AST EARL, Pa. (WSBT) — A restaurant in Pennsylvania is going viral for a very realistic and delicious-looking deer cake.
Shady Maple Smorgasbord posted the photo of the gigantic cake on Facebook that has since gotten over 800 comments and over 5000 shares:
The restaurant says a bride and groom brought in antlers and requested a deluxe dessert for their wedding day, and boy did they get one! It took Cake Decorating Supervisor Pam McNeal over 10 hours to make.
We're told the deer's head and neck were carved from Styrofoam, and the back part of the animal is all cake, enough to feed 250 people.
The couple's wedding was this past Saturday -- we wish you two all the best!
Promoting your restaurant with Facebook and Instagram ads is a surefire way to acquire new customers. But with millions of restaurants vying for attention, how can you guarantee your restaurant stands out?
Restaurants have to be promoting themselves with targeted and beautifully designed, paid Facebook and Instagram ads, particularly in tight markets like the New York metro area, where the crowded restaurant scene is highly competitive.
If you have a Facebook page and an Instagram account for your restaurant (and why wouldn’t you?), you might be disappointed in the reach and engagement of your posts. Organic reach for posts on Facebook pages is dismal. By some estimates, just 2% of a restaurant’s fan base will see its unpaid posts. The best way to make sure that your content reaches as many people as possible is with a paid promotion.
Boosting Your Post
Most restaurants know how to boost a post, mainly because Facebook is constantly suggesting it. But simply boosting a post is Facebook basic advertising 101. There’s little to no strategy behind what you’re doing and the post you’re boosting may not be very effective.
You are far better off planning an ad campaign and creating it in the Ads Manager.
Video ads perform much better than static image ads for restaurants. There are several different formats for ad campaigns, but we’ve found video is important for restaurants because it gives them a chance to showcase several offerings in an engaging format.
You can choose to run the ad both on Facebook and Instagram—simultaneously or separately. We often find that Facebook aims your ads almost exclusively to Facebook users and therefore the ad is hardly delivered on Instagram. So, you may want to consider running two separate campaigns—one on each platform.
When you run an ad on Facebook, the platform gives you the ability to select your own audience. We always recommend selecting your own ‘custom audience’ over targeting people who have liked your page because it is cheaper, and you know exactly who and where you are targeting.
Audience targeting on Facebook and Instagram can get incredibly precise. In general, it’s safe to say that a restaurant should be targeting its ad campaigns around a geographic radius based on the restaurant’s location. Since our goal is to cultivate “regular customers” for our clients, we stick to a fairly close area, usually 3 to 10 miles depending on how densely populated their area is. Depending on the demographics of your customer base, you might also want to target by age or personal interests such as healthy eating, wine, fine dining, craft beer, etc.
If you’ve never run Facebook or Instagram ad campaigns before, keep your audience fairly broad at first and let Facebook do its magic. Facebook will detect which audience segments are engaging more with your ad and will start filtering more of your budget toward that population. It’s an excellent way of gathering intel on who your actual target market is, which you can use for later campaigns.
Thinking It Through
The types of ads you use will depend on your objectives as a restaurant owner. We feel strongly that “Click to your website” is the appropriate objective for restaurants. People who take action by following a link to your website to view your menu have more serious intentions than someone who is simply “liking” a photo. If they care enough to visit your website, capitalize on their visit! Is there an offer you can make in exchange for their email address?
To help you judge whether your ad campaign is performing well, Facebook offers many metrics in its reporting. Some of the most important things to look at are the number of link clicks and impressions, as well as the Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Thousand Ad Views (CPM). You want to keep both CPC and CPM as low as possible.
Recently, we ran a campaign for a newly renovated restaurant whose owners wanted to get the word out about all the changes in both decor and menu. We ran video ad campaigns on both Instagram and Facebook within a seven-mile radius. The total budget for the month was $350. We ultimately drove 1,400 people to their website for .25 per click. Our CPM was under $8.00. Total for all clicks was over 4,000. That means likes, shares, comments and tagging friends. Where else can you get that kind of bang for your advertising buck?
Image quality is an important, yet often overlooked element of any ad campaign. Quality and professionalism really matter in the restaurant industry. While it’s certainly possible to take incredible images with an iPhone, if you don’t think you’re up to the task, you need to commit to finding a photographer who can capture appetizing images and videos of your best menu items.
If you would like more information about how to acquire diners with Facebook and Instagram ads, then reach out to our team at Market to Foodies. We specialize in restaurant marketing for the digital age.
Investors have been very upbeat about PepsiCo's (NASDAQ:PEP) prospects this year, as the company invests in areas to accelerate sales growth and position itself for sustainable long-term returns. The stock is up 28% so far in 2019 and the latest results seem to have met the already high expectations investors have for the snack-food giant.
Let's look at a few highlights from the fiscal third-quarter earnings report that has investors so optimistic.
Starting with the top line, organic (non-GAAP) revenue increased by 4.3% year over year. This is slightly below the year-ago quarter's 4.9% increase, but it's still impressive for this global brand powerhouse to post more than 4% growth on top of the strong results in last year's third quarter. Year to date, Pepsi's organic revenue is up 4.6%, which is better than the 3.4% growth reported for the same period this time last year.
Core earnings per share (EPS) on a constant-currency basis were down 1% year over year for the quarter and down 0.5% year to date. However, core EPS of $1.56 beat analysts' estimates by $0.06 per share.
Explaining the backdrop for the strong results, PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta said, "We are making good progress against our strategic priorities and our businesses are performing well as we continue to make the necessary investments in our capabilities, brands, manufacturing and go-to-market capacity to propel our future growth."
Investments paying off
The stock continues to soar despite the lower earnings because investors understand that the investments in marketing and additional capacity are putting the company's brands on offense against competitors. Marketing expense is up 12% year to date and is being directed toward Pepsi's most important brands and geographies.
The Frito-Lay business, which comprises the company's snack food brands in the U.S. and Canada, saw organic revenue increase by 5.5%, enough to gain market share in the quarter. Management noted strong growth in core brands, such as Doritos, Cheetos, Ruffles, and Fritos. Smaller premium brands, including Bare and Off the Beaten Path saw double-digit revenue growth.
The most impressive aspect of these results was the balanced performance across all channels -- grocery, mass, club, convenience, foodservice, and e-commerce -- which is not an easy thing to accomplish given the complexity of managing dozens of brands across different sales channels, especially with competitors trying to grow sales, too.
The North American beverage business saw an acceleration last quarter, improving from organic revenue growth of 2.5% in the fiscal second quarter to 3% in the third quarter. Management is especially pleased with the performance of Gatorade, which gained market share. Gatorade Zero has been a very successful new innovation, exceeding $500 million in retail sales since launching last year.
Pepsi is making investments internationally to drive higher per-capita spending and increase market share, and the results show the efforts are paying off. Organic revenue from developing and emerging markets increased by 7% year over year, including double-digit growth in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, and Pakistan.
Laguarta's comments during the fiscal third-quarter conference call suggest that Pepsi may still have a few more gears to shift into to accelerate sales growth:
We're invested to increase the capacity and reach of our go-to-market systems with substantial investments in new routes, merchandising racks and coolers, and we're investing in additional manufacturing capacity to remove bottlenecks and expand growth capacity for our brands. These include investments in new plants, new lines and added distribution infrastructure.
Pepsico is also investing in technology, highlighted by the strength in the company's digital sales capabilities. E-commerce is on pace to generate nearly $2 billion in revenue this year.
Management put the cherry on top for the quarter by raising sales expectations for the year. The company now expects to meet or exceed 4% organic revenue growth for the full year. Core EPS should be down 1% in 2019, but free cash flow is expected to be approximately $5 billion.
The company plans to return $8 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. On the surface, that looks unsustainable, since a business can't continue to distribute more than it brings in year after year. But investors should look at the excess return as a vote of confidence from management in the long-term expectation that free cash flow and net income will move higher.
Influencer marketing is among the most popular methods of growing a business through the social media platform. Influencers have the eyes and ears of hundreds of thousands (and in some cases, millions) of individuals. Their status, reach and willingness to work with businesses makes them a perfect asset for marketing.
But some companies have yet to realize how impactful influencers can be and are reluctant to tap into this form of marketing. Below, 11 members of Forbes Coaches Council share some crucial advice for businesses who are interested in developing a business relationship with influencers but don't know how to get the ball rolling.
1. Get To Know The Influencer
Take the time to research the influencer and investigate whether your business is really a fit for their audience, before you reach out. Get to know the influencer and understand why people follow that person, then align your pitch to that. Your pitch will be more personalized and effective, and then, when it's a genuine fit, it will make your influencer more excited to offer you to their audience. - Natalie Ehmka, Natalie Ehmka Coaching & Consulting
2. Confirm Value Alignment First
Influencers create amazing buzz around products, services and even brands, but before partnering up, make sure your values align first. Do your research, get referrals and see their work firsthand! It's scary to attach your brand to someone else's, as so much can go wrong. But, if done properly, so much can go right! Ensure proper vetting before taking the leap. - Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken Mastermind Coaching
3. Make Authentic Contact
Research the influencer to discover a recent piece of content they published that you can comment on or purchase their products. When you make contact, you have a better chance of being remembered. Rather than only asking, start off giving. Give them an interview slot on your podcast to promote their product or service and consider amplifying the interview with a press and media release that you promote. - Mike Saunders, MBA, Marketing Huddle, LLC
4. Begin With A Win-Win
Begin with the end in mind. Reciprocity is always a win-win. When reaching out to a marketing influencer, be sure to know about their specific expertise before trying to connect. When you do reach out, be sure to emphasize how collaboration with your business will be a benefit to their bottom line. Authentic connection is most rewarding when all parties benefit from the collaboration. - Dr. Melissa Weathersby, 5-Star Empowerment
5. Build Trust With An Agreement
A marketing influencer contract establishes a foundation to empower and motivate influencers to achieve success in key target markets and help convert the people into loyal customers. Agreed-upon terms will ensure proper management and execution of commitment and results, enabling high consumer loyalty and trust for the company's brand, products and services. - Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting
6. Articulate Both Value Propositions
You may be able to recruit a few influencers who owe you a favor. But to be truly successful in influencer marketing, there needs to be a quid pro quo. You need to be clear about the value that you will bring to the influencer, as well as the value that you will bring to those with whom they connect you. Be prepared to clearly articulate both value propositions. - Brian Gorman, TransformingLives.Coach
7. Set Clear Goals
Set clear goals and be ready for a long haul to achieve the best results. The questions to ask are, do you want to boost your product sales, gain exposure for your services, position your brand as an industry leader, establish credibility or something else. Next, determine the influencers in your niche that you align with, begin with giving, build a relationship and then reach out with a simple ask. - Divya Parekh, DP Group
8. Make It About Them
The No. 1 thing you must do is your research on the influencer you want to collaborate with. What is meaningful to them? Make it about them and give before you ask. Engage with their content. Be specific and acknowledge what you love about their work. Offer to make an intro, or give a tip. Serve them. When you lead with a give and don't see the person as being above you, you'll get their attention! - Christina Jandali, Deliver Your Genius
9. Prepare A Package
If you are going to reach out to influencers, you must make it easy for them to get money and promote you. Put together a package with your sales copy, videos and pics for them to copy and paste as posts. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to promote your product. - Ryan Stewman, Break Free Academy
10. Look For A Long-Term Partner, Not A Quick Fix
I believe that a business and its influencer(s) need to have similar values, target groups and goals in order to succeed. So, have an honest conversation about your expectations, your "why," deliverables on both sides and interests. See how you can help each other. Make it a fair deal. Give your best to build the foundations for a long-term partnership rather than looking for a quick, cheap fix. - Dr. Natalia Wiechowski, Think Natalia
11. Collide And Meld
Beginning an influencer-brand relationship is grounded in identifying commonalities between the two. How can the brand and influencer collide and meld the approach to lifestyle, aesthetics and target audiences? The answer can be found by first researching the influencer's current social and commercial attractiveness. The interview process provides the opportunity to confirm the fit. - Deborah Hightower, Deborah Hightower, Inc.
RTB. DMP. DSP. SSP. It might seem like Greek at first, but programmatic marketing and its terminology aren’t all that complex. And this strategy can be one of the most efficient and profitable for your marketing budget. If you’re not already using programmatic advertising, you’re missing out on a more intelligent way to reach your target audience. In fact, over 80% of all digital ad spend in the U.S. is programmatic, and it’s expected to increase to $66 billion by next year. From basic definition to tips for success, this post has all the essential programmatic marketing information you need to know.
Programmatic marketing defined
Basically, programmatic marketing is the use of software to buy digital ad space. This strategy uses data to determine which ads to buy and for how much money, often in real time. Programmatic systems continually coordinate to target individuals based on what they are most likely to engage with and at a time they’re likely to do just that. Largely automated, programmatic buying does rely on algorithms and technology to buy the advertising. However, even the best technology is futile if your messaging is irrelevant or poorly crafted. With programmatic marketing, the time saved on cumbersome manual bidding opens marketers up for more sophisticated ad campaigns and strategic optimization, which ultimately improves bidding algorithm performance.
The two types of programmatic advertising
Real time bidding (RTB)
Real time bidding (RTB) is the most popular type of programmatic marketing. It involves the purchase of ads through real-time auctions on a per-impression basis. The four necessary components to RTB are the publisher, a supply-side platform, a demand-side platform, and an advertiser. The process for this system takes mere seconds to complete and begins when an internet user clicks on a webpage. The publisher of the page then puts the ad impression up for auction. Finally, the advertiser with the highest bid (automated) wins the display.
This type of marketing is a bit closer to traditional media buying. It is the use of programmatic software to directly buy a guaranteed number of impressions in advance from specific publisher sites. Though programmatic direct is less common than RTB, publishers sometimes reserve their most valuable space for these direct deals with top-tier advertisers. Programmatic direct is also a desirable option for buyers who are planning campaigns that they want to ensure the right placements and prices for in advance.
Some important terms to be familiar with:
Data management platform (DMP) – used by marketers, agencies, and publishers to handle and merge data.
Demand-side platform (DSP) – offers advertisers the ability to launch and manage online ad campaigns on an open exchange as well as use DMPs.
Supply-side platform (SSP) – used by publishers to connect their inventory to DSPs and ad networks and sell advertising at the most advantageous rates using RTB.
(Check out Unruly’s programmatic glossary of other related terms.)
How it works
Media agencies are the most popular method of buying programmatic advertising. In an Econsultancy survey, 43% of respondents reported using an entirely agency-run programmatic trading model. When choosing a provider, it is important to evaluate the company’s technology, expertise, inventory and data. Once a provider is selected, you will supply them information about your campaign and key performance indicators. From this information, an algorithm is created. This algorithm determines where your money is best spent because it uses real-time, first- and third-party data to identify consumers by their behaviors, interests, devices, geography, time of day and even weather. These personal insights allow you to reach a very specific demographic at an ideal time and location, even on an impression-by-impression basis. The programmatic system launches your campaign and monitors your spending for improvement opportunities.
Tips for success
What to watch for
Because programmatic relies on algorithms, advertisers and publishers have limited control. Ads can sometimes appear where you might not want them. To protect your brand image, a blacklist – or even a whitelist – can narrow the field of sites and ensure that ads land in appropriate spaces. Additionally, strengthen your provider contract with specificity to protect your interests. Clarify the stability of tech fees, visibility into purchased media and distribution of impressions, control over your advertising and access to data, even in the instance of a hypothetical supplier switch. You will want to follow up to make sure your purchased impressions were delivered as well. Also, keep in mind that agencies have relationships with publishers, which can create bias toward those publishers when it comes to your advertising. Lastly, it’s important to be wary of bot fraud too, which costs digital advertisers billions annually.
You’re all set! Armed with basic programmatic marketing understanding, you are ready to set goals and start new campaigns. The days of tedious, reservation-based orders with 40+ steps will just be part of your history as you evolve away from expensive, unreliable practices. Streamline your ad-buying process by embracing the programmatic marketing approach, and the rewards will be obvious, from increased flexibility to expanded publisher access to higher ROI. Ultimately, it will bring you closer to delivering the right message, to the right person, at just the right time.
Improve Your Marketing Reporting: Looker, Tableau, Power BI, Databox, and GrowFrom business owners to senior executives to marketing managers to frontline staff, entire organizations are utilizing one type of software as both a strategic and tactical tool, as well as a way to improve marketing reporting. Business intelligence software (BI) is being used to leverage big data and cloud computing in order to sort, analyze, and present complex datasets in easy-to-read reports.
Over the last 14 years, big data and business analytics have grown to over $187 billion globally, as predicted recently by the IDC.
Why are more and more companies utilizing BI software?
Main Benefits of Business Intelligence SoftwareGain Insight for Your Marketing StrategyBI software allows you to optimize business intelligence for sales opportunities, lead generation, lead conversion, market analysis, marketing strategy, and customer segmentation. By combining various databases with real-time data and cross-departmental collaboration, organizations are able to manipulate huge volumes of data and surface an almost unlimited amount of insights. These can include:
Five Solid BI Solutions to Improve Marketing ReportingAnalytics are the backbone of business operations for organizations of all sizes and industries. In order for these organizations to understand their employees, customers, and processes—and develop effective marketing plans—they need to be able to effectively analyze their data analytics and provide a useful portrait of said data.
Looker, Tableau, Microsoft’s Power BI, Databox, and Grow each provide comprehensive business intelligence tools complete with data analytics, visualizations, and collaboration with other programs. Below, we give you the 411 on these give popular BI solutions, along with details on where each one excels and where they fall short.
Looker Data PlatformFrom dashboards to reporting, the Looker Data Platform is a one-stop shop for BI, analytics, visualization, and data management. For businesses both large and small, data can be analyzed in real time within Looker’s 100 percent in-database and browser-based platform.
The platform, which integrates with any SQL database or data warehouse, has powerful sharing capabilities. In addition, Looker’s data models, called LookML, allow non-technical users to scan an SQL database successfully without prior coding knowledge. Users are also able to create new metrics, edit the LookML data model, and have access to a large variety of visuals including charts, graphs, and maps.
Where Looker Excels
IntegrationsLooker offers open APIs for integration with custom or third-party applications.
PricingLooker doesn’t offer pricing information, but instead develops customized quotes based on organizational needs. Variables that affect pricing include the size of the deployment, the amount of database connections, and how many users will have access to the platform.
Where Looker Falls Short
TableauTableau offers a robust platform for data visualization and analytic reporting. Perfect for organizations of any type and size, Tableau offers simplicity and ease of use with drag-and-drop features, the ability to share information across an organization and create dynamic visualizations and reports, without the need for any coding or programming skills.
Where Tableau Excels
IntegrationsTableau offers the Tableau Extensions application programming interface (API), which allows for the direct integration of web-based applications into the Tableau dashboard. Other dashboard integrations include customer relationship management (CRM) systems; integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools; extract, transform, and load (ETL) software; and the Microsoft Office Suite.
In addition, Tableau offers support for hundreds of data connectors such as online analytical processing (OLAP).
Sample integrations include Facebook, Google Analytics, Google BigQuery, Google Ads, Google Sheets, Salesforce, and Twitter. Deployment options include Windows, Linux, AWS CodeDeploy, Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform.
PricingIn addition to a 14-day free trial for new users, Tableau offers customized subscription services based on number of users, and whether or not an organization needs data prepping, data cleaning, or hosting services. Plans range from $12–70 per month, per user.
Where Tableau Falls Short
Microsoft’s Power BIWith a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights, Microsoft’s Power BI gives a bird’s-eye view of any organization through its cloud-based analytics platform. It simplifies sharing and evaluation for users by allowing them to connect all of your data sources, visualize and discover what’s important, and share that information both inside and outside the organization.
Where Power BI Excels
IntegrationsPower BI integrates with Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Microsoft Excel, Mailchimp, GitHub, Comscore, Adobe Analytics, Acumatica, Circuit ID, and Azure Mobile Management, Zendesk, and more.
PricingPower BI offers a free desktop version for individual users, as well as packages that start at $9.99 per month, per user, which include features like data governance, content packaging, and distribution. A free 60-day trial of this package is available. Premium plans start at $4,995 per month, per dedicated cloud computer and storage resource.
Where Power BI Falls Short
Databox Data PlatformWith Databox, a cloud-based business analytics tool, users can incorporate data from multiple sources into customizable KPI dashboards that are viewable from any device. Features include drag-and-drop capabilities, customizable report viewing with multiple data visualizations, live previews, custom metrics, events, statistics, and goals.
Where Databox Excels
Customer Service and Support
IntegrationsDatabox currently integrates with 70+ applications, including all major social media platforms, Mailchimp, Stripe, Zendesk, Google Analytics, Google Ads, HubSpot and more.
PricingDatabox offers a subscription-based service ranging from $49-$250 a month. They also offer a free tier that gives you the opportunity to build out 3 dashboards.
Where Databox Falls Short
Grow Data PlatformWith the Grow cloud-based data platform, marketers are able to combine data from hundreds of connections including Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Analytics, Twitter, and MySQL (as well as spreadsheets and in-house data sources) into one fully customizable dashboard that gives a real-time, enterprise-wide, visually beautiful view of your business analytics, trends, workflows, and key activities.
Where Grow Excels
Customer Service and Support
IntegrationsGrow currently integrates with 123 applications, including all major social media platforms, Marketo, Microsoft Excel, Salesforce, Zendesk, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and more.
PricingGrow doesn’t offer pricing information, but instead develops customized quotes based on organizational needs. Variables that affect pricing include the size of the deployment, the amount of database connections, and how many users will have access to the platform.
Where Grow Falls Short
Which BI Solution Is Right for You?In summary, you’ll want to choose a platform based on the vision you have for your organization, your data strategy, your marketing needs, and your specific business users’ needs. Whether you choose Looker, Tableau, Power BI, Databox, or Grow, you’ll want to define the future state of your business with a clearly outlined, well-thought-out data strategy that includes a tiered roadmap of how you’ll execute each step of your data architecture.
Enterprises have diverse needs and requirements and no software platform will be a perfect out-of-the-box solution that fulfills all of your business requirements. Instead, plan on customizing the application of your choice for your special wants, staff member skill levels, budget, and other needs.
Do your groundwork, look into each application in detail, read a few reviews, contact the seller for explanations, and finally select the application that offers the features and flexibility you desire.
As a small business owner, your day-to-day activities require wearing many hats. One of the most important, but overlooked, hats that you wear is marketing your product or service. Limited staff, budget and time can cause restrictions and roadblocks for small business owners, so it is easy to let marketing efforts fall through the cracks. There are so many high-quality free tools available on the internet to keep any small business growing. With the right tools, you can connect with customers, build your brand and see a return on your investment.
So, how do you know if you are spending your time and money on the best tools that are going to maximize your marketing efforts? Easy. Our experts at Ironistic compiled a helpful list of marketing tools for entrepreneurs and business owners that are cost-effective, trackable, and can help grow your business over time.
Below are five digital marketing tools that are guaranteed to help you jump-start your marketing efforts:
Are you design-challenged? Canva is so easy to use that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create high-end images for your social media posts and websites. Yet, Canva can do so much more than creating images. You can use it to develop presentations, create digital ads, print materials and more. You can even compile and import important data and use it to build custom charts. The best part of all, Canva is 100% free to use. Here are some social media post examples.
Website Analytics: Google Analytics
The best tool out there to measure traffic on your site is the leading search engine itself – Google. Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track where your website gets its traffic. Once installed on your website, you will be able to find out which marketing tactics are generating the most leads and sales conversion, how many visitors come to your site, and what content on your site they prefer.
Need some help reading through your Analytics data? Contact one of our experts today!
Social Media: AgoraPulse
With so many social media tools out there, it can be challenging to figure out which ones are best suited for your business needs. Agorapulse is considered the all in one solution for managing social media posts, comments, and messages. This tool helps with managing your content, conversations, and analytics in a clean, user-friendly dashboard. Not only are you able to connect to multiple social media accounts, but you are also able to collaborate with team members and schedule content for approval.
Moz has a collection of online tools available that really goes above and beyond for its users. A tool like Moz Pro helps you research and manage the popular keywords for your business. It includes an on-page grader that will give you recommendations for making sure you are optimized for a specific keyword on any page of your site. Another feature loved about Moz is Moz local. This tool is built specifically to help businesses improve local SEO listings. It aggregates all of your local listings in one place and ensures that your business listings are correct, consistent and visible online.
Email Marketing: Emma
Email marketing is a cost-effective solution that allows small businesses to build their brand and effectively reach out to their customer base. Emma offers a variety of features and visually stunning email templates. You can build email campaigns easily with a drag and drop editor, real-time analytics, audience segmentation, subject-line testing, and automated email workflows. What makes Emma stand out is their robust dashboard with detailed email analytics to help improve performance.
Now that we’ve introduced you to some of the must-have marketing tools for your small business, the fun can start! Dive into these platforms and start developing your killer marketing strategy. It may take some time to see your marketing efforts comes to fruition, but once you get some people interested, you’re on a straight path to success.
To say the United States has many small businesses would be an understatement — according to JP Morgan Chase & Co., more than 99% of America’s businesses are included in this category. Collectively, they contribute $5.9 trillion dollars to the economy every year.
Small business appeals to a lot of people, but it takes hard work and drive to succeed. During more than 37 years in small business and franchise environments, I have seen more successes than failures, but near all of those failures could have been easily avoided if the business owners had conducted the extensive planning and preparation required to thrive.
Make Sure You’re Ready
To prepare themselves for the unexpected, startups should secure sufficient working capital and have a reserve source ready should things not go as planned. Creating multiple growth scenarios that each consider differing expense, revenue and growth capital levels can help prepare for the future no matter what growth trajectory the business takes
Be prepared for the unexpected. Here are three common mistakes that catch most small business owners by surprise:
1. Not Knowing Your Partners
Most small business failure stems from disagreements in leadership. Make sure you trust the people you’re starting the business with and have a written buyout formula that you both agree on. The biggest mistake small business owners can make is assuming issues won’t occur as the business grows.
2. Not Having a Business Plan
Your business needs a plan to most effectively manage your revenue, expense and working capital projections that doesn’t exhaust your funding or your staff. Don’t try to wing it, because this rarely works. Instead, develop a plan to effectively manage the resources of your business and your working capital and know exactly where it goes.
Many business owners also rush to hire employees without considering their qualifications, which can lead to management issues. Surrounding yourself with quality employees, especially early on, can make a huge difference in your long-term success.
3. Expecting Instant Success
Despite the image we get from shows like Shark Tank, success won’t come easily to most small business owners, and it will be hard-won. Many small businesses struggle to become profitable, or deliver the kind of wealth their owners expect in the first few months. But being in business for yourself has the potential to be extremely rewarding as long as you have a plan. Stick with it and see it through. Manage for long term success and expect short term wins as you go.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Small business owners should be prepared to work harder than they’ve ever worked for anyone else, because there’s often nobody else to do the work for them. Mistakes will happen, but they don’t have to be the failure of your company. When you do make a mistake, remember to take the time to think through what happened, and thoroughly review the mistake so you can avoid it in the future. Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes, and know that you will learn from them if you keep trying and pushing forward.
Heat up your business
The restaurant industry is expected to reach $863 billion in sales in 2019 and it’s up to individual operators to determine how big their slice of the pie is. Providing quality food and service creates invaluable word-of-mouth marketing, but there’s something many restaurants owners and marketers overlook when it comes to driving business: signage. When potential patrons are considering where to eat, they need to first find the restaurant, and then be drawn indoors with appealing signage.
From fast food to fast casual, the right signs and visual graphics can help heat up business. Here are some tips for determining the right signage for your restaurant, both inside and out.
Communicate who you are
The first thing to do is to determine the messaging and visual branding style. A contemporary restaurant has a very different feel than an older, historical establishment, and the signs and graphics seen throughout typically reflect that. Whether planning signage for a new restaurant or rebranding an established concept, ensure that the signs and graphics reflect the personality of the brand by using a typestyle, colors, photographs and words in ways that represent the restaurant. Exterior signage should give diners an idea of what to expect inside.
Start with the outside
Put the restaurant name or logo on the building or space and, if in a shopping center, on the pylon sign. Use appealing graphics in the windows. If the restaurant is off the beaten path, like in the back of a shopping plaza or a down a flight of stairs, utilize signage to help customers find the entrance. Customers care about findability and will choose to go somewhere else if they can’t easily locate a business. Use clear language and arrows, and don’t be afraid to ask for customer feedback and make changes if the original solution isn’t working.
Add illumination to stand out at night
The right lighting in and on the building, and on the signs, can help customers quickly know which establishments are open for business and help draw them in, whether the restaurant is in a downtown area, shopping plaza, or off an exit on the highway. Illuminated lighting can be placed on the exterior of the building or at the entrance to the parking lot. Digital signs, window lighting and backlit frames can also be used to add an extra eye-catching element.
Continue the customer experience indoors
When customers are in the restaurant, the signs and graphics in place can help enhance their overall experience. To reduce perceived waiting time in a fast-casual setting, digital menu boards and kiosks located near waiting areas can promote specials, show off menu items and entice viewers to try new offerings. Frosted vinyl or graphics on glass partitions and half-walls help create privacy between booths and tables. Wall graphics and murals extend the branding to the interior decor. For a unique touch, consider wrapping table tops. While patrons are waiting for their food at their tables or drinks at the bar, printed table tents can list upcoming holiday hours, promote special events, or advertise day-of-the-week specials.
Taking the Message to the Street
Promoting a restaurant outside of its four walls is equally important. Having branded catering vehicles and wearables including shirts and hats, and participating in off-premise community events with a booth or a food truck are just a few of the ways to take your message and your food to the street. One of the most visual tactics is using vehicle graphics to provide a professional look that helps restaurants reach new and existing customers on-the-go with branded graphics.
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