The trick to restaurant marketing using YouTube is providing content that customers value and keeping your restaurant in the background. Beware of creating only YouTube videos that actively sell your restaurant in a context where customers don’t want to hear about how great your restaurant is. YouTube rarely works if you are pitching to customers. There are some exceptions, such as with special events. In this case, visuals matter just as much as taste and customers want to see what your restaurant looks like decked out for a party. Surely, once you build up a library of content that informs and entertains your customers, you can include videos that highlight particular parts of your restaurant. This works now because after customers see the initial content, they may become curious about your restaurant and who you are. The following video (it’s on the long side) is a rundown of different resources once you decide upon the content of your video.

Don’t let directly selling your restaurant interfere with the content your viewer is seeking (as they may just tune out). If you provide valuable and interesting content, customers make the connection all on their own. All you need to do is plug your restaurant much as guests on late night talk shows. It becomes pointless however if you neglect to inform viewers of your restaurant. Most times, a quick introduction of your restaurant will accomplish this like when after someone introduces the topic of the video, the video cuts an quick exterior shot of wherever it’s taking place, which is your restaurant. Let’s go over exactly what video content will launch your YouTube marketing.

  1. Cooking Show
    People are addicted to the Food Channel. But the Food Channel does not necessarily satisfy a customer when they are looking to make a particular dish. Frequently, you’ll find people looking for cooking help on YouTube, and if the dish is part of your cuisine, it gives you an opportunity to connect with customers and build your brand. Certainly, unless the video becomes extremely popular, you may not get many people who live near your restaurant searching for your video’s content through YouTube. But it might make visitors to your website curious, along with those who come across it on your blog, Facebook and Twitter. A high view count and a good like to dislike ratio definitely make your video look more attractive to those customers and encourage them to check it out. Don’t be afraid to put up posts on Facebook and Twitter when you reach certain milestone with the number of views (such as 1,000 or 10,000 etc.). One tip: successful videos tend to be shorter as normally people don’t want to invest a ton of time to online videos. So you should definitely cut the video to only include the relevant information.
  2. Tour of the Kitchen
    Customers love action and in a restaurant, action happens in the kitchen. A busy night or an event could be a great way to give your customers access to your restaurant. You should definitely find a more specific angle for a video, such as following an order as it progresses through the kitchen. In this type of video, having a little storyline will help keep your customer’s attention.
  3. Buying Food
    Many restaurant owners, chefs or managers are knowledgeable in deciphering the highest quality food whether its fish or vegetables. As many customers buy the same foods, this creates an opportunity for customers to see exactly how to determine quality from mediocre. Besides, anyone who has any understanding of the kitchen knows that your food is only as good as your ingredients.
  4. Neighborhood Events
    A surefire way to capture people in your area is to cover a popular event and how it connects to your restaurant. For example, a restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans should definitely have a video about Mardi Gras, especially as many tourists know little about the local restaurants. Of course, filming your restaurants participation ties yourself to an event and gives customers’ dining options they didn’t know they had.
  5. Customers, Chef or Staff Interviews
    I don’t mean testimonials, but life stories or amazing experiences. Frequently, restaurants have a regular customer with an interesting and inspiring life story. By featuring something like that, you bind yourself with your community. Sometimes, you can find it in your kitchen or amongst your staff. This kind of video should be the least commercial because their power is in how you humanize people connected with your restaurant. Some restaurants employ musicians on a regular basis. Frequently, these musicians are willing to share their performances, their musical process and their story. With sufficient skills and time, you may even be able to fuse the three together.
  6. Historical Journeys
    Historical restaurants benefit from highlighting how the restaurant has lasted but things have changed over the years. Including interviews of older people who lived when the area was different stimulates customers imagination. However, it is important that you never solely focus on the restaurant forgetting about the larger context of the neighborhood or the time period. Perhaps the menu has changed. Surely, the prices have. The customers may have evolved over the generation, but maybe they haven’t. Grandchildren may sit in the same booth as their grandparents. In telling the story, let it be about the customers just as much as it is about the owner.
  7. Stunts and Events
    Some restaurants grow through being the center of attention. They have promotions that are highly unusual and many times they can motivate customers to do funny or strange things. If this fits with the brand, a video is a way to make the buzz last. For more upscale establishments, a big event normally present an opportunity. Although a lot events may not allow you to video tape the event, the preparation for it can be equally as compelling, especially if it transforms your restaurant.
  8. Logistics
    We really didn’t touch upon the logistics. To produce a quality video, a little Flip video recorder is enough in most cases. With more complex videos that have multiple scenes and moving shots, outside help becomes more important. For promotional videos, they have to be professional and thus tend to more expensive. It may take a little longer to get it right, but I wouldn’t work from a script (unless you are using actors). Instead, go with an outline and try to present a casual, relaxed manner. Editing is almost as crucial as filming so make sure you cut it down to only the most interesting and important parts. You don’t want a lag as with one click your customers are onto the next thing. You’ll get better at it the more you do it, so stick with it until you have a reasonable size library. Of course, every so often, let people know about your videos whether on your website, blog, Facebook Page or Twitter feed.

Above are only the basics, as they really are straightforward and not especially creative. There is much more that can work. Indeed the more creative material, which is more likely to go viral, normally depends on what type of restaurant is it and its brand. Even the majority of the creative ones fail to take off. That’s okay. Reasonable results will significantly better your restaurant’s online marketing.