something other than a meal
out? You have to immerse them in your restaurant’s brand.

Finding partners to help create and promote the events will increase attendance
while building awareness around your restaurant. Local organizations like
Chambers of Commerce, Young Professionals, and other clubs are a quick way to
access new faces.

Additionally, many spirits, wine and beer brands are looking for methods to
increase their brand awareness. Retaining them as partners for events can further
increase your restaurant’s reach.

Most importantly, you have to do something different. The same old strategies will
BOTTOMLINE
get overlooked and give people no reason to attend. Think outside the norm using
your brand as a lens to create new ideas for fun events that people want to attend.
Get creative with your events, while
keeping them aligned with your brand
and locals will take notice.
PRO TIPS
• Create fresh event ideas that go beyond basic mixers and happy hours. Once you
have your idea, design a unique look for that specific event.
• Introduce small plates to offer attendees a taste of your menu.
• Make VIP cards to hand out to loyal visitors and influencers. Offer special perks to
these individuals and make sure staff knows to give these people special treatment.
• You’ve worked hard to build your channels, so be sure to promote the events in all the
right places.
• Space out your events so there’s no attendee exhaustion. Anticipation is a very
effective emotion!

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CONTINUE YOUR EFFORTS WITH COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT & ENGAGEMENT

OUTSIDE EVENTS KEEP YOU TOP OF MIND PRO TIPS


The beauty of your restaurant brand is that you can take it on-the-go to build
• Create special elements to help your booth stand out and look “on brand.” A simple
awareness in your local market. Food and wine festivals. Art events. Outdoor banner will get lost in the sea of other options.
concerts. They could all be outlets for your dishes, personality and story to shine.
• Make sure everyone working the booth is trained on how to talk about the brand
beyond just the food. If they’re living the brand, event attendees will be drawn to
When you’re there, make sure you’ve planned out the best way for your brand to be them.
represented. Find out the specifications of your area and have the right elements • Make special print materials to hand out that are specific to the event and the
to stand out. The right branding materials, printouts with more information and attendees.
even scheduling the right staff to work the event are all part of what will make
for a memorable outing. Beyond that, you’ll need to think of ways to bring your
restaurant to life in the space you have. Make people leave your area wanting to BOTTOMLINE
visit the physical location.
Outside events bring your brand to the masses. Treat the space you have there
And once again, capture the moments to utilize as content. You’re out there, people with the same care and attention to detail they’ll find inside your restaurant.
are enjoying it, so let people experience it any time they want.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 34
5
KICKSTART
MARKETING WITH
ENTRY-LEVEL TACTICS
You have everything from a brand strategy to your sites
set up and ready to go. Now we can work on entry-level
tactics that don’t involve a huge investment of time
and money, but will certainly make a difference in your
ongoing marketing.

Let’s dive deeper into a few detailed tactics you can utilize.
KICKSTART MARKETING WITH ENTRY-LEVEL TACTICS

You have everything from a brand


strategy to your sites set up and
ready to go. Now we can work
on entry-level tactics that don’t
involve a huge investment of time
and money, but will certainly
DRIVERS DESTINATIONS AMPLIFIERS
make a difference in your ongoing
marketing.
Facebook WOM/Social Sharing

The eco-system looks something


like this: Instagram Activication-drivers
digital footprint

ò
Email
.COM Online reviews

Direct Mail Events

Team Advocacy

RESTAURANT / BAR

BASIC MARKETING ECOSYSTEM

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 36
KICKSTART MARKETING WITH ENTRY-LEVEL TACTICS

FACEBOOK REALLY BOOSTS YOUR BUSINESS PRO TIPS


HOW OFTEN: EVERY OTHER DAY FOR UNPAID, EVERY WEEK
• Use Facebook’s restaurant specific features to add a menu, price range and hours to
FOR PAID your pages.
• A recent Facebook algorithm change has caused normal posts by businesses to receive
Simply put, Facebook is an integral part of most people’s lives. That means it’s an a very low number of views in fan’s newsfeeds. This change has forced businesses to
extremely valuable tool for your restaurant. An informative and engaging Facebook pay for views, but advertising on Facebook is generally affordable and highly targeted.
page lets you become part of a potential customer’s daily routine while they learn • Provide value for fans by posting useful, high-quality content on a consistent schedule.
about your brand story. Don’t overpost, though. Quality over quantity, especially since a sponsored post might
appear in a person’s feed many times.
But with millions of posts per minutes, a brand needs to provide visitors with true • It may seem beneficial to post only sales content, but that will drive fans away. You’ll get
much more out of posts that give people the feeling that you’re a real member of their
value to earn their “like”. Think about the type of customer you want to attract community.
or retain, then tailor content to them that will make them stop and engage with • Respond to all reviews and comments (positive and negative) in a respectful, timely and
your post. Exclusive interviews with chefs, articles on food partners, occasional consistent manner. Feel free to private message the negative posters to create a helpful
discounts and special recipes can all inform and intrigue. Over time, you’ll have dialogue.
local and loyal advocates to your brand. • Use 3rd party tools to schedule posts to save time, but be sure to continuously monitor
the page for engagement.
Facebook actually makes promoting posts easy, affordable • Support your post with paid promotion and test different amounts of ad spend to see
what is most effective.
and effective!
• Create Facebook Events
to promote your parties,
Advertising costs on Facebook vary by location and audience, but generally $100- tastings, and other special
$250 a month is all you need to boost your most important posts to reach fans and occasions.
potential customers. Facebook makes the process very simple and you can even • Be patient! The following you
highly target who it reaches by where people live and what they like. want is one that’s built over
time. Trust us on this one!

BOTTOMLINE

Boosting Facebook posts is an essential and


affordable tool in your local marketing.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 37
KICKSTART MARKETING WITH ENTRY-LEVEL TACTICS

INSTAGRAM: MORE THAN JUST


• Find like-minded accounts to follow and engage with. Post comments and interact
PRETTY PICTURES frequently.
HOW OFTEN: EVERY OTHER DAY • It bears repeating: Don’t just post food and beverage pictures. They may get a lot of
engagement, but they also get redundant quickly.
As a strictly visual medium, Instagram is a natural fit for restaurants to bring their • Interaction is key to building community and engagement. If locals are commenting,
tastiest looking food to people on their smartphones. But to succeed here, you’ll start a conversation. Pretty soon, you’ll be having one with them directly as they’re
dining in your restaurant.
need to be a little more creative, especially against all the other brands out there
trying to do the same thing. BOTTOMLINE

Sure, you’ll want to post some shots for the foodies out there, but there needs to Instagram may be strictly visual, but there are endless ways your restaurant can
be a more interesting mix to make people stop scrolling. When you’re creating use it. Looks are everything with this channel, so make sure the moments you’re
your content calendar, cross-reference it with sporting events or cultural days of sharing are eye-catching.
celebration you can put your own brand’s spin on. Events and food partners should
be on the schedule. Your staff is an endless supply of content, as well, especially #MoreHashtagHelp
since they’re the ones interacting with the community the most. Other examples of Hashtags are useful on more social networks than just Instagram. We covered
content can include photos from the kitchen or bar that show what’s going on behind some tips above, but here are a few more.
the scenes. Stay in the moment and share authentic content as it happens.. It’s ok to
bump a scheduled post if something spontaneous happens that’s worthy of posting.
PRO TIPS
PRO TIPS • Hashtags don’t use spaces. If you want to separate words, do it by capitalizing each new
one. They also don’t work with punctuation.
• If the photography isn’t coming from a professional, take the few extra minutes
needed to frame, crop and adjust your pic. Don’t go crazy with the filters, though! • Stay relevant. Avoid creating hashtags that no one would be searching for and don’t
Realism will benefit you more. include topics just because they’re trending. You want quality followers and engagement.
• Go beyond images. Utilize video, slo-mo, Boomerang and slideshow apps to give • Find relevant hashtags using tools like Hashtagify.me, RiteTag or Tagboard.
your posts added variety. • In general 2-3 hashtags are all you need to increase engagement, but there are
• A witty or thoughtful caption can add at least a few more “hearts” to any image. recommendations for specific networks.
• Use hashtags of relevant terms - an average of 12 #s per post gets the most • Twitter - 1-2 hashtags will increase engagement and keep your post within the limits.
engagement. Make sure to keep some of them local so people nearby can find you. • Instagram - Interaction is highest with 11+ hashtags, but if you only have 5-10 that’s fine too.
• Tag other instagrammers in your posts to give credit to photography or shoutout to • Facebook - Most brands don’t use hashtags on Facebook.
frequent customers.
• Google+ - Automatically generates hashtags, but you can add and edit them as needed.
• Set the post’s location as your restaurant or event you’re posting from.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 38
KICKSTART MARKETING WITH ENTRY-LEVEL TACTICS

EMAIL MARKETING THAT DELIVERS


HOW OFTEN: MONTHLY OR BI-MONTHLY

Forget “email blasting.” That’s just hammering people with deals or news that end up
being noisy, annoying and off-putting. Instead, just like your social content, add value
to your carefully thought-out emails. Reference your content pillars and brand strategy
for ideas like:

• Recipes from your bar or kitchen


• Interviews with key staff members or food partners
• Exclusive event invitations or early access for reservations at key events

Include a good mix of image and text that has enough info to entice and inform, but
not so little that you come across as vague. Your imagery should represent your
restaurant perfectly, so we highly recommend professional photos shot at your
restaurant.

Start with monthly email messages directing people to one key transaction, then increase
to twice a month if you have the content or event news to warrant it. Remember that every
piece of marketing you create should work within the ecosystem. Have your destinations
and amplifiers primed for the traffic your emails will deliver.

The best times to send your message may vary. Start with a simple time, like Tuesday
at 10am, to catch recipients after their morning email check, but before getting into
their work. Once you have some performance stats, services like MailChimp have the
ability to schedule the email to go out at optimal times based on previous performance.
BOTTOMLINE

Just like your social posts, your emails should provide value and further your
brand’s story. The recipients are already interested. Use emails to give them
more reasons to fall in love.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 39
KICKSTART MARKETING WITH ENTRY-LEVEL TACTICS

DIRECT MAIL WITH DIRECT RESULTS


HOW OFTEN: QUARTERLY

Direct mail can get pricey, but it’s also a great way to build awareness around new
things happening at the restaurant. Start with a quarterly direct mail piece that
coincides with an event happening. That way you can play up exclusivity and make
recipients feel like part of the inside crowd instead of using discounts to get one-
time deal-searchers in the door. Some other content ideas include:

• A password for a secret menu item prepared specially by the chef


• Offer membership into a cocktail or craft beer club at your restaurant

There are a number of partners that can make your direct mail marketing easy to
implement. The US Postal Service has upped their offering to be more helpful by
BOTTOMLINE teaming up with services like EveryDoorDirectMail (EDDM) that guide you through
the process from beginning to end. It can still be time-consuming though, so
utilizing a direct mail expert could be worth your while.
Focus direct mail on making
recipients feel like they’re getting
something new and exclusive.
PRO TIPS
• Customize the design and content to your restaurant. Stick to one key message
instead of trying to pack too much into one direct mail piece.
• Track the results when you can and adjust your strategy for the next piece.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 40
KICKSTART MARKETING WITH ENTRY-LEVEL TACTICS

EVENTS THAT CREATE BUZZ AND CONTENT TEAM ADVOCACY: LOYALTY FROM WITHIN
HOW OFTEN: QUARTERLY HOW OFTEN: QUARTERLY

We talked about holding hot ticket events in the community management section, Your staff is on the front lines of customer interaction with your brand, so they have
but wanted to reinforce how valuable they are when it comes to meeting key local to be the biggest champions for it. It’s something that can’t be forced, but giving
influencers and creating exclusive social content. them general knowledge in the onboarding process is a great start. If you build
your team right, loving the brand will come naturally and customers will see that
Events that will resonate most with your audience will be ones that are born from shine through in their service.
what makes your restaurant unique. Put your own spin on events like:
Once a quarter, have a full team get-together to go over upcoming events and
• Wine, beer or cocktail tasting with a partner brand happenings with the restaurant. Take feedback and open up discussion about
• Announcing new seasonal menus with a special chef’s tasting how they think the brand story can be told in interesting ways. The more your
• Group cooking classes with your chef
team feels like they’re part of something special, the better they’ll represent the
• Local professionals’ group networking event
restaurant.
Events also keep your brand from appearing stale in the eyes of the community.
PRO TIPS
Leverage partnerships with vendors and local organizations. Prep managers, chefs and
staff on who’s coming and how to engage them to make the day or evening memorable. • Keep an open-door policy for team members to bring ideas to the table.
• Encourage them to bring social content ideas to you for posting. They’re living in the
PRO TIPS moments that make your brand special, so sharing them is a natural win.
• Leverage partnerships with beverage vendors to increase reach.
• Contact local press and influencers to invite them to special parts of the event or
exclusive features. BOTTOMLINE
• Keep your events focused. Don’t try to pack in too many features or sponsors. In the
same vein, space out your events so people don’t get burnt out on them. In many ways, your employees are the face of your brand. Keep them educated
• Tell the story of each event, from invites to photography, through your social media and bring them into the process of keeping things fresh.
channels. Content like this can’t be owned by anyone else and you’ll need more of it
once your Drivers start kicking in!

BOTTOMLINE

Get creative with your events while keeping them aligned with your brand
and locals will take notice.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 41
6
ADVANCED TACTICS
Once you have the basics down, or if you’re all in to go big
from the beginning, you can tackle some more advanced
tactics. They’ll take more time and skill, but your return on
those investments will be extremely rewarding.
ADVANCED TACTICS

DRIVERS DESTINATIONS AMPLIFIERS


Digital Display Traditional WOM/Social Sharing

Influencers/WOM Email Marketing Activication-drivers


digital footprint

ò
Comminity Events SMS & LBS Marketing
& Partnerships .COM Online reviews

3rd Party Websites


Urgency-based UGC

Content Marketing
Search Marketing

RESTAURANT / BAR

ADVANCED MARKETING ECOSYSTEM

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 43
ADVANCED TACTICS

GET SERIOUS ABOUT INTRIGUING CONTENT


Hang around with marketing folks long enough and you’ll hear the saying “Content
is king.” Constantly creating on-brand, engaging content is a huge challenge, but
it holds very powerful rewards. If you truly want to connect with people outside
your restaurant, you have to get in the content mindset, which means going beyond
blasting pictures of food and deals.

Through articles, photos, video, live feeds, and more, you’ll develop a robust
immersion into your brand’s experience. At your restaurant, you see customers on
their own phones creating and sharing endless content. Shouldn’t you be part of
that experience?

When you’re ready to get more advanced with your content, think bigger. Your chef
could make live recipe videos and answer questions that people post about your
secret ingredients. Film cooking classes in your kitchen and share them. Your star
BOTTOMLINE
bartender might make a series out of his latest concoctions or beer reviews. Other
staff members live your brand, so share how their personalities fit in with your
With enough practice, you’ll start seeing
story. You have to go above and beyond what clutters up most newsfeeds.
potential content ideas everywhere.
And don’t forget to post your content across channels and use Amplifier channels to drive
traffic. Who knows...you could have the next video your whole community is sharing.

PRO TIPS
• Solid content marketing is all about the mix. Some unique food and drink images
here. A GIF there. A video of key staff members sprinkled in. If it supports your
brand’s distinct qualities, it works toward the greater good of building your brand.
• Check back in the public relations section for info on bringing your creative content to
local media outlets. With the right fit, their built-in audience could give your content a
big boost.
• Share content from other brands that makes sense coming from you, but don’t
overdo it and definitely don’t repost other’s content as your own.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 44
ADVANCED TACTICS

BUILD LOYALTY INSTEAD OF BLAND REPEAT


BUSINESS
Ask yourself why repeat customers are coming back. Is it because of a monthly
deal or promotion? Or because they sincerely love what your establishment is all
about? The second option is what you really need to survive, because it brings
repeat business, plus word of mouth marketing and social promotion. Best of
all, those last two are completely free and held in very high regard by locals.
Advocates don’t waver in their support and are stick by you no matter what.

When you give people reasons to love you, like a good friend would, they know
they come first. And that will have them thinking of you first when it comes time to
choose where to eat or drink.

PRO TIPS
• Know your regulars. It should be natural to treat them like friends because they are
friends. This helps turn frequent visitors into loyal advocates.
• Use “surprise and delight” giveaways other than food or discounts. Make promo
items that fit your brand and can be used by customers after they leave.
• Offer a special VIP card to your most loyal advocates. Keep it secret and exclusive to
make them feel as special as they are.

BOTTOMLINE

Repeat business can end at any moment. Advocates, however, will come back
for more and tell all their friends.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 45
ADVANCED TACTICS

AMPLIFY CONTENT. ATTRACT ATTENTION.


We talked earlier about Drivers, Destinations and Amplifiers in marketing
strategies. Most media serves as Drivers, but can double as Amplifiers, taking your
content to new levels of reach. In the social media space, “boosting” posts with
paid advertising is a must if you want real impact.

Once you’ve created amazing content, you absolutely have to push some of it
beyond your followers so you can attract new ones. This includes:

• P
 aying to boost posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Setting up an
account on the ad side of these platforms lets you hit local markets and day
parts, while offering other ways to target your specific audience.
• C
 ontests are a great way to spark content sharing if done in moderation. Put
a timeframe around the contest, say that a share is an entry, and promote it
often. There are services you can use to track a contest campaign, but you
can keep it old fashioned by randomly picking someone who shared your post.
Showcase the winner so everyone gets a sense of closure and you have yourself
a lot of content that goes a long way.

PRO TIPS
• Facebook and Instagram are currently the most powerful outlets for paying to boost
interesting content, but explore what works best for you and your audience.
• Start by choosing the best posts every one or two weeks to boost. You don’t want to
over promote. Soon you’ll be able to tell which kinds of paid posts perform better.
• Track and review results from each channel’s advertising analytics to determine
what’s effective and what’s not so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. BOTTOMLINE
• Too many contests devalue a brand. Use them sparingly and they’ll be much more
interesting when you launch the next one.
Use Amplifiers when you have content you think would really resonate with your audience.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 46
ADVANCED TACTICS

BEYOND FACEBOOK: SHARING ON OTHER


SOCIAL NETWORKS
Just because Facebook is the largest social network in the world doesn’t mean
your social portfolio ends there. Of the hundreds of viable social options out there,
you should explore the ones your local market is on and decide which are right for
your business. Only start accounts you intend on updating regularly. A social page
that was last updated months ago actually makes your restaurant look boring,
bland and possibly not even in business.

Learn the requirements and best practices for posting on the platforms you’ve
chosen. For instance, Twitter limits your character count and Qzone in China has
instant messaging and micro-blog capabilities. Just like those platforms users
have done, you should use their restrictions and features to your advantage by
customizing the types of content you post on each.

Once you’ve built a loyal following, look into the premium advertising features they
offer. Understand your audience and which content works best, then put money
where it will have the most impact.

PRO TIPS
• Customize each post for different social networks, if you post the same thing on each
network there’s no reason a customer should following you on both accounts.
• Have the tools and staff in place to respond to customer comments very quickly.
Networks like Twitter and others with live chat capabilities have become the go to BOTTOMLINE
places for customers to provide feedback and report problems. You should be there to
answer.
If you’ve mastered one network like Facebook and want to grow your social
• Create a standard set of responses (sometimes referred to as a “response matrix”) to presence, pick the next most popular network, build an active following, then
common customer questions or problems. This makes it easier for your team or agency explore advertising on that network. Repeat the process until you have a healthy
to manage your social networks.
portfolio of platforms you can still manage.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 47
ADVANCED TACTICS

OLD SCHOOL ADS IN THE DIGITAL AGE GET OUT AND PLAY AT EXTERNAL EVENTS
No, traditional advertising isn’t dead. It’s just not as cost-effective as it used You’ve perfected events inside your own restaurants. Now it’s time to tackle
to be. Radio, TV, billboards and print all build awareness, reach much wider outside events like food and wine festivals or art showcases. Pinpoint 3-4 external
audiences and boost traffic. You just have to be willing to invest up front with less events that align with your restaurant’s brand. You wouldn’t want your high-end
ways to measure success. tapas restaurant at a monster truck jam, right? Stay relevant and stay local.

Radio and TV are pricier than print and billboards because they require more
elements. Scripts, talent and production all cost money, but they make a huge PRO TIPS
difference when done correctly. Skimping on any of these results in a low quality • Create things to give away that push the brand and enable fans to promote on your
spot that damages the brand and hits you in more than the wallet. behalf. Stickers, patches, and pins are inexpensive ways to get fans to fall in love.
• Assign your most trusted, well-informed team members to work events on the
Where TV really comes in handy is its ability to fuel digital content that extends restaurant’s behalf. The more loyal they are, the better they’ll represent the brand.
your campaign. Break it up into video snippets or animated GIFs for sharing. If • Design a booth that gives event attendees a taste of what your actual experience is
the content is good (funny, emotional, or interesting), it could translate well to the like, while still informing them. This is another area where cutting corners will only
hurt you.
digital medium.
• It’s ok to say no to events if you don’t have time to do them right.
Big events or pivotal campaigns are perfect for traditional advertising. They can
be used as part of a limited time blanket approach of no more than 3-4 months.
Use your traditional ad budget wisely so you have plenty more to invest in more BOTTOMLINE
ongoing efforts.
Outside events bring your brand to the masses. Treat the space you have there
PRO TIPS with the same care and attention to detail they’ll find inside your restaurant.
• Invest in quality production, design and creative. More money up front will equal
more positive reactions in the long run.
• Think of ways for the content to be rearranged and reused as much as possible.
Make sure you get the proper usage rights for talent (ask your producer about this
before you shoot).
• Use traditional advertising for short burst campaigns with multiple media channels
that focus on frequency. Save your month-to-month budget for digital efforts.

BOTTOMLINE

Traditional advertising should be done right or not done at all.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 48
ADVANCED TACTICS

GIVEAWAYS: USEFUL TO CUSTOMERS AND


YOUR BRAND
When people leave events, you’ll want them to take away more than just a lasting
impression of your brand. One way to do that is through promotional items that can
live on in the community. When people use your swag, they’re endorsing you and
advertising for your restaurant.

You don’t want to just slap a logo on cheap keychains or mugs. The key to lasting
giveaways is that the product has to reflect what makes your brand unique. Just
like your social posts, your giveaways should provide value, like whiskey tasting
sets or herbs in a branded plant pot. You’ll save money by only making giveaway
items in limited numbers. If they’re more rare and very useful, everyone will want
one with your logo on it!

PRO TIPS
• Use the scarcity of items to your advantage and promote the giveaway to your most
loyal customers first.
• Match the perceived value of the giveaway with the event or promotion.
• Partner with a local charity or nonprofit and help them raise money by including a
giveaway with a donation to their cause.
• Repeat your most popular giveaways annually to help create a growing buzz each year.
• One example of all these tips we love is a unique, collectable giveaway from Trick Dog
bar in San Francisco. Every year, they come up with a new menu design to get people
talking. In 2016, they made a “dog and cocktail of the month” calendar to inform, delight
and raise money for local dog rescues. A perfect promotion from every angle.

BOTTOMLINE

Give away exclusive branded products your customers can use.


Make them unique to your story.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 49
ADVANCED TACTICS

KEEP THINKING TO EXTEND THE BRAND WHEN OTHER OPPORTUNITIES KNOCK


Think about the brand’s roots and what it aligns with beyond food. Music, the arts, You know firsthand how many calls restaurants get from vendors trying to push
farming, etc. They all offer unique ways to do more than just discount the product. “the best new media ever” on you. A lot of those aren’t legit, but a little research
A few quick ideas are: will help you weigh the benefits against the investments.

Events outside of the brand that still share its essence. For instance, Yeah! Burger Think about how your restaurant works and find ones that fit your ecosystem.
gives away tickets to concerts. The artists and venues all represent their brand in Are you ok with a new food delivery service letting people try your food at home?
some way. Is a tech-heavy rewards network beneficial to your bottom line? Would Snapchat
A partnership with an art gallery. Your restaurant features their offerings from a stories reach a new audience that could turn to advocates? They’re all possible
local artist and you have a pop-up kitchen one night at their gallery. extensions of your brand.

BOTTOMLINE Most importantly, stay true to the native media when you adopt it. For example, you
wouldn’t want to post only links to longer articles on Twitter when it’s meant for
short messages in real time.
There are a million ways to extend your brand behind what’s in this playbook.
Know your market, know your brand, and be on the lookout.
There’s always going to be something new. You just have to find the balance
between early adopter and educated marketer.

BOTTOMLINE

The biggest tech in the world was once “emerging.” When you have new
opportunities you’re unsure of, do your research, ask your peers and decide if
it’s a good fit for the story your brand is telling.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 50
7
APPENDIX
APPENDIX

1. EMERGING MEDIA 2. SUGGESTED TOOLS


Local / Mobile Search - Mobile searches are growing 50% faster than web searches, Google Analytics - The most popular web analytics tool is all free and simple to setup.
with mobile devices making up over 50% of web traffic. It’s essential to make sure When building a website, make sure you have Google Analytics or another analytics
your digital pages provide a stellar mobile browsing experience. tool installed to track how people are using your site.

Restaurant Booking Engines - As customers become increasingly connected on mobile Google Search Console - This tool comes with Google Analytics and helps you
devices restaurant booking engines like Opentable, Yelp reservations and Eveve understand what pages and terms people search for to find your website in Google.
will become more popular. Booking engines make it convenient for customers That info can help you write new content or make SEO decisions..
to book a reservation at any time and most integrate with a restaurant’s existing
systems. Moz Local - Having trouble correcting your business info across the web? This tool
cleans it up and removes duplicate listings on Google My Business, Yelp, and
Voice Search and Navigation - This type of interaction goes beyond mobile into homes Facebook.
with so-called “internet-of-things devices.” Soon, individuals will book reservations
seamlessly using digital assistants like “Siri” or “Alexa”. Hootsuite - Monitors and posts on over 35 of the most popular social networks.
A basic account is free. Paid plans offer enhanced analytics and account
management options.

Sprout - A premium all-in-one social tool with all the features you need to track all
your accounts and become a social star.

Buffer - A simple, free social media management platform. Buffer helps you create,
schedule and send posts. It has simple analytics and even helps you find the best
times to post content automatically.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 52
APPENDIX

3. HOW TO HIRE PARTNERS


For most places, finding a talented partner will be a better strategy than doing Warning: Beware of “full service solutions” that promise the world for a couple
it yourself. Don’t jump to the misconception that once a partner is hired there’s hundred dollars a month. They will only do the bare minimum, and won’t create a
nothing else you need to do. Your work will come in the form of reviewing, strategy tailored to your specific restaurant brand. Most aren’t worth the money,
approving, and guiding the public relation firms, social experts, and advertising and you’d be better off doing it yourself.
agencies that wave the flag of your restaurant.
STEPS
Most marketing partners require a monthly retainer over a certain amount of time
that’s usually no less than three months. That investment covers the time spent • F igure out your budget. Do you have the budget to afford the right partner?
on your account across their staff, including account management and creative. Retainers can range in size based on the amount of work that’s requested and
The size of your budget will dictate the size of the team and how much they can get required.
done. Furthermore, production of materials, media, and other costs are extra. For • Study the work they’ve done to date. Do they have strong creative, or is it simply
this reason, hiring a partner can be quite expensive. type slapped on images and holiday hopping? Do they get good engagement on
social channels they manage?
It’s rare to find a full service agency that can do all things well. Specialization • Uncover their level of understanding. Do they understand the nuances of your brand
creates deeper expertise in a certain set of channels like digital, social, and and what makes it different? Did they do some research before coming to the
traditional. This level of knowledge also comes at a price. For this reason, a meeting?
smaller studio may be a good move for the restaurant. • Request the team names and roles for the proposed account. Who will you be getting on
a team for the monthly retainer and what exactly will they be doing? Any good
team will consist of an account executive, art director/designer, copywriter, and
Most areas have small creative studios and agencies that have their finger on a strategist. They will spend ¼ of their time on the account every month.
the pulse of the community. For public relations, a local partner is a mush. The
• A ssess the cultural compatibility. Culture is everything when it comes to working
argument can be made that social media should also come from a local partner.
with a partner. You need to like your team in order to work well together. Do you
You’ll need to assess how much local market understanding the agency has and think they have the expertise you need? Does their culture fit your own? Could
make a decision on the viability of their strategy and approach. you see them in your restaurant?

No matter which way you go, you will have to play an active role in directing your
partner agency on what’s wanted, needed, goals, and metrics/reporting review.
This won’t require as much time as doing things yourself, but you should expect to
spend a few hours a week guiding your team. Outsourcing your marketing won’t
eliminate the need to be involved. You’ll get out what you put in.

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 53
APPENDIX

4. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW AND CITATION WEBSITES


Here are many of the main restaurant review websites around the world. This list Michelin - Well-respected guidebook that’s been published for over 100 years
will get you started before you research the specific sites your local community is around the world. There is currently no way to change info, but it’s important to
using most. No matter which sites you choose, make sure all your restaurant info keep an eye here for any reviews or postings.
is correct and consistent.
Country Specific Directories - Many markets and even cities have their own websites
Google My Business - Important in many markets such as the US, UK, India, Brazil and apps, such as:
and Canada
• Dianping - China • Tabelog - Japan
Facebook - Growing international business pages with reviews and business listings
• Apontador - Brazil • Retty - Japan
TripAdvisor - Important for travelers in almost all countries around the world to find • Yandex City - Russia • Mangoplate - Korea
reviews • OpenRice - Hong Kong

Yelp - Strong in the US, Europe, and internationally due to acquisitions of Qype (EU),
Restaurant-Kritik (DE), and CityVox (FR)

Zomato - Started in India, but expanding internationally with purchase of


Urbanspoon (US), Lunchtime (CZ), Gastronauci (PL), Cibando (IT), Mekanist (TR)

OpenTable - Strong in US and Canada and has expanded internationally with


acquisition of TopTable (UK)

Yellow Pages - Especially strong in Canada and Australia

Zagat - Globally recognized publication and website that lists and reviews
extensively that allows you to update info, but not interact with reviewers

MARKETING PLAYBOOK 54

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