For decades, big brand restaurants chains have been throwing millions into television commercials – tugging on our heartstrings, making us laugh, writing jingles that get stuck in our heads. Small, independent restaurant owners and franchisees have had to figure out how to make up for this deficit in costly advertising. But there’s good news – the tides are changing in your favor.
Your customers now watch commercial-free Netflix instead of primetime live television, and they share memes instead of reading news articles. Your big competitors have noticed and are taking advantage of these habits by making videos that are short and shareable. Well-known food brands like McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and even Martha Stewart are now dedicating resources to create short, shareable videos and live streams.
But the good news is, there are some quick and easy “hacks” that small businesses can use to keep up with the changes:
- Play with your food. You may roll your eyes, but people are obsessed with taking photos of their food, slapping a pretty filter on it, and sharing with their social networks. Feel free to jump on this trend and use it to your advantage.Take a cue from viral sensations like BuzzFeed’s Tasty, which produces fast motion videos of recipes and meals being constructed, and often do it in one shot and from one angle. Replicate this style of video in your own way to showcase your latest menu offerings.
- Your phone is your friend. If you’re part of the majority of Americans today, you probably own a smartphone. Many shoot high-quality video, and with free downloadable tools you can use to easily make edits – check out iMovie for iOS, PowerDirector for Android and LumaFusion for iOS. Your video doesn’t need to look like a Hollywood blockbuster. Consumers today appreciate scrappiness and originality – that’s probably why many of your customers stay loyal to you as a business owner.
- Keep it short and shareable. Think about when you scroll through your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter feed in your spare time. You skim so quickly it’s amazing you’re not a master speed reader at this point. How often do you watch a video all the way through that is longer than three minutes? Probably rarely. You and your customers are similar in this sense. Aim to keep your videos between 10 and 30 seconds so you don’t lose their attention. Test it – if people just watched the first five-ten seconds of your video, would it be clear what you are offering or asking them to do, who you are or where to find your restaurant? If you’re waiting to make the offer or the ask until the end, move it up.