The fashion industry is booming thanks to influencer marketing, bloggers and social media. In this article, I’m going to explain how your restaurant, bar or hospitality business can also take advantage of bloggers. If you want to specifically learn about influencers head on over to my influencer blog.
Why would you want to work with bloggers? I see three main reasons:
- A backlink to your website which helps with SEO (if their blog is credible).
- Influencer marketing
- A review that potential customers might read and be directed by
Working with bloggers
Right, I’m going to make an assumption that most people don’t read food blogs accept big food fans. Your restaurant’s customers are mostly going to be the general public, who while enjoy food and eating out won’t be reading food blogs.
Therefore, this article isn’t about getting onto food blogs. While the backlink (if the website is credible) is helpful, it’s not going to give you exposure. What will give you more exposure is working with lifestyle bloggers who have a bigger following and will be more specific to your target audience.
I’ll give you three examples.
- Imagine you own a very chic restaurant or bar, and your target market is 25 to 35-year olds who love fashion and fine entertainment. As I said before, it’s unlikely much of this target market will hang around food blogs. They will however, follow and read the blogs of lifestyle and fashion influencers. Therefore, fashion influencers with lifestyle blogs are your target bloggers. They’re the ones you want to work with.
- Imagine you own a high protein takeaway for health, fitness, body builders and other sports professionals. You sell healthy food packed with all the goodness your body needs to be a high-performance person. Again, you’re not going to want to target food bloggers, you’re going to want to work with fitness and sports bloggers.
- Imagine you own a family food establishment that specialises in catering for those who want to eat out with young children. You’re going to want to target mum and dad bloggers, because that’s where your target audience is going to be.
The important thing here is understanding your target market and then understanding who they follow and what they read. This isn’t hard to do, it just takes a little thought and research.
How to find bloggers
You’re only going to want to work with bloggers who appeal to your customers and live in the same city as your restaurant and bar. Think about it, it’s going to be difficult and expensive to get a blogger to travel all the way to your restaurant if they live halfway across the country. If you’ve got the money and you think that blogger will give you a return on investment. Then by all means go for it. But to make your life easier let’s first focus on bloggers in your local area.
As an example, let’s use the restaurant and bar that is chic and glamous, based in London and targeting 25 to 35-year old fashion-conscious women. A quick Google search such as ‘The Best Fashion Bloggers in London’ results in articles showing the top fashion bloggers in London. These articles give the names of the bloggers and links to their blogs.
Having fashion bloggers come to your restaurant and bar taking photographs with their friends. Writing an account of their experience on their blog and social media is going to give you far more relevant exposure to your target audience. The backlinks are also going to help your search engine rankings.
Good bloggers are truthful and only promote products and services they believe their audience will genuinely love. You can’t force a blogger to give you a good review and you shouldn’t see your offer of a free meal as a bribe. You want the blogger to be truthful because the review will be better, authenticity wins. Also, you want your restaurant and bar to actually be good, nothing less. No blogger is going to get you repeat custom if your service isn’t up to standard.
How to contact bloggers
Bloggers always have contact details, such as an email address, contact forms or social media accounts, so the bloggers are very easy to reach.
Contacting bloggers is just a matter of emailing them with an offer. Depending on how established the blogger is will depend on what they’ll want in order to work with you.
When you contact them be direct, so they understand your offer clearly, such as a free meal and drinks for them and a specific number of guests, or a free meal plus payment.
An example email could be:
Expect lots of rejection and being ignored – depending on your establishment and offer. If a blogger does get back to you, start to build a relationship with them and treat them well. For the record, building a relationship with them doesn’t mean trying to make them your best friend over a few email exchanges. It means building a working relationship, so you both benefit from the partnership.
Have realistic expectations. The blogger will need to come and visit your establishment when they are free, and when their dinning party is free. They also need to write the blog and they might not do it the day after the experience. The whole process can take time.
The above is a lot of work, especially when you add it to all your other marketing duties. Never mind your operational duties. Therefore, if you’re not specifically working in marketing and you don’t have the time, it’ll probably be more economical for you to outsource this work to a marketing agency. However, you can do this yourself if you have time.