How Content Marketing Can Help Your Small Business: Nine Tips From New York-Based Entrepreneurs
Forbes New York Business Council
Content marketing is making a real impact on small businesses looking to reach customers at an affordable price. Creating content that resonates with your customers can help generate interest in your brand while boosting your expertise in your industry at the same time.
When content marketing is done right, it can really help take a business to the next level. Even in a highly competitive market such as New York, the right content marketing efforts can help you stand out from your rivals and become more visible to your target audience.
To help you take advantage of content marketing the smartest way possible, we asked members of Forbes New York Business Council to weigh in with their top content marketing tips for small businesses in New York. Here’s what they had to say:
Forbes New York Business Council members share their best content marketing strategies to help you grow your small business to new heights.
1. Give Them What They Want
As a business owner, it’s really easy to want to push your own agenda as to what you show the customer, but if they love someone that you may not necessarily love, give them more of that! It’s not about you, it’s about what customers want. Give them what they want and they’ll be back for more. Stick to what works. - Hoda Mahmoodzadegan,Molly’s Milk Truck + F'in Delicious Beverages
2. Be Original
One of the worst things I see when I look to patronize or connect with another business is if their social media is full of stock photos or is obviously being run by a third party. To me it shows that they don't take pride in what they actually do in their own small business. Show what you do and what a great job you do at it. Seeing someone else's work doesn't make me want to go to you. - Edward Alvarez, Edward A Alvarez, DDS, PC/NYCLaserDentist
Forbes New York Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners in Greater New York City. Do I qualify?
3. Don't Be Afraid To Share What You Know
I used to think that everything I learned in 15 years designing stores and interiors should not be shared. After all, clients hire me for that knowledge, so why give it away? In the past year I started writing for Forbes or for my blog, giving out all my "secrets", and I got a lot of exposure from it. Clients now come because of these writings. -Sergio Mannino, Sergio Mannino Studio, we design interiors and we create brands
4. Leverage The Power Of Audio
I admit I’m biased, but I think podcasting is one of the greatest ways to get your message out, no matter how big your business. All of your production and distribution needs are right there on your phone. It’s infinitely less costly than video, and it’s a medium that is perfectly catered to niche topics and audiences. - Francesco Baschieri, Voxnest
5. Identify Your Target Audience And Their Needs
Identify exactly who you’re speaking to and what keeps them up at night. Then think about how something you are knowledgeable about can give them a leg up. And don’t be afraid to give away the secret sauce. Some of the most successful business consultancies in the world give their entire process away in book form (StoryBrand, EOS, E-Myth Worldwide, etc.). - Tom Conlon, North Street
6. Create Meaningful, Entertaining Content
Keep your audience engaged, curious and wanting to learn more. Write interesting articles, create entertaining video and share your knowledge as freely as possible. Content allows potential clients to get to know you as a person and your company's brand. - Jill Strickman, GENUINE: The Real People Company
7. Focus On Providing Value
Digital content is often the first impression consumed by your consumer. Offer value, clearly represent your brand and develop a strategy built for your consumer for every platform. Here are a few questions to help develop a content strategy: 1) Does it offer value to the consumer? 2) Does it communicate what, why and how? 3) Is it confusing or clear? 4) Is it consistent with the brand message? - Rob Taormina, TalkIQ Media
8. Highlight Unique Company Endeavors
Highlight unique and authentic company endeavors. Two unique and authentic endeavors we've highlighted include a social campaign for women's month, which highlights both our team members and female clients through various platforms, and an upcoming podcast entitled "The Brick Wall," which stems from a team phrase used to power through even the biggest challenges in the office space. -Warren H. Cohn, HeraldPR
9. Create Solutions For Your Ideal Customers
As a small business, you need to differentiate yourself from competitors. But, when creating content, be careful not to talk about yourself. Once you have identified who your ideal customers are and where they are consuming content, you should create content that is focused on them, not you. Create solutions for them—provide a "what's in it for me" and your content marketing will soar. - Andy Seibert, Imprint
A Day in the Life of Restaurant Food Waste6.20.2019 By Liz Thompson
As a restaurant owner, we are supposed to be thinking about food waste and cutting costs all the time; profit keeps the doors open, losses shut them. Did you know that every day we waste enough food to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena two times a day?
Here is a simple example of how to save money by reducing waste from bread service. A 100-seat restaurant open five days a week, 360 days a year could save upwards of $30,000 a year by removing and butter from the table and offering other options. And where could that extra money go? Ask a restaurant owner about their marketing budget and the answer is usually “who has money for marketing?" Don’t throw cash in the trash.
While recently in New York, I took note of blatant food waste in restaurants I patronized.
BreakfastI ordered two scrambled eggs and one piece of rye toast. I was given two; I wanted one. I ate only one.
Waste: $.06 when it went into the trash
CoffeeWhile at a coffee bar, I was asked at the register if I wanted half and half and after saying yes. I was given half a cup and used an eighth of a cup.
Waste: $.25 went into the trash.
PizzaI ordered a slice of pepperoni with black olives. I love black olives and as the customer was very happy as I had close to half a cup on my slice.
Cost of the Olive? $.75
Could the restaurant have served less and made more on them? Yes
Same Italian RestaurantBefore we ordered pizza, we were given a full basket of focaccia and a lovely plate of bruschetta.
Cost to customer: $0
Cost to restaurant: At least $1.50
More cost to restaurant: $10 for lost dessert and coffee revenue because we were stuffed with free bread and had no room.
Things to Think AboutWhy do so many restaurant owners feed their customers for free and when the point of having a restaurant is to sell food?
Are we still living in the days of restaurant history when customers came to “tavernas” to fill up as much as they could for as cheap as they could because they didn’t know when or where they would find their next meal? And the restaurant owner preferred to fil up their customer with unlimited bread which was less expensive than serving seconds and thirds of the entree?
I have not seen a restaurant lately that only has one item on it so why is the bread still free?
Simple Ways to Reduce Loss/Waste and Increase ProfitsBreadDo individual service. Put it on the menu. It costs money to make it so charge for it. Think of ways you can elevate the experience such as Grilled House-made Sourdough with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar, House- made Artisan Bread Selection served with Pesto and Marinated Dipping Sauce or Organic Corn Bread served in a Skillet
CondimentsThink portion control. No one needs one half cup of ketchup, horseradish or heavy cream. Set up portion cups before service for commonly served items.
Iced TeaEven though it seems as though there is no real cost for iced tea, stop waitstaff from refilling glasses before asking the customer if they would like more
Cost: extra teabags used if fresh brewed. Even wasting 50 teabags a day at $.10 each = $5 a day times five days a week x 50 weeks a year and that's $1,250 just on teabags!
CoffeeStop your waitstaff from filling up a customer’s cup of coffee just because it is empty.
Cost of an Unwanted Poured Cup of Coffee? An average loss of $.31 per cup. Do that for even one quarter of your customers and even 25 a day at $.31 x 360 days a year, that's a savings of $2,790
By giving customers only what they need, your restaurant will have a better chance of surviving and your customers may even appreciate your concern about food waste. You can even put a note on the menu “In efforts to prevent food waste, we conserve on the extras, but are happy to provide you with what you need. “ Every day we waste enough food to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena two times a day.
By: Jonathon Bailey | June19, 2019
When it comes to marketing, you need to take charge of this to ensure that your company is getting the best input and promoting itself as well as possible. You need to have a strong and diverse strategy as much as you can because this is going to help you achieve the best success moving forward.
Business marketing is really important, and you have to ensure you do as much as you can to get it right when you run a company. There are a lot of elements to consider here, and this is something you need to put a lot of time and resources into. Make sure you do what you can to improve the marketing strategy for your business, and here are some of the best ways of being able to do that right now.
Understand Your Audience
The key to successful business marketing is to make sure you know and understand your audience. You have got to be able to do this because you need to know who you are aiming your marketing strategies at. These people play a huge role in your business, and it is important to make sure you factor them in whenever you are promoting the company.
Focus on Branding
One of the most important parts of the whole process is to focus on your company branding. The branding must be a key part of the marketing process, and it is vital that you do what you can to stay on brand. There are a number of ways in which you can achieve this, and one of the best ones is to use custom product packaging in order to get the best branding for your company.
Mix and Match
Mix and match is the ideal approach to take, and you need to make sure you have the ideal combination of online and offline marketing methods. This is something that you need to make sure you focus on right now, and there are a lot of elements to this that will play a big role in helping take things further. Make sure you have a good selection of marketing methods that you can use to fall back on, and this is something you should keep in mind for the future. You might be surprised by how effective older marketing methods can be, and this is why you need to make sure you combine them with the online marketing you use.
It is important in the world of business to be different and to think outside the box as much as possible. This is something that can help you to stand out from the crowd and make a real difference in the future. People like it when companies try to be different and do something that is unusual. This is a good way of making an impression and attracting more people to the brand.
These are some of the best things you need to keep in mind when it comes to marketing your business in the best possible way. Keeping these points in mind will help you to ensure you focus on getting the right outcome, and this is something that plays a big role in achieving this in the future. These are some of the best ideas that you need to keep in mind as a business owner looking for the right marketing approach.
3 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019
Melanie Green — June 16, 2019
Digital marketing is one of the most important tools for small business owners and marketers. Its relatively low cost compared to traditional forms of advertising and media make it a good option for companies with limited marketing budgets, without impacting ROI. Since many customers fast forward through TV commercials and don’t have a newspaper subscription, some marketing experts argue that even companies with massive marketing budgets should direct large portions of their marketing budgets toward digital marketing. Here we’ve outlined three digital marketing trends to look out for in 2019.
1. Consumers distrust FacebookFacebook remains to be a significant tool that companies can utilize to reach their customer base at very little cost. Sharing valuable content and engaging with customers can happen directly in their newsfeed. If you already manage your company’s Facebook page, you might have noticed changes in your daily follower count, especially over time.
Many users have begun to deactivate their Facebook accounts, which reduces your overall number of likes. As they reactivate their accounts, these users will once again show up in your page likes total. Do not let this trend dissuade you from using Facebook as part of your digital marketing efforts. Just make sure to diversify your digital marketing efforts to reach customers you otherwise might miss.
2. Mail Chimp changed its email policiesHistorically, email marketing platforms, such as Mail Chimp, only allowed companies to email individuals that opted into their email subscription lists. Changes in 2019 to Mail Chimp’s policies now allow companies to email other types of users, including those who haven’t specifically opted into your company’s email subscription list. This includes former customers.
This means that companies should take advantage of this change to create other types of email marketing campaigns to reach these individuals. Former customers who haven’t signed up for your email list can be emailed to join your email list or notified about upcoming promotions. This is one type of digital marketing campaign that could have a big impact in sales and engagement.
3. The fall of “experts”Many former digital marketing experts are taking down their iconic digital marketing courses and programs in favor of new offerings. This includes Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer who took down his iconic The Napkin Project training program. While some of the change might have to do with their own business trajectory, the market has become saturated with these digital marketing “experts” in a way that makes it difficult to know what to do. Instead, companies are relying on performance data and split testing to see what’s the best way to market their own businesses online.
Digital marketing will continue to be the way that companies are able to market themselves online. With a well thought out plan that includes a little bit of various digital marketing strategies, most companies can find success with digital marketing. As this year’s predictions show, it is important to not invest all of your company’s time and resources into one type of digital marketing. Instead, well rounded strategies will continue to perform best.
Read more at https://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/3-digital-marketing-trends-to-watch-in-2019-02211279
5 Ways to Boost Word-Of-Mouth Marketing for Your Business
Source – https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauljankowski/2013/02/27/quick-what-are-they-saying-about-your-brand/#410b0cd9209a
Marketing is important to every business. Because it’s so important, there are almost as many different ways to market your business as there are different kinds of businesses!
No one marketing strategy is necessarily better than the others, but if you’re looking for a good way to market your business that is fun and effective, give word-of-mouth marketing a shot.
Why is word-of-mouth marketing so important? In one study, 92-percent of consumers believe suggestions from their friends and family more than the suggestions they get from advertising.
If you want to leverage that kind of marketing for your business, but you don’t know how to get started, give these tips a try.
Invest in the Coolest TechOn the surface, it may seem like investing in cool tech is more of a benefit to you and your employees than your customers, but they can benefit from the tech you use too.
In some cases, an upgrade is something you can brag about when you talk to your customers. For example, you can mention all of the benefits of using Python 3 over Python 2, and how it can make the design of your customer’s web applications better.
Upgraded tech can make the customer experience better too. Faster systems mean pulling up customer information more quickly, and more complex systems can integrate customer information more effectively so nothing falls through the cracks.
Why does this boost word-of-mouth referrals? People like to brag about receiving an outstanding customer experience.
Connect First, Sell SecondThe entire purpose of marketing is to sell a product or service. Many people mistakenly believe that means you should jump right into talking about why your product or service is the right solution to your customers’ problems.
If you want to increase the chances of your customers recommending you to their friends and family, you have to leave the traditional sales tactics behind and connect with customers on a more personal level.
A few ways to do that include:
Learn to ListenYou may think you’re listening to your customers and clients, but you’re likely listening through the lens of selling more stuff. That will make your customers feel like you’re just humoring them by listening, which isn’t good for word-of-mouth marketing.
Instead, learn how to become a better listener and apply those techniques to your interactions with your customers and clients.
A few tips for becoming a better listener include:
Liking your posts, adding you as a friend on Facebook, and tagging friends and family only takes a second, but it exposes many people to your products and services. Their wider networks are also exposed to your business! Many companies have been built on word-of-mouth thanks to social media.
Encourage Referrals with IncentivesIf you’re struggling to boost word-of-mouth customers, try giving your existing customers a reason to spread the word about your business. That means providing them with referral incentives.
There are many different ways to do this. You can offer a discount on a future purchase, you can offer a free gift, or you can extend an invitation to an upcoming event. Being entered into a giveaway is also a good incentive idea, especially if you don’t want to keep track of discounts and spend money on gifts.
Some incentives don’t have to cost any money at all. Sometimes, simply asking your customers to tell their friends and family about you is all it takes to boost referrals!
Any kind of marketing strategy is better than no marketing strategy at all, but if you want to connect with your customers in an authentic way, try word-of-mouth marketing with the tips on this list.
Who Should Your Restaurant Market To?What are the best strategies? It all depends on where you start.
Who Should Your Restaurant Market To?
What are the best strategies? It all depends on where you start.
MARKETING & PROMOTIONS MAY 2019 BY DANNY KLEIN
Loyal customers are the top target.
There’s no question big data can feel like an avalanche. It’s relatively easy, at least compared to the old days, to pile up stacks of consumer, sales, and product information. But what do you actually do with that golden currency? Do you need to invest in tech to acquire the info, and then invest in more tech to break it down? It really varies by the brand, of course. Yet while big data remains an uncharted frontier to some extent, there’s no denying the opportunity. Advancements in tech and data capabilities have allowed quick-service restaurant marketers to connect with guests in more meaningful ways, and reach them when and where they’re paying attention.
The key word there is “meaningful.” Restaurants are quickly moving from a world where mass marketing was the law of the land (coupons and general, discount-focused promotions) to mass personalization. Customer segmentation. Offers through loyalty and direct communication that speak to particular guests. Things like rewards-exclusive invites to wine dinners. Offers that speak to behavior more than value-driven traffic. And what’s also beneficial to marketers? This strategy cuts spend and improves ROI when done effectively. Chains aren’t forced to develop and promote new creative every time an item hits the menu just to get guests to try it. That can be an expensive cycle when it’s constantly on loop.
Ad-solution company Viant shared a study with QSR called “Demystifying Quick-Service Restaurant Customers.” Its goal was to better understand the industry’s guests by analyzing demographics and marketing tactics. The insights came from location data, transaction data, and machine learning, applied to identify several customer segments for quick-serves. Viant built the model from 4,880,438 visits by 1,889,444 people during a six-month period in 2018 to a sandwich franchise with more than 1,000 locations (it didn’t identify the brand).
Here were the five segments:
"Mobile, and third party food delivery services have disrupted the quick-service restaurant industry in a big way," says Jon Schulz, CMO at Viant. "How consumers find a restaurant, and ultimately choose to order or dine in has changed dramatically over the years. For [quick-serves] to stay competitive when consumers have so many more options available at their fingertips, they have to understand their customers, and their competitors more than ever."
"With a better understanding of their customer base, [quick-serves] can build cohesive marketing strategies and drive traffic to their restaurants," he adds. "Location, transaction data, and visit frequency for example can help [quick-serves] better understand the customer journey which informs the marketing strategy. We found that not all diners respond the same to certain types of media. For example, a [quick-service restaurant] most loyal customers are three times more likely to visit in-store after exposure to a mobile ad, and six times more likely after exposure to a desktop display ad."
Buyers at a glance
Let’s look first at the “breakfast buyer.” This segment frequented the sandwich franchise for breakfast 15 percent of their visits. They came more frequently than the average and were loyal to a single restaurant. You often hear this kind of behavior among breakfast customers in general. They’re routine driven and stickier than most.
The data found that “breakfast buyers” were also generally more enthusiastic for the franchise than other consumers.
Interestingly, desktop impressions proved twice as likely to drive “breakfast buyers’” visits compared to mobile.
The chart below shows where these customers were going elsewhere in the industry. A few trends here reflect recent results. McDonald’s, which enjoys 25 percent of its business during the breakfast daypart, remains a top player for the occasions, even with recent slowdowns (shows how important it is to reignite those sales). The Burger King bar also lends credence to the chain’s recent directive to boost business with subscription coffee services and menu innovation.
Some random figures to think about when marketing: “Breakfast buyers” are big snackers who are 61 percent more likely to enjoy Debbie brand desserts, as well as 51 percent more likely to buy LAY'S chips and 31 percent more likely to pick up Breyers ice cream. They’re 32 percent more likely to drive a full-size SUV, especially a Chevrolet Tahoe, which they’re 26 percent more likely to drive (I can’t explain the reason behind this). Forty percent are also more likely to have visited a Disney theme park over the last year. Of all segments, this group spent the most at Target as well, where they significantly outspent the average by 24.6 percent.
Not surprisingly, this segment made 90 percent of their visits to the sandwich chain during lunch. They stopped by on weekdays 98 percent of the time. They were likely to pick a brand close to their work or home.
This group visited the restaurant more when served desktop ads. Below is the same chart from before, but this time talking about lunch behavior. Pretty even throughout. The Subway numbers probably speak to the loyalty notion. Guests can, at times, be more segment than brand loyal. In other words, they pick a sandwich concept and stick by it. But they’re not unwilling to hop around for other items.
And into the spending habits: 42 percent are more likely to drive a large SUV. Nineteen percent are more likely to be behind the wheel of a Ford Explorer (again, I can’t explain why).
Between meals, a few partialities stood out. “Lunchtime loyalists” were 42 percent more likely to get their caffeine fix at Starbucks and 29 percent more likely to reach for a Coca-Cola. Forty-eight percent were more likely to purchase “salty snacks” and 24 percent were more likely to buy Pepperidge Farm snacks. Of all the segments, “lunchtime loyalists” spent the most at Nordstrom, a figure 61 percent higher than the national average. They also shop less frequently than average at Amazon.
These guys stopped by the sandwich franchise 95 percent of the time for dinner. They were just as likely to dine on weekdays as weekends. They gravitated toward single locations in a convenient neighborhood.
This segment responded positively to CTV ads when compared to other groups. They were 40 percent more likely to visit the restaurant after seeing a CRV ad than a mobile one.
For this graph, Burger King took its highest percentage of shoppers so far. Also, just seems like Chick-fil-A is impervious to dayparts, consumer segments, and everything else. Rock solid across.
About those other results: Once again, this group seems to like large vehicles, with 27 percent more likely to be found behind the wheel of a Chevy Tahoe. Unique to the concept, though, this group was 14 percent more likely to drive a Jeep Wrangler. They’re also 13 percent more likely to be beer enthusiasts (it is dinner, after all), and, when not drinking alcohol, 19 percent more likely to buy Minute Maid brand juices. This segment visits Amazon more than any other, but spends 6.4 percent less than average.
These diners visited the sandwich shop on Saturday or Sunday 35 percent of the time. Much less frequent than during the week. They were less likely than the average to consider themselves healthy food eaters. They also, sensibly, stayed loyal to a location near their house.
Desktop video ads resonated the most with “weekenders.” They were 50 percent more likely to inspire a visit. Just a guess, but perhaps this has to do with people not watching videos with the sound on at work.
The weekend graph is pretty spread out.
Yes, an SUV rose to the top. On the road, the “weekenders” were 31 percent more likely to drive a Toyota4Runner and 18 percent more likely to own a Dodge Ram 1500. Additionally, this group visits Walmart 19 percent more than the average and spent 16.4 percent more.
These loyal guests aren’t location specific. They visited multiple locations of the same franchise, often while traveling away from home. They don’t care about the daypart, day, or anything else.
When exposed to a desktop ad, “devoted diners,” are nearly six times more likely to visit than any other segment. When they see a mobile ad, they are almost three times more likely to stop by.
What this says is, if you can identify your core guest, all you have to do is speak to them. They’ll do the rest.
This group averaged close to three times as many visits in a 110-day period as the next-most loyal group. Fittingly, “devoted diners’ are devoted to quick service in general, visiting other brands 51 percent more than the average.
Once again, Chick-fil-A is just cruising along. McDonald’s has shown strong in most of these categories as well.
We also have our first non-truck or SUV winner. “Devoted diners” are 38 percent more likely to be behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang, and 11 percent more likely overall to purchase a new luxury vehicle.
Here were some key points, per Viant.
With location and transaction data, alongside machine learning capabilities, [quick-serve] marketers can segment their customers to better personalize advertising and ultimately drive more spend.
Not all diners respond to the same types of media. Depending on the segment you’re trying to reach, it might make sense to lean heavier on CTV ads versus mobile ads.
Desktop impressions are twice as likely to drive the breakfast buyers segment’s visits compared to mobile
The lunchtime loyalists segment love their big vehicles—they are 42 percent more likely to drive an SUV to pick up their favorite foods.
The primetime patrons segment responds positively to CTV ads when compared to other segments—they are 38 percent more likely to visit a shop after seeing a CTV ad than desktop video ad.
Desktop video ads resonate the most among weekend diners—they are 50 percent more likely to lead to a visit than other ad formats.
When devoted diners are exposed to a mobile ad, they are almost three-times more likely to stop by the sandwich shop.
by Jeff Shuford
May 23, 2019
Often, generating business leads requires a subtle approach, such as content marketing. While this tactic might take a little longer to develop, the benefits are definitely worth the wait. However, can it be useful in terms of creating business leads? You’ll be happy to know it is one of the best ways you can go, especially if you are working with a tight budget and you need something that can sustain itself when done correctly.
If you are interested in learning more about generating business leads with content marketing, stick around for a few minutes. This article could open up new doors for your online/offline establishment.
UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF GENERATING BUSINESS LEADS
Creating leads means sparking enough excitement or interest from a potential client. In return, they are willing to follow a link, where a landing page and a sales funnel typically wait. Whether the lead is going to convert depends on a different set of variables, but you can’t get conversions if you don’t create the business leads. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done given the onslaught of marketing tactics currently being used online. Some of them are pretty aggressive which creates challenges like banner blindness. However, users might be open to learning something new.
PROVIDING VISITORS WITH USEFUL INFORMATION
With content marketing, you are not focusing on a direct sale. Instead, you aim to take the user on a journey. First, you provide them with the information they will either find useful, entertaining, or relevant in some way or another. Moreover, through this information, you establish your authority within the niche. Then it’s a matter of placing a soft offer to wherever you want the traffic to go.
IN-DEPTH DETAIL ABOUT PRODUCTS/SPECIALS
Another correct way to generate some business leads would be through in-depth info about a specific product or service, depending on what your business is based on. This is a slightly more direct approach, but in many cases, users hesitate to click when the info is too vague or disjointed. However, if the content offers valuable info users are looking for, it can be the difference between gaining or losing a business lead.
HUMANIZE THE BUSINESS
The marketing battle has shifted from television and radio to online platforms. It’s a level playing field for every marketer with enough determination and initiative to see things through. However, another exciting transition is the way marketing is being “humanized.” Companies are starting social media pages just to put some personality behind the brand and help clients relate. Also, if you want to create more business leads through content marketing, take this advice to heart. If possible, humanize the content and try to connect with the reader, as supposed to pushing the hard sell.
A LAST TIP
As a last tip, try to gather as much information about your target as possible. Moreover, with this information, you can post more focused, and relevant content users are prone to react to. Just remember to have an effective sales funnel waiting to receive the lead. Otherwise, you have another aspect of your campaign that requires attention.
by Michael Guta
May 23, 2019
Before digital and smartphone cameras, capturing something on video was not as easy. Today, all you have to do is point and shoot. And this has increased the use of video by small businesses as part of their marketing strategy.
A new survey by Yum Yum Videos reveals small business owners are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing. Their support also extends to further investment this year and going big while they do so.
For small business owners, access to video marketing is being driven by websites, social media and other digital channels. What this means is you don’t have to hire a full production crew to direct your own commercial or just post a video.
The Yum Yum Video survey was carried out across the U.S. with the participation of 167 business owners. The owners were asked to compare their video marketing investment in the past year and social media performance data.
The gender breakdown was made up of 65% male and 34% female respondents. Millennials and Generation X made up the 40% and 59% of the respondents respectively.
Growth of Video Marketing
The growth of video marketing by small business is not letting down. More businesses or 21% are going to give it a try this year. And people who tried it in the past are more likely to invest in it again.
For more than two thirds or 67% of business owners, 2019 will see them making more than 3 videos. Others will make between 3-6 videos (34%) followed by 19% who will make between 6-10 and another 14% who will make more than 10 videos.
When they make all these videos, 9 in 10 or 87% of owners say they are happy with the ROI of video marketing. The performance indicators video delivers across industries is a valuable tool for measuring their performance.
Not only is video delivering more bang for their ad dollars, but business owners also say (62%) it is very or extremely important to them.
Types of Videos
According to the survey, explainer videos are the top choice with 80% of businesses investing in this type of content. With 95% of online consumers having watched at least one explainer video, this is a style owners can create easily.
If they have an expertise in something, just explaining what they do has the making of a great explainer video.
Explainer videos also generate the most ROI, with 35% of owners considering this type of video capable of producing higher ROI.
Overall 66% of owners said video is going to have the biggest impact on their 2019 strategy. While video was the clear leader, eBooks, infographics, blog posts, and podcasts also registered.
When it comes to the best channel for distributing their video, social media was first. This was the case for 59% of the respondents.
YouTube was the clear leader at 57%, followed by Facebook and Instagram at 26% and 15% respectively.
Benefits of Video Marketing Today
The biggest benefit of using video is the cost. You can start with your smartphone and free video editing software to make your content. And once you make the video, you have multiple platforms to post them in, again for free.
The availability of all these tools has encouraged small business owners to capitalize on the relevance and importance video. This, of course, has led many owners to create and launch their own video marketing campaigns.
Even with the smallest of budgets, you can increase sales, improve brand awareness, boost conversions, drive site traffic, and more.
May 23, 2019
Kids today have increasingly sophisticated palates—and their parents correspondingly expect more from kids’ menus than just chicken tenders, hot dogs or grilled cheese. In order to snag more dining dollars from parents and families, restaurants need to consider new ways to make the kids’ menu exciting, as well as how to make the overall family dining experience an enjoyable one—for everyone.
Value promotions have long been an effective way to get families in the door. Offering a “kids eat free” deal has been standard for many restaurants for a long time. But with more millennials becoming parents, families are looking for more sophisticated ways to engage with restaurants, leading operators to change up their marketing strategies. Check out these ways to revamp family value promotions.
1. Offer a parents’ night
Rather than focusing on the kids, restaurants can win families over and differentiate themselves from competition by offering perks to parents—such as free babysitting. Olive Garden, in 2015, offered just that, by partnering with 150 My Gym locations across the country and offering a free night of childcare. To participate, parents simply had to reserve a space at a My Gym location, dine child-free at Olive Garden, then show their receipt when picking up their children to have their deposit refunded.
Similarly, instead of offering a “kids eat free” promotion, try offering a “parents eat free” option. Moe’s Southwest Grill recently ran a promotion where adults received a free entree (up to an $8 value) with the purchase of a kids’ meal. Options such as these allow parents to save a few dollars more, since kids’ meals are typically priced lower than full-size menu items.
2. Create kid-friendly “flights”
At breweries, getting a flight of four or five craft beer samples gives consumers a chance to try several options at an affordable price. This strategy can easily translate to kids’ menus to let younger diners join in on the fun. For instance, offering flights of ice cream or sides can be a creative way to involve kids (and parents, who will undoubtedly share with the kids).
At Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, a nationwide chain, Waffle Bowl Ice Cream Flights were offered as an LTO during the month of March 2019. The option allowed customers to choose up to four flavors of ice cream, perfect for families with multiple kids—and perfect for helping to teach kids how to share.
Restaurants can also offer flights of French fries, waffle fries or puffed potatoes for a similar experience. As a bonus, these items can be served with a choice of dipping sauces for a customizable and interactive experience for young diners.
Allowing kids to customize their meals can mean big things for restaurants. According to a 2018 survey from Y-Pulse, a Chicago-based food-focused youth marketing research firm, 87% of kids like restaurants that let them customize their meals. By offering flights or customizable meals, restaurants are appealing to kids’ desire to choose their own (culinary) adventure—and when the kids are happy, everyone’s happy.
3. Build promotions for sports team celebrations
Family dining isn’t always limited to just one family. When kids are on sports teams, it’s not uncommon for groups to go out after a game or after a tough practice. Restaurants can set themselves apart and cash in on this opportunity by offering a 10% discount or a free beverage for families whose kids come in wearing their sports uniform.
Restaurants can also opt to sponsor a local team, which can involve posting banners at games, purchasing the team’s jerseys (and including the restaurant’s logo) or offering a raffle or giveaway during games. By positioning the brand as family-friendly and community-driven, restaurants can show parents there’s a place to go that’s fun for the whole family.
4. Expand on social media to gain attention of young families
According to a recent study from the McCarthy Group, 84% of millennials stated that they not only didn’t like traditional marketing, but also that they didn’t trust it. Ads on television or the radio aren’t going to resonate with them the way they did with older generations. To reach younger consumers, expanding promotions to social media is key.
Instagram and social media are today’s version of word-of-mouth advertising, so it pays for restaurants to hone their social media tactics, such as creating geotagged ads that can be sent to users who are in the area or using custom hashtags on marketing materials—hashtags that customers can post to their profiles (or search and view when they’re elsewhere). Operators could also look at partnering with social-media influencers to generate excitement.
By reaching out to millennial parents through channels they engage with, restaurants can feel confident they’re reaching their target market. And by updating family promotions to focus on kids’ lifestyles, as well as parents’ needs, operators can enjoy increased engagement and customer loyalty from young families.
By Heather Lalley on 23 May, 2019
With fewer consumers paying attention to TV ads and other traditional marketing channels, restaurant marketers are having to get creative to grow traffic through digital avenues.
Here are a few digital marketing success stories presented by restaurant brands at the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show. They’re smart (and potentially stealable) strategies that have proven to boost engagement and, in many cases, drive sales.
1. Develop a brand-specific social media tone
Operators with multiple independent concepts need to develop a different voice for each brand, said Kevin Boehm, co-founder of Boka Restaurant Group. “Social media needs to be personal. I’ve seen voices that don’t match with the brand.” Donnie Madia, partner of One Off Hospitality in Chicago, who also took part in the session “What Chains Can Learn from Indies,” added that his in-house social media expert develops feeds for each of his concepts, following the three C’s: consistency, content and community.
2. Know the audience
White Castle, when introducing the Impossible Slider, was well aware that millennials would be the prime audience for the new plant-based burger, said Lynn Blashford, the chain’s vice president of marketing. To spread the word about its new product, the chain crafted a campy digital campaign, led by hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan. “This was the first product we ever launched in our restaurants without using any traditional media at all,” Blashford said.
3. Pay to play
Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s marketing goal is driving frequency, said Brian Best, the chain’s vice president for digital marketing and loyalty. The smoothie brand aims to reach its existing customers where they are, via paid social media. By boosting social media posts multiple times during a promotional period, Best is able to funnel information to the most relevant audience. “It’s way better than email marketing,” he said.
4. Make digital marketing relevant
People consume digital ads while they’re going about their lives, so it makes sense to create campaigns that are timely and relevant, said Donna Josephson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Corner Bakery Cafe. Around Valentine’s Day, the chain created shareable cards highlighting certain menu items. The cards, with messages such as “I Ham Yours” and “Avacadon’t ever leave me,” were shared across multiple social media platforms. “We really drove guest engagement via social during this time,” Josephson said.
5. Look for moving pictures
Don’t be afraid of videos and gifs in digital advertising, marketers said. “In today’s day and age, people expect some type of motion,” said Michael Chachula, executive director of information technology for IHOP. In fact, a simple tweet from the brand last summer announcing that it was changing its name to IHOB was actually a video. That tweet went viral, sparking 1.2 million tweets in 10 days and 27,000 earned media articles, Chachula said. “It’s like even fish were tweeting it in the ocean,” he joked.
Senior Editor Patricia Cobe contributed to this report.
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