With months of closures, thousands of restaurants forced to halt operations, millions of workers unemployed, and billions in lost revenue, the COVID-19 pandemic has arguably been the foodservice industry’s greatest challenge to date.
Today, the challenges continue, and as the restaurant industry works to reshape the new normal, they must adopt modern and creative ways of thinking and operating. In some cases, businesses already have and will continue to reinvent themselves and employ entirely new business models. It is the only way that they will survive.
With this in mind, we take a look at what restaurants should be thinking about moving forward. What can businesses do internally and externally to ensure that they are on the road to recovery? How can they ensure that customers are left feeling safe, satisfied, and engaged?
Below we discuss a few elements that restaurants should consider as they work on refining or redefining the business.
Support Local Businesses
You’ve likely heard of the term “influencer marketing”; a practice whereby small and large scale businesses from E-commerce, business-to-business, or business-to-consumer can connect with audiences through influential people aka influencers or content creators.
More often than not, influencer marketing is an integral part of a marketing strategy and has become an accessible and highly effective way for businesses to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and boost sales.
Many campaigns focus on incorporating macro-influencers with large followings ranging from 10,000-1 Million+. These influencers are excellent and have the ability to reach a large audience, but they are not the only ones who can influence human behaviour, especially on a more granular, local level.
At Blue Door, we strive to incorporate micro-influencers into nearly every campaign we run because we strongly believe in their ability to connect organically especially with a local audience. Here are some other reasons why we highly recommend you incorporate micro-influencers into your next marketing campaign!
High Engagement Rates
Micro-influencers are identified as those who have a following of roughly 10,000 to 100,000 people. Although they possess a more modest following, we can assure you that the power in small numbers should not be underestimated.
Influencers with smaller followings can often be the most impactful. For instance, micro-influencers possess some of the most dedicated, hyper-engaged followings as they can connect and respond to their audience through the use of comments or DMs directly, frequently, and instantaneously. This is how real, meaningful connections are made.
A recent study conducted by Marketly, showed that as an influencer's following rises, their engagement rate, with respect to comments and likes, decreases. Furthermore, individuals with 1,000 followers generally receive likes 8% of the time whereas, users with 10million+ followers received likes 1.6% of the time.
Micro-influencers are well-known for documenting very specific areas of interest and can be viewed as experts in that particular niche. The result? The ability to attract and reach a defined audience that possesses similar interests.
Furthermore, because they tend to hold a strong connection and affinity toward the brands they promote, they continue to gain the trust of their audience and therefore, are used as a resource when it comes to new product launches, industry news, trends, and more.
Room for Collaboration
Influencer marketing provides both businesses and content creators with a great amount of freedom and creative expression. After all, it is a partnership and each party should have a voice in the matter and feel as though they are contributing to the success of the campaign.
Beyond the typical paid partnership, product-for-post, or commission-based structure, consider going even further and developing a custom experience, product, or service. There’s no limit as to what can be accomplished.
It’s important to keep in mind that each party involved brings a unique set of skills, experiences, perspectives, and networks, which the campaign could largely benefit from. Use this to your advantage!
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that influencers are providing a valuable and immeasurable service to companies. One that requires time, effort, and in some cases, money.
With that in mind, compensation should always be provided. Period. However, compensation doesn't always equate to monetary exchange and instead, can be customizable and include complimentary product-for-post, complimentary product for 1 year, commission-based sales, complementary %15 for a lifetime, and more. There’s certainly room for negotiation!
Long-Term Partnership Opportunities
When it comes down to it, most influencers and businesses are seeking to achieve a very similar goal; to develop a brand and increase its awareness with its target audience.
When you have the opportunity to partner with an influencer who possesses the same objectives as you, the growth opportunities are endless. Beyond that, you have the opportunity to grow together and develop a relationship that will last far longer, and be much more impactful, than a one-off partnership.
Blue Door is a public relations, digital marketing, and design agency based in Toronto. We pride ourselves on being a modern agency with a sophisticated approach to marketing. As an award-winning agency, we have earned the trust of major organizations across the country in virtually every sector from hotels to healthcare.
Interested in influencer marketing but don’t know where to start? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-854-5594 and our team would be happy to set up an introductory call or meeting to discuss!
About the Author:
As a Public Relations Account Lead, Anneliese focuses predominantly on media relations, while also managing day-to-day client communication, influencer campaigns, partnership opportunities, strategy development, and event coordination and support.