Signage, mailers, and word of mouth just aren’t enough to get your business out there anymore. There’s far too much competition, especially since online stores have come on strong.
A brick-and-mortar company that wants to stay competitive and generate higher profits needs to invest in digital marketing tactics. Here are six that come highly recommended.
1. Build a Good Website
Before you argue that this advice is too obvious or out of date, it’s worthwhile to note that almost 50 percent of small businesses don’t have their own website. Launching a website is the crucial first step in a solid digital marketing strategy, but any old website won’t do.
Yours should be high quality, fully responsive, branded, and optimized for SEO. Technology makes it fairly simple to build your own website, but if you do, invest in a quality, premium template that matches your brand. Because it will be supported and is typically better designed, a premium site is preferable to choosing a freebie, even given the cost. Also, make sure to have the website support the latest design and web technologies such as progressive apps.
If you’re struggling to find the right theme for your site, you might consider hiring a web designer to build it for you. Sure, it will be costly, but well worth the investment, especially if you pursue the rest of the digital strategy below.
2. Use Local SEO
SEO is one of the vital metrics of digital marketing for an online business. It focuses on using content to boost your website’s placement in search rankings.
Local SEO ensures your website will rank high in search rankings when a search query for your neighborhood gets entered. Good local SEO is about making local keywords prominent throughout your web pages and blog posts.
A sure method of creating successful local SEO is for you to become a resource for information about your part of the city. Besides discussing your own products and services, you can also describe the surrounding area, including the scenery, things your region is famous for, neighborhood news, and so on.
When consumers use local keywords, this content will make your site rank higher.
3. Create Digital Window Shopping Opportunities
Brick-and-mortar shopping still outperforms online shopping, but you can help it along by creating online window shopping opportunities. This enables people to peruse items without leaving the couch, which fosters a strong impression of your business.
There are many ways to deliver this experience. One is to create a showroom on your website. It should feature a well-organized page where consumers can view products and their details by category. Use high-quality photos and information to attract and hold attention.
You can also give visitors a sneak peek into your shop with social media. Posting featured items on your Facebook pages will increase your following and engage interest. Pinterest can also help your operation stay organized and increase your digital and physical following.
4. Use Email Marketing to Its Fullest Advantage
Email can trigger powerful responses in customers if used appropriately. Coupons, promotions, new products, and similar exciting announcements for your physical store can bring customers your way.
Developing a strong following for your email marketing strategy is fairly simple. Just ask your customers for their email addresses at checkout. Then send regular emails, at least once a week.
This can be a powerful method for expanding your business. Over two-third of small-to-medium companies that used email marketing find it as a key growth factor. Make sure to optimize your emails for mobile use, though.
According to a Pew Research Center study, 88 percent of consumers open their emails on their mobile devices. Make your emails accessible on mobile and make certain the links are optimized for mobile viewing.
5. Focus More on Social Media
Social media is one of the best ways to connect your physical and digital marketing strategies when employed intelligently. Valuable, entertaining posts give customers a reason to stay in touch with you online, and they can motivate multiple visits.
Start with an omnichannel social media presence, with profiles on Facebook and Twitter at the very least. Instagram is also growing in popularity for brick-and-mortar businesses, and depending on your industry, you might also benefit from using Pinterest, LinkedIn, and GooglePlus as well.
If you already have a social media presence, kick it up a notch. Eliminate dull updates and automated posts. Hold social media contests, share insights about new products, offer exclusive discounts to your followers; in short, make it a fun and positive way for consumers to connect with you.
Most important, advertise your social media pages inside your brick-and-mortar store. Offer a discount or prize to anyone who follows you on social media. Give them a reason to visit you both in the store and online.
6. Leverage Online Reviews
Word-of-mouth marketing is among the most powerful metrics for encouraging new and repeat customers. More than two-thirds of customers rely on the advice of others, even complete strangers, to influence their purchasing decisions. If you’re online, where people can review your place of business, you’ll have those recommendations built in.
Register your website with Google Places, Yelp, and similar business listing sites. Include your contact information and hours of business. Most of the time, reviews will come to you, but you can create incentives to attract more. Any customer who leaves a review could receive 10 percent off his or her next purchase, for example.
It’s not uncommon for a business to get negative reviews, but if you deal with them wisely, you can minimize the damage. Respond to negative reviews with positive comments and solutions. This lets customers know you care, and leaves a generally good impression.
The way to the hearts of your brick-and-mortar customers is through your online presence. The above six digital tactics can enhance your marketing strategy and help your brand become more popular and visible among your target audience.