What’s your retail marketing plan look like for 2020? Are you looking for some fresh marketing ideas to attract some new clientele in the new year? Have you tried all the usual tricks and they just seem to be falling flat? Could it be that retail is just dying? I would not say dying as much as I would say evolving. If you are running a brick and mortar you have no doubt felt the changes coming. Even stores that sell exclusively online have felt the disruption. Consumers are changing the way that they shop from how much research they do before purchasing to how they like to shop.
Retail marketing in every niche can benefit from the power of social media with options for every budget. Retail stores with a large marketing budget can take advantage of paid campaigns that show ads directly to their target audience. Medium and small budgets can even run similar ads as most social media platforms allow users to choose any budget and will simply stop promoting the ad once the budget is used.
Leverage the Power of Social Media
If your store is not currently online – get there now. You can scale small if you need to, but running a business without an online presence in 2020 is not going to fly. The largest group of consumers is the millennial generation, you know, the one that grew up with the internet. This generation makes no excuse for companies or individuals who chose not to be connected.
Find out where your customers are and establish a presence on that platform. You do not have to use them all. In fact, I would discourage overextending yourself. It is better to do one thing really well than to try and be everywhere.
Photography or art-related businesses will find a good following on Instagram where photos are the standard of communication. Most general businesses will find success on Facebook as the largest and most diverse group of individuals are active on Facebook. Clothing retailers, craft stores, and gift shops will likely find good success on Pinterest where users can save ideas and inspiration to boards to refer to later.
My advice is to pick one platform and work it consistently. If Facebook is your jam, plan a content schedule that will allow for a variety of content posts. The same type of posts day in and day out is bland. You will lose engagement and your effort will be wasted.
Five Types of Social Media Posts to Try
If you would love to try social media but just don’t know what to post? Does it seem like all of the cool ideas don’t really fit your niche? With a little creativity, you can tailor any type of post to fit your business.
Behind the Scenes
Share a picture of your employees working behind the scenes or enjoying a company outing. Pair the photo with an engaging tidbit that lets your customers know what is going on in the photo. This type of post works because it speaks to the human connection and makes your customers feel a more personal relationship with your company. Consumers are more likely to patronize brands where they feel a human connection.
Highlight a New Product
Draw attention to new products coming to the store. Post a picture and a detailed product review. Bonus points if you pair with a coupon that helps convert looky-loos to buyers. Use NoneButdeals to boost awareness of your new products or deals. The best product highlights include a personal story about why this product has been added to your store. This type of post works because it generates interest and gets customers browsing your site or coming into your store.
Run a Contest with a Highly Desirable Prize
Everyone loves the chance to win a contest. These types of contests only fail when the reward is insignificant or not inline with what your customers want. Choose a prize that is desirable among your target audience, make the criteria for winning easy to understand, and communicate the contest clearly. As long as you follow these steps, your engagement will be crazy. This type of post works because your customers are going to interact with your posts for a chance to win and every person that interacts with the post increases your engagement which in turn increases the number of people that see the post.
Indulge your Customers Self Interest
Literally ask your customers for engagement boosting comments, likes and shares by asking them to share something from their own life that they can brag on. Many people love the attention of showing off things that they are proud of. Use that to your advantage and get them to share pictures of outfits, food, planners, or fill in the blank with whatever your product is. This type of post works because it boosts your engagement and gets your posts seen by a wider audience.
Share something cute (or shocking).
It can be anything as long as it evokes a strong emotional response. I would generally advise against anything that might be controversial or elicit negative emotion. A really cute picture of baby animals is always a winner. It is OK if the association with your brand is loose. The only thing that you are really trying to accomplish with this type of post is to grab attention. You can put a sentence or two about your brand in the caption, but the real work is just an attention grab.
Again, those simple cute pictures gain most likes are good for engagement and getting your posts seen. This type of post works because nearly everyone stops for a cute kitten pic and those feel-good warm and fuzzy that the cute picture elicits will be associated with your brand. In turn, shoppers will have more positive associations with your brand which will eventually translate into more visits, more shoppers, and more sales.
Consistency is key
Social media can be the easiest way to reach your target audience in current times. Trends come and go so your social media marketing plan will need to be regularly reviewed and reworked. But no matter what platform or strategy you choose, the most important aspect is consistency. Not only do consumers appreciate consistency, but current social media platforms recognize and reward consistency. Many platforms measure engagement and filter posts by how much (or little) engagement your account is getting. This means that it can be hard to get a foothold, but once you are in there, only consistency will keep you there.
As a bonus, I’d like to share with you a list of some of the most influential platforms which you can use in next marketing plan.