Restaurant and takeaway dos and don’ts of text marketing

The difference between a great text message and a bad one can boil down to just a few things. Take these two messages for example. At first glance they both look like a good marketing message, but one will get a great return, whilst the other message will get nothing.

The message on the left is a great example of an SMS message. It covers all the major areas that a successful text message needs and offers a great deal.

– Tells you who it’s from, both in the sender ID and within the message itself.
– It clearly explains to you how you can order, either by phone, or online via the link they have provided.
– An opt out option has been added at the end of the message.
– It was also sent at a suitable day and time, Friday at 5.50pm.

The message on the right is not as good. It misses almost everything that is required for a successfully SMS campaign.

– It does not tell you who it is from. The sender ID is a free mobile number that does not allow calls, and there is also no mention of the business within the message either.
– There are grammar and punctuation errors.
– No way of ordering the food.
– No opt out included.
– And finally, it was sent at a bad time, Sunday at 8.30 pm, which is more than likely after people have already eaten.

So, before you send your SMS campaign, have a read of the dos and don’ts list below. SMS can be a very powerful tool, so don’t fall at the first hurdle.

Restaurant & Takeaway SMS Marketing Dos

 
Do schedule –  Don’t miss out by forgetting to send a text message. Schedule your sends the week before, so you don’t have to worry about it and you can keep your mind on cooking great food and giving first class customer service.

Do include a call to action – Ensure that you include either a website or a phone number. Ensure that the recipient can actually make contact with, either by calling or going online to book a table or order some food.

Do say who you are – Saying you have a great offer on Indian food, and not telling customers who it is from is a bad for two reasons. Not only will your message get ignored, but you might trigger people into wanting Indian food, then going to one of your competitors.

Do send delivery notifications – Send your customers a confirmation message of their table booking, or a messaging telling them how long it will be before their food is delivered.

Do reward your loyal customers – Send personalised messages to those customers who always buy from you. Keep your loyal customers happy as these are your most profitable.

Do let people sign up – Grow your mobile numbers organically by allowing people to sign up to your SMS loyalty programme. You could offer them a discount if they sign up.

Do think about the timing of your message – Sending a text message out after people have eaten will get you a 0% chance of people ordering from you. Check the best times to send here.

Do check and test – Including an old offer, a wrong date, or a message with spelling mistakes in doesn’t look great on your business. Before sending it to your customers, test the message and send it to a couple of your colleagues.

Do allow customers to text you – Allow people to text you to book a table or order some food. It could be as simple as “Text TABLE along with your time and number of people to book a table with us”

Do use SMS Web Pages – Our new feature allows you to send a text message and include a link to a bespoke web page that you can include images of your food on. Nothing makes your mouth water than seeing food.

Food industry dos

 

Restaurant & Takeaway SMS Marketing Don’ts

 
Don’t pester – Don’t harass your customers by sending them multiple messages every week. This will easily put off even your most loyal customers.

Don’t offer false hope – Ensure that you don’t offer something you can’t back up. Sending a text message out telling customers that you have available tables tonight, but when they come to book everything is taken, won’t leave them feeling happy with your business and will just book a table with one of you customers.

Don’t send to unsubscribed customers – If someone has unsubscribed from your messages, don’t continue messaging them. They obviously don’t want your service, they will get annoyed with you. And what is worst, it is illegal, and you could be hit with a huge fine. (I am pretty sure you can’t do this in our system – We should mention the system takes unsubscribed numbers from groups)

Don’t use slang – Yes, it is a text message, but there is no need to use slang. It’s not the year 2000 anymore. People expect more from businesses, and using slang makes you look lazy.

Don’t send without permission – Make sure you have the customer permission to send them marketing messages. Read more about GDPR

Don’t forget your opt-out – Make sure you give your customers an option to opt-out or your marketing message. If you don’t, you could be fined.

Don’t overload the text message – SMS is perfect because it’s short, to the point, and fast. So just keep it that way. Rarely do you need to go over 2 messages.

Don’t just use the same offer – Millions of restaurants and takeaways are messaging people telling how much they can get for their money. Try varying up your message, include competitions, different offers, and something unique every now and again.

Food industry donts

Graphic Designer Spotlight Interview: Dionna Dorsey

Recently, an impressive article on the Printful blog about District of Clothing — an online store launched by 36-year-old graphic designer Dionna Dorsey of Washington, DC.  — caught my attention. Dionna’s simple but popular designs are becoming hot commodities. And so I reached out to Dionna for an interview. She was more than happy to let me pick her brain and learn more about the winning design and marketing strategies of a fashion start-up success story making waves in eCommerce.

Q: District of Clothing is generating a lot of well deserved buzz. From conceptualizing a message for a piece of clothing to designing it and selling it through online store, what are the steps in your creative process and why does this approach work so well for you?

Dionna: Thank you! I first make sure I’m constantly in environments that breed creativity. I’m very protective of my [creative] energy, especially my home space, to ensure I’m in a good place to prepare for creation, to continue creating, and even to develop. Once I find my inspiration — at times it will find me — I like to let my mind wonder so I read quite a bit, cook, visit museums often, and enjoy being outside in nature. When something connects, I begin researching and sketching and eventually share. It’s a fairly organic process that may change from time to time, but I think it works for me because it works for me!

Q: With your talents and work now garnering international attention, what can you say is the biggest mistake or shortcoming you struggled with early in your graphic design career that you had to overcome to get to this point today where you are now both critically and commercially successful?

Dionna: Believing in myself and my ability to do the work. Once I found self-acceptance and learned to appreciate my highs and lows as a creative, I found complete confidence in my work. Don’t get me wrong, I still get nervous before every project, but I trust that nervousness now. And I intentionally use my highs, lows, and my quirks to fuel my creativity and productivity.

Q: How do you stay informed about the modern messaging content and style preferences of today’s online shoppers and consumers you’re trying to reach with your designs?

Dionna: I wouldn’t say that I do. While I’m a news junkie and am usually up to date with the current news cycle, I’ve never been much of a fan of the trend. Instead, I remain true to my classic, minimalistic style which is both feminine yet androgynous, simultaneously. And I often remind myself, ‘simplicity speaks louder than one thousand words and versatility project timeless innovation and style’. While it’s definitely important to remain informed and aware of today’s resources, I’m much more interested in building the brand a solid foundation for continued growth which includes constant communication with our community, making updates, conducting research and making revisions to help us continue moving forward.

Q: What are some of your favorite tshirt design themes, in terms of color selections/pairings and fonts that seem to particularly resonate with consumers inclined to purchase text-based designs?

Dionna: Anything in black and white or bold contrast and usually simple block lettering. I love iconic brands and their original designs — it’s really exciting to see Adidas, Calvin Klein, Champion and Donna Karan, etc. revert back to their original branding and styles. Super cool. In this day and age, consumers want to feel connected to brands they know and trust, not gimmicks. Brands that have sustained over time or perhaps even made a come back — brands with an honest story to tell. Consumers want to be an extension of, or rather community members, of brands that are timeless, innovative, and doing something for the social good.

Q: Is there, in your opinion, an across-the-board winning formula for text based tshirt designs that consumers will be aesthetically attracted to?

Dionna: Yes! If you keep it simple, you keep it moving. Keep it simple.

Q: Can you please share an example of your work and walk us through what you feel makes the look work (and perhaps what aspiring graphic designers and Print on Demand tshirt makers can learn from your approach)?

Dionna: The Dreamer/Doer design (officially the Doer Tee) is probably the one design of which I’m most proud, and the lynchpin to District’s existence. I think what makes this work so well is the simplistic visible and invisible nature of the design, that it’s a part of everyone’s day to day life, that it depicts movement and progression, and finally that it’s inspiring. I used the rectangle, which is the most commonly used area shape in logo design because it’s both easily recognized and a trusted shape that illustrates honesty, solidity, and stability. Having placed it behind the text naturally leads to focusing the eye and also trusting the text which are words emphatically significant and universally relatable in their own right. To be specific, they’re relatable, inclusive, and political words that invoke emotion. Lastly, I used a horizontal line to gently cross out ‘Dreamer’ almost as if it were a to-do list item and yet, it’s still significantly bold, present, and visible (because we have to first be a dreamer in order to be a doer, but just because we do, we never cease from dreaming.)  My suggestion to any aspiring designers is to keep it simple. Simple and clean, but remember to invoke emotion and movement in your designs.

Q: Where can people go to learn more about District of Clothing and check out your work?

Dionna: You can check us out online at districtofclothing.com or follow us on Instagram at @district_of_clothing.

The post Graphic Designer Spotlight Interview: Dionna Dorsey appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Loyalty, Customer Service and Missed Opportunities

Loyalty is all about getting and keeping customers. That’s the simplest evocation of our mission. After all, companies spend major chunks of their advertising and marketing budgets on acquisition, but retention seems to take a backseat. We know it’s wrong but there it is. But loyalty can be the remedy.

By Richard Pachter

Once you manage to attract a new customer, smart marketers try to upsell ‘em and if they’re very smart, compel them to return in the near future. That’s Sales 101, right?

Online, the process should be baked into the sales journey, with immediate incentives and cookies that extend things intelligently and in a compelling manner. Establish a relationship with the customer and keep them involved and delighted. You know the drill.

Upselling and loyalty should be a thing for all businesses? Add some extraordinary customer service and you’ve got a winning formula, right?

You’d think so.

During a recent trip to my car dealer for an oil change (on special, natch), I also planned to replace my windshield wipers. I’ve owned the car for two years, some wear was evident and the rainy season would be here soon enough. Though I had an emailed discount coupon from the dealer I balked when my friendly service writer responded with the price after I asked about the cost of the new pair of wipers.

“Too much! I’ll get ‘em myself,” I declared.

So I visited the website of a big national auto parts chain. It almost immediately offered me a timed discount for online ordering and asked me to enter the make, model and year of my vehicle. So far, so good.

I wanted windshield wipers, so I poked around for a few seconds until I was directed to something that fit my vehicle.  But I had questions: What the heck was a water resistant wiper? Isn’t that the point? Had to Google it; no explanation on the site. Well, apparently some wipers exude or excrete a water-resistant liquid as it swishes back and forth. No thank you! I want OG wipers, please, so I found a model that looked good, the price was right and I provided my name, email and credit card, applied the discount, opted for in-store pickup and finished. No extra discount for my next visit was offered either on the site or in the order-confirming email (though the email had a “refer a friend” link at the bottom, which I clicked on and came up 404. No bueno!)

The following morning, I swung by to pick up my wipers. While waiting for one of their people to finish helping other customers, I noticed a paper hanging near the register with instructions and a basic script for dealing with customers on the phone and how to get them to come in to the store for an in-person appearance. Nice!

When my turn came, I gave my name to the friendly fellow, scribbled my signature on the receipt and was handed the wiper package.

“It says ‘easy to install’ but is it?” I wondered aloud. The dude asked if I needed assistance. “Sure!” He emerged from behind the countered, strolled to the entrance. I followed him outside, pointing to my vehicle.

He said, “Which side do you want it on?”

Say what?

“You know you bought one wiper. Did you need two?”

“Huh? Didn’t they come in pairs?” I asked.

“No, so which side did you want it on?”

“Uh, driver side,” I said. “Love my wife but maybe she’ll feel less compelled to offer driving hints if she can’t see,” I shared.

He walked over to the driver side, removed the old wiper and attempted to pop the new one in.

“It’s the one for the passenger side,” he announced, so we trudged back in and I purchased — at full price with no discount — a driver-side wiper, which he expertly installed along with its mate. I thanked him, gave him a couple of bucks for his effort and drove off.

Now, would a shoe store let me buy one shoe? Ok, the auto parts site might’ve allowed for the fact that in some cases, maybe someone buys one wiper. I mean, I never have, but maybe I’m an outlier. Maybe most people buy one wiper at a time. All righty then. But shouldn’t the site ask me if I wanted the other one, and maybe some wiper fluid, a squeegee, a can of car wax, a pair of fuzzy dice, a scented paper Xmas tree, a set of tires, a battery, a quart of oil or SOMETHING?

Loyalty program? Not that either. The generic, follow-up email with offers (none for wipers) came four days later with no personalization. Whoopee!

So devise cool affinity programs, concoct fabulous affiliate promotions, conduct contests, giveaways and advertise celebrity endorsements ad infinitum. But if you don’t take advantage of the opportunities afforded by an actual spending customer during and after the transaction and provide excellent service while it’s happening, what the hell are you really doing?

Richard Pachter is Editor at Large for The Wise Marketer.

The post Loyalty, Customer Service and Missed Opportunities appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

How to Optimize On-Page SEO to Maximize Your ROI

SEO, or search engine optimization, seems to be an “unpredictable” or “magic” industry to some marketers. However, its elements are straightforward and built on solid ground. Once you know what kind of keywords your customers are looking for, you can start to play with it.

In this blog, you’ll learn about the most important on-page SEO elements and how to apply them to your marketing strategy.

Copy

The content of the page, therefore, its copy, is the most critical part of SEO. Keep that in mind before you start working on more technical stuff. There is no exact formula for how many keywords and in what density to put them into the text. You’ll likely find guides online that tell you otherwise, but in most cases, these formulas don’t make any sense. I recommend you ignore any rules you read and write naturally for your users.

That may seem a bit counterintuitive, because I am telling you to optimize without any specific optimization tricks. But consider the following example to illustrate what I mean: imagine you are selling black and brown kitchen tables, and when you are writing about them, you probably mention the colors a few times. But what if your customers are looking for dark tables instead? Consider switching out some of your instances of black with the word dark to reach customers on their terms.

Title Tag 

The title tag consisting of keywords is one of the elementary ranking factors. The title itself tells users and search engines what the page is about. Even though users don’t see this text directly on the page because it is placed in the code, search engines can read it, and they will show it in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Note: The title tag is not only used by search engines, but also by software that reads to people who have accessibility requirements or otherwise require reading assistance.

HTML Title Tag Example

Title Tag Best Practices:

  • Each page should have exactly one title tag set.
  • The title should be written relevantly to the page.
  • It should include targeting keywords. However, don’t try to put too many keywords into the title, sometimes called keyword stuffing. One targeting keyword along with the descriptive text for one page is enough.
  • The maximum length of the title tag is 600px which is approximately 70 to 80 characters. But I don’t recommend focusing on characters, because in some cases, an even longer title might fit into the SERPs. To see if the title fits all search engines, you can use a SERP preview tool.
  • The title tag shouldn’t be too short, either. If it is only, let’s say, 200px long, you are probably not using its potential fully.

Title Tag Examples:

Let’s take a look at examples of both badly and well-written titles. Let’s say I am looking for coffee shops in Prague. The following titles could be written much better.

Coffee shops Prague —> Title is too short and doesn’t say anything interesting. I don’t even want to click on it.

Places in Prague that serve you the best coffee —> I might want to click on it, but the keyword “coffee shops” is missing, so it might not even show up in the SERPs.

The most beautiful coffee shops in Prague with the best coffee and from the best professionals —> I would really like to click on this one, because there is a relevant keyword, and it is also appealing. But it’s also too long, and I probably wouldn’t see the whole title in the search results.

Here’s what an ideal title looks like:

10 Best Coffee Shops Prague Example

The example above is neither too short or too long. It includes the keyword that I am looking for, and it says that I will discover the 10 best places. I really want to click on this one.

Meta Description

The meta description has a lot in common with the title tag or meta title that we were just talking about. Here are the differences. First, the meta description is not one of the ranking factors. However, it might influence your click-through rate from SERPs, which will affect the ranking. That’s why I recommend not to neglect the meta description copy.

What is a Meta Description

Another difference from the title tag is that the description is much longer. In December 2017, Google increased the length of the meta description for desktop from 920px to 1,750px, or 320 characters. Now it is almost twice as long, so you have much more space for getting the attention of your potential customers. Sometimes, additional characters can fit into the SERPs which is why I recommend using pixels rather than the number of characters.

Meta Description Best Practices:

With a few exceptions, the best practices of the meta description are basically the same as for the title tag:

  • Each page should set exactly one meta description.
  • The meta description should be written relevantly to the page.
  • It should include targeting keywords.
  • The maximum length of the meta description is 1,750 px or 320 characters for desktop.
  • The maximum length of the meta description is 1350 px or 230 characters for mobile. It’s important to know how much of your traffic comes from mobile to properly optimize for where your customers are engaging with your content the most.
  • The meta description shouldn’t be too short, either. Use its full potential.
  • You are writing it for your potential customers and not for you. Instead of bragging about yourself, write what is in it for the customers.
  • Use a call to action in the copy like “Discover, try, experience, see…”

Meta Description Examples:

What does an ideal meta description look like? It’s important to know that again, there is no formula for meta description.

I will return to our example above. Even though it has a pretty sweet title, let’s take a closer look at the meta description:

10 Best Coffee Shops Prague Example

This description focuses more on describing Prague than the coffee shops that I am looking for. It is irrelevant and too long to fit the SERPs. This occurs because the page doesn’t actually have a meta description set, so Google will pull text from the post to fill in.

I personally like this one below much more.

8 Best cafes for working in Prague

The length is ideal, it is well-written and creative. It says what’s in it for me and it includes the right keywords for me as the potential customer.

URLs

Setting up URLs for your whole website might be a very complex activity. If you are new to SEO, I recommend asking professional SEO specialists, along with UX specialists, to help you with that. If you have a more complex website, once you set up your URL structure, it becomes challenging to change it afterward, and it can also hurt the rankings.

But in general, there are a few rules that you should follow when creating a new URL:

  • The URL should be short.
  • It shouldn’t consist of excessive numbers or symbols.
  • It should include targeting keywords.

For example, when you create new content on the web regularly, like articles on a blog, you can influence a URL right away.

It is common practice that a URL is set up by default according to the name of the article. If this is your case, you probably end up with an unnecessarily long URL, which isn’t shown fully in the SERPs and might not even include the relevant keywords.

Let’s see some examples below. The URL in the first preview is good enough, and it is shown in the SERPs entirely. The URL in the second preview is unnecessarily long, and the important keywords are at the end.

URL Optimization Example

Headings

The heading structure on the web is represented by tags <h1>—<h6>. It is necessary to have this structure because it helps both search engines and users understand the context of the web.

The most important of these tags is heading h1, which I recommend using for each of your pages. Together with the title, it tells the search engine what a page is about, and is also an accessibility tool for people who are blind or require reading assistance.

Even if you are not using subheadings in the text, you should at least place the <h1> tag there.

H1 Best Practices:

  • There should be exactly one h1 on each page.
  • The h1 should be unique.
  • It should include important keywords.
  • The h1 should describe what the page is about.
  • There is no pixel or characters limit but try to keep it short.

Examples of Heading Structure:

The usage of subheadings on level <h2> – <h6> depends on the context.

Incorrectly tagged:

<h1> Main heading of an article </h1>

<h2> Subheading on second level </h2>

<h2> Subheading on second level </h2>

<h1> Main heading of an article </h1>

<h3> Subheading on third level </h3>

Correctly tagged:

<h1> Main heading of an article </h1>

<h2> Subheading on second level </h2>

<h3> Subheading on third level </h3>

<h3> Subheading on third level </h3>

<h2> Subheading on second level </h2>

<h3> Subheading on third level </h3>

<h3> Subheading on third level </h3>

Internal Links 

Linking internally within the page means that you are making all of the pages accessible for both search engines and users. Internal links also pass the value and authority from one page to another. It’s called link equity (or “link juice”). To simplify, it means that the more internal links lead to the specific site, the more authority it gets for the search engines and the more accessible it is for the users.

Internal Linking Best Practices:

  • Make sure that all of your pages relate to each other.  This means that there is at least one link referring to it.
  • Don’t overlink. The more pages you are referring to, the less authority they will get. Consider which pages are really important and link only to them.
  • It is good practice to write your targeting keywords within the anchor text when referring to the specific page. It will help the search engine better understand what the page is about. But don’t over-optimize it. Write naturally.

Conclusion

These essential on-page SEO elements are something that you should start with when optimizing your site. In general, these rules are very simple. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are writing for your customers and potential customers.

By following a few simple rules, you will be on your way to optimizing your SEO in no time.

Are there any important tips for on-page SEO optimization that I left out? Tell me about your best practices in the comments.

The post How to Optimize On-Page SEO to Maximize Your ROI appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

WordPress Plug-in Definition, Providers & How to Install One

If you are new to WordPress or looking to expand your existing presence using the platform, you may be wondering what is a WordPress plug-in. A WordPress plug-in is a feature a user can add to their WordPress website that goes beyond the default tools. Some examples include interactive calendars or contact forms but there are…

The post WordPress Plug-in Definition, Providers & How to Install One appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Is “Near Me” SEO Moving Farther Away?

Local SEO Twitter was slightly a flutter yesterday after my bud John Mueller apparently mentioned you should avoid placing “Near Me” in titles if you want to rank for “Near Me” searches:

Back in the day when Google reps were a bit less vocal, we crazy SEO types had to come up with ideas based on what we were seeing on Google and test them. Sometimes, to our surprise, they worked wonders. For example, I discovered that putting phone numbers of local businesses in the title tags of their yellow page profile pages would reliably generate an extra 2-3% traffic lift as it would help that page rank for phone number queries. That one worked for years. I probably put my kids through college with it and got some of our clients nice end of year bonuses to boot.

So a few years ago when we noticed that Google was basically forcing people to search “near me” by making it a top suggested search for almost any query that had local intent, what did it expect us to do?

Near Me Local SEO Ranking Factors

So we rolled out “near me” strategies to any client that targeted local queries and it worked. A few % lift every time. And it was easy. We always used to show Trip Advisor’s very subtle Restaurants Near Me page as the canonical example:

Restaurants Near Me

I get why Google wouldn’t want to reward sites that use this tactic as a “near me” query is basically just a geographic search that should show results near the searcher v. documents that use the phrase “near me”, but Google created this by forcing users into “near me” searches and showing documents that use the phrase “near me” at the top of the results for years.

And while Google definitely seems to be tamping down on these results, I am still seeing plenty of “near me” documents showing up:

And if “near me” really is the same as a geographic search, why would Google show different results for this query?
chase atm pleasanton

The problem is Rank Brain still doesn’t think these are exactly the same queries. And I don’t think it’s because “near me” suggests a different radius than “pleasanton”. I think it’s because Google’s algorithm isn’t always sure if you want something near you or a document.

Of course you could take the position that these pages are ranking for “near me” queries despite their titles because they are on strong domains like Thumbtack and Angieslist but, Homeguide.com?

No offense HomeGuide, but you need get going on the linkbuilding…your welcome.

And how much do you want to bet that Savior Plumbing would move up this SERP if it added “near me” to its homepage title tag?

As long as Google leaves gaps like this, SEOs are going to step in and fill them. Why wouldn’t they?

You can rant all you want about how it feels icky,  but your feelings probably aren’t a ranking factor. Oh, and here’s a search you might want to check out.

 

 

 

The post Is “Near Me” SEO Moving Farther Away? appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

The best time to send marketing text messages for restaurants and takeaways

Timing is one of the most important factors when it comes to sending any form or marketing message, if not the most important.

Let’s say you were to send a marketing message to your customers at 4.30am. Will you not only get no responses, you will more than likely annoy some of these customers. You will be wasting your time and money, and you could potentially lose some of these customers.

When it comes to sending messages out about food, timing of your message really comes into its own. For example, there is nothing stopping someone buying a pair of shoes, then 20 minutes later receiving a message about a great offer on another pair of shoes and going onto purchasing the second pair.

But when it comes to food, this is not the case.

Receiving a message offering 50% off pizza is great in practice, but if the recipient gets the message 30 minutes after eating, then your message is wasted. Who wants to order food when they are full?

Text messaging is the perfect way to communicate with your customers, knowing that your message will be in their pockets within seconds. Restaurants and takeaways are already using SMS marketing in many ways. So ensuring your message is sent at the right time, is the difference between a great SMS campaign and a bad one.

Like the market research we did on the best time to send text messages for retailers, we thought that all you restaurant and takeaway businesses would like to know when the best time is for you to send your SMS campaigns out.

So we sat down and spent days looking through a whole pile of data, to find out the best times in the week, at the weekend, and some suggests on different times in the year are, you could send your SMS marketing messages out.

Best time to send SMS campaigns – Restaurant & Takeaways
The best time for restaurant and takeaways to send SMS campaigns out is between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. This is across all days of the week including Saturday and Sunday. There are over 3 times as many SMS campaigns going out between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm than the next most popular time.

Best times in the day to send SMS campaigns – Weekdays
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm – This is the perfect time to send messages to customer about booking a table, telling people about your menu or ordering a takeaway from you. It is a couple of hours before people eat their evening meal, they are probably starting to get hungry, and it gives them enough time to message friends or loved ones about what they should do for the evening meal.

11:00 am – 1:00pm – The lunch time rush is the second-best time in the week to send a marketing campaign out for the simple reason, it’s lunch time.

There is a special mention for the hour, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm on a Friday. The rest of the week very few campaigns are sent out after 6:00 pm, but on Fridays the most popular time is between 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Best time to send food industry weekdays

Best times in the day to send SMS campaigns – Weekends
Saturday, 11:00 am – 2:00pm – The second most popular time on a Saturday is around lunchtime, but with a slight extension compared to the week. People tend to have a less strict eating time on the weekend, so the lunch period can vary. There may also be a fair few people having a lie in meaning all their eating times are pushed back.

Saturday, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Just like in the week, the best time to send is prior to the evening meal, ensuring there is enough time for people to book a table and arrange their evening plans.

Sunday, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Same as the week and on Saturday, just prior to lunch is a great time to send marketing offers about food.

Sunday, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Just like Saturdays we see a lot of messages going out over an extended lunch period. But the difference with Sundays, is it continues up until 2:00 pm. This is more than likely due to people having a few drinks the night before and wanting some comfort food when they wake up.

Sunday, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm – The final time in the week to send your SMS marketing messages out is late Sunday afternoon. Very similar to all the other days, just before people eat.

Best days to send SMS marketing messages
Saturday – The most popular day in the week for takeaways and restaurants to send marketing messages out is on a Saturday. With 94% of messages on a Saturday being sent out between 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Friday – Friday is the second most popular day of the week for marketing messages to be sent. There are over twice as many messages going out on a Friday compared to any other day in the week (Mon-Fri).

Best time to send food industry Friday and Saturday

 Remember that all the times and days above all suggestions based on our research. We always advice that it’s best to test the best days and times for yourself as these may differ from business to business.

SMS marketing for food infographic

Here’s Why Marketers Aren’t Spending More on Mobile Playable Ads: 5 Common Misconceptions about Playable Ads

The following is a guest contributed post by Alexei Chemenda, CRO for Apps and Managing Director, U.S., Adikteev

Mobile users prefer playable ads to most other ad formats. Yet, as of last year, only 4 percent of advertising budgets were going to playable ads, even though 71 percent of advertisers found them effective. Part of the lag in adoption is because marketers, and even vendors, don’t really understand how playables could, and should, be used.

For example, marketers most commonly use playables for user acquisition, but they can be powerful tools for retargeting, too. Marketers also think of playables as a gaming tactic, but brands across a variety of verticals use playables to engage their audience. Let’s take a closer look at the most common mistakes the industry is making when it comes to mobile playable ads.

  1.     Playable ads aren’t just for user acquisition

Most large mobile advertisers use playables, but they are only using them for user acquisition – not retargeting. This is a missed opportunity. Marketers can create playable ads to target people who have stopped using an app, or to target active users to get them to spend more time and money within the app.

It’s a truism of marketing that it costs more to acquire a new user than to retain an existing one. Playable ads are a great tool for maximizing the value derived from your existing user base. One of the reasons app marketers have shied away from targeting their existing users is because they are worried about wasting spend. Their specific concerns are usually around wasting impressions targeting users who would have taken action anyway, even if they hadn’t seen an ad. It’s easy to neutralize this challenge by using incrementality –the measure of revenue lift provided by an advertising spend—in addition to Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Incrementality allows you to compare the audience you are retargeting to a control group that is not served ads so you can better evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign.

  1.     Playable ads aren’t reserved for gaming

Playable ads are a tactic for capturing a user’s attention. Sure, gaming app publishers might do that by showcasing the game they are promoting, but brands in other verticals can create all sorts of interactive experiences designed to first, engage users and second, deliver some sort of targeted message. The e-commerce platform Wish demonstrated just how effective this strategy can be when it used a series of playable ads for a retargeting campaign that delivered better results than any of its static banner campaigns. The creative included a Spin The Wheel experience, in which users spun a virtual wheel to receive a free gift they could open inside the app, and a Choose The Right Box game, in which users had to guess which box a free gift was under after the boxes were shuffled.

  1.     Don’t overinvest in your first playable experience

Advertisers and vendors often invest a lot of resources crafting their first playable experience in an effort to make it “perfect.” Marketers would be better off approaching their first playable iteration as a testing ground where they learn which elements perform best and then tweak their creative accordingly. Let’s take a simple gaming example. Rather than choosing one character from your game to highlight in your first playable, try letting users choose which character they want to interact with. After you have measured performance, you can double down on what is working and create iterations that feature the most popular character.

  1.     You can overcome creative fatigue

One of the critiques of playables is that you can saturate your audience quickly. If you show the same playable ad too many times, users will start to ignore it and performance will suffer. This is a real advertising challenge, but it is not limited to playables. Serve any ad too frequently and performance will drop. Creative fatigue is perceived to be a  particularly big problem for playables because marketers often think that the playable experience has to mimic the app they are promoting. The aim of a playable ad isn’t necessarily to give users a sneak peek of the app. Its objective should be to capture a user’s attention. Then you can deliver the relevant marketing message.

With this in mind, marketers can create multiple versions of their playable ads and optimize them the same way they do with static banners and native Facebook ads. It is possible to create 20, 30, even 50 versions of the same playable ad. Doing so allows you to test out different scenarios, optimize per different audience groups and avoid creative fatigue.

  1.     You can’t measure playable ads the same way you measure banners

With static mobile banners, marketers measure click-through rate (CTR) and installs, as well as what happens post-download, so they can determine the value of the user and the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). With playables, marketers can go even deeper with the data. You can measure which buttons a user clicks and in what order, as well as time spent within the experience. The volume of available data can be overwhelming, and it can take time to determine what to measure and what to do with what you have learned. The insights can be used to improve your next playable experience, your audience targeting strategy or even other marketing campaigns. But one thing is certain—you can’t glean these takeaways if you are using the same reporting tools you use for your static mobile ads. Marketers need reporting dashboards that are specifically developed with playables in mind.

Playable ads aren’t just a tool for acquiring new high-value users. With the right strategies and measurement tools in place, marketers across all kinds of verticals can use them to retain existing users and keep them engaged.

The post Here’s Why Marketers Aren’t Spending More on Mobile Playable Ads: 5 Common Misconceptions about Playable Ads appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

700% more reviews in Number One Hotel

Number One Hotel is an unusual venue in the heart of Gdansk, Poland. It stands out from other Tricity area hotels thanks to its picturesque location and phenomenal design, a result of collaboration between renowned Polish architects. This combination is one of many reasons why Number One is an amazing holiday destination, as well as a highly desired conference spot. To attract new guests, it’s vital to utilise review aggregators, such as TripAdvisor.

Review Express Integration

Shortly after introducing Social WiFi to Number One Hotel, an integration with TripAdvisor Review Express has been launched. Although the hotel has already been gathering opinions within the Social WiFi system, automatic encouragements to leave a rating in the review aggregator added huge value.

Every month, thousands of guests use WiFi in Number One Hotel. After leaving the venue, all of them are asked about their level of satisfaction from their stay. What is more, the team at Number One can directly respond to every opinion. From that time, after 3 days, guests receive an email encouraging them to leave a review on TripAdvisor as well.

Skyrocketing reviews

After implementing the Review Express integration, we’ve been gathering reviews 700% faster! It has caused our rank to grow from 32nd to 19th place in just four months. This goes to show how important WiFi is as a tool for communication – says Łukasz Pawlina, Sales & Marketing Director.

Artur Racicki, Social WiFi CEO, explain – An eight-fold growth in reviews is quite unusual, even considering the effectiveness of our TripAdvisor Review Express integration. This amazing result may be owed to the professional team of the hotel responding to Social WiFi messages and opinions to further interact with the guests. Thanks to the dialogue after leaving the hotel, guests are far more eager to respond to the TripAdvisor request.

Recepcja Hotelu Number One

An average growth in popularity due to the Review Express integration amounts to 280%, which proves that an additional investment in guest interactions is extremely valuable. More external reviews is an obvious result, however the most important part is keeping the guests satisfied and encouraging them to return to the hotel.

The post 700% more reviews in Number One Hotel appeared first on Social WiFi.

Breathing Fresh Air into Your Loyalty Program

I’ve been watching a number of big brands in loyalty, such as Delta Airlines and Macy’s, as they evolve the structure of their programs to better retain and engage their members. While revamping a program can foster an improved customer experience, driving greater value and flexibility, the decision to implement new functionality, like loyalty tiers or revised benefits, is not an easy one. And brands are reluctant to disrupt consumers who are accustomed to their current models. However, as other loyalty programs continue to elevate the customer experience, your brand must also evolve and innovate in order to stay competitive.

By Michela Baxter.

But how do you know when is it time for a change? Here are a few opportunities for a revamp, as well as tips on how to successfully enhance your program, from introducing meaningful rewards at all levels, to spearheading streamlined communication.

Signs It’s Time to Reorganize

Admittedly, upgrading your brand’s loyalty program is no small feat. But conducting a competitive audit to determine whether other reward programs mirror yours in structure or reward type is a smart place to start. Gather knowledge and do some side-by-side comparisons. Do they offer rewards for purchase? Check. Partner with other brands? Check. Offer surprise and delight tactics? Check, check. If your model seems commonplace, a reorganization can deliver valuable differentiation. Loyalty programs allow brands to reward their best customers, provide unique benefits, and better connect with consumers. However, when your loyalty program compares apples to apples against another, consumers are more likely to see if they can find a better offering elsewhere and it might be time to diversify.

Program structure can also be a key indicator. If the majority of consumer interactions within your model are transactional, it may be time for a change. Consumers have increasingly prioritized brands that celebrate their individuality through unique and meaningful interactions. Many top-performing programs transcend spend-and-earn exchanges, tapping into customers’ emotional connections to brands by seamlessly meshing with their lifestyles. These holistic initiatives not only benefit consumers, but fortify deeper brand affinity.

“If the majority of consumer interactions within your model are transactional, it may be time for a change.”

As you assess your program, lean on your KPIs to determine if a change is needed. If your loyalty strategy is no longer generating the desired return – financial or otherwise – it may be time for a second look. Analyze churn rate to determine what percentage of members are leaving your program. If this number is high, it’s likely time to optimize your approach. Brands with a reward-based structure should assess how often members are redeeming, as a low frequency can reveal diminished value or that it’s too difficult to earn a reward. Ultimately, your overall loyalty metrics should reflect a stable and engaged member base, a sign of long-term sustainability.

Set Changes Up For Success

Once a refresh is in order, there are a few areas to focus on to position the program’s evolution for success. To ensure a strong value proposition, meaningful perks or rewards must be provided to all participants. Within tiered programs, baseline rewards should be valuable enough to inspire consumers to opt-in, while VIP rewards should be exclusive enough that consumers will remain motivated. Brands without loyalty tiers can offer members the option to select their reward, or consider leveraging program data to offer personalized perks. Tap into brand partnerships to deliver added value and differentiation through your rewards. Consumers appreciate choice, so keep members engaged by giving them the freedom to earn or select rewards that speak to their individual tastes.

Finally, make communication a top priority. Consumer frustration is inevitable when making program changes, therefore it is essential to clearly articulate updates and when to expect them. Above all, highlight the added value your new program will bring to loyalty members, as this will mitigate any potential dissatisfaction.

While it can be challenging to determine whether your loyalty program is due for a refresh, it’s even harder to figure out which changes will be most valuable. Start by identifying functionalities ripe for innovation or ways your brand may no longer be meeting loyalty goals and expectations. Then, lean on differentiated rewards to add value and transparent communications to keep consumers in the know. Upgrading your loyalty program may sound daunting but, when done correctly, can effectively breathe new life into your initiatives.

Michela Baxter is Senior Director of Loyalty at HelloWorld.

The post Breathing Fresh Air into Your Loyalty Program appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

What a Fearless Marketer Looks Like in a Scaling Startup

Whether it’s going skydiving, traveling the world without an itinerary, or sampling new (and potentially gross) cuisines, we always seem to admire people willing to take the risks most of us aren’t.

We call them daredevils. We call them free spirits. We call them adventurous. But really what they are is fearless.

Fearlessness is a virtue, enabling seemingly average people to accomplish extraordinary things. But fearlessness isn’t the exclusive domain of adrenaline junkies, globetrotters, and iron-stomached foodies. It’s also imperative for success in today’s marketing arena—at the enterprise level and especially in a startup environment.

What’s a “Fearless Marketer” Anyway?

In my opinion, a fearless marketer is someone willing to take risks that their peers and friends aren’t. No, it doesn’t mean spending precious budget on new technologies willy-nilly or launching a campaign without proper preparation just for thrills.

It does, however, mean that they’re willing to take the challenges of the digital marketing era head-on and turn them into opportunities for improving connection, engagement, and experiences with customers and prospects. Historically, marketers have tried to insulate themselves from risk, failure, or the unknown because they fear technology. They fear the effort required for truly personalized customer engagement (the hallmark of successful marketing!) and the possibility of devaluing their efforts by partnering with other teams in the organizations.

By contrast, fearless marketers embrace novel approaches to their craft. They think creatively about how they approach their jobs, with many adopting agile methodologies from the software world that favor responding to change over following a fully-baked plan, rapid iterations over pie-in-the-sky campaigns, and data enrichment over opinions and conventions.

They work diligently to understand and navigate the increasingly cluttered MarTech landscape that now offers more than 6,800 solutions to devise plans for optimizing the 90 or so cloud technologies their enterprise marketing teams use on a daily basis. And, considering that even the buying process has changed considerably—there’s now an average of 6.8 unique stakeholders in purchase decisions—figuring it all out makes the challenge even more daunting.

Still, fearless marketers aren’t deterred. Instead, they lean into the challenge and happily take on revenue responsibilities, even going so far as to assign their team’s value to the organization and quantify it with return on investment (ROI) metrics. They do it by seeking to bridge traditional disconnects between sales and marketing teams, helping align the entire organization to better target audiences, improve customer acquisition efficiency, and meet revenue goals more consistently.

Fearless Marketer, Startup Edition

It’s fun to talk about Fearless Marketers as a catch-all term. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all descriptor, as a fearless marketer looks different depending on the scope and nature of your organization. More importantly, a fearless marketer in an enterprise has different challenges and experiences than their counterparts in a small company, especially a startup.

Like most things in a startup, every plan, every approach, every decision is heavily scrutinized. Each has exponentially more impact on the success (or failure) of the business in a startup than in an enterprise, where the sheer size of the organization provides a buffer and protects against unintended consequences of poor decisions.

The flip side is that startup marketers have greater potential for positively impacting the future of their businesses, provided they develop the ability to look past their fear of failure. In a startup, fearless marketers are ready for change, even welcoming it. They’re open to change and able to thrive in daily chaos, relying on clean data and analytics to make important strategic decisions even under duress.

However, fearless marketers must not depend solely on their tech stack to drive the company’s success and growth.

A large part of startup marketing success is knowing the limitations of technology—especially visibility and capability gaps that come with integrating so many moving part—and using your MarTech stack as a guide for your marketing efforts, rather than letting it dictate your entire strategy.

Instead, your best bet is to become intimately familiar with your target prospects and customers, using a combination of data-driven technologies and empathy to identify their pain points and address them with targeted solutions and support. Yet, to do that, you must be prepared to break with convention and be creative in your approach.

The Startup Marketer Hustle

Fearless startup marketers are scrappy by nature, often taking on responsibilities such as customer support, account management, and even business development that fall outside typical “marketing” activities. Wearing many proverbial hats means you’ll have to be inventive with how you use your time and resources.

While approaches like bartering or other in-kind payments may be frowned upon at the corporate levels, startup marketers should feel empowered to pull out all the stops to compete for prospects’ attention against larger organizations with deeper pockets. Fearless startup marketers are also resourceful, spurning the newest purpose-built tools with all the bells and whistles to focus on getting the most value from more versatile and utilitarian technologies because they believe they can succeed without spending unnecessarily.

And that brings us to the last, most poignant trait of a fearless marketer in the startup scene: confidence. Fear of failure—of not delivering on revenue goals, of not living up to expectations, of not accomplishing what so-called experts believe you should—is natural and expected, especially in a career path defined by failure (more than 75% of VC-backed startups fail).

Despite that, fearless marketers are self-assured. They’re confident in their own capabilities as well as those of their hand-selected colleagues and team members. They understand that outside influencers and mentors are important for gaining a different perspective and creating a more comprehensive understanding of the market so they can make smarter, more informed strategic decisions.

But they look to those influencers only for occasional guidance rather than a roadmap to success. The most successful, fearless marketers are hyper-focused on success on their own terms because that’s what really matters.

Are you fearlessly leading a startup? Tell me about your experiences in the comments.

The post What a Fearless Marketer Looks Like in a Scaling Startup appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

WordPress Theme Definition, Costs, Providers & How to Install

If you find yourself asking what is a WordPress theme, the answer is it’s a website template that acts as a building block for new sites. WordPress users can choose from thousands of free and premium themes. Once they’ve found one that best matches their preference, WordPress makes it easy to modify the theme with…

The post WordPress Theme Definition, Costs, Providers & How to Install appeared first on Fit Small Business.

Google Duplex

At college, after getting demolished in squash against, Mike, a hyper-competitive pre-med, he asked me what I planned to do for a career. I told him I wanted to get into television. He sneeringly countered how he was going to become a surgeon and extend his patients’ lives by many years. The implication being I was wasting my life with something as trivial as TV. “That’s awesome Mike,” I responded enthusiastically, “You know what your patients are going to do with all that extra time on Earth you so generously bestowed them? Watch fucking TV.”

Google Duplex is rightly the talk of the tech town at the moment. It’s pretty amazing.

Sundar Pinchai closed his talk on Duplex with the following (emphasis mine):

“A common theme across all this is we are working hard to give users back time. We’ve always been obsessed about that at Google. Search is obsessed about getting users to answers quickly and giving them what they want.”

We all want more time to do the things we really want to do, but as I watched that video in bed on my phone shortly after I woke up yesterday morning, I couldn’t help but think that all most of us really want to do is the Internet equivalent of watch fucking TV.

The Jerky Boys are going to have a field day with this technology.

The post Google Duplex appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

Connected Cars: The Opportunity Is Closer Than Marketers Think

The following is a guest contributed post by Keith Petri, Chief Strategy Officer of Screen6

The rise of the connected car has been swift. With most auto manufacturers beginning to offer apps on the in-car dashboard, integrations with voice assistants, and swipe navigation, the latest cars on the market seem more like software platforms that people just happen to drive. In the United States, connected car penetration is estimated at 38.8 percent in 2018, a figure that is expected to grow to more than 80 percent by 2022.

Of course, the marketing world has noticed. But to date, there’s been very little consensus on how exactly marketers should be adapting their thinking for what promises to be a profound shift in consumer access. No doubt, connected cars will change the world of marketing. But as with the car technology itself, the marketing play will be a slow evolution, not a static opportunity that can be plugged into the broader marketing equation or “customer journey” overnight.

It’s fun to speculate on the long-term and how the screen inside the car might become one of the most important screens in our lives. And no doubt, when autonomous vehicles become the new normal, marketers are going to be falling all over themselves to figure out the myriad things they can do with the additional screen time for everyday for consumers. For example, Apple recently filed a patent application for virtual reality experiences inside self-driving cars, sparking a good deal of speculation into the seemingly limitless possibilities such technology could enable.

But we’re simply not there yet. Right now, even in existing connected cars like Teslas, with their big screens, the advertising opportunity is limited. It’s simply not cool to be flashing ads that could distract drivers while they’re focused on the road. That said, while we await the autonomous future of car travel, there’s still an opportunity for marketers to incorporate connected cars into their strategies right now. Marketers can do so by tapping into the ever-growing data coming from connected cars to more fully round out their understandings of consumers and provide better experiences. This data allows for profiles that can include location data and retail proximity, travel patterns.

According to recent data from Screen6, connected cars have already started to yield useful insights for marketers. According to aggregate data, for every connected car we incorporated into a cross-device graph, we were able to match an average of 3.9 other devices. The data showed that 43 percent of the cars were connected to a mobile device, with 17 percent connected to a PC and 10 percent connected to a tablet. Not surprisingly, our data shows that connected cars are most active during rush hour, peaking at 8 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. We’ve also seen that PCs connected to cars are being used more after work, so it’s likely that these devices represent personal computers vs. work computers.

In essence, a connected car is like any other connected device. A connected car is simply a car that is equipped with internet access, and often a wireless local area network. This allows the car to share internet access with other devices both inside and outside the vehicle. This connectivity means there’s an identifier for connected cars that can be incorporated into cross-device graphs, and this integration provides insights into consumer behavior that was previously veiled to marketers.

Attitudes are also changing from car ownership to a more flexible, fluid approach to driving. As the auto market evolves from individually owned cars to shared automobiles, the marketing potential will explode. Data points and patterns like this will be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the insights that connected cars can deliver to marketers as they look to round out their cross-device understanding of consumers. While the future of land travel is likely to evolve significantly over the next two decades, marketers need not sit and wait to begin evolving their strategies alongside the connected car.

The post Connected Cars: The Opportunity Is Closer Than Marketers Think appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Reputation management with Tobaco Hotel

Tobaco Hotel is an extraordinary venue in the heart of Poland. It’s located in an old cigarette factory, however it does not resemble it in the slightest now – Tobaco Hotel offers a refreshing mix of industrial interiors and innovative technologies now joined by Social WiFi.

A dedicated Social WiFi portal is at the disposal of the guests, providing them with a list of available offers and local attractions. What is more, they can leave their opinion about the stay after leaving. Such solution helps the hotel to understand its guests and optimise its services.
Jakub Rosły of Tobaco Hotel

Social WiFi helps us to keep in touch with our guests. Its integration with TripAdvisor ensures an accelerated growth in the number of reviews, effectively boosting our position in the ranking, says Jakub Rosły, Head of Sales and Marketing at Tobaco Hotel.


Artur Racicki, Social WiFi CEO, adds: Professionals in the hospitality sector pay a lot of attention to the customer journey of hotel guests. Social WiFi tools are an important touchpoint, not only for the guests still at the hotel, but also after they leave.

Social WiFi is an innovative analytical marketing tool which allows for customer identification and profiling by using WiFi networks. The platform allows hotels to build databases of their guests in accordance with legal requirements (including GDPR). Social WiFi makes it possible to target Guest communication, analyze their experiences, build customer loyalty and conduct two-way communication in order to improve quality of service.

The post Reputation management with Tobaco Hotel appeared first on Social WiFi.

Considering multiple sides of the blockchain loyalty conversation

Loyalty Salvation through Blockchain?  Maybe.

We monitor the world of loyalty fairly closely on a day-to-day basis and from this corner of the world, some of the most exciting developments in this realm are coming from blockchain-based projects.

The promise of self-validating transactions, of true platform-agnostic utility, of near realtime settlement, etc. is beginning to exhaust the list of superlatives used to describe them.

Just for context, we’re not just casual observers either, we interact with both the players and the platforms on a regular basis, listening to some of the brightest minds in marketing, loyalty and blockchain technology talk & think through what this all could mean.

Here is a list of our current takeaways from those sessions. Please note the use of the word “current” as this list will most assuredly change over time.

To be sure, there are a multitude of factors to consider when thinking through your blockchain “go / no-go” decisions. Howard Schneider, VP of loyalty strategy at Kobie Marketing makes a valid point. “The kind of universal marketplace that is being proposed by (blockchain loyalty providers) runs counter to the core reason why a brand launches a loyalty program in the first place. “A brand’s loyalty program, he pointed out, is designed so that consumers get a benefit from shopping with the brand. But the benefit, he noted, only helps the brand if it is redeemed at the brand.

Mike Giambattista is Editor in Chief at The Wise Marketer and is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP).

The post Considering multiple sides of the blockchain loyalty conversation appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

6 Types of Videos That Are Extremely Beneficial for Your Employees

Utilizing videos to train your employees is a powerful strategy to equip your staff with the skills they need to excel. In many companies, employee retention is a challenge. There are many reasons for this, but sometimes it boils down to the employee not feeling engaged or confident in their position. Videos can help your employees pay close attention to training and retain more of what they learn. When people watch a video, they recall about 95% of the message as opposed to 10% with text or sound only.

You likely already know that videos work when training your employees, but how can you make those videos really shine? We’ve all sat through that boring training video where you need toothpicks to prop your eyelids open. Fortunately, new approaches to training videos can help engage the viewer and hold their interest.

In this blog, I’ll cover the six types of videos that your employees will benefit from, as well as tips to create each one.

1. New Hire Videos

In the past, onboarding included sitting in a room and listening to a manager or HR professional lecture on various topics. A lot of information is thrown at new hires, but not a lot is retained using this method.

If it’s not in your budget to create videos for every aspect of training, you’ll need to prioritize what information you most want the employee to remember, such as company policies and best practices.

Here are some tips for new hire videos:

  • Create videos for the topics you most want the employee to remember (as information in videos is better retained).
  • Keep the video short and to the point.
  • Make sure the video has professional elements that will engage the viewer, such as music and captions.

Google Training Video Example

Google is on the cutting edge of technology, so it isn’t surprising that their onboarding process starts by offering the snapshot above of what it’s like to work at Google. The video features various employees and interns sharing what their typical day looks like, the benefits and freedom of working on the Google campus, and shots of the campus both inside and out.

2. Webinars

Webinars offer the ability for companies to train workers located anywhere in the world. About four million employees in the United States work from home at least part of the time, which has increased by about 115% since 2005. With more and more companies realizing telecommuting attracts the best and the brightest minds, the one challenge many face is how to train someone who lives hundreds of miles away.

Fortunately, webinars offer a number of benefits in this area, such as:

  • The ability to show everyone a whiteboard-type screen at the same time.
  • A chance to host a training session that allows remote workers to see the same materials as those who are in-house see.
  • The recording of training sessions available for those who might be in a different time zone and need to watch later.

Webinars are a smart way to present information to a variety of employees. They can also be a real time saver for your company because leaders create the material once and share it multiple times as new employees are onboarded.

3. Training Videos

A video that gets to the heart an employee’s experience can help that worker retain more of the processes she needs to know to do a good job. When you have a lot of information to share with your employee, offer a number of short videos and allow them to put what he or she has learned into immediate practice. This is an effective, and very hands-on way for your employee to learn and retain information.

When creating training videos, keep in mind that:

  • Training videos should have a complete story—a beginning, middle, and end.
  • It is better to create several short videos than one massive, long video.
  • It’s best practice to stick to one topic at a time so that you don’t lose the attention of the viewer.

The video above is a training video meant for teachers who are trying to help English as a second language (ESL) learners with their pronunciation. The video shows an issue some students have and offers a technique to help them overcome it. By showing a teacher performing this task, the viewer can learn how to interact with a student.

4. Company History

You want your employees to feel a sense of pride about where they work. Sharing the company history and how the business was built from the ground up can help foster this sense of pride. It also equips the new employee to better understand why the company has certain business practices in place.

When creating a company history video:

  • Start at the beginning. Who founded and built the company?
  • Share the company’s philosophy and how it was developed.
  • Finish with a forward-looking thought, such as where the company wants to go in the next five to 10 years.

Keep in mind that the video should also be short and to the point. What makes your company unique and special? If your employee watched this video, would he or she be able to share that message with others in one or two sentences?

5. Annual Reports

Employees who know the financial health and goals of a company may feel they play a bigger part in its overall effort. However, annual reports can be dry and boring. They are usually dozens of pages long and contain a lot of dry data.

You can make the report more interesting by featuring the highlights in a video:

  • Turn hard data into visualizations, and share them in the video.
  • Utilize images and graphics to break up some of the information.
  • End on a positive note.

Hotel Indigo Annual Report Example

Note how IHG offers some positive highlights from their annual report in this video. At the same time, they utilize the video as a form of promotion, because they take the opportunity to highlight some of their top properties alongside the data. This information should excite employees and investors alike about the continued growth of the company.

6. Employee Highlights

It’s easy to fall into the routine of a job and lose your passion for what you’re doing. Try featuring employees in video when they go above and beyond, or demonstrate consistency and dedication. This not only encourages that employee but also shows others that hard work is recognized and rewarded. Employees who feel appreciated tend to stick around, saving companies as much as $4,129 in recruiting and training costs.

When creating an employee highlight video, keep the following in mind:

  • Decide what the video should achieve. Do you want to just give a shout out for a job well done or also inspire others?
  • Focus on a key challenge the employee overcame to succeed and why he or she was chosen as the employee to highlight.
  • Get personal. Even though the focus is on their work as an employee, this video is also an opportunity for co-workers and customers to get to know a person better. Share something unique about them, given their consent.

Highlighting employees is a great way to show the heart and soul of your company, while making the individual person to feel special and appreciated.

Take Advantage of the Benefits Videos Have for Your Employees

As you can see, there are numerous ways to utilize videos in your onboarding and ongoing training. Make professional videos that engage the viewer and help them retain the information being presented. Creating videos for training is definitely worth the time and effort, so get started!

The post 6 Types of Videos That Are Extremely Beneficial for Your Employees appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Top 25 Accountant Marketing Ideas from the Pros 2018

The accounting industry may be undergoing some significant changes. A State of Accounts Report showed that 37% of small- and medium-size businesses think that the service is being automated to such a degree that it’s possible they may not need an accountant in 10 years’ time. This finding makes it all the more important for…

The post Top 25 Accountant Marketing Ideas from the Pros 2018 appeared first on Fit Small Business.

SMS Web Pages Guide – The perfect landing page

Our new service SMS Web Pages is causing a huge stir in the business marketing world, easy to use, low cost and massively effective… Grabbing huge response rate numbers for customers – it’s no wonder why people are loving it!

Sending out your own bespoke mobile landing pages, filled with your beautiful images, big catchy headlines and call to action buttons, SMS Web Pages are perfect for getting information to your customers about products, sales, services, news… Anything and everything.

There is no way around it, SMS Web Pages is great for selling. Whether that be new products or promoting a sale. However there is much more to SMS Web Pages than that – 8 ways you can use SMS Web Pages.

We have already had heaps and heaps of you tell us your success stories with SMS Web Pages, none more so than Star Cars Birmingham, who received 11,200 clicks from a their SMS Web Page campaign. WOW – read all about it here.

However if you are still not up to speed on the whole SMS Web Pages vibe, then fear not as we have put together a nice little guide for you, telling you about anything and everything you need to know about SMS Web Pages.

From the why, to the who, to the how… This is the perfect little guide, to the perfect business mobile marketing tool. Read here

SMS Web Page - perfect landing page

 

The Tappx Guide to Current and Emergent Mobile Ad Formats

The following is a guest contributed post from Rafael Andrade, Advertiser Business Developer, at Tappx

The way in which people interact and engage with ads is constantly evolving. It’s no secret that the present and future of brands is to leverage messaging across our vast mobile ecosystems of smart devices, and in particular, to utilize programmatic technology to communicate with users. Brands are constantly looking for new ways to excite and engage audiences. It’s not only important to solely focus on the channels which are used to impact users, but we also need to explore different methods where we can build within each channel, thereby maximising impact.

With the ongoing quest for new mobile ad formats, marketers are willing to go beyond the existing ones. There’s a constant need for new formats which take full advantage of new technologies and software. We’re constantly looking for new formats which offer deeper engagement, improved revenue streams, whilst being hyper-targeted for consumer interests. Smart devices are tightly woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. They’re a function for our lifestyles, hence an importance for the design, format, relevance and placement of ads served across our multitude of mobile screens. Out of all of these areas, the mobile ad format is going through a transformational period, with innovative developments right on the horizon.

Across the spectrum of current mobile ad formats, we must first discuss the present day king of the ad formats, the video ad. In the US alone, digital video expenditure is expected to increase at double digit annual rates until 2021, reaching a staggering $22 billion USD (Source eMarketer 2018).

Special mention must also be given to the rewarded video ad format, which is a hugely successful format used. Based on our extensive work in the mobile gaming world, rewarded video ads are highly requested from our ad partners across the Tappx network. Rewarded ads deliver a clear value exchange – when users view an in-game video ad, they are the rewarded with in-game assets, such as weapons, new lives and in-game currency, or new game level access. Video ad formats are hugely powerful on many levels, primarily because they help to communicate large amounts of information in a very short space of time.

Following video ads, we move onto 360 interactive ads. This format enables users to view products from multiple angles, including the rotation or flipping of an image, so users can gain different perspectives of products. New research from IPG Media Lab reported that video ads offering 360 degree functionality drive 7% higher purchase intent on smart devices, and a 12% increase in the belief that a brand has a “unique story to tell” when compared to video ads.

The next generation of mobile ad formats is the move towards true AR and VR. This year we will witness the real power behind AR/VR, in terms of the scope of technology, and embracement by audiences, empowering marketers to accompany their campaigns with increased interactivity, deeper immersiveness and hyper targeted personalization.

As gaming is a highly popular activity on smartphones, we shouldn’t forget about playable ads, and the near infinite forms which they can take. Playable ads offers users the chance to interact and engage with an app/game, before they have downloaded it. Try before you buy if you will. They offer attractive engagement and conversation rates.

The arrival of 5G is also going to take visual ad experiences to a higher level, and it will consequently create new spaces and metrics for measuring effectiveness, engagement and performance, such as tracking with metrics like post-view conversions, viewability and audibility ratios, and many more.

One of the most exciting yet “good old” ad formats that has witnessed a resurgence is the audio ad format. This increasing interest in audio formats is correlated to the large adoption by consumers of music streaming services. These types of audio ads, that can be served programmatically, opens new ways for segmenting audiences, like emotional segmentations according to the state of mind when people listen to certain genres of music. But there’s also a wider horizon for audio ads. In the future, they will increase their protagonism at the same time as the adoption of audio smart voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana continues to grow. There’s no doubt that voice technology will change the way that consumers engage with brands, and how the brands present themselves to consumers.

The future of the advertising industry is like the past, which means it’s in constant evolution and with the unfinished pursuit for the attention of people. What excites users in this industry is how technology is relentlessly merging and transforming across all aspects of human life, which opens up new channels and ways to communicate with audiences.

The post The Tappx Guide to Current and Emergent Mobile Ad Formats appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.