Useful Tips for Marketing A Small Brick and Mortar Business
6 Ideas To Get You Started
Owning a brick and mortar store in 2020 means constant iteration and getting creative to maintain and improve your customers’ experiences. This includes how you market yourself, especially online. Did you know that 74% of smartphone users over 18 use their phone’s location-based services to get directions or discover local information? This matters to your business because people are searching online before heading into your location.
While there can be some obstacles in driving customers to your store right now, these useful tips will help you maximize those mobile, location-based searches as well as social media to build your business and increase sales.
Why Do I Need Digital Marketing for My Brick and Mortar Business?
While your business may be local and in-person, your current and potential customers are online. This is especially important during COVID-19, where many people are spending more time online and less time strolling the streets and discovering your storefront.
Digital marketing brings your physical presence to these potential audiences where they’re spending a significant amount of their time through tactics like location tagging, hashtag use, and paid advertising.
The more you can reach people on a regular basis online to provide value and promote your physical location, the more likely people will be to visit your store.
Maintain Your Google My Business Listing
Your Google My Business listing is one of the most important pieces of your online presence. This is essentially a free, top of page result for your company with links to your website, tap to call on mobile, your hours, address, and more. Because this appears at the top of searches, it’s important to keep it updated.
Because 88% of “near me” searches occur on mobile devices and Google’s focus on keeping Google My Business mobile-friendly, it’s an essential piece of your digital marketing as a brick and mortar store.
This is particularly important during COVID, because local and state regulations are constantly changing and your GMB listing states your hours as well as pick up, indoor dining, and delivery options.
Build Your Email List
Building your email list can seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s well worth the effort. Why? Email marketing has the highest ROI of any type of marketing campaign. You can do this in-store and online.
In-store, offer a discount or gift with their purchase if they sign up for your newsletter. Make sure you transfer this information into your email service provider every day so you aren’t missing any names. Those are current customers who will likely repurchase from you if you continue to build the relationship through email content they find valuable, like how to get the most out of their purchase.
Growing your email list online involves a similar technique. Implement a pop-up offering a discount or gift with purchase upon signing up, and offer an opt-in during the checkout process to subscribe for future offers and to be the first to know about new products or services.
This comes down to a single, very important element: your email list should make people feel special. The better this occurs, the more your list will grow.
Prioritize an Active Online Presence
Think of social media as your online storefront. If you want to be seen, you have to prioritize your online presence. This means posting frequently on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any social network where your audience lives online.
A common question we get is, “but what do I post?” Don’t overthink it! Share about products or services, introduce yourself and your team, and post information that your target audience would find helpful.
This is particularly important during COVID-19, because, again, people are spending a lot of time on social media and you want to be seen. It’s also a valuable way to update followers on service changes, how you’re keeping people safe, and offerings if they aren’t on your email list.
Create and Advertise a Customer Loyalty Program
Starbucks’ Gold card is more than a gift card. It’s a way to encourage customer loyalty. You can do the same thing, even if you don’t have stores on every corner. Build on your confidence in your product by offering a customer loyalty program. It could be a free item every 10 purchases, a point for every dollar spent, or something similar.
Keep it simple, and keep it accessible. The best rewards won’t entice customers if they can’t reach it on a regular basis. Starbucks’ program works because it’s tiered. You know what to expect, and different amounts get you different rewards. Your system doesn’t have to be as sophisticated, but it does need to be approachable in the same way.
The more you can build habits with your customers and provide them with great, consistent service, the more loyal they’ll be moving forward.
Leverage Paid Advertising
Paid advertising is a complex topic, but it’s definitely worth mentioning because it’s a valuable resource in driving customers to your storefront. It’s also a great resource for small businesses because you can start with a small budget and target exactly who you want through Facebook and Instagram’s detailed interest-based targeting options.
Paid social advertising also helps you reach users while they’re scrolling even if they don’t follow you. You can also remarket to people who have visited your website or engaged with your account on Facebook or Instagram.
Paid search, also called pay-per-click marketing, shows your ads based on words users search. This is a great way to capture people when they have a high intent to call or purchase, making this a “must add” for most, if not all, small businesses.
Now is The Time
Make 2020 the year your brick and mortar store really takes off by building a connection with your current and potential customers through digital marketing. From maintaining your Google My Business listing to growing an email list and engaging with users on social media, you can succeed in marketing your business this year.
If you’re ready to launch a strategic marketing plan specialized for your brick and mortar store, give us a call at (800) 692-4037 or send us a message. We’ve helped businesses like yours drive online and in-person traffic to increase sales, close deals, and build brand awareness, and we can help you do the same.
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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