Restaurants owners today have more to think about in terms of marketing than in times past.
Though arguably offline marketing isn’t any less important than online marketing, the ongoing evolution of the internet, mobile technology, and social networking makes it hard to keep up with shifts and trends.
A website is a non-negotiable for restaurant businesses, particularly if they want control over their marketing message. It’s fast coming to the point where professional food photography is also a prerequisite for a successful online presence. Here are several reasons why imagery is important.
The Ability To Highlight Specific Menu Items
The restaurant business has certain parallels with retail businesses. You might have certain “loss leaders” to attract customers and get their foot in the door. These menu items may not be literal loss leaders, but you’re pricing them strategically to get more people to order them (such as drinks or appetizers).
But then you have the big-ticket items or specialty items that you want to sell more of because they’re the most profitable, as well as being the most delicious.
It’s common practice for restaurants to draw the eyes of the customer to these dishes so they are more likely to order them, whether it’s with daily specials or strategic placement in physical and digital menus.
For your website, you may choose to take photos for all available dishes, but you can also organize them in a specific way so your prospects and customers are seeing what you want them to see, making them more likely to order what you want them to order.
Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to SEO, one often forgotten element is original photography and imagery (with an emphasis on the word original).
Without getting into the specifics of how Google ranks content with images versus no images (a hotly debated topic with no consensus), there’s no question that original images show up in Google image search frequently. Those who like what they see are more likely to find out where the photo originated from and to visit your website.
HubSpot also tells us that when people hear information, they’re like to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retain 65% of the information three days later.
It’s fine to use textual content, but it’s the combination of text and images that’s most engaging.
Attracting More Customers
The goal of most restaurants is to keep a steady flow of customers coming through their doors. Business may fluctuate from day to day, but if a degree of stabilization can be achieved, it makes marketing and growth initiatives easier to execute.
If your food looks attractive on your website, it’s only natural that more people are going to want to come and find out for themselves. Until they came across your website, they may not have even heard of you, but once they see your dishes, they are more likely to become future customers. Mobile searching behavior dictates that many people who search for a store or a place to eat will visit that store within a short period of time.
Conversely, if your online presence isn’t well-established, and you don’t have any online reviews, no one knows what to think of you, and may not discover you in this way. You would also be leaving your online reputation to chance.
Visual marketing for websites is increasing in importance with each passing day. You can’t afford to have low quality photography, because it may cheapen your brand or fail to give the right impression. Hiring a professional ensures that the quality of photography matches the image you are projecting out in the world. It gives people a better idea of the kind of dishes they can expect to enjoy at your eatery if they walk through your doors.