Commercials on TV have a primary goal: to make connections with their prime customer base. Top companies strategically target audiences at specific times of the day and around specific programming to achieve just that goal. This is a tactic that seems easy enough for businesses with big budgets and a team of full-time marketing professionals. Well, good for them.
What about small or local businesses?
You can do this too. It just has to be done differently.
Incorporate your customer email program, restaurant blog or social media outlet as a platform for vibrant images that will reach your targeted customers without paying top dollar.
Still new to social media marketing? Our white paper on Social media marketing in the bar can help get you on track (even if your business isn’t a bar.)
To get started, first think about the story you want to tell and then how you want to tell it.
When communicating to your target audience, think about what you want them to know about your business. Then, engage your audience with revealing imagery that will tempt as well as solidify a visual memory of your business.
So, how is this done? It’s easy and the cost is only a little bit of your time.
For captivating still images, use the free iPhone and Android app Instagram. You may have recently heard about it and how Facebook just purchased Instagram for $1 billion. This app allows users to take a picture with a smartphone, choose from various filters and quickly edit the photo to create a specific feel to it. At the touch of a button, these filters transform ordinary snapshots into professionally edited images through alterations in light, focus and color saturation.
The burrito giant Qdoba uses Instagram on their Facebook page to engage customers in day to day happenings, see for yourself here. And in a recent article from Nation’s Restaurant News, this very topic was discussed in their article, how to make the most of Instagram in your restaurant.
And if you want to get really geeky with it (ahead of the curve even) use the free app Cinemagram to add motion to a portion of your photo. This app allows restaurants to create tempting images that are social media and blog ready. These moving images, called cinemagraphs, can reach your target customers just as their decision making process begins, much like a big budget commercial.
Take a look at the following examples:
This Cinemagraph image could be tweeted on Saturday or Sunday mornings, just as customers are deciding on what to do for breakfast
Just imagine your customers waking up and debating on where to go, what they feel like eating or whether they should just stay home. You can bet that Cheerios is running commercials throughout the morning for exactly this reason. So why should you miss out?
Post a captivating Cinemagraph image from your phone to your Facebook or Twitter account just as the grills are warming up.
The same tactic is just as easily used for the happy hour crowd. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes; the clock is ticking near 5 PM and fidgety cubicle dwellers are starting to ponder whether they should go home or go out…help them with that decision.
Post something like this:
This Cinemagraph is from the Dogfish Head Crafted Brewed Ales website. They created an entire story using Cinemagraph images, which can be seen here.
Implement this tactic with your bar and post a Cinemagraph image to your social media page just before happy hour hits. Be the director of your own very short movie and capture something that is alluring to your customers.
Consider images such as:
A bartender stirring a drink
A frothy beer head dripping over a frosty mug
A glimpse of happy customers in your bar
Remember to add a catchy headline to go along with your image that beckons a call to action, such as:
Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bakey!
Fresh keg tapped, oh yeah it’s Friday. Wanna Come Over?
The options are only limited to your creativity. Don’t let the big dogs have all the fun with commercials. Use free apps to enhance your presence on the web and stay present in your customer’s mind.Photo credits from top to bottom:
Qdoba Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/QdobaMexicanGrill/app_267091300008193. Accessed 13 April, 2012.
“40 Examples of Stunning Cinemagraphs.” Tripwire Magazine.com. 19 July, 2011. http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/2011/07/cinemagraphs.html Accessed 13 Apr, 2012.
“Brewing Beer With Dancing Strawberries.” nytimes.com. 30 Jun, 2011. http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/30/brewing-beer-with-dancing-strawberries/?ref=dining Accessd 13 Apr, 2012.