Instagram for Restaurant Marketing – spirop.us/15Nux91I am Spirocks on Twitter.
Food and Drink
So you know instagram, land of self centered duck faced ‘selfies’ and look where I am rub in your face pics from your connections.
But you know what it works great for?
Its simple really, when people see food they want to eat it, and when they see a restaurant consistently post food pics that they want, it leads to them visiting.
Be passionate about your food, pictures of poor food will have poor results.
Be pragmatic about how much you share, five dishes a week is one thing five in a hour is another.
Find me on instagram or twitter (@spirocks)
To see how I am doing it for Andolinis and Sauce in Andover Ma.
We are always looking to find ways to use video for restaurant marketing.
Each video has a common goal which is to highlight that which makes the restaurant unique, and when you use video to market your restaurant you should do the same. Where video stands head and shoulders above the other mediums you may choose is the human aspect, you get a feel for the person in the video and that is a key part of connecting with your audience. I have said this before but you can not be marketing the fact that you have food and drink. If you are doing that you are wasting your time. Most likely there is a subway or other processed food vendor that is selling cheap calories somewhere around you.
They have food and drink.
Your restaurant marketing should be about the things that set you apart, the one of a kind things that make your restaurant a unique destination and a value to the community that it is in. One thing that makes it that way is the people who make and serve the food and drink, it is their passion for the process and the end product that is of interest and value to the audience. Your restaurant marketing should be highlighting these things, and naturally the food and drink will be noted.
Here is and example of Video Marketing for Restaurants:
As you can see, this is as much about Lindsay, and the Process, as the product. It is an invitation to come see her and the rest of the staff. Video allows a window into what it would be like to sit at the bar and have Lindsay make a cocktail for you, it is personal and only possible in person or on video.
Have you used video for your business marketing or are you thinking about it? If you want ideas for how it could work for your particular business, just ask, its what I love to do.
Its easy to say… you should do video for your business. Its harder to actually do it. I have had the pleasure of working with some business people in the past few years to actually make it happen for them, and for my own businesses like Sauce. So I thought it would be worthwhile to actually show you the types of video marketing that we are doing, and give you a chance to think about what kind might be a match for you.
Sauce Super Bowl Video
This is an example of how you can use video to start a conversation, we put it right on our website’s front page this week, and have shared it through our social media channels as well. Its fun and not supposed to be a hollywood blockbuster. Video is a threshold breaker, it is an investment of time and creativity that the vast majority of business people wont make. How many wing places in the state of Massachusetts made a video marketing their their super bowl catering? I would venture to say one.
Century 21 McLennan and Company
This is an example of video marketing that educates the consumer, it is intended to demonstrate the knowledge and partnerships of one of the Merrimack Valley’s most successful real estate brokers, Matt Mclennan. His investment in video and online marketing have set him even further apart from his competitors. Those who hire him to sell their home or help them buy one, know at once that he will leverage both modern and traditional media to sell their home. Hell he sold mine and got one of the highest per square foot prices for any home sold in my town in 2012. Oh and he did it in one month… These videos are an opportunity for Matt to shed light on his company and his knowledge of how to get deals done. Examples are his video series on Short Sales where he and his short sale specialist discuss the various short sale specifics, to his current series on mortgage questions with a mortgage broker he works with (above), Matt uses video to both spotlight his properties and also educate the public. He is a front runner in our market on many levels and his use of video is definitely one of them.
J Borstell Property Video
Jeff Borstell is a Real Estate Advisor from J Borstell Real Estate in Tewksbury, they are a multi-generational brokerage that not only sells homes, but also helps builders find property to flip. Jeff has begun using video to document the process as he finds the properties and sees them through to completion. The video above highlights one of his current projects and as you can see he uses the medium to virtually show the property. Much as he would in person, but in this way he is able to immediately vet out if a home is a potential fit for a buyer, and also reach buyers that he may not otherwise.
Video marketing is daunting to start, you have to be on camera in most cases, and in the end it is all about whether you are comfortable enough to stand out from the crowd. If you want to discuss any of the above with me, just let me know. @spirocks on Twitter or:
Fusing your online and offline business communications is Essential to maximizing the results of your marketing strategy.
When you are marketing your business these days, it is easy to get caught up in your online efforts and think of them as their own entity separate from any print, direct mail, in house, or broadcast marketing you may also be doing. That just isn’t going to get the same results for your brands as if you integrate on and offline marketing efforts.
If you are able to do that you will be pulling together the two in a way that benefits your brands, the response rate to your marketing, and the results that you seek.
In the grand scheme of things you have a ton to do, but if you are investing time and dollars into marketing at all, you should make the over riding theme be clear, and be sure your brands speak to their audience in the same way on and offline. It is a simple yet elusive task. There are three key points to consider when aligning your marketing strategy:
The visual design of your website, email marketing messages, and social network images should be congruous with your menu, in store graphics, direct mail, and print ad graphical designs. Both online and offline marketing materials are visual mediums whose success may be determined by the initial (before reading) response an audience member has to the imagery contained. That imagery can be a reminder to someone aware of your company, it can create interest in someone who is just now being introduced to your brands, and it can bridge the mental gap between the time they saw a post from your facebook page shared by a friend to the direct mail piece they just found in their mailbox.
Images are some of the most powerful tools in marketing and they should work together stylistically where-ever you use them.
Your brands speak to their audience in many ways, one of the most powerful is through its language. It can communicate the style of your restaurant very effectively by choosing its linguistic voice. Once that voice is established it is important that consistency is maintained and nurtured in each of your marketing efforts. Whether you portray a playful vibe or a serious one, the style should work together across each message. Your brand should understand its target audience and craft messages in a voice to speak to them. This is one of the essential parts of your marketing strategy that too many companies overlook.
Your brand makes an offer to your customers every time there is an interaction, being in business is making an offer. Know that, remember that, and do that in a way that leverages the medium of choice effectively. Your audience may be divided, with some seeing your communications online and some seeing them in print. Do your offers transcend these boundaries too? If not you are effectively reducing the chances your offers can help you increase sales and convert casual members of your community into devoted customers. Online you may use coupon codes to match the coupons you mail to people with direct mail, you also make an offer without offering a discount and that is important. Sharing picture of your food online should be matched in your offline efforts as well.
If you simply share a picture of an amazing burger, that is making an offer. When I see a picture like that I want to eat that burger… so would a lot of others.
Lets focus on the overall message style more in our marketing strategy:
Takeaway from this a renewed effort to bridge mediums, and self evaluate the way you communicate today. The medium should not dictate the message, it may adapt it, but the medium always transmits the message.
What ways do you integrate offline and online marketing?
I am working with my clients this month explaining ways that they can do this with their companies marketing messages and I cant wait to help them do it. If I can help you feel free to ask.I am Spirocks on Twitter.
It happens all the time, someone points out a problem. Most of the time it is an employee, someone who is paid to be at your business. They have a front row seat after all, nobody is more aware of the intricacies of your business than a full time employee. Out of nowhere they will let you know that one of the AC vents in the dining room is dripping on a table, that the beer delivery guy came and left because the driveway was blocked, or that a cook was wasted last night and is trying to get his shift covered…
Problem delivery is not an Issue.
Most of the time the employee who is delivering believes they are doing you a service, that they are clearly better than the other employees because they are delivering the problem to you not creating it. They are right about that. They are better, but are they significantly more valuable? To me true value in a business organization comes from somewhere else.
Value is derived from problem solving.
A standout employee delivers solutions to problems you may not know existed, and when that is not possible a standout employee finds solutions to problems you can identify but dont have the time to tackle. A business owner does this by nature, they see a market and construct a business to satisfy it. They have no one to pass the buck to so they find a solution to every problem or it goes unsolved. A business owner teaches himself how to do things he does not know, there is not always someone to tell him what he should to do in every situation.
You enter the Cult of Solving When You Put Your Ass on the Line
If you are an employee today, you can cut your teeth for future business ventures by finding solutions to the problems that your company faces. Be the defacto leader your co-workers may need. That does not mean just finding someone to buy something from, money matters, and if you solve a problem and your company makes less money… you created a bigger problem. When you own a business your ass is on the line, its not a job, its your investment and your name, its your chance to make it or break it… when in those shoes you are consumed with solving issues that others only choose to point out.
You are not Born with it.
A business owner is not better, smarter, or somehow otherwise more gifted than an employee… he/she is someone who is dedicated to solving problems others feel are too complicated or time consuming, and he is the one that will benefit when they are solved.
A good business owner will reward an employee who takes steps to solve problems in the best interest of the business. Make sure you are doing that, and putting your best people in the position to either show you they can or can’t take that step.I am Spirocks on Twitter.
Here are some quick hit tweaks to your online presence that will get you found:
- Info people want should be front and center: Menu – Hours – Address – Phone Number. All on mobile ready pages. Get it done.
- Check your info on the big referrers, Google Local, Yelp, etc I recently found one of my places had a wrong phone number on Yelp.
- Think like a customer when you write blog posts, what are they looking for when they search? “Rehearsal Dinner Locations in Malden”
- Photos have been shown to drive trafic and are particularly powerful with Food. Always Use them.
- Talk about why you love what you do, not how cheap you are willing to sell it.
- Make sure your brand has a message and stick to it, don’t try to be everything to everyone. Be your brand.
- Respond to customer requests and issues, make them right, let them and others see you are responsive.
- Monitor your reviews for fake competitor driven ones, Yelp is particularly bad for this.
- Share whats new on a regular basis, don’t put a hard sell on it, just share it.
- Remember that you are not just selling food, you are selling a social experience and/or a service just as much.
You can get a lot of bang for your online marketing buck (and time) if you use these tweaks to adjust what you already do. It doesn’t all have to be technical and complicated, its still human interaction.
How Being Honest in Three Simple Ways helps the Bottom Line
A small business owner is responsible for a lot of departments, and that leaves a lot of room for feeling vulnerable. Always exposed to some risk of being caught with your eye on another area. In some cases that can lead to feeling like you need to bluff, to share little, and to outright lie to protect yourself from the unknown danger that lurks ready to take advantage of your business. I am writing to tell you that I practice the opposite, and have to continually prod myself to avoid the defense mechanism that manifests itself by creating a lack of clarity, a void of sharing information, or an shroud of mystery around my activities and what I am aware of at all times. I do that by focusing on three areas of honesty in my business.
Be Honest With Yourself
Did that complaint have a valid point? Am I dismissing it out of pride or embarrassment? Being honest with yourself takes those types of questions, it is so easy to say that the customer doesn’t know what they are talking about, and sometimes they don’t… but they are always the customer. ‘You can’t sell cream-puffs to pigs’ is a line from my friend Michael Tarshi and it has some merit here. If the honest answer to a question about what your business sells, how it sells it, or how it is being operated seems to indicate that you should change something. YOU SHOULD CHANGE SOMETHING. It doesn’t matter if your customer thinks creme brule should be served piping hot and you think they are ridiculous. Maybe if it happens too many times you are selling creme brule in the wrong place.
It is easy to dismiss things like that, and say that person has no clue. By being honest with yourself you can determine the outlying complaints from the ones you need to pay attention to. Even if it is just with yourself take these words into consideration:
Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. – Mahatma Gandhi
Be Honest With Your Employees
Your employees know your business and in some cases they know your customers better than you. They depend on the health of your business for their income in much the same way as you and they ask questions about it both for their personal benefit and for the business’ benefit as well. If you do not feel like you can honestly answer the questions you employees ask you about the bsuiness you have a trust issue in your organization, they should be able to get honest answers about the business as it relates to their responsibilities and customer interactions and if you can’t do that you have one of two problems to deal with immediately. The first: You need to change your behavior and trust the people you have put in position to do their job, by empowering with the information and knowledge that enables them. The Second: You have to trust your instincts and make changes to your staff that fills these jobs with people you can share the truth with.
So many times I have worked with small business owners who kept nearly all the important information so close to the vest that nothing could happen at the business without them present. Often times this results in your employees wasting their time and killing their efficiency, sluggish and poor customer service, loss of employees accustomed to producing, and generally poor company performance.
Be Honest With Your Customers
Its funny business people tend to forget how much their best customers get to know their company, its operations, employees, good points, and not so good points. The one thing that makes a great customer relationship is trust. A customer trusts you to deliver a product that is very close to what you promise, when you promise it, for a fair price. They know you are making money on the transaction but they are satisfied with the product and its delivery and feel that it is competitive with other options. Those other options may be just as good, but you have the trust.
Treat that trust with care, be honest with them always. When times are good and they are extremely pleased that is easy, when things go awry, be honest and tell them why it happened and why its not going to continue. If you screw up an order in any way you can take action to admit the order is not what they wanted and still retain the trust. When you lie, and look for technicalities, and loopholes to get out of the responsibilities your trust is likely to be lost and then you are not even on the same plane as your competitors, you are below it.
Be honest with your customers and they will likely forgive an error, and value the relationship with you even more.