Shop Small season is almost here, folks! It’s time for small businesses to look at digital advertising, local search advertising, and reputation management to drive walk-in traffic during Small Business Saturday. In our previous post, ‘AMEX Shop Small 2018 - Part II of III: Using Social Media to Drive Retail Walk-in Business’, we discussed assessing your competition, creating your sales funnel, designing assets for your online promotions and featuring your business’s Shop Small promotions on social media. Now it's time to learn how to advertise your retail store.
We've already learned how to create organic posts. Now we'll jump right into exciting digital advertising campaigns you can use to boost retail walk-in traffic.
GOOGLE LOCAL SEARCH ADVERTISING
People often search for nearby shops and cafes on Google.com or Google Maps. The neat thing about Google local search advertising is that it uses these searches to your advantage. When someone searches on Google or Google Maps, relevant ads will display that target potential customers in the area they are searching. Your ad may display if they are searching near the area where your business is located. Targeting the local community is key for Shop Small success, and Google local search advertising plays a crucial role.
Promoting your business via Google local search ads is an easy and straightforward process if you sign up for our Google 3 pack. Google 3 pack helps local businesses thrive in the search results on your mobile phone, tablet or desktop.
Facebook is the world's largest consumer ad network, and you can access it by targeting local shoppers through Facebook ads. Their ads use location targeting which allows businesses to target people living in a particular location, people who have visited the location recently, people living within a radius of pin drop and people traveling in the location. If used correctly, this tool will help boost retail walk-ins from the local community, not just for Small Business Saturday, but for the whole year!
Facebook also offers something called Radius targeting. It is extremely efficient for local businesses who want to target audiences based on distance to the store. For example, if you're a bakery, you may want to set a small radius. Conversely, if you sell niche goods that are not readily available, you can set a comparatively larger radius for people who may be interested in purchasing your products.
But there are so many more ways to use Facebook to drive traffic to your store on Small Business Saturday. In fact, there are at least five more! We've listed them here for your convenience:
1 - INSTAGRAM ADS
Why are we talking about Instagram in a section on how to boost traffic with Facebook? Because you can now target Instagram audiences via Facebook Ad Manager. Pretty cool, right? And with an enormous user base of 1 billion, Instagram should never be ignored as a powerful digital advertising platform. Before promoting on Instagram, be sure to optimize your business Instagram account with a recognizable image, business name, interesting bio and a link to your website.
Once your profile is set up, start sharing attractive photos of your store. These can include new arrivals for Small Business Saturday, holiday shopping season décor, etc. Better yet, you can sponsor these posts and advertise to your target audience based on their demographics, location, behavior, interests and preferences.
It doesn't hurt to explore various ad formats like photo ads, video ads, collection adverts and carousal ads. The more your experiment, the better you'll understand how to advertise your retail store and how to drive retail walk-ins during Small Business Saturday. For more information on Instagram advertising, see our previous article on marketing your business on Instagram.
2 - GEOTARGETING ON MOBILE
As a local small business, geotargeting is crucial to driving retail walk-ins. Geotargeting is the practice of delivering different content or advertisements to consumers based on their geographic locations. One way to make use of geotargeting is to be present on apps like Waze and Yelp, where consumers search for nearby shops or local businesses.
Waze has recently launched Waze Local which targets local and small businesses. You can promote your business on Waze by using various Waze Local ad formats like Branded Pin, Promoted Search, Nearby Arrow and Zero Speed Takeover.
Yelp is also very useful when it comes to geotargeting. Use Yelp as a platform to talk about Small Business Saturday and mention exclusive events and promotions you'll be offering to drive more visits to your store. If you'd like to know more about advertising on Yelp, click here.
3 - CREATE EXCITING GROUPON OFFERS
Groupon may not inspire long-term customer loyalty, but it's fantastic for driving bursts of traffic to your store. Get yourself listed as a merchant on Groupon and design exciting coupons exclusively for Small Business Saturday. Check out this quick guide on how to sell your products and services on Groupon.
Launch your Groupon campaigns around the Shop Small season using the Groupon deal builder. Don't forget to prepare your business and staff to handle the Groupon customers who visit, and make sure that your staff know the coupon redemption process etc.
4 - RETARGETING
If you utilize all these strategies, your business will surely see plenty of online traffic. So what do you do with all this traffic? You nurture it, of course! Nurturing means keeping your business front of mind by consistently offering tantalizing information about your products to drive sales. You can do this most effectively by leveraging retargeting.
Based on the kind of actions the potential consumers have taken in the past, create Google remarketing ads to show relevant offers. Businesses should segment users based on their interests, preferences and online behavior so that they can show customized content to each segment. This will ensure higher conversions and retail walk ins.
AdRoll is another critical tool used to retarget your website visitors. For example, you're reading content on Deltagency.com as we speak. Over the next few days and weeks, notice how many Deltagency ads you see as you navigate across various websites on the internet.
5 - REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Reputation management is extremely important to any business, which is why we're doing a deep dive on this topic in our next blog post. This week, we'll do a brief overview of managing business reputation to give you a taste. As a small business, it is important to understand how your brand is perceived among your local community and potential consumers.
A business reputation can be managed by using various social listening tools to understand what your consumers are saying about your business.
With business reputation management, you can motivate your customers to tag your store location and talk about what they like about your store on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. You can also motivate them to give positive reviews on customer review sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook, Foursquare etc.
If you want to know more about Reputation Management, check out this article by Forbes on ‘Reputation Management Tips for Small Businesses’.
Digital media has grown at a rapid pace and is slowly overtaking all other forms of advertising. Even if you are operating a brick and mortar retail business, there are powerful and cost-effective digital advertising growth levers that you should be using. For just a few dollars a day you can boost conversions and eventually improve the growth rate of your business using online advertising and local search advertising.
Through promotions and posts about your brand, you can remind people who have visited your website about your brand and ensure that it stays top of mind. We hope this has helped you learn how to advertise your retail store! Catch up with us next week to learn all about reputation management. See you then!