Small businesses tend to focus on traditional forms of advertising, such as printed advertisements or big signs by the side of the road. Owners often assume that because they offer a good product or service, it’s only a matter of time until customers find their way to them. The truth is, this strategy will only bring in a small amount of business. With digital marketing, there is a better and easier way.
In today's world, everyone is glued to their laptop or cell phone. If your business does not have a significant online presence, you are missing an opportunity to connect with thousands of potential customers.
Here is a list of the top 5 benefits small businesses receive from focusing on digital advertising:
Need help? Reach out by visiting the contact page and receive your free marketing audit. Focus on running the day-to-day operations of your business. Leave the marketing to someone with proven results and experience.
It's no secret that Facebook Ads work for local businesses. The advertising platform has proven itself to be successful time and time again. Here are the top 4 reasons why...
1. It's cost-efficient.
The first place local businesses generally start when advertising online is either Google or Yelp. However, there are two problems with this. Number one, advertising on Google is going to be very expensive. Often times, you will be forced to pay roughly $5 for just 1 person to click and visit your website. Once most businesses realize this, they quickly stop advertising online and conclude that it doesn't work - which couldn't be further from the truth! Secondly, Yelp is just plain awful. The platform does not allow you to view the results in detail or calculate your Return on Investment (ROI).
With Facebook, link clicks can be as cheap as just a couple cents. Their platform tools allow you to measure every aspect of your ad campaign. For example, how much each link click costs you, how much it's costing you to show your ad to 1000 people, and how many people actually take your offer, etc.). Even with a low ad-budget on Facebook you can receive an amazing ROI!
2. Easily target people within a certain geographical area of your business
Facebook has outstanding targeting features that will allow you to target a specific single town or city. This makes it easy to only show your advertisement to the people who will be able to walk or drive to your store. People will typically only travel up to 20 minutes in order to reach a shop, restaurant, or service which roughly works out to be a 40 mile radius.
3. Easily promote coupons and offers
Using Facebook’s Offers app, you can easily advertise your coupons and drive people to claim them on Facebook. It does not cost you anything to upload coupons/offers to Facebook and it is a fantastic way to get people in the door.
4. Target people who have bought from you in the past
Using Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting option, you can target people that you have previously collected an email address or phone number from. If you use any kind of loyalty program (which is always a highly recommended), then you will automatically have this kind of information.
These are just a few highlights of why Facebook ads work so well for local businesses! If you need help getting started with promoting your business on Facebook, reach out for more information
via the contact page.
Social Media Marketing For Restaurants
Many restaurants attempt to use social media as a way to market their establishment, but struggle at doing it effectively. The truth is, it isn't always easy. Social media has huge potential for drawing in new customers, but only if you know how to properly use the tools at your disposal. Improving how your restaurant uses social media can increase awareness in your community and will have more customers seated in your dining room.
Statistics always play an important role in making informed marketing decisions. If you're on the fence about how necessary social media is for your restaurant, keep these numbers in mind. According to Modern Restaurant Management's website:
With that in mind, here are 10 social media tips that will have your restaurant standing out amongst others in town:
1. Accurate Profile Information:
While it might seem obvious, it is important to make sure the key information listed about your business is always up-to-date. This is all the necessary information someone would need at a first glance including: hours, phone number, address, and your website link.
Because social networks do not prompt you to check or update this section, it is sometimes forgotten about. Some restaurants might have seasonal hours that change throughout the year. Make sure your social profiles reflect this and any other changes.
2. Professional & Meaningful Content:
Professional and meaningful content will go a long way with potential diners. Posts should always be restaurant orientated. Refrain from anything personal or political. People interacting with your business's page came to learn about your restaurant and nothing else. Include photos and videos as often as possible. Images like the one below will hook new customers and have them saying, "I want that for lunch".
3. Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes
Regardless of how you plan on marketing, you should always know your target market. To determine your target market, here are some basic questions to ask yourself:
4. Contests and Offers
Everyone likes a good deal. Running promotions will hook new customers and have them coming back for more. Here are some popular ideas:
5. Cover all the Bases
This is a simple and easy practice to follow with social media marketing. If you share something on one platform, make sure you share it on all platforms. This will allow you to gain the most exposure possible. For example, if you post that yummy burger photo to Instagram, don't forget about Facebook and Twitter.
6. Engage with your Followers
Customers like to see a business that is engaged with them. When customers comment on your posts, take time to reply. It shows you value their support. If a customer comments something negative, like a bad experience, publicly apologizing and offering a resolution through the comment section shows customer care.
The same goes for online reviews from platforms such as Facebook and Yelp. Thank customers for their input and always show your appreciation. If something negative is mentioned, ensure that you'll work to see it fixed and offer that they return for a second chance.
7. Advertising Never Hurts
All social media platforms, including Yelp, offer outstanding advertising options. In a nutshell, here's why you should pay for advertising on social media:
The answer is no. Your free posts only reach people who are already following your page. Paid posts and ads allow you to reach new people by expanding the audience that is able to see your content.
8. Show the Behind the Scenes
Don't be afraid to show customers how you operate. Give a peak behind the bar and inside the kitchen. If your chef and bartender are comfortable, make short demonstration videos that show off what your restaurant has to offer. Ask your employees and customers for their feedback on what kind of content they'd like to see.
Don't be afraid that a cooking demonstration will give away your "secrets" and stop customers from coming in to eat. Realistically, customers would rather have a delicious dish prepared from them, instead of cooking at home and dealing with a messy kitchen.
9. Share Customer Content
Everyone knows the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words.". Encourage customers to take photos of their food and overall experience. Ask that they share it on social media and tag your restaurant for a chance to get showcased. Every so often, search through and find the best photos of people enjoying what your restaurant has to offer. Share their post to your restaurant's social media pages. These candid customer inspired posts make excellent content and advertisements for your restaurant.
10. Promote Community Actives
Overall, businesses that play an active role in their community tend to do better. Use your social media to share how your team is getting involved. Create events on Facebook to promote fundraisers that take place at your restaurant and don't forget to post pictures and videos. Encourage your employees to volunteer, on behalf of your business, as a "Giving Back Initiative". This is an excellent way to get your name in the public's eye, all while doing something good for the community that supports your business.
Across all social media platforms you'll often see hashtags, but when and where should they be used? A recent study revealed that for Facebook, "...posts without hashtags generated more reach than those with tags added".
If you still want to use hashtags, don't worry. They are still relevant in today's marketing. It is recommended to incorporate hashtags into your Twitter and Instagram posts - but just not Facebook. Here are some good practices to keep in mind when developing hashtags:
~ Make it memorable and easy to remember
~ Keep it short and simple
~ Don't just use the brand name
Think of your hashtags as keywords that someone would use to find your specific brand or product. Keep in mind, the purpose of hashtags is to allow social media content to become searchable. Correctly using hashtags will help you gain exposure and grow your audience.
Sometimes it can be difficult to think of and determine the proper hashtags (key words) that will spike your exposure. Marketing professionals have access to online tools that will generate a list of popular hashtags (based on analytics) that would possibly attract the most views for your brand or product.
On August 24th, Facebook is rolling out a new layout for business pages. If your page is subject to change, you would have received a notification directly from Facebook. The only pages that will be affected is those that offer services.
According to Facebook, "The new template is specifically for Pages to help people get the information they need easier and faster. Relevant information such as your hours, price range and recommendations are prioritized so people can easily take action, like placing an order or contacting you directly."
If you are in a hurry to have the latest layout, you can manually apply the new templet at any time from your Page settings. Otherwise, on August 24th Facebook with automatically make the transition for you.
Overall, the objective of these changes is to make key information easily accessible to visitors who visit your page. That way, people do not have to go hunting your for contact info.
DID YOU KNOW: On average, a consumer will only spend up to 5 seconds looking for the information they need (such as a phone number or hours) before moving on.
Yes, it's true. Even though we live in a world where practically nothing is free, you could very well secure advertising for your business without breaking the bank.
Traditional ads (such as a television, newspaper, or radio) could cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Often times, this is not an expense smaller businesses are willing to take on especially with today's economy. Luckily, thanks to technology, new options and trends are constantly emerging that will allow you to reach your target market at little to no cost. Below is a breakdown of a few cheap but effective advertising options that might work well for you:
1. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter:
Social media, whether we like it or not, has pretty much taken over our lives. People, like you and me, spend our free moments and down time scrolling through post after post. Sometimes it is to see what our friends are up to, what events are going on in town, or whatever else might interest you. Because our lives are so congested with social media, it is important for businesses to have a strong presence on these sites. It is totally free to create social media accounts and pages to build an online audience around your business. These platforms provide a place to rally your customers, provide exciting news/updates, and so much more at no cost to you.
If you're looking to take your social media accounts to the next level, most platforms offer an option for paid advertising which allow you to broaden your horizons and reach more potential customers. It is usually inexpensive to run these advertisements for a short period of time.
This free platform is perfect for letting your creative side run wild. Instead of spending thousands on airing a television commercial, create a similar length video and post it to your business's YouTube channel. This is a fairly new advertising method that many companies (large and small) are beginning to introduce. It is effective and costs nothing to upload a video and reach your target market. Interested viewers have the ability to share the video with their friends which allows you to reach even more potential customers. Sometimes, depending on the brand or product, producing a video advertisement could be the best way to get your message across.
3. Word of Mouth:
Encourage your clients to invite their friends. You have probably seen this method promoted frequently with businesses both large and small. Offering a referral program is a great (and cheap) way to get your existing customers to do your marketing for you. A 'refer-a-friend' program offers a reward to both parties when an existing customer brings a new customer along. For example, a hair salon could offer a referral program that dishes out a 20% discount on the next haircut. The incentive sweetens the deal so that your existing customers want to share how happy they are with your services.
John Markowski is a college student majoring in Advertising and Marketing Communications.
When you invest your hard earned dollars back into your business's marketing plan, it is important to get the most bang for your buck. The first step to being successful at grabbing a potential customer's attention, is to make sure you are preaching to the right choir.
In today's world, there are so many forms of advertising and people are constantly being bombarded with advertisements everywhere they look.
Before you purchase your next advertisement, take a moment to think about who you are trying to attract. Looking at demographic market segmentation during this process is helpful. The advertising industry breaks down target demographics into the following age groups:
12 – 17
18 – 24
25 – 34
35 – 44
45 – 54
55 – 64
Naturally, with each age group, the type of media consumed is different. Make sure the age group and media used for the advertisement match with the message you are trying to convey. An obvious example of this would be: using a newspaper advertisement to reach potential customers in the 65+ age group regarding your senior discount. We can predict that people 65 years old and up are more likely to read a newspaper than someone who is between the ages of 18 and 24.
However, age should not be your only factor. With certain advertisements, gender might also be an important factor to consider. For example, it would make the most sense for a bridal shop to target women between the ages of 25 and 34. A quick Google search will tell you that is the average age span of when people get married and advertising wedding dresses to men would be a waste.
Online advertisements (such as on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat) are mostly viewed by individuals in the 18 to 24 age group. Additionally, people from this age group (and below) have had technology at their finger tips since birth and know how to use it effectively. With that said, it is important to have a well established online presence because when someone is looking for information, the first place they'll turn to is Google.
Now that you know the importance of focusing on your target market, you will be able to spend your money appropriately and reach the potential customers your company needs to thrive.
John Markowski is a college student majoring in Advertising and Marketing Communications. He is also currently a Marketing Intern for the Wire Association International.