What was it that we have said about internet marketing? We have said aplenty, really. We have emphasized the fact that internet marketing is the future, leaving us with no time to dilly-dally a bit longer. It is the most effective, knowing that more than half of our target market access the internet and make use of smart phones. And more importantly, it is the most cost-efficient. Digital marketing can dramatically increase the number of diners who would visit your restaurant even if your advertising budget is harshly crimped by sluggish business. And if you have done all that has been enumerated – getting listed online, creating a website, building social media pages, sending direct emails – we want to ask something else. Have you tried making videos?
Producing short videos can drive traffic to your restaurant, with creativity, careful experimentation and a bit of subversion. I came across an article where a restaurant executive of a London-based Bombay restaurant conceptualized a home-produced video that drove traffic to their website in time for Valentine’s Day. His restaurant’s team didn’t want to go for the traditional and romantic as most of them find the idea of love-hearts a bit overworked, so they brain-stormed into doing something lighthearted. They thought of using an old Indian legend of Valentine’s, made use of dolls (yes, Barbie and Ken) and came up with a somewhat zany “Valentines Day,” the name picked up from an Indian term used in the legend. And it worked!
Funny and crazy as it may seemed, on the boundary of being outrageous, even, but their clip went viral two weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, and they were able to fill out their floors when the occasion arrived, their chefs in elegant chef aprons got themselves really busy preparing the dishes they needed. You can read the restaurant executive’s account, who has an MBA from Harvard Business School, in The Blackboard.net’s blog, and you can watch the clip, too.
So how does it work? How do we come up with great videos for restaurant marketing?
First thing to remember: it does not have to be expensive—the restaurant executive only spent £50. People do not expect a Hollywood production, and all you really need is a handheld camera and a handheld microphone, plus an ounce of creativity.
Be able to express yourself. People go to restaurants for R&R most of the time – to laugh, enjoy, relax and have fun. Reflect this in your video, making sure that the overall quality –lights and sounds in consideration—is enjoyable on top of being watchable.
Keep it short and sweet. You wouldn’t be able to drive your message across if the video is too lengthy—your target market will not have the time to finish it. Keep it at two minutes long, and focus on one topic per video. It would be perfect if you can your contact details, especially your web address, at the end of the video.
Be creative. Don’t limit your video concepts to simple recipes that your chefs in their chef aprons have. Get your team to brainstorm on ideas and conceptualize. Consider funny anecdotes, taking on the unique aspects of the world of restaurants. Think of a clip that could go viral on the net.
And lastly, promote it! Upload it on your website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, even at review sites. If your viewers like it, they themselves will forward it to their friends.