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Lance Wills

How to Pandemic-Proof Your Business

By General, Marketing

In the ever-changing business landscape, there is now one more arrow that we need to add to our entrepreneurial quiver: how to make our business pandemic-proof. As the Covid-19 (AKA Coronavirus) outbreak of 2020 has made glaringly apparent, it’s hard to run a retail location, service business or any type of business, really, when people are sheltering at home indefinitely. Here are several initiatives that can be creatively adapted to any business to generate revenue during the next great unknown pandemic.

Create An Online Course

Regardless of your industry, your knowledge can be monetized. Whether that is teaching someone your craft, your trade secrets, or how to start a similar business, there is an opportunity to create a recurring monthly revenue stream, and there are several platforms upon which to do this. A “Marketplace” like Udemy is free, drives all the traffic, and gives you a percentage of the sales, while DIY platform Teachable charges a monthly SaaS fee and requires you to do all the marketing, but gives you nearly all of the income. Recommendation: Get started on a Marketplace, build your list, and then graduate to a DIY platform when it makes sense.

Create an E-commerce Store

Whether you are a restaurant or retail location, you can have an online store that delivers revenue while you sleep. Sell recipes, cook-at-home food kits, books, and even other related products that you DON’T create yourself. Fulfillment companies can house and ship all of your products, thus removing yet another variable. Leveraging your Brand, pre-pandemic foot traffic (via email list), and publicity allows you to long-tail monetize that Brand equity outside of your physical location. Of course, you are already building your email list, aren’t you? If not, start TODAY.

Sell Your Model

Amazon is the most successful company in doing this. They originally started as a books-only online eCommerce store. Building their massive empire required assembling a complex data management system for logistics, inventory, etc. Amazon realized the value in this and created Amazon Web Services (AWS), which offers cloud technical services for building your app, running your website, and much, much more complexity than I’ll cover here via 212 services as of mid-2020 (just know that Microsoft and Google now consider AWS a major competitor). Any business can sell their “Blueprint” on how to run and operate their business. A one-off sale is great, but let’s talk about Subscriptions.

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Offer a Subscription

The business world has realized the value of subscriptions – they generate continuous, predictable, and steady revenue. Software, once a “one-time” purchase, is now a “Subscription as a Service” (SaaS) model, where you pay much less on a monthly basis, but generally more in total over time, and get access to the latest upgrades and features. The list of subscription services we use every day goes on and on, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Microsoft Office, GSuite, etc. For example, I use SaaS DropBox to automatically backup all of my files & photos to the cloud, which also insulates me from pandemic-like catastrophes of hard drive crashes and lost or stolen laptops; with just a few clicks I have renewed access to all of my files via a web interface or synced to my new device, making my business immune to data snafus. Restaurants can offer a cook-at-home “Chef’s Exclusive” recipe or pre-cooked “Meal of the Month.” Salons could offer a “Coloring Touch-up” subscription. The possibilities are endless, and could take on many forms, like insurance, which we’ll talk about next…

The Subscription Business Model - Why Your Business Needs One?

Service & Insurance Contracts

You can now buy insurance for your pizza delivery (Domino’s Carryout Insurance) for pennies on the dollar to ensure you get what you want, when you want it, and hedge against your fear of delivery force majeures. Service companies, such as plumbers can offer “Service Plans” with certain deductibles, exclusions, or small print to protect against catastrophic claims. The value to consumers knowing that their AC or Heater repair will be prioritized and covered throughout the year for just a few dollars per month would be a hard thing to give up during lean times knowing their comfort was at risk during increasingly warm summers or cold winters (States may have varying laws, so do your research first).

Share Your Célèbre

Your business, and most likely YOU, have raving fans. They may be willing to pay to be in your inner circle, learn from you, or even just to hang out with you online. Services like Cameo allow you to pay celebrities to create a personalized video for you (think the “Soup Nazi” chef from Seinfeld saying “No Soup for YOU, Karen” in a video for your friend’s birthday). While services like Patreon, allow just about anyone to create a subscription for fans. You might have something people are willing to pay for, and not even know it.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.19.50 PM

Mentoring & Coaching

Unlike the aforementioned, becoming successful, when done right, translates into more than just admiration – people don’t just want to meet you, they want to learn from you. The online funnel for information businesses usually escalates as such: Content -> Webinar -> Coaching program. Top online coaching programs can cost upwards of $4,000 per person, and deliver millions of dollars per year – Tony Robbins earns $9MM per year from his coaching events (as of 2020), and now holds them online. Additionally, online events can exist in perpetuity and once a “LIVE” webinar is recorded, it can be replayed over and over again (AKA “Greenfield”), earning revenue each time while you sleep. Some people will use this greenfield approach in parallel with a live Chat to answer questions and give user’s that real-time feel. The most eye-pleasing platforms, IMHO, include WebinarJam for “LIVE” Webinars, and EverWebinar for automated “Greenfield” (recorded replay) Webinars.

To conclude, the connected world is a different place after Covid-19 “Coronavirus.” Businesses and owners must adapt to this new reality. While the next pandemic may be another 100 years away, no one truly knows when it will occur or to what extent, but it’s a question of when, not if. The best way to mitigate risk and insulate yourself and your business (AKA “Pandemic-Proof”) your business is to create multiple streams of revenue based upon the following three principles:

* Make it Location & Individual agnostic

* Make it Recurring

* Make it Affordable

Using one or all of the aforementioned 7 tactics in your recurring revenue strategy mix will maximize the odds of pandemic-proofing your business, and your business surviving this and the next pandemic. And if you need help, we’re here for you.

About Deltagency

Deltagency helps businesses grow. If you are looking to start, grow, or pandemic-proof your business Deltagency can help – We’ve delivered data-driven results for just about every type of business, including: Brands, B2B, B2C, Startups, Solo-preneurs, E-commerce, Non-profit, SaaS, Blogs, & more. 

* Disclaimer: We only use links in articles for services that we use, would consider using, or that lead their industry. Some of those links are affiliate links, where we may receive compensation when users click through and sign-up. All services we recommend are done on a merit basis and are not biased toward remuneration.

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what is retargeting

What is Retargeting (Remarketing)? Why It MUST Be a Part of Your Marketing Stack

By Acquisition, Conversion, Marketing

If you own a business that is invested in selling goods or services, then over time you would have observed how the consumers nowadays are not so much, what we would like to call ‘trusting’. Consumers today, thanks to the online world, have their reach expanded to different corners of the globe and hence are in no hurry to choose a brand the first time it pops up before them.

This observation is also backed by facts that suggest that for most of the websites, only 2% of the traffic converts into customers on the first visit. But as a brand, your focus is upon the remaining 98% of the visitors who did not convert. So, what can be done about them? How can you convince them to give your brand a chance?

Well, this is where retargeting (remarketing) comes into play, to drive the remaining 98% of the traffic back to your website with the intention to convert them. So, in this article we’ll discuss what remarketing is, why AdRoll is a major player in the space, how Facebook remarketing and google ads retargeting works, and why retargeting should be a part of your marketing strategy.

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What is Remarketing (AKA Retargeting)?

The majority of visitors to your website won’t purchase on their first visit, perhaps only 2-3% on average.

But during this visit, if you are employing Retargeting, these visitors’ desktop devices will be tagged with a “cookie.” And when this visitor visits another website on the web that is a part of an “Ad Exchange,” say eBay, then this visitor will see an ad marketing the product that they viewed initially on your site.

There are many elements to discuss in what appears on the surface to be a simple transaction, such as the cookie, ad exchange, auction, etc. but we’ll focus on high-level concepts in this article.

what is retargeting

Retargeting helps in making your brand visible to the customers who have already once demonstrated an interest in your products. It is a means of chasing your potential customers through AdRoll, Facebook remarketing or Google ads retargeting so your brand gets displayed on their screens again and again. Now, the more times your potential customers come across your brand name, the more they feel familiar, and increases their chance of becoming your new customer!

Why Is Remarketing So Effective?

Retargeting or remarketing needs to be a part of your marketing stack because it brings back to you that 98 % of the customers who leave your website without making a purchase.

It is so effective because this strategy primarily focuses on converting those potential customers who are already aware of your brand’s presence and have recently shown interest in buying your products. It doesn’t rely on their desire to return to your site, but constantly reminds them about your brand, that product they desire or your service which they have already investigated.

Thus making it easier to convert them.

How Does Remarketing/Retargeting Work?

Now that you have clearly understood what is remarketing, let us now try to decipher how it works.

Retargeting is basically a cookie-based tech that uses Javascript to follow your potential customers across the web and devices. So, assume that a customer A visits your website but because he gets distracted before making a purchase from your brand, leaves before buying anything.

Now, because of retargeting when A visited the website a small unobtrusive anonymous browser cookie dropped. Now as a result of it, whenever the cookied visitor A browses the web again to another site, the cookie informs the retargeting provider of his presence and they are instantaneously served with a personalized ad from your brand. These personalized ads are now likely to recapture his interest and to bring them back to your page.

This is how retargeting works. Simple, isn’t it? But for retargeting, a brand has to select a retargeting vendor like AdRoll that can aid you with remarketing. But before talking about it in further detail, first, let us clarify what is AdRoll and what is its role.

What Is AdRoll?

In our previous section, we discussed how Retargeting works; now let us refer back to it for a second to understand what AdRoll is and how they are different.

Now as we talked, retargeting works by dropping a code (also known as a pixel) as soon as a visitor comes to your website. After that anytime he surfs the web again, this cookie informs the retargeting vendor about his activity so that he could be pursued.
what is retargeting
Now AdRoll is one such retargeting vendor who displays retargeting ads to potential customers after they leave your site without making a transaction. It is one of the best and most commonly used platforms amongst the marketers for retargeting because it has access to advertising partners like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook Exchange, and Twitter.

This retargeting vendor, presently, works with the largest ad exchange which basically means that if you choose it as your vendor then it can pursue your customers anonymously across many web pages and social media platforms. It can aid you in following your customers wherever they go on mobile, apps, desktop and web.

AdRoll is a very user-friendly advertising platform, however, much like Google and Facebook, it is actually more complicated beneath the hood. One area that is not openly disclosed are the impression-capping settings. While most people will rely on AdRoll’s automatic impression capping engine “BidIQ,” you may start to visit sites on the web and experience an overwhelming quantity of your own remarketing ads. I’ve been to a site where I was encountered with 5 of my own ads in different ad units on the same page!?! For this reason, you may want to specify your own impression capping. And one very critical fact you must know is that your impression capping setting in AdRoll applies to EACH ad unit, not to the user, page or ad group. By setting an impression cap at “1” you may still see 3 ads on the same page in any given day depending on the ad units that that site supports. Keep this in mind.

In order to learn more about this remarketing giant, click on this link.

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Who Offers Remarketing Or Retargeting?

Apart from AdRoll, other platforms who offer remarketing/retargeting services are-

  • Google Ads Retargeting

By choosing Google AdWords remarketing you can grab the attention of your audience when they visit websites that are part of Google Display Network (GDN), or when they are browsing YouTube or while using Android apps.

  • Facebook Remarketing

With more than 1 million followers, Facebook is one of the best remarketing vendors who are present out there. The advertising possibilities with this platform are limitless if you decide to give it a chance.

  • Perfect Audience

If you are a small business who has just entered the big-game then consider selecting Perfect Audience for exploring remarketing techniques. This vendor offers solutions for Web, Mobile, Dynamic and Facebook remarketing. Additionally, they support ads in the healthcare vertical, which AdRoll may not.


So, by now if you have pretty much grabbed the concept of what is remarketing, what is retargeting, what is AdRoll and how does Facebook remarketing and Google ads retargeting works, then do not wait and choose your retargeting vendor soon! Selecting the right vendor will aid your brand in becoming familiar and in increasing your conversion rates.

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What is Reputation Management? – 6 Tips To Build a Positive Online Reputation & Grow Your Business

By Marketing No Comments

Reputation, in simple terms, is what people think about a brand or person. Influencing the way people perceive your brand or business is reputation management. Often, you can sway opinion in your favor by communicating well with customers. Because this is the digital era and much of the communication with customers takes place online, reputation management and online reputation management have become virtually synonymous.

online reputation management services


​​The way people perceive your brand and talk about your brand plays a significant role in shaping your brand’s reputation. This in turn affects your product sales and business growth. Positive reviews on your products and positive conversations around your brand will boost sales and drive growth. Pretty straightforward, right?

On the other hand, bad reviews can build upon any perceived negativity and can adversely impact your business and your bottom line. There’s nothing like a bad reputation to stifle growth. So, as a business, it is extremely important to address any negative reviews in the initial stages to keep the situation under control.

What is online reputation management for your business

In this article, we will share some tips on how you can build a positive online reputation and grow your business.

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As a business, it is important that you know where your business appears online. After all, these are the sites that have the most power to influence a brand, either negatively or positively. If you know where your consumers are searching for reviews of your business or leaving comments about your business, it can go a long way in helping you get ahead of the reputation management game. Fortunately, you can use these sites to your advantage by working to promote a positive image.

reputation management strategy

Reputation management manifests itself in many ways. However, we are most interested in business review/rating sites, product review sites, and social media platforms because they have the greatest impact.

Business Review Sites – Keep an eye out for these sites to help you best manage your brand’s online reputation:

  1. Google Map Reviews – Consumers write reviews for places they have visited on Google Maps. Here, they can recommend shops and write reviews.
  2. Facebook Ratings and Reviews – Facebook users give star ratings and reviews on local businesses.
  3. Glassdoor Reviews – This site allows employees to anonymously review jobs, work culture and other important aspects of companies.
  4. Yelp – User reviews and recommendations of best restaurants, shopping, nightlife, entertainment and things to do.
  5. Foursquare – Foursquare’s purpose is to help you discover information about businesses and attractions near you.
  6. Yahoo Local Business Listings – Consumers can post reviews of local businesses online.
  7. Better Business Bureau – BBB customer reviews allow customers to post positive, negative or neutral reviews.
  8. Yellow Pages – This is a directory of all businesses where users can write useful reviews.
  9. Quora – Users can post questions about businesses and businesses can respond to queries to help build a positive image.
  10. TripAdvisor – Travelers can post reviews of various shops and businesses in various tourist locations.

Product / Service Review and Rating Sites – These review sites allow consumers to rate and review product features based on their user experience.

  1. Amazon Customer Reviews
  2. Angie’s List
  3. Pissed Consumer
  4. Trust Pilot
  5. NewEgg
  6. eBay
  7. Trust Radius
  8. Capterra
  9. GetApp
  10. G2Crowd

reputation management services

Apart from these generic business review and product / service review sites, it’s also a good idea to research and identify the most relevant review sites for your industry. For example, Finances Online is an amazing review site for B2B SaaS marketplaces, while PCMag is a complete listing of computer reviews, as well as internet, wireless, gadgets, and windows upgrades.

Monitoring both generic and specific review sites will help maintain a positive online reputation, so they should certainly not be ignored!

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Unfortunately, angry customers are the ones that can have the biggest impact on your brand’s reputation. Bad reputations start like small fires with the smoldering discontent of a single customer. If not snuffed out early, that fire can grow into an inferno. Therefore, it’s not enough to simply know what users are saying. Businesses must also address complaints when they arise.

Firstly, the customer service team should handle all requests and complaints with the utmost care. Keep in mind that it may not be possible to satisfy all the service requests of every single customer. Sometimes consumers make requests that are beyond the scope of your products or services. However, businesses can satisfy customer needs based on brand promises. One of the quickest ways to start the inferno of customer anger is to forget the promises you made to your customers.

Secondly, businesses can and should focus on satisfying consumer interests by keeping track of their pain points and working hard to solve them. If you ignore your customers’ pain points, you may be sending them straight to a review site to damage your business with a complaint.

Also remember that complaints should be handled swiftly. No one likes to be stuck with a problem, so even if a solution is found, a customer may still be angry if that solution arrives too late. A slow response can also land you in bad review territory.


If you know that a customer is upset, try to catch them before they turn to the world wide web. Send them an email, shoot them a message, or even give them a call to resolve the issue privately. You or your customer service team should certainly have a protocol in place for reaching out to angry customers before they take their complaints public and damage your online reputation.

online reputation management strategy


If your online reputation is already in the red, no need to panic. There are plenty of ways you can work to repair it. First start by monitoring and addressing every single negative review, comment, or support issue on both generic and industry-specific review sites. Don’t forget to also monitor social media channels for negative comments and discussions about your brand and products.

reputation management definitions

Secondly (and most importantly) respond to negative reviews. If you work to pacify angry consumers by providing a solution, you may convince the customer to take down the bad review they posted previously. Remember that no negative review should go overlooked. After all, you never know which unaddressed negative review may catapult you into the land of bad online reputations.


A reputation management strategy should be a part of your organization’s customer support process. To achieve this, businesses can build their own online reputation management engine. One of the most important things is to solicit feedback early and often.

Using intelligence and predictive analytics to identify attrition indicators, you can easily get ahead of potential issues and address them quickly when they do inevitably arise. Some attrition indicators are infrequent logins and minimal usage of services. Furthermore, providing periodic surveys for your customers will also help you understand their happiness quotient.With this kind of business intelligence, your customer support team can proactively contact customers to investigate and provide a customer-centric resolution.

Remember that proactivity is key. If a customer has a complaint and your customer support team reaches out passively, this will quickly damage your online reputation. On the other hand, reaching out proactively helps to minimize customer distress and maximize customer satisfaction, leading to excellent online reviews.


Managing your online reputation is of the utmost importance. Businesses would do well to monitor reviews and ratings across review sites and social media platforms to stay in the know. Remember that being aware of bad reviews and ratings is not enough; businesses must also proactively work to respond to complaints. One of the best ways to do this is to have a trained customer support team. Your team can use predictive analytic insights to understand customer pain points, and can actively reach out to customers before they post negative reviews.



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How to Inspire Walk-in Traffic

Amex Shop Small 2018 – Part III Of III: Driving Walk-in Traffic With Local Search And Reputation Management

By Marketing No Comments

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.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

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.


People often search for nearby shops and cafes on 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.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

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.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising


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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:


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.


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.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

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.


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.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

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.

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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.

How to advertise your retail store local search advertising

AdRoll is another critical tool used to retarget your website visitors. For example, you’re reading content on 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.


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!


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Get Social and Shop Small image

AMEX Shop Small 2018 – Part II of III: Using Social Media to Drive Retail Walk-in Business

By Marketing No Comments

In last week’s blog post titled ‘AMEX Shop Small 2018 – Part I of III: Everything You Need to Know’, we did a complete overview of the Amex Shop Small movement and Small Business Saturday. This week, we’ll cover the holiday shopping craze around Thanksgiving and how small businesses can use social media to their advantage during the correlating Shop Small season. We’ll also review how this can help drive retail walk-ins during the Small Business Saturday, and more! So scroll on and learn how to up your social media game this Shop Small season.


As a small business, start by setting up SMART goals for the Shop Small season 2018. Your goal could be driving immediate sales on Small Business Saturday or increasing overall brand loyalty. You could also use this movement to drive your social media fan following.

Every in-person retail experience should be complemented with an attractive digital experience to keep your retail business top of mind among consumers. In this article, we’ll tell you how to set that goal and accomplish it… just in time for Small Business Saturday!


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Small Business Saturday was created to shift the attention of consumers from large retailers and ecommerce stores to small mom-and-pop shops. However, these small businesses are in direct competition with Black Friday sales. According to RetailMeNot, an average consumer is ready to spend approximately $700 between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To get a cut from consumers’ holiday shopping budget, you must make these holiday-happy shoppers aware of your own discounts, events, and offers long before Small Business Saturday.


Calls to action are the bread and butter of your sales funnel. They’re the pieces of text or images that call on your potential customers to take action. They then provide the means to take that action, usually in the form of a button or link. But before you can ask your potential customers to do anything, you have to figure out what it is you want them to do.

First, outline what your goals are for Shop Small 2018. Then create calls to action designed around those goals. For example, if your goal is to increase social media followers during the Shop Small season, then your call to action needs to be centered around that. You need to ensure that your sponsored posts, email campaigns etc. have clearly visible social media follow buttons. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase in-store foot traffic, your call to action should be an in store event registration. The takeaway here is to set clear CTAs based on your goals.


Competing during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping season is no easy feat. After all, it can be hard to be heard over the noise of exciting offers and promotions from businesses all across the country. When you decide to compete in this space, it is essential that you also come up with exciting events and promotions to boost sales.

If your idea is too generic, there is a good chance your message will get lost in the crowd. Some things to consider are: what your competitors are doing, what your calls to action and goals are, what attracts your target audience, and so on. Your Shop Small exclusive offers are a key element in your marketing strategy for the holiday shopping season.


Before deciding on paid promotion, it’s important for businesses to have a reasonably good organic reach. One way to do this is to update your social media pages to show that you’re participating in the Shop Small movement and Small Business Saturday. Small steps like changing your cover image and profile picture to suit the Shop Small movement will go a long way in connecting with your audience.

Post regularly on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages about your promotions for Small Business Saturday. Because this season is a festive one, social media inspiration is a piece of cake. For example, you can dress your store up in holiday attire and share photos or videos of your store’s festive makeover.

You can also use relevant hashtags like #ShopSmall, #SmallBizSat, #SmallBusinessSaturday, #DineSmall etc. to attract a bigger audience to your social media pages.


Organic posts may give your business a good head start, but if you want to achieve strong results on social media, you’ll need to invest in paid promotions too.

Image result for instagram ads

Promote your Shop Small deals and events  through social media ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image result for facebook ads

Run a combination of image, video, and sponsored posts to drive sales and increase foot traffic to your store during the holiday shopping season and Small Business Saturday.

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While running your social media campaigns and contests, it’s equally important to understand what your competition is doing on social media. Competitive analysis will give you an understanding of initiatives you can use to enhance your social media presence and grab the attention of your target audience.

Did you know that you can see your competitors’ ads on Facebook? This neat little tool will help you get an understanding of the kind of ads that work well in your industry. In your Facebook account, simply click on the ‘Info and Ads’ section in the left column of your competitor’s Facebook page to see all the ads that your competitor is running in any particular region.

Similarly, follow your competitors’ accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels. This will give you an insight as to what they’re promoting and the kinds of events they’re hosting. This is one of the best ways to refine and revamp your social media strategy for the Small Business Saturday shopping season.

You should also keep an eye on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page for ideas.


It’s not enough to know what kind of events your competitors are running. You must also host your own. Events are an essential part of your small business marketing strategy as they’ll increase traffic and store visits. Exciting events will also motivate prospects to discuss it with their friends, helping promote your business through word of mouth.

For instance, you can host kick off events to start the day-long shopping spree. Invite loyal customers and offer them goodies, snacks, and beverages. You can also host kids games, sports, coloring contests etc. to attract families who might be in the holiday shopping spirit. Whether you’re a children’s store or not, offering entertainment for the little ones is a great way to get families to come in, browse, and maybe even buy. The goodies may get them there, but your promotions, discounts, and outstanding products will surely encourage them to stick around.


Once you have created exclusive offers for Small Business Saturday and have decided on the in store and online events you’re going to host, the next step is to map out your sales funnel. Create your map based on the experience and user journey path you want your prospective consumers to take.

Firstly, make sure that you have created organic social media content as well as social media ads/sponsored posts catering to audiences who are at different stages in the buying journey. Then create and add relevant landing pages to move prospects from one stage to the next. Finally, offer giveaways and discounts, and send out coupons to attract consumers to your store.


Run email campaigns to let your regular customers and leads know about various initiatives and promotions you have planned for Small Business Saturday. Don’t forget to send reminder emails to motivate prospects to visit your store on that day.

One of the most important aspects of an email campaign is frequency and timing. You can achieve a preferable frequency by optimizing email cadence. This strategy will surely help get your potential consumers excited about your Shop Small offers, promotions, and events, so don’t neglect it!


Having discussed various channels for promoting your small business, we’ll now focus on equipping you with the right tools for promotion.

Luckily for you, American Express has pretty much got you covered in that regard. Their online Studio allows you to access ready-made templates, posters, and other materials that can aid you in your social media promotions.

In the studio, you can create custom posters and banners that showcase the uniqueness of your business and encourage your local community to Shop Small at your store. Share basic business details like business name, color schemes, type of materials required, business location, etc. by clicking on the link to create marketing materials for promoting your small business via online marketing channels like email and social media.


You can also use tools like Canva to design images for your Shop Small social media promotions.

Image result for canva images creating


The main takeaway is that consumer spending is much higher during the Thanksgiving shopping season. Getting a slice of this holiday pie is a great way to boost sales. However, businesses all across the country are aware of this uptick in spending, so getting your business out there can sometimes be tough. Using the recommendations in this article will help you attract prospective customers and make big sales this holiday season.

In the next post titled, ‘AMEX Shop Small 2018 – Part III of III: Driving Walk-in Traffic with Local Search & Reputation Management’, we will understand how to drive walk in traffic to your business with local search and reputation management.


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