Opening a business can be a surreal experience. The grand opening, the new customers rushing to see what you offer…maybe even some press coverage. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle will not last forever, so it is important to ramp up your advertising strategy to keep business flowing and to keep customers in your store.
This is called brick and mortar marketing or ‘retail marketing’. Despite the increase in online shopping, customers still love an in-store experience. There are many techniques, both in-person and online to advertise your business, entice new customers (and keep your loyal ones) and boost revenue.
This blog is here to show you the top four strategies to perfect your brick and mortar marketing.
Brick and mortar marketing strategies
Great customer experience
This one may seem very obvious but the power of a great shopping experience has kept customers coming back time after time for many businesses. There are many ways to ramp up your shopping experience. You can offer refreshments or freebies, offer assistance to customers, reward loyalty with incentives, offer discounts, loyalty card schemes and an overall friendly and welcoming environment. Offering a great customer experience will boost your reputation and create ‘word of mouth’ recommendations between peers. It’s a great way to get people talking about your business and, if they have a great experience, customers are more likely to return or recommend a friend – boosting your revenue and customer base.
This great customer experience has helped small businesses compete with big industry leaders as they have built a loyal customer base and reputation purely from a positive shopping experience.
In fact, 92% of consumers trust word of mouth recommendations from friends and family over any other form of advertising as they believe it is the most reliable representation of the business.
Displays and signs
Bold signs and displays are a great way to capture the attention of customers, especially in a crowded high street competing to entice customers into their store. It is important to decide the tone of voice and brand identity you would like to exude and ensure this is maintained throughout all of your messaging.
Use your shop window to promote any flash sales or promotional events you may wish to run. You can also use window displays to showcase your product and inspire potential customers who may be browsing the high street.
It is important to ensure your signs and window displays are well presented and it may even be worth hiring a professional to design these for you.
Signs and displays are not restricted to just your store, you can also hire billboard spaces and advertising spaces to reach a wider scale audience. Although this technique is very old, it still remains a powerful tool to promote your business and brand. You can pay for spaces inside shopping malls, on roadsides and even in food courts.
Caption: Example of a billboard in a shopping mall. Source: oohmedia.com
Invest in local SEO
Local SEO is a subcategory of search engine optimisation that helps brick and mortar businesses be found in a local area or for local search intent. According to Hubspot, Local SEO is important as 46% of searches online have a local intent of customers looking for a business or service and 72% of these ended up in a physical in-store visit.
Local SEO is a great digital marketing strategy to increase your online visibility and to get found in the search engine results without having to use paid advertising methods. In this section, we will delve into how local SEO works and its best practises.
The Local SEO Algorithm
The aim of local SEO is to be found in the ‘Map Pack’. This is a group of three businesses grouped together and attached with a Google Map showing where each business is. The Map Pack is created by businesses that satisfy the user intent. This could be a type of business, for example, ‘hairdresser’ or it could also have a location added, for example, ‘Hairdresser Bournemouth’.
There are three main elements to the algorithm that decides the business ranking. These are:
- Proximity: This is how close you are to the searcher and the areas you serve are a business.
- Prominence: How well known your business is online and how much of a discussion, usually through reviews, your business has.
- Relevance: This is how relevant your business is to the user’s search intent. This could be a business category, service or location.
There are three main pillars of local SEO strategy that you can use to boost your local presence and business visibility.
Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile, formerly named Google My Business, is a free tool that helps you take charge of how your business is shown in the search results and on Google maps. It allowed you to add features such as:
- Your business name, address, phone number and website (if applicable)
- Your business category and any products or services you offer
- Photos showcasing your business
- Posts updates to showcase promotions, sales, news and updates.
It is really important to ensure you create a Google Business Profile as it acts as an online ‘shop window’ to your business and allows customers to see what you have to offer. Customers can also contact you at a click of a button from your listing which makes it very convenient. It is really important to see if Google has tried to make a listing for your business as you can claim it as your own and optimise it from there. If not, you can make one from scratch.
Citations are a reference to your business name, address and phone number built on online directories throughout the internet that increases your online visibility. It is important to build these citations on high authority sites such as Yell and TrustPilot as many consumers still refer to these to find trustworthy businesses before they make a purchase. You can even find local area directories for the region your business is in and industry niche directories for your type of business. It is important to do some search to look for these directories and a majority of them are free to sign up to.
Reviews on your Google Business Profile or website are really important for your business reputation and showcasing how great your business is to new customers who have experienced your products or store. It’s really important to encourage your customers to leave reviews. You can do this by asking customers to leave a review on your receipts, asking in person and offering an incentive in return for a review.
Google uses reviews as a ranking signal as it aims to provide users with the best and most relevant businesses to the user’s search. By having positive reviews, you are showing Google how great you are. Even if you get a negative review, it is an opportunity to showcase how great you are at customer service and that you care about your customers.
Using these three techniques together will help you beat the local competition and rank highly for relevant search terms to drive more traffic to your website and your store.
Social media is a great way to engage customers and promote your products and store. You can also use social media to create campaigns to spread brand awareness. It is important to be present on social media platforms that appeal to your target audience. For example, if you are a retail shop, showcasing your latest range on Instagram is a good idea because it predominantly has users who share visual images.
Many businesses use social media to run competitions to win vouchers or freebies and to share knowledge about their industry.
Using a mixture of on and offline marketing strategies is a great way to attract happy customers and create loyal ones. It is important to ensure you use them to create a great customer experience to generate happy customers so they recommend to their friends, families and other shoppers. Signs and displays should be used to create your business aesthetic and brand and to entice customers into your store.
Online strategies such as local SEO and social media marketing are a great way to increase your online presence, engage customers and rank for relevant terms to your business.
Meta Title: Top Brick And Mortar Marketing Strategies
Meta Description: Do you own a high street store and want to boost your revenue and customer loyalty? Try these top four brick and mortar marketing strategies! Read now.
Author: Emily Johnson has a passion for music and film. She can be found at Tillison Consulting as a Digital Campaign Manager working with clients from different sectors and campaigns to help with all their digital marketing needs.