The ultimate guide to high-performing food and beverage visuals
Like everything else in our lives, the food and beverage business has been flipped on its head by the internet and the ever-growing presence of applications, online review sites and new ways to get your favorite grub. From food delivery apps to online reservation apps, to restaurant marketing in general, everyone has shifted the way they choose what to consume. Couple that with the fact that people are looking for greener, more local sources and you have an entirely new industry than that of a few years ago.
Meero was born in the middle of this digital transformation, so it’s all we’ve ever known. We bring professional-quality photos and videos to the biggest players around the world, and we’ve seen what works, what doesn’t and what is just downright revolutionary.
We believe in the power of visuals to create impact, and we know the impact a beautiful photo of a mouthwatering meal has on a hungry customer. That’s why we’ve decided to share some of our knowledge with you, in hopes that you can make your app, chain, restaurant, food truck or just personal grams that much more appealing!
Today, we’ll go over:
It’s no secret that we are drawn to beautiful images, and in today’s world where mobile apps are overtaking regular phone calls, the place of the image just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s easier than ever to open your phone and to choose your next meal or restaurant based on the first photo that pops up when you research a restaurant. With more and more people looking for authentic experiences, restaurants have to provide tempting pictures of their locations and meals. That’s why it’s increasingly important to provide stunning images that attract visitors and orders, rather than driving them away.
And it’s not just conjecture, studies have been done on the subject. According to a study by Limetray, photos increase conversion rates by 25% compared to text-based menus and Deliveroo saw similar results in 2018 when they noticed a 6.5% uplift in individual items with professional photos.
It goes hand in hand with your brand image, it’s the first impression your company makes online and it's how you reach your potential customers: digital marketing is here and it's here to stay. From your online branding to managing your online reviews to social media presence, digital marketing is where smart companies are investing.
The first step is customizing your branding strategy. What image do you want your clients to have of your brand? What do you want to show them? This is already a huge job, but it gets even more complicated when you have to reach across borders. For chains, this task becomes even more complicated when you have to balance brand consistency with local expectations. To learn more about managing your chain’s branding, take a look at this article.
The next step is managing your online reviews. This is incredibly important during decision-making time. Inc reported that 84% of online shoppers trust online reviews as much as they trust friend’s recommendations, and anyone working in restaurants knows the importance of a recommendation.
So how exactly do you manage your restaurant reviews online?
One simple step to take is to use Google MyBusiness. What advantages come with being listed on MyBusiness? When you list your restaurant online, you’ll have better discoverability, your restaurant will seem more approachable, it can boost online ordering, you’ll improve your position in search results and more. From here you can encourage happy customers to leave you reviews and post their own pictures of the experience.
Additionally, and this goes for all the review sites, monitoring and responding to negative reviews can help your restaurant fight back when someone seems determined to bring your score down.
If you maintain a positive online rating, you are going to see an impact on your bottom line, as people will avoid low rating restaurants and will go out of their way to go to the highest-rated restaurants. In order to manage all of the bookings, we’ve compiled a guide to your top apps and sites to help boost your bookings even further.
Another important aspect of digital marketing is correctly managing your image on social media.
Social media is an undeniable part of any company’s online presence, but many companies are not using the platforms to their strengths and using enough images. The results are in, and posts with photos, videos, and other visuals have a higher engagement rate. Buffer reported Tweets with images received 150% more retweets and BuzzSumo’s findings show that Facebook posts with photos drive 2.3x the engagement of normal text posts.
Instagram has become even more important to restaurants, as people are looking for ‘Instagramable’ locations where they can share the experience with their friends. For a step by step guide on how to use Instagram for restaurants and chains, click here.
So how does that translate to selling your food? The visuals and the tone that you employ on social media will impact the customer’s overall opinion of your brand. To see a few examples of companies that have achieved success on Instagram, check out this article about how food trucks are using visual digital marketing to their advantage.
So you’re convinced about the importance of good visual communication for your brand image and company bottom line, but how do you go about improving those visuals? There are a few routes you can take: improve your photography yourself, hire professionals, and for large volume needs, learn more about Meero!
If you are here to learn about how to improve your food photography in general, we have some tips and tricks for you. In general, you want to be sure that your food staging is perfect, this will save you time in your editing later on. By taking the time to plate your dishes correctly and add appropriate props, you are able to create a much more appealing photo.
Other things you can do? Make sure your dishes have a lot of color. If your food is mostly brown, be sure to add garnishes and other things to make your photos pop (keeping in mind that the props should be related to the dish)! We recently did an analysis of the biggest visual trends from 2019 and created a 2020 forecast that covers more trends that can improve your visual image performance. Be sure to check it out!
If your needs are a little bit bigger than that, say you need to create visuals for an entire chain of restaurants or you need to send photographers to remote locations to ensure your branding is consistent, well, there’s an option for you too.
Here at Meero, food and beverage photography is our bread and butter. Thanks to our international community of photographers around the world, our AI technology dedicated to image editing, and our in-house team of producers who manage everything from A to Z, we are able to provide THE solution for companies needing to scale.
That’s exactly what efood, the largest food delivery app in Greece got when they partnered with Meero. From hard to reach islands to dense cities, our team was able to source and onboard photographers for their project. If you are curious to learn more, just click here!