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Zooming in on Video to Elevate Your Restaurant Marketing




They say we eat with our eyes first, and when it comes to visually engaging and sharing content with customers, video speaks louder than words.


Whether you plan on creating consistent content for social media, want to make a great impression on your website, or you’re looking to take your restaurant marketing to the next level, video is a great option.


The restaurant business is the perfect subject for creating engaging content. After all, what's more visually appealing than a beautifully plated dish?


Video marketing and restaurants go together like wine and cheese, and while there are plenty of angles you can take when creating a video marketing strategy for your restaurant, first and foremost, it's essential to produce content that is relevant to your customer's needs.



How powerful is video marketing?


Studies show that the public wants to see more videos from local businesses because it gives them greater insight and it makes the establishment seem more transparent and trustworthy. This holds especially true for restaurants, especially in these days of delivery when customers want to get an upfront and personal view of the food they’ll be receiving at their front door.


Effective restaurant videos can entice diners with mouthwatering videography that will keep your restaurant at top of your customer’s minds.


Leveraging the power of video marketing for your restaurant will give you a better shot at attracting hungry diners while stepping over the competition.


Think about your prospective customers on a Friday at work. They’ve been working hard all week and they start researching where to order or where to make reservations for their weekly date night with their spouse. They view several videos while choosing where to eat. Shouldn’t yours be one of them?


Stats to consider:

  • 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support

  • 50% of internet users look for a video before even going to a physical store

  • 80% of internet users believed a demonstration video helped them decide on where to spend their money.

  • Video on landing pages increases conversions by 86%.




What is video marketing, and how can it help your restaurant?


Video marketing refers to any use of video to promote your brand. Whether on your website, on social media, through paid internet ads, or on broadcast television spots, video marketing can be any use of this visual medium that promotes your business.


Video is an effective way for restaurants to build their brand and connect with customers because:

  • Video content is more shareable. Video content is shared 1,200% more than text and links combined!

  • Video content is more memorable. People absorb and retain information from video content more deeply than written or audio content.

  • Your customer expects it. Because customers expect brands to create content and customer engagement online is now firmly established as a vital part of any marketing strategy, you've got to reach people where they are with the content they genuinely want.

  • Video content is engaging. Video is a way to concisely deliver a lot of information while keeping your audience engaged.



How to use video to promote your restaurant effectively


The most effective way to use video in your restaurant marketing is to get into your customers’ mindset and think about the decision process when choosing a restaurant.


Questions to ask yourself to get in tune with your customers:


  • Is your location advantageous?

  • What’s your restaurant’s ambiance?

  • What is the inspiration behind your cuisine?

  • Do you use family recipes?

  • Does the decor match the cuisine?

  • Do you have a policy for sustainability or fair trade?

  • Do you consider food waste?

  • Do you serve farm-to-table?

  • Do you use cloth napkins and tablecloths?

  • Do you offer a take-out or delivery service?

  • Where did your chef receive their training?

  • Do you have a secret ingredient?

  • Do you serve cuisine that's unusual in your area?


Take a look at your list of questions and think about what answers will be most attractive and most relevant to your customers. Now think about which of these answers will translate best visually. That’s a good place to begin your content strategy for your video.



Tips for Making Better Videos


Producing videos is a great way to market your restaurant and bring in new loyal fans. Have fun with your videos and show off the best your restaurant has to offer. A well-made video highlights your customers, puts a spotlight on your staff, and portrays your chef and management in the best light possible. Even a single, high-quality video that highlights one of your best dishes can be an excellent marketing tool.



When it comes to creating a video for your restaurant, here are 5 strategies to use the medium to your advantage.


#1: Be Authentic


Don't pretend your establishment is something it isn't. If your restaurant is a casual diner, don't try to look like a fine dining establishment. Don't act like you’re a sustainable business if you don’t source locally. If you don't have a kids' menu, don’t try to come off as a family-friendly spot. Believable videos get more shares, so consider your target audience and what tone speaks to them.



#2: Tell Your Story


Create a video that shows off your personality and dream for the restaurant. Where did you get your start and who started the restaurant? Talk about any struggles in the beginning and how you've overcome them. Don't be afraid to tell a few funny stories that reveal the behind-the-scenes of your company culture. Bloopers and outtakes can often be the most authentic backstory you can tell.


#3: Focus on Local Patrons


Though it might be tempting to reach out to folks in other parts of the world on a global platform like YouTube, focusing on driving local traffic to your restaurant first should be your priority. You can always expand into global markets and target travelers to your city by posting videos on travel websites, but local residents are the backbone of your restaurant.




#4: Use 360-Degree Views


If someone viewed your food in person, the experience would be in 3-D, so it makes the most sense for the videos you shoot to be the same. Choose dishes with the brightest colors and most palatable textures and show them from a 360-degree video view. Allow the viewer to see the steam rising from your pasta. Capture the chef pouring a rich, creamy sauce over a steak. And show the dish from all sides and from the top.


#5: Keep It Short


The ideal length of a video varies, depending upon the platform.


Video length should be:

Instagram — 30 seconds

Twitter — 45 seconds

Facebook — 60 seconds

YouTube — 2 minutes


Content is key when it comes to marketing and if you’re thinking of taking your restaurant marketing to the next level, using video to promote your restaurant, consider the following ideas:



#1: Interview Your Chef


Your menu is the star of your restaurant and your chef is the driving force behind your menu. Let people know about your chef by interviewing them on video. By giving your website visitors and social media followers an inside look into the life of your chef, you personalize your restaurant and make people want to visit.


Craft a strategy by creating a series of short videos with your chefs. These could be in question-and-answer format, highlights of favorite recipes, or cooking tips. Take it a step further by creating virtual masterclasses. Personalize your chef by asking questions about where they received their training, what chefs they admire, and what family or cultural influences have played a part in their passion for cooking.



#2. Customer Testimonials


When it comes to marketing tactics, customer testimonials have enormous impact. People tend to trust what others have to say over what the business says about itself, even if they don't personally know the reviewer.


Choose some of your regular customers who already love your establishment and dine there often. Ask them if they'd be interested in providing a video testimonial. In addition to reaching potential customers through video marketing, your regular customers will likely share their video interviews with their family and friends.




#3: “How-To” Videos


While giving away your secret recipes isn’t the best idea, it is a good idea to share some of your restaurant’s favorite tips and tricks for cooking.


These short instructional videos can offer tips on how to do things in the kitchen like knife skills, how to use equipment, and how to measure; favorite kitchen utensils and brands; and recipe tutorials. Do you have an interesting technique you’ve discovered that makes for the best pizza dough? Or does your bartender make margaritas that are to die for?


Creative videos full of tips and tricks set your restaurant up as the expert in your community. Encourage your followers to share some of their favorite tricks as well and soon you will have established a community and an ongoing social media conversation, grabbing more followers each day.



#4: Customer Videos


Another creative way to use video marketing is by creating a restaurant “home video” featuring your customers.


While you can simply walk around interviewing guests while they’re eating, you can also be more strategic. Come up with daily customer questions – they can be funny or a little bit more serious. One video could showcase everyone’s favorite food at your restaurant. Another could be something unrelated to food, like a light-hearted video focusing on local sports heroes or even the crazy weather. Just be sure to get your customer’s permission before bringing a camera to the table and have them sign a release if you plan to use the video in your marketing.


#5: Menu Item Videos


Another intriguing video idea is showcasing individual menu items. If you deliver or cater, feature some of your most popular off-premise items. Start videoing as your food delivery trucks arrive at home. Then, move to a clip of your staff unloading the items for the specific menu item. You could then edit in reactions from your customers.



#6: Day in the Life Videos


Use videos to market your restaurant’s upbeat working environment to potential employees. Create a video following the day-to-day lives of your sous chef, servers, delivery drivers, or cleaning staff highlighting the parts that prospective employees would find most interesting.


Get creative with staff videos by asking questions like, “What’s your favorite part about working here?” or “Who’s the funniest kitchen staff member to work with?” Posting them on different social media sites like Instagram and Facebook can boost organic visibility, meaning you don’t have to pay to sponsor a marketing post.


#7: Restaurant Tour Videos


Provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how your restaurant operates and gives our back-of-house staff and chance to shine. Make your audience feel special by showing them what happens behind those kitchen doors. Kitchen staff rarely interact with the customers, so use video to help foster a connection.



#8: Local Event Recaps


Does your restaurant participate in a food truck festival? Was your restaurant one of the caterers at a local charitable event or marathon? Create a recap video and highlight your participation. This is not just an opportunity to involve your customers who may have attended the event, they might share it on their social media pages.





How to Create Videos to Market Your Restaurant


Do it Yourself


Studies have shown that of the 64% of consumers who make a purchase after watching a branded social media video, 50% of them are watching this content on Facebook, so creating videos optimized for mobile viewing is a must. Your restaurant marketing videos don’t need to be produced by a paid professional or shot on expensive equipment. A smartphone is all you need.

Take advantage of the many free tools available to create and post your videos at a professional level.


Video Software

#1: iMovie

If you use an iOS device, iMovie, free software that you can use to edit your videos, add interesting audio, and export it as a compatible file, is helpful and simple to use. The only thing you need to access this powerful tool is an iPad, iPhone, or other Apple device.


#2: Adobe Premiere Clip

In order to use Adobe Premiere Clip, you’ll need to sign up for an Adobe account. Premiere Clip lets you select media files stored on your device, in a Dropbox account, or within Adobe’s Creative Cloud accounts, and creates an automatic video montage. Adobe Premiere Clip is compatible with iOS and Android devices.

#3: Quik

Quik is a free application that’s compatible with iOS, Android, and Samsung devices. It can also directly import video from GoPros as well as Motion Photos, making it a powerful tool for even the least experienced videographers.

#5: Lumen5

Lumen5 is an online video maker that can be used to create social posts, stories, and ads for your restaurant. They’ll even help make design decisions and suggestions for future content and no prior experience with video editing is needed.




Video Hardware

#1: Smartphone

Creating restaurant marketing videos can seem like a daunting task that should be left to professionals with high-tech camera equipment, but today’s smartphones are fully capable of shooting high-quality videos that can help elevate your restaurant marketing.


#2: Phone tripod

For less than $30, you can purchase a phone tripod that’s compatible with any smartphone. Create professional videos directly from your phone, without the natural shaking of the human hand.



#3: Lighting

Proper lighting on food makes all the difference in the world. If you’re willing to expand your budget, consider purchasing lights to give your restaurant video marketing an extra touch. For just $100 you can get a professional-grade DIY light kit but for less than $20 you can purchase a video light ring on Amazon.




Video Production Platforms


If producing your own video content seems a bit overwhelming, or if you just want help taking your strategy up a notch, companies like Promo.com are there to help.


Promo.com is a video creation platform that helps users supercharge their online presence using their affordable video maker that makes it easy to create professional videos in minutes.

Make videos that require zero professional knowledge. With Promo’s suite of tools, everything you need to create video content is easily accessible. Your custom video can be ready in minutes and in just a few clicks.


How video can make your restaurant stand out


Foodies today love to share every aspect of their palate-pleasing experiences. Whether it’s a perfect finger-licking chicken wing added to an Instagram story or a flaky croissant placed beside a latte and uploaded to Twitter, to ensure your restaurant stands out, you need to rise above the loud social media noise.


Restaurant videos are quick and easy to create using video clips. By combining your own personalized food images with their wide range of coffee, brewery, and fast-food video clips, music clips, and royalty-free images with their easy-to-use video editor, you’ll be good to go!


A well-made video can bring tremendous value to your restaurant and increase engagement with your business on social media. To breed brand loyalty and gain followers, it is critical to capture the attention of your prospective and existing customers and evoke emotion. To do this, you need engaging content.




Where to post your videos



#1: Homepage/landing page


The first and most obvious place to showcase your video is on your homepage. Studies show that videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%.



#2: YouTube


Whether you're planning on investing in paid ads, or you want to commit to a video content strategy and create a video content channel, there are plenty of statistics to suggest that YouTube is the place to do it. After uploading your video to YouTube, it can then be embedded into blogs, emails, articles, and on your online menu.



#3: Social Media


Videos make great content for your followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Don't forget to pin your video so that it's the first thing people see when visiting your page. Facebook and Instagram stories are also a great way to share your video.



Take away


If creating videos for your restaurant marketing seemed a bit overwhelming in the past, using these tips and strategies can help anyone be a video producer. Zooming in on the tools already around you, such as your staff, your menu, and your smartphone is all you need to be fully equipped to create great restaurant videos that will take your marketing to the next level.






By Eileen Strauss

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