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Why Restaurants Are Moving to Mobile Apps and Facebook

At Launchpad App Development, we are always keeping up to date with the latest trends and insights in the world of apps and mobile. A notable trend we’ve been witnessing is the increase of businesses in the hospitality industry using apps and social media. It’s easy to see why. Social media and mobile has benefited many industries in the past few years by increasing efficiency, sales and innovation. Restaurants and cafes can also achieve these benefits through mobile, allowing them the opportunity to increase customers and sales. Today we give you an insight on why your restaurant should take advantage of mobile browsing, social media and smartphone apps.


Smartphones are changing our lives

Smartphones have changed many elements of people’s lives. For example, many young people rely on the clock on their phones, instead of wearing watches. In addition, it has also changed our purchase behaviour, where people buy things due to mobile commerce, which is a growing and lucrative market.

For instance, Restaurant App Engines found that 51% of smartphone users say they would be far more likely to make a purchase from a retailer or restaurant with a mobile specific website or app then search a retailer on a desktop. However, currently only 4.8% of retailers currently have a mobile specific site or app for their hospitality business.

 

How will an app benefit my business?

There are many benefits of creating an app for your hospitality business, such as:

  • Gaining more reviews:

An app gives users the opportunity to establish a database of reviews from customers. Customers can rate and write their own reviews, while also reading reviews from previous customers. Online reviews are one of the main elements that influence a consumer’s purchase decision. According to Invesp, 90% of consumers online reviews before they visit a general business. As a result, having positive reviews will most likely increase sales and customer conversion.

 

 

  • Creating convenience for customers:

Creating an app can increase convenience for your customers, enhancing customer experience. Building an app can provide customers easy access to information, such as your menu, daily specials, business hours and store location.
In fact, previewing menus could influence customers visiting your restaurant. Research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey found that 62% of customers would less likely go to your restaurant if they can’t see a menu on their mobile.

 

Melbourne App Developer      Source: Guzman y Gomez’s app from the Google Play store

In addition, an app can help make the entire purchase process much easier. Customers can order their meal on their mobile and collect it in store. This decreases any long wait times or queues that consumers might experience during peak hours, reducing customer annoyance.

 

 

  • Gaining the competitive edge through incentives:

With an app you could even offer incentives, such as loyalty programs or mobile coupons, to increase sales and repeat customer visits, giving you the competitive edge. For example, Starbucks has a rewards program on its app, allow customers to redeem free music, drinks and apps.

Mobile App Development Melbourne

Source:  Google Play Store


Case Study: Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza is an example of a restaurant that gained success through creating an app. The app allows customers to view menus, order and customise pizzas with ease, while also tracking their order in real time. Released in 2009, starting with the iPhone, the app helped increase $2 million in sales within weeks upon release. Combined with its Android and Smartwatch platforms, the app continues to contribute in the pizza chain’s profit increases.

 

App Development Australia

Domino’s app allows you to order, pay and track delivery on your smartphone.

 

How will Facebook benefit my business?

Facebook now has over 1.13 billions daily active users with 1.03 billions users who access social networks via mobile devices. People spend a lot of time on social networks with an average of 50 minutes on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger every day.

This is a great opportunity to interact and engage with your target market. This can be done in various ways, such as providing menu updates, offering discounts or gaining feedback from customers. In addition, you can use images and videos to capture the interest of your target market, which can instantly become a return on investment.

Facebook campaign uses a pay-to-pay network, which gives you the ability to target users by their location, demographics, age, gender, interests, behaviours and much more. Facebook gives you the ability to easily track your users and provides you with an immediate influx of traffic.

As a result, Facebook marketing will give you the opportunity to capture your audience’s attention before they begin searching for other business like yours and potentially increase sales.

 

So what does this mean for restaurants today?

People are far more selective when it comes to eating out and are more inclined to share their dining experience on social media and blogs. Today, a majority of our decisions are influenced by research and information found online or recommendations by family and friends who post about their experiences through social media.

Users tend to use online reviews such as Google or Facebook when making their decision about where to eat. According to Modern Restaurant Management, around 80% of people will check the rating of a restaurant online before stepping inside. This can include checking websites or looking at reviews on different social media platforms. In addition, these 80% of people are more likely to take action the same day as their search.

At Launchpad App Development, we create innovative apps that will benefit your business and give you the competitive edge. We work with you throughout the app making process to enhance your app idea. We have worked with entrepreneurs and businesses from various industries around Australia to create the app of their dreams.

Have an app idea? Contact us today!

 

 

An App Entrepreneur’s Guide to Instagram Advertising

Instagram reached two important milestones in 2015. Neither of them had anything to do with Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber. Firstly, Instagram surpassed Twitter to become the second biggest social media platform in the world, after its parent company Facebook. Secondly, and most importantly for this blog topic, Instagram activated its advertising API for marketers to use in their advertising collateral. Read on to find out how Instagram ads can help get your app more downloads in 2016.

As we have stated in one of our previous blogs, businesses are moving away from traditional advertising channels and taking advantage of social media’s powerful influence on society. Instagram is following Facebook’s lead on advertising and now allowing small businesses, as well as large companies, to advertise within the app. We have seen the benefits of Facebook advertising for small businesses but can Instagram Advertising have the same effect?

According to eMarketer, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues will reach $2.81 billion by 2017. This will account for over 10% of parent company Facebook’s global ad revenues, surpassing Twitter and Google’s ad revenues altogether. This indicates that Instagram will quickly become a leading platform for advertising. As a rsult, early adopting businesses will reap the rewards of using the Instagram app for mobile marketing.

Instagram Mobile Marketing

Instagram’s Ad revenue is set to surpass Google and Twitter by 2017. Source: eMarketer

But how will Instagram ads be different from what’s in our feed’s now?

Previously, Instagram ads were targeted based on country, gender and age. Now Instagram will use an algorithm, which incorporates data from users Facebook profiles and Facebook ad buys, to make their advertisements more relevant but without a huge increase of ads on the average feed. This means that advertisements are going to be more effective as the relevant people are going to be reached.

So you’re an app entrepreneur that wants to make use of Instagram advertising, but want to understand the science behind what makes an Instagram ad effective. Here’s our top 5 tips and tools to creating adverts that are #instagood.

1. Learn About The Different Forms of Advertisements On Instagram.

Instagram advertising has evolved quickly in the past year. There is now an array of options that you can apply for your Instagram advertising campaign. Lets look at them below:

Photo Ads

Photo ads are what users see the most in their Instagram feeds. They use high quality visual imagery to deliver your message and engage viewers. They are simple but extremely effective in reaching target markets and creating brand awareness. All these ads have a small ‘Sponsored’ icon in the top right corner to distinguish themselves from regular Instagram posts.

Video Ads

Video ads allow up to 30 seconds of creative video, including sound, to entice your viewer. The use of short video advertisements is rising and the benefits of video advertising are there for all marketers to see. However, it’s important to use engaging visual imagery to capture the viewer’s attention and not rely solely on sound to deliver your message, as the ad must be clicked on to for sound to be heard.

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are Instagram’s newest advertisement feature. You can advertise your app using a number of different images in the same advertisement. Swipe right and the viewer see’s another image, with a different message or call to action. Swipe right again and they see another image. Carousel ads are strong performing and flexible, allowing you to use a number of different images and call to actions.

Instagrams Advertisements

The three Instagram advertising formats. Source: Instagram Business.

 

2. Get Your Advertisement Design Right.

The design element of your advertisement is crucial to the overall success of your advertisement. Unfortunately, just posting up an image of your product that hasn’t been given much thought will not get the desired response you are after. I’ve outlined some key steps to follow when designing your advertisements.

  1. Create a focal point in your image, which will engage the viewer and capture their attention.
  2. Make use of the rule of thirds and symmetry in your advertisements. Rarely place your focal point in the centre of the image.
  3. Use your logo subtly, not as the focal point, as it becomes a distraction and takes away from the content of your advertisement.
  4. When using text, utilise it to compliment the focal point and make the same fonts, one or two max, consistent across all of your posts. Only 20% of your image can be made up of text.
  5. The use of colour and contrast is key to creating a strong image. Use a plain background to help your focal point colour shine and make the image pop. When using a coloured background, contrast this with a white coloured focal point or text.
  6. Be consistent with your brand advertisement look. Your different advertisements should have a consistent look, whether it is similar compositions, use of fonts and colours or place of logo. This makes your brand recognisable and distinguishable to customers from other content.

3. Make Your Advertisements Look Native.

Making your advertisement look native doesn’t mean you need to have images of people from the depths of the African jungle in your ad. What I mean by native is making your advertisement blend in so it appears as though it isn’t even an advertisement.

You want your advertisement to look like any other Instagram post that might pop up on the average newsfeed. This means that you are not ruining the users overall Instagram feed by spamming them with obvious advertisements, much to the chagrin of many users (myself included!) and creating negativity around your app.

Instagram Ad Post

The Sprint ‘post’ to the left is clearly an ad, while the post to the right looks like a normal Instagram post. Source: The Verge

 

4. Use calls-to-action

Before Instagram allowed advertising, the only way to create traffic to your website was through putting a link to your website in your bio. Instagram was great for promoting brand awareness, but for directing users to a buy now page or prompting them to download your app? Not so much.

With the new advertising API release, Instagram has created Calls-to-Action buttons for use in advertisements. You can use these calls-to-action including, Install Now, Shop Now, Sign Up, Download and Learn More.

Instagram Ads Call To Action

These calls-to-actions can do a number of different things, such as opening a shop inside of Instagram or linking the user directly to their respective App Store for download of your app. Calls-to-action are making Instagram a far more effective marketing tool and all strong app marketing campaigns going forward will make use of them.

5. Make use of relevant hashtags.

Hashtags are critical to brand promotion, audience engagement and can be used across a number of platforms. Using hashtags comes easy for most of us on Instagram, but for advertising, you need to use them strategically. When used correctly, hashtags can reward brands with a larger audience and engagement outside of their local area. There are three different forms of hashtags that businesses can make use of.

Content Hashtags

Content hashtags, such as lifestyle, event or location hashtags, can get you views and click throughs from people who are searching for or using these hashtags. Hashtags such as #mondays, #coffeefix or #melbourne are all great examples of content hashtags that can be used to great effect in advertising.

Trending Hashtags

Making use of trending hashtags allows you to potentially promote your brand out to a large-scale audience, without the need to create the hashtag yourself. Businesses use trending hashtags such as #AFLGrandFinal or #fitness to effectively promote their brand and engage with a wider audience.

Custom Brand Hashtags

You can create a hashtag for your marketing campaign and promotions. Some of the top brands across the globe use their own hashtags in their posts, which become recognisable to their brand and can then be used by other users to create a community of followers and content around the brand’s hashtag.

They can be difficult to create and maintain, but if your custom hashtag becomes popular, the brand awareness can be immense.

A great example is KitKat’s marketing campaign featuring the hashtag #mybreak. KitKat utilises the hashtag across their social media pages and many other Instagram users upload photos of their own KitKat’s along with the hashtag, creating a community of KitKat fans and a growing audience.

Your Instagram Advertising Campaign Starts Now

Instagram advertising looks pretty straightforward. But without following these key steps, you won’t get the most out of the potential it can offer.

First, decide on what ad format you will use. Next, get your advertisement design looking on point. Your advertisement shouldn’t blatantly look like an advertisement – make it look native to the Instagram newsfeed. Use relevant hash tags to promote your brand and advertisements. And don’t forget to make use of calls-to-action!

Using those tools and tips above will help you design strong advertisements on Instagram and contribute more to the overall advertising of your app.

Do you have any other tools or tips to use for advertising on Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.