Blog & Resources

Video Services at PRMG

Television and video content seem to be main sources of how we get both our information and entertainment. Commercials, news announcements and even the short clips we find on social media platforms all aid in gaining interest of its viewers. Video content plays a significant role in advertising and marketing your company to the public. When fliers, brochures and emails only do so much, leave it to video content to really engage potential clients with visual stimulation.

At PRMG, we can create content that is sure to gain both the intrigue and interest of viewers. We offer various video services that will benefit your company all while remaining cost effective. With the help of our experienced team of creators, we can produce high quality videos, including social media posts, TV commercials, Public Service Announcements and overviews of your company or organization. If you have ideas already, our team will turn them into reality right on the screen. If not, leave it to us to create a video that exceeds your expectations and displays your business in an interesting, original and professional manner.

Many of PRMG’s clients, such as law firms and non-profits, have seen the benefits of promoting their company through social media videos, commercials, direct marketing videos, and web content. In the past, we’ve worked with restaurants, law firms, parks, festivals and many more facets of business. On our website, you can find all our past work for businesses all over Long Island and New York City. If want to reach consumers through high quality videos, consider using PRMG for all your video marketing needs. Our extensive background and talented team, we will make your vision come to life.

To view our past video projects, click here. For more information about our video production services, call us at 631-207-1057 ext. 107 or email Johnzaher@theprmg.com

Which Social Media Should I Put My Efforts into for My Business?

Due to issues with privacy and security, Google+ is shutting down in April of 2019.

On November 6, 2018, Google+ users were faced with the exposure of their private profile content. Alphabet Inc, Google’s mother company, revealed that a bug allowed 52 million users’ private information to be compromised and given to outside app developers without the users’ consent.

“Protecting the privacy and security of our users has long been an essential part of our mission,” says Google, Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai. Yet, in October of 2018, there was a similar breach of privacy which also provided outside app developers with Google+ users’ private information, including full names, email addresses, genders, birthdays, photos, places lived, relationship statuses, and occupations. It was after this glitch that Google initially announced the demise of Google+, which was to be terminated in August of 2019. Considering the second privacy violation, the date of termination was moved up four months to April 2019.

So, with all these major changes from Google, which platform(s) are most practical and provide the most security for your company?

Google My Business (GMB) is presumed to be the platform of choice for business owners. GMB is a free tool for businesses to supervise their online presence throughout Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. This platform allows customers to find your business’ location as well as inform them about your business, its hours, and contact information.

Within your GMB account, there is a section called Insights which offers new analytic features. Among these are queries used to find your business, customer actions like visiting your website, making phone calls, and direction requests. The platform also allows business owners to place ads, write posts, upload pictures, and update company information. Another aspect beneficial to business owners is that GMB allows for customers to leave a review of the company and compiles them in an easy-to-read list. These reviews can be responded to by the business owners.

Other Social Media You Should Use for Your Business

Social media is the basis of which most customers are going to learn more about your business. Many companies use various social media platforms to not only connect with their customers but to gain visibility throughout the internet as well. It is most beneficial to your company if you utilize multiple social media outlets to market your business. But which ones are worth it?

LinkedIn is the most professional social media platform and allows businesses to network with other people or companies and draw potential customers or clients to your business. On your company profile, you can share any awards bestowed, your accomplishments, and post in detail about current and past projects. In addition to these features, you can post and share articles, videos, and photos on your newsfeed with your network of connections and followers. You can even develop your own articles using LinkedIn Publishing. Another great aspect of LinkedIn that is ideal for business owners is the ability to list job openings and review applications from potential employees. LinkedIn is a one-stop-shop for all your social media, marketing, and business development needs.

Facebook has specific pages and profiles for companies and business professionals. These provide the business with analytics, ad opportunities, and the ability to post events and updates along with photos and videos. Keeping your clients and customers up to date on all that’s happening with your business has never been easier or more condensed into one outlet. Facebook Messenger also provides more interaction with customers. Messenger allows customers to directly message a business and discuss any questions or concerns they may have.

Instagram is perfect for sharing photos and videos from company events and posting promotional graphics to market your products or services. There is a business profile option which will allow you to connect your email address, phone number and website at the top of your Instagram page. Interaction with customers and clients is extremely simple with Instagram’s comments which, depending on your privacy settings, give anyone the ability to write a comment on a post.

Twitter is another great social media platform for businesses to post last minute updates to their followers about promotions, events, or cancelations due to weather. In addition to these updates, Twitter is also a great source to repost from Facebook and Instagram.

Not sure which social media platform is best for your business? Focus on what your company is providing to the public. If you have a lot of photographs to share with your customers, Instagram is a great option to allow your pictures to highlight your business. If your business hosts a lot of events, consider utilizing Facebook to create ads and invite customers to these events. Additionally, Twitter is great for making quick updates to schedules and keeping in contact with clients. If you still aren’t positive about what platform to use, start with one you are personally using. This way, you already have some experience with the platform and can utilize your prior knowledge to increase your business’ exposure.

You may find that you want to have presence on more than one social media network. Being present in multiple areas will increase your company’s visibility and help you reach more potential customers.

Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts

It may seem as if managing multiple social media accounts can become overwhelming. However, there is no need to fret. There are terrific software programs that help consolidate all your social media accounts in one space. Among these are Hootsuite and Buffer.

Hootsuite integrates multiple types of social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter into one interface. Other sites such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and WordPress blogs can be incorporated. If you have multiple businesses or organizations you manage, you may add these organizations along with all their respective social media accounts. Buffer is very similar. You can include multiple organizations as well, and each may have multiple social media accounts. Among those covered are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

These integrations are wonderful because they provide you with the ability to create a singular post and share it on all your social media platforms with just a few clicks. You can also schedule your posts to go out at a later date or time, even months in advance! Both Hootsuite and Buffer provide analytics and the ability to respond to all your comments within the same window.

When it comes to choosing which social media management software is best for your business, it is best to research each software to find one that fits your needs and budget. For further information please contact us at 1-855-PRMG-123 or email us at info@theprmg.com.

YouTube’s Popularity Can Help Your Business

YouTube is a video sharing and hosting platform owned by Google. Users can upload content to their own YouTube pages and share the videos on other social media platforms. Oftentimes, YouTube is used for tutorial and how-to videos, company overviews and event videos, music and gaming videos, and clips from popular TV shows. Some videos go “viral” which means they are viewed by millions of people from all over the world and are shared on other media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In 2006, Google acquired YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars. Since then, YouTube’s worth and exposure has grown exponentially. What started out as a site for posting funny home videos, is now a site where Google splits its revenue with content creators to produce high quality content. Due to these advancements, according to the YouTube Global Internal Data in 2016, the number of advertisers on YouTube increased by threefold over the last two years.

How to Utilize YouTube to Grow Your Business

Video advertising is a great way to showcase all your business has to offer. Viewers can get a genuine visual of who your company is and the area in which it specializes. You can use videos to highlight specific products your company sells and how they work. Or if you’re a service-based company, you can create videos discussing your services and how they help your customers.

Did you know that during TV’s prime time, more 18-49-year-olds are watching YouTube in the United States than they are watching prime time shows? This was determined by a Google-commissioned Nielsen study in 2016. Another result from the study declares people 18 and over spend more time watching YouTube than traditional television. That suggests an ad on YouTube has the potential to be more effective than traditional TV and broadcast advertising.

How to Setup a YouTube Ad

Setup a YouTube account

To get started, you are going to need to have a YouTube account for your company. It is necessary that you have a video pre-made and uploaded to YouTube before you advertise it on the site.

Create a High-Quality Commercial Video

If you don’t have a video, it’s recommended you hire a professional to create one for your company. While YouTube provides you with tips on how to make a good quality video on your smartphone, often the most effective way to have people watch your ad is to ensure it is high quality by using high-tech equipment and a professional editor.

Choose Who Should See Your Ad

If your company sells makeup products, you probably want your ads to be presented to users who consistently watch makeup tutorials. You can also select a geographic location to display your ad to people in a specific region.

Set Your Budget

From small businesses to large corporations, YouTube has advertising options for companies of all sizes and budgets. Sometimes, YouTube even has special offers for advertising services.

With YouTube’s continuously growing audience and Google as its backbone, video advertising on YouTube is beneficial to companies in any U.S. region, of any size, and of any purpose or service. YouTube’s wide range of content provides businesses with opportunities most suitable to their products and services.

So, what are you waiting for? To learn more about advertising your business, please email us at johnzaher@theprmg.com or call 1-855-776-4123.

Client Breakdown: The Types of Clients We Serve

The Public Relations and Marketing Group (PRMG) is a full-service public relations and marketing firm based in New York. Our company was founded in 2002 by John C. Zaher, who at that point, already had over 10 years of experience in the PR and marketing fields. Fully equipped with an expert staff, PRMG has the tools to successfully meet our clients’ needs.

PRMG provides a full evaluation of your current marketing strategies and develops a customized plan that matches your needs, budget, and target audiences. So, who are the types of clients we serve?

Our Clients

We service professionals, corporations, non-profit organizations and government entities, as well as tourism and entertainment clients. Some of our clients include Gershow Recycling, the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc., The Long Island Game Farm, Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen, the Village of Islandia, and McPeak’s Assisted Living, just to name a few. Along with these clients, our subsidiary company, PR4Laywers, services law firms such as Tully Law, P.C., Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP, Mart Grossbach P.C., amongst others.

Additionally, we work with public sector entities such as town villages, school and library districts, as well as fire districts. One of the great aspects of PRMG is that while we also have multiple clients in the tri-state area, many of our clients are located in Long Island. This allows us to understand the typical Long Island customer from multiple areas of concentration and local demographics.

Our Services

We work with clients on specific projects such as branding, TV and video production, web development, advertising, and more. However, we also work with clients on retainer to continue meeting their social media management, website hosting, SEO, public relations, newsletter, and direct mail needs, among others.

Here’s what some of our clients have said about the quality of our services:

“PRMG has an excellent handle on all marketing aspects for our non-profit organization. From garnering continued media coverage of our top-tier robotics events, to growing our social media presence, PRMG helps us reach the audiences we need to expand our presence across Long Island.” – Bertram Dittmar, executive director of School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.

“John is excellent at implementation and execution of marketing plans and ideas. PRMG is ‘quick on the draw’ when timing is of the essence. John’s long-term approach is what separates him and his company from other agencies.” – James P. McPeak, Owner, McPeak’s Assisted Living

“John is an experienced manager and result oriented. His vision and ideas are right on target and his results prove that. His attention to detail and his knowledge of business do help in reaching his goals.” – Allan Dorman, Mayor of Village of Islandia

How can we help your business grow? Visit our website or contact us at 631-207-2057 or send an email to johnzaher@theprmg.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Don’t Say Goodbye to Traditional Advertising

Direct Mail Still Crucial Component for Successful Marketing Strategy

Many businesses struggle when it comes to marketing decisions. Whether the brand is just starting out or looking to reinvent itself, business owners may ask themselves which kind of marketing approach will bring a higher return on investment, attract more sales, or gain greater brand exposure. As goals vary, there is no one answer. Businesses may choose between traditional marketing, digital marketing, or a mixture of both strategies.

To explain the terms, here is a summary: advertisements in newspapers, magazines and other publications is one example of traditional marketing. Other examples include direct mailers, fliers, television and radio commercials, and billboards.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, may include developing or updating a website, search engine advertising such as Google Ad Words, social media advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, uploading videos to YouTube and other streaming sites, and responding to business and product reviews on sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Angie’s List (etc).

Deciding which of the above tracks to pursue can be challenging. In recent years, businesses have been increasingly opting for digital marketing. But it’s important not to overlook the benefits of traditional marketing. These include:

    • Ad-in-hand
      Consumers are more likely to open, pay attention to, and remember items they receive in the mail than they are to interact with emails of a similar kind. Having a physical copy of an advertisement, such as a paper menu, coupon book, postcard, or sales flier, leads to increased visibility and a higher likelihood of brand recognition.
    • Minimal effort for audience
      Physical ads require less cognitive effort to process and are more familiar to most audiences. Traditional marketing is easier to understand and remember; this type of ad involves spatial and emotional processing, so consumers have a greater rate of internalization. According to a study by Canadian neuro-marketing firm TrueImpact, when asked to cite the brand of an advertisement they had just seen, recall was 70 percent higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece than a digital ad.
    • Synergy across platforms
      Businesses that use a combination of both traditional and digital marketing benefit from a certain legitimacy. Advertising across various platforms (ie: direct mail, Facebook ad, website, e-blasts, etc.) not only increases brand awareness, but also validates an otherwise unknown brand.
    • Personalization
      Thanks in part to the digital boom, niche targeting and direct mail personalization have become available; it’s easier than ever before to tailor your ads to a specific audience.

Integrating old-fashioned modes of communication in your business’ marketing plan doesn’t make you old-fashioned; it makes your business more relevant than ever. As consumers become increasingly put off by the overwhelming number of emails and online ads they see every day, direct mail continues to be an important marketing tool, outperforming email marketing by as much as 37 percent, according to recent research by Printing Impressions.

Data-driven, targeted direct mail is a key component of a strong marketing strategy. But that’s not to say it should be the only component. An omnichannel method of approach, one that utilizes the unique benefits of traditional marketing and the convenience and accessibility of digital marketing, will perform best.

To learn more about both traditional and digital marketing, and which strategy will work best for your business, please email us at johnzaher@theprmg.com or call 1-855-776-4123.

 

What Is a Micro-Moment, Anyway?

or, the Future of Mobile Marketing

The term “micro-moment” has lately been passed around the net as an opportunity to snag potential clients at the time when they are researching something on their mobile devices. Micro-moments occur when people turn to a smartphone or tablet to act on a need to learn, discover, watch, buy or do something. The ease of reaching into a pocket to answer almost any question has developed a new culture of “ask and ye shall receive”; in other words, consumers expect answers at a moment’s notice, and companies are expected to deliver crucial information immediately.

Businesses that take note of this increasing trend are better prepared for new marketing strategies and solutions that reflect the way Americans consume media.

Mobile Marketing and its Influence

E-commerce and digital marketing have exploded since the introduction of smartphones nearly a decade ago. In fact, 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, up from 35 percent just seven years ago. Mobile devices have become such an indispensable part of our daily lives that they are changing the way people consume media. It’s estimated that Americans spend an average of 4.7 hours on their mobile devices every day. Nearly two-thirds of smartphone and tablet users have made a purchase online using their device in the last six months and 80 percent of shoppers used a smartphone or tablet in a physical store to research product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations.

Thanks to the increased use of mobile devices, mobile marketing is now an essential part of an overall marketing strategy. Companies that notice and react to the so-called “micro-moments” are at an advantage.

Make Your Ads Stand Out

These days, consumers browsing the web are bombarded with content, from search engine results to social media – making it easy for potential customers to scroll right past your ads. Additionally, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent News Feed plan may make it more difficult for advertisements to gain feed time on the social site. To stand out, companies must create engaging and interesting content that a reader will click on and share, not something written with little effort and targeted at the wrong audience. The object of micro-moment marketing is making the most of just a few seconds in an effort to draw the target viewer in. Offering the consumer something they value, whether that is information, insight, or a special offer, is key to successful engagement.

When potential clients click on an online ad, they come from a variety of mindsets. Some are prepared to buy now, and businesses should be ready for this option, but not all viewers are necessarily ready to make a decision yet. Many are simply browsing, comparing products or services, or researching a topic in-depth.

Businesses looking to advertise online should ask themselves, “What would be the target consumer’s intention upon seeing my ad?” Understanding your target audience’s needs and predicting how they will come across your ad are both parts of a strong marketing strategy.

The Take-Away

The impulse to pick up a mobile device to research, discover, or purchase can work to your advantage. According to Google, consumers experience micro-moments 150 times a day (on average). Create engaging content that offers a reader something of value. Take advantage of those first few seconds with compact, easy-to-consume posts, ads, pictures, and videos, which are more likely to capture someone’s attention.

Realize that not every ad click will transition to a purchase or even a lead. Make your website and purchase options easily accessible, but don’t force them on potential customers.

For more information on mobile marketing, contact the expert team at Digital Drive. Located in Patchogue, New York, Digital Drive is a full-service search engine marketing, web and social media advertising agency with over a decade of experience. We service the New York Metro area, including Suffolk, Nassau, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, and Staten Island. To learn more about our services, please call 855-776-4123 or email info@digitaldriveny.com.

 

How Will the Loss of Net Neutrality Affect Small Business?

Net neutrality, a measure imposed by the Obama administration, is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all data on the internet the same, and not charge differently by user, content, platform, or application. Under net neutrality all websites had equal access to the internet, and service providers were unable to block, slow down or upcharge specific websites or content – which was great for users of streaming services (like Netflix) and for users of high-data sites (like Amazon).

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed net neutrality in December; the fear now is that internet service providers will begin to discriminate based on bandwidth required, causing popular sites to become slow, forcing those sites to pay more for equal speed, or hindering access altogether.

The repeal has outraged representatives from 21 states, including New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading a lawsuit against the FCC. Apart from New York, the other attorneys general involved in the lawsuit are from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Clearly, there’s some heated debate over whether internet is considered a luxury or a necessity; nearly half of the state attorneys general currently pursuing litigation are fighting to prove that the internet isn’t merely an information service, but also a telecommunications utility.

Small businesses are at risk of being most impacted by this change, especially e-commerce sites.  Small businesses are at risk of being edged out by service fees they can’t afford to pay –  sales will dwindle when product pages don’t load. Big business, with the ability to put up the initial capital for these fees, will win out.

Additionally, online content could be prioritized, making it difficult for readers to find small business’ articles, white papers and blogs and for those companies to compete with media giants.

Access fees and competitive blocking are other potential problems. For instance, freemiums will become less effective without net neutrality because businesses may find themselves blocked when they compete with a similar offering from the blocking service provider.

Located in Patchogue, Long Island, New York, The Public Relations and Marketing Group and sister-company For Your Impact Online are a full-service social media management, website development, website design, programming and search engine optimization companies, centrally located on Long Island and servicing New York Metro area, including Suffolk, Nassau, Brooklyn, Queens, New York (Manhattan), Bronx, and Staten Island.

For web development examples visit The For Your Impact website. To learn more about out services, contact For Your Impact Online at 855-776-4123 or info@for-your-impact.com.

 

Facebook’s Feed Change & How It Affects Business

On January 11, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement that the social media site’s main goal will shift from finding relevant content for users to helping users have more meaningful social connections and interactions.

The change reflects an effort to improve the value of time spent on Facebook and the well-being of its users, according to Zuckerberg, who explained in a post that News Feed has shifted over the years from mainly personal content to mainly public content. “At its best, Facebook has always been about personal connections,” he wrote.

Zuckerberg’s recent News Feed plan will make it more difficult for businesses, brands and media to gain feed time on the social site. To stand out, companies need to create engaging and interesting content that a reader will click on and share. Businesses should also be aware that not only will consumers encounter content and advertisements less frequently, but it is also anticipated that users will spend less time on the site in general, and this may not be an effective marketing platform.

Paid content will likely still see a larger reach and higher success than organic content, but Facebook’s prioritization and the subsequent success of those ads will be dependent upon the ad’s overall objective. Businesses with marketing plans that are heavily reliant on Facebook must reconsider their ad goals, prioritizing those that aim for higher post or page engagement, including Likes and Video Views, over ads aiming solely to send viewers to a website for more information.

Ads that aim to foster page engagement and website clicks may be the most successful. For instance, an ad which samples a company’s blog might entice someone to continue reading the article on the company’s site. The Facebook post itself might see a high engagement rate via Reactions, Comments, or Shares, which based on the new algorithm – in theory – should result in better performance.

Though digital “billboard” advertising may have had its day, paid Facebook content isn’t going away any time soon. Additionally, there are many digital marketing opportunities on other social media, like Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, and on search engines like Bing, Yahoo!, Google and their networks.

The digital marketing team at The Public Relations and Marketing Group has a personalized solution for your goals. Working continually to stay informed of new trends and how to work with them for over a decade, PRMG brings clients the experience they deserve. Call us at 631-207-1057 or email us at info@theprmg.com today!

New Features in Google My Business

Earlier this winter, Google added insight reports, tailored actionable buttons (think take-out ordering or hotel reservation booking) and bulk upload spreadsheet functions to its Google My Business features. Though all are especially helpful to restaurants, the latter is a great tool for businesses with more than one location (and, thus, more than one listing on Google) as it enables page owners to collect information for all locations to one central location. For results-driven business owners, the addition of insight reports means they will have greater access to digital marketing analytics, while the other changes make it easier for customers viewing a profile to take action directly from the listing.

New Additions

With the changing landscape of social media management, and owing to the fact that Google+ never quite became the platform people expected, the behemoth company has once again adapted its platform to make it possible for companies to utilize Google My Business pages in a similar fashion to traditional social media. Using the new Google My Business API (Application Programming Interface), business owners and their marketing departments can manage their Google My Business account in a more efficient manner.

With the latest updates, page owners will now be able to:

  • Edit location information for one or more pages
  • Read and respond to customer reviews from a centralized area
  • Update menu details, such as pricing, photos and descriptions for one or more locations
  • Create and update relevant social media-style posts
  • Add additional business photos as applicable
  • Incorporate a Call-to-Action button, such as “Learn More,” “Reserve,” “Sign Up,” “Buy” and “Get Offer”

In a similar fashion to Facebook, users now have the option to create an “event” – which can be used by restaurants to advertise a holiday special or for destinations to promote a local fundraiser, among an endless assortment of occasions.

Though these new features have already proven to be powerful marketing tools, to be effective, social media pages and listings like Google My Business must be managed properly to ensure positive results. One thing for established companies to consider is the need to migrate Google+ pages to the Google My Business social media page functions.

Taking Care of Your Social Media Profiles

The exposure of your listing works both ways. Though online exposure can draw more attention to your company in a positive way, errors or poor customer service often have a serious impact on your online reputation. Since social media is so, well… social, a business that doesn’t respond to negative feedback on its profile could face consequences from a broader audience of people looking to stir the pot. While many business owners may simply opt to ignore the naysayers, a disproportionate number of negative reviews on one or more social media pages will affect a company’s ranking on a results page on search engines like Google or Bing.

To take advantage of the new Google My Business features, one must regularly check up on these consumer comments and reviews. It is also important to create and manage a social media schedule that reflects the tone of your business. For example, a children’s activity center would interact with its target audience in a different manner than a fine dining establishment. And, it’s important to accurately reflect the atmosphere of your business.

Further, customers want to know that your business is active and responsive. Lack of social media maintenance will affect how search engines view your listing, so it’s important to manage social media pages like Google My Business effectively.

Ask an Expert

Though we’ve outlined the basic feature updates of the new Google My Business API, it takes a some skills and effort to fully and properly integrate some of the more in-depth functions. This includes:

  • Setting up subscriptions to push notifications for new customer reviews
  • Viewing insights for locations
  • Providing additional attributes for locations (like a hotel’s amenities or a restaurant’s menu URL)
  • Inviting and removing managers
  • Managing service-area businesses

The Public Relations and Marketing Group was established 15 years ago, at a time when social media was first coming into fruition. PRMG’s team of social media managers continually learn and grow their skills to keep ahead of changes in the industry and can help you develop your Google My Business page. We can also help to redevelop your existing Google+ and Google My Business pages to take full advantage of the latest updates.

Contact us at info@theprmg.com or call us directly at 631-207-1057, ext. 107.

Marketing Your Restaurant During the Holiday Season

The “most wonderful time of year” opens heart and wallets, offering great benefits to restaurants and destinations; but, thanks to fierce competition, it also presents great challenges. Follow these steps to make your business, small or large, stand out from the crowd this holiday season.

 

Step 1: Recognize the common and effective trends. See if these will work for you.

During this wintry season, take advantage of all the opportunities before you. Some common and effective holiday trends include giveaways, special deals and offers, and of course holiday parties!

Giveaways can be an effective tool when trying to reach a new audience. Offering a small product or service gratis can encourage someone who has never interreacted with your business to try what you offer because it’s free.

This method’s effectiveness stems from the reluctance of consumers to invest their time and money into a product they don’t know too much about. Offering a giveaway allows a potential consumer to see how great your business or product is without taking a financial risk. This in turn encourages the customer to keep coming back – even if they have to lay down cash.

Special deals and offers work similarly. Though slightly less popular than offering a free product, special offers do allow a more immediate return. Giving a 15% discount, or offering 50% more product (i.e.: “Buy one, Get one Half Off” or “Free Kids’ Meal with Purchase of an Entrée”) is often incentive enough to persuade customers to buy something if they wouldn’t consider paying full price.

Tip: Discounts or offers are an excellent way to entice new customers, and they can help retain the loyalty of current customers*.

Holiday parties are another successful tactic that restaurants and destinations employ this time of year. Free parties or events get people in the door, a crucial component to both restaurants and destinations; face-to-face contact – whether that is in your restaurant or at your park, or merely personal contact with your staff – is the best way to foster brand loyalty.

People enjoy celebrating during the holiday season; Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year’s, St. Lucia’s Day – there are many cultural holidays and reasons to celebrate during the snowy season. Take advantage of the good cheer by throwing a holiday party or event. An easy incentive might be free appetizers, winter-themed drinks, or festive desserts. Be ready to have extra staff on hand that night – especially bartenders.

Tip: The key to a successful holiday party is creating buzz prior to the event. Want to learn how? Keep reading!

Step 2: Stand out from the competition.

When trying to make your restaurant or destination business stand out from the competition, there are a few things to remember. Create a warm, inviting space and don’t be pushy. People want to feel welcomed and important. However, if someone is not interested, don’t bombard them with invites or offers – accept their decision and move on to the next consumer.

There are also multiple marketing techniques a business can use to stand out. Here are a few that work for any type of restaurant or destination business:

  1. Video Ads – Advertising through videos is one of the more effective means of advertising. Short, captivating videos are more memorable to the everyday consumer than static images. In fact, 64 percent of consumers who view a video ad are more likely to buy a product than if shown a static image ad.
  2. Email Blasts – Email marketing is an effective and cost-efficient mode of exposure. In 2016, email marketing efforts drive more than 27 percent of Black Friday sales.

Here are some important things to remember when sending eblasts:

  1. Have a clear subject line: if you are offering a sale or discount, make it obvious in the subject line to encourage recipients to open the email.
  2. Don’t promote too much in a single eblast: choose two or three things to focus on rather than overwhelming consumers with information.
  3. *Reward your loyal customers with special deals: This is where email marketing can be more efficient than general, and public, social media posts. Send specific emails to loyal customers thanking them for a previous purchase and reward them with a discount for the future.
  1. Posting on Social Media – With the surge in mobile internet use, social media has become an exponentially important marketing tool, especially for restaurants and destinations. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a great place to post giveaways and discounts – and it’s free! Some examples of giveaway/discount posts include:
    1. Like this post for a chance to win 25% off your next visit.
    2. Comment your favorite meal below for a chance to win that meal for free.
  2. Facebook Ads – Paid Facebook advertisements are another fantastic way to reach people, and work especially well in reaching new consumers. Facebook advertising is also an effective way to build up your social media following, which can give your organic posts more of a boost.
  3. Direct Mail Holiday Cards – Printed holiday cards are a delightful way to remind people of your business without being too pushy. Do NOT try to advertise on your holiday card. Consumers will view it as tacky and desperate. Instead, keep the seasons greeting card a greeting card; a nice gesture, one that doesn’t indicate needing anything in return, will generate or add to a good reputation for your business.

Step 3: Give back if and when you can.

The holiday season is the perfect time to get involved with the community. Even if it’s a small gesture, everything counts to those in need. Donate food to a soup kitchen, volunteer at a holiday charity, or raise funds for a worthy cause. It doesn’t take much to get involved.

Tip: Giving back will not only help others; it could end up helping your business as well.

People often interact with a brand that they feel offers a great product or service, but one that is involved in the community is more likely to retain loyal customers. Your business’ name in the press associated with a kind volunteer service, or a generous donation, will only increase affection for your brand or business. Embrace the spirit of giving and your consumers will see that you care.

We hope you effectively employ these methods to stand out from the competition this holiday season. These and many other strategies can help grow your business. To learn more, contact the social media and marketing experts at Dining Out Marketing Group. Email us at info@diningoutli.com or call us directly at 631-207-1057, ext. 107.