In this day and age, retailers have it a lot easier when it comes to marketing. In the past decades, they didn’t have as many options compared to what we have now. Everything is more convenient–from brainstorming to execution–thanks to today’s technological advances that provide multiple channels to bolster a brand’s image. Promoting a business has gotten so much easier through digital marketing–and will continue to do so over the years as there are 40% of brands that said they target to increase their marketing analytics budgets for the year 2021.
For retailers who aren’t exactly the tech-savvy type, here are some easy-to-learn budget-friendly strategies to get your retail business started on your digital marketing game plan.
Run Ads on Facebook and Instagram
According to Statistica, Facebook estimated 2.7 billion monthly active users worldwide and almost everyone nowadays has a Facebook and/or Instagram account, and it would be such a waste not to utilize these platforms to advertise a brand. Leveraging Facebook for an online store opens a wide opportunity to reach a larger customer base and increase sales.
Moreover, Elluminatiinc.com revealed that over 90% of millennials use social media frequently to search for products or connect with friends. So having official accounts for each channel and running your ads through them broadens your reach and gives you a chance to build your brand’s credibility. You can also get access to insights and analytics, and make this data work for you in more ways than one.
One of the best ways to improve online visibility in a geographic area is by going for Local SEO. The better the online visibility for retail stores, the more will be the football, and hence, the higher will be the sales and revenues.
While working on SEO, pay attention to how you cluster the topics. Pay close attention to the search intent of the various topics of the cluster. You would want customers entering your store who are ready to buy after they have done their research online.
Partner with Influencers
As per the 2018 study by the Association of National Advertisers, there are 75% of companies engaged in influencer marketing, but there are 36% convinced that it was effective for them. Undeniably, influencer marketing has gained traction in recent years, especially during the pandemic. In most parts of the world, people have been forced to stay home and turn to their mobiles during their idle time. Many rely on the reviews of their trusted social media influencers before purchasing a product or availing of a service. This is a great opportunity for brands to attract and connect with potential customers.
Here is a sample post of an influencer promoting Evening Skincare routine featuring Foreo.
Do Live Streaming to catch up with your Fans
With Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms that allow you to do a live stream, you can easily share content with your audience in a way that is more intimate and authentic. This technique increases customer engagement and makes your audience feel more involved. Viewers can participate in real-time by typing comments or questions that can steer the direction of the discussion, creating a better relationship.
When doing a live stream, choose an appealing topic, choose your platform carefully, get post-event feedback, and follow more tips like these.
Feature Customers and Have a Hashtag for your Brand
Come up with an exclusive hashtag that would jump-start an online community of customers that share a love of your brand. For fashion retailers, encourage your followers to post photos of themselves wearing your products and include your unique hashtag in the caption. You can also give incentives and feature some of them on your official social media account on the regular to entice them to keep the posts coming.
Here is a sample branded hashtag that has 134,248 Instagram posts
Host Contests and Giveaways
You wanna get people to talk about you, right? Hosting contests and giveaways is one of the surefire ways to excite a brand’s fans and draw potential ones in. It would increase your reach dramatically, and would also spark awareness with people who haven’t heard of your brand yet. Most promotional giveaways require following your page, commenting on one of your posts, and tagging a few friends. This alone would already make your brand gain attention, which could translate into sales if done properly.
You can even call your most loyal customers and let them know about the giveaway as they will be more than likely to participate in it.
Create Surveys and Polls
There is no better way to get the pulse of the market than through surveys and polls. This allows you to collect valuable non-customer and customer feedback. From your product to customer service, it lets you know which areas to improve on and welcomes suggestions on how to do so. This also gives you a clearer view of how the public perceives your brand and what it offers.
Almost everyone who has shopped online has fallen for the bait of surprise sales and limited offers. Instill a sense of urgency by tapping into customers’ FOMO (fear of missing out). Make them feel that they are missing out on so many amazing deals and that they would most likely regret not taking advantage of it.
For instance, put up a promotional post on your socials that says “50% off on all items for today!”.
This is a foolproof way to get customers running to your store and loading up their shopping bags.
Give them Complimentary Wi-Fi
Equipping your store with free wi-fi for guests gives you an edge against your competitors because people would most likely enter an establishment that offers it. Also, this is an excellent way to increase the time your customers spend inside. A survey of respondents from over 30 countries shows that they even have a higher chance of coming back because of this in-store benefit. It can even raise the amount customers spend at check out.
Enable Buying Online and In-Store pickup
If you’re like most people, you prefer buying products online to making your transaction inside a boutique. But receiving your online shopping package usually takes at least a few days–and that’s where BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) makes a difference. Shoppers can purchase what they need online, and easily pick it up from the store on the same day. They don’t need to wait for the courier, and they can also save on shipping fees.
There are a lot of digital marketing methods to choose from, and it isn’t a one-size-fits-all subject–it’s about trial and error, too. At the end of the day, it is up to you to choose the ones that work for you and the ones that you can charge to experience.