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Which Food Delivery Service is Best for your Restaurant?

Food delivery and take-out services are two of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry. The increasing popularity of these services can be attributed to the incredible amount of convenience they bring to the customers.  Customers can not only order and pay for food from their choice of restaurants using a single app interface, but many of their favorite eating joints which did not previously offer delivery, are now available on these apps. With the growing demand for these services, more and more restaurants are expected to jump on the bandwagon. Here is a quick overview of some of the best food delivery services.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats is a food delivery platform powered by Uber. They promote the partner Restaurant’s menu through the Uber Eats app, website, and various other channels.

How Does it Work?

After you have partnered with Uber Eats, customers can place an order from your restaurant on the Uber Eats App interface. Once you accept the order, the customer can track the order’s progress through the app. Uber Eats sends a delivery partner to pick up the order and deliver it to the customer.  

Commission

Uber Eats charges somewhere around a 30% cut on each order placed through their app, which includes delivery.  So, if your restaurant already has its own delivery service, Uber Eats may not be a very lucrative choice for you. Further, customers can not place pickup orders on Uber Eats.

Marketing and Advertising for Restaurants

You can pay an additional(optional) marketing fee if you want your restaurant to show up higher in user searches or appear as a promoted listing on the UberEats app.

Restaurant sign-up

Uber Eats restaurant sign-up

DoorDash

DoorDash is a food discovery and delivery app that gives restaurants access to an extended customer base.

How it works

Customers can register on the platform or download the app and select meals from restaurants of their choice. Once a restaurant accepts an order made through the app, Doordash will send a dasher to pick up the order and deliver it to the customer. Restaurants can also use Doordash’s delivery services to deliver orders they receive via their own online ordering system. All they need to do is set up a pickup location, a delivery location, and customer information.

Commission

DoorDash takes revenue potential, menus, and customer base into account while deciding on the commission it will charge a restaurant. Depending on the agreement with a restaurant, DoorDash will set a commission for orders placed on the app which can be anywhere between 10-25%. The commission charges include delivery. If you have your own delivery guys, then maybe  DoorDash would not be your preferred choice. There is no option for customers to place pick-up orders on the app.

Marketing and Advertising for Restaurants

As part of their business model, restaurants can feature their menus and promote their food on the app by paying an additional marketing fee.

Restaurant Sign-Up:

DoorDash Restaurant Sign-up

Grub Hub

GrubHub Inc. is a web commerce platform for ordering and delivering take-out food, based in Chicago.

How Does It Work?

Customers can search through a list of restaurants and place their order through the app. After receiving the order GrubHub redirects it to the particular restaurant. The restaurant in turn prepares and packs the order for delivery. GrubHub delivery personnel picks up the order from the restaurant and delivers it to the customer.

Commission

GrubHub’s commission ranges from 5% to 15 % per order depending on the location of your restaurant and the number of restaurants in your vicinity. The average commission charged from restaurants is around 13.5 % per order. This does not include delivery charges, if you want to avail of their delivery services, you would have to pay an additional cost of 10% per order taking the total rev-share to 23.5% on average.

Grub hub allows customers to place pick-up orders. Further, if your restaurant has its own food delivery service in place, you can use GrubHub to expand your customer base.

Marketing and Advertising for Restaurants

Restaurants can pay an additional amount to appear on the top of user searches as sponsored listings. The average commission to appear as a sponsored listing comes close to 20% per order.

Restaurant Sign-up

Postmates

Postmates offers delivery or pickup services from restaurants, retails shops, grocers, and more to its clients. Postmates workers move around the city waiting for an order to come in, much like Uber drivers.

How it Works

Customers can search and select the restaurant they want to order food from. After they have confirmed the order and paid for it, Postmates relays the orders to the partner restaurant. A Postmate shows up at a particular restaurant to pick up and deliver the food to the customer.

In all probability, the app connects the customer to the Postmate courier nearest to the restaurant they wish to order from.  Customers can order from your restaurant via Postmates even if the restaurant has not partnered with Postmates. However, “Postmates Partnered restaurants have access to superior marketing/visibility on the application as well as faster and cheaper deliveries for customers.”

Postmates charges the customers a flat delivery fee of $3.99 for deliveries from restaurants that have “partnered” with and $5.99 for restaurants that haven’t. In addition, no service fee is charged from customers ordering food from partnered restaurants. So, if you have partnered with Postmates customers find it cheaper to order from your restaurant.

Commission

Depending on various factors, Postmates charges a commission between 15 and 30% per order from restaurants.

Marketing and Advertising for Restaurants

Restaurants can pay an additional amount to appear on the top of user searches as sponsored listings.

Restaurant Sign-up 

Postmates- sign-up

Caviar

Caviar is an on-demand food delivery startup owned by Square. You can order from Caviar’s website or the Caviar iOS and Android app. It caters to higher quality restaurants and is selective in choosing its restaurant partners. 

How Does it Work?

Customers can place an order from your restaurant on the caviar app.  Caviar allows customers to place both pick-up and delivery orders.

Commission

The average commission is around 12% for pick up orders. If you want to avail of their delivery services, Caviar will charge a standard delivery fee of 28% of the order value.

Marketing and Advertising for Restaurants

Restaurants can pay an additional amount to appear on the top of user searches as sponsored listings.

Restaurant Sign-up 

Restaurant- Sign-Up

5 Restaurant Marketing Strategies For The Holiday Season

The holiday season starts in Nov & Dec but for some, it starts much before –  40 percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween each year. It is the busiest season with some retailers accounting for 30% of their annual sales. The projected retail sales during the holiday season are around $700B. Most restaurants witness a major jump in sales during this time. If you want to promote your small business this holiday season, you need to prepare in advance. We have detailed five Restaurant marketing strategies for the holiday season.

Start Early & Have a Plan

a. Hire & train staff:

Given the seasonal nature and high competition, start looking at hiring and training staff early on. You want to put the best foot forward and highly trained and motivated staff is what you want during the holiday season rush.

b. Plan out the specials & events you want to organize –

Halloween contest, Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals and Christmas specials.

c. Inventory Check:

Make sure you have planned the required inventory for your events and specials.

d. Back-Up Plan:

Based on your prior experience come up with “what if” scenarios and have backup plans for these scenarios.

Focus on Customer Engagement

Now that you have lined up your ducks in terms of events and specials it is time to let your existing and potential customers know about these specials. The earlier you let your customers know about these specials/events the better off you are

a. Create events/specials on your website and social media sites.

If you plan to host any kind of event, it is better to have a landing page where your customers might sign up (on Facebook or on your website).

b. Email marketing:

Build your customer email list and start informing them along with links to events and specials so that your customers can plan accordingly.

c. Social Media:

Use social media to the hilt – have an advertising budget that you would like to spend on promoting these specials and events.

d. In-store decoration:

Decorate your store early on based on your planned activities. Have posters, lights and another kind of decor that would give the festive look.

Plan Co-Marketing Activities

The more the merrier and this applies to the holiday season. Have a plan as to what other local merchants/partners you can work with

  • Identify strategic partners with whom you can work with to execute co-marketing activities
  • Come up with a value proposition for your partners, their customers, and your customers. For example, if you are a retail toy store, reach out to local Montessori schools with specials for kids, or if you are a restaurant- work with a local mall and see if you can give customers with black Friday bill a freebie
  • Come up with an execution and promotion plan (see customer engagement) that includes the customer base of yours and your strategic partner.

Emphasize on Gift Cards

If you are thinking of restaurant marketing strategies for the Holiday season, you cannot ignore gift cards. Over the past ten years, there has been an increase in the amount that customers are spending on gift cards. As a small business you can ride this wave:

  • Identify whether you want to have physical or e-gift cards or both.
  • Identify with whom you would like to partner with (for example you can join OpenTable Gift program – https://go.opentable.com/rd-gifts.html).
  • If possible have an offer on gift cards and promote the availability of the cards (sell them online, social media and in the store).
  • Run a special for your gift cards.

Partner with a local charity

Even though this falls within the ambit of co-marketing activities we want to emphasize the fact that the holiday season is also considered the season of giving.

  • Identify a local charity that your customers associate themselves with
  • Approach them to organize a fundraiser or some sort of an event. For example work with local Salvation Army or Toys For Tots to raise funds for kids/toys.
  • If possible involve your customers – for example, if you are a restaurant explore the option of involving your customers in organizing a Thanksgiving feast at a local soup kitchen.
  • Promote the partnership and announce the results so that your customers can understand what kind of impact you/they had on this non-profit.

To have a great holiday season, it is imperative that you start early with a plan and set of activities that are in line with the plan. Define a set of metrics that you want to measure so that you can understand whether your plan was successful for this year and how it can be improved for future holiday seasons. With the above restaurant marketing strategies for the Holiday season,  you can ensure a higher footfall at your restaurant. Happy Holidays!!!

Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

Email marketing refers to sending out emails to promote your business. Restaurant Email marketing has been around for quite some time and is being successfully used by businesses to send updates about the brand, dole out promotions, offer coupons, and remain in touch with new and existing customers.

Some marketers erroneously believe that restaurant email marketing has lost its relevance with the introduction of new mediums to reach out to the customers. However, the fact remains that email marketing has evolved and remains an incredibly important marketing tool, and having clearly email marketing strategies for your restaurant can help you get better returns from your campaigns.

Here are some interesting stats to turn you into an email marketing enthusiast:

  • At least 91% of consumers check their email on a daily basis.
  • Data from Marketing Sherpa says that 72 percent of consumers prefer email as their source of business communication.
  • The average spend of customers buying products marketed through email is  138% more than those who do not receive email offers.
  • According to Optinmonster, only  15% of the marketing budget spent on email marketing, yields an ROI that is 28% higher than digital marketing.

Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

Emails are a great medium to reach out and stay in constant contact with your customers. In fact, there are numerous creative ways in which you can use emails to send out the right marketing message to your restaurant’s customers. Here we have listed a few of those.

1. Get the Word Out

You are pretty excited about the new dish that you have just introduced to your menu. Now, you are dying to know how your customers receive this new introduction. Sending them an introductory offer to try the new dish through an email can help you get the word out.  Sending exclusive invites to longtime patrons makes them feel like privileged insiders and helps in building long-term bonds.

Pizza hut Emailer- Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

2. Promote Offers/Special Days

Most restaurants have offers or deals marking special days or holidays. Perhaps, you have a planned a special for Fathers on the occasion of Father’s day or you are running deals on each day of the Pizza Month in October. You could send updates on these offers and promotions to your customers.

A monthly newsletter is a great way of letting your customers know about all the offers they can avail of in any given month. A follow-up email just a few days prior to the event or promotion can be sent out as a reminder to help them make the most of the offer.

BackYard Burgers Emailer- Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

3. Fundraisers

Many restaurants regularly host fundraisers on behalf of local organizations as a part of their community-building initiative. Sharing the details of such events with your regular customers can help you to increase participation in these events while sending out the message that you as a brand care for the community.
Chipotle Emailer- Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

4. Behind the Scene Stories

Every communication that you send out to your customers does not necessarily need to sell a product. You can add value by sending out curated content- every once in a while. It could be a story from your restaurant- a gesture by a customer that touched your heart, or an account of how and where you source your raw materials, you can even share strategies that you follow at your restaurant to manage waste. In fact, you can share anything that you feel may be of interest to your customers.

5. Share a Recipe

Every once in a while, you can share the recipe of a popular dish on your menu. This is a great way to open a line of communication with your customers. You can invite your customers to pour suggestions on how they would modify the recipe if they were to prepare the same at home. You can even go ahead and share some of these interesting ideas on social media.

6. Promote Restaurant Services

There are so many services that your restaurant may be offering which your customers may or may not be aware of. You can create a series of emails to help them use these facilities better.

For instance, reservations- where and how they can reserve a table at your restaurant.

Online ordering- You maybe be taking orders on-call or orders placed on your website or you may have tied up with third-party online ordering services. Are your customers aware of all the ways in which they can place an order? Do they know how easy it is to pay for these orders? These are questions that you can deal with in these emails.

Delivery- In many cases, the customers are not aware that there favorite eating joint offers delivery, or how far do they offer delivery, what are the charges. An email listing out all the possible FAQs could be very helpful.

7. Promote your Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are a great way to retain existing customers. The ground staff in your restaurant has very little opportunity to explain the nuances and benefits of the program to store visitors. Email provides you a great medium to send out details of the program to your customers from sign-up to reward redemption.

8. Send out Personalized Offers

Emails offer your endless opportunities to send out personalized offers to your customers. Personalized emails have a much higher conversion rate. You can segment customers based on 

  • Previous purchase history
  • Location
  • Kind of coupons they usually redeem
  • Offers that interest them most
  • Open Rate
  • Dormant/ Active Customers
  • Abandoned Carts

These are just a few examples. Depending on the nature of your restaurant and the kind of offer you have in mind you can segregate customers who you feel would be interested in the particular offer you are sending out.

Chipotle Personalized Emailer- Email Marketing Strategies for your Restaurant

9. Collect Feedback

You bring great food to the table, offer exceptional services and believe that are you are doing your best. But no successful business can do without customer feedback. Emails are a great way to collect feedback. You can ask for customers feedback on specific services like online orders, delivery or more general feedback about the food and services at your store.

10. Bday emails

Retaining your current customers is up to 7x cheaper than acquiring new ones. Did you know that Birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails and on an average, they generate a 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails?

Running a birthday campaign can help you bolster engagement with your customers. You can plan and set up a campaign to collect birthdays by asking your customers to sign up on your website, or you can even embed a form on social media sites like Facebook to collect such data. Once you have collected this data, use it to set up an automated campaign through MailChimp or any other application to send out specials to your customers on their birthdays.

11. Retarget Website Visitors

You have invested a lot of effort and money in building a great website and prompting customers to visit your website or app. But are you following up with these visitors?

You may have data on what pages your customers are visiting where they are dropping off, but are you putting this data to use?

Adding a pop-up form to your website nudging customers to subscribe to your newsletter helps you keeping a track of these visitors and once you have the list, you can use it to market to these customers.

Wrap Up

Email Marketing is the fastest, easiest, and most inexpensive way to reach customers. We would love to know what strategies are you using to get more out of your Email Campaigns.

15 ways to Use Your Restaurant’s Chatbot

The growing popularity of Chatbots in the Restaurant industry can be attributed to the wide array of services for which they can be put to use. Popular chains like Burger King and Taco Bell are already leveraging their restaurant’s chatbot for everything from engaging with their customers to simplifying delivery and takeaway. 

Here’s how are ways to use your restaurant’s chatbot at every stage of the customer journey from awareness to advocacy.

Awareness Stage

Brand Discovery- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

With the proliferation of messaging apps and the increasing amount of time people are spending on these apps, chatbot is a perfect medium to reach out to your customers.  You can employ this pioneering technology to grab your customers attention and let them know that you are available to assist.

Your restaurant’s chatbot can be programmed to engage customers visiting your website or social media pages, ask questions and guide them in the right direction, share menus, pricing, and collect their email ids.  Providing quick responses and resolving queries helps you to create a better user experience.

Engagement Stage

Engagement Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

1. Real-Time Response to Customer Queries

Providing quick responses and resolving queries helps you to boost customer engagement. To give you an idea of how this works let’s say a customer stops by your website or social media page and inquires about store timings via a contact form or direct message. Even if your marketing team is very prompt they would take somewhere between 15 minutes to a few hours to respond to the message (assuming you don’t have a dedicated person just to respond to such queries). Would the customer linger for that amount of time waiting for a response? No! They will easily navigate to some other restaurant. With a chatbot in place, you can significantly decrease the average time taken to respond to such messages. An engaged customer is much more likely to buy from you.

2. On-Demand Assistance 

Customers no longer have to scan your entire website to find the information they are looking for. Your chatbot can provide quick, precise responses and helpful suggestions to guide them in the right direction.

3. Personalized Communication and Advertisements

Chatbots can be employed to nurture potential customers and persuade them to visit or order from your restaurant. To show you what I mean, let’s suppose that during a conversation with a chatbot, a customer checks out the kids’ meals options on your menu. Now every time you run offers or deals on the kid’s meal, you can send them out to this particular customer. He/she would be more likely to respond to these personalized offers as this is something they have already expressed an interest in.

4. After Hours Service

Your customers can get the information they are looking for via your restaurant’s chatbot even when your business is closed.

5. Lead Generation 

You can use Chatbots to nurture prospects and gathers email addresses of potential customers, which can be used for your future marketing campaigns.

Acquisition Stage

Acquisition Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

1. Promote Offers, Discounts, and Limited Time Deals

Chatbots can be employed to send out regular marketing communication to all customers who have engaged with your chatbot at any time. They can even tap into your email list and entice your existing customers with new deals and offers.

2. Increase Sales Through Improved Order Efficiency

a. Take Online Orders

A chatbot, deployed on your website, app, social media – Facebook, Twitter, can interact with your customers and take online orders with 100% accuracy. Further, if your restaurant’s chatbot is integrated with your POS systems, your customers can place the order and pay through the same interface

Easier Delivery & Takeaway

You can reduce the time and effort it takes for a customer to place an online order. In fact, customers can order directly from your  Facebook or on your website’s chat window. Domino’s Anywhere initiative allows customers to order a pizza by Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Echo, smart TV, smartwatch, just by texting an emoji. I cannot imagine a more engaging and convenient way to order a pizza on the go!

Reduce Wait Times by Pre-Booking Orders

Customers can place their order via your chatbot much before they arrive at your restaurant, significantly cutting down on wait times.

Allow Customers to Make Reservations

Your restaurant’s chatbot can also be put into service to take reservations and book tables.

3. Food Recommendations

Chatbots offer a great opportunity to cross-sell or upsell menu items. Let’s say, some customer orders grilled steaks from your menu, your chatbot could recommend the Grilled Zucchini Salad or Red Wine that go great with his order. Some other examples could be of first-time customers looking for gluten-free options on your menu or somebody trying to find vegan options.

4. Round the Clock Customer Support

Providing around the clock customer support requires a huge investment in terms of time and resources. By automating conversations you could save time and money that can then be allocated to other efforts.

5. Consistent Communication

Most customers find it very frustrating when they have to provide an update of past interactions to every service rep they interact with. A chatbot helps you to provide a consistent experience to your customers by automatically updating previous chat histories of customers.

Loyalty Stage

Loyalty Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

1. Send Personalized Offers and Recommendation to Regular Customers

Chatbots for restaurants can bring back regular customers and boost long term loyalty by sending out automated deals and offers in accordance with a customer’s purchase history.

2. Solicit Feedback and Reviews

Most customers prefer to go through review sites before selecting a restaurant to eat out. Chatbots can be employed to send automated reminders to customers to leave their feedback on popular sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Many restaurants are using this technology to collect Feedback from their customers. This helps them to discover areas where they can improve, with the end goal of providing better customer services.

3. Promote your Loyalty Program 

You can use your restaurant’s chatbot to encourage your regular customers to join your loyalty program. It is also a perfect medium to send out exclusive deals to loyalty members or to facilitate redemption of loyalty rewards.

Advocacy Stage

Advocacy Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

1. Promote your Advocacy Program

Chatbots can target long term loyalty members and encourage them to join your restaurant’s advocacy program

2. Offer Incentives to Advocate your Restaurant

Asking customers to share their experience at your restaurant by a social share button embedded on your chatbot is a great way to attract attention towards your brand.

Wrap- Up

Those were some of the ways in which we at mKonnekt are employing chatbots for our restaurant clients.  We would love to hear how you are using this wonderful technology for your business.

How to Use Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant?

Why send a birthday email?

Birthday email could be an interesting way to engage with your customers. The great thing about setting up a birthday email campaign that it requires very little effort and investment on your part while yielding great dividends. Once you’ve set up the process, the system requires only occasional intervention from your side.

According to Experian data, as compared to promotional emails, birthday emails have:

  • a 481% higher conversion rate
  • Yield 342% higher revenue per message
Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant

Note: If your restaurant is running a full-fledged loyalty program– it may preclude the need for a separate birthday campaign as you may have birthday offers already included as a part of your Loyalty program. However, if you are not up for a full-blown loyalty program- a birthday club is a great idea.

Advantages of Setting up Birthday Emails

Maxim Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant

Building better customer relations

Most customers appreciate a personalized gesture by brands on their special days. So, connecting with your customer on their special day helps you to strengthen brand affinity.

Generate Revenue 

Customers who may not have planned to visit your restaurant may plan a visit after considering the offer.

Engage Inactive Users

Birthday emails are a great way to restart interaction with dormant customers.

Getting Started

1. Collect data to set up your campaign

You need to have birthday data of your customers to send out wishes or an offer on the occasion. So, the first question that comes to mind is how do you go about collecting this information. There can be several ways to do this.

  • Add a subscription form to your restaurant’s monthly newsletter: You can insert a form to subscribe to your birthday club in your monthly newsletter.
  • Embed a registration form or landing page on your website:
  • Embed a form through third-party apps like MailChimp on your Facebook page.
Mkonnekt's Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant

2. Set up an automated email campaign

Once you have the data, you can set up an automated email campaign by using an email service provider of your choice such as MailChimp.

3. What to say in the birthday email?

Tailor your message in accordance with your brand image. Let’s say you run fast-casual restaurant chain – the tone and imagery of your email should be fun and casual.

Prezzo's Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant
  • Keep your message short and crisp
  • Have clear CTAs
  • Personalize the offers that you send out to your customers
  • Include interactive content like videos or gifs
  • Wish your customer: Each year I am excited to receive the personalized birthday wishes from the Facebook team- Isn’t is a great way to build a bond with your customers and make them feel special.
  • A discount coupon encourages your customers to visit your store. Roll our a discount coupon or limited time special offer.
  •  You could also offer other exclusive benefits, such as free delivery on online ordering.

     Best Practices:

  • If you send out a single mail on the day of your customer’s birthday there is a greater chance that your customers might miss the email. The better way to do it is to set up a drip campaign- sending out trigger mails at least a month or 15 days before the actual occasion and build up slowly until the D-day.
 Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant
  • Ideally, you should also set up reminders for customers who fail to open the birthday mail, click on the offer or use the coupon within the stipulated time frame.
  • You could take the conversation to the next level by sending out a feedback email to customers who availed of the coupon. Use this opportunity to promote other offers or services such as online ordering or delivery. You could make it more interesting by adding an exclusive coupon to any offer or event that you are planning to run in the future.
  • Employ multiple channels to your advantage – Follow up your email campaign with SMS reminders at regular intervals.

4. Promote your campaign:

You have set up a campaign to collect customer Birthdays, but how would your customers know about it unless you promote it extensively.

Promote Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant
  • Set up promotional posters in-store
  • Restaurant table tents are perfect for the promotion of such services.
  • Train your staff to encourage customers to register on your website or Facebook page. You could even go the old fashioned way collecting emails and birthdays manually on feedback forms presented to guests at the time of check out.
  • Promote the campaign through your monthly emails or newsletters.
  • You can request customers who leave a positive review to sign up by including a link to the subscription page in your responses.
  • Push the birthday campaign through posts on social media channels.
  • Run ads on relevant networks
  • Induce customers to sign-up by offering a special coupon on registration.

5. Analyze and Optimize

After you have successfully set up your campaign and run it for a few months, it is time to step back and analyze each aspect of your campaign. You should consider metrics such as:

Yo's Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant
  • No of people who have signed up
  • Email open rate
  • Click through rate
  • No. of people who have redeemed the offer
  • How well are the promotions working
  • Do you need to optimize offers or any other aspects to increase conversion rate

Tweak your campaign according to your observations.

Automate this entire process with tools like the Birthday module.

  • Automate the process- You can use tools like Birthday Module to automate the process. Once The setup is installed on your website a tab appears on the home page(or any other page you choose). Customers can click on the tab to enter their details. A similar tab is integrated on your Facebook business page. Your customers can subscribe both on your website and on Facebook.
  • The cycle of automated emails is setup
  • You can choose how many emails you want to send out
  • The time at which these emails would be triggered let’s say-
    • first email 15 days before a customer’s birthday,
    • 2nd email a week before the birthday and so on
    • You can also choose to send out reminders for customers who have not opened the email or clicked o the offer.
  • Automatic SMSs are also sent to the customers at the frequency you choose.
  • Customize offers that you want to send out- including an offer for birthday or sign-up offers
  • All customer data is centrally collected and available for future campaigns.

After the initial setup, the automated process requires minimal intervention on your part.

Additional Tip: Now that you are running a birthday club- it would be great if you could offer a special experience to customers who drop by on their birthdays to avail the coupons. Train your staff to create a special experience for these customers.  Your staff could present a birthday song! You can even Have simple cards printed to give out to any customers visiting your store on their birthday. As a restaurant owner, you may be well aware that it only takes a little effort from your staff to make customers feel special.

9 Ways to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

“Customer engagement is the degree and depth of  BRAND- FOCUSSED interactions a customer chooses to perform.”    The Smile Team

Customer engagement includes any interactions that a customer may have with a brand, and brand-focused interactions that a customer has with his friends, colleagues, or family- this could include seeking reviews, recommendations, brand mentions, feedback, etc. As a restaurant owner and marketer, it becomes equally important to focus on the degree and depth of these interactions as some interactions may be more valuable to your brand than others. For instance, when a customer shares a pic having dinner at your restaurant, it generates much more value for your brand than when he likes one of your posts on social media.

The value of engaging your customer at all touchpoints of the customer journey cannot be stressed enough. Research by Gallop shows that a fully-engaged customer represents 23% more revenue than average. An engaged customer is more likely to buy from your brand, offer feedback, and develop loyalty towards the brand. Companies can increase cross-sell by sending out personalized offers, drive- up revenues, and increase order sizes by having a comprehensive customer engagement strategy in place.  In fact, 44% of customers claim that they are more likely to return to businesses that offer them a personalized experience.

There are no uniform strategies to engage your Customer- what works for one restaurant may not work for another. However, by analyzing all touch points and looking at the ways in which your customers engage with your business at these touchpoints, you can optimize the communication you send out at each of these stages.

Here are a few online and offline strategies that you can use to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

1. Respond to Everyone

 It is important to show your customers that you as a brand are responsive to messages. Set up a process to reply to messages, feedback, or any other kind of communication you receive from your customers.  This could be via e-mail, contact forms on your website, or messages left on social media.

Responding to comments or messages you receive from fans on social media or other platforms makes them feel valued and more likely to engage with your business in future.

2. Contests To Boost Customer Engagement

Another great way to boost engagement with your fans and prospective customers is by holding contests. As a Restaurant owner or a marketer, you may feel reluctant to hold contests or feel that “Everyone is having a contest all the time”.  But, the truth is they work. Everyone enjoys winning, even if it is something small such as a coffee or an appetizer. To get the most out of a contest think of what you want to achieve from running the contest. Having clear goals will help you in coming up with strategies to achieve your targets.

Contests to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Here are some goals that you could be looking at:

  • Website traffic
  • Brand Awareness
  • Boosting user engagement
  • Building your email list
  • Growing your social media presence
  • Promoting an upcoming product or service
  • Collecting user feedback to improve product quality
  • Converting followers into brand advocates

Consider the platforms on which you would be run the contest and lay down other details like clear terms and conditions, giveaways, duration of the contest etc.

Try to think of  fun, quirky ideas for a contest  

  • In-store Selfie Contest
  • Photo contest featuring your products
  • Hashtag Contest
  • Suggesting a slogan

 Take a look at this contest by Flying pig, which meets three goals

  • Raising Brand awareness
  • Generating UGC
  • Promoting a branded Hashtag
  • Generating opportunities for cross-sell

 

Social Media Contests to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Promote your Contest

The success of your contest and how much engagement it generates would also depend on how well you promote it across various channels.

  • Post about it on your social media handles or homepage of your own website/blog!
  • Run promoted posts on Social Media Channels
  • Use a branded hashtag to promote your contest
  • Send an email to inform subscribers and encourage them to participate
  • Partner with other brands for cross promotion
  • Follow-up by commenting and thanking every participant.

Brands that run contests on a regular basis have a much higher engagement rate as compared to others. So it is time, you step up your social media game by adding a few fun contests to your strategy.

3. Respond to Reviews To Boost Customer Engagement

The success of a modern restaurant depends, to a large extent, on its ability to generate positive reviews. If you are still not convinced take a look at the data below:

  • According to recent surveys, 93% of consumers say product reviews influence their purchasing decisions
  • 85% trust online reviews of local businesses as much as they trust personal recommendations.
  • Almost half (49%) need to see four stars before they’ll even engage with your business.
  • (82%) have decided to buy a product or service after reading through the content of a review.
Respond to Reviews to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
Most people check for reviews on Yelp before trying out a New Place

Responding to reviews both positive and negative gives you an opportunity to engage the customer and show them that you value their business while building up a positive perception of your business. Replying to your customers helps you open up a direct communication channel for future conversations. You can take the conversation to the next level by asking your customers to connect via email.

But first, how do you get your customers to leave positive reviews about your food and services?

Develop a strategy to generate reviews

  • Solicit reviews: Train your staff to ask for reviews after the customer has finished a meal. Research says that 60% will leave a review if they’re encouraged to do so.
  • Make reviewing easier
  • Provide an incentive to review
  • Automate the process using technology– use tools like Kritiq which send an automatic feedback form to the customer every time he makes a purchase from you.

While many of us respond to negative reviews, we often overlook positive comments.  Thanking a customer who left a positive review not only helps you build a close bond with customers but also gives you the opportunity to promote your brand and services- like here at mKonnekt, we have a policy of requesting customers who left a positive review to follow us on social media. You can even go ahead and share your online ordering link or request them to join your loyalty program.  Sharing such positive reviews on social media is a great way to boost positive SEO of your brand. 

4. Coupons and Discounts To Boost Customer Engagement

“Discounting the right way is the best and fastest way to grow a stalling bar or restaurant business.” -Nick Foster

Discounts can be a great way to get people in the door. It’s important to have a strategy around them and communicates your message correctly. If your customers start feeling that offering discounts is the only way your restaurant generates footfall, then discounting is definitely harming your brand image. Devote some time to articulate your message- make your customers feel that you are offering the discount because you value their business.

Coupons and discounts to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
Holiday Discounts

Here are some strategies that you could use:

  • Offering deals to first-time customers or regulars can make them feel appreciated and connected to your restaurant.
  • Holiday discounts: Such as a discount for Fathers on Father’s Day or teachers a discount during Teacher Appreciation Week.
  • Promote your discount and deals through posts on social media or by running ads.
  • Check on the most and least popular items on your menu and create offers to promote these dishes.
  • Restaurants can leverage discounts to get more people in the door during slow hours and slow days of the week.
  • Offer discount cards or coupons through platforms like Yelp or Groupon.
  • Collaborate with a local organization by offering coupons for their events.
 discounts to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
A Great Way to Boost Sales on Slow Days of the Week

5. Gift Cards To Boost Customer Engagement

Gift cards top the list of most requested gift items. 58.8% of consumers say they would like to receive gift cards as a gift during the Holiday Season. The great thing about gift cards is that they do not cut into your restaurant’s profit and are a great way to build customer engagement with your brand. Apart from generating sales, gift cards serve as a great advertorial keeping your brand on top of your customer’s mind. Public holidays or special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. are the perfect time to push out Gift Cards.

Gift Cards to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

According to statistics, approximately 2 out of 3 gift card holders spend almost 40 percent more than the value of the gift card. So, every time a customer walks in with a gift card, you get an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell.

6. E-mail Marketing To Boost Customer Engagement

“Every dollar spent on email marketing can help you get an average ROI of $38.” 

Emails are a great way to keep in touch with your customers.  You can use email campaigns both for customer acquisition as well as retention.  Most successful restaurants are using emails to keep their customers up-to-date with the latest offers and promotions. You could also push your online ordering or delivery services via email campaigns.

Email Marketing to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Deploy these Tips to Boost Email Engagement

  • Dynamic content based on demographics and preferences
    • Segment emails based on basis of demographics, interests or preferences.
    • Ask your audience to choose the kind of content they would like to receive, such as- new additions, offers, events.
    • Offer a link that allows readers to change their preferences.
  • Have Clear, Brief  Call to Actions in your emails
    • Include your CTA in the email subject line
    • Use contrasting colors to help the CTA stand out
    • Link your CTA to a dedicated website landing page
    • Ensure that your CTA is a part of the text portion of the email body so that it is visible see even if a recipient has images turned off.
  • Personalize your content and offers
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Automate your emails 
  • Ask for feedback and improve.
  • Mix promotional emails with content which creates value for your users
    • Share recipes of house favorites
    • Food Facts
    • Healthy eating options on your menu

7. Birthday emails To Boost Customer Engagement

Retaining your current customers is up to 7x cheaper than acquiring new ones. Did you know that Birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails and on an average, they generate a 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails?

Running a birthday campaign can help you bolster engagement with your customers. Here are two ways to do it:

1. Set up an email campaign– Plan and set up a campaign to collect birthdays by asking your customers to sign up on your website, or you can even embed a form on social media sites like Facebook to collect such data. Once you have collected this data, use it to set up an automated campaign through MailChimp to send out specials to your customers on their birthdays.

2. Use Automation: You could also automate the entire process by integrating tools such as  Birthday Module on your website. Once you have set up this Module on your website, a tab will automatically appear on your facebook page and your website.

Birthday Emails to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
  • Customers can sign up both on your website and Facebook.
  • Once a user registers- the system sends out coupons automatically on their birthdays and anniversaries.  
  • You can send out coupons for signing-up along with coupons for birthdays and anniversaries.
  • You can customize offers that you want to send out.

Best Practices

  • Personalize subject lines and messages
  • Send the offer on birthday or anniversaries
  • Send  reminders
  • Create a clear call to action“Redeem Your Birthday Gift”

8. Chatbots to Boost Customer Engagement

Facebook allows brands to connect with their potential customers through messenger bots. These chatbots can be accessed via existing chat apps such as Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp, so your customers won’t have to download another app.  You can connect directly to all your customers sending them personalized offers and recommendations in accordance with their purchase history through these messenger bots.

Chatbot Marketing to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.
Restobot Chatbot Marketing to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Popular chains like Pizza Hut are successfully using this technology to boost customer engagement by being available to their customers at all times, answering their queries and sending out personalized deals. These Chatbots can also be used to allow your customers to make reservations or order ahead. 

9. Loyalty programs to Boost Customer Engagement

Restaurant loyalty programs are another great way to boost customer engagement. When a customer has a positive experience or derives value from your products or services, he is likely to return to your business. That is where customer loyalty programs can help you. A customer loyalty program offers special privileges by the way of discounts to customers who make frequent purchases.

Loyalty Programs to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

On average, loyal customers spend more and are more likely to recommend your restaurant to friends and family. In the U.S., 40% of online shopping revenue comes from repeat customers.

Restaurant Loyalty Programs to Boost Customer Engagement for your Restaurant.

Best Practices

  • The best time to invite guests to join your restaurant’s loyalty program is when they’ve just had a great experience.
  • Train your staff to encourage guests to join your loyalty program to avail of enticing offers and special deals.
  • Promote the program on your website and social media handles.
  • Offer an incentive to sign-up
  • Go for completely digitized cardless loyalty programs.
  • Integrate your loyalty program with your Pos System.
  • Simplify the signing -up process
  • Make it easy to checkpoints and redeem offers.
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Customize rewards based on customer preferences.

The key to boosting engagement is understanding your customers. You can provide a personalized experience and optimize engagement at each stage only if you understand your customers and their journeys.

Wrap Up:

These are some of the tricks we have been using to boost customer engagement. We would love to know how you engage with your customers.

How to Create Effective Customer Journey Maps?

What is Customer Journey?

A customer journey is a route your customer takes to complete the desired conversion action. It could be anything from purchasing a product to downloading an e-book.

The path a customer takes to conversion may vary depending on the nature of your business. Often decisions that involve a lot of money — such as purchasing a house, car, software, or a holiday may take a longer time to convert as compared to buying something cheaper say a book.

A typical Customer Journey spans  through  Five Stages:

A2A- Effective Customer Journey Maps

What is a Customer Journey Map?

  • A customer journey map is the detailed visual representation of the journey a customer takes to conversion.
  • Customer Journey maps may be different for different products, companies, and industries.
  • In fact, two people may follow an entirely different path to purchase even if they are buying the same product.

Benefits of Mapping the Customer Journey

By creating a Customer Journey Map you can

  • Understand your customers by segment
  • Chart each step of the customer experience
  • Get a clear picture of where and when customers are interacting with your business.
  • Understand why customers are making purchases or why are they leaving.
  • You can create focused messages for each buyer persona at different stages of the journey.
  • Build campaigns with a clear call to action and KPI for each stage of your journey.
  • Identify choke points where you are currently losing customers and develop procedures to address these.

How to Create Effective Customer Journey Maps?

To create a customer journey map, you need to understand what motivates your customers to buy your products. Once you are aware of the motivations, you can align the communication your customers will receive at each stage in the journey across platforms and throughout your marketing campaigns, providing a more consistent customer experience.

Creating Buyer Personas

The path two different customers follow to conversion may not be the same, as their motivation for buying a product may not be the same. For instance, customer “A” maybe be planning to purchase the software your company sells for personal use, his consideration and journey to the conversion will be different from the path Customer “B” takes, who needs to purchase the same software for his office.

Therefore the first step is to create buyer personas.

If you have already been in business for some time, you may have identified your target audience to identify the kind of people who would be interested in products and services. But the target audience is not the same customer personas.  While defining your target audience you may have considered demographics such as:

  • geographic location
  • age
  • sex
  • religion
  • marital status
  • income

Customer personas are more detailed and dig down further looking for differentiating factors within a certain demographic. Two people of the same age and gender living in the same city in the same income bracket may not have similar interests.  Creating detailed customer personas helps you to understand the motivation of each segment of your population.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to consider the following information about your customer personas.

Creating Customer Personas -Effective Customer Journey Maps

Here is an example of a customer persona for a furniture store.

Creating Buyer Personas -Effective Customer Journey Maps

You can start creating customer personas by

  • You can delve into the data available on your Website, CRM, Social Media, or Advertising.
  • You can interview and current and prospective customers, conduct online surveys.
  • You can also utilize tools such as Facebook Audience Insights to find out more about your current customers including demographic data and their interests.

Touchpoints

List every possible touchpoint at which you are communicating with your customers, and what messages they are receiving at these touchpoints. These could include your website, social media, word of mouth, brochures,  display ads,  review sites, Television ads, emails, chatbots, phone calls, events, in-store promotions, and customer service. The longer your customer journey takes, the more touchpoints it will involve.

Customer Touchpoints -Effective Customer Journey Maps

You can make this task easier by putting yourself in the shoes of the customer and walking through his customer’s journey step-by-step.

  • What is the problem (that a product or service your company is offering could solve)?
  • What do you do when you discover the product or business that solves your problem?
  • How do you make your purchase decision?
  • What do you do after the purchase?
Mapping Customer Touchpoints -Effective Customer Journey Maps

Build a Framework

  • Firstly, define the end goal of the customer journey. ( buy a product or service, sign up for a newsletter or blog, download an app.)
  • Consider who it is aimed at
  • Where they are in your customer journey?
  • Define the first point at which a particular buyer persona begins its journey?
  • What is the problem they are currently experiencing that sets them on the customer journey?
  • How can you help them progress to the next stage of the journey?
  • What are the channels through which you reach them?

Visualize Your Path

1. Define the stages that a buyer will progress through before making a purchase decision.

Visualizing Customer Touchpoints -Effective Customer Journey Maps

For instance, in the example of Susie above- suppose a friend recommended your furniture store to Susie.  What will be the decision stages Susie will pass through before purchasing from you.

  • She may check out your website
  • She will go through reviews
  • She may ask other friends about your store
  • She will compare prices and product specification with other brands that she has been considering
  • She may want to speak to your Customer Service representative to inquire about your products, services, and warranty.

2. List down the key decisions each buyer persona has to make throughout their customer journey.

For Susie here, this may involve

  • Do your products meet the requirements in terms of style and functionality?
  • Do you offer all the furniture that she is looking for
  • is your furniture durable
  • How easy it is to install 
  • What are your shipping charges
  • Will you be offering any kind of assistance during the installation?
  • what are your return policies
  • How much warranty do you offer?
  • Will it fit in her budget?

3. For each of these decision stages, define the key goal that you need to help the buyer achieve to progress to the next stage.

Define Key Goals -Effective Customer Journey Maps

Bring together all the data that you have gathered so far and identified the choke points in the customer journey. Mark all the areas where you feel you need to optimize your strategy to help the customer move to the next stage.

Define Your Strategy

Now that you have created an effective customer journey maps and you have identified the key roadblocks. The next step is to define your strategy going forward.  For each of the stages and touchpoints, define the channels by which you would be reaching out to the customer. Create key messages and communication that you need to send out at each of these touchpoints in the customer journey.

Doing this will enable you to align your communication throughout the customer journey. This customer journey map should guide all your sales and marketing campaigns.

How to set up Shoppable posts on Instagram?

In June 2018, Instagram introduced shoppable Instagram Stories to select brands providing marketers with yet another opportunity to reach their audience directly on the Instagram page. With this new feature, Instagram users can complete their buying journey without ever leaving the Instagram app.

Instagram shoppable posts are marked by a shopping bag icon in the top-right corner. 

Shoppable posts on Instagram

 Getting Started With Shoppable posts on Instagram

Before you can start setting up Instagram shoppable posts you need to fulfil certain requirements;

1. You must be located in one of these countries:

Shoppable posts on Instagram available in select countries

2. You need an Instagram business account

3. You must be on the latest version of the Instagram app on either iOS or Android.

4. Your business must sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.

5. Your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalog. This can be created and managed on directly on your  Facebook Business Page, or your Business Manager account,  or through Shopify or BigCommerce.

If you meet all of these requirements, you can start setting up your shop on Instagram.

Prepping your Account for Shoppable Tags

Prepping your Account for Shoppable Tags- Shoppable posts on Instagram

Step 1: Creating an Instagram Business Profile

You can easily convert to an Instagram business profile by navigating to setting and selecting Switch to business accounts. Instagram will guide you through the process. 

Creating an Instagram Business Profile- Shoppable posts on Instagram

Step 2: Connect your Instagram account with your Facebook Business Page

Your Instagram account should be connected to your Facebook business page. You can do it at the time of the switchover by providing access to your Business Page. Or, you can do it from your Facebook Business page. Navigate to the setting tabs, click on the Instagram tab in the left sidebar and enter the details of your Instagram account and click on confirm.

Connect your Instagram account with your Facebook Business Page-Shoppable posts on Instagram

Once you have converted your Instagram handle to a business page and connected it to your Facebook Business Page the next step is to set up your product catalog.

Step 3: Setting up a Product Catalog On Facebook

There are a few ways to connect your Business profile to a Facebook  product catalog:

Option 1: Setting up a Product Catalog on Facebook (available in U.S. only)

If your Instagram Business profile is connected to your Facebook Business page, you can easily create a product catalog on Facebook itself.

Step 1

Make sure you’re using the right template on your Facebook Page.

Click Settings → Edit Page → Template → Shopping Template → Apply Template.

Setting up a Product Catalog on Facebook (available in U.S. only)-Shoppable posts on Instagram

Once you’ve applied the Shopping template, a “Shop” tab will automatically appear on your main Page.

Step 2

Before you start adding products, you’ll need to set up a payment process. If you’ve never set up a payment process before, a pop-up window will appear automatically prompting you to do so. Enter the required fields.

adding products to Facebook catalog
Setting up your Shop Section
Finishing Your Shop
  • Remember to set up the check out page.
  • Indicate which currency your customers should pay in.
  • Now you are ready to add products to your shop.
Step 3

You can start adding products to your shop.

Adding Products to your Shop
  • Add a products image, a short description and price
  • Insert a link to a page where people can checkout.
  • You can edit or remove any product at any time.
  • If you are offering a discount or if a product is on sale, click on the slider and enter the new price here. You must remember to come back and change the price once the sale is over.
Adding Products to your Shop on Facebook

When you add the new product to the shop, it should automatically appear on your Facebook Business Manager as well.  However, the items don’t appear in your shop immediately, as they need to undergo an approval process first.

Option 2: Create a Facebook Catalog with Facebook Business Manager

To create a catalog on the Facebook Business manager, you need to have a Business manager account that is linked to your Facebook business page and Instagram Business account.

Use your business name and business email address to create an account to keep it separate from your personal profiles. For a more detailed guide to setting up your Bussiness Manger Account, you can check this article:

In your Business Manager and navigate to Business manager settings follow these steps:

  • Go to Catalog Manager
  • Click Create Catalog
  • Select the catalogue type and click Next. You can create catalogues for: E-commerceTravel (including hotels, flights and destinations), Property and Automotive.
  • Select the ad account for the catalogue and enter a name for your catalogue.
  • Click Create.

    Note: If you need to support multiple languages, create a separate catalogue for each language

Create a Facebook Catalog with Facebook Business Manager

 If you are already using the Business manager you can also use an existing catalog.

There are a few ways in which you can add products to your catalog;  manually, use a data feed, use a merchant platform, or use the Facebook pixel.

a. Manually adding items

This is recommended only if you have less than 50 items in your shop.

  • Once you have finished creating a catalog, click on “Add Products and select ADD MANUALLY.
  • For each item, you’ll need to input a name (up to 26 characters), a description and an image.
  • Add a price. The default currency is US dollars although there’s an option to change it.
  • If you want to run dynamic ads, you’ll also need to add a Content ID.
  • Save each product by clicking “Add Product”
  • Click on add another product to add the next product.
b. Adding with a data feed

Adding items using a data feed gives you the chance to promote your inventory through retargeting, such as with dynamic ads.

Create a Facebook Catalog with Facebook Business Manager- data feed
  • Use a supported file format (CSV, TSV, and XML) to create a data feed file with all the necessary information. After saving the file, head to Catalog Manager, choose the catalog you want, and click “Data Sources.”
  • Click “Add Data Source,” then select “Use Data Feeds,” and click “Next.”
  •  You can upload your product feed in two ways. You can upload the file manually in a single go. Bear in mind that if you choose to upload once then in order to update any changes in the inventory, you will need to upload the feed again manually.
  • You can auto-upload the feed with a URL or you can send it via FTP (file transfer protocol) by providing the host URL, and Credentials to access that feed. By setting a schedule, Facebook automatically checks for updates to your feed as per your selection( hourly, daily, or weekly).
  • The next step is to Name the product feed and select the default currency.

It’s very important to keep your product catalog synced with your Facebook Page so that your product descriptions and prices are accurate. If you’re running a sale or promotion, make sure your product catalog reflects it.

c. Using a Merchant Platform or Facebook Pixel

If you already have inventory on a merchant platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Google, and WooCommerce, you can upload the data feed from there. You can also choose to upload a data feed through Facebook pixel if you have it installed on your website.

Option 3: Create a Shop on Facebook with Shopify or BigCommerce

Step 4: Connecting your Shop to your Business’ Instagram Account

The next step is to connect your product catalog to your Instagram account. Head back to the Shopping section in your Instagram settings and tap on Products. Here, you’ll be able to select a product catalog to connect to your business profile. Once you’re finished, tap Done.

After you have completed setting up your product catalog in Facebook business manager, it may take Instagram a few hours to a few days to review your account before activating shoppable posts feature. You will receive a notification letting you know you’re ready to start selling on Instagram.

You must create at least nine shoppable posts to activate the “Shop” tab on your Instagram profile! This will group all your shoppable posts under one tab.

Step 5: Tagging Products with Instagram Shoppable Posts

You can tag products in both new and existing posts from your Instagram business profile.  

Start creating an Instagram post as you normally would-by uploading a photo to Instagram or selecting a photo from your gallery. Add the desired filters and effects. Add the caption and click on tag products option.

Enter the names of the products you want to tag and select the ones you want to tag. Once you’re finished, tap “Done” and share your post!

Tagging Products with Instagram Shoppable Posts-Shoppable posts on Instagram
Tagging Products with Instagram Shoppable Posts-example-Shoppable posts on Instagram

You can tag up to 5 products per single image post or 20 products on “carousel” post. You can’t tag other accounts AND your own products at the same time, in the same post. You can’t promote or boost shoppable Instagram posts.

Adding Shopping Tags to Instagram Stories

Businesses that are approved to use Instagram shopping can add one product sticker to any story. When a customer taps on the product sticker, they’ll be taken to the product details page. You can add a shopping tag to a story in the following steps

Step 1: Add your Story (video or picture).

Step 2: Tap the sticker icon in the upper-left corner and select the product option.

Step 3: Add your item (only one per Story). As with a post, you can find any item in your product catalog by typing its name. You can also change the color of the sticker at this step.

Step 4: When you are done click on share.

Measuring the Results of your Shoppable Posts

Now that you have set up your shop on Instagram, you can use Instagram analytics for shoppable posts to check how many people viewed product information or clicked-through to check your product page. You can use this information to determine what type of products are popular with your Instagram followers. Experiment with different types of posts to see what works best for you.

Advertising On Instagram- Everything You Need to Know!

With 800 million monthly active users, Instagram is a great platform for connecting with audiences and building your brand. More than two million companies are already using Instagram ads to reach audiences, engage followers, and promote their products. According to a survey, 70% of Instagram users take an action after watching an Ad on Instagram, while 60% of Instagram users claim they have discovered new products on Instagram.

If you are still not leveraging this platform to advertise your products, you are definitely missing on a big opportunity. Here’s a step by step guide that will help you with advertising on Instagram.

How to Advertise on Instagram?

For those of you who are familiar with advertising on Facebook, creating ads for Instagram is going to be a walkover!

Advertising On Instagram

If you have a Facebook Business Page and have been using Facebook Ad Manager:

Method 1: Go to your Facebook Business page and click on settings. On the next screen navigate to Instagram Ad accounts in the left sidebar. Enter the details of your Instagram account and click on confirm.  Next time you create an Ad on Ads manager, your  Instagram account will be automatically available.

Connecting Instagram to your Facebook Business page
Connecting Instagram to your Facebook Business page-2

Method 2: If you have been using Facebook’s Ads manager, begin by creating an Ad, just as you would for Facebook. When you get to the Ad level, you will be prompted to add your businesses Instagram account. Click on Ad account and enter the username and password for your Instagram account and click on confirm and continue creating the Ad.

Ad placement on Facebook

In case you have not used Facebook for advertising, here’s a step by step guide.

You can create ads on Facebook through the Facebook Ads Manager. The first step is connecting your Instagram account to a Facebook Business Page.  If you do not have a Facebook business page, you will need to create one and connect it to the Facebook Business manager and link your Instagram account to it.

Step 1: Creating a Facebook Business page

Log in to your Facebook profile- You can use your personal Facebook profile as Facebook keeps business pages separate from your profiles. (You can interact with your fans as a business from a business page linked to your personal account. Only when you navigate to the homepage of your personal profile will you be able to take actions as yourself. Only administrators and the owner of the page can see other page admins. ) However, it is usually better to create a separate profile that you use strictly for business for creating or adding business pages.

Once you have logged in to Facebook, the next step is to click on Pages Tab in the left-side bar. You will be led to the next window, where you will find a create page button on the right-hand corner. Click the Create a Page button and select the type of page–Local Business or Place, you want to create. Enter details such as your business category, name, and address in the appropriate fields and click on the get started button.

Creating a Facebook Business page

Facebook will guide you through the rest of the setup process, step by step. Once you have completed the necessary step, hit publish and viola your business page is good to go.

Once your Facebook business page is published, your first option is to connect your Facebook Business page to you Instagram Business handle and start creating ads from Facebook Ads Manager. ( as described above) If you want to exercise this option- you can skip the next part and jump to- How to advertise on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager? 

The other option is to create Ads through Facebook Business Manager- This is the recommended option, if you multiple business pages and would like to manage them centrally. In case, you choose this option – you need to follow the steps below.

Step 2: Setting up Facebook Business Manager

Setting up Facebook Business Manager

#1. Create an Account

Go to business.Facebook.com and click the Create Account button at the top left of the screen. Enter your business name and click continue. On the following screen, enter your name and the business email address you want to use to manage your Facebook Business Manager account before clicking on Finish.

Creating Facebook Business Manager Account
Creating Business Profile on Facebook Business manager

#2. Add your Facebook Business Page(s)

You can add an existing Facebook business page or create a new one.

On the Business Manager dashboard, click on Add Page. Enter the name of your Business page in the pop box that appears and click Add Page. If you have administrator access to the page you’re trying to add, your request will be approved automatically. You can follow the same steps to add all your business pages to the business manager.

Add your Facebook Business Page(s) to Business manager
Add your Facebook Business Page(s) to Business manager-2

If you manage Facebook pages for clients or other businesses, it is not a good idea to add these pages and ad accounts to your Business Manager as this would make you the owner of those ad accounts. Your client will have limited access to these business accounts, which may not be appreciated by them. The best way to proceed in such a scenario is to request access to these pages from the owners.

#3. Add your Facebook ad account

If you don’t have a Facebook ads account, here’s how to set one up.

From the Business Manager dashboard, click on Add Ad Account, then Create Account. Enter your account details, then click Create Ad Account. Each business can create one ad account initially. Once you have started running ads from your first ad account, you can add up to four more. You cannot add more than five ad accounts in the Business Manager.

Creating Ad accounts on Facebook Business manager

If you’re already using Facebook ads, you can link your existing ad account as follows:

From the Business Manager dashboard, click Add Ad Account and then enter the ad account ID. You can find your ad account id by clicking on the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of your Facebook business page and selecting manage ads from the available options. When you click on manage ads you will be led to the next screen where you will be able to see your business pages and the connected ad account Id.

Completing Setting on Facebook Business manager

#4. Adding Team Members and Assigning Roles

Facebook Business Manager allows you to add team members who may be helping you to manage your Facebook business page and ad campaigns. Here’s how to set up your team.

For doing this, head over to the settings icon at the top of your Business Manager dashboard.

  • Click on People and Assets tab, then select People in the left-hand column.
  • Click on Add to start adding team members.
  • Enter the business email addresses of team members, you want to add.
  • You can decide whether to give these individuals limited account access or full access. Once you have added your team members, you can choose to assign each person as a Page admin, Page moderator, Page analyst, Page editor, or Page advertiser. The various roles have different degrees of control over your Facebook page and the Instagram account linked to your Facebook page.
Adding Team Members and Assigning Roles on Facebook Business Manager

In the next step, you can assign ad accounts to your team members along with roles they’ll have for each account (account analyst, ad account admin, or ad account advertiser). As with pages, you have several choices based on the degree of control you want to assign.

Each of your team members will receive an e-mail to accept your invitation to the assigned roles, only after they have accepted would they be included in your Facebook Business Manager team.

Once you have completed setting up the Facebook Business Manager the next step is to link it to your Instagram account.

Step 3: To add an Instagram account to your Business Manager:

  1. Go to your Business Manager.
  2. Click Business Settings on the left side of the page and navigate to  Instagram Accounts
  3. Click on ‘Add’. and enter your username and password, then click Confirm.
  4. To authorize one or more of your ad accounts to use the Instagram Account, check the box next to each ad account and click Save Changes.
add an Instagram account to your Business Manager

When you go to Instagram Accounts from your Settings, you should be able to see all the Instagram accounts you’ve added as well as any ad accounts that are authorized to use the Instagram accounts.

Once you are done with this, you can start setting up your ads.

How to advertise on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager?

There are two ways to create Instagram ads in Facebook Ads Manager: Guided Creation and Quick Creation.

Guided Creation walks you through each step of creating an ad. If you’re just getting started with Instagram ads, you may want to follow this route.

Step 1: Choose Your Objective

Facebook Ads Manager offers a list of ad campaign objectives.

  • Brand awareness is more targeted to users who are more likely to recall your ad or brand.
  • Reach is different from Brand Awareness in that it allows you to reach a larger audience,
  • Traffic (for clicks to your website or to the app store for your app)
  • App installs
  • Engagement (this relates to engagement in ad post  only)
  • Video views
  • Conversions (for conversions on your website or app)
Choose Your Objective- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
Choose Your Objective- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
Brand awareness objective

Once you’ve selected your objective, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign. The default name will just be the objective you’ve selected but you would want to give it a detailed name to help you keep track of your campaigns.

Step 2: Identify Your Audience

The next step is to decide your target audience or the customers you are looking to reach with your ads. Facebook offers advertisers a ton of options when it comes to identifying your audience.

Identify Your Audience- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
  • Locations– you can target people based on a location (e.g. a country, county, state, province, city, ZIP code or postcode). For instance, those in the vicinity of your store.
  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Languages.
  • Detailed targeting: You can include or exclude people from an audience based on demographics, interests and/or behaviours,  for instance, if you are promoting a kids meal, you would want to exclude people without children.
Detailed Targeting- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
  • Connections: You can include or exclude people from your audience based on connections to your Pages, apps or events.
  • Custom Audiences: Custom Audiences are target audiences of people you have created either from your own resources such as customer files or from information generated on Facebook’s products like  Facebook pixel, the Facebook SDK and engagement on Facebook.
Custom Audience- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
  • Look-Alike Audience: A Lookalike Audience is a target audience that you create from a “root”. For example, You can choose to create a lookalike audience derived from your custom audience. In this instance, Facebook will find other people on Facebook who are similar to your custom audience.
Audience size parameter- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager

 While you are defining your audience, you must keep an eye on the Audience size gauge chart as it determines the effectiveness of your ads. This meter in the right-hand column lets you know if you target audience is too wide or too narrow.  Once you have defined your audience, click on Save Audience to retain this audience profile for future ads.

Step 3: Select Your Ad Placements

You can decide where your ads will appear on Facebook and Instagram. If you select Automatic Placements, your ads will be shown to your audience wherever they’re likely to perform best. It’s generally recommended to run your ads on both Facebook and Instagram. However, if you want to limit your ads to Instagram Stories, Instagram Feed, you may select the appropriate settings in this section.

Ad Placement- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
image source: Hubspot

Step 4: Choose Your Budget & Schedule

Next, you need to decide how much you want to spend on your promotion, and how long would you like to run your ad.

Daily budget – if you set a daily budget Facebook will spend this amount on delivering your ads each day you choose to run your campaign. Depending on its discretion, Facebook  may spend 25% more or less than your daily budget

Lifetime budget – This determines the maximum amount that you are willing to spend over the life of your ad. Facebook will try to divide the total campaign budget evenly across the dates you have chosen to run your Ad on.

You can’t change an ad set’s budget type after the ad set has been created.

Facebook allows you to choose which goals are you most interested in. You can do this in “Optimize for Ad Delivery” section. You can optimize your ad delivery for

  • Link Clicks.
  • Conversions  to website
  • App installs

Facebook also allows advertisers to set up custom ad delivery schedules. This means you can choose the days and the time at which you want your ads to run. If you running an ad for the first time, it is best to go for “Run ads all the time” option. When you have data from 2 or 3 campaigns, you can use it to determine the best time to run your ads.

You would also have to make a selection between

  • Standard ad delivery – Facebook will deliver your ads at an optimal speed.
  • Accelerated ad delivery – Facebook will deliver your ads as quickly as possible. This may result in higher ad costs.
Budget and schedule- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager

Step 5: Create Your Ads

  • Select the images and videos for your ads. The Ads Manager prompts you about image size requirements. You can also refer to Facebook ’s guide to Instagram ad formats for more details.
Creating Your Ads- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
source: Social Media Examiner
  • Add a headline and description. Ensure that you remain within the designated character limit. You can also choose a call-to-action button, and the destination URL to lead people to your website or landing page.
  • Check the preview to ensure everything is in place before you publish the Ad.

Types of Instagram ads

Instagram offers five Ad formats:

Types of Instagram ads- advertising on Instagram

Photo Ads

Photo ads allow businesses to tell their story and showcase their products through compelling images.

Photo ads- advertising on Instagram

    Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Get Directions
  • Learn More
  • Get Showtimes
  • Download

Video Ads

In the recent past, we have seen most platforms shift their focus towards videos, this may be Video is by far the most popular kind of content on the internet. It consumed 2.5 times more than simple photos.

Instagram provides you 60 seconds of video time for showcasing your products through video ads. However, it is always a good idea to keep your videos shorter and make an impact within the first few seconds.

      Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Call Now
  • Download
Photo ads- advertising on Instagram

Carousel ads

Carousel ads allow you to feature a series of images or videos, with a call-to-action button leading them directly to your website. You can use carousel ads to highlight multiple products or provide detailed information about a single product or service in up to 10 images or videos.

Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Call Now
  • Download
Carousel ads- advertising on Instagram

Stories Ads

300 million Instagram users view Stories every day, so it is a great medium to reach your target audience! Instagram Stories Ads are full-screen ads that appear while users are watching Stories. Advertisers can take advantage of all the features of Instagram Stories to create interesting ads, however, your story ad will only be available for 24 hours. You can use the swipe-up feature to take audiences directly to your website from your Stories ad.

Earlier you could create Instagram stories ads in a static photo or video format, however with the new updates you can create stories ads in carousel and canvas formats also.

Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Call Now (video only)
  • Download
Stories ads- advertising on Instagram
Stories

Canvas Story Ads

Canvas story ads were launched by Facebook to provide a more engaging experience for customers accessing sites and viewing ads from mobile platforms. According to Facebook-“Canvas helps advertisers achieve any objective by giving businesses a fully customizable digital space on which to build multimedia stories. Canvases open from Facebook ads in News Feed to reveal a full-screen experience where advertisers can use a mix of video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons to build beautiful and effective brand and product experiences on mobile.”

Canvas Stories ads- advertising on Instagram

       Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us

How to Create Promotions within the App

You can also create simple promotions within Instagram. If you have a post that’s performing well and getting lots of engagement, you can choose to promote it from the app itself.  You can do this by clicking the Promote button beneath the post you’d like to boost.

You will be prompted to log in to your Facebook account for authentication. Here, you can select a goal and choose to add a call-to-action button, like Shop Now or Sign Up, which will appear below the image or video in your post.

Create Promotions within the App- advertising on Instagram
  • You can choose a default audience for your ad or create a target audience on basis of interests, location, and demographics.
  •  Choose your budget and ad duration.
  • Once you have boosted a post,  you can monitor the results in your Facebook Ads Manager.

Analyze and Optimize:

Measuring the performance of your ads is as important as writing a good copy and creating stellar images. It helps you to understand what kind of ads generate more interest and optimize your future campaigns accordingly. You can view the performance of your Instagram ads in Facebook Ads Manager.

Analyze and Optimize- Advertising on instagram
Source: adespresso.com

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

What is an Instagram takeover?

An Instagram takeover is the process of requesting someone to take over your Instagram account temporarily and share content with your audience. Takeovers are a great example of a 50/50 value exchange. It allows brands, individuals and influencers to collaborate and cross-promote content. They can help you to boost awareness, engagement, or conversion for your brand.

With a takeover, the host gets to offer a fresh perspective which can bring value to its followers while the guest gets to reach a new audience.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

Here are five key steps to a successful Instagram takeover:

Originally, Instagram takeovers required the guest to take over your Instagram feed and make posts on your behalf for a specified period of time. However, this does not work well with most brands aspiring to create a certain look for their Instagram handles, as it is difficult to ensure that the guest adheres to your style book. The better option, in this case, is to host an Instagram story or Instagram live videos takeover. Videos are definitely more engaging and since stories are not a part of your feed, they do not interfere with the overall appearance of your Instagram page.

1. Set Clear goals

The first question you should ask yourself is what do you expect from the takeover? Setting out clear goals and expectations from the Instagram Takeover helps you to build a strategy and enables you to measure the success of the takeover. The relevant and goals you could consider:

  • Increasing brand awareness – Followers growth, reach and a number of views.
  • Engaging the community – Number of interactions- likes or comments. Direct Messages, Mentions or Tags.
  • Promoting a product or an event – Traffic to your website, number of conversions, etc.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

2. Choose your Guest

The next thing to consider is who could you invite for the takeover. Here, the goals that you have set out in the first step may serve as a useful guideline. As a restaurant owner, you could look at the following options.

Company or brand- For instance, if you own a bakery, you could tie up with a local coffee house. Or, if you own a drink and dine place which hosts live events, you could ask the band or the artist who is scheduled to perform at your restaurant to host a takeover.

Industry Influencer or food bloggers – They can provide great value to your brand and help in raising brand awareness and engagement.

Team members or your colleagues can introduce your followers to the company culture or their perspective about your brand.

Employees can give your followers an insider’s view of the company and help you connect with your followers on a personal level.

Inviting a Customer or community member to share his/her experience with your brand is a great way to develop a bond with your audience.

3. Lay down guidelines

Once you have zeroed in on the guest, you should work out the details of the arrangement. One of the important questions to consider here is whether you will be hosting a complete takeover or a partial one. In a complete takeover, the guest posts directly to your account using your login information, while in a partial takeover, the guest sends you content to post on their behalf.

You may feel a bit insecure sharing your account information with another person and losing control over the nature of posts that go out on your feed in a full takeover, however, there are several advantages to it. Firstly, a full account takeover is simpler to execute and feels more authentic. Your guest can respond to messages or comments in real-time. Finally, It’s the only way for your guest to go live with your Instagram account.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

A partial takeover keeps your account information secure and you have full control over the posts on your feed. However, a partial account takeover has its own shortcomings like your guest is not able to reply to comments or messages on Instagram stories and even on posts. They can only reply from their own handle. Further, there is no way for your guest to go live.

Other things to consider:

  • Length of the takeover – Instagram stories takeover usually last for a day, while a live video takeover could last for anywhere between a few minutes to an hour. If you are requesting your guest to post to your feed, then the duration of the takeover could last for a few days.
  • Type of content-  tips, opinions, product review.
  • Frequency of posts
  • Hashtag Use– You could decide on branded hashtags that you would want your guest to use for each of their posts or even for promotions.
  • Any topics or content that you consider impermissible

Instagram launched paid partnership tags to make the takeover process simpler and to provide full transparency on post data. You can use this facility by approving a contributor to tag your business.

3. Generate buzz

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

You should introduce your guest to your followers, so there’s no confusion about the content on your Instagram feed. Ideally, you would want to announce the takeover through an Instagram post or a story a day or a week before the takeover. You can also promote it on your other social media channels to draw more attention to the takeover. You should also be requesting your guest to promote the takeover on his Instagram handle. This provides your brand with additional exposure to the audience of your guest.

4. Launch and Monitor

One on your team should constantly monitor your Instagram handle for the duration of the Takeover to manage comments and feedback. Even if your guest is responding to comments, it’s always a good idea for a team member to monitor the flow of conversations. Once the takeover is complete, you should announce it by a post and encourage your guest to do the same.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

5. Wrap it Up and Analyze

It is time to analyze your performance in terms of the goals that you had set out in the first step. You would also want to review what kind of content worked best for the takeover. This will help you to tweak your strategy for better results from any future takeovers.

Instagram takeovers are an excellent marketing opportunity giving you a chance to develop a bond with your audience. Have you done Instagram takeovers as either the host or guest before? Do you have any tips for a great Instagram takeover?

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