Let’s be real: the last couple of years have been a doozy for the food and beverage (F&B) industry. Some beloved eateries pivoted to curbside pickup and online ordering. Others didn’t survive, despite working to accommodate ever-changing rules and precaution measures. Those that did know it’s going to take creativity and outside-the-box thinking to keep succeeding. That’s where a strategic marketing plan comes in.

So, pull up a chair. Let’s get down to business when it comes to keeping your F&B business afloat in 2023 and beyond. 

1. Audit your online presence

Before you can optimize your F&B marketing, you need to know where you stand. For that, it helps to conduct an audit.
An SEM audit can give you a bird’s eye view of your current online presence, including:

How you look on the search engine results page (SERP)
What keywords you’re ranking for
Any outdated information floating around online
How you’re stacking up against competitors
This is also a great opportunity to check that your Google Business Profile is claimed, thoroughly completed, and accurate when it comes to things like your location and hours.

2. Build out your website

For the food and beverage industry, you can’t underestimate the importance of a well-designed website that keeps your target audience top of mind.

That means not getting too in the weeds when it comes to the aesthetics of the site or sacrificing content. You don’t want to dive into a ‘brand image’ that overpowers the actual offering or service.

An overly styled site that doesn’t include the main core informational pieces people go to your site for — such as menus or contact info — is doing your company a disservice.

Remember, search engine optimization (SEO) is what’s going to help drive people to your site. Without the proper parameters in place, your stylish site won’t be doing its job.

Among other elements, an effective F&B website should have:

  • Menus (if you’re a restaurant or bar) 
  • Recipes (if you’re a food or beverage company)
  • Contact information
  • Visuals that illustrate the products or services

One of Google’s main goals is to serve up pages that provide the information people are searching for. As a result, this gives preference to SEO strategy and creating this type of valued content.

For example, Google has figured out that people searching for “apple” are looking for Apple-brand products most of the time, not the fruit. 

In the same way, the search engine tries to show people what they want from food and beverage brands, such as menus, hours of operation, reservations, and nutritional facts, as opposed to a “clean” webpage lacking information.

3. Focus on visuals

Speaking of visuals, the food and beverage industry heavily benefits from the use of eye-catching imagery online.

Approximately 46% of people in the U.S. either browse pictures of food or watch food videos on social media each month, according to audience targeting company GWI.

As such, this industry generally isn’t as focused on things like pillar page content. Rather, it’s more about capturing people and traffic, creating sales-based content, and trying to show up for searches.


4. Tackle local SEO

When you’re looking to increase conversion rates and traffic, as most F&B brands are, factoring in local SEO is key.

Local SEO uses regional factors to rank higher in search results to better target local audiences. Not only does this help when searchers are using location-based queries, but it also targets more bottom-funnel consumers.

Make sure your local SEO is optimized by:

  • Regularly checking your Google Business Profile for accuracy
  • Creating content with local search results in mind
  • Targeting rich or featured snippet placement
  • Having location and keywords metadata and geotagging local images

Cazarin Pro tip: While regional targeting is important, don’t make the mistake of overly narrowing your audience. For example: Just because you think only millennials are interested in your products doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to appeal to Boomers and Gen Z as well.

5. Pay attention to reviews

The data is clear: Online reviews matter — a lot. In a recent survey, 76% of polled consumers said online reviews are ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when deciding whether to try a local F&B business.

You obviously want to know what people are saying about your business online. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, do what you can to respond to people who take the time to review your company.

Thanking someone for a positive review makes them feel heard, while responding professionally to a negative review (and explaining or offering to discuss and resolve the issue offline) shows others that you’re paying attention and prioritizing customer experience.

Sign Up to receive the latest resources

Sign Up to receive the latest resources

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.