’ve been working on an article for INSTORE’s April Big Story about digital marketing, and I noticed in recent surveys that many of our Brain Squad members report being either too busy or too intimidated by technology to employ digital marketing techniques. Others just don’t believe it works. At all.
In her early days on the job as a controller, she quickly learned just how much she didn’t know.
But if you don’t give it a try, your competitors will have free rein in a prime marketing space, where you won’t even be visible.
Benjamin Smithee, a speaker at the SMART Jewelry Show in Chicago in April, says the thing to remember is that digital — particularly mobile digital -- is “where the eyeballs are” these days. Ignoring that for most businesses means risking going out of business. Having a Facebook page is as important as having a website now. And your website should be easy to read on mobile devices and contain more than directions to your store.
“Ten years ago most of the sites were informational, but now you have to have products on your website, whether it’s e-commerce enabled or not,” says Alex Fetanat, CEO of GemFind.
Otherwise, when shoppers search for products they will wind up on someone else’s website.
Remember that digital marketing is not a magic bullet, Smithee explains.
"You can use social as a way to grab attention,” he says. “But then you need a strategy to create a meaningful relationship.”
A relationship is a give and take kind of thing and doesn’t happen on Day 1. You’re in it for the long haul.
“Maybe they'll give you an email address if you feed them good content – a video series, a text blog, a style guide, education for the uneducated buyer – that's the currency you use over time,” Smithee says. “I can't expect them to give me $1,000 over an Instagram post, but if they click on a blog, maybe they will give me an email address, or maybe they will come into my store, or maybe they will buy a piece of merchandise."
Experts offer this basic advice (none of it intimidating), among many other tips we’ll be sharing in April:
➜ GO BACK TO BASICS. Collect email addresses, says Alex Fetanat, CEO of GemFind. "It’s the most cost effective way of engaging with your base and with new clients." A service to handle email promotions can cost $50 to $100 a month.
➜ CLAIM YOUR STUFF: At the very least, ensure that all your information is correct on Google, Bing, etc. Claim your accounts and update your store info and hours, says absolutely everyone.
➜ INTEGRATE. Incorporate social media logos in your packaging, signage and on your website. “The expectation is not that people are going to see the logo and run over to Facebook right away,” says Ryan Goff of MGH, a Baltimore advertising agency. “But whatever marketing tools you have, include those social icons in them. Make sure that you have a good strategy to cross-promote your social efforts."
➜ ENCOURAGE REVIEWS. Encourage customers to write reviews after purchase by sending a thank-you email and providing links to do a review if they like. It builds your online reputation and makes people comfortable with who you are. Yelp is more popular on the West Coast and in big cities, says Shane O'Neil, vice president of Fruchtman Marketing, while Google is bigger on the East Coast and smaller cities.
➜ HIRE HELP. It’s ideal to use a combination of staff and agency help for marketing, says Jay Gerber, vice president of sales and marketing at W.R. Cobb. Staff members can take a hands on approach and have easy access to decision makers. Pairing both creates a nice combination of industry expertise and digital marketing execution.
blog comments powered by Disqus