Tag - Digital Marketing

Apple Passbook mobile app

Event Marketing and Digital Coupons Via Apple’s Passbook Mobile App

The Mobile Wallet Can Mobilize Your Business

Apple Passbook mobile app

Looking for a new way to promote your events or offers? How about one that eliminates the need to print flyers and other marketing collateral – an otherwise eco-friendly way to get event information directly into your consumers’ hands? Interested? Then what you’re looking for is access to your customer’s mobile wallet via Apple’s Passbook® mobile app.

Passbook is a standard, pre-loaded app on all Apple iPhones (operating system iOS 6 and up). Android’s version of this app is called PassWallet. According to recent research by eMarketer, smartphone usage worldwide will be at 1.75 billion users by end of 2014! So while many local businesses want to notify recurring clients of an event or special promotion, just think of the reach your event notification could have around the globe!

What makes these mobile wallet apps such as Passbook so unique is that they allow users to store various items such as digital coupons, airline boarding passes, movie tickets, event passes, retail store cards, gift cards, loyalty cards, and more, all categorized in one location and super easy to use. Oh, and they’re paperless too! So guess what? Digital passes, tickets and coupons will be really hard to forget, misplace or lose!

There are a variety of ways a user can add a pass into Passbook—you can do it via mobile apps, emails containing links to the pass, via websites with short links and QR code scanning from off of a Point of Purchase (POP) display, website, social media post, etc. Redemption is just as easy, the user just scans his/her iPhone or iPod touch to redeem a coupon, check-in for a flight, enter a movie or get access into an event. It’s that simple!

In addition to ease-of-use, Apple’s new operating system, iOS 7, now delivers even more unique opportunities because the iOS 7 Passbook app has a QR scanner build right into it! And unlike other QR code scans that often take you to a website to get access to a link to then get to your pass, the Passbook scanner instead loads a digital and trackable pass directly onto the user’s iPhone. This enables yet another another unique opportunity that is giving you the ability to bridge your print with your digital media channels. You can now have direct and integrated communication with your customers from print materials, flyers, POP displays, etc. to your digital channels like a website, emails, e-newsletters, social networks, and much more.

Another very innovative feature, is that Apple’s Passbook mobile app uses location notifications i.e. all passes are time and location enabled so on the day of the event, the pass will appear on the user’s lock screen reminding them of the event. Their smartphone will vibrate or sound to notify them, passing along a gentle reminder: “Hey, there’s an event happening tonight!” Similar to when your boarding pass is loaded in Passbook, and a flight is getting nearer, you get a reminder notification when it’s nearing the time to board your flight. In addition, these location notifications will also pop-up a reminder in the lock screen when the customer/invitee is nearby your location or the event location, offering another reminder that this event is coming soon. What else? You can use this notification feature to also provide any updated information regarding your event. For example, if the date or time of your event changes, perhaps due to bad weather, you can send an event update and a new updated pass for the invitee’s mobile wallet.

The Passbook mobile app provides an innovative and convenient event ticketing experience for your customers. Your attendees can now access their tickets and information easily from their smartphone.

Engaging customers in this distinctive and yet simple way, through the digital invite, opens up a ton of opportunity for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other establishments that often host events, happy hours, special promotions to bring in foot traffic.

Here’s a quick summary of the benefits of integrating your company’s event(s) with Apple’s Passbook mobile app:

• Convenience for your attendees – Passes are stored in one convenient location, in the invitee’s Passbook app, totally paperless and easily accessible.

• Update notifications – If there are any event changes, your attendees will get a notification and an updated event pass.

 Location notifications – Your event pass will automatically pop-up on the lock screen of the registered attendee’s smartphone when he/she is nearby your location or nearby the event location.

 Easy QR scan for check-in – Each pass contains a QR code. Just scan it with any QR reader to check the attendee into the event and mark their pass as redeemed.

 Event details on back – There are two sides to every pass. By pushing on the bottom right corner of the pass, the digital pass flips over to reveal more event details. Here you can have the date, time, website links, contact information and more for your attendees’ convenience.

• Trackable passes – With the Passbook mobile app, all your coupons and passes are trackable. You can track things like the number of active and inactive passes in distribution (i.e. those redeemed and not yet redeemed), look at month-to-month pass usage and see a comparison month over month, look at active passes by template or different offers/events, and more.

As you can see, Passbook provides a seamless and yet robust experience for your customers, which of course reflects highly on your company event and/or offer.  Even if your event doesn’t require a ticket for access, it is still a very good idea to try this feature for your next event, if anything, for the marketing opportunity and for your customer’s convenience. Including Passbook in your mobile marketing strategy can dramatically mobilize your digital campaigns.

Online marketing boosts restaurant traffic

Use Online Marketing to Boost Restaurant Traffic

Drive More Traffic to Your Restaurant with Digital Marketing

Online marketing boosts restaurant traffic

Online marketing should be a part of every restaurant’s overall marketing plan. In today’s market, it’s not even an option. Restaurants need to embrace the power of the web and smartphone apps to entice more traffic into their establishments.

Technology is constantly changing and online or digital marketing, which involves websites, social media, and mobile campaigns, plays an integral role in the decision-making process for prospective customers. Online marketing has proven especially effective in attracting new customers. Of all online marketing influenced visits, 26% were first time visits to a specific restaurant.Online Marketing Infographic

According to research conducted by NPD, an online marketing company, online postings that influenced the greatest number of restaurant visits were:

  • Deals/special offers (37%)
  • Menu details (30%)
  • General information (27%)
  • Recommendations/reviews (14%)
  • Restaurant location (13%)
  • Loyalty program (12%)
  • Pre-order online (10%)
  • Nutritional information (10%)
  • Other (20%)

(Source: The NPD Group/CREST®, Jan-Mar 2012)

Similar to other businesses such as retail, health, and travel, the influence of online marketing on the restaurant industry is expected to continue to significantly increase in the future.

Website

Your website is still a powerful tool for reaching new patrons. Make sure all basic information is easily found and that it’s up-to-date. Prospective customers will visit your restaurant’s website if they need directions or want to see a menu before deciding to dine there. Your website should be mobile-friendly and include link(s) to any of your own business mobile app(s). Include special events, offers, blog, and social media networks. The more pertinent information on your site, the better.

Social Media

Social media is a web application that enables users to engage in content creation, sharing, and interaction on the web. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Yelp are prime example of social media platforms.

These days, customers use social media sites to learn about a particular restaurant from friends and others who may have been there. In turn, they will share their experiences and suggestions with others. Social media is today’s word-of-mouth forum. Restaurant that are actively involved in social media can directly interact with customers and inexpensively target market to them.

Mobile Apps

For smartphone users, mobile applications (or apps) can be developed for practically anything. Mobile apps can be developed for making reservations, finding restaurants, counting calories, ordering online or even finding the right wine pairing for your meal. In today’s world, speed and convenience are key for customers on the go and dining apps make choosing the right restaurant as easy as making a phone call.

Blog

Blogging is another format that has proved to be a very cost-effective restaurant marketing tool. You don’t have to go crazy; create a blog that features fresh, relevant and attention-grabbing content such as pictures of your food, articles about upcoming events, and new menu items. Promote your blog on your website and on your social media sites. A basic blog can generate a lot of business for your restaurant.

Online Marketing Strategy

A comprehensive online digital marketing strategy is key to a flourishing restaurant business. In order to keep up with the demands of tech savvy customers and the ever-changing technological marketplace, make sure you put thought and care in your digital efforts, as you do with your service and menu offerings.

Mobile Loyalty Programs

Reward Customers with Mobile Loyalty Programs

Build Customer Loyalty With Your Mobile App

Mobile Loyalty Programs

Loyalty cards have proven to be great for business. They allow your company to better understand the behavior of your customers, while giving the customer an incentive to make a purchase by offering some form of reward. Consumers often carry several loyalty cards from a variety of establishments – including supermarkets, gas stations and their favorite restaurants.

But carrying a wallet full of loyalty cards can be inconvenient for the customer. A mobile customer loyalty program that allows customers to treat their phones as a mobile loyalty card can be the answer.

According to a report from Maritz Loyalty Marketing, 73% of smartphone users are interested in interacting with loyalty programs through their mobile device. The study also found that over 90% of smartphone users are likely to download a loyalty program’s application, suggesting that mobile apps offer an opportunity to drive increased program enrollment. Making mobile loyalty programs an important and growing marketing channel for business.

What a mobile customer loyalty program can do for your business

Mobile loyalty programs allow you to easily see the behavior of your customers and then tailor text message campaigns to get the best possible return on your investment. For example, you can target a customer who has not visited within specific date ranges and send him/her targeted text messages with special offers meant to gain additional business. You will be able to easily monitor and review the effectiveness of each text message campaign.

How mobile loyalty programs workMobile Loyalty Program Mobile App

Mobile loyalty cards simply require the user to download an app to their phone. It works purely on the customer’s mobile number. And  the card is usable even if the customer has not brought their mobile phone with them. There’s no loyalty card to lose and only one number to remember – making it simple and easy for your customers to use.

The easiest and most convenient way to introduce your mobile customer loyalty program is with an attractive point of purchase display in your establishment. Some of the most effective displays are kiosks that entice customers to enter their mobile number and join your mobile loyalty program; or posters with QR codes that link to a website or social media site that allows the customer to download the app to their phone. Once the customer is registered they can begin receiving rewards immediately.

At sign up, customers can also choose whether to accept mobile offers to their mobile phones or to opt out of getting messages. Make sure you have the customer’s permission before sending text messages through your mobile loyalty program. This prevents any possible legal action for sending spam texts.

Increasingly, mobile apps are proving to be an effective channel for acquiring and engaging customers. The question then becomes, what is my company’s best strategy for creating a mobile app that will meet my ultimate goals of increasing sales and building customer loyalty?

One option is to partner with other similar businesses to share a mobile app. “App sharing” via companies such as Seamless, Chowhound, and GrubHub, is especially prevalent in retail establishments and the restaurant/food delivery industries. But is it effective?

Your business may be one of hundreds of other businesses trying to conduct business using that app. These arrangements are similar to the online shopping malls that populated the internet in its earlier days. But online shopping malls proved largely ineffective for most businesses and they have largely been abandoned as an effective way to acquire and retain customers.

A second option is creating your own mobile that fits into your marketing plan, increases sales, boosts customer loyalty and builds your brand. What are some of the advantages of creating your own company’s mobile app?

* Part of your main system. A shared app may not sync with your already established computer systems, such as accounting.

* Building your own brand. with a shred app, you’re building the brand of the company that owns and maintains the app; not yours.

* Makes it easier for customers to find you. You may be just one of hundreds (even thousands) of businesses sharing the app.

* Your business info can’t be accessed by others – you can’t control who knows your business with a shared app.

* You’re tempting your customers with other options with a shared app. Do you really what your customers reading about your competitors when they are making a buying decision?

* Locally-based. You know who your customers are, what they like, and where they are located. Do you want someone in Boston ordering a pizza from your Las Vegas restaurant?

* You control the entire process. If something is not working you can easily change it. Changes are difficult – if not impossible – if you don’t own the app.

If your business doesn’t have an effective mobile customer loyalty app in place, what are you waiting for? Your competition does.

SoLoMo Digital Marketing Restaurant

SoLoMo Digital Marketing: Trending for Restaurants

Restaurants Need to Get Onboard Fast With SoLoMo

SoLoMo Digital Marketing Restaurant

No, it’s not a new fancy dish causing a rush through restaurant doors but rather, SoLoMo digital marketing, has been trending in social media and overall marketing campaigns for restaurants and bars. For restaurant owners that have not yet heard this buzz term, it’s time to learn about it and jump on the fast moving train. SoLoMo is an acronym for Social + Local + Mobile, and its principles should definitely not be overlooked for digital marketing campaigns. Implementing a coordinated and integrated SoLoMo strategy can have a major impact on your restaurant business and here are some of the reasons why:

Social

Restaurants are social! People want to try new restaurants, often based on what they hear from their friends and other trusted sources on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In addition, people love to share their own dining experiences and photos, and that’s like getting free marketing! According to recent market research, nearly three out of every four customers (72 percent) have used social media to make restaurant or retail decisions based on comments and images that have been shared by other users.

Furthermore, location-based social networking websites, such as Foursquare and Yelp, enable customers to use their mobile devices and smartphones to “check-in”, write a review, vote and rank businesses, leave comments, invite friends, like, re-tweet and discuss experiences. The more social media users continue to share experiences in real time and the more sites that your restaurant is introduced to (and that you participate in), the more you increase your social media footprint.

Smart restaurateurs have already moved their social media marketing strategies beyond simply gaining likes and followers. They realize it’s about quality, not quantity. The key to success is identifying and engaging key influencers, remembering that engagement is a two way street and when customers engage you, whether fans or critics, you must respond.

Local

According to SmallBizTrends.com, one in every three searches has local intent. Therefore, location-based marketing is essential to any bar or restaurant’s marketing strategy. Geo-location offers that go out based on the location of an individual, will be particularly relevant in attracting the new customer, maybe a visitor or tourist looking for a local experience or deal. In addition, proper search engine optimization (SEO) will make it easier than ever for local restaurants to target consumers on the go and draw them in for a purchase when they happen to be right around the block.

Mobile

There are more than 91.4 million smartphones in use in the U.S. and 1.08 billion worldwide. Smartphones have most of the same capabilities of a computer, from checking and sending emails to viewing websites, and surfing the net. What’s interesting part is that almost 50 percent of all smartphone users are the most frequent restaurant goers! When looking for restaurant ideas and recommendations, there’s a very good chance your customers will be searching for you on their mobile device.

mobile and digital marketing restaurantIn today’s “instant and mobile” world, people are looking for and wanting information instantly. To get that instant information, they access the web via their smartphone or other mobile devices.  The newest mobile trends for restaurants are:

– Re-tooling their websites so they work properly on mobile devices

Customizable mobile apps

The shame is that a large number of restaurants and bars are behind the curve in understanding the importance of creating mobile content. Digital coupons and other offers sent directly to consumers cell phones, mobile apps, Passbook or text messages will continue to expand local restaurants’ reach and hit their target markets very directly. Your offer gets right into their hands –via the device they’re holding.

Mobile marketing offers restaurateurs the opportunity to target diners not just by demographics but by location as well. Mobile also evens the playing field between the big and small business, allowing any brand from a mobile food van to a well-known national restaurant franchise to inform consumers of their latest offers, nearest locations, and phone numbers. Remember, SoLoMo is “instant and mobile” and that is what consumers are looking for.

So how can you speed up your SoLoMo marketing strategy? Here are some ideas:

1) Focus on the social networks.

With so many social networking sites available, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Your best bet at the start is to focus your social media marketing efforts on a few channels, rather than too many different platforms. Perhaps start with some of the big hitters like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare and Yelp.

2) Reward a customer check-in.

Local check-ins can help boost your restaurant’s local search visibility. Maybe offer your customers a discount on their next meal or a free appetizer by frequently checking-in at your location on Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp or Google Places.

3) Invest in a mobile-friendly website and customized mobile app.

This is most important. Every bar and restaurant needs a mobile-friendly website designed for the mobile web browser. Surprisingly, though,a Restaurant Sciences industry study reveals that 95 percent of independent restaurants do not have a mobile website, and only about half of chain restaurants have some sort of mobile site. If your restaurant does not already have a mobile-friendly site, it’s critical that you do so soon.

Next, invest in a customizable mobile app. Customized mobile apps incorporate a number of features that can increase sales, improve service and increase customer engagement. Nowadays there are mobile app options for custom apps that can meet just about any budget. The number of people who use iPhones, iPads and Android devices continues to grow at a phenomenal rate and that growth won’t be slowing down any time soon. Restaurateurs who are first to realize the benefits of leveraging this technology will gain a tremendous advantage over their competition. Imagine being the first (and possibly only) restaurant in the neighborhood to have your phone number, directions, location, menu ordering, events, and specials in the pocket of every person in the community with your app!

With proper implementation of SoLoMo digital marketing, you can provide your customers with positive experiences full of relevant messages, value, benefits, and rewards. Get into the SoLoMo mindset and watch your business and customer relationships grow!

Content marketing strategy

Content Marketing Strategy Matters

The Power of Content Marketing in a Digital World

Content marketing strategy

Content marketing takes time and effort because you actually have to listen to your customers and know what their needs and challenges are.

You can no longer solve your marketing problems by just purchasing advertising, even if it’s a high profile space such as a Super Bowl ad. You must make a real connection to your current and potential customers by focusing on information that addresses their true concerns.  In today’s digital marketing world, what the customer wants is more important than what you have to sell. Your message across the board must be in sync with your niche.

So how do you achieve your marketing goals in today’s world of blogs and social networking?  The simple answer — and the not so simple answer — is content marketing.  For many businesses content marketing requires a whole new mindset.  For this reason alone, content marketing in the digital media age can be a challenge.

Here are a few points to better help you understand the power of content marketing.Content Marketing Strategy with Content Editor and Writer

Content is more important than the offer.

Customer relationships don’t end with the payment.

News and press releases are no longer just meant to be picked up by the press; Official statements should be compelling and help customers find your content on the web.

Permission transferred is permission lost.

Communicating directly with customers is ideal. Keep in mind, content marketing can impact your influence, authority, online reputation, and SEO search rankings.

Hiring a content editor is quickly becoming a must for many companies.

Most business websites talk a great deal about how great the company, products, or services are but they forget about the customer.

The blogging community can be just as influential, if not more than traditional media and news sources.

Collaboration is critical. Work with your teams — social media, branding, PR, marketing, design, and sometimes even your technical staff and customers — when developing key content and distribution channels for your content marketing strategy.

The old way of marketing is where businesses talked at customers, constantly interrupting their lives.  Content marketing and its top trends for 2014 point to the importance of connecting with customers. Neuro-marketing and native advertising principles can also affect content marketing.

You can experience content marketing first-hand by developing a content calendar, including your “owned media” in social media networks, starting a blog, white paper, and similar efforts.  Write information that your customers want to read instead of dictating to them.  You learn the lesson quickly by evaluating your insights and analytics. Content marketing is art and science combined.