The Instagram Roadmap – How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Business

1. Setup Your Account + Bio + Profile Photo – Make sure your account gets folks’ attention with a clear photo of you and a bio that helps you get more followers, tells the world what you do, and shares something personal about yourself.

2. Decide On Your Posting Themes – Settle on the types of posts you’re going to create the most often for your feed and for your Instagram Stories. Decide what your posts will look like and how your captions will sound.

3. Post in your feed a few times a week – Post in your Instagram feed consistently, paying attention to how your followers are engaging with what you share.

4. Post on your stories every day – Post on Instagram Stories every day so you stay top of mind and your followers don’t forget about you.

5. Engage more than you post – Grow your following by spending as much time as possible engaging on Instagram by liking and commenting on people’s posts and watching and responding to their Instagram Stories.

6. Take it to the DM – Use your direct messages as a tool for having conversations with your followers, finding out what they want from you, and sharing your products or services.

Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1

Spending Too Much Time Agonizing Over the Perfect Photo
Don’t obsess over the photo and caption on Instagram! It’s kinda easy to do I mean…
I did it for years. But what I learned is that having the perfect photo doesn’t matter
as much to your followers as it does to you. And, more often than not, folks use
“not having the perfect photo” as an excuse for not posting.

Mistake #2

Posting Too Much Content Too Often
You’re probably posting on Instagram more than you need to be… like… a lot more.
You can’t beat the algorithm by posting more often AND, since your posts last so much
longer than they did a year ago, you’re just burning through your content! Focus on
the quality of your posts – not the quantity.

Mistake #3

Not Having a Clear Path for How to Get Your Followers Off of Instagram
The best way to sell on Instagram is by getting folks the heck off of Instagram! If you
don’t know where you’re going to send people next to keep the relationship growing –
and to continue building know, like, and trust with your followers – you’re going to get
lost focusing on the wrong things.

Profitability For Startups

Your Business Model 

Be Less Adverse To Price Increases

If you have an freemium model, then raising price will actually increase your paid subscribers. It’s a sales booster. There is a fear of losing, and are afraid that price will go up again. Don’t change current subscribers.

Offer Premium As a Trial to Free Customers

Processing payment once a year vs. few times a year. You will save on transaction fees. Small but still good, specially if you scale.

Freemium Gets The Word Out

A freemium model when is useful really gets the word out. This is when your product is appreciated by the influencer.

Saving Money – Even Small –

Processing payment once a year vs. few times a year. You will save on transaction fees. Small but still good, specially if you scale.

Cheaper Marketing With Giveaway

Giveaway a promotion that is tied to increasing subscriber instead. If you share with your friend with your referral code – we will put you in the giveaway funnel.

Be Careful – Know Your Legal Rules

Like for example: Area in Canada requires giveway’s to be written in French as well. France requires reimbursement for postage or internet usage.

Intuition Driven to Data Driven

Need to figure out when to start switching from Intuition Driven to Data Driven.

Five Magical Moments

Think of five 5 most magical moments in your customers initial journey.

How to build best customer profile possible

The 5 Rings of Buying Insight you must understand in order to craft targeted campaigns that speak to your buyers’ deepest needs and concerns

Where to make marketing investments for maximum impact – and which marketing sinkholes to avoid

How to distinguish your most receptive prospects from the least likely buyers who waste time, resources and money

Which product and service characteristics have real meaning for your buyers – and merit your most intense sales and marketing focus

Who you should recruit for interviews (Hint: the best interview subjects may not be the ones you expect…)

How to effectively reach, persuade and schedule interview subjects painlessly

Which subset of subjects you absolutely should not approach for an interview

The best times to reach a buyer – and what to do when you go into voice mail

How to get buyers to share information they have not shared with anyone before

The only two things every successful interview must have (and one surprising thing it should not – a script!)

The most important things to listen for – and how to get more of the good stuff, fast How to turn “jargon” into your secret weapon for drawing deeper information

How to probe each phase of the decision-making process, from trigger to purchase

The one thing you should never ask if you’re to sustain trust and confidence

How to address the two most common reasons people don’t buy the solutions you’re marketing

How to build a powerful composite buyer persona from your interviews, easily

How many interviews to conduct to develop an actionable persona

What the acid test is for whether or not to develop further interviews

How to build a true persona-based message that resonates with buyers Which proof points to use – and which to avoid

How to identify the top three priorities and success factors and the top three buyer concerns

How to determine the number of buyer personas you need to build (Hint: it’s fewer than you think)

A fool-proof way to win the hearts and minds of sales people with your persona work

How to build a powerful composite buyer persona from your interviews, easily

How many interviews to conduct to develop an actionable persona

What the acid test is for whether or not to develop further interviews

How to build a true persona-based message that resonates with buyers Which proof points to use – and which to avoid

How to identify the top three priorities and success factors and the top three buyer concerns

How to determine the number of buyer personas you need to build (Hint: it’s fewer than you think)

A fool-proof way to win the hearts and minds of sales people with your persona work

Project Planning Guide For Startups

I am going to be very real here, and there are things that you may not like and here it goes. I have never seen a single project complete on time when I have worked for small to big corporates, with vendors and agencies and even here at Smartly Built. And, I have spoken to 100’s of Founders and Startups – and the story remains the same.

Good development is hard and takes time

Every good developer can really think and code logic for about 4-5 hours a day of stuff they have never worked on before. Anyone else telling you that they will code for 8-10 hours a day straight is just full of shit. So, think how you are budgeting time.

Developers playing multiple roles

Most developers are playing multiple roles of designer, architect, coders, tester and even business analysts. If you are questioning your developers – “Does this make business sense?” you are de-focusing your developer out of context.

Re-work is a pain in the ass

Yes, I can’t tell you the number of times a code or function has to be re-looked at due to compliance irregularities, missing requirements, not matching the experience, unoptimized algorithms, or just not looking through entirely for all dependencies and functionalities from day 1.

Everybody can plan and execute

this is not the problem. But, the reality is maybe not looked across so transparently as it should be.

Align values within your ecosystem

Here are some terms of your values we expect from ourselves and our partners.

  • Stay flexible with changes until the customer is satisfied. We try covering lots of ground early on – like you have seen in the document already. The document is under review by the customer as well so we are also inclined to make sure there is not major scope creep. Small creep even we will accept. Icon here, icon there, pop-up, navigation experience.. etc.
  • There could be less or more screens — this depends on customer wants and experiences before or after prototypes. If its drastic new functionality we can revise scope – but you will have to deliver this on a project basis.
  • You will help developers understand functionality and experience. You need to be available for this handoff during the project and answer any questions.
  • You will also review development completion and make sure that the experience you are suggesting is actually the right experience as intended.

It’s about the structure of the team. Here is what I would implement for a project like Jacktrade

1. Systems engineering – for API and data structure engineering / FE engineering
2. Lead architect – focused on R&D, open source evaluation, pr review, code quality and optimization focus.
3. Lead developer – to lead the project and doing at hand code
4. Software developers – no one less than 2 years of experience, or exceptional candidates if before 2 years.

I would accompany this team with
– 1 QA manager
– 1 QA for each 3 developers (1FE , 2 BE)
– 1 Business analyst
– 1 Product analyst
– 1 Ux designer

There are 4 solutions to every problem:

1. Accept it
2. Change it
3. Leave it
4. Reject it

Let me offer 3 suggestions for you to manage your day today:

  1. The most productive people I know spend more time thinking about WHAT to work on… than HOW to be efficient
  2. Low-productivity people do exactly the opposite, obsessing about tactics and to-do lists instead of systematically deciding WHAT is worth their time
  3. In other words, you can be highly EFFICIENT, but if you’re working on the wrong things, it doesn’t matter. Think about that carefully — which one are you?

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A Digital Product Company Focused On Designing Products That Transform Brands, Grow Businesses. What We Obsess Over?

Making People’s Lives Better.

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Let customers know an approximate delivery before they check out

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John Doe
Searching Online For Local Listings

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    Customer Loyalty Statistics

    • 50% of restaurant operators believe guests would enroll in every loyalty program made available to them, but only 27% of consumers say they actually do,  23% rarely join and 49% only sign up to select relevant programs (Oracle Hospitality)
    • Millennials are more likely to belong to a food and beverage loyalty program than the total population: Millennials 46%, total survey was 36% (Hawk Incentives)
    • 47% of restaurant operators believe their loyalty program offerings are mostly relevant but only 27% of consumers share that opinion and another 27% say offers are rarely relevant (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 30% of millennials plan to sign up for every restaurant loyalty program, while 48% of baby boomers say they will only enroll in select, relevant programs (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 76% of restaurant guests note immediate benefits are more appealing than accumulating points (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 73% of restaurant guests note a single loyalty program that can be used at a range of brands is appealing (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 41% of restaurant guests would submit a YouTube review in exchange for a reward (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 72% of restaurant guests like loyalty programs where points are automatically redeemed (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 58% of restaurant guests would exchange personal details for personalized promotions (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 88% of consumers note redeeming loyalty points on new food recommendations based on purchase history as appealing (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 38% of restaurant customers are most loyal to brands that they have a high opinion of (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 50% of customers say it’s important they can engage with new and exciting menu items from restaurants they are loyal to (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 36% of restaurant guests will typically stick to the brands they like rather than shop around (Oracle Hospitality)
    • 58% of customers would always shop around for different restaurants to eat at (Oracle Hospitality)
    • An article in Restaurant Business maintains that “The stats are in: Consumers are upping restaurant delivery.”
    • 86% of consumers are using off-premise services at least monthly. And a third are using it more than they did a year ago…
    • …Food delivery, in particular, is projected to grow in the double digits – 12% per year over the next five years…
    • …The result is incremental sales growth for operators who can provide the optimal food delivery experience.

    Visualizing the Product – Strategic Experience

    Strategic Experiences For Restaurant Websites or Mobile App – Part 4 – Visualizing the Product

    No detail is too small to consider when you are launching and promoting your product or service. However, the overall visual experience is increasingly important as customers are used to smoothing sophisticated user experiences. So whether its product images or text, be strategic about your visual choices!

    Content

    People are drawn to attractive fonts and easy to read text. Put the most important information at the top and bottom of your page. People read those first, and typically only skim the middle. Draw attention with hand-drawn arrows, underlines and asterisks, however be careful to not overuse these as it can become distracting. 

    Homepage

    Homepage is not the only important page. Consider landing and product pages equally important.  Give your customer an incentive to fill out additional form information by placing it on the “Thank You” page and offering a freebie for their participation. Use a P.S. to throw in an enticing bonus or a reward for taking action within the specific timeframe. People often read headlines first, then read postscripts second. Answer the question that’s foremost on your customer’s mind,“Why should I buy from you instead of a competitor?”

    Product Views

    Shoppers like to zoom in close to get an accurate sense of the product on display. So in addition to having multiple pictures, also  Allow visitors to zoom in on a product to see its detail, as well as the possibility to see the product from different angles. Let users easily sort, filter and view columns of products or items per page to improve their overall browsing experience.

    Images that Draw You In

    Putting up content that clearly explains what you are selling is not enough, on the contrary, you must post tantalizing images of your dishes to sell the maximum amount. Customers first taste your food through their eyes. Hence, images are especially important for a restaurant website. High-resolution pictures of your food items can do wonders. High-resolution and a close-up image of your mouth-watering dishes will compel the customers to convert the traffic from your site into actual customers at your restaurant. Use real professional quality photos, of your best dishes, instead of stock pictures. That is what draws people in.

    The Value of Videos

    Photos are almost a secondary visual, today video is key. A video of the dishes, video of how it’s made, a video of the owners sharing their passion for food. All of these are part of the selling experience that builds a connection for the visitor on your site. 

    So be sure to include videos of all your key products. Can you include a demonstration of how you source your food, health-conscious diners love the natural or organic journey of food from farm to table. And these can make for some beautiful videos. Feel free to use an excerpt of the transcript or a brief description to demonstrate what information the users will learn if they watch your video or listen to your podcast.

    Reflecting your Brand

    In simple words, videos humanize your brand. Include a simple video on landing pages to show there’s a real person behind your brand.” Videos are an excellent way for restaurants to promote their brand to an online audience. For instance, a recent HubSpot survey shows that 72% of people prefer explainer videos to text when learning about a new product. What’s more, 76% of the surveyed restaurants report that embedded videos have increased their website traffic.

     

    Telling the Story

    Creating a storytelling video series is an exciting way to address any holiday slumps in traffic. Ideas for a video series include:

    • founding stories centered around holiday-themed recipes
    • customer and employee interviews discussing holiday-themed restaurant menus
    • special holiday events, performances, or guest appearances at restaurants
    • clips of restaurant chefs sharing tips for hosting large crowds during the holiday season
    • clips of celebrities discussing holiday-themed restaurant dishes

    A note here, let the user choose whether he wants to watch a video – don’t auto start, that’s a turn-off. Try to make videos short clips, easy to watch and skippable if needed, so the visitor can quickly move on as desired. On average, thirty seconds to a minute is the maximum length for a restaurant site. 

    Overall when you are thinking about the visual elements of your site, don’t stop at any single one. This is a holistic approach where the site, the images, the look and feel of graphics, the pictures of food and videos posted all make a difference. The more professional the experience, the more excited your customers will be to visit and share! Social media shares are a huge win for your restaurant and brand, so push beautiful visuals through email marketing, campaign, or even business blogs. 

    If you have any questions on how to make your site more beautiful, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Smartly Built, it’s kinda what we do!

    Step 1 - Building Trust
    Win your customers trust, you will win their business. How will you do this online?
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    Step 2 - Provide Undeniable Value
    World lives and buys by wanting promotions. Find out what really works.
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    Step 3 - Simple Checkout
    Read how the last leg of the buying process is the most critical to manage.
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    Promotions – Strategic Experience

    Promotions is how you win
    Read on to understand more.

     

    Strategic Experiences For Restaurant Websites or Mobile App – Part 3 – Promotions

    Promotions are crucial to drive clients to your online site, and keep them there. If you aren’t sure how your incentive plans should work, or who they should be catered to, we are going to discuss the best options for you and your restaurants.

    Pick your target audience wisely

    Determining which promotions are best for a brand depends on the opportunities that are uncovered in the data. Using this data effectively can pay off just like mass marketing can lead to a lot of lost leads. For example, a restaurant sent out a mass email on opening night, with an offer for kids. Unfortunately, the email distribution included a lot of young diners, without families. That email open rate was at 20%, lower than the typical rate of 32%. Not only did the email campaign not work, because it was irrelevant and users were annoyed, the restaurant saw a high percentage of opt-out of all emails, So remember a bad email campaign can actually hurt you in the long run.

    To better target the right demographic, the marketing team can add a question to the initial enrollment questionnaire. For instance, in the case above a simple question like “Do you have kids in your family?” would have added a key data point for the restaurant. However, an even better question is, “How likely are you to eat out with your kids?” This then gives you a clear indicator of whether a promotion relating to kids would work at all. A well-thought collection of date enables better email segmentation. In cases where there is clear segmentation, the email open rate can be as high as 42%, Targeting based on what guests do versus what guests say allows

    Leverage your website for promotions and offers

    You already have an online presence, use it to make it one of your best marketing tools. You can start with designing a really engaging and tasteful layout for your daily or weekly deals. Make sure to keep this updated with sale offers and deals. If you do have a coupon code section, also be sure to keep this current otherwise your clients are sure to leave your site to look elsewhere.  Be creative. Go beyond the holidays and offer discounts or special promotions for unusual reasons. Einstein’s birthday? National tomato month? That’s $10 off!

    Remember, your promotions can be spread throughout your site. Make valuable use of your “Thank You” page by including an offer for their next visit, or by letting them sign up for notification of new sales and discounts in the future. Also, have a link to your coupon or current promotion right on the landing page. Better yet, automatically fill in the “coupon code” at checkout if possible. Use a pop-up window to remind visitors to sign up or make the last offer before they leave your site. A quick video of promotion can also be fun and engaging. A smart Restaurant is a great tool that uses technology to determine when someone’s about to leave your site.

    Your best salespeople are right in front of you

    Get your team excited! Your team is your best representative to promote you. So I repeat, get them excited! Sales associates and managers are on the front line of stores every day. They understand your product in and out and are trained experts. They are the ones communicating with customers and are essentially a brand ambassador for the loyalty program. It is important for these workers to be excited about the program so they can are naturally motivated to enroll prospects by their genuine enthusiasm when talking about the value and benefits of your product or services.

    Team challenges are a fun way for your employees to get involved and excited about the program is to implement a challenge where they receive prizes based on how many customers they get to enroll. In a case study, a month-long contest of this nature led to an enrollment increase of 244%.

    Now that you have a few new tricks in your bag, go out and smart-promote the heck out of your product and service!