7 Marketing Metrics Every Restaurant Owner Should Know

Restaurant Marketing

7 Marketing Metrics Every Restaurant Owner Should Know

Restaurant Marketing


At $603 billion a year in revenue, and close to 2.3 percent annual growth, the restaurant industry is booming, according to the market research report Global Fast Food Restaurants, released in March by IBISWorld. Make no bones about it, it’s an exceptional time to be a restaurateur.

With that said, however, no growing industry comes without its fair share of challenges — one of which of course is stiff competition. With more people dining out more frequently, there’s been a serious increase in restaurants popping up seemingly out of nowhere, eager to fuel this growing trend. The only way to stay on top of your game is to adopt digital restaurant marketing.

If your business is one of them, you know that it’s important to stay ahead of the curve: That way, you can continue to serve up the dishes you love, to the people who love them. To help you do that, here is a list of some important metrics and trends for you to keep a close eye on.

1. “Instagram-worthy” fare: food so pretty, customers will want to take a picture

Chances are, you’ve seen them: posts on Instagram, the social media platform that boasts on average half a billion users on a monthly basis.

Well, it just so happens that Instagram is helping the restaurant industry make a massive amount of money. Shake Shack, the burger place, practically made its name on social media. It exploded onto the scene, driving engagement via great photos and skillful commentary.

Goldman Sachs analysts explain that Shake Shack is 100 times more successful on Instagram than McDonalds, which seems extraordinary because Shake Shack has 63 U.S. locations, to McDonald’s 36,000!

This seems largely due to Shake Shack’s backing up the quality of its fare: quality in its ingredients and quality in its social media interactions.

Instagram’s heavy influence on restaurants’ success, in fact, has motivated many to take an “Instagram-worthy” approach to food creation — plating food that doesn’t just taste great, but looks great too.

So, get in on this trend: Encourage your patrons to take plenty of pictures and hit the “follow” button on Instagram.

2. Increasingly focused restaurants

In previous years, restaurants made a serious effort to be everything to everyone, and that worked. But today, people’s tastes are rapidly evolving, and a plate of cheeseburger and fries . . . just isn’t cutting it. Customers want to experience ethnically diverse foods, healthy foods, experimental cuisines — you name it.

This is why restaurants are getting more and more focused, creating specialty foods that cater to a select few people’s interest.

So, in 2017, recognize that it’s better to create a menu that offers super spicy Thai food than one that serves BBQ, pizza and cheeseburgers.

3. “Sorry, we don’t take reservations.”

It’s a phrase nobody likes to hear when calling into a hot spot, in hopes of reserving a table. So, why are restaurants all over the world instituting a “No reservation” policy? Because people aren’t showing up.

According to OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations: “The no-show rate in the U.S. is approximately 20 percent lower than the no-show rate for diners who book via phone.”

Recognize that many restaurants are now moving to a first-come, first-served policy and reaping rewards because of it. Chances are, if customers show up at your restaurant and are faced with a 20-minute wait, they’re going to stick around and have a drink.

4. Restaurants on wheels

Back in 2015, as reported by IBIS World, the food truck industry cashed in at $1.2 billion in revenue, with a total increase of 12.4 percent over the previous five years; it’s been going through the roof ever since.

Restaurants with stand-alone locations are starting to make the jump to adding a food truck that’s on the go at all times (though, in some cities, food trucks are less popular).

With that said, however, even if the mobile food industry is booming in your area, you may want to think about whether it’s smart to load up a truck and start rolling.

5. Rewards for regulars — treating them like royalty

More and more restaurants are implementing loyalty programs in hopes of keeping their regulars coming back. Restaurants’ current customers spend a massive 67 percent more than new customers. So, it goes without saying that those loyal customers are the real fuel restaurants need.

The simplest way to implement a customer loyalty program? With a punch card. Restaurants, though, are getting innovative and increasingly moving to digital customer loyalty programs. FiveStars is an example of a digital customer loyalty app that quite a few restaurants have adopted.

No loyalty program at your restaurant? Time to think about one.

6. An enhanced dining experience through interior design

Instagram highlights the importance of taking photos in restaurants. InfoTrends‘ most recent worldwide image capture forecasts that consumers will take 1.1 trillion photos worldwide in 2016 and that number will grow to 1.2 trillion photos in 2017. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2017 will be 9 percent.

Importantly, “photos” goes beyond food. It’s become more and more important for restaurants to create experiences where customers want to take pictures. While food is the biggest issue, of course, the interior design and aesthetic and atmosphere at your restaurant’s atmosphere also count.

7. Where the money is: that email list

If you’ve previously been skeptical about email as a tool for promoting your restaurant, here are a few statistics to change your mind:

Before the digital age, running a successful business was all about location, location, location. But today, businesses have the opportunity to get in touch with anyone anywhere, as long as they have an email address.

Consider: If 1,000 of your customers decided to share their email address while dining at your restaurant, and even just 5 percent paid you a visit every time you sent out an email, that would be 50 tables you could count on. Not a bad ROI for an email, right?

So, build up your email list, and see the customers swarm.

How to utilize these metrics and trends

If your restaurant is alive and thriving, it’s a safe bet that your food is tasty. But, today, tasty food is not enough. In order for a restaurant to remain profitable in 2017, its owner has to commit to ramping up his or her marketing — whether that be with Instagram, a new interior design, a food truck, an email list or a new loyalty program.

There is no wrong answer here (as long as you are utilizing one or more of the metrics/trends above). The only wrong answer? Choosing to do nothing at all.


On – 20 Jul, 2017 By Nital Shah

How to Get Media Coverage for Your Retail Business

How to Get Media Coverage for Your Retail Business

Every small business owner knows that it is impossible to thrive without customers. But what they don’t realize is that getting noticed by media is an excellent option to gain traction and boost sales. Moreover, appearing in a newspaper/magazine or on a television channel increases the credibility of the business manifold.

Bringing the media spotlight on your business is not as difficult as it seems. All you need is some meat to offer to journalists that can be converted into interesting stories later. Scan through the following tips to get media coverage for your retail business smartly:

1. Share Newsworthy Content

If you observe closely, every story has an angle. It is neither a run-down of services offered by an organization nor is it an advertisement of sorts. A published article has an angle that piques the interests of not only the journalist who writes or records it but also the readers.

Therefore, don’t be too salesy. Pitch the story behind your business or the upcoming event you are organizing. The story can even be around how your product/service is changing the lives of your customer base.

media newspaper business

Here’s an example: Onesto Payments solves payment and POS challenges for small businesses. The solutions it offers are free from the risk of being cheated by technology providers. It walks an extra mile to keep its customers equipped with the latest knowledge of everything related to payment processing.

Now, the story can be about small businesses which have taken help from Onesto Payments and benefited from it.

You can even connect with your vendors or clients to work around a story. Whatever you share should have the power to resonate with the readers. Moreover, the story should throw a positive light on your business.

2. Target Local Press

It is always beneficial to be covered by a national newspaper or a TV channel. However, local media outlets are equally important. In fact, it is easier to tap into localized press. After all, they cater to your city or town.

Local media outlets support businesses in three ways:

  • Provide faster recognition
  • Boost sales
  • Add to the business’ credibility

If the local story on your business is that inspiring, compelling or impressive – it just might catch the eye of bigger publications and augment your presence even more. Start small, gain big!

3. Send Out Press Releases

This is a traditional PR tactic. If done right, a press release can fetch you the attention of many publications. All you have to do is make sure you don’t disseminate press releases just for the heck of it. The content should be newsworthy – and add value to readers. Writing a press release will also help you in creating strong and topical pitch ideas for journalists.

4. Connect With Journalists On Ground Level

It is easy to send pitches to generic email IDs – but connecting to specific journalists is a different ball game altogether. Try to reach out to them personally. Meet them for a cup of coffee or invite them over for lunch.

Also, read articles published about your industry. Meet the writers. Scan through pieces written on your competitors. Connect with journalists behind those articles. Ask your PR team to apply a “go-getter” approach.

5. Personalize Your Emails

Once you have identified the journalists working on your industry’s stories, personalize your emails accordingly. Start the email by referencing a recent article or a tweet they wrote. That way it becomes easier to relate to your business.

Tailor the tone of your pitch as per the journalist and the publication (s)he works for. The approach to reach out to journalists must vary, else they’d think you’re just another small business trying to be a big deal by making tall claims.

6. Don’t Forget To Follow-Up

Journalists receive tons of emails every day. The nature of these emails varies from pitches and official correspondence to howlers. If you don’t hear back from them within a week – write them a follow-up message reminding them about pitch.

And if you still don’t get a response from them despite repeated follow-ups, it is time to move on to another reporter. Don’t make the mistake of sitting on your pitch. It is necessary to follow-up with the journalist. You never know (s)he might become a close contact of yours through continuous correspondence.

Also, don’t waste your pitches. Be highly aware of those you are sending a story pitch to. Don’t reach out to too many journalists at the same time. That will make you look desperate. You may also lose out on potential stories or severe relations with the journalist. Be patient.

One of the best ways to be on the top of your PR game is to create a PR team.

Networking with media is a continuous task without a deadline. You have to stay connected to them, pitch them story ideas and get follow-ups almost regularly. The PR of your business can’t stay afloat if you don’t have a specific team working solely towards it.

The image of your business is in your hands. Be wise.

How To Develop Your Restaurant Marketing Strategy

How To Develop Your Restaurant Marketing Strategy

Running a successful business depends on many aspects such as type of cuisines, location, rent and utilities. If your food is delicious, ambience is comfortable and staff members are courteous and helpful, then your business will thrive – regardless of your tough competitors. The key is to run the show the right way.

Did you know that 65% of your guests will find out about your eatery online? Yep! Today, the restaurant business has become so digitized that even making reservations online is easy. Secondly, customers have become more vocal about their views on restaurants thanks to multiple online platforms.

These small yet effective introductions have brought forward a need to alter the approach for effective restaurant marketing. Here’s how you can amp up your business’ strategy:

1. Listen To Your Customers

A successful business’ story begins and thrives on that. So, are you listening to your customers? Find out where your customers most commonly gather? Is it on a digital platform? If yes, which one? Do they read a certain type of newsletter, magazine or newspaper? Do they listen to a specific radio station? What exactly are they asking for from your restaurant?

Yes, these are a lot of questions. But you need to be able to answer them to be the best in your business. To find your answers and give your strategy a foundation, try to understand where your customers are coming from.

2. Curate A Blueprint

Once you have all the necessary data, use that knowledge to come up with a master strategy. This is a tough step as you need to know which areas of work you want to give more attention to. Is it social media? If yes, then which channels are you going to pick? Are the selected channels relevant to your business?

You also have to make sure that you have sufficient capital to alter your restaurant marketing strategy. Don’t move forward before sorting this out.

3. Share, But What?

Your strategy is set – which means you know where to go and what you want to say. But have you decided which particular form of content you will share? Trust us; you should have some idea about that!

Is it going to be visual content such as photos and videos on social media or discount offers in a local newspaper? Do you plan to hold an online photo contest soon? The point is that your customers want different things.

So you have to prepare yourself to switch up what you share based on the information you gathered via #01 step.

4. Share – This Is How!

Okay. Once you know what you have to share, the next step is to find out “how”. You can share your content through placing an advertisement in the newspaper. Pursuing your social media profiles aggressively is a must.

Revamp your menu. Strengthen the “Contact Us” section of your website to showcase yourself as an approachable business. Whether you choose the ground level or the digital space—you cannot move forward without preparation. So stay committed to your strategy.

5.  Engage With Your Customers

A successful way of bettering your marketing strategy is by connecting with the customers on a personal level. Talk to them when they visit your restaurant. Search for customers who may have checked in at your restaurant on social media or other channels such as FourSquare – and start a conversation with them.

Share positive restaurant reviews on social platforms and tag them. Be sincere in answering all queries and comments – good or bad. It is important for your restaurant to come across as a concerned service-providing business.

6. Keep Measuring Your Performance

Creating and executing a marketing strategy is not enough. You have to analyze your performance to know exactly where you are going wrong. For instance, take a note of simple points such as the number of new guests you met this week. It is more or less?

Measure the engagement level and act on the most successful initiatives. You must have a clear idea about what and why is something working for your business. The results will assist in tweaking the strategy, if required.

If you also want to get started on developing your restaurant’s marketing strategy, take help from Onesto Payments. The company offers POS and financial solutions to help you measure the total sales, average sale, visits, day-by-day sales performance of your restaurant business among other things.

Keeping customers happy and attracting new customers is tricky – but it is also essential to your eatery’s existence. So propel your business to the next level above competition with a strategy that focuses on your consumers!

Let us help you understand your business better. Contact us today at 201-546-5555 or at OnestoPayments.com!

5 Things Retailers and Small Businesses Should Do This New Year (2016)

5 Things Retailers and Small Businesses Should Do This New Year (2016)

New Year celebrations are incomplete without a long, inspiring list of resolutions. As an individual, you might have already written them down on a piece of paper and posted it on your fridge. But as the owner of a small business, it is equally important to jot down a multitude of tasks you wish to accomplish in the next 12 months.


Because all successful businesses—small or big—thrive on improvement and what’s better than the New Year to take a fresh spin on the way forward of your small business?

Ones to payments 1 - Jan

Adding to this thought, here are 5 inspiring resolutions that can help your small business achieve absolute success in 2016:

1. Invest In Your Employees

Each year, your company hires a multitude of people from different fields and demographic backgrounds—who work on a range of projects in the firm. In short, employees form the backbone of your small business.

Therefore, it is necessary to speak to them periodically to get to know their thoughts and opinions. Issue a survey to all the employees asking them about how you can help them be more efficient and how the business can up its game. Adjust your efforts to not only mentor them but also provide them job satisfaction.

In addition to this, send them to conferences and seminars to help them grow professionally. Leverage their hidden talents and enable them to take more responsibilities that will not only benefit the business but also them.

2. Strengthen Your Formal Partnerships

As a small business owner, you must think from a 360 degree point of view. While investing in employees is important, you must also be open and communicative with the organizations you partner with, such as your vendors.

When was the last time you had a face-to-face meeting or a telephonic conversation with one of your important alliances? If you are taking more than a second to think of a name, then you should certainly focus on maintaining these integral relationships.

After all, it’s nice to put a face to the people who are making things happen for your organization.

3. Focus More On Customer Experience Than Sales

Customers and sales are two sides of the same coin in a business. While sales are important for a business to produce profits and thrive, expanding the customer base is immensely critical as well.

Today, companies are taking the route of customer experience to distinguish their brands due to increased competition. The thing is when a customer makes a purchase with your business, (s)he wants to feel in a certain way.

This is the reason why your small business must come up with different ways to enhance the customer experience. This can be through gift vouchers, after-sales service or free installation assistance among others.

4. Give Back to Your Community

As the owner of a small business, you must follow the simple rule of not only “selling” but also “giving back” sometimes. If your customer base and community don’t know what your business’ mission is, they are less likely to shop from you.

Therefore, make a generous donation, sponsor a small event, hold a contest to engage the customers or collaborate with and cross-promote small businesses—there are many powerful ways through which you can give back to your community effectively.

By doing this, you will connect with the community on a far more personal level that will certainly benefit your business in the long run.

5. Secure Your Payment Transactions From Fraud

As the owner of a small business, have you asked yourself this question: “Are my customers comfortable making payments to my company? Am I offering them the right payment method?” It is good that you are raising questions on the payment mode; given that not everyone carries cash all the time.

Hence, offering a secure payment method makes the customers more confident about making payments with cards and also gives them the assurance of the fact that their money is not being associated with wrong things.

Onesto Payments, for instance, solve payments and POS challenges for small businesses. With absolutely no risk of being cheated on by technology providers, Onesto not only equips the businesses with the best but also shares knowledgeable information to keep them updated.

Lastly, learn to take time off this year. It is true that as the owner, you don’t get time to relax. But by taking time to rejuvenate, you are only going to focus better and work harder—which will ultimately help you run a more successful small business. Let the New Year inspire you to not only revolutionize your business but your own work ethics.

5 Ways To Give Back To Your Customers This Holiday Season

5 Ways To Give Back To Your Customers This Holiday Season

Your customers play a big role in the success of your small business. From expanding your brand’s visibility to magnifying your company’s revenues – customers have a hand in everything. As the owner of a small business, you must follow the simple rule of not only “selling” but also “giving back” sometimes.

5 Ways To Give Back To Your Customers This Holiday Season

This practice does most certainly establish a vested interest between your brand and the customers – as this will give you the opportunity to truly appreciate them. And what’s better than the holiday season to “give back” and show some gratitude? Here are a few ways to get started right now:

1. Make a donation

Donating a percentage of your business’ profits is an effective way to “give back” to the customer base. How? Well, you can choose a charitable organization or NGO that holds significance to you or to your family. It can even be an association that your business as a whole believes in.

92% of people want to buy products from businesses that support a cause.

(Cone Study)

To start spreading awareness about the same, you can drop an email to the customers—sharing what you’re doing this holiday. Give them proper context and reasons for taking this noble step. Try to strike an emotional chord with them. They will definitely appreciate this charitable activity of the business and even talk about it in their circles.

2. Sponsor an event

Sponsor a local marathon of the city/town, a school sports event or simply a small promotional event where people get the chance to interact with you. This is a great way to increase brand visibility. Identify what kinds of events or interactions your audience likes and go for it!

The truth is that this arrangement works for the other party too—as this will fuel their noble motives financially! If you see the bigger picture, such associations make the customers feel that your business is going beyond the mainstream business events to engage with them.

3. Throw a get-together

Because, why not? When most festivals are celebrated within all organizations, your small business should think out of the box too. Throw a get-together for your employees and customers! This activity is exciting and will create a buzz within the customer base as they get to see who is working on what behind-the-scenes.

Send invites via e-mails or social media. Plan and execute a campaign on digital platforms  to create hype and engage customers from the beginning. For the party, you can order some snacks, serve mocktails and give out goodie bags to all the attendees. Everyone likes to socialize and receive return gifts—no matter how big or small the gifts are.

4. Hold a contest for the customers

Ask your employees to host contests on both offline and online platforms for the customers. Keep a prize for not only the winner(s) but also give out small vouchers to those who participate in them. This encourages massive participation and engagement.

In addition to this, you will gain lots of traction (and support) from your customers. The thing is—it is the holiday season and everyone is in a celebratory, festive spirit. Such activities will only spread more cheer amongst them and give your small business ‘positive results’.

5. Collaborate and cross-promote local businesses

Why not collaborate with another small business for a campaign or an event? This way their customer base will also gain visibility of your brand and vice versa. Go for a local business that compliments what you offer and does not sell products/services that are similar to yours.

Nothing works better than cross-networking. Your brand will get more exposure in lieu of some exposure that you get for the other business.  In addition to this, your business can then open up in different markets and understand diversified needs that you can make a part of your offerings.

6. Ensure a secure mode of payment to customers

As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to make sure customers are comfortable making payments to you. After all, not everyone is carrying cash at all times. Offering a secure payment method removes the hesitancy of making payments with cards and gives them an assurance that their money is not going to be associated with wrong things.

Now given the fact that most small businesses aren’t aware of such payment solutions, we at Onesto solve payments and POS challenges for them. With absolutely no risk of being cheated on by technology providers, we not only equip you with the best but also share knowledgable information to keep you updated.

Successful businesses are rewarded for making the effort to “give back” to the community. Charitable acts, social activities and casual events or simply making their customers feel comfortable with the entire purchase cycle—making your intention to sell “subtle” during the holiday season is the key to giving a boost to your business!

How To Create Customer Loyalty For Your Small Business

How To Create Customer Loyalty For Your Small Business

It’s a fact: Your small business won’t survive without repeat customers. The key to a thriving business—big or small—is a steady and a loyal customer base. Did you know that selling your product or service to existing customers is easier and cost-effective? In fact, if your sales strategy is solid enough, your customers will not only buy from you more frequently but also recommend your brand to others.

Yes, it is important to keep on expanding your customer base; however at the same time, it is essential to the core to have good relations with customers who have used your product or services before. Whether it is an immediate follow-up with the customer after a sale or a simple e-mail thanking him or her, there are numerous ways to build strong customer loyalty.

Read on:

1. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Your customer has taken the pains of selecting and buying the product from you. Don’t let him or her regret that decision. Allow the customer to revel in happiness post sales. How can you ensure this? By going the extra mile and providing after-sales service.

Lend your ears to their complaints and grievances. By doing this, the customers give your business an opportunity to rectify the problems and improve your service. So be accessible, open and cordial. Customers always like to be treated well.

2. Provide Incentives & Treats

The best way to ensure your customers come back to you is by offering them incentives. Options such as “Buy two, get one free”, “shopper points”, “small discounts” and “complementary gift cards” often create maximum hype amongst the customers. Who wouldn’t mind a surprise discount or a gift card? No one!

In order to make this strategy a success, all you have to do is bring your marketing efforts in sync with your target audience. You can make use of this incentive program effectively to boost your small business during a slow season or to promote a new product or service.

3. Promote Product Awareness

In this time and age, all businesses shouldn’t leave any stone unturned to promote their new product or service. This is an extremely crucial step in the supremely aggressive market. Start a digital campaign—opt for an appropriate social media channel and revamp your e-mail marketing strategy. Your customer base will take time off and listen to what you have got to say. But you need to have an impactful scheme to begin with.

From an employee’s point of view, make sure your staff is trained and understands the product or service. They need to be convinced with what their company is selling in the market. If they are clueless or don’t have clarity, the employees will not be able to convey the same to the customers. They should have knowledge about the history of the company, the on-going discounts and post-sales services available.

Your traditional form of selling should be bang on!

4. Be Flexible with Customer Policies

Every customer is unique—and has a unique set of preferences, expectations and complaints. Your small business should be able to deal with each customer accordingly. No matter what the circumstance is, do everything in your power to resolve that complaint. Don’t assume the gravity of the situation; instead make proper efforts to view things from the customer’s perspective.

If you show that you really care and want to make the customer happy—your chances of retaining him or her automatically go up. Avoid saying phrases such as “That’s our policy”, “Sorry but that’s what it is” and “We can’t help you on this”. It would just piss off the customer badly.

5. Remember The Special Occasions

Make it a practice to send birthday and anniversary cards (hard copy or online), personalized newsletters and fancy yet inexpensive holiday cards to your existing customer base! Don’t spend a fortune on demonstrating the fact you care as a small business.

But the truth is the little things do matter to people—no matter how digitized the whole world has become. It’s the personal touch that makes an impact on the customers. So don’t be afraid to use dollops of creativity to come up with exciting gifting options. Don’t take it as a task that you ‘have’ to do. Think of it as a customer base-bonding activity that will fetch you greater revenues (and support) in the future.

6. Make your payment modes reliable

More often than not, customers don’t complete their purchases. The reason being they didn’t feel the payment modes were reliable enough, or thought they didn’t match those offered by bigger industries.

But the challenge is, that many small businesses are misled or misinformed by the payment processing companies. The reason being their lack of knowledge and not being able to understand their processing statements. This only results in business losses and reduced customer loyalty. Look for an honest payments and POS processing company, and ask them to guide you through the process instead of taking a chance.

Remember: A customer is the king of the market. Whether your business is thriving or has just started, you have to walk the extra mile to make sure your customers are genuinely satisfied with your brand. Whether it is a service you offer or a product you put up on sale—make sure the whole shopping experience is so empowering—that the customers keep coming back to you!

5 Tips For Small Business Marketing On A Budget

5 Tips For Small Business Marketing On A Budget

For giant corporations, a huge monthly budget for undertaking marketing and advertising activities is a no-biggie. But for small, upcoming businesses – no matter how aspirational they may be, every penny counts and investments need to turn fruitful with an impressive marketing ROI.

Therefore when your small business has a non-existent marketing budget, you are involuntarily pushed to think of clever yet effective ways to make things work.

Fortunately, we have 5 smart tips for small business marketing that are guaranteed to give the desired results:

1. Strengthen Your E-Mail Marketing Strategy

Thinking of building an e-mail list but haven’t had the time to get down to it? Well, don’t waste time! Opt for ‘free’ e-mail solutions such as MailChimp and Benchmark and start shooting out daily e-mails. Use your contact list to spread awareness about the services of your business, company vision, growth & expansion plans, etc.

This little exercise will help you build up your authority in the industrial (and consumer) community. Email marketing is of a lot of importance for start-ups. Did you know that for small businesses, this is the fastest way to secure highest return on the money invested? That is indirectly because most potential consumers or active service users browse through their e-mails for brand communication.

They will not be happy to receive a text on their phones. But they will wholeheartedly welcome the idea of communicating through ‘e-mails’ with their favourite brands. So yes, start with e-mails to see your small business grow!

2. Research, Research & Research 

Spending time to research your target customers now is going to provide you maximum benefits in the future. This inexpensive activity will help you focus your marketing efforts on a specific buying behavior. Your next step of action can be easily determined if you have enough data, figures and case studies to leverage it on.

In addition to this, study what your competitors are doing. If you invest time in analyzing the competitive field, you will come across their spots of weaknesses along with loopholes in their way of functioning—this is where you can smartly learn from their mistakes and even help your small business flourish!

3. Strengthen Your Informal Partnerships

Your small business has to think from a 360 degree point of view. First of all, it is essential to have strong in-house teams that are dynamic, open to change and extremely communicative within themselves. However, at the same time, it is important for them to connect with teams of other businesses as well.

This team-bonding exercise will not only help your business market themselves in the community on a human level but also help you build humungous contact bases. By sharing contacts and forming alliances with other small business owners, your target markets will overlap each other and in turn, expand your brand awareness in the market. You will be able to grow your business sooner than you realize.

4. A Public Relation Strategy Is Important 

Connections with the media is important. The power media holds in terms of making or breaking a business is unparalleled and shouldn’t be taken lightly. With a scanty marketing plan, you can’t (and should not) invest in advertorials or buying feature stories in magazines or newspapers.

The key to a successful brand image in the media is by taking baby steps. Therefore, start with press releases. They certainly offer an easy to promote your business across all platforms of media. Drafting a press release is a cakewalk. All you have to do is make a point strong (and exciting enough) for the journalists to pick up.

The editorial guidelines are simple and clear. With the help of major new distribution websites such as PRLog and Press News Wire, you can get all your press releases circulated digitally and without any cost! Press releases offer an easy way to boost your brand’s online visibility—something that’s the need of the hour.

In addition to this, you can make a cold call to relevant newspapers or shoot e-mails to their common contact data to pitch a story with significant facts and figures. There’s nothing better than media to market your small business.

5. A Consistent Social Media Presence

You don’t have to do paid social media marketing to gain likes, hearts or favorites across all social media channels. If you plan your daily activities on social media well and circulate good content across them regularly—people will definitely notice your brand.

In this time and age, forgetting the power of social media is foolishness as it is popular, cheap and even free. So make the most out of it!

Remember, all successful businesses didn’t have money from the beginning. It took them years and years of hard work, grit and determination to reach great heights. So if, as a small business owner, you are willingly to play smart—you can definitely not only market your brand within the budget but also stick to it with ease.

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Pinterest And Instagram For Sales

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Pinterest And Instagram For Sales

An effective social media strategy plays an important role in our digitally-driven world. As a small business owner, social media is extremely useful for you. From building brand value to gaining customer loyalty—there are various benefits of being on top in the social media game.

While Facebook and Twitter have already secured a spot for driving traffic and increasing sales, the use of Pinterest (73+ million users) and Instagram (300+ million users) for the same has also seen a phenomenal rise in recent times.

pinterest and instagram for small businesses

Let us take a look at how you, as a small business owner, can use these “visual” social platforms to increase sales:

1. Reaching Out And Engaging Customers

Use both platforms to spread awareness among targeted customers about the product or service your business offers. Pinterest and Instagram allow the users to scroll through the timeline and pin boards and find all images under one umbrella with a simple hashtag.

This means that they can upload a picture of your product on Instagram and/or create a separate pin board of engaging images on Pinterest. This improved customer engagement on a personal basis is a powerful medium to create conversions on your company website.

2. Helping In Creating A Brand

As a small business owner, you must implement a proper marketing strategy on social platforms to create an online brand image. And, what more can represent a clear brand image than a photograph? Therefore, pick those creatives for your Pinterest and Instagram accounts that actually connect with the product or service of your business.

On Pinterest, particularly, go for thematic boards or How-To guides. Stick to a format and experiment with the visual content. If you have the financial bandwidth, you can even post short clips on Instagram to increase recall value among customers. If you can create a wonderful impression among the social media savvy users, you get the sales!

3. Make ‘Buying & Selling’ Possible

Although a recent development, Pinterest and Instagram now have a revenue button on their platforms. This, by the way, is of great significance for small business owners. On Pinterest, this button is in the form of a ‘buyable pin’ and is seen right next to the regular pins that are used by users to create customized boards.

If you click this button, you are redirected to the checkout where you can make the purchase. On the other hand, if you want to sell your product or service on Instagram, you will have to actually contact the team to get a ‘Shop Now’ button on your profile.

4. Encourage The Customers To Visit Your Website

The best way to increase conversion rates is to direct the customer base to the website. Whether you do it through social posts, newsletters or consumer forums—it is extremely important for you to gain maximum traction on the website.

While you can have the website link on all your prominent social networking profiles, there’s adequate space for you to experiment with this on Pinterest and Instagram. Have you ever noticed the ‘Location’ tag whenever you upload an Instagram post? Well, you can use that to insert the URL of the website, rather than the location itself!

On Pinterest, you can actually insert the link (redirecting to your company website) in the pin itself. The only catch is that links are actually clickable on this social platform, as compared to Instagram where they would appear as text. If the original URL is too long, create a short link that can go up on Instagram.

5. Focus On The Needs And Behaviour Of Target Market

The content uploaded and shared on Pinterest and Instagram is controlled by the users. What they want to see on their timeline or what they want to pin is totally their prerogative. Hence, you have to understand the behaviour of the customer base.

That is possible once your brand gets a few buyable posts on Pinterest and Instagram. Then you will be able to narrow your focus even more on exactly who is interested in your product or service. For instance, Instagram will soon integrate its new feature with Facebook Ads.

This means that small business owners will be able to sell with heightened interest and waste less in their marketing and advertising budgets.

It’s safe to say that both Pinterest and Instagram have evolved as social platforms. Pinning photos mindlessly or uploading selfies—that’s not what everyone does on those platforms anymore.

In other words, they are not just restricted to casual networking but have grown to be of huge help to small businesses.

Small Business Marketing Tips To Help You Stand Out

Small Business Marketing Tips To Help You Stand Out

Are you in the process of starting your own business? Or, do you run a small-scale business? If your answer to either of the two questions is a ‘yes’, it’s important that you read this. The journey to making a business successful is certainly tough. There is a palpable need to get noticed and be taken seriously within the community and by target consumers and of course, get lots of opportunities to develop and thrive.

Fortunately today, this issue can be resolved not only through offline mediums but also online platforms. As a businessperson, you have to be skilled at providing answers to several questions like these in a jiffy – “Who are you? What services does your business offer? What does your company represent?”

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And, this is why it is necessary to take note of the marketing aspect of your business from the beginning. To help you get started, here’s an indispensable list of small business marketing tips that will help your business stand out everywhere:


1. Pick An Appropriate Social Media Platform

Firstly, your business doesn’t have to be exist on those social media platforms that are not only irrelevant but also hard to keep up with. Don’t confuse yourself, your clients and consumers with an armful of social media accounts that you are not able to manage properly.

Depending on your business’ industry and target market, select specific mediums. Usually, Facebook & Twitter are most preferred platforms on social media by any business to gain maximum traction. Therefore, always make sure that these two accounts are maintained with utmost professionalism.

2. Give Your Blog/Website A Makeover

Having a powerful online presence of the business has its own set of advantages. In fact, it is a necessity for any small-scale business. You have the liberty to not only promote your services but also showcase business achievements and display contact details in whichever you want. Having a blog or website increases the value of your business in front of potential clients manifold. Therefore, make sure you work relentlessly on the website/blog regularly.

3. Connect, Communicate & Flourish

Your website/blog is live. The wheels of your social media strategy have been set in motion. What’s the next eventual step? Networking. As a businessperson, you must join online professional communities (on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter) to not only acquaint yourself with the latest trends in your industry but also connect with fellow competitors, potential clients and business associates. This is important to let other businesses and industry-people take notice of your small business and its services.

4. Respond To Online Feedback & Queries

The essence of online marketing is lost if it is only one-way. This means that publishing a website or a blog and starting social media accounts isn’t enough. It’s important to respond to customer or industry queries, complaints and feedback in order to transform into a powerful brand. This is impossible if you choose to keep mum online!

Whether it is a small tweet or Facebook post regarding a new service or a comment published on a community forum, learn to give polite and prompt responses. Even a tiny online footprint would help your brand expand exponentially.


1. Word Of Mouth Works

This is, at times, the greatest lead generator for a small business. Therefore, offering quality products and excellent services that people can’t stop talking about is critical. Even if you are the most outgoing and smart small business owner, your brand is not going to retain consumers or grab eyeballs of potential clients unless it not only delivers but also exceeds expectations. The key to trigger positive words of mouth is to keep refining the brand. This process may cost lots of money and time but it will definitely fetch results in the long run.

2. Provide Promo Offers To First-Time Consumers

Offering promo offers to first-time app or website users is the latest marketing gig. Needless to say, it has proved to be quite useful in engaging customers and get them start talking about the services your company provides. Most Food & Beverage startups and cab service providers have done well for themselves using promo offers.

3. Organize/ Host Small-Scale Events

Open a kiosk at a mall on a weekend or participate in a trading event—there are so many ways to help your business be visible. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend lots of money to do this. In fact, many successful small businesses thrive on offline community building through partaking in local events, charities and fundraisers and organizing 2-day workshops, collaborative fests and tea parties to name a few. This will allow your customers to know about you and your brand on a physical level.

Brainstorm, plan and execute – if you want to stay in the business and grow. Creating the perfect brand (both online and offline) is not achievable without putting continuous efforts. There is no need to rush. Start with baby steps and you will eventually get there.