The Top Online Advertising Channels

When choosing an online advertising channel for your business, you have to make sure you balance your budget and the cost of a particular channel. Here are the top three digital channels that will be cost effective and get the best results:

1. Many businesses have had success driving traffic to their sites using Google AdWords. By leveraging this platform you can efficiently market products/services and increase sales. Some business owners foolishly stay away from PPC thinking it will eat up their marketing budget but Adwords gets results and is well worth the investment. There are other tools you can use in conjunction with AdWords to enhance your results. 

2. Email marketing still has the lowest costs and should not be underestimated. You may be thinking email marketing is outdated, but think again. It's possible that you are overlooking necessary components to creating email value such as using consumer intelligence to better target and personalize your message. 

3. Consumers across all age groups utilize social media so whoever your target is, you can reach them here. Use customer profiling to make sure your ads are reaching the right users who are likely to turn into customers. Make sure your ads are mobile friendly as more and more people are using their smartphones to access social media. Read More  

How to Remedy Bad PR with Digital Marketing

Has your company had some bad PR?  In this digital age, reputation is more important than ever. Everyone makes mistakes but don't let a couple slip ups ruin your company's good name. Here are the necessary steps to recover from bad publicity and restore your reputation: 

1. Whatever you do, don't click the link. It may be tempting to read the dreaded story but resist, and make sure your team is on the same page.  Excessive link clicking will only reinforce to your search engine that the content is relevant. Instead, be proactive and create new stories with pertinent and enticing material that will attract attention. 

2. Utilize imagery! Often times the words aren't the only problem. Negative images generally accompany bad press. Create and post appealing images and match them with appropriate and popular hashtags. Consider using YouTube for video content or even podcasts that can be easily uploaded to iTunes.  

3. Revamp your Social Media profiles. It's important to update them and make sure they contain current information. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are readily viewed but don't forget about Instagram and Pinterest for the most up to date images.  Read More 

A New Class of Technology: Mobile Presence

Mobile ordering technology is going a step further with location- aware technology, also being referred to as mobile presence technology. In the near future, we are sure to see brands utilizing this technology which will communicate the customer's location to the restaurant's proximity through a geofence. There are user prompted techniques that currently accomplish the same goal, but this way the app will do it automatically without the need for manual check in.  

This technology will not only enhance the customer experience but make the kitchen run more efficiently and ultimately prevent food waste. If the customer doesn't cross the perimeter, the food won't be made. Order accuracy, kitchen operations and speed of order fulfillment will all be improved upon.  Read More

What Are The Secrets to These Brands Social Media Success?

Over 10,800 restaurants and 121 million social restaurant consumers have been studied by the RSMI and from that data– we can pull the most loved restaurant brands by consumers. 

The quick-serve moguls Starbucks and Subway, and the casual dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings came out on top as the highest performing brands in the digital world.

But, it's not always smooth sailing for brands in the social space. For example, Starbucks recently made waves with the controversial and short lived "Race Together" campaign.  But even with its upsets, Starbucks manages to stay No. 1 with its high mobile app usage of 13 million users.  The brand is also testing mobile ordering in Portland and recently announced a partnership with Postmates for coffee delivery. Sandwich giant Subway comes in at No. 2 with its ability to engage its customers through playful banter. By using pop culture references, they are able to stay relevant with their target demographic.  Read More            

Denny's Unique Social Media Strategy

If you have recently scrolled through Denny's Twitter or Facebook, you may think that it sounds like an average American teenager managing the platform.

Well that is exactly the strategy the company is aiming for. Denny's is getting away from the standard restaurant chain's script of promotions and deals, so they took a more friendly, relatable approach. On Denny's Twitter feed you are more likely to find pop culture commentary than the advertising pitches. This unique approach has been the company's strategy since they started working with marketing agency Erwin Penland. Having jokes referencing popular recording artist, Drake, makes it fun and easy to for millennials and its younger audience to relate. So far it seems to be working as Denny's has higher customer engagement on its platforms than its competitors. They currently have over 203,000 followers on Twitter and 859,000 likes on Facebook. 

Do you think Denny's social media presence will help them stay relevant in the competitive restaurant space? Read More

Starbucks launching delivery in Seattle

Starbucks addicts rejoice!  The coffee chain is taking it a step further from the order-ahead feature that they started expansion on last week. It was just announced that Starbucks has signed a deal with the delivery service, Postmates. Starting in Seattle and New York City, you will soon be able to order lattes from your mobile app and have it picked it up and delivered to your door. This is not a surprising move since the brand's typical customer is one who generally values convenience and is on the go. 

The majority of Starbuck's customers regularly use the phone app to pay in store and earn points towards free beverages. 14% of US transactions are done through the mobile payment app. Starbucks currently has a significant advantage over competitors with over 21,500 locations worldwide, but they are making sure they stay ahead of the curve. Is the brand trying to control the "on demand" coffee business, before three party delivery companies move into the space?  Read More 

Live Streaming Dining Experiences

The Evolution of Foodspotting?

By Jeff Kingman, DigitalCoCo Director of Business Development

This past week at SxSW, the new hot tech darling has been Meerkat, a platform to video live stream your world on Twitter.

As a digital branding agency, we paid attention, downloaded the app and started playing. As a digital agency focused on the restaurant industry, our app playtime asks: (a) How can foodservice brand marketing use it, (b) How will consumers use Meerkat around dining, food and beverage, and hospitality experiences, and (c) Is it a platform that marketers should consider? A fourth factor we are pondering is Twitter's purchase of similar service called Periscope.

While we continue to test and measure Meerkat and Periscope (we're geeky that way here at DigitalCoCo), we wonder if prosumer foodies might crowd-live-stream eat at a high-end chef's table event, or whether a customer with a gripe against a brand might live stream every experience they have with that brand. Could these platforms be used by food activists -- or other activists -- who are intentionally setting out to target a brand?

Digital brand development is not just about aggregating fun content or shooting some videos for Youtube with the brand founders. Digital brand development takes street-savvy, data-hungry and tech-geeky "let's break it and see how it works" thinking based on test and measure foundations. 

At DigitalCoCo, we actively hunt for these opportunities to test, measure and produce superior results in our work. Often, we are live-testing tactics and strategies on our own publishing work at Foodable Network (which is distributed to over 750,000 foodservice decision makers every month). 

Wrapping up, we invite your conversation on live streaming video apps like Meerkat and Periscope, or on any other marketing topic:

  • Will Meerkat and Periscope impact the hospitality industry?
  • Is your brand assessing risk of activist use of social platforms?
  • Does your marketing team try to break social platforms? 

Event Promotion Using Social Media

Screenshot of social post promoting the Nightclub & Bar show | @NightclubBar

Screenshot of social post promoting the Nightclub & Bar show | @NightclubBar

There is lots to be done before the event to effectively reach potential attendees. Map out your event timeline and communication plan. Be sure you are channeling to your target audience. Know who they are and why they will be interested in attending your event. Utilize the platforms that your audience most frequently uses and focus on those. Create content around the event- blog posts, pictures, videos etc. Create a hashtag for the event and use it to build traffic and engage your audience. Explain the registration process in a way that is easy to understand. Make sure your marketing strategy makes it easy to interact and register on mobile devices.   

During the event, encourage your guests to use Foursquare and other apps to check in and share on their other networks. Stream videos of interviews, speakers and other interest content live from the event. Don't forget to engage with your audience during the event. Create a hashtag that the audience can use to ask questions to speakers. Identify a place where attendees can get information throughout the day.

After the event, post some blogs crediting speakers and anyone who worked behind the scenes to make the event a success. Using Youtube or Vimeo, publish presentations from the event. Thank everyone who follows you on social media and anyone on emails lists for attending. Communicate if there will be any follow up content. To get feedback and ideas for your next event, ask attendees to fill out a brief survey.  Read More  

Digital Marketing For Startups

Building your brand is important and there are effective ways to go about it . Here are some tips to get the most reach when first starting out.    

  • Social Media is a cheap and effective way to build your brand. Make sure to remain consistent with your posts in order to establish your brand's voice. Post regularly and keep the content consistent with brand's message. Use these platforms as a way to engage with your audience. Don't be afraid to address customer complaints and give exceptional customer service that will leave your customers with a good lasting impression. 
  • Experiment with various platforms and figure out which ones are going to be the most valuable for your brand. For example, Twitter and LinkedIn are generally most effective for a business to business model while Facebook may be better if your audience is mostly consumers. Instagram is a useful outlet for image-friendly businesses– such as restaurants or clothing designers.  
  • Content quality is not to be overlooked. For your startup to be successful you need to formulate your brand's message to be clear and structured. Do industry research and have a unique selling strategy. Focus on the benefits rather than the features. Read More

The Mobile Payment Battle Continues: Samsung Pay Emerges as Strong Competition to Apple Pay

So what does this mean for the restaurant industry? 

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By Jeff Kingman, Director of Client Relations & Business Development  at DigitalCoCo 


Samsung's new mobile payment technology was announced this past weekend, and according to all the technology review articles since, it is anticipated to surpass Apple Pay when fully deployed this summer.

For restaurant marketers, two critical attributes emerge. First is to introduce your guests to the ease of payment by swiping a phone at nearly every restaurant in the U.S., with their magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology from LoopPay. The second is the increased opportunity to collect consumer data from card transactions, combined with social mobile data collection from DigitalCoCo's VenueBeacon service. 

It should be no surprise that the bulk of today's restaurant consumers, especially in Fast Casual, feel quite at ease with new technology. While Apple Pay is a big step forward, the cost to upgrade payment systems to near field communications (NFC) can be a challenge for rapid deployment by many operators.

Samsung removes this barrier with MST technology, by embedding the mag-stripe in the actual phone case - simply press the phone to the card reader and the payment executes. This opens up nearly the entire restaurant industry to secure mobile payments. For brand marketers, this presents the opportunity to educate consumers on the ease of payment.

Collecting consumer data - both transactional and social - is exponentially increased with Samsung's new technology. The amount of traditional transactional consumer data collected should increase in scope with the ease of mobile payments using MST and NFC technologies. 

For marketers seeking to truly understand their consumers and competitors, the increased use of mobile at the register also allows effective and robust social data collection with DigitalCoCo's business intelligence service VenueBeacon. VenueBeacon offers process-patented marriage of smart phone use in locations to the social data of over 225 million indexed consumers passionate about dining out. 

For more information on the power of VenueBeacon in your locations, please email venuebeacon@digitalcoco.com.

Quizno Ads Are Going Strictly Digital

Store Front of Quizno's sub | Entrepeneur.com

Store Front of Quizno's sub | Entrepeneur.com

Advertisement is a huge part of any business, and after recently declaring Bankruptcy, Quizno’s is reevaluating exactly where to spend their ad money to reach their target audience. They have decided that Television will no longer be an advertising platform for the company. As their target consumers are spending more time online, Quizno’s will be channeling their advertising towards digital marketing.  

Investing in online ads will be the company's new strategy since their target demographic (men 18-35) is heavily watching online videos as opposed to television.  Another benefit of going digital is that it's easier to track and monitor the ad's effectiveness.  They are also revamping their online ordering technology to make it more user friendly and hopefully increase their customer base.  Read more about Quizno's new marketing strategy.  

The Future of Food Photography is Here: Food Porn on a Whole New Level

Phone takes a 3D photo | ENTREPENEUR.COM

Phone takes a 3D photo | ENTREPENEUR.COM

A new app designed for iPhone 6 called 3DAround allows users to snap 3D images without the need for expensive high tech hardware. Foodies are now able to share the whole dining experience capturing depth and structure while moving the camera around using various angles.

The app can be used to take pictures of any object but was designed with food photography in mind given its surge in popularity thanks to multiple social media outlets. On Instagram alone there are currently over 140 million pictures with the hash-tag "food".  

Read more about this new technology here

Restaurant Tablets: More Than Just a Menu

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Table tablets are popping up in an increasing number of restaurants and it is no surprise.  Initially seeming like a novelty, these devices are proving to be the future of restaurant ordering. These systems provide benefits for both the patrons as well as the business. The technology is customizable and easy to constantly update and change as necessary. As customers are able to more speedily order and pay for their meal, this in turn increases guest turnover and ultimately more income. Read more here about how these devices are revamping the customer experience as well as the businesses.

Marketing To Gen Y + Z: Mobile Addicts

PHOTO CREDIT: BANKRATE.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: BANKRATE.COM

As a student, an engaging and interesting professor still may not have the ability to pull students from their cellphones throughout the class. But why? The class is interesting, the material is needed for success, but why do students continue to stray from professor-student interaction?

Generation Y + Z have been born and raised in an environment that is immersed and obsessed with technology and social media. The Gen Y + Z childhood is so drastically different than those in the boomer age, and this means that all brands (and even professors) have to adapt to this changing age.

So what exactly is it about tech and social media that draws in these generations? Psychologists and experienced digital marketers argue that all of our tweets, FB posts, and Instagram photos are posted for one reason. Not for our viewers to see what we do on a daily basis, or for them to learn about our lives. But the gratification of getting a 'like' is similar to social acceptance, to provide recognition of existence. In order to successfully reach this age group, we have to understand the way they are wired, how they function, their thoughts, their happiness. Read more here about mobile addicts.

What Dominating Marketing Trends Will 2015 Bring?

As digital marketing accelerates in this fast paced tech-savvy world we are immersed in, there are trends in which we as marketers have to look out for in the coming year to be ahead of the game. Let's take a look at what's to come:

  • Mobile-optimization will become more important than ever.
  • Social Media ad spend will sharply increase as brands realize the importance of social media marketing.
  • Content marketing will be bigger than ever.
  • Email marketing will receive a renewed focus.
  • The lines between SEO, content marketing & social media will become more blurred.
  • Brands will scramble to humanize.
  • Marketers will find new ways of marking native advertising less promotional and more relevant.

Read more in depth descriptions of these upcoming trends here.

6 Steps To An Effective Social Campaign

71% of all mobile traffic is stemming directly from mobile devices. Therefore, in this tech-driven world brands need to rethink their marketing strategies and spend more in mobile and social. Here are 6 steps towards building a successful and effective social media campaign:

  • Permission marketing
  • Data attribution
  • Social interaction on feature phones
  • Use of power analytics
  • Rise of m-commerce
  • Integrated marketing efforts

Having an in-depth understanding of these steps can ensure maximum results for your brand! Read more here.

PHOTO CREDIT: FORBES.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: FORBES.COM

Top Mobile Campaigns of 2014

Mobile tech has skyrocketed since the experimental stage of 2012, so naturally, 2014 should be the best mobile year we have seen thus far. It's still the same old marketing, just in a different way. The new tech launches such as iBeacons gives the mobile world a do-anything kind of feel. So what are the top mobile campaigns of this year?

Nissan Rogue - Nivea Sun Kids - Pillsbury Toaster Strudel - Marriott - L'Oreal - Drop, by Jawbone

Read more in depth and see the mobile campaigns here.

PHOTO CREDIT: IMEDIACONNECTION.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: IMEDIACONNECTION.COM

The Split is Complete: Swarm & Foursquare

PHOTO CREDIT: TECHCRUNCH.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: TECHCRUNCH.COM

Out with the old, in with the new! Foursquare has completely wiped the last little bits of the old Foursquare from existence, and what's left in it's remains? Swarm and .... Foursquare. 

Swarm has taken over the check-in capabilities of Foursquare, keeping check-in lists and giving friends the ability to see. Foursquare on the other hand, with the help of Yelp, is now delivering recommendations of spots close by, which is all personalized to each user. This new chapter in Foursquare's book has gotten positive feedback, but we will see what the future holds. Read more here.

Pin Drop App Hits US App Store

PHOTO CREDIT: TECHCRUNCH.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: TECHCRUNCH.COM

Pin Drop lets you save, organize, and share locations on one mobile app. After taking off all over London, Pin Drop is testing the waters in America. The idea behind this application is to be able to map and build a library of your favorite locations, and you have the option to keep your secrets all to yourself, or share them publicly. Lists and multiple account creations are also available, which allows users to use the application for personal, leisure and business use. So keep your eye out for this new app! Read more here.

The Analytic Struggle For Marketers

Why does analytics seem to be such a struggle for the digital marketer? Aren't we supposed to account for all the work and efforts that we do? What exactly are your key business objectives? By knowing exactly what your goals are, you can strive to reach those goals and measure your success along the way. "Metrics as a goal in and of themselves, should be secondary, with the focus now on understanding what they're saying about how to create the right business." In order to succeed in the marketing space, we must look at the analytics in which pertain to your business, because why would you look at anything else? Read more about the struggle here.