It’s easy to confuse today’s video marketing with the high-priced TV commercials of yesterday. Major companies have now redirected a large part of their attention to social media and web browsers. These channels are where most big brands target viewers with sophisticated and expensive campaigns. 

But restaurant video marketing can work for small restaurants with small marketing budgets, as well. Video campaigns online can give restaurants and other businesses the best possible return on ad spends

Restaurant patrons are hungry for more than good food. Like the rest of the world, they consume a staggering and growing amount of video content every day. Feed them online, and they might just let you feed them in person.

Why should restaurants consider video marketing?

When it comes to video marketing, the statistics speak for themselves: 

  • People are more likely to engage with video than any other kind of content across all social media platforms — including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
  • Websites with video enjoy more web traffic, and emails with video enjoy higher click-through rates.
  • People are 12 times more likely to share a video than any other type of post.
  • Marketing videos increase brand engagement and customer purchases. Approximately 85% of millennials have purchased after viewing a marketing video, and 53% of all adults have engaged with a brand after doing the same.
  • People spend five times longer staring at videos than photos or other static images.

Videos capture your attention, and most platforms encourage you to share them. With Facebook’s prioritization of personal content, video’s organic reach is more important than ever.  

What makes the best restaurant videos?

Restaurants lend themselves to video material incredibly well. Everybody loves to salivate over delicious-looking food, and video allows you to capture more of the experience. 

Let your restaurant come alive on screen

To make the best food videos, use movement and sound to go beyond what a static image can offer. Let your viewers see a pot boiling or hear vegetables sizzling in a pan. Film the preparation of a dish from beginning to end, speeding through less dynamic parts of the process to show the whole thing in under a minute.

Follow these restaurant video marketing tips

Displaying your food should be where your video marketing strategy starts, not where it ends. Take the following ideas and polish your initial video ideas with your new knowledge. 

Keep your content brief

Make your video short and sweet. Put any critical information in the first ten seconds, and plan for decreased engagement after 30 seconds — with subsequent drop-offs at the one- and two-minute marks. You can and should plan longer pieces, but always front-load your content. 

Use your videos to bolster other marketing efforts

Viewers appreciate a clear call to action (CTA), such as a link to your fully optimized website.

Restaurant videos can drive viewers to sign up for your email marketing list, as well. If they liked what they saw, they might appreciate more information on special promotions. You can also use one video to promote future videos. Consider announcing later installments or creating a dedicated list for people who want to be informed of newly posted videos.

Play to your strengths

When it comes to your content, showcase your restaurant’s food. Invite both regular patrons and potential newcomers to enjoy a virtual experience that mirrors your physical establishment’s atmosphere and tone. 

In other words, stay true to yourself. If you offer fine dining, you might want a more polished product. A less formal video will serve a neighborhood diner better.

Take inspiration from these restaurant video marketing ideas

As you’re in an industry that involves food, recipe videos are a trendy genre that you should consider in your content creation. You may not want to give away all your secrets, but viewers will appreciate kitchen tips. You might even want to design a video-friendly recipe just for the web. Video content related to recipes can also include:

  • A showcase of signature dishes or new specials
  • An in-depth interview with your chef
  • Interviews with your wait staff about their favorite dishes at the restaurant
  • A streaming capture of live cooking demonstrations with Facebook Live

As you’re getting started, try a variety of content to see what gets the best traction. You then can shape future content to suit your audience’s tastes. Other types of restaurant videos could have you:

  • Taking viewers on a virtual tour of your restaurant
  • Giving a history lesson on your location or cuisine
  • Announcing fun new restaurant promotions
  • Going behind the scenes just before opening or even during the lunch or dinner rush
  • Featuring your food suppliers
  • Interviewing your loyal customers
restaurant video marketing can include highlight videos on suppliers
One idea for restaurant video content is to showcase your suppliers. Local farms can appeal to your viewers’ eyes and ethics

How do you craft restaurant videos for marketing?

While you can certainly upgrade with fancy tools, all you really need to make a marketing video is a smartphone and a way of taking notes.

Have a plan for shooting footage

Outline what you want to do before you shoot. You should know what you’re going to show or say, but your planning should go beyond these basics. The goal is to deliver a highly watchable and professional-looking video. Ask yourself the following:

  • What is the most important takeaway?
  • Where and when will you get the best light?
  • What do you want to include in the frame?
  • What angle(s) do you want to shoot from? 
  • Where do you intend to add text or effects?

Edit the video for clarity

There are some free or inexpensive editing tools you can use to make your videos stand out. Figure out what capabilities you need the most and choose accordingly.

Text and effects can reinforce your content, but they shouldn’t overwhelm the screen. Use text in a video for:

  • Context
  • Introductions
  • CTAs

You should also include closed captioning in your video to make it more accessible during silent viewing.

Make sure it looks good on a smartphone screen

Finally, make sure that your video is mobile-optimized. People are more likely to watch and share videos with their smart devices than with a desktop computer. 

restaurant video marketing needs to look good on mobile devices as well as desktops and laptops
These days, viewers are more likely to watch videos on their phones.

Where should you share your restaurant videos?

Know where you intend to post content beforehand. Integrate videos into your general social media strategy and schedule them accordingly.

Format your videos for their intended social media platforms. Native videos — those that play within a platform — vastly outperform linked videos, which requires users to click away from their current page.

The destination of your video should influence how long it is. The optimal length for videos varies:

  • Facebook: 15–60 seconds, and more than three minutes for series or live updates
  • Pinterest: 6–15 seconds
  • Instagram Stories: Up to seven slides, each 15 seconds long
  • Instagram TV: 2–5 minutes
  • Twitter: 43–45 seconds
  • LinkedIn: Less than 30 seconds
  • YouTube: 6–8 minutes

You can have it in more than one way. Try creating native teaser videos that link to longer YouTube pieces.

restaurant video marketing can include social media teasers that link to longer videos
You can maximize your content by creating social media video teasers that link to longer YouTube content.

Have fun with it!

The more fun you have making your restaurant video content, the more your viewers will enjoy and share it. Video allows you to showcase the personality of your establishment. What do you love about your restaurant? Start there, and have faith that others will love it, too.
For more great ideas and strategies, get Constant Contact’s The Download. It will help you make sense of online marketing for your industry. For additional tips and in-depth restaurant marketing advice, check out Constant Contact’s blog, too.