The restaurant industry is ideal for the online marketing world, as people love to see images and watch videos where food is front and centre, and if they can also come down and taste what’s on display on social media and your site, you can bet your customer base will soon increase.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at four creative ways that budding restaurateurs can do to market their restaurant to online customers:

Email Newsletters with Discount Codes

People love freebies and discounts, especially if they come from restaurants that are on their doorstep. When you’re setting up your website, consider using email marketing techniques such as newsletters and discount codes to deliver good news and discounts direct to your customers who have subscribed. You can offer discounts on Valentine’s, Mother and Father’s Day, and anything else on the calendar that may pique the interest of your customers and have them booking a table ASAP.

Create Gift Certificates to Sell in Store

Gift certificates always make a great birthday or Christmas gift for somebody, especially if they’re a fan of food or of your restaurant in particular. You can make your own gift certificate without too much trouble these days, and sell them from your front counter and via your website. They are a great way to market your business without having to spend a lot of time and money, as the customers who give them out will be spreading the word for you, and bringing business your way as a result.

Start a YouTube Channel

There are YouTube channels for everything these days, and they get a ridiculously high amount of hits. The restaurant industry is perfect for a YouTube channel because the food looks amazing on camera, and you can find many fun and creative ways to showcase your business through the medium of film, including recipes videos, how-to guides, tours of the business and short vlogs about your business and your views on the industry. Video is the most immediate way of connecting with customers, and they can reach a large online audience – all of which will soon be hungry.

Competitions on Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, and having a Facebook page for your business should be number one on the agenda after getting a website. However, not everybody knows how to engage with their followers on Facebook beyond writing news, posting photos and menus.

Competitions are a superb and creative way of marketing your restaurant because it engages your social media followers into taking action. You could post a question, and give the first person to get the right answer a free drink or entree. Or you could give out a riddle that enables anybody who books a table and gives the correct answer in the booking form access to a ‘Secret’ specials menu.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s fun and engaging, so that your Facebook fans will get involved and share it with their family and friends. The more people who see these posts, the larger your fan base will get, and the more likely they will be to book a table with you.