The first time marketing maven David “Rev” Ciancio married a couple was on stage at a GWAR concert, the iconic heavy metal band known for their outrageously obscene stage show.
“As part of the finale, I pronounced them “Scum and Maggot,” they then took the bride and the groom and fed them to the meat grinder underneath the drummer and then fed me to it,” recounted Rev Ciancio, a branding and marketing expert (who was ordained online by the Universal Life Church), about his fascinating career path on the Digital Hospitality podcast.
“So my mom was real proud that day.”
When Rev was ordained by the viral online church in the 1990s, people didn’t realize the Rev that was now at the start of his name on legal docs and checks wasn’t his real name. So they naturally started calling him by that moniker.
“People just started calling me Rev and I went with it. I was like, OK, well, you know, my mother doesn’t call me that. My wife doesn’t call me that, but everybody else does.”
See? We told you Rev was a branding expert.
Digital Hospitality Podcast Featuring Rev Ciancio:
Before founding Yeah! Management in 2009, which consults with hospitality businesses about how to market with best practices, Rev Ciancio previously he had a career in the music business.
He then successfully shifted into hospitality, food and beverage marketing.
Along his inspiring path Rev has evolved himself and his career to adapt to the changes around him. Now he wants to help others on their own path.
“I like to tell people I failed at owning a restaurant, but I got really good at marketing one,” said Rev Ciancio on our Digital Hospitality podcast about co-founding and being chief of marketing for the Idle Hands Bar in New York City from 2010-2016.
“And so I dedicated the rest of my career to helping other restaurants be as good as I was at marketing a restaurant.”
Some of his many areas of expertise include:
- Hospitality Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Localized SEO Methods
- Marketing Technology
- Brand Engagement
- Social Media Marketing
Web 1.0 to Web 2.0:
Rev has worked online since the early days of the Internet and has personally experienced the major shifts from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and beyond. He is on an important mission to help restaurant businesses and others learn the necessary digital skills to be a thriving online business.
“I like to joke that for years, customers have been on their iPhones and now restaurants are ready to be on them, too,” Rev said.
Many years ago Rev had an ‘Oh Shit! Moment’ epiphany about his former Blackberry device: “I realized that I could literally create and write a whole blog from a mobile device.”
From then on he became more and more adept at publishing content online using the tools available to us all.
“What am I going to put on Twitter and a blog?,” Rev thought years ago before finding a huge (and hungry) audience online. “And I was like, ‘oh, I’ll start writing about hamburgers.'”
David “Rev” Ciancio
David “Rev” Ciancio is a Senior Marketing, Branding and Digital Strategist. He has 20 years of experience in digital marketing and business development, with specialities in hospitality marketing, content and local SEO.
Rev has led many clients to new levels of success on local, national and international levels in the hospitality, financial service and entertainment industries. He is also former agency owner and a former bar owner in New York City.
He is author of 6 Recipes for Restaurant Marketing Success, an ebook detailing best practices for restaurant marketing online.
- LinkedIn Profile
- Rev on Instagram
- Rev on Twitter
- Rev on Facebook
- @funwithfries on Instagram
Marketing Yourself Online:
Rev has discovered that people in the restaurant business sometimes suffer from two syndromes:
- They think they don’t have time to market themselves online. “I’m an operator, not a marketer,” they say. (Not True)
- They think they don’t know how to market themselves online. “I’m not going to sell a half-assed pizza, so I won’t put out a half-assed Tweet,” they say. (It’s Easier Than You Think)
“Here’s the thing,” Rev states bluntly. ” Being done is better than not being done. Just being good is better than nothing.”
I'm discussing “Restaurants In The New Better” with Kyle Inserra, @donaldburns, @shawnpwalchef, Guy Clarke, and Restaurants Grow. Thursday, Mar 11 at 3:00 PM EST on @joinclubhouse. Join us! https://t.co/A4Ibu5ibOm
— Rev Ciancio (@RevCiancio) March 9, 2021
Rev has lived this himself, which is why he’s confident in his advice. He knows how it can be simple and difficult at the same time to market yourself online with content.
His first Instagram post ever had no caption and was — inexplicably — merely an image of a black square.
View this post on Instagram
“I go back and look at it and I still have no idea why I did that. So you can’t get worse than that.”
For added evidence, Rev shared an early Burger Conquest blog post of his with a photo he considers “laughably terrible.” Judge for yourself on the Burger Conquest blog: https://burgerconquest.com/2008/10/arthurs-in-hoboken-beef-touchdown/
Now Rev has hundreds of thousands of followers and food fans online thanks to sticking with it and not stopping.
“Being a marketer online means literally doing what you’re doing in real life and then pressing the camera button and recording it and then putting it online,” Rev said on Digital Hospitality about the ease of publishing content online with your cell phone.
It only gets easier and easier every year thanks to technologies constant march forward.
Here’s a question that Rev asks to help you realize the potential of re-optimizing your strategy for digital marketing.
Q. When you search for something to buy online, what do you do?
A. You type “(insert item here) near me” into a search engine.
Makes sense, right?
“The Number One ‘near me’ search for 5 years running on Google is restaurants near me. It is not the name of your restaurant. It is specifically the word restaurants.”
“I think it’s 75 percent of people who search restaurant near me make a purchase within 60 minutes. So really it’s not their fingers that are on the keyboards, it’s their wallet,” Rev said about people searching the internet for restaurants to eat at in their area. “If you want to make sure that you acquire new customers, you have to manage your listings on all those sites, especially your menu.”
When someone searches for what you sell online that’s called premeditated intent, and it’s like gold to a business owner.
So you know what to do — just do it, and start marketing yourself online.
Get in touch with Rev Ciancio online at bit.ly/3dfFHcV
How YOU Can Write an E-Book in 2 Hours like Rev:
Rev has shared the open secrets to digital marketing online for many years. He’s even dug into educational topics in ebooks extensively while perfecting the craft of writing and publishing e-books.
On our Digital Hospitality podcast he explaining the step by step process about how he produced and published an ebook with only two hours of work.
- Turn on Zoom.
- Talk into the computer for a few minutes about the ebook topic.
- Uploaded recording to Temi.com to be transcribed for $1.50.
- Uploaded transcription to Google Docs for editing.
- Hired a freelancer from Funnel Rolodex for $150.00 to create a cover and lay out the ebook.
- Publish with ClickFunnels.
- Watch the ebook start to get downloaded.
Stay Curious, Get Involved, Ask For Help
Thank you for engaging with this episode of Digital Hospitality. We hope learning Rev’s story has inspired you in your own story.
We care about you because by listening you are being curious. The next step is to Get Involved and then Ask For Help.
If we as a BBQ restaurant can become a media company; if Rev can manage world-class bands and connect with a global audience online; if you get over your fear and try you will realize your potential too.