Title Card: Digital Marketing for Brick-and-Mortar RetailersTechnology has become a huge influencer in our daily way of life, including the way we do business. Organizations who are adapting to the digital trends are positioning themselves to be leaders in the retail space. Whether you are a social media expert or a new user, these tips will help guide you through the basics of digital marketing and just how it can grow your business.

First things first, you MUST have a company website. If you’re not easy to find, you are missing a huge opportunity for more business. However, just having a website and forgetting about it isn’t going to work. SEO- short for Search Engine Optimization- is the process of receiving traffic from organic searches and is crucial to maintain a successful website. In other words, it determines where you fall on the list of suggestions search engines make to users searching for a product/service you offer. Websites with a strong SEO strategy are more likely to receive more business, as majority of users click on one of the first 5 suggested results. Users trust search engines and having a presence in the top positions for the keywords the user is searching, increases the web site’s trust.

Creating a consistent shopping experience across all platforms is also vital to today’s customers. The experience of scrolling through your products online should be as transparent and simple as if you were physically scanning the racks inside the store. This also includes consistency across mobile and desktop experiences. 57% of all US online traffic now come from smartphones and tablets (BrightEdge, 2017). Make a smooth transition into the online world by investing in a well-ran, user friendly website. My Total Retail suggests 3 Ways to Maintain Consistency Between In-Store and Online Customer Experiences.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media has become a core component to business’s marketing strategy, and with good reason. Social media is a major influencer when it comes to millennials purchasing decisions.

Picking the Right Social Media Platform

Many small business owners struggle to find the time to market their business, so being strategic of where you are spending your resources is key to getting the most out of your online marketing efforts. Focus on finding the best social media platforms that complement your business’s needs as well as reach more of your target market.

Facebook: With over 2.45 billion users and various options for any type of organization, Facebook is a great starting point for your business regardless of your industry.

  • Share photos, videos, important company updates and more.
  • Many Advertising opportunities for Brick-and-Mortar retailers.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews on your page.
  • Provides an outlet for customers to message you directly with questions/comments.
  • Facebook uses Edgerank; an algorithm to determine where and what posts appear on each individual user’s news feed. This can help or hurt your ad exposure, depending how strategic your posts are with Edgerank in mind. Sprout Social provides 9 Effective Ways to Outsmart the Facebook Algorithm in 2018

Instagram: Although Instagram is primarily a photo sharing app, its overwhelming popularity, especially with millennial’s, makes it a great option for brand awareness and engagement.

  • Instagram is owned by Facebook so they have a lot of the same features and ad targeting options.
  • Mobile only platform.
  • Ideal for retailers with products of visual appeal
  • Fashion, beauty and food type businesses perform well on Instagram.

Twitter: Twitter has become an effective outlet for handling customer service concerns. Many customers will use twitter when they have an issue with a product or service by tweeting directly at the company. If the company responds quickly, then everyone can see an issue being resolved in real time.

  • Hub for trends, news and political rants all in 280 characters or less.
  • Can follow & search topics by hashtags.
  • Great for sharing links, images, videos and brief messages.
  • Allows you to promote your business as an industry expert.
  • With Twitter, every tweet arrives at every follower’s feed, unlike the filter of Facebook’s EdgeRank.

Pinterest: Pinterest is not necessarily a social media site, but more so a search engine. Larger retailers with products of visual appeal benefit the most from a Pinterest page, especially if your target audience includes hobbyists & craft enthusiasts. If you have a visual product or offer services that have to do with visual planning – such as home remodels, event planning, landscaping, etc. – this is the platform for you.

  • The popularity of Pinterest spans multiple generations.
  • Converts more browsers into buyers.
  • Drives significant traffic to your website, generating more leads.
  • It takes a good amount of work to upload images and tag them correctly in order to optimize your results.

Check out some of our Tenants who are using Digital Marketing effectively to promote their Business!

  • Teddy’s Fruit & Meat Market uses video to capture attention of potential customers. Just look at how many viewers they reached on just this one post!
  • Wired: The Design Boutique is taking advantage of the reach Pinterest has to their target audience. Not only are they providing visuals of their products, they have properly linked each image to direct the customer where they can purchase this item, allowing an effortless transaction to be made.
  • Wingstop has properly used their resources to create a user-friendly website for both the mobile and desktop user.
  • Hair Cuttery stays active on Instagram posting images of happy clients showing off their new do’s as well as products they prefer. They engage their audience by encouraging clients to share their photo using a specific hashtag #MyHCLook to be considered as their Fan of the Month.