In such a crowded market, it can be difficult for any food business to stand out. You have to compete against both big brands and other local businesses. Whether you’re a restaurant, catering company, bakery, bar or any other business, it’s vitally important to have a strong digital marketing strategy.
Digital marketing for the food industry is especially essential in the digital age. You wouldn’t open up a restaurant without an oven. That would hinder your profits significantly. Similarly, starting a business without a digital marketing strategy also hinders your ability to make a profit.

Over 57% of customers now order their food from a website – and that’s only one area of digital marketing that can boost sales. Excellent, strategic digital marketing is vital for any food or drink business to flourish. Rank above your competitors, get traffic to your website and watch the customers flood in.

Market research

Before you can start marketing your own business, it’s important to understand your competition. This is especially important with digital marketing for the food industry. A customer can only eat out at one establishment, and you need to make sure they pick yours. 

The first step is to identify your competition. That might be businesses that specialize in the same food or drink, that are geographically close to you, or both! Once you’ve figured out who are your closest competitors, you can then begin to break them down.  Properly identifying their strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats to your own business. 

For a longer-term strategy, it’s a good idea to conduct a PEST analysis. You’ll be very aware of any market changes once you’ve mapped out any political, environmental, social or technological factors that may affect your market. For example, Brexit is very likely to affect any food imports, or the rise of takeaway apps is very likely to affect how your customers order online.

Content marketing

A key aspect of digital marketing for the food industry is content marketing. Food lends itself to a visual medium. It’s stereotypical to post a delicious meal on social media for a reason! Content marketing is a great way to connect with current and potential customers. With carefully crafted content, you can make your food business stand out from all your competitors. 

It doesn’t just stop at appealing photos of your delectable dishes. Content can include videos, downloadables, graphics, blog posts and more. The goal of content marketing is to build a community around your business and foster interaction with your customers to encourage them to visit.

Creating Your Website COntent

As we mentioned before, it’s seminal that to have a website with digital marketing for the food industry. We’re all online more than ever, which means we’re ordering and researching our food online more than ever. A strong website is the key to hooking in potential customers. Your site should be a hub for all customers to browse your menu, take a peek at your locations and easily book a table or order something to takeaway. 

To rank above your competitors on search engines, it’s important to have content-rich landing pages to increase SEO. You have to ensure every page is keyword rich and targets queries that your customers are searching for. Creating geo-targeted content is also important to attract local customers. With the right SEO on and off your landing pages, as well as engaging copy and imagery, your food business will soon take the number one spot in the search engine rankings.

email marketing

One of the most underutilised aspects of digital marketing for the food industry is email marketing. Your mailing list, like your website, is a channel that you completely own. Capturing loyal customers on your mailing list is a great way to encourage repeat business. You can reward their loyalty with special offers, exclusive discounts or create personalised sections and market towards them as you see fit. People that subscribe to your mailing list are far more likely to buy from your business again, so it’s important to get your email marketing right!


social media

To truly reach every customer possible, you need to expand your digital presence past your own website. You need to have a strong social media presence. Any platform with a highly visual aspect – like Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest – is paramount to generating a buzz around your food business. 

Digital marketing for the food industry varies widely depending on the platform you’re using. Each platform requires its own unique strategy. For example, you’d likely place recipe downloadables on Pinterest but wouldn’t on Instagram ( as you can’t link photos.) Similarly, if you were having a sudden, 24-hour offer, you’d utilise Instagram and Facebook stories to quickly generate interest.

No matter what platform you use, it’s important to create a community of happy, engaged customers that find value in your content. 


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