A key part of a successful digital marketing strategy for restaurants is increasing the number of conversions you get from your leads. Sure, web traffic is great – but what good is that traffic if few visitors to your site actually move onto the next step?

Group of people eating food in restaurantThere are a ton of online resources that help you “improve your conversion rates,” including A/B testing tactics like changing the image on your landing page, changing the color of your button, and altering headline content.

All of these changes certainly can help, and A/B testing will let you know which approach is more effective. However, maximizing your conversion rate isn’t just about tweaking colors and changing the copy.

Maximizing your conversion is about reciprocity.

By reciprocity what we mean is that when you give your visitors a great offer, they’ll be more likely to do something for you.

They’ll feel obliged to give back. When it comes to digital marketing for your restaurant, what that means is they’ll be compelled to complete whatever lead generation action you’ve put into place.

Here’s how to establish this type of relationship in just a few key steps.

Get to know your website visitors

Making a valuable lead magnet means knowing what type of information your audience wants and needs.

Remember: your visitors have come to your site with some specific purpose in mind – whether that’s to gather advice or make some type of purchase.

Fortunately for you, the online behavior of your audiences can provide you this type of direction. A tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner will show you the volume for keyword phrases that people are searching for, and find related suggestions.

Below, we conducted a search using PapaJohns.com as our reference URL:

google ad words planner

But don’t just stop there. Other tools, like Buzzsumo, allow you to see trend-worthy topics that people are talking about and sharing. We love to use Buzzsumo to help us focus on valuable lead-magnet content we know audiences will want to consume.

Buzzsumo

In the screenshot above, there are quite the number of interesting topics worth considering for a lead magnet (if you’re a pizza-focused establishment). For example, you could use the article about Gordon Ramsay shutting down the pineapple pizza debate to create a lead magnet called: The Pineapple Pizza Debate: Where Do You Stand?

The last tool we recommend you regularly monitor is your Google Analytics – the data housed there will show you your most clickable content and can determine what your existing visitors already value.

Offer a resource your audiences will find useful

Now that you know what type of information your audience is interested in, you’re ready to create a lead-generation magnet that speaks to their needs.

Consider what type of magnet would be most useful to your readers? Is it a webinar? A research report? A tip sheet? A tool?

When it comes to your restaurant, our research and studies show that exclusive offers – or the promise of exclusive offers – carry the most weight.

Take, for example, this call-to-action found on a Massachusetts-based restaurant’s website:

galliford vip sign up form

The restaurant, Galliford’s, is promising not only unique promos and offers but also a weekly free appetizer drawing. To top it all off, they’re calling their subscribers VIPs, which adds to the allure.

Of course, there’s no reason to just settle on coupons and discounts. Above we talked about a potential lead magnet titled “The Pineapple Pizza Debate: Where Do You Stand?” Magnets like this help create a persona for your brand. If the magnet (be it a video, a slideshow, etc.) was designed professionally, could be viewed on any screen, and was packed with witty humor, then there’s a good chance it’ll convert visitors into leads and make those leads fall in love with your brand.

Above all else, make sure that the landing page where your lead magnet is housed is designed cleanly and obvious. Visitors should know what the offer is and what they’ll get if they convert.

Sell your lead magnet offer

Facebook ads landing page on laptopOnce you create your lead magnet, now it’s time to market that offer to the masses. Facebook ads are a great way to reach a highly-targeted audience and pique their interest. According to recent Pew research, 79% of online adults use Facebook, and login multiple times per day.

Use that to your advantage.

Create a series of eye-catching social media posts that funnel readers to your restaurant landing page. But don’t just stop there. Create smaller pieces of related content (articles, infographics, etc.) to promote as well. For example, the Galliford’s VIP offer could be promoted with a video montage of past free appetizer winners, with a call-to-action at the end of the video (and in the social post) urging folks to sign up.

Our last bit of advice is this: don’t just run through this process once. Most lead magnet offers for restaurants are timeless (for example, patrons can always become VIP members; there is no shelf-life). Make sure to schedule time every quarter to create a new marketing plan for your magnet. But rather than recycle the same old strategy from before, use the results of your past campaigns to optimize and fine-tune your next approach.

That way you continue to generate more and more leads that will one day become your lifelong patrons.