Competition in the restaurant industry has been fierce as of late. For consumers, the industry has never boasted more variety or quality (thanks in large part to the complex palates of Millennials). Yet, despite increased menu options, local food sourcing and unique flavor combinations, restaurant sales are dwindling. Brands are caught between cutting their advertising budgets to reflect lower foot traffic and fighting to maintain their share of voice.
Many restaurant owners are quick to contribute lower foot traffic to harsh weather conditions, particularly in winter. While the influence of weather on consumer behavior cannot be denied, neither can restaurant industry trends like increased competition in the marketplace.
The bad news: Industry trends indicate increasing competition is to blame for lower traffic. Weather… not so much.
The good news: You have control when it comes to your share of voice within the highly competitive restaurant industry. (Which is actually great news because you have absolutely zero authority over the weather).
5 Ways to Grow Share of Voice Despite Competition in the Restaurant Industry
After a long winter of tightening the purse strings, it’s time to get a plan in place to keep (or earn) your share of voice.
1. Create Memorable Content
Consumers are exposed to as many as 10,000 branded messages per day. That’s a lot of noise to cut through, especially when you consider that only about 100 of those messages will be recalled.
What’s more, people talk about captivating content. And that’s what share of voice is all about – the percentage of conversations about your brand compared to competitors.
When writing shareable content, focus on providing value to your audience – In addition to design and readability, content that starts conversation provides value in the form of information, entertainment or inspiration.
2. Consider Underutilized Content Formats and Channels
If, for example, the majority of your competitors are blogging, you may want to consider alternate content formats such as infographics or videos to tell your brand’s story.
Similarly, many restaurants utilize channels like radio and email to reach their target customers. Explore other content channels like direct mail or a company blog to reach them in a space with less noise. You’re more likely to be one of those 100 recalled messages, leading to the ultimate goal of top-of-mind awareness.
3. Focus on Quality over Quantity
Marketing automation software makes it possible to publish content pretty much constantly. And the more content you publish, the more engagement you’ll see from consumers, right?
Not necessarily. If you hit consumers with 10 pieces of content and nine of them flop, you’ve essentially trained your audience to ignore you.
Establishing a regular deployment frequency ensures you don’t overwhelm your audience or lose their interest.
4. Partner with Influencers
Partnering with the right influencers – people in your industry whose opinion consumers trust – can bring credibility to your brand. And when people trust the information they’re consuming, they are more likely to share it and talk about it.
5. Actively Engage with Customers Online
From blog comments to customer service complaints, your target audience is talking to you online. Be sure to thank them for sharing, compliment user-generated content and offer solutions when addressing negative customer feedback.
You’ll build your brand’s reputation and ultimately, your share of voice.
When it comes down to it, improving share of voice amongst high competition in the restaurant industry is all about delighting your customer. Improve your content and your share of voice is sure to follow.
Ready to develop quality content with a purpose? We’re standing by to help!