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Why Should Restaurants Work with Bloggers and How to Choose Them?

[ BLOG ]

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Why has influencer marketing (a method of promoting a product through opinion leaders) been gaining momentum recently? Because people trust other people more than just advertising layouts, which were also created by people, but it's unclear who exactly was behind them. With influencer marketing, you open Instagram and see a person, their profile description, follower count, blog theme and design, writing style, lifestyle, friends, principles, and values. And it becomes immediately clear: is this person relatable to you, are you willing to listen to their advice as if you received a recommendation from a close friend?

You need guests who specifically want to come to your establishment, not just any place along the way. You have a target audience that you value, and all your improvements are made for them, right? Bloggers are the same. They also create content = a product for their followers.

In this article, we will talk about the development of restaurant marketing through collaboration with bloggers.
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How to Find Points of Intersection?

To start, write down the goal of reaching out to a blogger. Do you want to create demand for your new café or bakery, increase brand awareness, launch a promotion and quickly sell products, or promote a new menu? When you understand your goal, it's easier to choose the right person for the job.

Pay attention to the blogger's account specifics in terms of their interests. If you offer pizza delivery across the city without strict target audience criteria, you can approach a blogger with any theme, but the main thing is that they should be an opinion leader in your city. Why do you need a blogger with a million followers across the country if you only deliver pizza in one city? You will overpay for meaningless reach and get almost nothing in return.

Therefore, always look not only at the number of followers but also at the average number of likes, views, and comments on each post. A blogger might have 100,000 followers but only get 10 likes per post, which indicates they either have bots, business accounts, or very few "real" followers, yet their advertising prices will correspond to an audience of 100,000. This makes the partnership ineffective.
If you have a vegetarian restaurant, you shouldn’t promote it among bloggers who eat meat. Look for yogis, models, designers, singers, or any other prominent personalities who support this lifestyle. Their Instagram audience likely shares the same values, increasing the chance that these online followers will become guests at your offline restaurant. However, remember that it's not worth spending on a blogger whose followers are worldwide if your restaurant is in a local city. Look for similar personalities in your city, even if they have only 3,000 followers, as the conversion rate will be much higher. Plus, this advertising campaign will cost less.

If you have a chain of restaurants nationwide and the budget allows for collaboration with bloggers who have millions of followers, choose someone who aligns closely with you, your restaurant concept, and the brand as a whole.

If you currently have a chain of cafes and restaurants in one city or region, stick to medium and small-scale bloggers. For instance, a local band singer with 20,000 Instagram followers actively runs his blog. You might even know him personally since most weddings are held at your restaurant, and he often performs at these events. So why not start a collaboration and promote your new menu through his profile? Trust will be high since his page will likely have previous content tagged at your location, and the audience will include clients, future customers, partners, and competitors. Yes, other restaurants might approach him after such a post, but he certainly won't post weekly ads from different restaurants, or he'll lose his audience. You have the chance to be the first partner with the prospect of a long-term collaboration.

So, you’ve decided to work with bloggers, chosen the right one in terms of format and scale, now what?
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Next Steps for Working with a Blogger

  1. Check the Quality of the Audience: Request and review the blogger’s audience statistics report before starting the advertising campaign.
  2. Choose the Right Interaction Format: Consider options such as a private party, a tasting event with the chef, or delivering a dish.
  3. Establish a Clear Dialogue: Communicate effectively with the blogger so they understand your goals, tasks, and the mechanics of the advertising campaign, ensuring everything is executed as planned.
  4. Organize Operations Optimally: Prepare your establishment for the blogger's visit, ensuring they know they are expected and creating a pleasant experience for them.
  5. Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Interaction: Measure the results of the campaign. Every action should be quantified, even if it leads to negative outcomes, to understand its impact.
These steps may seem simple, but each involves numerous details that can influence the entire advertising campaign. You can achieve great results or risk negative publicity, which can be costly and damaging to your reputation and profits. The ultimate goal of any business action is to increase profit, and marketing and working with bloggers are no exceptions. Moreover, working with bloggers doesn’t always require a large budget. Minimal investments can yield significant reach, and the results of these well-planned actions will be reflected in your revenue.

Development of Promotional Tools

We would also like to add a few words about the development of marketing and promotional tools. Every year, new means of promoting the restaurant business emerge, and most of them go through the same "evolutionary stages":
  1. Initial Stage: The tool is generally unclear (i.e., no one understands how to use it to promote restaurants) but is very effective.
  2. Early Adoption Stage: After a while, most people understand how to use it, but it is not yet widely adopted. Therefore, high effectiveness is still maintained.
  3. Mass Adoption Stage: The tool starts being used by almost everyone in the market. As a result, the price increases, and the effectiveness decreases.
  4. Maturity or Decline Stage: Eventually, the tool stagnates (in terms of price and effectiveness) or dies out.
Currently, working with bloggers is in its second evolutionary stage in the restaurant business – the effectiveness is still enormous, and the cost of this tool is often minimal. You can either adopt this tool now, while it is at the peak of its effectiveness, or wait until it transitions to the third stage of evolution. The choice is always yours, but it seems clear what the right decision is. If you want to learn more about how to work with bloggers, basic communication scripts, and visual examples, then leave a request for a free consultation with WGG advertising agency.
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