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Proven Strategies For Increasing Your Restaurant’s Online Orders

Providing the ease of online ordering to your customers can help you generate incremental sales for your restaurant and boost profitability. Besides, it can also help you to expand your reach, improve order accuracy, and help you get over the hassles of taking orders over the phone.

However, in a crowded restaurant space, just adopting an online ordering platform for your restaurant may not cut the mark. You have to work constantly to increase your restaurant’s online orders by making the platform more visible and making the online ordering experience smooth for your customers. Here are a few strategies for increasing your restaurant’s online orders. We can categorize these strategies into three groups.

What are the advantages of online ordering for your restaurant?

1. Online Ordering drives revenue: You can reach more customers online. The average order value of online orders is higher than in-store orders
2. Free up your Employees to provide a superior customer experience. Taking orders over the phone interferes with in-store services especially during rush hours and over the weekends. With an online ordering solution, employees do not waste time taking orders over the phone. 
3. Improves Order Accuracy: Disturbances while taking orders over the phone, can result in incorrect orders. On an online ordering solution, customers can easily enter the orders to the last detail improving order accuracy.
4. Losing customers: You will no longer lose orders during rush hours/ weekends due to busy phone lines.
5. Provide accurate estimates of pick-up and delivery times.

What features should you be looking for in an Online ordering Solution?

1. Ability to work across different browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Bing.
2. Availability on Mobile Platform
3. Multiple Payment Options including wallets like Apple Wallet and Samsung Pay.
4. PoS integrations

What are benefits of having a native online ordering solution for your restaurant?

1. Full Control Over Customer Experience
2. An extension of your brand identity: You can customize your online ordering platform to align with your brand identity; upload food pictures, add specials and offers, make instant and real-time changes to your menu.
3. Collect Crucial Customer Data to create customized experiences, and personalize your marketing messages and encourage repeat visits. Further by integrating your loyalty program to your online ordering solution, you can ensure that your loyalty customers can redeem their offers and coupons on online orders.
4. Keep Your Profits: By opting for an in-house solution, you can do away with commission charged by third party services on each order. All profits from online orders are your own.

How to increase your revenues with online ordering?

1. Native Online Ordering Platform
2. Optimize User Experience On Your Website and Online Ordering Platform:
3. Optimise your menu 
4. Provide Multiple Ways To Order
5. Make it easy to reorder Ensure that your online ordering system has the ability to save previous orders based on the timings, delivery address, and card information.
6. Offer Delivery
7. Promote your online ordering link via window displays and posters in prominent places such as the checkout counter.
8. Grab the attention of your customers when they are waiting for their food to arrive with table tents.
9. Menu inserts are also a great way to reach your customers.
10. Ensure that your online ordering link is prominently printed on your takeout packages and receipts.
11. Train your staff to promote your online ordering platform to your customers.
12. You could create a special offer or discount to promote online ordering among your customers.
13. Online promotions: If you are running any offer exclusively for promoting Online Orders, you must ensure that you are posting about these offers on your networks or running ads to reach a larger audience
14. Run contests to promote online Orders.

Technology Parameters for increasing your Restaurant’s Online Orders

1. Native Online Ordering Platform

Until a few years ago, only large restaurant chains could afford sophisticated software and global data infrastructure for the benefit of their business. However, the breakthroughs in cloud computing have now made these services accessible even to small family-owned restaurants.

There are several different solutions out there from third-party online ordering solution that can be integrated with your POS to the restaurant point of sale systems that have their own integrated restaurant online ordering software.

You can select a platform that meets your requirements. Here are a few things you should consider while building your native online ordering platform.

  1. Ability to work across different browsers: Your online ordering platform should work seamlessly across different browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Bing.
  2. Availability on Mobile Platform: The millennial customers prefer to order food-on-the-go using their mobile phones. So, it becomes important to ensure that your online ordering platform is optimized for mobile screens.
  3. Multiple Payment Options: Your online ordering system must have the ability to accept multiple payment options including wallets like Apple Wallet and Samsung Pay.
  4. PoS integrations With the advent of AI, smart online ordering options would become the norm of the day. POS integrations make it easier to automatically process orders accepted from the Online Ordering platform.

FoodKonnekt Online Ordering is one such solution that is available absolutely free of cost to restaurants. It is integrated with several PoS platforms including Clover, Focus PoS, FoodTronix and can be fully customized to align with your brand identity.

Foodkonnekt Online Ordering Platform: Increasing your restaurant's Online Orders

2. Consider a Mobile App for your Restaurant:

With the rapid advances in technology, developing an app for your restaurant is no longer going to burn a hole in your pocket. There are several benefits to having an independent app for your restaurant. An app makes it easier for you to promote offers and deals, or to roll out personalized offers based on customer’s purchase history to boost online-orders. It is also much easier to administer a loyalty program through a dedicated app.

However, regular maintenance and updates of a mobile app require additional resources in terms of time and money. Add to that the concerns associated with acquiring and retaining customers on your app, which may require consistent marketing efforts. So, you should consider the return on investment in the long-run before investing in an app.

Subway Online Ordering:Increasing Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Subway App Promotes Online Ordering

Optimize User Experience

Competition in a crowded market space provides customers with a wide array of choices. This has led to increased emphasis on user interface/user experience. A customer would not spend more than 2 minutes on your website/ online ordering platform if he/she does not find it appealing, intuitive and easy to use.

1. Optimize User Experience On Your Website

Optimize User Experience on website for increasing Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Wendy’s website is optimized for different devices
  1. The user experience on your website should be seamless across multiple devices. However, you would want to prioritize the mobile part of the user experience as the majority of the traffic comes from there.
  2. Your “Menu” should be easily accessible from the homepage of your website.
  3. The Order Online Button should appear prominently on the header of each page.
  4. Your Menu should feature good quality pictures of menu items with a description and price.
  5. Add to Cart options on the menu can make it easier for customers to save their preferences.
  6. Having a consistent menu across all platforms is another feature that you want to focus on to enhance the customer experience. Integration with POS should ensure that once an item is added on PoS the same should be automatically reflected on the online ordering platform.
Domino's Website
The Order Online Button appears prominently on the header of Domino’s Homepage
Domino's Menu Page: Optimize your website for increasing Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Domino’s provides the Order Now Button below each menu item
to make it easier to place an order

2. Optimize User Experience On Your Online Ordering Platform:

  1. Ensure that your online ordering system has the ability to save previous orders based on the timings, delivery address, and card information.
  2. Pop-up or menu-suggestions are a good way to draw attention to new menu items.
  3. The ability to keep track of the order status enhances user experience. Domino’s, for instance, enables customers to see where their order is in the delivery lifecycle.

3. Provide Multiple Ways To Order

In the digital age, where every other brand is vying for customers’ attention, you would need a broader strategy to stay on the top of your customer’s mind. One way to do this is by offering them the convenience of online ordering via multiple platforms – website, mobile, social media, voice assistants (Alexa, Google home, etc). The use of the latest cloud-based technologies will enable this kind of transition. 

Popular Brands like Dominos and Pizza Hut are already using technology to push online orders on various platforms. Take a look at all the ways you can now order a pizza from Domino’s

  • Text: If you have “Easy Order” set up in your Domino’s app account, you can order a pizza by texting a pizza emoji to DPIZZA (374992)
  • SmartWatch: If you own an Android Wear or Apple Watch, you can “Easy Order” your pizza from Domino’s. You can also schedule a pizza delivery.
  • Smart Car: If your Ford vehicle is equipped with the technology, you can order pizza on your way home via the Domino’s app Ford SYNC AppLink.
  • Twitter: You can also order your Pizza from Domino’s by tweeting #EasyOrder or sending pizza emoji to @Dominos via direct message.
  • Amazon Prime Now: If you’re using Amazon Prime Now services—you can order pizza from not just major brands but also from participating vendors in your local area.
  • Amazon Echo: With the Domino’s Skill for the Echo, you can reorder your last order, place an Easy Order, or track your order.

4. Offer Delivery

There is no denying the convenience of having food delivered to your doorstep. Most customers say they prefer to order online from restaurants that offer delivery. Offering delivery services can help you increase your restaurant’s online orders.

However, providing delivery services may not be the easiest thing to do. It involves a significant amount of logistics and can be a drain on resources. A good way to check if the benefits of providing delivery outweigh the costs is to run test cases in your local area for a stipulated time and work out the logistics before going for full-scale delivery service.

Tying up with third-party delivery services can also help you to take care of the delivery aspects. There is a lot of data to support that third-party delivery services can bring incremental sales for restaurants, however, there are costs associated with such services that you must factor in to adjudge the real value they bring to your business.

Once you have made the decision to go ahead with delivery, you should ensure that provide a great experience to keep your customers coming back.

Chipotle offering delivery: Offer delivery for increasing Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Chipotle Promotes Delivery Services on its Website

Here are a few tips that could help you to optimize the delivery experience:

  • Your delivery menus should ideally have only those food items that deliver well.
  • Food Packaging: You would want to ensure that food is packaged in proper containers so that it does not spill and get messed in the containers.
  • Invest in insulated food bags that keep hot items warm and cool items cool.
  • Ensure that you include add-ons such as sauces, dips, seasoning, paper napkins, and bio-degradable cutlery.
  • You could consider apps that help you to assign the delivery orders to your riders based on their availability and location. These apps can also help you track the location of the delivery person and the average time is taken to deliver an order.

Right Marketing to Increase Your Restaurant’s Online Orders

Promoting your online ordering platform consistently can help you reach more customers to increase your restaurant’s online orders.

In-Store Messaging:

In-store promotions should be a major part of your strategy to reach your regular customers and make them aware that they can order from your restaurant from the convenience of their homes.

In-store promotions to increase Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Pizza Hut Promotes Online Ordering through Offers
  1. Promote your online ordering link via window displays and posters in prominent places such as the check out counter.
  2. Grab the attention of your customers when they are waiting for their food to arrive with table tents.
  3. Menu inserts are also a great way to reach your customers.
  4. Ensure that your online ordering link is prominently printed on your takeout packages and receipts.
  5. Train your staff to promote your online ordering platform to your customers.
  6. You could create a special offer or discount to promote online ordering among your customers.
  7. If you don’t already have one, you should consider launching a loyalty program to promote your online ordering platform. Regular customers are your restaurant brand ambassadors and account for a major part of your sales.  Loyalty programs are an easy way to keep these customers returning to your restaurant and build a loyal customer base. They are also an ideal target to promote your online ordering platform.
In-store promotions
Pizza Hut Runs Offers Exclusive to Online Orders

Online Promotions

Social Media

Social Media platforms can be a great tool to reach your customers. Besides regular posts promoting your online ordering link, you should also consider advertising to reach your target audience on these networks.

Online Promotions to increase online orders
Papa John’s Promotes Online Ordering Through Social Media Posts

Here are a few other tips:

  • Replace the Call Now Button On Your Facebook Page with a Shop Now Button which leads customers directly to your Online Ordering Platform.
  • Remember to include the link to your Online Ordering Platform On Your Instagram Bio.
  • Instead of leading people to your Website from your twitter profile, send them directly to your online ordering page.
  • If you are running any offer exclusively for promoting Online Orders, you must ensure that you are posting about these offers on your networks or running ads to reach a larger audience
  • Run contests to promote online Orders.
Chipotle promotes delivery on it's Facebook Page to increase online orders
Chipotle promotes delivery on it’s Facebook Page

Online Presence

  • GMB Listing: Promote your online order link on your GMB page
  • Reputation Management: Before ordering food from any restaurant, customers usually check the website and review sites like TripAdvisor to get an idea of the quality of food and services. Ensure that your website is updated regularly and you have a well-organized system of monitoring and replying to reviews.

You may have to invest some time to promote your online ordering service in its initial days, but once it has taken off you can sit back and reap its benefits over the long run.

Increase Your Restaurant Revenues with FoodKonnekt Online Ordering

Are Third-Party Delivery Services Good for your Restaurant?

In an era where convenience takes precedence overall, more and more customers are choosing to order food from restaurants that offer delivery. To keep up with customer expectations, restaurants are under pressure to provide a seamless delivery experience.

However, the cost associated with setting up in-house delivery is significant. On the other hand, third-party delivery services, which seem like the smart choice in this scenario, are extracting hefty commissions. Most restaurant owners are in a  dilemma over the in-house versus third-party delivery debate. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of both these options to help you choose better.

In-House Delivery

In-house delivery requires restaurants to hire a dedicated delivery staff and preferably their own fleet of vehicles to deliver food to customers.

Pros

a. Control over the Customer Experience

Setting up your own delivery services allows you to control the entire delivery experience, including the timeline or any additional benefits you may want to offer to your customers.

b. Customer Engagement:

By offering in-house delivery, you have a greater opportunity to engage directly with your customers and immediately resolve any issues that may crop up in the delivery process.

c. Customer Data:

If your customers are placing their orders directly through your website or app, you have access to all relevant data for these customers, which helps you to strategize and build on your future marketing plans.

d. Builds Brand loyalty:

When a customer uses your website or app to order, the customers are engaging directly with your brand. This helps you to build brand loyalty in the long run.

Cons

a. High Costs:

The costs required to set up and maintain your own delivery fleet can be quite high.

b. Logistical Concerns:

Offering a smooth in-house delivery experience requires a lot of effort in terms of people, time, and resources, and management of the delivery drivers.

c. Responsibility:

If anything goes wrong with the delivery experience, such as a delay in delivery orders or food not reaching the customers in the right state- your brand is directly affected, there can be no blame-shifting in this case.

Third-Party Delivery

As an alternative, you could outsource the entire delivery service to another company. You can tie up with companies like GrubHub, Doordash, and Ubereats to take care of processing orders and delivering food to customers on behalf of your restaurant.

With 60 percent of U.S. consumers ordering delivery or takeout once a week, the third-party delivery market is expected to grow to a value of $24.5 billion by 2022.

Pros

a. Convenience:

Opting for third-party delivery services is definitely the more convenient way of delivering food to your customers as it outsources the entire gamut of logistical concerns related to processing orders and delivering food on time to another company.

b. New Customers

57 percent of millennials claim that they prefer food to be delivered by restaurants so they can stay home to watch movies and TV shows. If you are not offering delivery, you are missing out on these customers.

By tying up with the third-party delivery services you gain access to a much wider audience native to these apps. Many customers who may have previously shied away from ordering from your restaurant due to the nonavailability of delivery services would now be ready to order from you. In many cases, customers who get a taste of your food through these online orders may choose to visit your location at a later stage.

c. Cut Down on Costs

By opting for a third-party delivery service, you can save a significant amount of costs required for setting up and maintenance of the delivery fleet.

d. Increase in Sales

60 percent of restaurant owners claim that offering delivery services has generated incremental sales. Offering your menu on these platforms introduces your brand to a wider set of audience, thereby increasing the average number of online orders your restaurant receives.

e. Better Allocation of Resources

Once you have outsourced delivery, you have more time and resources on your hands to focus on the quality of food and services that you bring to the table. 

f. Marketing and Advertising

Most third-party delivery companies provide advertising and marketing for restaurants on their app for an additional cost. You no longer have to worry about devising strategies to reach new customers, as these services take care of the same.

Cons

a. Loss of Control Over Customer Experience

By opting to outsource deliveries to a third-party, you lose control over several aspects of the customer experience. Factors such as traffic, an excessive number of orders, the state in which the food is delivered can affect your brand reputation.

Several restaurants have complained of untrained delivery staff hired by third-party delivery services. There have been several reported incidents of delivery drivers disrupting the normal functioning of the restaurants during pick-ups, or sour behavior with the customers. 

b. Declining Revenues

In the long run, many restaurants claim that in spite of the increase in the number of online orders received per month, they are witnessing a decline in their profits due to the high margin charged by these services on every order placed through their app.

Your restaurant may not be equipped to handle the increased number of orders that you are likely to receive via these apps. To meet the demand and to ensure the smooth operation of your in-store services, you may have to handle additional staff. There are several such administrative costs that may arise in the long run, which impinge on your margins.

c. A Decline in Brand loyalty

When a customer orders from your restaurant via these apps, there is no direct engagement between these customers and your restaurant.  So, effectively customers who are ordering from your restaurant via the app become customers of the app or the service. They owe their loyalty to the app instead of your restaurant. According to a survey, 43 percent of restaurant professionals said they believe third-party apps hamper the direct relationship between a restaurant and its customers. 

d. Loss of Customer Data

Most third-party delivery services in the restaurant industry are not sharing customer data with the restaurants. Restaurants no longer have any means to reach these customers directly or build on their marketing strategies to retain these customers in the future.

e. Vulnerable to Competition

Once you make your restaurant available on these apps, your brand is competing with all the restaurants in the vicinity that offer similar food. So a customer will choose to order from you only if you are at the top of your game.

Further, your restaurant may not appear at the top of search results on third-party apps, in spite of having higher ratings, as ranking on these apps is also determined by the amount you are paying to these services.

Most of the third-party delivery services are big companies with huge marketing budgets. In order to promote their app, they are offering huge offers and discounts on orders placed through their app. Individual restaurants may not be able to compete with these offers, further discouraging customers to order directly from them. Many restaurant owners feel it’s similar to losing your customers to the app.

Wrap-up

When faced with the question of whether to opt for a third-party delivery company or set up your own,  you must consider all the above-mentioned factors before deciding what would work best for you. A detailed cost-benefit analysis with a long term perspective- will help you make a better decision.

How to Set Up a Google Remarketing Campaign?

Google Remarketing or Retargeting refers to showing targeted ads to prospects who have visited your website. Let’s say a customer views a product on your website and then moves on to some other webpage. You can show him targeted ads for the products he checked on your website while he is browsing the web or watching YouTube videos nudging him to complete the purchase.

Google Remarketing Campaign have a  higher conversion rate as compared to normal display Ads as the prospects have already shown an interest in your products and services and are caught somewhere in the decision making cycle. Reaching out to them at this stage helps in keeping your brand on top of their minds propelling them to take action.

How Does Google Remarketing Work?

To get started with retargeting, you need to have a Google Ads account. If you don’t have one. Here’s how to create one.

  • Go to  www.ads.google.com
  • Sign in to your Google Account.
  • Select already experienced with Google advertising.
  • Select- Create an account without a Campaign.
  • Enter details and submit to set up your account.
Signing up on Google ads- Google Remarketing Campaign

If you are advertising on Google you may have an Ads account, then all you need to do is add a piece of Google remarketing code to your website. Once this code is added to your website, every prospect visiting your website gets added to your remarketing audiences through browser cookies.

Let’s say, you own an online store that sells rugs and carpets.  You might create a  remarketing audience based on people who checked out the pages listing handcrafted rugs. You can show these visitors highly targeted display ads for your hand-crafted rugs.

Google Ads Retargeting Options

  • Standard remarketing allows you to show ads to your past visitors as they browse websites and apps on the Google Display Network.
  • Dynamic remarketing allows you to show ads to past visitors that have viewed a specific product or service on your site.
  • Remarketing for mobile apps – If someone used your mobile app or mobile website, Google ads will let you show ads to them when they use other mobile apps or are browsing websites on their mobiles.
  • Remarketing lists for search ads allow you to target past visitors while they search on Google and Google’s Search partner sites.
  • Video Remarketing enables you to show ads to people who have interacted with your YouTube channel or other videos. You can show these ads on YouTube or through Display Network videos and websites.
  • Email list remarketing is also known as customer match. Google Ads allows you to upload an email list of your customers in order to show ads to them if they are signed in to Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube.
Before you set up your retargeting campaign, you need to install the retargeting code on your website and set up a retargeting audience. This can be done through
  1. Google Analytics
  2. within Google Ads.
Let us start by setting up the remarketing code through Google Analytics 

1. Set-Up Remarketing Codes within Google Analytics

If you have been using Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on your site, then you can use the same code for retargeting with slight modifications. If you are just starting out, here’s how to do it:

If you have a Google Analytics account, head over to Admin -> Property ->Property Info ->Tracking->Tracking Code.

Google Analytics- Set-Up Remarketing Codes within Google Analytics

a. Connecting Your Google Analytics Account to Your Google Ads Account.

  • Property Settings ->Product Linking ->Google ads linking
  • Select the relevant Google Ad account and Click Continue.
  • Complete Set-up and click on Link Accounts
Connecting Your Google Analytics Account to Your Google Ads Account.

b. Setting-up Retargeting Audiences In Google Analytics

Here’s how to set up remarketing audiences in Google Analytics:

  • Click on Admin -> Audience Definitions -> Audiences
  • When you enable remarketing by clicking on  “Next step”, Google Analytics automatically creates the first remarketing audience comprising of “All Users”.
  • Your first list of the remarketing audience is already created, now all you need to select the ad accounts with which you want to share this remarketing audience. Select the relevant Google Ads and Analytics account and click “Ok”.
Setting-up Retargeting Audiences In Google Analytics

Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences:

You can also create additional remarketing lists within Google Analytics including people who visited specific pages on your website or prospects who signed up for a newsletter or a special offer that you may be running.
  • Go back to Admin -> Audience Definitions -> Audiences 
  • Click on the Red “+New Audience” button
  • Select the relevant option and give your audience a name and hit Next.
  • Again as the last step share this audience with your linked Ad account.
Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences: 1
Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences:

You can also click on “Create New” to access the audience builder.  You can use this option to create custom audiences based on demographics, devices, behavior, traffic source, and more.

Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences- 3

Now, that you have set up your remarketing Audience list, you can set up your remarketing campaign in Google Ads. But, before that, we will show you how you can set up your remarketing code and audiences via Google Ads

2. Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads

  • Click on the tool icon in the upper right-hand side of the AdWords interface -> then click on “Audience Manager”
  • Click on “Audience sources” on the left-hand side and select the AdWords tag
Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads
Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads- Google ads

When you are setting up your Google Ads tag, you can customize the data collected depending on your industry.

Google Remarketing Campaign- Remarketing Tags
  • Select the relevant options. Hit save and continue.
  • Copy the Google Ads tag and paste it between <head></head> tags of every page of your website.

Once you have installed the remarketing pixel on your website, it starts tagging all visitors to your website. You can now start creating your remarketing audiences. However, it may take a few days for the audience to populate if you have just installed the code on your website.

a. Creating Remarketing Audience in Google Ads

Google Ads enable you to create remarketing audience from the following sources:

  • Website Visitors
  • App Users
  • Email lists
  • Youtube Users
  • Custom Combinations

 Let us begin by creating a remarketing audience from past website visitors

  • Click on the tool icon in the upper right-hand side of the Google Ads interface -> then click on “Audience Manager”
  • Click on the large “+” sign and select “Website visitors”
Setting up remarketing Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

Note: You don’t need to create an audience for “All visitors”. Google Ads will create this audience automatically.

  • Give your audience a name
  • Then specify the visitors you want to add to your remarketing audience by clicking on the drop-down menu adjacent to list members and selecting the relevant option.
Naming your Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

Below is an example of an audience that would include all users that visited URLs containing /menu/ and /order_confirmation/.

Selecting an Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

You can also create a remarketing audience of prospects who visited one page but did not visit another page. Say customers who checked out your menu but did not place an order.

Audience Types-Google Remarketing Campaign

The other parameter that you can control here is how long a customer remains on your list.

Audience Filters-Google Remarketing Campaign
a. Creating a  remarketing Audience from App Users
Creating a  remarketing Audience from App Users-Google Remarketing Campaign
b. Creating a  remarketing Audience from YouTube Users

To create a remarketing list of people who have interacted with your youtube channel, you have to connect your youtube account to Google Ads. If you haven’t done this before, GoogleAds will lead you through the setup when you click on this option.

Again you have a number of retargeting options to choose from. Select the one that meets your requirements and proceed.

Creating a  remarketing Audience from YouTube Users-Google Remarketing Campaign
5. Creating a  remarketing Audience from Customer match

You can create a remarketing list by uploading your own customer list. However, to use Customer Match, your account must meet certain criteria laid down by Google.

  • A good history of policy compliance.    
  • A good payment history.
  • At least 90 days of history in Google Ads.
  • More than USD 50,000 total lifetime spend. For advertisers whose accounts are managed in currencies other than USD, your spend amount will be converted to USD using the average monthly conversion rate for that currency.

Source: Google Ads

If you want to start using Customer Match and you meet the requirements above, you’ll need to contact your account manager to request access to Customer Match.

The process is pretty simple after that. Give your list a  name and upload the list of email addresses. Your list must have at least 1000 subscribers for this to work.

You can also create a remarketing audience by using custom combinations. We will cover that in another article.

The big question is whether you should be creating your audience in Google Ads or Google Analytics. Analytics offers a definite advantage as it enables you to create more targeted remarketing audiences such as audiences based on visit Duration, Browser, Country/Territory, City, and Goal Conversion. With Google Ads, on the other hand, you can only create audiences based on page visits.

Setting Up Your Google Remarketing Campaign

  • On the Google Ads interface, click on “Campaigns” and then click on the large blue “+” sign.
  • Select New Campaign
  • Then select the campaign goal 
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign

– Here we will show you how to set up a Display Ad keeping Website Traffic as our Goal.

Note: The parameters that you can control may vary with your chosen goal. So, the steps involved in creating a “website traffic” Ad may differ slightly from a campaign created with “Brand awareness and Reach” as a Goal.

  • Choose the Campaign type “Display Campaign”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Campaign types
  • Select a Campaign Subtype- We have selected “Standard Display Campaigns”
  • Click “Continue”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Campaign Subtypes
  • Name your Remarketing Campaign and select the locations and languages you want to target
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Language and location filters
  • Select Bid
  • Select “High-Quality Traffic” as your focus.
  • Choose to “Manually set bids”
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Bidding
  • Choose a daily budget for your remarketing campaign. It is best to start with a low budget and then increase it over time.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Budget
  • Name your ad group
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Naming Your ad Group
  • Select Audience
  • In the audiences section, click on browse and select “How they have interacted with your business (Remarketing and similar audiences)”
  • Click on website visitors and select from the list of your remarketing audiences. In this case, we chose “All Users”. Once you have selected your audiences, click “Done”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Selecting an audience
  • Skip the targeting expansion section as this refers to by targeting people outside of your remarketing audience.
  • In  Ad group bid Choose a cost per click bid for your remarketing campaign. Usually, a bid between $0.50 – $1.00 is a great starting point.
  • Click on “New Ad” to create ads for your ad group. 
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- audience
  • Add The Url of the page where you want to lead your customers.
  • Add an image and logo.
  • Keep your headline short and impressive.
  • Ensure that your description is crisp and concise.
  • Remember to check Preview before hitting publish.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Creating Your ad

Click “Create Campaign” when you are done.

Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert. So, if you have not already you must include retargeting ads in your marketing arsenal.

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 Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel?

The common notion is that social media is all about generating brand awareness and engaging your prospects. It is generally believed that users who frequent these platforms are unlikely to follow a link to your website or convert. However, a smart marketer knows that you can use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel. It can influence decision making from brand awareness to advocacy.

If we study consumer behavior from the time they are exposed to a brand to the point at which they become brand advocates we find that the journey is not linear.

Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel

As per McKinsey:

“People form impressions of brands from various touch points, including advertisements, news reports, conversations with family and friends and product experiences. “Those accumulated impressions then become crucial, because they shape the initial-consideration set.”

Optimizing the customer experience at each of these touchpoints, therefore, becomes crucial and contributes to turning a cold lead into a profit-generating customer. Developing a social media funnel mindset can help you to fine-tune your strategy, build engagement with your audience, and most importantly, increase conversions at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Here’s how you can use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel.

1. Awareness

Social media has proven to be one of the most powerful channels to generate awareness. On an average 2.3 Billion, people spend 1.4 hrs. daily on social media platforms sharing their thoughts and opinions and talking to others.

This is the time to create a strong first impression and establish yourself as an authority in your segment or industry. Your actions at this stage determine the quantity and quality of leads. The strategy at this stage is to introduce your brand to the customer by posting content, which grabs the attention of your audience. The great thing about including social in your marketing arsenal is that it can help you reach a much wider audience without a large marketing budget.

Awareness stage- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • Know your Target audience- Invest some time in figuring out what kind of customers are likely to be interested in your products; their age, education interests, and online behavior.
  • Determine which social media platforms would be suitable for your business- Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Pinterest.
  • Figure out the best time and frequency to post.
  • Have a content plan- Inform, answer questions, and solve problems. All your posts should not be promotional
  • Explore a different kind of content forms for your promotions- images, videos, live stories, long-form videos, infographics.
  • Advertise on all relevant social networks.
  • The frequency of your posts and ads is relevant; top of sight remains top of mind.
  • Tying up with prominent influencers and micro-influencers in your industry is a great way to create a buzz around your brand’s products and services.

2. Engagement

The customer is now aware that you exist as a choice among all the other brands offering similar products or services. It is time to nurture and even validate leads. Engaged customers are more likely to remember your brand and buy from it.

Engagement stage- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • You can use the metrics collected in the previous stage to build your social media messages at this stage. Determine the nature of posts that generated maximum interest and create content that engages your customers and differentiates your product while answering the question of why should they buy from you.
  • Invest some time in replying to reviews, comments, and brand mentions
  • You could also host contests or giveaways and organize events including live Q&A’s, webinars, competitions, or live events.
  • Use data collected at this stage to create targeted offers for people who have regularly engaged with your posts and send them via direct messaging available on most social media platforms.
  • Installing the Facebook Pixel on your website will allow you to track the behavior of users on your website and show targeted message to the visitors that visit your website or took a specific action on any page
  • On Facebook and Instagram, you can create a custom audience that includes everyone who ever liked or commented on your updates so you can market to them again.
using Facebook for engagement- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • You can even create a lookalike audience which is derived from a source say your custom audience – to target a new set of audience that is likely to be interested in your products.

3. Acquisition stage

This is the most crucial stage of the marketing funnel. As a marketer, it falls on you to nudge your prospective customers to finally take an action. This can take the form of signing up for a newsletter or free trial, downloading a brochure or making a purchase.

Acquisition Stage- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • Facebook and Instagram ads with limited time offer or coupons.
  • Facebook re-marketing ads with offers.
  • Facebook Messenger ads.
  • Instagram direct message
  • Cross-sell and up-sell to already existing customers with relevant offers
  • Integrate your ordering platform into social media channels.
  • Encourage social buying by having “friends & family” discount

4. Loyalty

Depending on the industry you are in, retaining current customer costs you 3-10 times less than acquiring a new one. So, once a customer has made a purchase from you is the time you should step up your marketing efforts to make him/her a regular.  Social media can be a great tool at this stage.

Loyalty Stage- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • Collect feedback on your products and services.
  • Offer assistance or after-sales services through Fb chatbots
  • Solicit and Generate reviews.
  • Showcase and build on your positive reviews.
  • Encourage your loyal customers to follow you on social media
  • Launch frequent buyer programs or loyalty program which can provide your loyal customer base with special deals and discounts.
  • Promote your loyalty programs via social media posts and ads.
  • Involving social actions in your rewards program will increase the likelihood that your brand is shared across your customers’ social media networks.
  • Gamify social loyalty programs
Gift Cards -Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • link rewards and points to an action you want your customers to take- it could be anything from sharing your posts to posting pics with your products.
  • Referring Friends
  • awarding points for geolocation
  • Sharing Your Brand or Products with Friends
  • Mentioning Your Brand on Social Media with Hashtags or @tag
Posts -Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel

5. Advocacy 

Turning loyal customers into proactive advocates for your business should be the ultimate goal of your marketing funnel. People are more likely to trust a brand recommended by their friends than any other form of advertising. Referral programs are excellent ways to turn loyal customers into brand ambassadors for your business. Having a referral program is much like running targeted promotions as your customers are most likely to refer friends who would be interested in your products.

Advocacy Stage-Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • Launch a Social referral program
  • Make it easy for customers to share your brand’s products and/or services with their friends. Include relevant sharing options (email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.).
  • Promote your referral program through post and ads on social media.
  • Offer incentives to customers talking about your products on social media channels.
  • Incentives for getting people to sign- up for your loyalty program.
Referral Stage-Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel

Wrap Up

You can use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel to engage and interact with your existing customers and acquire new customers.

10 Tips For Marketing Your Restaurant

Technology has not only changed the way we work, but it has also altered the way we choose and order our food. According to recent data, 89% of the customers research an eating joint before ordering food or actually visiting the place. Considering the fierce competition and a high failure rate in the restaurant business, the success of any restaurant depends on its marketing strategies as much as its food and services.  Supplementing traditional marketing strategies with online marketing is the way ahead. In this post, I would be highlighting ten tips for restaurant marketing in the digital world.

1. Develop Your Restaurant’s Brand Identity

A brand is the distinct personality of your business. Any time a customer interacts with your business, whether online or offline, your brand is the basis by which a customer judges what to expect from your business. Before you dive into building your brand, you need to identify your target customer- college students, young professionals, or business class. And, how do you want your customers to perceive your business- a casual fun hangout or an elegant diner?

Once you have a clear idea of your business goals, you should start working on a strategy to achieve it. Create a distinct voice for your business and stick to it in all your communications including your social media posts and promotions. McDonald’s, for example, projects an image of an affordable and fun place to visit with your family. Building a brand takes time; you may need to align your strategies continuously to strengthen your brand identity.

2. Monitor Your Social Media Presence

According to a study by Zizzi, millennials spend five days of a year browsing food images on Instagram. With customers checking out social media to decide whether a restaurant is worth visiting, restaurant owners need to spruce up their social media marketing game. Regularly updating your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account will no longer cut the mark, you need to have a well-developed strategy in place to create a buzz. Think of contests, exclusive coupons, and ideas that engage your followers. Remembers these platforms are the perfect tool to build an active brand voice. You should also make good use of geo-location tagging on these platforms to help your customers find you easily.

Social listening can help you to keep track of positive or negative sentiments about your business and keep an eye on the competition. These platforms also enable you to bolster marketing initiatives with user-generated content within a very low budget.

Posting regular content and keeping a track of the comments and messages on all Social Media channels is a herculean task. However, if you do it well, the pay-offs could be tremendous. You could use popular social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to make your job easier. Advanced tools like Mkonnekt Marketing Platform are also available that enable you to streamline all social media marketing efforts from one single dashboard.

10 Tips For Marketing Your Restaurant
10 Tips For Marketing Your Restaurant

3. Reputation Management

Your restaurants’ online reputation is constantly at risk. It not only affects your sales but also your customer relationship. An unhappy customer can ruin your reputation with a single malicious review on sites like Yelp, Open Table, or Facebook. 80% of American customers reveal that they read reviews to make informed buying decisions.

Many potential customers may even avoid trying out your food and services by developing a prejudice based on these negative reviews. The only way to handle this is to proactively reply and reach out to both positive and negative reviews. Your response should reflect that you care about your customers. Instead of logging on to all the platforms separately, you could use reputation management software like mKonnekt, Birdeye or Podium to check and reply to reviews centrally.

4. Restaurant Marketing with Emails

Email is still one of the most reliable methods to build customer loyalty. Devote some time to build a clear effective email marketing strategy to reach out to your customers and encourage them to leave feedback. Check your emails regularly and make sure that you answer them within one or two days.

5. SMS Marketing

Of all marketing strategies, SMS/Text marketing is the most preferred communication channel. It is budget-friendly, with a delivery rate of 97% within four minutes. SMS’s get an average response rate of 30%. SMS marketing coaxes customers into quick action. You can choose from a multitude of bulk SMS marketing tools that are available in the market. You can learn more about SMS marketing here.

6. Build a Responsive Website

A website opens up opportunities for a much larger market of consumers. It makes it very easy for potential and even existing customers to find and interact with your business online. Almost 83% of the customers check out your website for information before they actually visit your restaurant or place an order.  A website, therefore, is the perfect tool to establish your brand and promote your restaurant.

56% of customers reveal that they either leave or switch to a competitor because of issues on a website. Ensure that your webpage is easy to navigate, intuitive and responsive. Daily deals, menu changes, and announcements about events in your restaurant should go up on your website, regularly. Your website should also enable customers to leave feedbacks and place online orders.

7. Online Ordering

In a normal take-out setting, the customer has to call the restaurant for placing an order. Online ordering makes it possible for the customers to order from their homes or workplaces. Such systems reduce human errors in taking down orders and reduce friction that often arises due to a misunderstanding of the cost aspects of menu items.  The other benefits of the online ordering system are that it provides precise information on cash flow, accounts, and inventory.

8. POS System

Point of Sale systems handle the processes associated with a restaurant business such as ordering, billing, or maintaining inventory. By electronically managing these processes, POS systems have made it easier to conduct business while pushing up efficiency. These systems not only provide you with detailed reports and faster checkouts speed, but they also help you to track your inventory efficiently and build a rich customer database.

Invest in a high-quality POS system that can be integrated with your website. This makes it possible to directly update any changes in menus, offers, and prices on your website. Your POS system should also be integrated with your loyalty program. This brings us to our next point.

9. Loyalty Programs

Much before the migration to mobile platforms, Restaurants had been successfully using punch cards to build a regular customer base.  With the advent of convenient mobile platforms, the entire landscape of loyalty programs is witnessing a revolution of sorts. Roughly 30% of all restaurants are offering a customer loyalty program, and with 69% of consumers claiming their choice of the restaurant may be influenced by where they can earn rewards, it is evident that loyalty programs are here to stay. There are a number of ways in which a loyalty program can help restaurants in expanding and retaining their customer base. You can learn more on the subject here.

10. Get a Mobile App

81% of the customers reveal that they prefer a mobile app to place orders, while 61% claim that the would not order if they fail to see the restaurant’s menu in the mobile browser. Considering the data, mobile apps are becoming indispensable for restaurants. Almost ever brands like Starbucks and Dominos have built their own mobile apps to tap the full potential of the growth in this segment.

The good news is that you do not need a big marketing budget to build a mobile app for your restaurant. The growth in the number of mobile app builders has made the technology affordable and accessible to all businesses. Besides allowing customers to place their orders, these apps can also be used for the promotion of offers via push notifications. You could also think of integrating your loyalty program with the mobile app to build a loyal customer base.

13 Ways to Use Twitter As a Marketing Tool

Twitter as a marketing tool can easily be used to convert a 140-letter copy to an effective and succinct sales pitch. It has been the top micro-blogging site for over a decade now and is being increasingly employed by marketers both in the B2B and B2C space.

Here’s how you can use Twitter as a marketing tool for your restaurant:

1. Profile Set-Up

If you are planning to use Twitter as a Marketing tool, your profile picture and your bio are the most relevant info that will describe your brand and will be promoted with every tweet you send out. Make sure you incorporate appropriate business info, hours, menu and a personalized logo.

2. Use ‘Lists’

 A business needs to engage with a myriad of organizations. For example, a restaurant may interact with bloggers for promotional activities or keep an eye out for competitors to stay on top of the game. Use Twitter lists to keep track of these accounts. You can now make up to 1,000 lists and each list can include up to 5,000 accounts.

3. Be selective on who you ‘follow’

Being selective so as to not have your Twitter clogged up is an important move. You wouldn’t want all the noise to drown up the tweets and interactions that actually matter. It is advisable to have the automatically follow feature turned off. You may even take the help of tools like AudienseFollowerWonk, or Twitter Analytics.

4. Twitter Moments

Twitter’s newly launched storytelling feature is also a great way to optimize engagement on your account. The content curation tool introduced by Twitter allows you to gather and share a collection of tweets about a specific topic. This can be used in case you want to market an event.

5. Switch on your DM

Direct messaging is often disabled by default. Learn to find your way around privacy settings and make sure this particular feature is enabled. These are the private messages sent to you and you need to be accessible to the ones that wish to reach out.

6. Twitter Advertising 

Twitter marketing enables you to customize your ad to deliver to the people who matter the most to your business. Target followers of similar accounts through Twitter ads and capture the exact clientele. Ads also give you the option to search according to relevant hashtags and help target previous customers, using your existing customer database.

7. Trending Topic

Hopping in on the trending Twitter topic yields multifold benefits. Some of these topics are sudden events; some of these can be planned well in advance. These heavily trafficked and heavily searched trending topics can open your brand to a wide gamut of a new audience.

8. Effective Sales Platform

 Twitter is a platform well equipped to increase your restaurant/small business sales – online as well as in store. Coupon-based marketing comes with a myriad of benefits.

It is just exclusive to Twitter followers, which is a great way to reward them and hence, you can measure how your brand is performing on Twitter.

It helps in increasing visibility and brand loyalty. Adding a few staples to it such as like, follow and retweet can only multiply your audience.

9. Customer Service Tool

The last two years have seen a 2.5x increase in customer service conversations on Twitter. Immediate responses along with a solution will go a long way into showing you are a business that cares. Constant engagement helps you to build a loyal customer base.

10. Engage as much as you can

Twitter engagements work on the 80/20 rule: 80% interaction, 20% about you. Sending personalized messages to your customers, reviewing their opinions and criticism, and keeping a track of your followers will go a long way. Take the help of some apps that can help you better manage your followers, interactions, etc. This is especially appropriate if you are a 24-hour business.

11. Influencer Marketing

Apart from the followers, look out for the key influencers to follow. Keep a check on the type of content they are sharing. Active engagement can help you in identifying and building bonds with influencers in each segment. Take the first step by reaching out and sharing tweets of key influencers in your segment. Be sure to acknowledge an influencer if they share your content. A single share from an influencer can put you on the map!

12. Bring out some cool pics

Statistics show tweets with photos/videos get wider reach than plain content. Retweet percentage for such tweets increase by 150% and the number of clicks increases by 18%, approximately. These pictures/videos don’t necessarily have to be of professionally shot quality. You’re good even if you’re snapping away through your smartphone.

13. Keep track: Tweets, as well as engagement, earned: 

When you are using Twitter as a marketing tool, going through the tweets of the target audience will give you an insight into the pool of possibilities you should be tapping. Twitter offers Twitter analytics that can help measure the visibility and engagement your tweets are leading to. Use these analytics to understand what type of content is being preferred by your audience.

Adopt these simple tips and tricks and get loved by Tweeples out there.

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