Digital diners won’t fall for the same old advertising tropes. They’re savvy and know when they’re being sold to. But digital channels offer the chance for restaurants to prove their authenticity through more organic marketing methods like reviews and other user-generated content.
The data paints a clear picture of consumer skepticism in traditional advertising while simultaneously proving the efficacy of “earned media” (publicity gained not from paid advertising but through organic means like word of mouth):
- Less than half of modern consumers trust traditional advertising
- Just 58 percent trust “owned media”, anything controlled by your brand like social media and email
- More than 90 percent trust earned media above any other type of advertising
The reason traditional advertising can alienate audiences is that it can feel patronizing. Simply telling customers that you’re the best restaurant in town, and therefore they should visit you, just doesn’t cut it anymore.
A great way to earn digital consumers’ trust is by understanding their pain points and delivering authentic solutions that address them. Going the extra mile to cater to those with food sensitivities, for example, is an ideal way to prove you appreciate them and are willing to work to improve their experience—and also a perfect way to earn a great review.
It’s an ongoing process, so continuously interacting with customers in meaningful ways will help solidify their faith in your brand. In addition to understanding and reacting to their needs, you can:
- Provide real-time assistance with online ordering and customer inquiries
- Follow through on promises, especially when it comes to protecting their data and upholding policies
- Allow for open communication through public and private forums and engage consumers in dialogue and share their experience
These tactics go a long way to increasing your restaurant's reputation and increasing consumer trust. Additionally, with 51 percent of consumers advocating for brands they trust, you further expand your brand visibility.