How lurkers turned $90 Facebook Ad spend into $1600 worth of sales for a small local business

Seating outside of Babaji's Kitchen Restaurant.

Never misjudge Facebook or Instagram lurkers. They’re the ones seeing your organic post or paid ad and then scrolling without liking or commenting. You know who they are. You may be a ‘lurker’ yourself.
But it does pay to understand your audience, in order to communicate the message they want to hear and get your conversion.

The lurkers may not communicate with you, but they are watching.

For Babaji’s Kitchen, a proud, charming restaurant that sells South Indian street food in Belgrave, COVID restrictions in the Melbourne area struck hard.

Belgrave is situated in the mountains. Similar to the sheep to human ratio in New Zealand (ie: 5.6 sheep to every human), Belgrave has a similar situation but with forests of gum trees. And gum trees don’t eat!

What to do?

With Melbourne having one of the toughest lockdown’s in the world, Babaji’s owner, Billy Crombie needed to reinvent the way people could obtain her husband’s genuine Keralan cuisine. Lavishes of dosa and thali would go to waste if Babaji Kitchen couldn’t find more of an audience. Closing the restaurant permanently, would be another dire consequence.

To survive and thrive, Billy created a need for people in nearby towns, up to 60 minutes away, to try the unique South Indian dishes. So Billy and her husband created a South Indian banana leaf banquet with preparation instructions, delivered to their door. Since some of the delivery destinations were 60 minutes away, the delivery needed to be co-ordinated to once a week.

The Marketing Message

The message was simple. Babaji’s Kitchen was delivering to Yarra Valley and King Lake area on a specific date. The communication matched the typical tone of voice of Babji’s kitchen (ie: bright, cheeky and colourful)

The Facebook message read:

We’re transporting you out of this lockdown and straight to tropical South India with banana leaf banquets delivered to your door.

Deliveries to Kinglake and Yarra Valley this Saturday. Orders in by Thursday night, 9pm.

Comes with real banana leaf & instructions on how to heat and eat your banquet Indian style!

Lots of vegan & gluten free options.

Babajis Kitchen, Belgrave

The communication

Babaji’s Kitchen needed to get in front of their audience.

Babaji’s Kitchen posted organically on their Facebook Business Page and Instagram Page.

They also showcased their service in the suburban Facebook groups they were delivering to. This included smaller community groups rather than the Buy, Swap and Sell local groups. However, they did not spam all Facebook Groups vaguely connected to the area.

They advertised directly in the area on Facebook and Instagram. They targeted the local areas with the above advert and targeted people who were interested in foodies, veganism or India.

The result

Babajis created brand awareness to about 4,500 people.

From those 4500 people, 183 people were curious and clicked through to find out more information.
They had a total of 80 customers, 70 of them totally new customers. In order to find out what type of marketing worked, Babajis sent out an SMS the next day, to everyone who ordered. It stated:

Hope you enjoyed your banana leaf banquet last night.
Have you 1 minute to help us understand what works for our small business by letting us know – ‘where did you hear about us’. Please reply with a number. Was is:
1. Facebook / Instagram advert
2. Local Facebook GROUP post
3. Directly on Babaji’s Kitchen own Facebook page
4. Word of mouth – from friends

From the 40 people who responded:

  • 16 came from the advert
  • 13 came from the Facebook Group
  • 1 came from organic posting (Babajis Kitchen own Facebook page, as most were new customers, this is to be expected)
  • 10 came from word of mouth

From the $90 advertising spend, they made $1600. This is about 17.77 ROAS (Return On Ad Spend). To give some perspective, any figure over 4 ROAS means you have done well.

Why it worked

For a small business, it can be hard to know where your sales are coming from. Of course, everyone ideally wants word of mouth marketing as it literally costs nothing. We also know, solely relying on word of mouth does not necessarily give you the results to survive, especially in a pandemic.

Babaji’s message reflected their values and hyper-targeted to the local areas they were delivering in.

The advertising worked because it was surrounded by other marketing communication methods. From a customer’s perspective, they may have been exposed to seeing Babajis offer in the Facebook Group, then forgot. Only to be reminded again when the ad popped up on their feed or vice versa.

Being front of mind is key in campaigns.

Even small, struggling businesses can have successful campaigns if executed correctly.

Thank you

A big shout out to Babaji’s Kitchen for allowing us to use this insightful data to help other businesses understand the benefit’s of getting all the elements of marketing right.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BabajisKitchen

Instagram Account: https://www.instagram.com/babajiskitchen

Order Food: https://www.mryum.com/babajis

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