IGTV: 5 Restaurant Marketing Ideas Using Instagram’s New Video App


Marketing is essential for any business, especially a restaurant. You’ve probably already invested in some marketing, whether it be creating an online presence, participating in local advertising, or trying out new social media tactics. IGTV is a new app that you can use as part of your overall marketing strategy. Today, we’ll discuss IGTV, what it is, and how it can help your restaurant gain visisbility (and maybe even virility) on social media.

What is IGTV?

IGTV was launched on June 20, 2018. Instagram TV, or IGTV, was created to celebrate the app hitting 1 billion Instagram users. Instagram realized how much people love video content, but has a time constraint that only allows for 60-second videos and 15 second Instagram story videos. And so, because of this need for longer video content, IGTV was born.

On IGTV, users who are verified and have a large following can post videos up to one hour in length. All other users can post videos up to 10 minutes long. There is a separate app for IGTV, but the longer content can also be seen in the original Instagram app. All videos are vertically displayed for an easier mobile experience.

How can IGTV be used to your restaurant’s advantage? More opportunity to provide content! As a restaurant owner, you’re always looking for ways to market your business. This is just another channel to do so!

“According to research by Zizzi, 18-35-year-olds spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30 percent would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak.”

Of course, you don’t want your Instagram presence to be considered weak! You should already be posting high-quality photos of your restaurant and food. But, now you can take it to the next level with in-depth videos.

In this article, we give you 5 ideas on how to creatively use IGTV to boost your restaurant’s social media presence.

Cooking Lessons

Food Network has gained a cult-like following and has turned everyday home cooks into kitchen ninjas by providing cooking lessons, recipes, and competitions on television shows featuring famous chefs. The binge-worthy channel has taken cooking as an art form to a whole new level – (I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t addicted to Cake Wars). It’s clear that people are interested in learning new recipes and picking up kitchen tricks by watching their favorite chefs on the silver screen. So, why not take this phenomenon to your own social media?

Use Instagram TV as an opportunity to show people how you make your best dishes. Of course, you’ll want to leave out any secret ingredients, but this is a fun way to let your followers go behind the scenes of your restaurant operations. Take the viewer into your restaurant kitchen, introduce your head chef, and give them a step-by-step look at how you make a favorite entree or dessert. You can even choose to do shorter snippets, on a weekly basis, of quick kitchen tips from a restaurateur. Of course, make sure you’re promoting your IGTV presence on your other social media accounts so followers are aware that you’re using the new app to provide content.

VIP Restaurant Tour

People love “inside looks” into places, whether it be a luxurious home, a royal palace, or a really awesome restaurant! HGTV has made a business out of taking people into mansions and tiny homes (virtually, of course). Food Network shows like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives give people a firsthand look into restaurants and cuisine from across the country. Put your own twist on this!

Give your followers a taste of your restaurant’s stomping grounds by giving them an inside (and outside) tour of the space. You can discuss the history of the restaurant, tell viewers why you chose the decor, and share the ins and outs of your restaurant kitchen. Providing your followers with insight into how you got started and what makes your restaurant unique helps make it a more personal experience when they come to dine with you.

Meet the Staff

Take the dining experience with your restaurant to a personal level by doing a virtual meet and greet with your staff members. Each week you can choose a new employee to feature. Do a Q&A session and ask questions about how they got started in the business, what they like to do in their free time, and what their favorite dish at your restaurant is. Make sure the video isn’t totally restaurant-promotional, but really tells the story of the person you’re interviewing. Putting faces to your restaurant’s name helps make your online presence human. When a social media follower comes in for a meal, they’ll recognize their hostess or waiter from seeing them on the screen.

Loyal Customer Spotlights

Chances are you’ve got those patrons who have been dining with you for years, come into your restaurant quite often, and are like family members. Use this opportunity to include them in your IGTV efforts. You can ask these loyal customers to be featured in a video bit called “Customer Spotlights.”

Let them tell the viewers why they love your restaurant, what they like to eat there, and any other anecdote they may be able to share (do they remember the first time they dined with you? That could be a great story in itself). Leverage the loyalty of your customers to create unique pieces of content that will inspire others to give your restaurant a try.

New Menu/Item Releases

Use IGTV to create buzz around menu updates and new items. Release a new video when you publish a seasonal menu or add an interesting new item to your offering. Show real footage of the dishes, explain what ingredients are being used, and talk about why you chose to add this new item to the list. If your seasonal menu is only available for a certain time, make that known in the video to create a sense of urgency, i.e. “this addition of four new summertime desserts is only available through August 31st, so be sure to stop by soon!”

Pictures are worth a thousand words, but videos are worth even more than that! If you incorporate mouth-watering footage of your food, it will inspire people (especially hungry ones) to come to your restaurant and try it out for themselves.

Additional Helpful Tips

When creating content, you always want it to be high-quality and eye-catching. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider hiring a professional to shoot the video. Take into account the atmosphere, especially the lighting and background noise. There are apps you can test out for quality video, like Filmic Pro, Pro Cam, and Videograde.  The video is a reflection of your restaurant, so you want it to look and sound the best it can.

As far as length of time goes, shorter tends to be better. According to Brandastic, short, two-minute videos are typically what most people are willing to watch regardless of where the video is. Medium Marketing & Growth Hacking says the sweet spot for video length is between 3-5 minutes. People’s attention spans tend to drop off after a few minutes, so try sticking with a shorter time frame. If you want to experiment with a longer 10-minute video, go for it! Longer videos may work well for your audience. You can always use the analytics feature (located in the “…” next to the like, comment, and share buttons) to see what videos are working better than others so you can film more of those in the future.

Don’t forget to write a description of your video and use relevant keywords to help people understand what the video is about. You can even add a link for people to click on to be taken outside of the video (to your website or menu) in order to drive traffic elsewhere.

The next phase of social media video is here. IGTV allows you to expand your Instagram video presence from one-minute snippets to longer length videos. Create captivating content that will give your audience an inside look into your restaurant so they can get to know your business even better.

Thanks for reading. Interested in improving your restaurant’s online presence? We can help! SinglePlatform puts your menu and business information accurately on the search, review, travel, and social sites people are using to find new restaurants. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you stand out everywhere that matters online.

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