8 Ways Cities can Market to Foodies

For cities looking to boost their visitors, attracting foodies can be a game-changer. Here are some destination marketing strategies for how to entice foodies to visit your area.

Find Someone to Vouch For Your Food

1. Think about who you can tap to endorse food in your community. New South Creative for Visit Clarksville, TN brought a Hell’s Kitchen Champion to town to ooooh, ah and eat their local food. You don’t have to have a Hell’s Kitchen champ to make this strategy work. Every market has someone people look to as a food expert.

Market to Foodies with Short Bites

2. Think about creating a few short, mouth-watering, itinerary videos of your restaurants so visitors can quickly see where they should eat. These videos are easier to ingest than a long, blog post.

Use Searchable Hashtags

3. Add hashtags on TikTok and Instagram Reels based on what people search: #breakfast (in your city, #lunch (in your city), etc.

Celebrate local chefs and flavors in your marketing content

Kevin Smith, Owner of Legends BBQ and army vet. Part of a campaign to market to foodies.

Kevin Smith, Owner of Legends BBQ and military vet.

4. Showcase and celebrate your city’s distinct flavors and the people behind them in your marketing content. Remember that you can feature dishes either low or high-brow–they just need to be delicious. Choose restaurants with unique dishes, ingredients, and people who represent your city’s cuisine and brand. For example, Clarksville, TN, a big military town, featured a BBQ owner who was also a military vet.

Plan a Day to Gather Video and Photography

5. Storytelling with video and photography is the best way to market to foodies since we experience food with all five senses. People want to see the delicious food, observe people’s reactions when eating, and hear the chefs discuss the dishes. As with all content gathering, shoot video once and edit it into multiple pieces. If your budget is tight, edit additional videos as your budget allows.

Refresh Your Website to Market to Foodies

6. Most destinations have a Restaurant page on their website, but have you gone to yours recently? Give that website page a fresh look to see where it could use some engaging content. Videos on the Restaurant page will make your restaurant scene feel special and help with SEO. Separate the restaurant locations into “Original” to your city and “Multi-location” so visitors can see restaurants unique to your area.

Engage Micro-Influencers

7. Destination marketers often think of out-of-the-area food bloggers for social media marketing. But, marketing using local, micro-influencers can increase visitors. Collaborating with these niche influencers can help you tap into certain target markets.

For a campaign for Visit Clarksville, TN, New South Creative used two micro-influencers who were students at the local university. One student was connected to the nearby army base. By featuring them in TikTok content, followers went up more than 39% in the 10 weeks of the campaign.

Invest in Paid Campaigns for this Niche

8. Invest in paid programmatic marketing campaigns that target foodies directly. Media that targets an interest in food can be a wise use of marketing dollars. This segment typically is middle to upper-income and spends a lot during a visit. A programmatic campaign using that Hell’s Kitchen winner garnered more than a million impressions and 35% of the viewers watched the video in its entirety. Foodies love to watch food.

Gather Feedback and Adapt

Finally, keep a pulse on the foodie community by actively seeking feedback from visitors and those in your restaurant business. By understanding everyone’s preferences and adjusting your content messages, you’ll build a strong and loyal foodie following from locals and visitors.