How to Create Great In-House Video Marketing for Your Restaurant

Marketing 7 minute read 5th October 2020

According to a study by Hubspot, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands and businesses.

This is hardly surprising when you consider how prevalent video is in our daily lives. One scroll of your Facebook feed and you’ll be met with countless homegrown clips, brand advertising and viral videos.

It’s unavoidable… and highly engaging.

The best news? If you’re the owner of an independent restaurant, you don’t need a vault of cash and oodles of expensive equipment and crew time to produce a brilliant marketing video.

Just follow these tips for creating in-house videos that will have a measurable impact on your marketing campaigns.

Figure out the story first

It really isn’t worth picking up your camera (or smartphone - we’ll get to that later) without first having a firm idea of the story you want to tell with your marketing video.

People simply won’t watch, engage with or share your video if it doesn’t feature a great story.

This is why you need to think carefully about the beginning, middle and end, but also the narrative; what is it you’re trying to convey? What emotions do you want to incite among your audience?

Always write your story (even if it just consists of rough paragraphs and bullet points) before pressing ‘record’.

Take a look at what the competition is (or isn’t) doing

Are your competitors already producing video or is their online presence deathly silent when it comes to that form of content?

Take a look at other restaurants in the area - both independent and of the chain variety - and look at what they are (or aren’t) doing with video. In fact, the reason you’re reading this blog post might be because you were inspired by a video produced by another restaurant.

Chances are, if something catches your eye, it’ll catch that of your potential customers, too, so don’t be afraid to borrow a few ideas. Equally, it’s a great idea to play the competition at their own game by responding to their video marketing efforts with your own take on a theme or style of dining (just be careful not to mention them directly or defame the owner in the process - keep it lighthearted and fun).

Realise you don’t need an expensive camera

You can do an awful lot with a modern smartphone when it comes to video production. Most will even enable you to edit the footage you shoot directly on the device and share it with the world on YouTube and social media.

Marketing budgets are tight in the restaurant biz, and there really is no reason to invest in the services of a videographer or your own expensive camera, unless you have the money to do so.

Instead, pick up your smartphone and shoot with a device that’s always by your side and more than capable of recording high quality imagery.

Sometimes, the ability to do that will feed your creativity and is perfectly suited to off-the-cuff content ideas such as staff interviews and guest testimonials.

Get the lighting and sound right

You can just about get away with less-than-stellar video, but sound and lighting both need to be totally on point if you’re to make a video with which people will engage.

Avoid shooting in rooms that are too dark to properly highlight your subject and make sure whoever it is that’s speaking on camera can be heard, crystal clear. Most smartphones do a pretty good job of that, but a quick search for ‘smartphone lav mic’ will reveal plenty of affordable options for doing it properly.

Promote with gusto (and think Hollywood)

Look no further than Hollywood when it comes to how you should promote your video marketing efforts. And if that sounds a bit lofty, think about how often a movie trailer will leave you feeling desperate to see the film once it’s available.

You can do the same with your forthcoming new menu, refurbished dining area or special valentines offer. Tease out the details with short, sharp ten-second clips and promote them voraciously on social media.

It’s also important to repurpose your videos as often as possible. One great way to do this is to reuse your vids on platforms such as Instagram Stories and as the focus of pay-per-click ad campaigns. When it comes to small biz and the hospitality industry, these are arguably two of the most important channels.

Too many in-house video marketing efforts are left to gather digital dust simply because people lose the initial excitement that comes with creating them. See it through to the end and promote the hell out of your video!

Content ideas

So, what kind of video content could you produce as a restaurant?

You’ll be glad to hear there’s loads of subject matters you can approach, and the following list should get those creative juices flowing:

  • Staff interviews
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Chef demos
  • Opening night
  • Customer interviews

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your video marketing. You can’t really get it wrong; you can only learn from the videos that don’t quite produce the engagement you’re after - and that’s the best way to develop a marketing strategy that will last the test of time.

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