There are many ways to market your bricks and mortar store online to help drive customers into your location. It’s just a question of how much time, effort and money you can spend on your marketing.
Email marketing has been one of the huge successes of the internet. The basic principle is to subscribe to an email marketing platform such as MailChimp (free) or AWeber (affordable, and the industry standard for small businesses online) and start building a list of people interested in hearing from you about your products and services.
In order to get them to subscribe, most businesses will offer a free incentive, such as an eBook, templates and other items of use to people interested in your niche or industry.
Once they are on the list, you can send them news about latest product launch, special sales, seasonal deals, and more. These are known as broadcast emails.
You can also create “evergreen” emails of general interest to your list. These go in what is termed the “autoresponder” section of your email marketing platform. Upload the content once, and every time a new person comes on your list, they will get the same sequence of messages. It’s one of the best ways to automate your marketing online so you can work smarter, not harder.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build a relationship with your prospective customers. Checking and reading email is still one of the main things people do on their smartphones, so email is still one of the best ways to connect with your target audience.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing on Facebook and Twitter is really popular because it is a free marketing method and one that helps you build relationships with your target audience.
It works well in terms of helping you build your email marketing list. It’s also a good venue for letting people know what’s new in your business and getting people to engage with your content.
Engagement takes three main forms: like, comment, and share. Facebook and other social sites “reward” you if you have a lot of engagement by allowing even more people to see your content when you publish it. Sharing is ideal, because it means you have many people spreading the word about your business.
Not every small business has a budget for online advertising when they first start out, but one way to afford it is to reinvest some of your profits as soon as they start coming in, so you can increase your presence online and get even more sales and profits.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, as the name suggests, is a system in which you run ads, but only pay for them if someone clicks on the ads. The two biggest PPC programs are Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Google can be quite complicated to learn, and it is more expensive than Facebook, even though it is also less targeted.
Facebook allows you to target very select groups of people. For example, if you have store that sells cute puppy items like mugs, figurines and socks, you could target women 45 to 55 who love dogs and live in the United States, and get an all-new mail order service going.
Local Listings and Advertising
With PPC and also free Google Local listings, you can also target people through their zip code and their geolocation. This will mean you can market to local people who will be likely to visit your physical store. Geolocation means people out shopping can find your store and drop by, leading to more foot traffic provided you claim and check your free Google listing.