Social media gets conversions.

It builds brand awareness for your restaurant, grows a relationship between you and your audience, and turns them into patrons. 

But, that’s not where the marketing stops. If your marketing strategy ends after someone walks through the door, you’re in for a rude awakening. Your audience comes to your brick-and-mortar restaurant and orders to-go food with the hope of continuing that experience.

They don’t want a plain paper bag with their food in it.

They want something that shows them they’re still having the experience they were promised from your social channels.

That’s where user-generated content fits into your content strategy. User-generated content is typically created online, but you can bring it offline to continue the branded experience of coming to your restaurant or ordering to-go.

If you’re not repurposing UGC to your online and offline marketing channels, you’re doing a disservice to your marketing strategy. And… that disservice is costing money.

What Is User-generated Content?

User-generated content is a photo, video, testimonial, or feedback made by your audience or customers. It’s content they shared with their friends, family, and followers about your products. For restaurants, UGC looks like this:

  • A photo of their meal posted in a carousel to their Instagram followers
  • An Instagram story video while they’re at your restaurant
  • A photo posted to Twitter with their to-go meal and what they plan to watch while they eat

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to UGC. UGC can also be testimonials, blogs, TikToks, YouTube videos, or Facebook videos. As long as it’s content created by your audience or customers, that’s user-generated content that you can repurpose across your online and offline marketing channels.

User-generated content increases engagement and conversions, which is why it’s such an essential part of every marketing strategy. Your audience wants social proof that other people are enjoying your restaurant before they decide to spend their money there. That social proof extends beyond your online channels. 

How to Repurpose Content Online

In the creator economy, user-generated content about your restaurant is floating around on the web. You can easily snag that content, organize it, and repurpose it to your offline marketing channels.

The content is already there—why wouldn’t you use it?

UGC can be reshared online to your:

UGC is a great way to bypass time, budget, and team size constraints that are holding your online marketing strategy back. With UGC, your content strategy can have a constant influx of new photos and videos that can be used on your editorial calendar. This mix of brand and community voice is ideal for marketing in 2021 and beyond.

Repurpose UGC to your Social Media Channels

User-generated content and social media are a match made in heaven. With more and more people becoming familiar with social apps and feeling the desire to share their brand experiences, UGC is for your restaurant is floating around on the web.

The key is to find it, organize it, and repurpose it across multiple channels to create an omnichannel marketing strategy.

Chipotle consistently repurposes UGC from their audience to their online channels like TikTok and Instagram:

A screenshot of Chipotle's TikTok page with 1.6 Million followers, showing user-generated content

Repurpose UGC to your Website

Your website visitors are hot leads. They’re people that are interested in your restaurant that they’re on your website looking for something specific. Chances are they’re looking for your menu, address, hours, a link to make a reservation, and a gallery of your food and ambiance.

Guess who has photos of your food and ambiance?

Your customers. They also have reviews talking about how much they loved their experience at your restaurant. You can repurpose content to your website to give new customers the proof they need that coming to eat at your business is a great option.

True Food Kitchen has been tagged in thousands of photos from their happy customers. They get rights to use these photos and then repurpose them on their website for a higher conversion rate. 

A screenshot of @livetruefood on Instagram showing 173k followers and user-generated content displayed across the feed

Repurpose UGC to your Product Pages

As a restaurant owner or marketer, you’re in serious luck. People love taking pictures of their food (remember Instagram back in 2010?!). The amount of UGC pouring in from happy customers drinking your delicious cocktails and enjoying your perfectly plated lunches and dinners is pouring in.

Your online menu can feature these photos. Just like eCommerce brands are adding UGC to product pages, your restaurant can add UGC that shows several approved customer photos of your drinks and food items.

Hyatt destination hotel Quirk uses UGC on its website to promote their bar and restaurants. 

A gallery wall on Quirk Hotel's website showing user-generated content of hotel experiences –bath tissues, wine, food.

Even if user-generated content is created online, it can still be used offline to create more content and a holistic brand experience that continues after somebody’s walked through your front door.

How to Repurpose Content Offline

Using UGC offline continues the positive experience your audience has with your brand online when they meet your brand offline for the first time.

UGC can be reshared on your:

  • Physical packaging
  • Direct mail (no, it’s not dead!)
  • Menus
  • Screens

Depending on your audience and product, you can ideate where placing UGC makes the most sense for your restaurant. 

Repurpose UGC to Offline Screens in Your Restaurant’s Waiting Area

You could put a digital screen in your waiting area that highlights customer Instagram posts about their experience at your restaurant. 

With each post, your waiting customers get to see what menu items are the most popular, what they look like, and what type of UGC they could create with it as well.

Half of consumers wish that brands would tell them what type of content to create and share. With UGC, your restaurant gives new patrons examples of what photos and videos they can share with their followers.

Deca, Inc. used a social wall to share over 17,000 Instagram and Twitter posts about their event. This same social wall can go on a digital screen inside your restaurant’s lobby or waiting area:

A social wall Deca, Inc used, which displayed user-generated content

Repurpose UGC to Your Menus

UGC can be placed on your menu with raving Yelp reviews from customers talking about their favorite dishes.

You can find these reviews or photos of your restaurant and food by searching brand mentions or a specific hashtag, which can serve as a repository of UGC. Once you find a great review about your dish, you can place that review right on your menu. 

Seventy percent of consumers trust online peer reviews and recommendations more than professional content and copy. UGC is the social proof that shows what your past patrons loved and inspires them to have the same experience (and hopefully share it for the ultimate feedback loop!).

Amazon’s stores show how online UGC for products can be repurposed to offline channels (like an in-person shopping experience):

An in-person digital price tag showing the price and a 3.8 star review of a 2-slice toaster

Repurpose UGC on Physical Packaging

Don’t stop your marketing once somebody has eaten from your restaurant.

You can continue marketing and showing how your brand is just that good by adding UGC to your physical packaging. When a customer asks for a to-go bag, you can include UGC on the box you put their food into and/or the bag.

This type of UGC inspires more UGC as your customers take a photo of the unique experience they get from your to-go packaging. You can repurpose that UGC across your online channels to create FOMO and show social proof of customers enjoying their time at your restaurant.

Jones Soda Co. puts UGC on the packaging of their soda products:

Jones Soda Co. displaying UGC on the packaging of their soda products.

UGC Can Be Repurposed Online and Offline

Social media will get you conversions. It can also help your content marketing team add more content to your editorial calendar without needing to add more team members, time, or budget to your content strategy.

You can repurpose UGC online to your:

  1. Social media channels
  2. Website
  3. Product pages

And, you can repurpose that same UGC offline to your:

  1. Offline screens
  2. Menus
  3. Physical packaging

By bringing UGC online and offline, you’ll create more engagement and conversions while continuing the branded experience throughout a customer’s entire meal (and afterward!).

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