Digital marketing, optimized

Tried-and-true strategies that should be on every business owners’ to-do list

Most independent retailers get overwhelmed when it comes to developing and executing a digital marketing strategy. There are so many elements that need to be considered. How do you know what to prioritize?

The following are tried-and-true strategies that should be on every business owners’ to-do list. These strategies can be easily implemented. 

Search marketing: It is crucial for businesses to have a presence online when a consumer is searching for a product and/or service that you offer. The best ways in which to ensure you are prominently appearing on the first page in a Google search, business owners should consider paid advertisements (Google, Bing, Yahoo) and organic search listings.

Being featured on the first page when a consumer is conducting a search will most definitely help to drive a potential customer to your business. 

Social media marketing: This is the second most effective marketing channel to attract customers. Having a presence on high-traffic social media properties such as Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, Pinterest and others will help build brand awareness for your business. Creating content for these social media channels that is engaging and relevant to your customer will cause them to become interested in your business and hopefully influence them to inquire about the products/services you offer.

To be effective, businesses should apportion their efforts to focus on the channels where their customers spend the most time. 

Online reviews: The best form of advertising for your business will come from friends telling friends about their experience with your store – word of mouth. Having your customers rate their experience with your business on review sites likes Yelp, Google, Angie’s List and others can prove to be invaluable and far more validating than any advertising that you can buy.

As a business owner, it’s important to have an action plan for gaining reviews, whether they are reviews on external sites or your own website. It’s not only important to ask for the review, but also to be sure you are responding to the positive and negative reviews that you receive. 

For example, have your sales staff include the links to review sites in their email signatures or included a card to the review sites with your invoicing.

Email campaigns: Never underestimate the power of consistent communication with your customers. Email marketing is a great way to keep your brand top of mind. Keep it simple and communicate information you feel your customers would want to know about, whether it’s an upcoming sale, a tip about your product, charitable initiative or even milestone events that are occurring in your business.

This steady stream of information can lead to repeat and referral business. Just be sure you don’t over-email your customers. 

Successful digital marketing campaigns translate well online and in-store. This makes for a holistic customer experience. The images that are being used on your website or social media channels are also images the customer will see in the store. Be consistent with pricing on all channels and brand identity such as your logo and taglines. Consider using digital tools in-store such as tablets so customers can become engaged with the brand and products to enhance their shopping experience. 

Taking all of these media into consideration and executing them correctly will create a well-rounded digital marketing and advertising plan and can augment any traditional marketing efforts. 

Andrew Valeriani is vice president of digital marketing at Manchester-based Flooring America.

Categories: Business Advice, Marketing & Advertising