R is for Restaurant Week: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

This Sunday is the first day of Center City Restaurant Week in Philadelphia.  During Restaurant Week, participating restaurants offer three-course dinners for only $35 per person. In addition, many of the participating restaurants will also be offering a three-course lunch for $20.  It’s a great way for people to check out new restaurants and parts of the city.

An event like Restaurant Week could help your business in a couple different ways:

1.  Write a blog about Restaurant Week.  You can connect with your customers by showing how you’re involved in the community and that you keep up with trendy events in the city.  Check out this blog post I wrote for The HUB on Chestnut about Restaurant Week.

2.  Duplicate the idea.  If your business is located on a retail strip or in an area with a few scattered businesses not too far away, why not partner with your fellow business owners and put together your own Restaurant-Week-type of event.  University City District does this well with their Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll – which is a series of outdoor festivals along Baltimore Avenue where m ore than twenty-five participating businesses set up shop on their stoops to offer $1 specials, as attendees walk the streets enjoying live music, street performances, and additional vendors.

3.  Piggy-back on the event.  If your business does not have any nearby neighbors or if Restaurant Week is happening near you but you’re not a restaurant, how about find a way to incorporate your business into the event.  For example, if you’re a nail salon, you could advertise a girl’s night out package.  Your ad could say something like, “Restaurant Week means Girl’s Week Out – get 20% off all manicures during Restaurant Week.”  Or if you’re a clothing store, get playful with it and change your display window to show a “three-course outfit” – a breakfast outfit, lunch outfit, and a dinner outfit.  This is your chance to be creative!

ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.

S is for Social Media: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

Many of you have probably already seen a version of this visual that is a short explanation of the difference between all the popular social media outlets.

Here is my slightly expanded explanation of what this visual demonstrates:

Twitter:  Allows you to quickly update your social network about what you are doing at that moment in time.

Facebook:  Allows you to share your likes and interestes with your social network.

LinkedIn:  Allows you to socially network with professionals.  You may post your resume and join professional groups as well.

Foursquare:  Allows you to share your current location with your social network.  Many locations reward users with deals/coupons for sharing their “check-in” with their social network.

YouTube:  Allows you to share videos with the world.

Instagram:  Allows you to take and artistically edit photos to share with your social networks.

Pinterest:  Allows you to share bookmarks with your social network in the form of an inspiration board display.

Google+:  Yeah, still don’t understand this either.  I have successfully used this a few times to view “private” photo albums that my friends have shared with me.

Last.fm:  Haven’t had any experience with Last.fm.  I prefer Pandora.  I know other people like Spotify.

ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.

W is for Word-of-mouth: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

W is for Word-of-mouth

The #1 form of advertising that consumers trust is “recommendations from people I know.” The #2 form of advertising that consumers trust is “consumer opinions posted online.”

ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.

Small Food Business

Every business owner wants to know if their advertising is successful.  Just because you put your name out there though – be it via online channels or traditional media – doesn’t mean that customers actually trust what they’re hearing.  Nielson Wire recently published the results of a ‘trust in advertising’ survey they conducted and the results might surprise you…(yes, I’m going to make you click ‘more’ to find out what the results are but I promise a nice snazzy graphic in exchange)

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