Dallas Restaurant Marketing Advertising Agency

Dallas Restaurant Marketing: 5 Innovative Digital Channels

At Red Herd Media, we are often getting asked how to make a small budget go a long way. Many of our clients are restaurants, attorneys, breweries, and bars looking to get their feet wet in paid advertising. We believe in the concept of "building to test" which means testing lots of different platforms, measuring results, and then reallocating based on performance.

We also believe that every good marketing plan should be 70-80% "vetted avenues" and 20-30% test platforms. These vetted avenues are the ones that everyone has heard of - Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, Yelp, and the list goes on.

Where do you begin with your experimental spend? We've got 5 recommendations to get started.

1. Snapchat Geofilters

As a restauranteur, you probably already have a loyal fanbase that comes to your restaurant often. One of the ways you can tap their individual reach is by purchasing a Snapchat Geofilter. Snapchat Geofilters cost $5 per hour and can cover your whole location. When customers are at your store, you can either encourage them to utilize the filter for some incentive (a free soda!) or setup and wait for the people to use it. As people share their Snapchat with their friend base, you will reach customers who are friends with / similar to your customer. Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing and cheapest ways to reach your customer base on the internet today.

2. Food Bloggers / Influencers

Food bloggers and influencers are a new(er) rage. They carry followings that typically focus around a specific city or geographical region. Finding influencers can be tough but you can start by combing people who mention your restaurant by name. These people likely will accept some type of incentive (whether that is a fixed dollar amount per Instagram post or an in-store discount or freebie) to post content about your restaurant or its food. You can then work with these creators to get their permission to use their content on your own social feed. These users can be a great way to reach users who are in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

3. Waze Competitive Takeovers

One of our favorite tactics is actually using the popular navigation app Waze to takeover navigations to your competitive restaurants. You can actually serve ads to users who have inputted a restaurant or another location near you. It comes at a relatively high price at $20 per 1,000 impressions and a minimum of $15K per month but the power of redirecting their intent to your restaurant can definitely be worth it.

4. Location-Based Mobile Advertising

You might have heard that 2014, 2015, oh wait... 2016 is the "Year of Mobile". The truth is that now ~56% of all internet traffic is coming from mobile devices. There are tools out there now where you can target a user's precise location and previous interests. You can even go as far as targeting people who have been in your store before (or even one of your competitor's stores). These users will see your ad when they are navigating a mobile browser or are in-app and are within a close proximity (as close as 1/2 of a mile at times) of your store. You can use these ads to incentivize them to take a step inside your door and have lunch or dinner. Bonus points go for if you use an attribution product like Foursquare's new location-based attribution tool to track users who actually do enter your store.

5. In-Store Beacons

If you are a restaurant with an existing customer base that uses your mobile app, you can utilize tools like beacon advertising to convey your message. Beacon advertising takes location-based mobile advertising to the next level by actually being able to send a push notification to a user when they step within proximity of the device. These devices communicate via Bluetooth with users who have your app installed on their mobile device. That means that you have to: (1) make sure that your user base has an incentive to download your app, (2) install an SDK (software development kit) within your app to communicate with the device, and (3) pay a monthly fee to the beacon provider for the software / hardware. This can be an expensive investment and is only reserved for restaurants that have a large marketing budget as it can cost in upwards of $10K per month.

So, what does this mean?

The world of digital marketing is growing and technology partners are each an individual task to manage. If you use the proper mix of traditional digital efforts (AdWords, Social Ads, SEO, etc) and more innovative, "growth hacking" procedures, you can expand your restaurants footprint and stand out from the rest of the Dallas' restaurants.

Need help with your Dallas restaurant marketing?

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Dallas digital marketing agency reddit advertising

Reddit Marketing: Interacting In A Scary, Mean, Intimidating Forum.

I hear the horror stories from marketers. Ones who finally succumbed to the curiosity after seeing countless mainstream media pieces attribute their Reddit sources. After hearing "Oh yeah I saw that on Reddit yesterday" one too many times upon showing someone a Facebook post they saw that morning.

They jump in, poke around a bit, and then make the biggest mistake since being convinced by Justin Timberlake to re-join Myspace.

They post.

The horror, OH THE HORROR when the comments start dripping in. The hate steams out of their screen. The embarrassment shakes their mouse hand all the way to the Delete Post button.

They lean back in their chair, wondering what went wrong. Wondering why their oh-so-cool post about their brand just got stomped on and lit on fire.

And they never. Go back. Again.

Reddit Bootcamp For Marketers

Reddit is a beast to be tamed only with time.

It's a marriage, not a fling. A commitment needing more than the occasional flirt at the copy machine.

Value is the name of the game here. No pitching or pretending or parading your brand. Reddit users will find you out, call you out, and burn you at the stake.

Here's what you need to do.

Spend weeks (months) in relevant subreddits. The more specific niche subreddits you can find, the better. By reading the types of posts that get upvotes and the type of interactions in the comments, the personality of each subreddit will begin to sink in. You'll start to understand these communities you've chosen. Just don't make the mistake of assuming all subreddits harbor similar interactions. The subreddit /r/smallbusiness has a significantly different tone in the comments section than /r/funny.

As I mentioned, the key to a brand's Reddit content is adding value. Your comments should answer a question, or provide advice. After lurking for a while, a good amount of time needs to be spent in the trenches of the comments sections. Heck, even click on the "new" tab along the top. These may be lower quality submissions, but sometimes you'll be the first to comment on a post that ends up getting upvoted to the top of the subreddit.

Why bother with all these low-visibility comments here and there?

You're building up your profile's backlog of interactions.

That's important because once you actually submit a piece of content yourself, users will often click into your profile to look at your history. If they see you're a contributing member, they're more likely to trust you and actually take a look at what you're serving. The flipside is getting called out as an account that was created just for the sake of posting and tooting their own horn. These users get called out as spam and quickly tank.

Okay, so weeks or months have passed and you're ready to submit your own post.

So, what should it be?

Again, something that adds value.

Don't think that just because you've added to discussions and entered your two cents time and time again, that you've earned some right to just say "hey come check out our website!" No. You will never be that important on Reddit, sorry.

Based on everything you've seen posted, and the type of content you've watched succeed on a specific subreddit, you should ideally create some content that holds the same traits, but adds new information or perspectives.

For example, yesterday I clicked on a relatively high post in one of my favorite subreddits, despite rolling my eyes at the title.

"100 Growth Hack Tricks" something something. Ugh, I'm so over that phrase. But I clicked. Because it's Reddit.

Shit, they were great tricks! Most of them I had never seen before, and felt really unique and valuable. I saved the post.

The best part? The submitter showed 50 of them in his Reddit post, and then provided a link to the remaining 50 and asked, "Did we miss any?" Of course the link took us to a blog post on his company's page.

The comments section consisted of compliments on the list, discussing specific tricks (#34 is interesting, etc.), and even evolving into a discussion about the person's services!

An ideal result, to say the least. All because he/she took a stale topic and provided new, interesting content around it.

So, what did we learn about Reddit today?

  • Create your account asap - users will look to see how long you've been around
  • Take time to lurk in the subreddits that relate to your brand or services. Here's the subreddit search tool. Stay away from the large default subreddits; anything you do will get lost in the noise
  • Start commenting on posts once you feel comfortable and understand the vibe of that specific community. Here's the guide to formatting your posts - VERY important to not do stupid things like pasting in full URLs in the body of the post.
  • Once you've built up a decent history of value-add comments, build that perfect piece of content based on what you've seen work, and be prepared to engage with users in the comments section. Never get defensive, be open to constructive criticism, and don't try to pretend that you don't represent the brand. Reddit always finds out. Always.
  • Keep commenting. You'll probably discover that this is more effective than actually posting your own stuff. At some point you'll be able to sneak in things like "Hey actually, I do that professionally and we do x, y, and z" and suddenly that person will be paying you to do work for them, or buying your product.

Paid advertising on Reddit is a whole different beast, and will be covered in a future post.

Just remember, it's all about small ball. You're not going to go viral. Reddit is about one interaction at a time, showing your expertise in a collaborative manner in a way that adds value to the topic at hand.

You'll love it if you treat it right. Cue Marvin Gaye.

Need help with your Reddit marketing?

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Stubhub 76ers jersey advertising

StubHub's $5M Deal for Philadelphia 76er Jersey Ads Is a Steal

The 76ers just announced that ticket resale company StubHub will have its logo on the team's jerseys for three seasons at $5M per, starting next year. This is a historic first step for US sports' teams next foray - selling jersey ads.

So, let's do the math:

At 500,000 average viewership per game and 82 games a year, StubHub is putting their brand in front of as many as 41 million fans who are their direct audience: ticket-buying sports fanatics. This audience is difficult to narrowly, cost-effectively target. There's a lot of noise, and — short of buying expensive ads on all of the premium sports sites in the United States (team sites, ESPN, BleacherReport.com, etc.) — you're going to have a hard time standing out.

Those 41 million fans consume about 64 zoomed-in views of a Philadelphia 76er jersey per game. That's broken down as such:

Over the course of a season that is 2.63 BILLION (with a B) impressions when ONLY accounting for TV viewership. At $5,000,000 a year, StubHub is effectively buying impressions at $1.90 CPM.

And what we're discussing doesn't even include the facts that A) the NBA is allowing teams to sell the jerseys with the ads on them, B) a lot of sports consumption is through video highlights shown online and on ESPN's SportsCenter, and C) that approximately 1M fans see the 76ers play in person a year.

We at Red Herd approve, StubHub. You've spent your $5M/year damn well.

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Dallas Agency Snapchat Filter Marketing

Snapchat Ads Are Undervalued and Underpriced

Smaller, growth-focused companies need every marketing dollar to work harder than most.

All digital ad buying platforms - Google AdWords, Facebook, etc. - are priced based on the basics of supply and demand. The more people bidding on Keyword X, the more money each click is going to cost you.

However, there's always this lag of adoption as marketers slowly transition onto these newer platforms. Their budgets are tied up in six or twelve month plans. They're weary of pulling money from one place that's seeing results and putting it towards an unproven outlet.

This means there's a temporary disconnect between these high levels of attention (eyeballs!) and the corresponding pricing of ads.

In the early days of Google AdWords, you could completely monopolize even the biggest, broadest keywords for PENNIES per click. The attention was there from a user perspective (231 billion searches in 2006), but marketers hadn't bought in yet.

These days, bidding on "restaurants Dallas" will suck your monthly budget dry in a matter of hours, so we're forced to rely on longer tail keyword phrases. Such keyword specificity, along with tighter geographic and demographic targeting, aims at lower demands and therefore lower costs-per-click.

So, what are today's under-priced, high-value digital advertising platforms?

A year ago it would have been absolutely-no-doubt-about-it Facebook. And largely that holds true today.

Facebook's extensive targeting options allow you to fine-tune your target audience so well that you can often find your high-value niche quite well without spending much at all. Dark posts - things you post that push into people's feeds for a fee - feel native to users (as opposed to ugly sidebar ads), and will cost you under a dollar in many cases.

But the biggest opportunity today - the most underutilized, under-priced, insanely high ROI - is Snapchat. And they don't even have ads.

That's right. Snapchat geofilters are your new best friend and cheap date, all in one.

Right now, they cost $5 per 20,000 square feet, per hour.

What's great is - assuming you make it fun and desirable to use - Snapchatters themselves are marketing on your behalf. Maybe only 100 people use your filter, but imagine the exponential amount who watch that snap on those users' story feeds.

For example...

I know of one campaign that - due to this network effect - ended up with a $0.27 CPM.

$62.98 was spent in a five hour span. 176 people actually used it, along with thousands of views (people swiping through the available filters). But it TRULY existed for 24 more hours, as that's how long it takes for your story to expire. So in the end, total views were 229,713.

That's not a typo. 229,713.

That's like 1/50th of a penny per view.

We think Snapchat will actually have an even longer adoption timeline due to the larger effort of making a custom filter. Whereas this level of design and creativity is usually just a competitive advantage on other platforms, on Snapchat it's required. That effort, mixed with a multi-day approval process, is just too much friction for the majority of marketers who don't quite know how to harness the Snapchat community.

At Red Herd we're just getting started trying out some filter campaigns around the Dallas / Fort Worth area, and it's a lot of fun. The filter creation / submission user interface is great, and we love coming up with creative concepts that people can have fun with. Plus, it's so cheap to test out. What more can you ask for? We're going to stay bullish on our Snapchat geofilter strategy and ride this wave before everyone else catches on.

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