Are you doing social media marketing right?

In the age of Digital Marketing, Social Media has proved to be a powerful platform for brands to reach out to their customers. But how does Social media Marketing work? We all have come across ‘Google ads’ and ‘Facebook ads’ for promoting businesses. But are they really benefitting your business? 

The content you create plays a very important role, but strategising your social media presence is equally instrumental in engaging the audience with your brand. And it is not limited to the number of clicks on your ad or the likes on your page, but the amount of actual customers that it generates for you. 

Here are 5 ways in which you can analyse and enhance the effectiveness of your social media marketing for your business:

#1 The money spent:
If you are marketing a product/service on social media, there is a good chance that you are spending a sizeable amount of your profit on it. But is it giving you the desired results? Are you getting a sizeable return on your investment?

When it comes to social media marketing, it’s important that companies design a clear budget for it, with an expected ROI. As a general thumb rule, companies should spend 5-10% of their total revenue on marketing, out of which 35-45% should be spent on digital marketing of which social media should constitute 15-25%. It obviously varies with industry.

Calculate your ROI on the basis of how much you spend and how valuable each customer is for you. Some businesses have recurring customers and hence, the value of each one goes up. Whereas, some businesses are of the one time pay kind, where the value of each customer would be less. Depending on the factors, decide up on how much your cost per customer acquisition must be and hence, your ROI, and track your campaigns regularly around these numbers.

#2 Knowing your audience:
It is important to know your audience when pursuing social media marketing for a lot of reasons. Firstly, it defines the type of content that appeals to your desired audience.

Secondly, you need to choose the right platform for your brand. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are more useful for B2B marketing whereas Facebook and Instagram are more suited for B2C marketing.

Tools like Google analytics help you track and analyse how users find and use your website. On its website, Google explains the system “helps you analyse visitor traffic and paint a complete picture of your audience and their needs, wherever they are along the path to purchase.”

#3 Customer enquiries on Social Media channels:
Is your target audience actually interested in what you’re selling? Picture yourself walking into an Apple Store to buy the latest iPhone. You would be asking the customer service executive about the features, cost and other queries related to the product before making the final purchase. Similar to this, people posting queries are the ones who are actually interested in your product and want to know more about it.

Tip: Audience is more engaged with the companies which answer promptly as stats show that 42% users posting queries want them to be answered within a duration of 60 minutes.

#4 Getting organic traffic:
Organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic, which are the visitors who land on your page as a result of unpaid/organic search results. Google Analytics gives you a complete insight on the kind of traffic you are getting on your website on ‘Acquisition Overview’ page. You can also set the ‘date range’ to see a comparison of your business’s growth over time.
The more the organic traffic to your page or the website, the better it is for your business.

#5 How much is your traction?
Lastly, all the marketing tools are helpful when they produce the desired results. Has your brand’s social media presence increased the number of people who actually buy from you? The numbers in your balance sheet would ultimately decide the effectiveness of your Social Media Marketing. Always plan your campaigns on the lines of a good ROI and track them keeping this returns in mind.

Whether a business is running online or offline, its presence on social media has become a necessity. Many offline businesses like restaurants and boutiques are increasing their reach by engaging with their customers on different social media platforms. 
‘Restaurant Marketing’ has taken the food industry by storm and now every social media expert is commenting on how it is beneficial for restaurants. Social networking sites are acting as ‘e-word of mouth’ for these businesses. 

97% of small businesses use social media to attract new customers, but 85% of business owners don’t know what social media tools to use. However complex or competitive it may seem, but when done effectively, social media marketing can result in increased customers, traffic and engagement.

Alloy is a five year old digital marketing firm, catering to the online marketing needs of various businesses. Our campaigns are designed and executed thoroughly based on the ROI expected. Be it B2C businesses like restaurants or boutiques or more niche B2B businesses like real estate firms, technology firms etc, we’ve made the best use of social media to give in good traction and generate a good ROI for our clients.

Looking for digital marketing at the best prices? Reach out to us at: Contact us

 – Author: Niharika Jain

 

Social Media Useful for Restaurants?

Restaurants and Social Media? Is it just a Hype or is there a real ROI?

Can social media get a positive Return on Investment (ROI) for your restaurant? YES, Definitely, social media can produce a healthy ROI. BUT then, not always.
As in any other form of marketing, ROI in social media depends on a hoard of factors, including and primarily, the target audience with whom you would engage, interact and possibly convert as well. 

In this article, we shall talk about social media marketing that makes the most sense for a restaurant and how to optimise the efforts that are put in to get a positive ROI. 

Wait, firstly, what is Social Media ROI?

ROI is basically a measure of your income to your expenditure. Social Media ROI is a measure of the income generated for you through social media to your expenditure.
When you talk of expenditure, don’t just include the money, but also include the time and the efforts put in. But, how can they be quantified? We shall talk more about it later in the article. 

The Right Audience at the Right Platform

First off, determine who needs to see your Ads, whom you want to reach out to and engage, in the hope of further conversions. 

Classify your audience into two basic categories:

  • The current loyal audience, that you should reach out to, so as to drive in repeated walk ins
  • An entirely new segment of people who haven’t checked you out yet. 

Are you a Pizzeria, looking to appeal to a younger crowd, or a fine dining restaurant looking to reach out to the older audience?
Are you a brewery looking to tap in to the middle aged, middle income guys?

Consider your job half done once you’ve classified your audience and segmented them thoroughly. Next step is to ask yourself: “Where would you find these guys?”
Generally, the younger crowd in India “lives on” Facebook & Instagram primarily, while the elder crowd are restricted more to Facebook yet.
But platforms like Twitter and Google plus do have a good number of users and that must be kept in mind before further strategising. 

Mind you, if you speak to the wrong audience or on the wrong platform on social media, you’re just wasting your time and of course, Money! Trying to increase your engagement would then only seem harder & frustrating.

The Right Guy!

Finding the right guy, like in many other aspects of life, is of utmost importance in social media as well. You would need someone who’s thorough knowledge and experience of your restaurant and of the social media platforms, to handle your social media. 

Your social media go-to guy has to be able to articulate his thoughts clearly and communicate well with good graphic designs & content. 

At the end of the day, you don’t want to use social media as just another cool timepass thing, but rather, to as a tool to grow your business. 

This guy has to be accountable for your social media ROI and therefore, take time, but choose well. 

You could either hire pay more and hire a guy who would need another designer/content writer or hire a digital marketing agency, with good experience in the field. 

Measuring Social Media ROI

Here are the 6 steps to ensure that we are getting a positive return on investment from our social media efforts:

1. Be specific and have measurable goals

First of all, you need to understand that just a small percentage of the people who follow you on social media or who see your Ad, would actually buy from you. 

But in order for you to know what that percentage is and to grow it, you need to track your results and analyse them consistently. 

Most of the time a regular industry standard is about 10% of followers who would become your customers, this percentage can be increased but in order to do so you need to know these 3 things:

– Number of total clicks on your Ad

– Number of unique clicks on your Ad

– Actions taken (Such as orders put in or tables reserved online)

These are some of the actions to be tracked online. There are also ways to track your progress offline:

– Call phone to reserve or order (provide a special code to mention)

– Small surveys with the check (always asking “Where did you hear from us?”)

– Redeemable coupons or promos the user has to print out or show on their phone.

2. Track the conversions

Talking strictly about the online aspect now, because you can’t see peoples faces or talk to them on social media, how do we determine the best course of action?

To track your conversions online and be able to measure the numbers we discussed earlier you need to have a Tracking service in place.

Run every link you share on social media through the tracker and install a “tracking pixel” on your website to monitor activity on it.

With this, you will be able to see what ads get clicked on the most, how many people actually order or reserve tables and how many people end up leaving.

With this data, you can see if you need to do more of the same or change your strategy to increase your percentages, at the end of the day online marketing is all about experimenting and split testing.

So make sure you know your numbers so you can get the most social media ROI.

3. Determine how valuable each conversion is to you

Another super important number to track is the lifetime value of your customer. 

If you know the average bill per table is, say, INR 300 and they tend to come back twice on an average each month and it costs you INR 50 to acquire that customer then your customer is worth INR 550!

Of course, this is before food, labor and other costs. But you can see that much like placing a price on a dish, marketing and particularly social media marketing, needs to always make sense to your business on the money side to make sure you get a healthy ROI.

4. Keep a close watch on revenues from each platform and channels

Since social media marketing is more effective when you’re in multiple channels, it’s important to be aware of how each of the platforms is performing.
You would also need to run multiple ad campaigns to get in traction, and so it is important to keep an eye on each campaign consistently. 

For example, if your Instagram is getting in a lot of engagement from your right target audience, but your Facebook page isn’t (either it isn’t getting in any engagement or the ‘wrong’ people are engaged there), it’s better to focus your time, efforts and more importantly, Money, on Instagram. 

Also, if you find an Ad Campaign to get in more page likes and to increase the reach of your page, not resulting in more post engagements or conversions, stop it and focus on what’s working. 

Figure out what your audience responds to best and do more of that.

5. Now calculate your return on investment (ROI)

It all needs to make sense from the business stand point.

Factor in what you’re spending on marketing to acquire customers, then divide that by the number of customers who were actually generated through your social media marketing.

Then factor in how much money do those customers represent and subtract your marketing costs and you have got your ROI.

If you are not spending money on ads or social media experts you should then factor in the hours you or your employees devote to social media and how much does it cost you. You should be able to determine a number from the numbers of hours spent and awarding a sum of money per hour, depending on the monthly salaries paid in the field in your area. 

If you are using a social media marketing service, it’s easier to figure out the costs, as they come with monthly reports. 

6. Optimise the channels that provide the most ROI

Once you calculate your ROI, you would need to figure out which Ad campaigns and platforms work better than others. You would have to optimise your Ads accordingly, so that you can increase your numbers. 

Social media is all about conversion through engagement. If you give people good content, content they can relate with, content that they like and would love to share, your numbers and ROI would go up with ease.

If you feel that the response is low, or that the conversions are fewer, you would need to recheck once again. Compare your social media ROI to other channels in your restaurant marketing campaigns, like banners or magazine Ads and determine if your social media needs optimising or not!

 

Here’s what not to do:

When it comes to social media you need to give value, value, value and then a pitch. If all you post all day are pitches such as lunch specials, offers, or new dishes’ promotions, people would soon stop responding to your posts and your social media efforts would produce diminishing returns.

People want to be either informed or entertained. If you can keep people informed and entertained you will always succeed.

A good rule of thumb is to always make your posts 80% value through engaging content and 20% pitches.

Having said that, keep in mind not to give in value and not to have a sales pitch, as then you would end up with a lot of fans but with no conversions. 

 

Stunning Marketing Campaigns with Zero Budget?

Did you ever ponder on how you could reduce your marketing budget to Zero? Can the Customer Acquisition Cost ever be negative or is it just an ideal scenario?

Here, we look at two mind blowing campaigns that have been amazingly successful and had a zero marketing budget. In fact, they earned money instead of spending it, through their marketing campaign.

Varun Agarwal, Alma Matter:

Varun, a Bangalore based entrepreneur started his venture in 2009, Alma Matter, an online store providing apparel and memorabilia to alumni students from schools and colleges across India.

The company grew at a time when social media ads were non existent and print ads, very expensive. The only way the entrepreneurs could make money was by hustling, by literally becoming their own salesmen and pitching it to people through a lot of B2B marketing.

The problem with B2B marketing, however, is scalability, which requires a lot of human resource and time. Alma Matter needed something that could push their brand into the minds of the young Indians.

That’s when Varun came up with his best selling novel “How I Braved Annu Aunty and Co Founded a Million Dollar Company,” a novel covering his journey to success as a start up founder. The book, through the story, neatly talks about the brand, Alma Matter. While the story caught the fantasy of the young Indian reader, the brand established it’s connection with their minds.

Alma Matter earned it’s place in everyone’s household through the novel.

Years later, Varun again naively promoted Alma Matter when Ted India uploaded the video of his motivational speech at TedX Kerala. The talk again covered his story from a middle class Indian engineering student to the founder of a million dollar company.

Their marketing was about their story. They sold their story more than their stuff to the people, connected emotionally and garnered their mind share. All this, without spending a penny on anything. In fact, Varun Agarwal made money through his best selling novel as well.

Alma Matter simply created a brand and garnered Indian mind share, at Zero Marketing Budget. 

Uber, Visakhapatnam:

Uber, the technology company that revolutionised the transport industry worldwide, began it’s operations in the city of Visakhapatnam, a city in India, in July 2015. It’s main competitor, Ola had been already gained sufficient market share by then, having been present since over a year by then. Uber needed to quickly intersect the market in the city.

Uber Visakhapatnam, along with team Alloy, understood the important role students played in the city. The city’s life revolved around these young people.

Going the creative way, the team came up with an amazing competition named Mad About Marketing, aimed at the student crowd. The two week long event invited students to participate as teams of two or three, with a nominal registration fee.

The teams had to go through three rounds following which the winner was to be selected who was to then win an amazing “Paid Internship” at Uber, which is of tremendous value to any student.

Over the course of two weeks, the participants excitedly took part in the three rounds. The first round involved a lot of hustling where the teams were required to promote Uber and get in sign ups and downloads to the apps. They could pitch in to their family, friends, relatives, neighbours and literally anyone.

The top fifty teams, depending on the number of sign ups garnered by each team, were then selected to round 2, which involved the participants putting in their creative mind into play by doing a lot of social media promotions, by creating short films, ads, songs, memes or even by putting up statuses or profile pictures.

During this time, #UberVizag was trending on Facebook locally in the city. What’s more is that Uber got in three to four months’ worth of sign ups in just a week!

The third round was an interview, post which a winner was awarded the prized internship at Uber.

The event saw a huge participation of over 700 people. When 700 people go around the city, pitching and talking about the same brand, imagine the rippling effect it could create. How much did it cost Uber to get this done? Nothing. The nominal registration fee charged from the participants ensured the logistical expenses if any.

And that’s how Uber overtook Ola in it’s market share with a Zero Marketing Budget campaign.

The most successful companies spend the least in Marketing with the Best results. 

Marketing Dilema: Flipkart Vs D Mart, an analysis

The question that bothers most businesses and startups: What is an ideal marketing campaign for a business and how do we arrive at that?

Here we analyse the answer through two simple and known cases, Flipkart and D Mart, simply because of their starkly different approach to their marketing.

Do you know that an average Indian startup in the e commerce sector like Flipkart, spends about INR 600-700 crores on Advertising every year, which is more than 50% of their annual turnovers too and much higher than their profit share?

On the other hand, we’ve D Mart’s marketing budget is highly negligible when compared to today’s ‘new age’ companies.

Customer Retention Vs Customer Acquisition 

E commerce giants like Flipkart or Snapdeal have an average Customer Acquisition Cost of about INR 1100, despite the fact that an average purchase rate per customer is only about INR 900- INR 1000.

Comparatively, D Mart’s average CAC is just about INR 100 while the average purchase amount falls in the range of INR 500 – 1000. While both the companies fight it out in their highly competitive market, why do their CACs vary so much?

The reason is simple. While Flipkart has concentrated on Customer Acquisition, offering huge one time or festive discounts to tempt a person to make a purchase, D Mart has concentrated on Customer Retention, by offering quality products at a cheaper price than anyone else in the competition consistently.

Essentially, a D Mart customer more often than not sticks to the brand and even gets his near ones to a D Mart store through word of mouth. This seldom happens with Flipkart, where a customer simply makes a choice on the basis of pricing and discounts.

This brings us to our first important rule of Marketing:

A long term successful Marketing Campaign gives more importance to customer retention than to customer acquisition.

Scalability: 

It’s important to keep in mind the future of the company while designing a marketing campaign and not just concentrate on increasing the present sales.

Realise that marketing is only to let people know about you. If you have to keep spending money to retain your customers, something’s definitely wrong.

The amounts spent by e commerce companies during festivities, on advertising and then on huge discounts is massive. On the other hand, D Mart only advertises initially in any city to gain visibility. A few print Ads and they are done. Their own customers get them the flow they need.

D Mart’s marketing expenditure over time is a downward curve while their sales is an increasing curve, while in the case of Flipkart, it’s a wave. This means every time Flipkart cuts it’s expenditures, by either not advertising or not offering discounts, it’s sales decrease.

This discussion brings us to another important rule coined by us for Marketing:

Your Marketing Strategy should be such that over time, your expenditure decreases while sales increase, for smooth and gradual scalability. 

Holistic Approach:

To sum it all up, the need of the hour for any business is a holistic approach towards marketing where we take into consideration all parts of the business while designing your promotional campaign, from the procurement of raw material to the distribution to the final sales.

The best example would be D Mart itself. As seen above, D Mart only spends on advertising in the initial phase to gain initial visibility.

The study of their approach begins with the products on sale in D Mart. Clearly, D Mart has stayed away from electronics or jewellery product and has stuck to food and grocery products that are consumed on a daily basis by the consumer. It doesn’t even sell a private label product, which would have given them higher margins, but pose more inventory problems than necessary.

Our next focus is on consumer capacity and demographics. 75% of it’s stores have been opened in existing states and markets, clearly not experimenting with it’s customers.

D Mart then concentrates more on the volume of it’s sales, putting up huge stores and buying the products in bulk, at a much cheaper price than anyone else. It then sells it to the customer at a marginally lesser price than MRP, which is loved by the consumer.

At each step from procurement to sales, they have planned up everything carefully to pull in the customer, a completely holistic approach.
If you look closely, it’s all marketing in the end.

How has it paid off? Well, while buzz is so strong around India’s e-commerce industry and companies like Flipkart, the best-performing IPO in recent corporate history is a brick-and-mortar supermarket.

The Best Marketing Doesn’t Feel Like Marketing.

Why Marketing?

The word marketing has a vivid range of approach to different sectors in society. For a beginner marketing means supplying the products on demand of the customer and it may seem to you that it is refers to some business and why should we continue reading it? Well but the terms seems to be inimitable but every human on a daily basis shows his marketing strategies to achieve his necessities. Well in India common man may not get a chance to use his marketing skills because of his day to day running life but people with a capability to analyse the scenario of the society with some ,out of the box ideas can be comfortably called as marketing analyst.

As the availability of education has been rapidly increasing in our country, the necessary for every individual to acquire job also has become very important. But due to the requirements in market of our country there are only 12% of the degree holders who are getting jobs for their capabilities while few tend to compromise to the situation and to the job which they are entitled to do. Now are the class of people who are innovative and have the passion of earning money, who are now choosing start-ups in the pretext of developing the county and probably themselves. While a whole lot of these start-ups have tasted success as well as money and are doing well initially but strive to reach their destinations when they dream big. Which is where a Marketing  Analyst is required, who studies the output of the company and gives the required consultation for their development ,it may be in terms of higher quantity or quality of the products depending upon the scenario of the market presuming the consulate personal is well experienced.

The preliminary idea of marketing was established long back even before the development of machines, but the main aim then was to increase the productivity and need the demands of the customer as there were only limited firms for a required products .As the developments of machines and increasing of profits there established a monotony i.e.,  increasing in firms which produce same product under different labels for which again a strategy was implemented stating high quality and low cost which formed the basis for the quote of the market ‘supply and demand’. Later marketing changed its phases and mainly emphasised on adapting several unique selling techniques for the sales of their goods, by considering the feedback from the customers and developing the goods depending on the customer requirements.

For any product to be sold in the present market there is the need for analysing forehand only certain elements , which include detail analysis of the product, negotiable price, perfect location for selling goods  and the required hype or offers created for launching the product. The above mentioned aspects play a vital role in genre of marketing a particular product. Study of marketing doesn’t involve any syllabus or curriculum but an analytical case study would help any individual to attain the pinnacle in this field.

Mourya Krishna Pamarthi