Serving up delicious food with logistical precision requires incredible attention to detail. So much so, that it is easy to dedicate precious hours to daily arrangements rather than long-term business development.
Nonetheless, in this piece I’ll cover the “why’s” and “how’s” of the roles that digital marketing should play in your business if you hope to retain and increase your customer base.
Why use Digital Marketing for Food Delivery Services
People turn to the internet when they want food delivered. Just looking at today’s traffic at 3:40pm, I can see that there have been over 33,000 desktop searches for catering in the US, and about the same amount of searches performed on mobile devices for a total of 66,000.
Digging deeper, there have been over 270,000 searches for “food delivery near me” today when combining desktop and mobile. Google Trends show these queries are consistent day by day, especially during the workweek. We thus know a significant amount of people are actively looking for your service online. If your company isn’t represented in search results, that business is likely being awarded to your competition.
Now you might be wondering if you want to compete with other companies for these (or other) queries. Maybe your small restaurant doesn’t want to compete with a large catering company since you provide a different service. Or perhaps you as a corporate catering company do not want to compete with delivery companies like Uber Eats and Bite Squad, who focus on non-corporate customers, since you are seeking a different persona as a client. There are a number of ways you can hone your digital marketing efforts to target your preferred new customers.
How You Can Utilize Digital Marketing in the Food Delivery Space.
A good starting point is to make sure that your website looks professional and is designed to convert new customers. Your virtual storefront represents your brand, service, and quality of your product. It’s imperative that customers are wowed when they visit your site, and are inspired with confidence that you will be punctual and enjoyable to work with. They need to see beautiful high-resolution pictures of the food that you offer.
Just as important is that that the site guides the customer through the buying process. Providing information where relevant and then having clear, simple calls to action will result in the conversions that you seek. When designing the site, think like a prospective customer: what questions do you have? Are those questions clearly answered? What type of call to action would you be looking for? This could be a phone call, a click of a button, or filling out a form to receive more information. Give the prospect what they want, when they want it.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your website also needs to be designed to show up on organic search results pages. When someone Googles a query, the results page first shows ads, and then sites (“organic”) that Google’s algorithms determine as the most relevant and high-quality. Showing up in organic results does not cost money like the ads do, but it does require time and thought to build up the site’s content and authority. This is a long-game that will not give instant results, but will pay off once cultivated.
A great way of doing this is to blog about topics related to questions that prospective customers might have. Writing a piece on “how to choose a catering company” for example would target a popular query that would bring views to your site and, if done well, produce conversions. A good agency can teach you how to find such subjects and can provide quality copywriters to produce the content.
Paid Search Methods
While your SEO efforts are ramping up, taking advantage of paid placements on search result pages can be a great way to immediately increase conversions. This works by bidding on keywords that your business values. When someone types that keyword(s) in their query, your ad is listed based on the search engine’s assessment of your keyword bid amount and your ad’s relevance and quality.
A good agency utilizes many tools to find the most valuable keywords to your business that don’t just drive clicks, but actual conversions with quality customers that you are looking for. And they continuously optimize this process to increase your conversions and decrease costs over time. For more on this check out our article on the process behind successful Paid Search campaigns.
Social Media and Reputation Management
It’s always a good idea to have a presence on social media and in the food service industry this is especially true. The platform can be used to capture new customers, increase brand awareness, build customer loyalty, get referral business, and spread your good reputation. It’s also a fun way to show off your delicious-looking food.
Social media is incredibly widespread, with almost 3 billion users worldwide. The platforms gather an incredible amount of personal information of their users which makes for a marketer’s dream. It’s also one of the cheapest advertising methods which is why it is extremely valuable. To learn more about how to assess, prioritize, and set up your social media marketing, see our article (or webinar!) here.
Adopting new methods and technology can sometimes be overwhelming. Hopefully this piece inspires you to grow your business in a new, more efficient way that inspires excitement and a strong tide of new customers.