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Pintalysis: The Ultimate Marketing Blueprint for Pinterest Marketing

Pintalysis, The Ultimate Marketing Blueprint for Marketing After browsing through a few different brands on Pinterest I’ve noticed that many of them are making some basic mistakes on Pinterest.

This is why I came up with the Pintalysis Marketing Blueprint, a framework that helps guide marketers on what to consider and how to use Pinterest to maximize their brand exposure, and monetization.

The Pintalysis Marketing Blueprint consists of five different pillars for a comprehensive Pinterest marketing and business strategy. This blog article offers an introduction to Pintalysis.

All five pillars work together in harmony to provide an integrated approach to marketing. The first four pillars are listed in priority order, with the fifth pillar focusing on website development.

The First Pillar of Pintalysis: Business and Marketing Goals

Before jumping into Pinterest, a business needs to be clear about the types of business and marketing objectives they would like to achieve. This will depend on the nature of the business. For an e-commerce site it will be about driving traffic to the site and converting them into being online customers.

For a service business, a great business and marketing objective is to drive more web visitors to the website, and generate leads from Pinterest.

For business to business, the marketing goal may be to increase the brand’s awareness among the target demographic. General Electric does an amazing job of using their Pinterest board to bring awareness to their company with hilarious content, like the “Hey Girl” board featuring Thomas Edison.

These different types of goals will require metrics. If you are a large enterprise, analytic tools such as Curalate and Piquora are able to help track metrics such as repins, the most popular pins from your website, and so forth. Other tools such as Pinterest’s very own analytics tool can tell you who has been pinning and give you an idea of how many users are pinning from your site. While Google Analytics will offer insight into how long people are staying on the directed site that came from Pinterest.

The Second Pillar of Pintalysis: Visually Optimizing Your Pins

The second pillar of the Pintalysis is to ensure visual optimization of your pins. This means choosing images that are absolutely eye catching that will make people stop and take a look. Remember that your pins are competing with dozens of others every given second.

Ensure your pins are from 300-540 pixels wide, and no longer than 1900 pixels. Recently Pinterest added a “Expand Pin” at the bottom of pins that are longer than that, and that “Expand Pin” happens on both desktops and mobile.

When appropriate consider adding captioning in the picture to draw people in. This is your chance to be a print advertising specialist. Create big fonts that clearly state what the pin is about when clicked on such as, “Top Ten Ways to Protect Leather Shoes.” Sephora recently created a Mother’s Day board in which pins highlight gifts that are excellent to give away. As you can tell they created some text at the bottom of the pin to grab your attention.

Notice in the picture below – on the left Sephora uses an intriguing and customized pin to promote an item on their Mother’s Day board. On the right hand side is a picture of the actual product after the pin has been clicked on. This can be done by uploading your customized image and then selecting the specific url you want the pin to redirect to.

Notice how Sephora optimizes their Pinterest photos, but it redirects to to their site image after. This is a smart Pinterest marketing technique.

The Third Pillar of Pintalysis: Create Virality through Community

Creating virality takes work, especially for brands that are just starting off. But virality begins by increasing the number of followers. After all, you can have a great pin, but if nobody sees it, then nobody is going to share it. Virality can also be increased by participating in community boards on Pinterst.

Virality is about developing relationships with influencers in your industry. When you’re able to create relationships with those in your industry, consider a way of working with each other to cross promote each other’s pins. This is the same concept of guest blogging. If you’ve developed a really great relationship with an influencer consider creating a board together to make the most of each other’s followers.

Social sharing is one of the aspects of going viral. Ensure that you are letting your followers know about your Pinterest account. Share with your followers the most repinned content from Pinterest on Twitter. Have a Facebook tab/app for Pinterest on your Facebook page, Woobox offers one for free. Share your best pins from Pinterest onto Instagram. Ensure that you have a “Follow Us on Pinterest” button on your website.

The Fourth Pillar: Search Optimization

When I discuss about search optimization, I’m not just referring to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is very important, but I’m also referring how to optimize pins and boards within Pinterest’s search engine.

For example one of the aspects of getting pins to show up in search is through the use of keywords in the descriptions of pins and in boards. This holds true to for SEO of your Pinterst page. But the domain name that a pin originates from also plays a role in search within Pinterest’s search engine, this is why there are some pins that have no keywords in their description in the pin or board, and yet show up high for search terms in Pinterest.

Ensuring that all your pins, boards, and the page itself is search optimized for both engines will help maximize the online exposure of your page and drive more traffic to your website.

The Fifth Pillar: Optimize Your Pinterest Page for Sharing

The Fifth and last pillar is vitally important for e-commerce sites or sites that require visual content. Ensure that your website has been optimized to allow for Pinterest sharing. This means that your blog has a pin it button so that people can share articles on Pinterest (my biggest pet peeve are social media blogs that talk about Pinterest, and yet they don’t have a Pin It button available).

This also means having wonderful photos that are going to be visually optimized for your website. E-commerce sites are often able to show multiple photos of a product. Bottica.com, the online jewellery site, does an amazing job of showing their products being worn by people. And it goes through a gallery showing their jewellery from different perspectives. This not only increases purchase intent, it also increase the pinning intent.

Bottica does a great job of adding Pin It buttons to all their photos for social sharing. This is a simple Pinterest tactic that all e-commerce sites should focus on.

Traditionally many blogs added photos in a way that was more of a psychological tactic to stand out, but rarely did the photos have any real visual appeal to the reader. Now it’s all changed, the feature image on a blog or any website needs to be Pinterest worthy so that that pin can get repinned again and again. You have to treat the feature photos on blog posts as if you are creating a magazine ad.

Those are the five pillars of Pintalysis. Look back at your own Pinterest marketing strategy and see if there’s anything that’s missing. Sometimes it can be the most simple things such as not SEOing your Pinterest Board descriptions. Over the next few months, I will be sharing more details of the Pintalysis Marketing Blueprint in an upcoming e-book. Please note that Pintalysis is not officially associated with Pinterest.

Pintalysis, the Ultimate Marketing Blueprint for Pinterest Marketing. This Pinterest marketing framework will offer brands and companies a solid guideline on how to maximize their marketing efforts.

Social Media Plan – How to Create One in 9 Steps

How to create the right social media plan for your business in 9 steps.


How to Create a Social Media Plan

1) Determine Your Goals

In order to create a successful social media plan, you need to know what goals you want to achieve, and how those goals will be measured.

Are you looking to increase the number of people who sign up for your e-mail? Or are you trying to create more leads from Linkedin? Once you’re able to determine your short and long term you will be able to use social media much more effectively.

2) Conduct a Social Media Audit

Most people miss this step, but it’s important to look back and give yourself a social media audit as part of your social media plan. This is because if you don’t know what you’ve been doing in the past, you are likely to repeat the same mistakes. A social media audit will give you insight into creating your new social media marketing strategy

An audit is about taking an honest look at your marketing efforts and asking yourself what’s working, what’s not, and how to make your marketing efforts even more effective.

3) Study Your Competition

To create a successful social media plan you need to know what your competitors are doing. The worst thing that can happen is that you accidentally copy another company’s strategy. This will also help you differentiate your brand from others in order to stand out from the crowds of businesses that are also using social media.

It’s good to find out what types of social media platforms that they are using, how they’re engaging fans, and what types of messages they’re conveying on these platforms.

4) Determine Your Target Market

Social media is so massive, and with more and more baby boomers jumping aboard, you need to determine who your target market is. This will allow you to be more careful with your time and budget when trying to aim at a specific group.

It’s important to understand the demographics that are available on these different social media channels If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to find out, then I would suggest looking at different infographics. They’re always packed with demographic data. If you want easy access to infographics, go to Pinterest and search for them.

Your target market may also include contacting specific social media influencers that you can form a mutual relationship with.

5) What Are Your Key Messages

Part of any goal, is to also convey what the key branding messages are about your business. While Coke may have many goals in mind for specific contests and giveaways, they have one message they like to focus on, and that’s happiness. Other large companies such as Nike focus on finding your inner athlete to be better and to get things done.

When you understand your messages you’ll be able to co-operatively create opinions with your social media followers.

6) Determine Your Social Media Channels

There is more than a hand full of social media channels you can go with, but you need to truly understand which ones will benefit you the most. Often times it may not be the obvious ones such as Twitter and Facebook, you may find out that you’re having much better success on Linkedin if you’re holding professional seminars.

However if you’re designing crafts, you’ll most likely find spending time on Etsy and Pinterest may be the best win for you.

Don’t be afraid to look outside the box. For example if you’re looking to grow your presence within China, then you will need to create a presence on Sina Weibo or We Chat.

7) Create an Editorial Calendar

Creating an editorial calendar will be your life saver. Plan out what you want to share, and plan ahead to see if there are ways to incorporate special days or themes into your postings. Oreo did a fantastic job in planning out their social media content to celebrate 100 years. There’s no doubt it took a lot of time and effort, but it’s paid off big time.

A lack of an editorial content can lead you to wasting a lot of energy planning out what to say day after day. Make it easier on yourself and your team and cut down the amount of decisions that need to be made on content, so that they can focus on engaging customers and influencers on the different channels.

Ensure that you create a timeline for all your goals and milestones. If this is your first social media plan, it’s reasonable to plan out for 90 days.

8) Determine Who is Responsible for What

If you’re doing social media planning all by yourself then that’s an easy one, but if your content focuses a lot on pictures, a lot on sharing articles, and engaging, then it’s important to understand the role that each person plays.

Play on your team members’ strengths. I wrote an article about how extroverts and introverts operate very differently on social media and how their role in the execution of social media strategy will differ.

9) Measure the Results

It’s important to understand how successful you were in achieving your goals. And so you need to measure the results. Ensure that you’re measuring results that truly matter to your organization. I’m still not big fan of Likes or Followers on Twitter, these are soft metrics.

The most important thing I was taught about measuring results was why is that measurement so important to the overall plan. How is the number of likes important to the strategy?

Those are 9 steps to take to creating a social media plan. Is there anything you would like to add? Feel free to let us know in the comments section.

Like to listen about marketing stories, check out MCNG’s Marketing’s podcast, Revolutionary Marketing.

Photo courtesy of Kalexanderson.

How We Got The Vancouver Christmas Market 3000 Facebook Likes

Vancouver Christmas Market Banner We’re very grateful to be the social media marketing agency for the largest Christmas Market in the Pacific North West. The Vancouver Christmas Market, which operates from November 24th to Deceber 25th, has been around for 3 years, and during those years the number of visitors to this world famous Christmas Market has totaled 400,000. Every year it gets more and more popular as an additional 20,000 visitors dropped by in 2012 than 2011.

Of course one of the most common questions that float around the internet is regarding social media marketing is…

“How do I get More Likes for my Facebook Page?”

During the time that MCNG worked with the Vancouver Christmas Market, we were able to increase the number of Facebook likes from 6300 to 9300 for an increase of almost 50% within less than a 2 month period. Here’s how MCNG and along with partnering agencies accomplished that goal and was able to get additional thousands of likes.

1) Have a Facebook Social Plugin on Your Website

Part of website design is knowing how much content to put on the landing page of your site. For the Vancouver Christmas Market there are several different points that allowed web visitors to click on our Facebook page, but the Facebook page was never blatantly advertised on it because it would be a huge distraction.

Instead ,a tab labelled News was created, which when a user clicked on the tab she would see a large Facebook social plugin (It took up about 1/3rd of the page). Web visitors could like the Facebook page as well as be informed of what was happening at the market. In this case the, the plugin is the main visual feature upon clicking on news making it dominant.

Creating interesting content that discussed about upcoming contests, discounts, and posting wonderful photos were part of the strategy that lured visitors of the website to like the Facebook page.

2) Cross Promote Your Social Media Channels

It’s important to cross promote your social media channels with others. For us we ensured that we tweeted important contests and announcements that were too long for Twitter would be redirected to Facebook. This would bring awareness to the Facebook page and helped us gain likes. But we also ensured that we promoted our Facebook page in the YouTube video that we created.

It’s important that if you are creating a YouTube video and you want to drive more traffic to your other social media sites that the link is listed in the first two sentences.

Many marketers make the mistake of leaving it to the end where people are required to click more. But the huge majority of people won’t click on the show more feature.

We also used a URL shortner, with the ability to track the number of clicks, to save on valuable space in the description box.

Some of the blogs and newspapers we responded to also used a Facebook plugin for commenting. This was great way to have people aware and drive a little bit of traffic to the Facebook page.

What I did notice was that many of the blogs that we responded to had a commenting system related more to Twitter, whether this was through WordPress or Disquis. A great opportunity to connect your Twitter accounts to your blog commenting.

3) Hold Contests that Encourage Comments and Shares

One of the ways that we drove Facebook traffic was to hold a 12 Days of Giveaways contest. Prizes ranged from free entries and carousel rids to a $90 foodie galore experience, we had a lot of vendor support for the contests. Some of the contests were announced on Twitter while others were announced on Facebook.

The prizes of the contests were announced a week before they officially started. This allowed for our loyal fans to get a sneak peek of what was to be expected. We also sent out reminders of those contests to keep our fans excited and in the loop.

The Facebook contests involved two themes. They would either focus on online engagement, or listing the location of where the giveaways would be and people had to physically be there.

For our contests we encouraged our fans to comment and publicly share our Facebook posts. Those that did publicly share also received an additional entry for great prizes from the Vancouver Christmas Market. By encouraging people to comment and publicly share several contests and posts, we were able to reach friends of fans.

This strategy was a big part of helping us reach over 3 million impressions over the course of the two months.

One thing I need to stress more is that if you want to increase the reach of your posts, don’t be shy to actually ask your fans directly to share your content, such as “Don’t forget to Share with your friends!” This simple call to action will get you a higher reach of fans, but don’t abuse it. Use it for your best promotions and posts.

4) Have Exclusive Discounts for Facebook Fans

One of the best ways that we increased our reach and the number of likes to our page was to announce special discounts or theme days. When discounts were offered to targeted groups, through targeted posts that allowed us to create relevant to that group. Many of those in the group felt compelled to share the news with their friends.

An example would, free student night. Posts would be targeted to a specific age group, and geo locations.

However these deals wouldn’t explicitly be stated on the website page, it would only be found on Facebook and Twitter. This was a great way to reward loyal fans who engaged with the social channel (since those that were to engage with it, were also more likely to see the feeds we posted) with free entries.

Increasing the awareness of the page was strategically important in driving more likes.

5) Advertising the Contests/Promotions

Facebook Glass Because the page already had 6000+ likes, we didn’t feel the need to try to advertise to get more.

But we did do advertising, but none of it was explicitly to get more likes. The ads that got the highest click through rates, were the ones that were presented contests as well as unique promotional activities such as, “Ugly Sweater Day” or “Find a Pickle in the Tree Day for kids.”

The ads were targeted to specific demographic groups that would most likely be interested in the event. We also noticed that by creating great advertising content, people not only saw the posts, but some viewers of the ads who had clicked on it would also like the page.

Advertising contests and special events through Facebook that linked to a post specifically allowed us to kill two birds with one stone. It allowed for people to be informed about the events, and it provided an opportunity to drive loyal fans that may not have been aware of the Facebook page to visit the page and engage with the post and like the page.

Need us to help with creating an integrated marketing strategy, then contact us today at vince @ mcngmarketing. Operators are standing by :) .

Photo courtesy of Scott Beale

How I used Gamification to Engage Employees and Increase Sales by 30%

Nintendo Monopoly I first heard of the concept of gamification from Yu Kai Chou, the former C.E.O of RewardMe and one of the most amazing speakers and analysts in the world of gamification today.

Before I knew what gamification was, I was using it to engage my employees at Starbucks to increase increase sales by over 30% from one year over the next during the recession.

In this blog post I explain what gamification is, and the type of gaming mechanics that were used to help engage employees and increase loyalty among consumers to the cafe, and increase this food and beverage establishment’s profits.

What is Gamification?

I’m going to steal the definition of gamification from Bunchball. Gamification is integrating gaming mechanics into your website, service, product, community, content or campaign to drive participation.

I’ll be explaining 8 gaming mechanics I used to motivate my employees.

Why do People Play Games?

There are some fundamental reasons that people play games they include but not limited to:

To earn rewards (whether it’s intrinsic or extrinsic).
For status,bragging rights, and a sense of power.
A feeling of accomplishment or achievement.
A form of self expression.
For the competition.
Altruism (or to belong and help out a community).

I used these reasons why people play games and applied them to my own staff.

How I Used Gamification to Improve Morale and Sales

I was able to use gamification to improve employee morale at Starbucks, which was one of the vital factors that led to a 30% increase in sales within one year after the recession had hit in 2008.

Here is how I did it.

1) In Games They Make you Feel Good ASAP

Have you noticed that in the game of Mario that the first thing you get is a large mushroom after bumping a brick? Or that you get a badge when you check in on Foursquare or Yelp’s mobile app? When we earn rewards (virtual or real), especially initially, dopamine (those chemicals that make us feel good) is released into our brains. Just the anticipation of a reward can release dopamine.

New employees can often be nervous in coming into a new workplace, and that nervousness and insecurity can often be detected by customers and potentially hurt customer service. (It’s about perception after all. If the business looks incompetent, then there’s a chance you’ve lost the customer for life.)

At the end of the employee’s first day I would ask all senior staff to write a nice thank you note and hand it to the new employee to read. The employee would then be expected to post it on the wall of “Thank Yous.” This way employee feels rewarded right away for her first day on the job and dopamine is released to have good associations with the work place.

2)Create Challenges and Obstacles

In the world of video games, there are always going to be obstacles. No matter what game you play there needs to be a challenge that the player can rise up and overcome. This is no different from employee engagement.

I knew that one of the best ways to keep customers loyal to our specific Starbucks was by having all our staff comfortable having conversations with customers. This was very essential to boosting sales. When I took over, many of the staff were often giving plain service, “Hi, what would you like? Thanks so much, enjoy your latte.” How boring was that?

I challenged each and everyone, whether they were new or veterans, to have as many conversations with customers as possible. If they were able to get the other person to talk and provide an answer to a question, then that was considered a conversation.

The employees enjoyed the challenges and started to develop great relationships with customers. The best part was seeing how many of my staff became much more socially confident and assertive in their life. It was one of the most rewarding parts of my life to be able to see people change to be better.

3)Create Harder Challenges as Time Goes On

In the world of video gaming, nobody wants to play the same level again and again when they first start off. They need harder challenges that are just outside their reach to feel a sense of accomplishment or to reach the next level.

However, if you make the challenges too hard, people will abandon the game. You want the challenges to be hard enough to keep them on the edge of playing with a little frustration, but a lot of satisfaction after accomplishing the goals.

After holding challenges, and relationships with customers were being built, I knew that it was now becoming too easy for my staff to start conversations. They even told me.

The next challenge I posed for my employees was to get the names of our customers and to greet them by name. This would solidify a closer relationship with our customers and ensure that they knew we valued their loyalty.

During my four years I would hold this challenge again and again, and it became tougher to get new names. This was because we knew most of our regulars so we had to start focusing on creating instantaneous and welcoming relationships with newer customers.

The challenges became harder, but still within my employees’ reach.

Wreck it Ralph 4)Novelty of Challenges and Unexpected Surprises

Games need elements of surprise. If there’s no elements of surprise or a feeling of novelty then our brains get bored quickly.

I would hold a series of different challenges for my staff that ranged from upselling, getting names of customers, to who sold the most coffee beans. I would often offer mini challenges every other week at random times that would combine goals such as, “sell the last two remaining muffins and get two names.” If they accomplished the goal then I would write them a thank you card for their efforts to reinforce the positive feedback.

If you give the same challenges, or the same rewards all the time, then people stop playing the game in the long term. But when you create novelty and a sense of unexpectedness then it keeps employees on their toes and mentally fresh when dealing with customers.

5)Create a Leaderboard

Remember playing those arcade games and you would see who had the highest score? It was always had someone like AAA or BAC or VIC. Those leaderboards are great motivators to get the hardcore gamers to keep playing the game.

In order to know how well the staff were doing in the challenges, I encouraged all my staff to keep track of the number of conversations and names they received and have them posted on a wall for all staff to see.

The challenges wouldn’t run for approximately one month, and then we would take a break for a month and start another different challenge.

During the one month period that the challenges were running, employees would often check to check each others’ scores. If I found someone was falling behind the leaderboard I would hold that staff accountable to get more names and have more conversations to increase their score.

This provided motivation for staff to do better. This worked effectively well near the end of the challenges as everybody would get as many conversations and names in as possible to win the prizes that were being awarded.

6)Intrinsic and External Rewards

Let’s be honest, nobody plays games like Halo and Call of Duty for real rewards. The rewards that are given are the good feelings we get inside. These intangibles are often power, status and the ability to feel connected to others.

Knowing that your better at something than someone else gives your ego a boost. Intrinsic rewards such as these are the number one reason why social games are such a big hit.

External rewards are great too, but are always secondary. Real world rewards are nice, and a combination of both is great. The effectiveness of real rewards takes prominence only when a game provides players with a very poor status or power.

This is how contests or draws that involve money work. “Enter your e-mail for a chance to win $500 gift certificate.” People will do it, but they’ll do it to win the prize not because of the status. However, chances are if you offered a prize for a speaking role on the hit T.V. show Big Bang Theory, then that provides status, because then you can brag to your friends that a few million people saw you on T.V.

The challenges I created allowed my staff to carry a sense of internal satisfaction and achievement in being a better person. Most of the winners of the challenge didn’t brag, but they did get status and were recognized for their hard work by all their employees at our meetings. Many of them were awarded employees of the month.

The winners did get real rewards for their hard work. I would offer $50 gift certificates for shopping, or for smaller challenges, the winner would get a complimentary lunch paid by the boss. Larger challenges would involve a nice team dinner at one of the swankiest restaurants in Vancouver.

World of Warcraft 7) Offer Immediate Feedback

In games when you do something wrong, you either die or you get punished. If you do something right, then you get to advance game and move on to the next level. You receive immediate feedback. Employee engagement is no different. Offering more frequent and immediate feedback will lead to higher productivity.

During the time that challenges were taking place I would provide immediate feedback. I would let employees know when they did a great job of engaging customers. Or when I noticed that they weren’t playing the game with heart any more I would provide feedback and challenge them with a different task, and then get them back on track. If they successfully completed the mini challenges, they would be rewarded, if not, then they wouldn’t be rewarded.

8) Create Teams

I’ve never played World of Warcraft, but I do know that guilds are formed to complete missions. Great games will often involve teams to pit against each other. There’s something thrilling that boils the blood for the us versus them mentality when it comes to games involving groups.

Once every 6 months I would create team challenges. I pitted my afternoon staff versus the morning staff. This would lead to fun competition that would drive customer engagement through the roof. I found that staff would continue to help support other team members in accomplishing the team goals and that it created a much stronger bond among all employees.

This built authentic relationships within our Starbucks store which allowed us to create authentic relationships with our customers. If you can’t have authentic relationships with your own staff, how do you expect them to do it with customers?

Results of using Gamification at my Starbucks Store

I implemented this strategy over a two year period but the first year results were what were most impressive.
Sales increased over 30% comparatively from the previous year. Sales increased across all product categories.

Over 600 names of regulars were gathered over the 2 years.

We were nominated as the best store in Canada for our district.

How do I know this worked?

After I stepped down as manager to pursue my career in marketing, sales plateaued and employee morale was down. Former employees had expressed feeling unsatisfied with the work. Immediate positive feedback was not provided as often and new and creative challenges were not thought of to provide a sense of novelty.

Gamification when done properly will make employees happy and most of all increase productivity and sales, and there are many other ways to make a restaurant profitable.

Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses

Guerrilla Marketing Calgary Farmer's Market What are guerrilla marketing tactics? Guerrilla marketing tactics are forms of promotions that rely more on time, energy, and imagination rather than using a big marketing budget to attract brand awareness and the attention of customers.

There are many examples of guerrilla marketing tactics, but it’s important to remember that all these tactics should be used as a part of a marketing strategy. Creating unconventional marketing methods for the sake of shocking isn’t necessarily the best way to market any business.

Here are Five Great Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Small Business

1) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #1: Reverse Graffiti

Have you ever walked around a sidewalk and noticed that one area of the sidewalk was particular clean to form a logo? Well this isn’t a coincidence. Since many city walking blocks and large walls are covered in grime, these places are ideal for reverse graffiti. These places, depending on how high traffic is, are quite easy to do reverse graffiti with to promote a marketing message.

To see how this form of green graffiti works, you can take a look at how Domino’s Pizza used this marketing tactic in front of their building to get people’s attention. This type of “graffiti” is considered a grey area for most of the law since technically in most cities it’s not illegal to clean streets. If you’re looking to market your local business around your town, this is a great green way to market.

The other form of green graffiti that’s become more popular is using moss murals. Moss murals can form pictures and letters with moss being stuck to the side of walls. It’s becoming quite common and is a very eco-friendly way of advertising.

2) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #2: Start a Protest or Mini Parade

You’ve got to love freedom of speech, but a great way to get some attention is to hold a fake protest outside of your business and around the block, or to have a small group of people with a single megaphone calling for the end of bad pizza, or the end of terrible customer service.

In order for this tactic to be successful you need to choose a cause that people can be emotionally interested in, but also make sense.

Imagine that you own a flower shop. You may start a protest about the end of women receiving terrible, generic, and boring flowers, and gather 15 of your female friends to protest about it. The cause may be to have women receive nothing but beautifully handmade custom bouquets on dates. Then you start handing out flyers to state that every women deserves only the best bouquets on their dates. Say “No” to boring flowers.

Choose a cause that your business can really rally behind, and get your friends and family to parade around in the neighborhood to bring attention to the “cause” and attract local customers who are most likely to use your service or product.

3) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #3: Be the Poster Child

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Postering can still work wonders around your neighborhood or around town. Let’s say you run a marketing company. You can go around town and create posters that say , FOUND: Great marketing company. Company has marketed for the Vancouver Christmas Market, Bluebat Games, Dajin Resources and Novo Pizzeria and Wine Bar. If you have lost your marketing edge, please call 604 782 0801 or e-mail vince@mcngmarketing.com. We want to return your marketing edge ASAP. These posters would be put around areas where executives and owners of small businesses live, since this would be MCNG’s target market.

This type of postering can do wonders for any type of business.

4) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #4: Start a Fight with a Business

In order to drum up business for two restaurants that we were working with simultaneously, MCNG decided to start a public fight among both restaurants by announcing that they each had better food than the other. At the time, this wasn’t being done by any restaurants in Vancouver on social media.

We were creating buzz through Twitter and stated that we were eventually going to have a showdown to see whose executive chef was a better chef. This definitely got people to pay attention to both businesses, as MCNG wasn’t just creating something different, we were actually engaging tweeters into the battle as well to try to pick sides.

People love friendly conflict , and being able to choose sides to see which business will come out on top.

BMW versus Audi Billboard Start a fight, and then get a competition going, and start announcing it to the world. Remember. The goal is to be friendly, not viscous. Kind of like the whole BMW versus Audi billboards.

5) Guerrilla Marketing Tactic #5: Hang Coupons (or Apples) on a Tree

In the very first picture you can see that the Calgary Farmer’s Market did a brilliant job in getting people to stop in their tracks during their cold weather to pay attention to their “apple trees.” Chances are that many local small businesses are struggling due to the lack of awareness of business.

Instead of trying to push your brochures through mail order, go around and hang notes that read like fortune cookies around trees in your neighborhood and around the city. Hang them in high traffic areas. Ensure that the type of material that you are using is also bio degradable or recyclable.

My favourite brand of cereal is the Granola King from North Vancouver. At the bottom of every package is a little slip that reminds me of how wonderful life is. And every time I see it, I can’t help but smile. It’s their ability to surprise and delight every time is what will make this an interesting guerilla marketing tactic.

Along with each quote that’s written, attach a coupon for your business and encourage a call to action.

Guerilla marketing takes time, energy and a lot of creativity. But when done right it will increase brand awareness, and attract the right customers. Follow us on MCNG’s Facebook Page to keep up to date on great marketing tips.

How Hotels can Increase their Web Traffic

Shangri-La Hotel Downtown Vancouver Large hotel chains such as Starwood, Shangri-La and Fairmonts have large marketing budgets and have dedicated web teams to help them remain competitive across the world, but how does an independent hotel or motel in a city increase their web traffic and compete with the large chains. I’m going to go into detail on how hotels with smaller marketing budgets can attract more customers to their hotel website.

1) Start Blogging About Your City to Increase Web Traffic

Most guests that stay at a hotel are either their for business or pleasure. Either way, all of your guests are probably very curious to know what’s going on in your city. While there are several travel guides like Frommers and Lonely Planet, this doesn’t mean that you can’t start a blog that informs potential guests about why your city is such a wonderful place visit.

Spend about once a week to create new blog topics of interest to your guests. If you’re not sure what would be of interest to them, ask existing guests what would have helped them prepare for their trip before they leave your hotel.

I’m going to use my hometown, Vancouver, as an example. Here are some potential blog posts that I would suggest for a hotel in Vancouver to write about to increase their web traffic.

1) Top 10 Free Activities to Enjoy in Vancouver
2) The top 5 Concerts that are taking Place in Vancouver in the Summer
3) Top 10 Can’t Miss Restaurants to Eat in Vancouver
4) Fun Family Activities in Vancouver During the Summer
5) What to See in Vancouver in One Weekend
6) The Best Ways to Get Over Jet Lag
7) Top 10 Places to Get A Suit Made Last Minute in Vancouver
8) Top 10 Honeymoon Places to Visit in Vancouver
9) Seattle and Vancouver? What’s the Difference for Tourists?

The important part of starting a blog is to think like an actual hotel guest. Chances are your website already has some great information about rooms, rates, about the spa, and availability. But what’s the next thing that most guests’ want to know? They want to know what there is to do.

By continuously updating your website on a regular basis to adjust to the seasons, you can attract new customers from out of town that are looking for information that you are providing. These people would be considered warm leads in booking a hotel with you.

Consistently blogging helps with search engine optimization (SEO). Google search engine loves fresh content. They love it when writers contribute great content. And by contributing on a regular basis, you can compete with much larger hotels.

3) Target Niche Keywords to Rank Well for Google

Targeting words such as “Vancouver Hotels” and expecting to be on top for that search word in three months is nearly impossible, at least it is if you don’t use black hat SEO. Especially if you have to go against the big boys like Expedia and Travelocity who spend millions of dollars to stay on top of rankings. It’s more important to use your website’s blog posts and copywrite to focus on keywords (aka search words or phrases) that will help you increase your web traffic.

If I had a hotel in Vancouver and I happen to be near Rogers Arena where the Vancouver Canucks Play, I might aim for the keywords, “hotel near Rogers Arena.” Other examples might be, “Hotel on Robson Street”, or “Dog Friendly Hotel in Vancouver”, or “Kid-Friendly Hotel in Vancouver”, or “Lesbian Friendly hotel.” The goal is to look for words that have low competition that you can rank well for quickly, instead of spending 2 or 3 years to rank well for like the phrase “hotels in Vancouver.”

It takes time and patience to research niche keywords, but by aiming at niche keywords that your competitor is most likely not going to aim for, you’re able to reach that target market, and as you start ranking well for those niche keywords, you will start ranking better for the more competitive terms like “hotels in Vancouver.”

4) Ensure Your Pictures are Titled Properly for Search Engine Optimization

If you’re running a hotel, chances are that there are potential customers that want to see what your hotel looks like. And yes, they’re probably going to go to sites like Trip Advisor to see, but there will be a few people who are going to Google for Images of your hotel. This is where you can drive more traffic to your website. Pictures that are clicked on in Google Image search pop up and then when closed lead to the site that the picture is on. This means a picture on a hotel website that says, “pool” is going to get lost in a sea of other photos that are titled pool. However, if you labelled your hotel “Shangri-La Pool in Vancouver” Then when people Google Shangri-La Vancouver under Images, the pool will show up.

This goes for bedrooms. Instead of giving a picture the title King Suite, title it King Suite at Burrard Inn. In order to do this properly, ensure that your photos are renamed before you upload them. Instead of having the photos named, DSC13532.jpg.

5) Provide an E- zine to your Newsletter Subscribers

I would highly suggest creating an e-book that highlights in detail about the wonderful activities that go on in your city, and update it every year. Travel books are popular. There’s no second guessing that, but why should travel books get all the attention. Why shouldn’t you create an e-book that people will start to get to know and download it from your site in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter.

Since many of your guests are booking flights months in advance, they probably are curious to know what’s happening in Vancouver at around the time that they arrive. Being able to provide them a seasonal guide of what’s happening will make their life much easier in terms of planning their trip. You can also use the e-zine and have some space to highlight advertisements about hotels and amenities. Also provide advertising space for your partners in the tourism industry.

Since the e-zine is free, don’t be surprised if you see it slowly spread over the Internet in the most random places. Having people view the e zine, and mentioning your hotel will definitely get a few searches online. Providing potential guests with valuable information makes them comfortable and your hotel look like an expert about the city.

6) Hold Contests for Local and Out of Towners to Build Links

Part of driving more traffic to your website, and being able to rank well within search engines is through link building. Here’s the short and sweet of what link building is, it’s when other sites links to your site. Just like right now I’m linking to Shangri-La in Vancouver downtown. When you have high quality authoritative sites linking to your website, this is an indication to Google that this site must be important.

You can have ten random websites link to your hotel website, but one link from the Huffington Post or the Globe and Mail is worth more. There are creative ways to get there, but for a small hotel a good way to link build is to look for travel bloggers, or local bloggers to work with and offer contests. Offer a free one night stay at your hotel. Ensure that when your contest is being held with bloggers that they have a link connecting to your site.

If you are in Vancouver, then you may want to pair up with a Seattle lifestyle blogger for the contest to get more out of town guests. Do you research carefully as not all bloggers are created equal. Notice how often they blog, how long they have been blogging for, and what other giveaways they have done in the past.

While it may seem like a tremendous effort, driving traffic to your website is a commitment that pays off. Once you have amazing content on your website, it stays there and will continue to drive traffic to your site. Surprisingly it’s not the new content that will drive most of your traffic, it’s the older content that will. And since most hotels go on for years and years, you can guarantee that if you do what was mentioned above, you’ll see a wonderful payoff for your hard work.

For more information on how to create a great online marketing strategy for your hotel feel free to contact MCNG Marketing.
Photo courtesy of Shangri-La Vancouver Hotel.

6 Deadly Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Marketing is essential to any small business. Whether you run a restaurant, a hair salon, or are a travel agency, without proper marketing, barely anyone will know your business exists with the exception of your closest friends and family.

However, you can’t rely on them to help make your business a success. Often, small businesses underestimate the complexities of what goes into marketing to make it successful. After all, is what you do in your business that simple, or does it require a lot of planning, understanding and behind the scenes work? It’s trying to keep up and understand social media. And if people just dived into your business without proper training then you can imagine what type of disaster it would be.

In order to create some great marketing campaigns for your small business you need to avoid these 6 deadly marketing mistakes and how you to stay on track.

1) Deadly Marketing Mistake 1: Executing Fast and Furiously

Do you know what happens when you focus too much on executing marketing without proper planning? You get death. When you execute any marketing campaign without careful thought it can drain you and your team of a lot of time and money. The worst part, it can hurt your business’ reputation. Execution of a marketing plan is only a small part of what needs to be done. Too many businesses fire as many shots as possible, hoping that one lands right on target, this is not a smart way to do marketing.

I was talking to the executive chef at a large lounge and restaurant, and he told me how frustrated he was with their current marketing agency because management brought in people who were doing fashion and event marketers, who had no familiarity of how to market for restaurants.

They ended up executing a series of events that drew in the wrong target market, and the restaurant spent thousands of dollars with them. Their result: Lack of being able to bring in new customers and an Urbanspoon rating of 36%. Don’t execute any marketing without proper planning and understanding.

2) Deadly Marketing Mistake 2: No Marketing Research Was Done

This is probably the biggest mistake that small businesses make when they start their marketing. They didn’t even do any market research. What makes most businesses successful is their ability to solve a person’s or business’s pain point. When you start to understand your target audience’s pain point, then you can create some wonderful marketing material.

I was doing research for a product that was targeting mothers. By doing research I was able to find out that mothers were highly educated, were the dominant decision makers in grocery shopping, felt insulted by advertisers who created unfair gender stereotypes, had a strong need to be a part of a community, were interested in maintaining their beauty, and loved shopping for items in the kitchen. Using this information we were able to position the product properly in the mind of the end consumer, and to create a strong and unique brand compared to their competitors.

3) Deadly Marketing Mistake 3: There Was No Marketing Strategy

One of the sure fire ways to watch your business fail is a lack of a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is the big picture of how you want to accomplish a big marketing goal, and the “how” of all your marketing relates to that big picture goal.

Let’s say you owned a bakery and you want to be known for quality baked goods and want to attract 80% of your business to come from locals that live within a 2 km radius. Then you need to ensure that all your marketing is aligned with this new strategy.

Based on your strategy, you wouldn’t go and sponsor a community event held 50 kilometres away, nor would you send out direct mail campaigns that have a “cheap” look. Instead, you would focus on sponsoring local community events that are a walking distance away from your store (such a neighborhood festival), or giving away samples to people who walk by the bakery. You would also create marketing material that highlights the superior quality ingredients in your baked goods.

4) Deadly Marketing Mistake 4: You Lack a Brand

Branding is more than just a logo or the visual design that you create for your business cards and invoices. Creating a strong brand is about how to ensure you stick out from the clutter of competitors and create an unmistakable identity that a product or service belongs to your business.

If you look at the different hair salons that are out there, they all essentially offer the same service.

But your salon might specifically aim for men, and make a salon a man cave. It might have sports playing on televisions and offer business and tech magazines to read. You might have a Foosball table in the waiting area so that men can play while their waiting for their stylist to call them. All to add to that essence of your hair salon being branded as “The man cave salon.”

Brands are worth a lot of money, and are often known as “goodwill” in accounting terms. Here’s how valuable a brand can be. When Coke came out with a holiday polar bear can that was white, it confused and led to complaints by loyal Coke customers.

There were a few people who I talked to that thought it was a Diet Coke can (the colours are very similar, which caused product confusion), which included myself. The first batch that was in stores were the only batch out of 1.4 million Coke cans and bottles produced. But by then, it was too late. Confusion set in and it costs Coke quite a bit of money to produce those collector cans which the majority never reached store shelves again.

Crowd 5) Deadly Marketing Mistake 5: You Tried to Reach Everyone

This happens a lot when I’m dealing with small businesses that are starting up. They want to try to reach everyone, and in return they reach no one. It’s like trying to have the same conversation with a person who is 21 who loves Katy Perry, and someone who is 31 who loves Spice Girls, and someone who is 41 who loves Madonna.

Your business needs to know what specific market that you want to reach and to focus your marketing efforts on this particular group. A good example of this is Justin Bieber. When Bieber’s marketing team first started, they focused on their core market which was young girls and teenagers. But because they became so well known within that target group, mothers in their 30’s and 40’s also became big fans.

When you become known for a very specific target market, you will attract more business from other groups. When you try to reach everyone, your business will fail.

6) Deadly Marketing Mistake 6: You Didn’t Measure Your Marketing

I hate soft metrics. I really do. I hate it when marketers measure results based on the number of “Likes” or “Followers.” If that was a really important measure, I would have bought followers for my clients a long time ago.

Before you ever start any marketing campaign or marketing material, you need to ask yourself, “What is my ultimate goal by doing this?” and “How will I measure the success of this marketing tactic?”

A restaurant might put an advertisement on a bus, but it’s really just an advertisement. How would a restaurant owner know for sure how successful the ad was without guessing? It can be as simple as saying “Get 10% off when you mention the bus ad at our restaurant.” This way you know that it’s not coming from a newspaper ad, or from a coupon that they printed off from the Internet.

This way you can keep track of what campaigns were successful and ones that weren’t.

Too many small businesses spend too much time and money on marketing, only to create the wrong marketing strategies. They lack time and effort to do a thorough job, but it’s always better to do it right the first time than to have no budget left for marketing the next time.

If you have questions about small business marketing feel free to reach me directly at vince at mcngmarketing.com

How to Attract More Customers or Clients with Blogging


Blogging Requires Strategy

I love blogging, because it allows you to develop credibility for your business while you’re starting it, and also allows you to attract more customers that are in need of your service or product. However, blogging for the sake of blogging is a huge waste of time. It’s like walking for the sake of walking. You still need to know what your final destination is.

Like all marketing activity, you have to ask yourself how does blogging fit in with your overall marketing strategy?

Blog About Problems Your Customers Need Solutions Too

In order to successfully plan your business blog, you need to sit down and think of your customers’ pain points, or your customers’ curiosity points.

What would you write about that will help them solve a problem? What will you write about that will peak your client’s curiosity? While it’s great that your blog may be talking about your company, and that is important, but it’s more important to show them that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy in your field.

A pain point that many of our clients have is that they want to be able to attract more online customers, and they want to be able to target the right customers that are looking for their specific solutions. This is why we’re writing this blog right now. We know that there are potential clients out there that need new customers coming into their restaurant, salon, or retail business, but they just don’t know how in this digital age.

Let’s say that you own a retail women’s clothing shop, and you want to attract new customers into the door. Obviously the style of clothes will play a huge role, but think about all the problems that your customers in your target audience are having. Since most people search for important issues online privately, you can write about topics that really matter to people who are afraid to talk about it to their friends and to the public.

Here are some examples of topics related to women’s fashion:

1) You’re BBW, What to Wear to Create a Knockout Impression on Your Date. (Then give advice on what to wear, and offer suggestions available at your store).
2) Do you have a Darker Skin Tone? These Fashion Colours Are Right For you.
3) Accessories to Make High Heels more Comfortable.
4) The Top 10 Fashion Trends to Avoid this Summer (a curiosity and education piece).
5) How to Choose the Perfect Shoe for Your Perfect Dress.

Blog About Problems that Customers are Always Having

The best blog articles to write about that will drive the most traffic in the short and long run are the ones that solve a problem that customers consistently have.

My now unactive conversation blog has an article on there that discusses funny conversation starters. That one article alone generates between 100-300 page views a day. It’s the number one landing page on that site. And the reason why it keeps driving so much traffic is because it’s a universal conversation problem that people have. People want to know how to be funny from the start.

But I also know that that people who have trouble starting their conversations are also potential customers of my published book. I wouldn’t write a blog post on how to start a conversation while you’re in the washroom, because nobody finds that as a pain point in their life that needs solving.

I also know that many businesses have trouble getting employees engaged in low paying jobs. Part of marketing is the ability to deliver customer service and ensure that the business has happy employees, and so I wrote an article about gamification and how it increased sales by 30%.

How to Apply a Blogging Strategy to Your Business

1) If you know your target audience and the customers you are aiming for, create a list of all the problems that they are going through that you can help them with. Don’t worry about getting it right, just write down as many problems as possible.

2) Going through the list, identify the ones that you believe are on your customer’s minds a lot. Especially if you can write about a topic they may be embarrassed to ask about, or really get their attention to solving their problems. For example if you run a fitness centre, you may blog about the topic, “How to Improve Your Sex Life through Exercise.”

3) Start blogging about the top problems that people are having. If you’re content is relevant to your customers, and it’s a good read, you will slowly see more traffic come to your blog. And not only that, if you create blog posts that help solve people’s problems, they will emotionally connect and identify with you. And when they need to think of an expert in a particular field or need to recommend one, you and your business will be at the top of their mind.

If you are having trouble finding out what to blog, take the time to ask your best customers what sort of problems they have. I guarantee you’ll start to see patterns that many of them share.

The goal of a good business blog is to ensure that you’re providing great quality content on a regular basis. Being consistent is extremely important and is probably the number one reason why blogs fail to attract new customers or clients. If you’re business needs a great blogging strategy to drive more traffic to your site and bring in the customers you want, than feel free to contact us at MCNG Marketing.

6 Best Practices for Facebook Restaurant Marketing

Facebook Eating a Person

With Facebook reaching the mark of 1 billion users, it’s hard to ignore this social media giant. The biggest questions isn’t whether Facebook is useful for restaurant marketing, or how it affects a restaurant’s profit, it’s the debate of how long it will be before Facebook makes changes to their Facebook Pages.

Facebook Pages are different from personal pages. Personal pages you get to add friends, and you can restrict who sees your profile. Facebook Pages are designed more for businesses, brands, personalities, and are easily differentiated from personal pages because you have the option to “Like” them.

With the several different changes that have happened with Facebook changes over the years, there are still some great practices that have remained throughout Facebook’s algorithm that will help you get noticed by your “Likers” and those that happen to drop by your page.

Here are 6 Best Practices for Facebook Restaurant Marketing:

1) Respond to your Customers

I can’t stress this enough. Facebook wasn’t designed as a static website where you just post updates. It was designed to create opportunities for fans to engage with their brands and vice versa.
What does engagement on Facebook really mean?

For the restaurant business it means when people compliment your photos that you’re thanking them for their compliment. It means that when someone tells you that they had an amazing experience at your restaurant that you don’t just respond with a click of a “Like,” you respond with a warm response such as, “We’re really glad to read that you had a fantastic time at Timbo’s Restaurant. And most of all appreciate you taking the time to let us know, we hope you have a fantastic upcoming week.”

Clicking the like button is poor customer service, and just plain lazy. After all, you wouldn’t just hold your thumbs up if someone said they loved your duck confit in real life right?

2) Start Conversations on Facebook

Start conversations that get people wanting to talk to you. Ask them questions about what makes great customer service. Ask people for the opinion on what type of free goodie they would like for liking the Facebook page. Do they prefer a dessert, do they prefer an appetizer or a percentage off of a main menu?

One of the worst parts about starting conversations is that nobody responds. And I want to assure you that it’s not the end of the world. There are a few factors involved such as the time of day, how many other messages you may be competing with in the users Facebook newsfeed and so on.

That’s okay, not everything you’re asking is going to be a big hit. But the great thing is that you’ll start to notice what has a great response.

Most restaurants rush, rush, rush. And they forget that they are starting conversations with real customers and real people. All you have to do is remember that, and think of conversations that would be of interest to your Facebook “likers.”

3) Hold a Contest that Rocks

First off, be very careful about your country or state laws regarding contest, and the term and conditions that Facebook restricts.

In Canada, you technically must ask people a skill testing question, and ensure that no purchase of is required.
Contests are such a wonderful way of having fun with your fans and a great contest can drive more likes and more engagement during the contest period than anything else.

Vancouver is a big hockey town. The restaurant we represented wanted to drive the number of “Likes” to our restaurant client’s page, so we held a draw for two Vancouver Canucks tickets.

We not only promoted it on Facebook, we cross promoted it with Twitter, and encouraged people to “Share” the contest with others (at the bottom of every Facebook Page post you make, people have the option of sharing that particular post with others.)

The power in getting people to like the page was actually in encouraging people to “Share.” Because once people share, others who wouldn’t normally see your posting have no seen it. This was part of our strategy in getting 3000 more Facebook likes for the Vancouver Christmas Market within 2 months.

4) Create Posts that even Superman Would Want to Read

Along with Novo Pizzeria, our marketing agency, took a great opportunity to deliver pizza to Vancouver International Airport because our customer had jokingly tweeted that she would love to have our pizza at 8:30 am during a layover to another Canadian city.

Well we didn’t hesitate for a second, and delivered a wonderful Neapolitan pizza to her and her friend at 8:30 am. We took a photo and posted it on Facebook the next day. It definitely got people talking, and many customers had positively commented on the story.

These stories of unusual and extraordinary customer service drove discussion and also drove likes. On top of that such stories are sticky and make such a wonderful story that customers will remember for a long time.

5) If Picture is a Thousand Words, One of Those Words is Hungry.

People love visuals, and they love it when you’re able to show off new menu items that you’re about to launch for a new menu, it’s a great way to tease them to come in.

It’s also a great place to be able to show off some of your signature dishes that your loyal customers may not have had a chance to ever see.

Include some great writing along with your photos and describe the menu items the way you would want your top notch servers to describe it. Your description should be mouth watering so that it drives people to come in.
If you’re Facebook page is starting to look like it’s being filled with too much text, that’s the time to add some photos.

6) Facebook Should Never be a Loner

Now that Facebook doesn’t allow “Fan Gating” (There are 3rd party apps that do allow that now) that doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to drive people to “Like” your page. For example I’ve listed a great way of increasing, “likes” by holding a contest. It’s also important to not look at Facebook as a single entity. You have to look at it as part of your integrated marketing strategy.

Do you promote your Facebook account on the bottom of the restaurant menu? Or if you own a cafe, do you have a little stand that encourages people to “Like” your Facebook to hear about exclusive offers? Are you using your Twitter account to promote your Facebook account as well? If you mention that you have a Facebook account on Twitter, you’ll be surprised that a few of them will click on it and click “Like.”

Have you found a way to increase engagement with your Facebook fans? We’d love to hear some of your ideas.

Help with Yelp
Yelp Banned this Marketing Book from Amazon

Tired of good 4 and 5 star reviews being taken down by Yelp? We know businesses are frustrated at Yelp, and we’ve found out some of the secrets that Yelp has that they don’t want business owners to know. That’s why they banned the book. Inside MCNG Marketing’s book it covers:

1) How to keep genuine reviews from your friends and family to stay on Yelp and not get “flagged.”

2) How Yelp ranks which reviews to show first and how long they stay up for, and how you can use this to your businesses advantage. (I don’t know anybody else that has studied Yelp Engine Optimization)

3) How to deal with aggressive and poor reviews to gain customer loyalty and much more.

MCNG has worked with a business that has over 140,000 visitors a year with their Yelp reputation and business and this book can do the same for your restaurant.

The book is priced at $4.99, which is less than a price of appetizer at your restaurant, but can save and earn you thousands off dollars a year.Let’s be honest, Yelp is here to stay.

If you’re not satisfied with your purchase you can get back 100% money back within 30 days of purchase. Payments are secure as we process via credit card through Paypal. Purchase now.

Buy Now

How often are Americans Eating Out?

More Americans Choose to Dine In to Save Money



running of the waiters

On May 16, 2012 Harris Interactive did an online survey of 2,451 Americans between March 12-19th. Here were some interesting highlights from their research that will offer you some great insight into the dining habits of Americans.

1) 63% of Americans have dined out at a fast food chain in the last month. 53% have been to a casual dining restaurant, and 50% have dined out at a casual restaurant chain. 18% of Americans have dined at a fine restaurant establishment, and about 9% of people dined at a fine restaurant establishment chain (like Morton’s.)

2) About a 1/3rd of Americans have reported that they have been eating less frequently at fast food, casual dining, and casual chain restaurants. One interesting fact that stands out is that 1 in 10 Americans have reported to eating out more frequently.

3) 71% of Americans are cooking at home now, because their primary goal is to save money. While 57% considered going out to eat as a luxury as opposed to being an everyday activity. These numbers aren’t that far off from their Canadian counterparts with the study done by Ipsos Reid.

Approximately 70% of Americans across all age groups from 18 to 66 are finding that they are cooking at home more often to save money.

4) About 29% Americans say that they will cut spending in other areas in order to keep up with their dining habits.

What drives Americans to go eat at restaurants?

The following factors are what motivate diners to go out and eat.

1) 90% said good prices.
2) 84% said their mood (such as cravings for a particular style of cuisine).
3) 81% say a specific dish that they enjoy.
4) 80% said convenient location
5) 78% a broad variety of menu items.
6) 59% said special offers.
7) 58% said healthy items that fit their dietary need.
8) 60% of Americans say choosing the same restaurant is not important to them, nor is a menu that usually has new items.

According to an article by MSN Money, The average American spent $2,505 a year on restaurants in 2010, down from almost $2,700 in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, which is making it harder for restaurant’s to be more profitable year over year.

Times have never been tougher for a restaurant. This is why that you have to ensure that you restaurant stays extraordinary in these times with excellent customer service and brand differentiation and to create intense loyalty. Until consumer confidence rises in the U.S. expect more and more Americans to choose eating at home as the norm.

Help with Yelp
Yelp Banned this Marketing Book from Amazon

Tired of good 4 and 5 star reviews being taken down by Yelp? We know businesses are frustrated at Yelp, and we’ve found out some of the secrets that Yelp has that they don’t want business owners to know. That’s why they banned the book. Inside MCNG Marketing’s book it covers:

1) How to keep genuine reviews from your friends and family to stay on Yelp and not get “flagged.”

2) How Yelp ranks which reviews to show first and how long they stay up for, and how you can use this to your businesses advantage. (I don’t know anybody else that has studied Yelp Engine Optimization)

3) How to deal with aggressive and poor reviews to gain customer loyalty and much more.

MCNG has worked with a business that has over 140,000 visitors a year with their Yelp reputation and business and this book can do the same for your restaurant.

The book is priced at $4.99, which is less than a price of appetizer at your restaurant, but can save and earn you thousands off dollars a year.Let’s be honest, Yelp is here to stay.

If you’re not satisfied with your purchase you can get back 100% money back within 30 days of purchase. Payments are secure as we process via credit card through Paypal. Purchase now.

Buy Now