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Make a Lasting Impression: How to Create Meaningful Offers that Spark Long-Term, Loyal Customer Relationships

Make a Lasting Impression: How to Create Meaningful Offers that Spark Long-Term, Loyal Customer Relationships

By: Krrish Thanvi

It can be especially difficult for a restaurant owner to turn new customers into loyal ones if those people are new to the area. New residents often sample a variety of restaurants before choosing their favorite spots. That’s why it’s important to do more than offer incredible food and focus on creating a great first impression. Obviously, those things are important, but it’s vital to create a relationship with that customer.

To begin building what will hopefully be a long-term relationship, you often have to offer an incentive — special offers or some kind of deal.

So how do you do that? Incentivize those new customers.

Offer Discounts Based on Age

This is a classic; I’m not telling you anything that you haven’t heard before, so just consider it a friendly reminder. You might want to offer a “kids eat free” or “kids eat for half-off” type of deal. If parents know that every time they come to your place — even if it’s just on a particular day — they’re going to shave a bit off their bill, that may encourage them to visit more often instead of going elsewhere. Just make sure your discount is well promoted.

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Promote Specials Based on the Day or Time of Day

Dynamic pricing at work. Bars have their happy hour, not just because it makes customers happy, but it makes bar owners happy to see customers coming in earlier, at a typically less-busy time. If you often see a lull on Monday nights, offer an awesome Monday-night special that your customers will have trouble refusing. Again, make sure this is well promoted, so customers coming on, say, Friday, will be reminded about what they can have when they come in on Mondays.

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Market to People who just Moved into Town

Granted, this is my wheelhouse, since my company markets to new movers, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. If you aim your marketing at residents who are new to the community, and you can get them in the door, it’s extremely important to offer them more deals so that they return. That might involve sending them home with an added incentive to return (half-off your next appetizer!) as they leave — or using a service that will send them a thank you note for coming paired with another special offer for when they return. The new movers are the people in your community who haven’t picked out any favorite restaurants yet. You could be their first.

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Loyalty Programs

This is an obvious idea. But I bring it up because it would feel silly not to. If you haven’t developed a discount program for your most loyal customers yet, it’s definitely something to think about.

Theme Days

Your customers aren’t just people who like food. They’re dog lovers. They’re sports fans. They’re marathon runners. Maybe some of them are birdwatchers. Depending on your restaurant, you could have days where anyone dressed as a TV character or their favorite superhero gets a 25 percent discount. Or hold a singles night and see who shows up. Or — if you won’t be breaking health codes — invite your pet parents to bring their dogs.

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Not every interest is going to be worth catering to, or practical, but if it’s conducive to your dining establishment, you could host book clubs in the off-hours, where people gather for a drink and appetizers.

The point is — your customers are more than just anonymous people receiving a delivery, sitting at a table or standing at a counter, ready to pick up their food. They have interests. They also have challenges, ranging from time-management to finances and everything in between. If you can remember that and cater to their personality or situation as much as you do their taste buds, you’re going to make a much stronger connection — the first step to building that oh-so-important relationship.

You may have to do that with some clever incentives, but getting your customers to come through the door (and keep them coming back!) is the ultimate goal. Because another fact of being a restaurant owner is that you need your customers more than they need you. That is, until the relationship is no longer one-sided. That’s the day when your hungry and time-starved customer realizes that he or she needs your restaurant’s help more than they thought.

Reference: Modern Restaurant Management

4 Steps that will help you Win Customers in 2020

4 Steps that will help you Win Customers in 2020

By: Krrish Thanvi

Digital trends never sleep—and neither do your customers! That’s why it’s crucial to stay on top of the ever-changing digital advertising landscape, especially as you move into 2020. Customers expect a seamless, integrated experience from start to finish, beginning with your company’s advertising strategy.

Three big trends we’ve seen in 2019 are voice search, video advertising, and multi-channel marketing. Implementing these three tactics in your 2020 strategy is going to be a big way to win customers and make them brand advocates in the new year.

Here’s what you need to do.

1. Begin Optimizing Your Campaigns for Voice Search

Voice search is slowly but surely taking over. It seems as though everyone has a “Google,” “Alexa,” or a “Cortana” hanging out in their living room, ready to provide a weather report or play party music. While these tools are convenient for users, they may soon become one of the most effective ways to advertise to consumers.

To get a jump on voice search advertising, it’s time to start optimizing your marketing campaigns for voice search. We wrote a whole blog about it, with tips for how to optimize your ad campaigns, keywords, and other campaign logistics for voice.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

The highlights:

  • Voice searches are more conversational than traditional search queries
  • Make sure you’re not excluding keywords like “near me,” “who,” “what,” “when,” or “where.”
  • A digital marketing technology with AI-capabilities will be a tremendous asset in optimizing your marketing campaigns

2. Lock Down a Solid Video Advertising Strategy

Video has long been one of the best ways to engage your customers. Studies have found that viewers retain 95% more of the information they see in a video than if they were to just read it as text. The average user would rather watch a video than read an article, and it’s estimated that mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

As such, if you’re not leveraging the power of video, you’re missing out on key connections with your audience in a powerful way. Look into your video advertising options for 2020, because these are just a handful of the benefits:

  • According to a 2014 study, YouTube videos have been shown to make an impact on buying decisions for targeted audiences
  • YouTube typically delivers a higher advertising ROI than traditional TV
  • Advertising on YouTube allows you to target your audience segments in a variety of unique ways

We wrote about video advertising in depth earlier this month. Check it out for some great tips on leveraging YouTube video advertising in 2020.

3. Integrate Your Advertising Across Multiple Channels

In 2020, it won’t be enough to dump your entire marketing budget into one channel. To have the best chance of reaching your customers and connecting with them in a meaningful way, you’ll need to integrate your advertising campaigns across multiple digital channels.

Multi-channel marketing involves taking a single advertising campaign and optimizing it across different advertising channels. Those channels may include a paid search ad, email, a print ad, a website, promotional events, a mobile app, or a video campaign

Photo by Magnus Mueller on Pexels.com

We did some research to see if there was a big difference between single-channel and multi-channel marketing. You can read more about that in a blog we wrote a few weeks back. Suffice it to say: in some cases, multi-channel marketing may result in up to 77% more impressions and 82% more clicks. It’s a strategy worth pursuing in 2020.

4. Stay on Top of Digital Marketing Trends in 2020

One of the best ways to make a big impression on your audience is by adopting the latest digital advertising trends. The Internet, and our digital best practices are only going to continue changing and evolving—making it imperative (and tricky) to keep up.


Reference: Netsertive.

How Software as a Service models helps in increasing efficiency

How Software as a Service models helps in increasing efficiency

By: Krrish Thanvi

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model where the product is available via the internet and the provider is responsible for the security, availability and performance of the service.

With cloud-based applications becoming more common, SaaS is also growing in popularity. Rather than traditionally buying a piece of software outright, it is much more common now to simply pay an annual or monthly subscription fee to use the software’s services.

“Software as a Service is similar to any service,” says Bill Dinan, president of Localogy. “I want something, I should be able to use it when I want it and turn it off when I don’t want it. And when I don’t want it, I shouldn’t have to pay for it. So, just about everyone in technology has moved to SaaS.”

Dinan says this shift is in response to venture capitalists wanting to create monthly recurring revenue for their tech companies.

Some examples of popular SaaS are Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, Slack and QuickBooks.

SaaS should not be confused with the other forms of cloud services like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). IaaS is where virtualized computing resources are provided to an organization via the internet, such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

PaaS is where a service provider offers a platform to clients where they can develop, run and manage business applications without having to build the infrastructure. PaaS providers include Microsoft, Google and IBM.


Benefits of using SaaS

As more companies have offered cloud services, it, in turn, has reduced the cost for companies to develop software tools that people like professional landscapers can use.

“You’re adding these things that can provide more time and optimization,” Dinan says. “You can pick them up for $5 a month or $9.99 a month; they’re not big investments anymore.”

Dinan says one of the main benefits of SaaS is the fact that by paying monthly, you can try out a product and if it’s too complicated, doesn’t provide the desired results or isn’t used, you can simply turn it off.

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“If you’re not getting that feeling that the technology company is a partner with you on your business journey, then you should cancel it and look for another one,” Dinan says. “The small business owner should not have to invest hours and hours of time trying to figure something out. They should be able to get it and it should be intuitive.”

The other major benefit of SaaS is it often frees landscapers up, giving them more time to work on their business instead of in it, automating tasks and streamlining administrative duties.

“The little things that you could do with that one hour a day far outweigh the costs of SaaS technology,” Dinan says. “It’s worth the investment to get that hour back a day.”


Choosing useful SaaS for your business

When it comes to choosing the right SaaS technology to invest in, Dinan says landscapers should ask what are the problems they’re dealing with and what can the service solve?

Most SaaS serve as a way to save time. Another thing they can help with is collecting payments, thanks to the ability to embed credit card payment technology.

“So now when you go to send your invoice if you using one of these systems today, you’re sending out your email out, boom, there’s a link, click here, payment done, finished,” Dinan says. “You’re not dropping the envelope at the front door with the invoice in there hoping the guy pays.”

Dinan says the only bad types of SaaS are the ones you are paying for and don’t use.

“If you’re not using it in 30 days, cancel it,” he says. “Because if you can’t make it a habit, if the company is not helping you make it a habit, that’s when you move on.”
As for if you should be looking for an all-in-one service or specialized SaaS, Dinan says that while over 70 percent of local businesses say they would like an all-in-one solution, it’s better to find about three companies that can cover most of what you need.

Typically, most technology companies will specialize in certain aspects of a business but will partner with other services that may handle other elements, such as the marketing side of things, rather than trying to do their own version of it.

Reference: Total Landscape Care.

How to Nail the Timing & Frequency of Social Media Updates

How to Nail the Timing & Frequency of Social Media Updates

Social media is a highly effective way to engage with target audiences, however posting when you feel like it even if it is consistent is not enough. There are times that are optimal to post on social media and will bring you better results.

There is no set answer as to what the best hours to post on various social media platforms are as each social media network’s users browse at different times.

Heres the thing: Social media timing matters.

Marketers should conduct their own research to see what timings are most effective for their audience.

HubSpot has provided a few guidelines and tips from their extensive research on social media timing.

Determining Your Optimal Frequency

Frequency is a crucial aspect of your organization’s social media presence, too many posts can be annoying, and too little can show poor presence. Getting the right frequency is very important for social media updates.

The General Guideline

Don’t crowd your content. Companies that allow each shared link a buffer zone of at least an hour on either side see higher clickthrough rates overall according to HubSpot.

How to Find Your Personal Sweet Spot

Start by taking an informal audit to see how many followers your typical follower has. If most of your active followers don’t follow many others you’ll want your sharing habits to be less frequent, You should also do some testing to determine your optimal publishing frequency.

Here is a simple one to get started:

Week One: Schedule your shares two hours apart as HubSpot recommends

Week Two: Increase publishing frequency gradually, but keep the caliber of the content fairly similar

Compare the activity levels of each week. Separate all forms of engagement such as retweet/reposts, replies/comments, clicks. You may notice that one methods could vary, for example one could result in fewer comments but more clicks and vice versa, determine which method meets most share of your goals as a marketer.

Determining the Best Time for General Engagement

After understanding the frequency of posts for your business, it is important to find out which days and time of day work best for generating the most engagement and activity for your posts.

The General Guideline

Twitter: Late in the day and week are most retweetable times

The analysis found that on weekdays, later in the day between around 2pm and 5pm (Eastern Time) was when the greatest retweet activity occurred

Facebook: Shares are at their highest during the weekend

Facebook saw more activity during the weekends.

How to Find Your Personal Sweet Spot

Start by looking at your past shares to understand which days of the week and what time of the day works best for your business. Sort your past engagement by number of clicks in whatever social media publishing tool you use.

Next look for trends in the posts that generated the most clicks (what time and day they were posted).

Determining the Most Targeted Time for Lead Engagement

Finding the time the overall users on a social media platform are active at does not mean that this time is optimal for the acquisition of leads and customers. As a business it is important to differentiate and seek out users that are on the road to becoming customers.

For that your business will need a social media tool that is directly connected and integrated with your marketing database or CRM.

Creating a Well-Balanced Schedule

Settle on a schedule with the best times to post on each platform and posts, lock it into your publishing tool. HubSpot has a free social media scheduling template that can be very useful: https://offers.hubspot.com/social-media-content-calendar

Go back and re-evaluate to make sure the effectiveness of your timing and day doesn’t change over time.

General Guidelines

  • make sure you’re not sharing the same content, types of content, and method of positioning of your content repetitively. Mix it up!
  • Visual content helps to drive engagement on Facehook
  • On Twitter mix in @replies and retweets of other people’s content
  • On LinkedIn share blog posts and details from within it

Read full article at: https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33601/a-marketer-s-guide-to-nailing-the-timing-frequency-of-social-media-updates.aspx

 

 

 

Tools to Plan your Social Media Content

Tools to Plan your Social Media Content

Social media plays a crucial role in reaching target audiences and if done correctly can be very effective to a business. In today’s digital age businesses have access to a variety of social media platforms to establish presence on. With so many social networks to publish on, staying organized and having a plan for when to post and what to post can play a key role in your business’s social media success.

This post consists of the most helpful tools and templates for any business to use in order to build an effective social media content plan.

Social Media Content Calendar

Social media content needs to be consistent and provide value to your target audience. Without a plan of what to post and when, your social media can lack consistency and quality. A social media calendar will keep track of what content to post on which social media platforms and when.

Benefits of Using A Social Media Content Calendar

  1. Calendars help you get organized, marketers can plan out posts for entire weeks or months in advance. This will help you be consistent on social media and save time in the future.
  2. a calendar helps you plan for each social network to customize posts rather than posting the same message on all platforms
  3. Calendars can help you track performance and plan for future posts. With a calendar you can look back and analyze which content performed best so they can adjust their strategy accordingly
  4. Businesses can plan for holidays and observance days to tailor their content and engage a wider audience
  5. Social media calendars improve efficiency,.

4 Social Media Content Calendar Tools to Plan Your Messaging

1. Trello

Trello has flexible assignment cards and customizable boards and lists to map out to do lists, manage a content calendar, plan a campaign and more.

link to Trello: http://trello.com/

2. Microsoft Excel

Excel can be customized according to whatever priorities or metrics a team is focused on, so it’s a great tool for planning ahead.

free downloadable social media calendar template using Microsoft excel: https://offers.hubspot.com/social-media-content-calendar

3. Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking app that marketers can use to keep track of all the moving parts that comprise a social media campaign.

The tool also features yearly, monthly, weekly, and hourly logs, which make it easy to keep track of when you’re publishing content on social media, when you’re producing blog content, and other team-wide priorities.

link to Evernote: https://evernote.com/

4. Google Drive

Google Drive has several helpful features that make it easy for social media marketers to build out an effective content calendar.

Marketers can also use shared Google Sheets to schedule posts on social media, track the status of different pieces of content, and assign tasks to team members — all on the same platform as their calendar.

With the help of Google Docs, users can keep comments all in one place and can collaborate on different projects without emailing back-and-forth or having to schedule a meeting. This is a particularly useful feature when editing content for social media, which may need to be drafted and approved quickly.

Social Media Templates

HubSpot’s social media calendar template:

https://offers.hubspot.com/social-media-content-calendar?_ga=2.201700881.1850661801.1569879294-1582690004.1559596502

HubSpot’s Social Media Content Calendar Template for Startups

https://offers.hubspot.com/startups/social-media-content-template-for-startups?_ga=2.8150450.1850661801.1569879294-1582690004.1559596502

Read full article at: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-calendar-tools