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4 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Benefit Brick & Mortar Retail Stores

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Social Media Marketing|4 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Benefit Brick & Mortar Retail StoresBrick & mortar retail stores are a vital part of the communities in which they exist. By having an established storefront, they’re able to interact with the people who pass by on a daily basis. This interaction makes it easy to improve engagement, as people can stop in when they’re walking by or once they get off of work, walking in to see what this small business is all about or to purchase a product out of support.

Yet, having just a physical location only goes so far. While some small businesses might be staunch about avoiding the digital realm, to the point of being labeled a Luddite, there is a lot to be gained by entering digital spaces. Social media has particularly changed the way that small businesses sustain themselves. In some cases, it has allowed these small brick and mortar stores to survive, as they’ve been able to develop digital audiences that support them in times where the storefront isn’t performing. The benefits are far-reaching, too, where social media marketing techniques like influencer and affiliate marketing measures help to improve the success of business. Interested in how you can start? Here is an explanation of social media platforms and four ways social media marketing can benefit your small business.

The Main Social Media Platforms Simplified

For brick and mortar establishments unfamiliar with social media, here is a basic breakdown of the major platforms and how they can be beneficial to your business:

  • Facebook – For small businesses like brick and mortar retailers, Facebook is the perfect platform for basic marketing and advertising opportunities. If you can develop a following from your local community, you can transform your business’s page into something of a blog, where you can keep local consumers in the loop about products, sales, events, and more. The platform’s “Live” feature also allows you to capture footage from around your storefront, letting you interact with customers by showing off staff and everything going on.
  • Instagram – If your company is more based on aesthetic, Instagram might be the place for you. You can curate a feed where images with a specific color scheme and look can be shared, letting consumers know what products you have to offer, all while hinting at the lifestyle your brand represents.
  • Twitter – Looking for a way to communicate with customers? Twitter can be a good avenue, where the site can be treated as a form of customer service, helping you stay in touch with customers throughout the day.
  • YouTube – If you’re looking to show off the look of your brand, it might be best to move from Instagram photography to video. Minute-long videos can make for great content, where you keep followers in the know concerning your business. You can even take it a step further and film 10-plus-minute videos where you review products or provide educational information to viewers.

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Social Media Marketing|4 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Benefit Brick & Mortar Retail StoresKnowing which platform is right for you will involve studying your business to better understand what it wants to say to the community, and on which platform your audience is most likely to be found. But, with all of this in mind, here are some of the essential ways that marketing on these social media platforms can benefit your brick and mortar business:

1. Utilizing the Internet to Build a Digital Relationship

One of the greatest things about creating social media profiles for your business is that it allows you to develop digital relationships that can transcend to real-life transactions—if you’ve never had a website, this isn’t likely to happen, so that’s something you should do sooner rather than later.

The best part about starting out is that you don’t have to do much, in terms of marketing and advertising. Rather, work to start following other businesses and begin communicating with fellow social media users. On top of this, start posting content that is going to develop a following on its own: Post pleasing pictures to Instagram with relevant hashtags; follow other local businesses on Facebook to start growing a local community that can grow from there.

Once these relationships are established, you can begin moving onto more complicated features of the apps, all while your initial community continues to provide you with long-lasting engagement.

2. Using Referral Marketing

When starting out, one of the best ways you can get yourself up and going is through the help of referrals. Technically known as affiliate marketing, this is the establishment of relationships with other businesses, where a company/person is paid to endorse and promote a business.

This can be an essential way to get your feet on the ground as a new social media user, as you can utilize influencers and fellow businesses to your advantage, having them promote your business’s page to their own larger audiences. In turn, this will hopefully lead to new followers and potential site visitors, helping you gain traction and a digital following of your own. The best part is that this can still be done even once you have an established following, as there will always be room for growth in the digital world.

3. Posting Content That’s Relevant and Eye-Catching

One of the most important things to gaining a following online, and remaining relevant, is posting content that people want to see. Your posts shouldn’t just be pictures of your products followed by a description of what they do. Rather, a story should be told.

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Social Media Marketing|4 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Benefit Brick & Mortar Retail StoresIf you’re a local business, you can talk about how your community’s character is a part of everything you do. If you’re promoting health and wellness products, you can craft a story related to how this product is intended to improve a person’s life by developing a healthier daily routine. The options are endless, but you want to find something that will resonate with social media users, as that’s what is going to entice them to follow your business and stick around.

4. Making an Inviting Website

As mentioned before, you need a website if you don’t currently have one. While you can rely on getting business in-store from local followers, that won’t translate to the national or global market. Instead, you need a website that is reflective of your business—a place where social media users can be directed to make purchases with your retail store. This will be essential to your business’s longevity, as it will allow you to create a profitable digital audience, giving you an extra level of protection if anything were to ever happen to your storefront.

Improve Your Business’s Security with Social Media Exposure

The methods you explore when developing a social media presence, from affiliate marketing to website development, will vary, but they’re all intended to improve the security of your business going forward. Think about the ways social media can help your business, and begin posting sooner rather than later.

 

The Rise of Alternative Online Businesses

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Online Businesses|The Rise of Alternative Online Businesses The internet has become part of our society in just about every possible way, and it has certainly revolutionized the way we do business. No matter the sector, buying, trading, and selling goes on every day with new companies and products emerging all the time.

The result is an incredibly competitive marketplace which often feels saturated with small, medium, and large organizations vying for visibility.

Surely, then, there is no more room for another online business? Not so. The truth is that there will always be room for more online businesses if there are entrepreneurs coming up with alternative business concepts and innovative services/products.

To inspire you on your journey to starting your own online business, this article explores the alternative ones which have risen to success in recent years.

Cyber Security

The internet is a wonderful entity, but it can also be dangerous if we are not careful. There are cybercriminals and hackers working all the time to try and exploit individuals and organizations by accessing sensitive information. This has brought about a need for cybersecurity professionals who are essentially ethical hackers. A business will ask them to try and hack into their system so that they can identify their weaknesses before a hacker with criminal intent finds them.

Subscription services

In a world where we do a lot of our shopping online, we have replaced the experience of physically visiting a store to buy something and walking out with our new purchases. Instead, we experience a different excitement of clicking a few buttons and waiting for the delivery.

With subscription services, people sign up to receive a box of products through the mail on a monthly or quarterly basis. The products might be items they use all the time like vaping juices from ZampleBox — in which case, the service offers convenience and value for money — or luxury items, product samples, or mystery products.

Dropshipping and affiliate marketing

If you do not have the space to store stock but are interested in retail, a dropshipping business could be perfect. In this scenario, you create a website to sell products, but you do not stock the product. When an order is placed with you, you send this information to another company, either a stockist or manufacturer, who is responsible for storing, packing, and distributing the stock.

With affiliate marketing you create websites, posts on social media, and other digital marketing campaigns which promote another brand’s products or service. When you bring in a sale for the brand, you earn commission.

Influencer marketing

An increasingly popular career path is influencer marketing. People with a substantial social media following are paid to try, wear, review, and recommend products to their audience. Brands will approach influencers whose audience includes their target customers and pay them for their endorsement.

Creating Apps

If you are technologically minded, creating apps and games can be a very lucrative business. When your app is designed you can promote it via blogs, social media, and other digital marketing techniques to encourage people to download the app. Some app creators charge for the initial download, others offer the app for free but then make money via in-game purchases and/or selling advertising space to other brands.

5 Ways to Earn Money From Home

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Earn Money From Home|5 Ways to Earn Money From Home

Many people dream of working from home and being their own boss someday. The problem is that many people shy away from the idea and dismiss their ambition as a pipe dream. A couple of decades ago, very few people worked from their homes, and far fewer people were self-employed. Luckily, nowadays, many of the barriers of working from home have been removed, and thanks to modern technology, it is no longer a pipe dream but is instead a viable option.

If you have the determination to stay motivated and feel confident in making decisions for yourself, then running a business from home could be the perfect option for you. Many people are now making money from home, but quitting your day job and hoping to become an internet millionaire overnight rarely happens. A more sensible approach is to consider which online money making options best suit your strengths and interests and then put this to the test. If possible, it is useful to keep up your day job so that you have a regular paycheck coming in. You can then try out your online money making methods without putting yourself in a precarious financial position.

Side hustles are an increasingly popular way to make some extra cash, and it seems like nearly everyone has a side hustle. If you are struggling to think of ways to make money online, these ideas should provide you with some inspiration:

Use Your Skills

Most people have at least one skill that they could capitalize on to make money. For example, if you are skilled at carpentry, you could put this into practice and produce wooden furniture, decorative objects, etc., and then sell them.

Turn Your Hobby into Cash

How do you spend your spare time? If you have a hobby, you may be able to use this as your side hustle. Hobbies such as photography, embroidery, painting, etc. produce tangible products that you could potentially sell online for a profit.

Declutter and Make Money

Almost everyone has items lying around the house that they no longer need or want. Why not create a win-win situation by gathering these items together and decluttering your home in the process, and then sell these items online? It’s surprising how much money you can make from clothing, books, and games.

Give Affiliate Marketing a Try

Affiliate marketing is a hot topic right now, with many people wanting to give this money-making method a try. If you have a blog or vlog, why not Get Launch reviews and bonuses sorted out and see how much money you can make online as an affiliate marketer.

Start Dropshipping

Do you want to run an e-commerce store, but don’t have goods of your own to sell? This is where dropshipping comes in handy! Dropshipping enables you to select products that you would like to sell, and then use the dropshipping company to fulfill the orders. Dropshipping is particularly useful for people that don’t have extensive storage facilities to keep goods.

How to Create a Winning Referral Program That Works

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Referral Program|How to Create a Winning Referral Program That Works

There is a reason why big brands are using referral systems to promote their websites. It works. The best part is it continues to work despite all the search engine algorithm changes that happened. This means that you can expect it to work even in the years to come.

What’s a Referral Program?

Before you proceed to the creation of your referral program, you need to know what it is. A referral program is a system when you allow your customers to promote your brand for you. In doing this, they give you the contact information of their family and friends. But it doesn’t stop there. Their family and friends can also similarly promote your brand.

What Makes a Referral Program So Effective

There are several reasons why referral marketing is more effective than other methods. But it is essential to consider what makes it so successful. Out of all the reasons why you should launch a referral system for your business, here are the top three.

It Leverages Networks

Referral marketing works because it leverages networks. Unlike doing your marketing all by yourself, you allow your customers to help you. In this method, you are not doing all the marketing alone. You have an army of customers who can help you advertise your website.

It Spreads Through the Circle of Trust

When your customers promote your brand, they will do it to the people that they know and trust. This can either be their family and friends. These are people that the customers personally know and trust. Because of this relationship, they are far more likely to act on the recommendation. This is because the referrer is someone that they know, and they trust that he is giving him the right advice.

It Elevates a Brand’s Social Proof

The third reason why referral marketing works is social proof. Since the method works through social networks and personal circles of trust, it can positively affect social evidence. Social proof plays a significant role in sales conversion. When a prospective customer is on the verge of buying, he only needs a slight push in a positive direction. Social proof is that ‘push.’ Positive reviews or simple recommendations can do a lot for your brand. It can help your prospective customers see your brand in the positive light, and this will encourage them to buy from you.

NOTE: Referral marketing is also great for eCommerce. The reason is its impact on cart abandonment. It is one of the keys to stop shopping cart abandonment and increase traffic and sales. This is the reason why referral software is often available for eCommerce platforms. It is quite useful for online stores.

Characteristics of a Winning Referral Program

Ideally, you’ll want a winning referral program. Any business owner can easily create a referral campaign. Even new business owners like Best Drums Set Labs have done this with success. However, you’ll need to implement some practices if you want to get the most out of referral marketing. Here are the characteristics that you’ll need to look for if you’re going to create a successful referral system.

The Program Can Be Easily Found

Your customers must see your referral system. It is useless to create this if it is just buried in your website’s sitemap. The link to the referral page should be prominent. It should be seen on the front page of your website, and your customers should be continuously reminded to advertise the website. You can do this in critical places in your online store. Some of the most common locations for referral program promotion are on the homepage, checkout page, and emails. This will allow you to personally reach out and tell your audience that you have a referral system that they can use to earn rewards.

It Gets Regular Referrals

If you are going to determine the success of a referral system with one factor, that would be the number of regular referrals. This means that references should not only come in when you have just created your referral system. It should also come in regularly. This shows how well you are promoting your referral system and how well your audience is responding to it.

Referrals Have a High Chance of Conversion

Aside from the number of referrals, the quality of references matter as well. This means that you should not only get a ton of referrals for your system. You should also get referrals that have a high chance of converting into sales. You can measure this by dividing the number of transactions with the number of referrals. This will show you the percentage of references that are converting into sales. This is also a useful metric to consider when you want to measure the overall effectiveness of your campaign.

How to Create a Winning Referral Program

A winning referral program is produced with the right processes. You need to ensure that every step in the process is executed well. In this section, you’ll learn the steps that you need to implement to have a winning referral program for your brand.

Start with Your Target Audience

A winning referral program starts with the right reward. How can you know if the prize that you have set is right for your business? That’s simple. You can ask your audience. Many business owners just skip this,.They usually resort to guessing the proper reward. This is a grave mistake, for it often results in a referral program that is ignored by the audience. The best path is to ask the audience about what they like and give it to them. Don’t assume. Always make it a point to ask.

Experiment with Different Rewards

There are times when you will not be able to know the right reward. This is when you have done your part of asking your audience, but they came up with mixed answers. They may have given you some answers, but it is not enough for you to make a decision. So what can you do? That’s simple. You can experiment. This is where you take the suggestions of the audience and experiment with them to see which will be received by your other customers. This is also good for testing the system. Some customers like to say that they prefer a particular reward but will not sign up when it is released. This is the best way to test these suggestions to see if the audience will act on them.

PRO TIP: One way to encourage the audience to sign up is the “rule of x3”. If your customer gave you a suggestion that you should give away a particular reward, always multiply that by three. By adding more rewards, it will also triple your chances of getting more signups. This is a strategy that worked for me, and I think that it can work incredibly well for you as well.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Referral Program|How to Create a Winning Referral Program That WorksExperiment with Different Rewarding Modes

Every referral system has 3 rewarding modes. These depend on who is rewarded. There is a mode where you choose to pay the referrer. There is another mode where you wish to reward a friend or referral. The best style is to reward both. This is where you give a reward to encourage the referrer to promote the system and pay the friend to help him to sign up. It eliminates all friction, so it is the best mode out of the bunch.

PRO TIP: There are three basic rewarding modes. But you can also create your way. If you are selling a unique product or service, you may want to consider using a different approach. Being creative can help you in promoting referral systems, so don’t be afraid to exercise that here as well.

Create Exclusive Referral Programs for Influencers

One of the best ways to promote your referral system is to ask influencers for help. Influencers are people who have gained a significant amount of followers in their field. They have a substantial amount of followers for a reason. This may be because they are considered experts in the niche, or they have established themselves as idols or inspirations. Because of this, they have a massive impact on their followers’ actions and decisions. This is the reason why influencer marketing is highly effective in promoting referral programs. This is provided that you create an exclusive system for each influencer.

Here is the reason why exclusivity is a must. Every influencer has a unique culture that he conveys. You mustn’t only sell or give away a product or reward. It is also vital that you appeal to that unique culture if you want the influencer method to be successful. You need to communicate with the influencer and look for ways on how you can help his target market. From here, you can select a proper reward for your referral system and create an exclusive referral campaign just for the influencer.

Transform Your Program into a Contest

Another way you can make your referral system more interesting is to transform it into a contest. In a conventional referral system, you ask customers or website visitors to promote your brand. This is where they input the names and contact information of their family and friends. However, this model doesn’t have a sense of urgency in it. It also doesn’t have a competitive factor. If you transform your referral system into a contest, you add that competitive and urgent element into your system. This means that your customers and website visitors will not only sign up because of a reward. They will also sign up because they have a chance to win a high ticket product.

PRO TIP: Did you know that you can combine contests with influencer marketing? If your prize is attractive enough, you can also encourage influencers to participate. On Instagram, a travel company launched a campaign where they give away free travel to 10 countries. The reward was so attractive that it encouraged influencers to sign up as well.

Use Referral Software

If you plan to launch a referral system, be sure to use the software. Referral software will allow you to configure and start your referral system in a few clicks. The best part is that there is always software that is compatible with your platform. There are WooCommerce affiliate plugins, Shopify apps, and Bigcommerce software that you can use. You just need to check the platform of your website and choose a referral system that will work for you.

Measure Your Results

Once you have implemented your referral system, you must know how to measure the results. More than the trends in your referral software, you should also link your website with an analytics app. This will help you see and track the incoming traffic and compare it with the numbers of referrals and sales that you are getting. Ultimately, you should measure the percentage of your website traffic that converts into sales, subscribers, and referrers. This will give you an overview of the success of your referral system.

Will Referral Marketing Work For You?

It is easy to become doubtful that referral marketing will work for you. However, you will not be able to see if it is sufficient until you try it. Referral marketing is one of the few methods that can work even for brand new websites. Unicorn brands have used them when they are just launching their products and services. PayPal has used it to get its initial members. Uber used it to get more drivers and riders. It is one of the easiest ways to introduce a brand to the public, and it can work for you too.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot for a referral campaign to become successful. The steps included in this article are easy to implement. You can quickly launch a referral system with software. This doesn’t require any coding or designing skills on your part. It is a click-and-go system where you can start a referral program by inputting a few details.

Ways You Can Make Money Online

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Make Money Online|Ways You Can Make Money OnlineThere has been an increase in people wanting to work from home alongside the growth in the digital age. This means that not only is it becoming easier and more viable to make money online at home there are also more and more opportunities arise to do so. With job such as accountancy, programming, HR and blogging all becoming viable options it’s no wonder more people are taking the opportunity to work remotely, from anywhere they like. You can even work while travelling, which seems to be an option that many people are choosing.

Have a look below at some of the different options you have for making money online:

Become A Web Developer

One of the most profitable ways to make money online can be web development. Yes, it can be a difficult job to crack but the fruits are definitely worth the labour. If you’ve got the skills to code then you have the perfect opportunity to turn it into cash. There is an abundance of people who are after people who can code in order to help them build websites, or help in designing products such as applications for mobiles. Although people can now create their own websites with tools such as WordPress and Wix, a lot of people are still using code to create a website as it allows more flexibility. If you have advanced skills you could even think about creating your own plugins for places such s WordPress.

Start A Blog And Make Use Of Affiliate Marketing

One of the most popular ways to make money online is through a blog and affiliate marketing. They go hand in hand. As your following grows o your blog you have the perfect opportunity to use affiliate marketing to recommend products and services to your readers. Be careful not to come across as spam and try to only affiliate for products that are relevant to your blog. Blogging is all about creating interesting, relevant content in a niche area that you are passionate about so it makes for a very enjoyable way to earn money online. Everyone has the ability to become a legendary marketer but it does take time and commitment. It’s not easy to build up a following through so don’t think it’s going to happen overnight. Using blogging and affiliate marketing together can turn out to be extremely profitable.

Become A Freelance Writer

Freelance writing can be one of the easiest and fastest ways to earn a decent wage online. The best way to do this is to start off small if you have no experience and sign up to some platforms that allow you to look for and apply for freelance writing positions. You might think that you need to have a lot of experience with writing to be able to use this option but you would be wrong. You’re able to find platforms that will allow minimal experience, then once you’ve built your skills you can look to take on more challenging jobs. Try building a portfolio of your work as you are building your skills so you’re able to prove your abilities when bidding for work.

These are only three ways that you can earn a living online, there are more. Do you have any other ways of earning money online that you can share in the comments section below?