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Get Generation Z’s Attention With 7 Restaurant Video Marketing Strategies

by | Sep 23, 2019

Have you seen any of the Youtube videos featuring Chef Nobu? Yes, that Chef Nobu, the owner of Nobu restaurants in New York City and around the world. Chef Nobu is the consummate chef and businessman. He knows what you likely already know: Video marketing is an important lever of success in today’s competitive restaurant space. Whether that’s displaying gorgeous videos of your latest menu item or creating compelling video client testimonials, the right restaurant video marketing strategies breed success.

Yet, there’s a big difference between simply producing a video and creating a successful video marketing campaign. You want your videos to engage, convert, and convince your audience to eat at your restaurant. Also, you want them to remember that video the next time they’re hungry.

And, guess who’s watching the most videos? Hint: It’s not Millennials. According to one report, Gen Z watches an average of 68 videos PER DAY. And, 90% of them spend at least one hour a day watching videos on social channels.

So, reaching Generation Z requires savvy video marketing strategies. But, what kind of video marketing content should you be putting out, and why is it so important to reach Generation Z in the first place?

Understanding Generation Z

Generation Z is comprised of 14 to 24 year-olds. This up-and-coming generation is certainly hungrier than any other generation. 78% of Gen Z spend discretionary income on food. Additionally, 24% of them order takeout 3 – 4 times every single week!

The value of Gen Z is immediately apparent for restaurants. The members of this demographic comprise 1/4 of the population; many of them have jobs and are willing to spend their incomes on takeout.

That said, conventional marketing techniques won’t work on Gen Z. 71% of these digital natives have a Netflix account. However, fewer than 30% have access to cable. Generation Z also isn’t reading magazines or newspapers (only 1/5th of them read for pleasure). Members prefer to get takeout and enjoy their meals in the comfort of their homes. Preferably while watching Netflix.

So, reaching Generation Z requires a digital strategy. Undoubtedly, no other digital medium reaches this demographic quite like video. Consider these statistics:

In short, video is the best medium to reach and influence the purchasing behaviors of Generation Z.

7 Easy Restaurant Video Marketing Strategies To Help You Reach Gen Z

It’s evident that Gen Z likes to consume video. But, what kind of video? Let’s jump into a few strategies that will help you nail your restaurant’s next video campaign.

1. Make Them Laugh

Diner: “Waiter! This food tastes kind of funny.”

Waiter: “Then why aren’t you laughing?”

Can food be funny? You bet it can! Domino’s recent string of “Carryout Insurance” videos prove that food doesn’t have to be all #foodporn and nothing else. There’s plenty of room for creativity and comedy.

Additionally, funny videos resonate with Gen Z. Think about adding a dash of humor to your videos to liven up the mood. There’s a fine line between selling a product and entertaining your audience. You want to walk directly down that line.

Plus, comedy is the single most popular form of online video entertainment across the generational divide, so you’ll have far-reaching effects with comedy campaigns.

More Statistics About Incorporating Comedy Into Restaurant Video Marketing

  • 28% of YouTube viewers expect to be entertained.
  • Thinking about funny ads? Incorporate them into pre-roll ads (ads that play before a featured video). YouTube doubled the number of pre-roll ads last year. Statistics show that viewers consider pre-roll ads less disruptive than mid-roll ads (ads that are played in the middle of a video).
  • Comedy is one of the top 4 most popular video categories on Youtube.

2. Emphasize Ingredients

When you’re putting out that new Instagram Story or YouTube video, think about highlighting what goes into your food. 37% of Gen Z is willing to pay more for premium ingredients, and a surprising 25% of them worry about their health regularly.

Find ways to show them the quality of your food through video. Of course, this can be done by leveraging food photography. However, you should also highlight the health benefits of your menu items and make them clearly visible.

Check out this Panera Bread ad. The company uses lots of delicious food imagery but also sprinkles in health-focused buzzwords to reassure viewers. Consider using Facebook automated captions to communicate value to Gen Z customers. Here’s why: 54% of Gen Z use multiple devices at any one time (the average being 1.8 devices), so automated captions are a non-intrusive attention-grabber.

More Statistics About Food Quality

  1. 70% of diners prefer a restaurant that offers healthy options.
  2. Generation Z especially places a premium on organic and responsibly sourced ingredients.
  3. Healthy kids meals and street-style foods are two of the most popular food categories for this generation.

3. Go Short

One of the biggest mistakes restaurants make is producing overly long ads. Don’t waste your time on length, as Gen Z isn’t going to watch those ads. Unlike Millennials (29% of which actually watch YouTube ads,) Gen Z loves to press “skip.” Also, Generation Z is notorious for having a short attention span. Members of this demographic tune out after about 8 seconds.

That doesn’t give you much time to make an impression, does it?

So, keep your ad short and save marketing dollars at the same time! Provide as much information as you can about your food, limited time offers (LTOs), and deals within a short window.

More Statistics To Support Short Video Ads

  • The majority of Millennials and Gen Z prefer to watch short videos.
  • The average attention span of Gen Z is only 8 seconds and members of this demographic often juggle 5 screens at once!
  • 85% of businesses believe that time and resource constraints are the primary barriers to producing more video content.

4. Consider A Presence On Fringe Social Media Platforms

Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are all fantastic ways to reach customers. But, have you considered featuring your restaurant on fringe social media platforms, especially ones frequented by Generation Z?

TikTok — a social platform that lets you post short video clips — had 660M downloads in 2018. And 66% of users are under 30. Fueled by the decline of Vine and Gen Z’s love for short video clips, TikTok users spend 52 minutes per day on the app.

Reddit — a popular news aggregation and social board — gets 14 billion screen views monthly. What’s more, 79% of those views come from people under 35.

Snapchat — a social platform where videos get deleted after a set time — reaches 42% of ALL 18 – 34-year-olds in the United States. Additionally, it has over 300 million active users.

Diversification is more important now than ever. Gen Z frequents a variety of social platforms outside of the core ones restaurants have been targeting for years. Unlike Millennials, Gen Z isn’t invested in just popular sites. Members of this demographic are adventurous, spreading their time between both popular and alternative platforms.

More Statistics To Support Branching Out To Other Social Media Platforms

5. Go Live

Did you know that 80% of your diners would rather see live video content than read your restaurant’s blog? Live video is booming in popularity. Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Snapchat are all incredible marketing tools for restaurants. In fact, live video can score you 10x engagement from your diners. Additionally, 52% of people prefer live streaming over subscription content.

There are plenty of strategies that work well with live video.

  • Show off your delicious recipes by cooking live for your diners. GrubHub did this for New Years.
  • Launch a Q&A with your chef. This helps deliver an authentic experience for your audience. Check out this Periscope live video with Chef Vikram Vij.
  • Do any of your staff members have special skills? Show them off! Watch this kitchen worker wash and stack plates in a domino-like fashion.

There are hundreds of other strategies that naturally fit into live video marketing. The important thing is to focus on keeping the experience authentic and brand-oriented.

More Statistics To Support The Use Of Live Streaming

6. Reach Out to Influencers

Gen Z may not trust celebrities, but they certainly trust influencers.

  • 40% of teens trust influencers more than their own friends.
  • 70% of Gen Z is directly influenced by digital peers.
  • 40% feel that their favorite YouTube influencers understand them better than their family.

In other words, Gen Z REALLY trusts influencer opinions. So, you’ll want to reach out to these influencers. Starbucks, Panera, and Chipotle all use influencers to drive their social media campaigns. In fact, 63% of Gen Z WANT to see influencers interact with your food items. For comparison, only around 30% want to see celebrities advertising your menu items.

However, positioning influencers in videos is tricky. Your best bet is to have the influencers share and comment on your videos. You can also try to give them license to create brand-focused user-generated content.

More Statistics To Support Forming Partnerships With Influencers

7. Be Different…In An Interesting Way

If there’s one thing Gen Z prizes more than live video, sustainably sourced food, and influencer opinions, it’s uniqueness. This generation is bombarded by social media ads every day. Things start to get stale after a while. In the U.K., reports show that teens are engaged with online content 10.6 hours DAILY. To top it off, 80% feel distressed if they don’t have access to their phones!

This generation logs plenty of screen time every day.

You have to think outside-the-box if you want their attention. Think about striking visuals, interesting settings, or weird imagery. This is the kind of content that resonates with Generation Z.

More Statistics To Support Unconventional Video Ad Approaches

Final Thoughts About Restaurant Video Marketing Strategies

Reaching Generation Z requires the right restaurant video marketing campaigns. There’s no way around it. This digital native generation has never known a world without social media. Reaching these diners through video is a great way to get them ordering through your online portal. Remember that 25% of Gen Z already orders food online 3 or more time per week.

With many of them utilizing 3rd party ordering apps like GrubHub and UberEats, you’ll want to leverage video marketing to drive diners to your hyper-personalized online ordering system.

Don’t have an in-house online portal yet? Contact us today to book a live demo of our revolutionary online ordering system!


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