You’ve taken the plunge to be open your own business and attain financial freedom. The retail business for which you are so passionate about can make your work seem like play
and transform how you make your living.
If you have made it this far, the hard part is over. The fact that you have reached the point of leasing your space, buying your products, and hiring staff, says a great deal about your drive and determination. Now it’s time to take all your hard work and make your dream a reality through effective marketing.
The key in retail store marketing is conveying your value. Marketing by definition is the actions that promote your business and make prospective customers and shoppers want to come to you. Think about your business for a minute. Now think of your closest competitor. What differentiates your store from your competitor? Is it your prices? Is it your helpful or knowledgeable staff? Is it your product assortment? Is it your business hours, or policies, such as returns and guarantees?
Make a list of the major areas that differentiate you from the competition. After that, write down how these areas benefit your customers. These are the key areas that you want to emphasize within your marketing. These differences are your “unique value proposition” and used as the foundation for how to market a retail store. Make sure you emphasize these individual differences within your marketing materials and in your advertising campaigns. Determining what those materials and campaigns will be and how to execute them, is a crucial next step.
Ways To Effectively Market A Retail Store In The Digital Age
Everyone knows about the marketing methods of the past; a listing in the Yellow Pages, print advertising, mass mailings, billboards, and radio spots. While these methods are very useful, there are new digital methods for which you can create more demand for what you have to sell.
Today, the primary advertising medium to consider in constructing your marketing plan is the internet. In today’s world, consumers are using the internet to find every type of business or products that meets their needs. No matter if you are a hair salon or a hockey supply store, it is crucial that you consider the impact for which the internet can bring to not only your store traffic but also the overall sales that traffic will generate. The primary advantages of web-based marketing are that the marketing is more targeted than traditional methods.
Create A Website For Your Business
Every business should have some presence on the internet. Begin by creating a website for your business. We suggest a WordPress platform. For many reasons, WordPress is considered an excellent platform for startups or small businesses looking to create a website. WordPress is very easy to use and maintain, so you don’t need an expensive computer consultant to help you build a basic website.
Create A Business Facebook Page
The same goes for creating a Facebook business page for your store. So that you have complete control of it, your Facebook business page will be interlinked to your personal Facebook profile (never use your personal Facebook profile to market your business), and you’ll use that to manage your business page. Just remember that unlike your personal Facebook posts, the content you post on your business page shouldn’t just be about you or your business. Aim 80% of what you post toward addressing the needs and interests of the followers of your business. The other 20% can be about how your business can meet their needs. In other words, have fun; talk to them, not at them.
Search Engine Marketing
Once you have a website, another effective way to promote your business is through search engine marketing. If you aren’t familiar with Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, it is the process of marketing your store through the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. By choosing specific terms (keywords) relating to your business in terms that your customers type into their browsers, your website will receive significant targeted traffic to draw in new business.
For example, let’s say you are a fishing shop located in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. After your company website is up and running, you want to make sure that your URL (i.e. the address www.yourstore.com) pops up in search results when consumers search for fishing related terms that targeted to your geographic location.
To do this effectively, you’ll need to do some brainstorming. Think of combinations of keywords that correspond with your business. In this case, the owner or marketer would want to use terms like Chicago fishing, Illinois Fishing, Chicago tackle store, Illinois fishing store, etc. Think of every possible term and don’t worry about having too many terms – that’s the key to doing well!
Pay Per Click
Your next step is to register with Google, Yahoo, and MSN for their paid search programs. Paid search means that you will pay for every visitor that comes to your site through your
paid ad. Within the management platforms within Google etc., you can control your maximum amount that you want to offer for a unique keyword. Don’t feel that you have to be the number one bidder for all of your keywords as the top 6 spots typically get qualified traffic. Make sure that you point specific pages to the search terms that are requested. If someone searches for “Fishing Rods Store Chicago”, be sure to take your web visitor to the web page that best speaks to “fishing rods.”
Facebook Ads and Retargeting
Another way to reach potential customers is through Facebook advertising and retargeting. There is a slight difference between placing Facebook ads and placing ads through search engines. People use search engines for research and solving problems. People use Facebook for social purposes, interests, and finding friends. Therefore the way you approach Facebook advertising is different than the way you approach internet advertising. Instead of targeting keywords to solve problems, you are going to focus on people’s interests and hobbies. There is also less competition on Facebook than there is with PPC advertising.
By using Facebook to create ads, you will be able to target users precisely by geographic areas, interests, and demographics, as well as control the day and time your ads are delivered. You can also decide if you want to use these ads to drive traffic to your website, promote a particular product, or get more Likes to your Facebook page.
Facebook also gives you the ability to create custom audiences. With Custom Audiences, you can remarket your business to people who are on Facebook and have previously visited your website. Whether you decide to use ads or to retarget, you’ll be able to track what actions they take on your site.
Never Stop Monitoring And Learning From Your Marketing Efforts
By defining your value proposition and marketing your store through traditional and digital channels, your business will gain new customers that are looking to buy your products and services. It’s important to remember that you must monitor your marketing efforts and see ways to improve your response numbers as you progress. As you continue to learn new ways of marketing your business, it will continue to grow and give you profit for the years to come.