5 Tips for Selling on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media marketing tools for business and there is several reasons for that. First, by the time I write this, Instagram has over 400 million users and, besides that, its users don’t mind to be advertised inside the platform. 

This enthusiasm to see ads inside the platform doesn’t happen on the other most used social media platforms like facebook and twitter, and If majority of instagram users don’t mind to be advertised, it means that they are looking inside Instagram for opportunities and suggestions to shop, and that is another reason why Instagram is a great business tool as you can promote your products without being unpleasant. 

So in this week’s video, I will talk about what I consider to be the best five practices in Instagram for business. Another reason that I love to use Instagram to promote businesses is that you can talk about your business inside the platform without appearing that you are just looking for a sale. This happens because most of the photos you share on Instagram should not be focused on your products and business features, but instead focused on people using your products and great images associated with your target market interests. 

On the video I also give an example of a surf board business, explaining that only ten percent of the images they share on Instagram is about their boards’ features and advantages and all the rest are focused on surf championships or trends inside the surfers groups.

Customer Profitability Analysis

Through the help of customer profitability analysis, business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketing experts can closely monitor their earnings coming from each one of their customers. In simpler terms, it's the revenue accumulated per customer, excluding its costs and expenses. This allows the business owners to figure out which customers are providing more profit to the business. This is an analysis that should be used by any business, and you should keep reading to understand why.

In this video, I'll be using a Spa business as an example on how you can utilize customer profitability analysis. Wherein, we're going to walk through how to calculate the profit from each customer. After this evaluation, we will divide the customers into different segments according to the profit they bring to the spa. The prime customers in this study, or in other words the ones that bring more profit to the spa, although they're just 20% of the total customers, they generate as much as 80% of the profit.

For a business to be successful, this kind of information is a gold mine. When you know who your best customers are, you have your entire marketing strategy defined. You need to keep them coming back and find more like them. More often than not, business owners tend to ignore the fact that a small group of customers are the key for their business success, and on the other way, that they spend too much time and marketing dollars for a group of customers that don’t bring any profit to the company. 

Wishpond

Aside from that, during your customer profitability analysis you will learn the psychographic, geographic and demographic characteristics of your five stars customers. This info is going to be used to keep them happy by providing products, services and promotions that this group of people appreciate, and to create marketing materials to attract more like them.

This would also give you the privilege of knowing your other customers, aside from those in the 5 stars segment. This gives you the opportunity to work hard in order to convert the 4 or 3 stars customers into 5 stars. If you know who these good but not great customers are, you need to work on building a better relationship with them and utilize better marketing tactics, to bring them into your best followers group. This technique of focusing in converting your 'normal' customers into your 'best' customers it's usually the best practical route, since it's cheaper and more effective than trying to find a new set of customers.

Furthermore, another technique you can consider is to look for customers who have the same attributes and qualities that your target customers have. For instance, if your target audience are sales professional females living at a kilometer distance from your physical shop, and most middle-aged women, then you should consider reaching a group of audience that have some of these characteristics as well. It would be a waste of time and money if you'll promote your products to those who don’t have the same characteristics as the ones who love your brand.

Then for those customers who appear to be in your “worst” customers segments, it would be better to just leave them alone. There's no use of trying to transform them into good customers. And that is why I suggest you to spend some time analyzing your customers, this way you will know what to do in order to bring your business to the next level.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is a type of marketing that distinguishes from other kinds because of its two main defining characteristics. First, it attempts to send a personalized message directly to each customer and not a general message to all. It uses channels such as direct mail, e-mail marketing, or telemarketing. Second, it is focused on driving a specific "call-to-action." This aspect of direct marketing involves an emphasis on trackable, measurable analytics data of its results.

It is believed to have started in the year 1872 when Mr. Aaron Montgomery Ward, a Chicago-based business man, made a fortune by selling products to rural consumers through mail ordering. 

The big advantages of direct marketing is that it can be personalized, and its results can be measured. Since direct marketing gets detailed and personalized information into consumer's hands without any effort on their part, it is a very effective way to advertise. And, since you can customize the list of people who get exposed to your advertising, it is a very efficient way to use your marketing money as well. 

What you need to do in direct marketing is to create, or buy a good potential customers database. Only with a good database you will be able to achieve great results in your direct marketing campaign. 

Take this for example, if you plan a campaign to attract athletes to participate in the race you are organizing (marathon, half marathon, and 10 kilometer races possibilities), it would be great if your database had data on which ones of the list usually participates in a full marathon, which usually goes for the half, and what prefer a not so longer race and opt for the 10 kilometer option. This way you could segment your direct marketing campaign into three different campaigns: one targeting the 10 kilometers, other the half marathon, and the last one targeting the people that most probably will opt for the full marathon.

Wishpond

When you have contacted your potential customers, the following thing you need to do it is to measure its response rate. The response rate is the specific number of people who have taken action and followed your suggestion to either buy, participate, visit, or whatever was your main goal for creating the direct marketing campaign. If you have contacted 100 people to participate on an event and 10 of them actually show interest, you would get a 10% response rate.

Direct marketing is good for brands that are not yet strong. It helps in increasing brand awareness and sales. As you contact the potential customers directly you have the opportunity to explain them your product strengths and why they should buy it. This cannot happen if you use other marketing strategies, as you will not have the opportunity to go into detail about your product strengths, and because you may face similar products with a well know brand next to your ads.

Restaurant Advertisement

If you own a restaurant, or are in the restaurant business, then you must know by now that restaurant advertisement is a great way to get new potential customers to listen about your existence and what you have to offer. Many people are not comfortable in trying out new restaurants with the fear of disappointment. This makes it important for such a business to roll out advertisement campaigns that will help in drawing attention about their offers and strengths. But in order for these ads to drive new customers, they need to be carefully thought and designed. Below is an outline of 5 steps to be taken if one is to create a great restaurant advertisement.

1. Goals

The first step for creating a great restaurant advertisement is to define your goals. This is one of the most crucial steps because it is during this phage that you get to define what you want the advertisement to achieve. Deciding whether the advertisement should get you more online activity on your website, whether it should draw more customers to try out a new dish, or it should reinforce your restaurants status as the best in your city. Whatever the goals you choose, make sure they are well defined so that they will help you on taking the right decisions on the following steps.

2. Evaluate

After identifying your restaurant advertisement goals, what you need to do next is to evaluate the advertisement options you have. This step will involve a lot of brainstorming and looking into the different promotional activities you could do instead or complementary to the ad. Depending on your goals, you may decide to have posters put up within your business, share a press release, make use of email marketing, or even placing flyers inside your bill folders. While deciding on any of these options, you should also consider the benefits versus cost implication of each one of the possibilities. The idea here is to settle for an option that will help you attain the desired results with little capital investment.

3. Budget

If you have decided to go ahead and create a restaurant advertisement. The following three things are very important factors to consider when coming up with your budget.

· How much money do you have at your disposal?

· Have you ever made any similar advertisements in the past, what were the results and cost?

· Do your competitors use restaurant advertisements to promote their restaurants or menus and do you think it works for them? What methods do they use? If your competitor uses a certain method that seems to work for them, there is no shame in coming up with a similar advertisement campaign.

After taking these factors into consideration, decide on the amount that you are going to spend on this campaign before moving to the next step.

4. Channels

The next step for creating a great restaurant advertisement is to decide on the best marketing channel for it. You do not need to spend all your advertisement budget into one channel. You can diversify and cast a wider net. Consider the following factors before settling on an advertisement channel:

· Which channels do your competitors use and why?

· What print media does your target market read?

· Do they go online, and if so which websites do they frequent?

· Does your target market listen to radio?

It is only after analyzing these factors that you go ahead and start designing your advertisement. And after design is completed you can launch your campaign.

5. Return on investment

Analyzing the return on investment is one of the most important and the final step of a restaurant advertisement campaign. You should focus on determining the amount of extra money you made originated from the ad campaign. Measuring the results sometimes can prove to be a bit of a challenge. It is very easy to monitor online ads results since you can get detailed analytics for each campaign. Getting results for offline advertisement channels is a bit more challenging since there aren’t accurate ways of quantifying analytics although you can use the following methods to get a rough idea of the advertisement results:

· Having a dedicated telephone number to make reservations originated from the ad.

· Ask customers how they found you.

· Use discount coupons in print advertisements

And that is it, if you need to create a restaurant ad you can follow these five steps.

Restaurant Press Release

A restaurant press release is a great marketing tool for any restaurateur. It can be used to announce your new restaurant, increase your brand awareness, create interest in your target market, publicity of your upcoming event, just to name a few.

With the above reasons and many more this week's video walks you through all the details and structure you should use when you are creating your restaurant press release. I will write a summary below, but I really recommend watching the video for better understanding and more details:

On the header should come your restaurant logo and business address followed by in capital bold letters the words Press Release. Underneath the header, should come your title that it is one of the key elements of the press release as it will be the first part read, and many times the only by the journalist or restaurant blogger with who you will be sharing your press release. Then I suggest to write no more than three paragraphs, being the first with the most relevant information for the reader, and the second with the next most important information, and the third with the less relevant. Please note, that when I say less relevant I don't say not relevant as all the information at the press release should be interesting to the reader. After these three paragraphs you should do a paragraph with the word ends, this will inform the journalist or food blogger that it is until that that you would like the information to be shared. Below this, you should add the notes to the editor where you need to write a short description about your company, and a contact if the readers would like to get in touch to ask more details that are not included at the restaurant press release.

Restaurant Business Plan Outline

Restaurant Business Plan Outline Checklist: Click Here

Do you need a restaurant business plan outline that you can follow and create a great business proposal?

If that is the case the above video is for you, as it goes through all the important chapters and content that you should include in your document:

 1st- Executive Summary that consists on creating an overview of everything you can find in more detail inside the plan.

2nd- Company Summary with all the important details in terms of concept, menu, experienced offered to customers, planned location, restaurant ownership, and if you going to buy or lease the property.

3rd- Investment where you need to talk about how much you need to invest, how you will get the money, and when you will pay back to the borrower.

4th- Target Market where you define as much as possible who will be your clients, divide them into groups/segments if necessary, and explain why they will select your restaurant instead of the nearby competitors.

5th- Design includes the proposed restaurant floor plan, architectural drawings (in case you have it), mood board, and any other content that may help you define the design style that you looking for.

6th- Human Resources to explain all the people you will need to hire to start the restaurant. You should present an organizational chart of all the personnel and details about the management team.

7th- Competition analysis where you will study all the existing direct and indirect competition of your restaurant. You should also include a SWOT Analysis to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the market.

8th- Marketing Plan that needs to focus on your branding promises and strategies, your restaurant positioning in the market, and your customer acquisition and retention strategies. Besides this strategic decisions, the restaurant marketing plan also needs to mention your action plan and what channels you will use to pass the message to your restaurant target market.

9th- Financials is the last chapter of my proposed restaurant business plan outline and should present all the numbers that will help you explain the feasibility of your restaurant proposal. It must include your initial investment and its distribution, sales forecasts for the first years, operational expenses, and profit & loss table.