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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.

 

7 Link Building Strategies To Try Today

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Link Building|7 Link Building Strategies To Try TodayLooking for the best link building strategies? Trying to develop a powerful external link building strategy?
If you’re looking for ways to boost the presence of your website in search engines, then it’s important to realize that building backlinks will be critical. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to get backlinks to your site and many website owners don’t know where to start.

Luckily, we’re here to help you out. Here are 7 easy link building strategies that you should try today.

1. Ask Directly

One of the top link building strategies you can use to get backlinks for your website is to try asking for them directly.
For example, if there is already a mention of your website elsewhere on the web but no link is included, you may want to ask the website owner to add one. You may also want to check for broken links that are directed towards online resources and offer your own content as a replacement.

2. Write a Guest Post

Guest posting is another tried-and-true way to get a backlink to your website.

With this strategy, you’ll offer to write a blog post for another website or blog. In return, they’ll often link back to your site or let you add links to your site within the article itself.

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3. Create Shareable Content

Believe it or not, simply writing great content and posting it on your site is a great way to gain backlinks.

By writing content that is incredibly sharable and provides valuable information, it will be more likely that other site owners will discover it and link to it as a resource.

4. Call Out An Influencer

One of the best ways to get links naturally is by directly calling out some of the bigger names in your industry. By mentioning an “influencer”, that person may end up checking out your site or even linking back to your original post.

To do this, you may want to write a round-up post that lists the top leaders or bloggers in your industry. Then, make sure that you let each one know about their spot on your list using social media.

5. Make a Killer Infographic

While writing great articles can be helpful for getting backlinks, sharing infographics can be even more effective.

Consider creating an infographic that showcases facts about your industry, and then share it. Infographics are typically chock-full of valuable information and many other bloggers and website owners would often be happy to link to it in a blog post of their own.

6. Post in Forums

If done in a genuine and non-spammy way, posting in forums and sometimes linking to your site can also be helpful for getting backlinks.
While some of the links you’ll post in forums will be no-follow, they can still be very valuable for boosting your backlink profile.

7. Comment on Blogs

Commenting on other blogs on the web and including a link back to your own site can also be a great strategy. Like with forum posts, however, it’s important that you only post in an authentic and down-to-earth way.

Also, ensure that the blogs you’re commenting on are actually relevant to your industry or niche.

Boosting Your SEO With These Link Building Strategies

While there is a lot to think about when attempting to boost your site’s SEO, using these link building strategies should be a big part of the puzzle. By putting in the extra effort to build quality backlinks, your website will likely reap the rewards in the months and years to come.

Looking for more SEO ideas and strategies? Start reading through our blog now to find more helpful SEO tips and advice.

6 Tips to Choose an Influencer for Your Brand

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Brand Influencer|6 Tips to Choose an Influencer for Your BrandWhen it comes to gaining new customers, word of mouth is one of the most efficient, yet ignored, marketing strategies used by businesses. Over 60% of customers search for reviews online before making a purchase, and 90% will believe a brand recommendation from someone they trust.

The trusted party could be a friend, family member, or even an influencer. In fact, trust is one reason why brands partner with influencers. You see, influencers often have a significant follower base of people who trust them. So, brands use this influence to reach their target audience. That said, here are six tips to help you choose the right influencer for your brand.

1. Do Your Research

Devote time into looking through the social media pages, especially the ones associated with your intended influencer. Understand their brand and what they represent by simply scanning through their social media pages. You need to understand what your influencer represents to ensure that their brand aligns with yours – directly or indirectly.

Going through their social media page will enable you to find out if they have ever been affiliated or partnered with a competitor at some point in time. For instance, it would be unwise for a company like Apple to contact an influencer who represented Samsung in the past.

2. Think Outside the Box

Just because you are promoting a specific item or service does not mean you have to narrow down your search for an influencer to one category.
By not making the target product obvious and focusing on other criteria, you are more likely to increase your subconscious buying chances. Professor Gerald Zaltman reveals in his book that 95% of purchase decisions are unconscious. Instead of putting yourself in a box, you can focus on their personality instead.

3. Use a Social Media/Influencer Marketing Agency

Influencers can make or break your brand, so you should carry out due diligence when picking one. If you don’t know where to start, you can choose one of the various services from dappergoat.com, which is both a social media and influencer marketing agency. Alternatively, make use of a number of social media platforms to carry out the hunt yourself. Regardless of the path, you want to follow,

4. Create a Story

The most vital part of using an influencer to market is their story. While it is okay to acknowledge that influencers are creatives, it is also essential to express and guide the way you want your brand to be represented. However, do not go overboard with your demands.

Ensure you leave enough room for the influencer’s creativity to blossom. This will enable them to accomplish the main objective, which is to tell your story through their voice. So, pick an Influencer who is capable of conveying your story and is equally comfortable with your demands.

5. Be Honest

Some influencers may be reluctant to work with brands they do not know. However, if you take the time to create a pitch, explain why you want to work with them, and how your goals align, they are more likely to have a heart change. After all, you committed a lot of hours into carrying out your research to ensure they were the right fit.

The thing is, influencers are more efficient when they work with brands whose values align with theirs. So, it’s best to aim to show and express your genuine intentions to the influencer of your choice.

How To Attract Your Target Customer

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Target Customer|How To Attract Your Target CustomerUltimately, the key to success in all industries is identifying your target customer and then taking steps to attract this group to your business. The target customer is the group of people that will benefit from the products and/or services that you use, and identifying this group will enable you to make key business decisions; but how can you go about attracting this group? This can be challenging, particularly in competitive industries, but there are a few highly effective strategies that will help your business to succeed, allow you to develop a positive reputation with this group, and compete with the top brands in your industry.

Determine The Target Customer And Their Needs

First, you need to make sure that you have a clear definition of your target customer. You then need to identify what the wants, needs, and priorities for this group are, which will then help you when it comes to marketing and promoting your brand. A few key questions to ask, which will help with this are as follows:

  • What problems does your company solve?
  • Which specific customers will benefit the most?
  • What is the age, gender, location, income, lifestyle, and attitude of this group?

It is then helpful to create a profile for your target market, so that you can picture this individual and keep them in mind whenever you make any kind of strategic decision.

Analyze The Competition

Your direct competitors will have the same target customer as you do, so it is a good idea to carefully analyze the competition in order to see what you can learn, and to take advantage of any gaps in the market. In addition to looking at what the most successful brands are doing well, do not forget to look at what the struggling brands are doing wrong—this can be just as insightful, and will help you to avoid making the same mistakes.

Create Engaging Content

In today’s internet-driven age, a brand needs to create content in addition to providing a high-quality product and/or service, as this is how you promote your brand, demonstrate your expertise, and engage with your target customer. The content must be of value to your target customer, stand out from the crowd, and use a variety of media. If you are in the health and fitness industry, for example, then you have a lot of good options, such as:

  • Workout videos
  • Nutritional infographics
  • “How-to” guides for specific exercises
  • Interviews with key figures
  • Live Q&A sessions on social media

Use Influencer Marketing

Following on from this, social media is a key platform for engaging your target customer, and one of the most effective strategies for this is using influencer marketing. This involves an influential figure in your industry promoting your products and/or services to their followers (your target customer), which is a highly effective way of reaching a much larger group and improving your brand reputation. The key to success with using this increasingly popular form of marketing is finding the right agency—you can do this by searching online, for example, by looking for the best influencer marketing agency in Los Angeles.

Host Events

It is vital that you take steps to engage your target customer online, but you must not overlook the value of also doing this offline, as this can be an excellent way of building real-life connections with this group. The best way to do this is by hosting events, which will help to create a sense of community with your target customer, while also portraying your brand is an authoritative figure in the industry. Using the above health and fitness example, you could host fitness classes, lectures, live screenings of sports, and anything else that will bring your target customers to your business.

Surveys

Another smart step to take is to send out surveys to your target customer. This will help you to identify areas in which you could improve your brand in order to appeal directly to this group—as the saying goes, “the customer is always right.”

Improve Customer Service

No matter who your target customer is, you will need to make sure that you provide them with excellent customer service in order to retain customers and build a positive reputation. Keep in mind that people have different preferences when it comes to customer service, so you should have a range of options, including:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Live chat

Understanding exactly who your target customer is—and knowing how to reach this group—will be critical to success. Follow the above steps, and you should soon start to attract more people to your business, improve your reputation, and compete with the larger brands in your industry.

Bootstrap your online business – Top tips to stretch your start up budget

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Bootstrap your Business| Bootstrap your online business - Top tips to stretch your start up budgetStarting up an online business in today’s economy is no easy feat, as you’ve already got hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of other businesses already established and have the upper hand on you. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible by any sense of the word. You just have to be clever with your process so that you don’t blow your budget, you stand out from the crowd and most importantly, you hit the ground running. Check out these top tips to stretch your start up budget.

First thing’s first, you’ll need to build your website and the first question you’ll need to ask yourself is what kind of hosting to go for. There are pros and cons with each, so here’s a handy piece on VPS hosting vs dedicated hosting. From there you can choose which will suit your needs and your budget best.

Do the marketing yourself – it will save you tonnes of money

Marketing is a huge part in raising a business from the ground. After all, how else would people know you exist?! A dedicated marketing team can really help boost the online presence of a business but unfortunately, that’s also a rather expensive option. Doing the marketing yourself will help keep back a lot of your budget.

There are a few things that you may want to consider spending a small amount of your budget on:
Marketing books to improve your knowledge and skills. Amazon is loaded with books for each platform and yes – all of them are important!

Remember to spend a little of your budget on Google Ads campaigns – Google can really help boost your reach!
Pay the monthly fee for programs such as Adobe to create graphics and mailers for your marketing – it will make a huge difference to the quality!

Outsource rather than hire

You will undoubtedly need a team of people to help lift your business from the ground, but when you don’t have a large budget it can be difficult to employ people for long periods of time. That’s where outsourcing comes in, and it can be a very effective way of having work completed without the dedication of an employee you need to pay every week/month.

You can list the jobs you need fulfilling on websites like Upwork and Fiverr, and let applicants come to you with their skills, history and also their price demand. You can then choose the right price and skillset for your budget. The beauty of outsourcing is that once the work is done, you can go your separate ways. However, that’s not to say that in the future you won’t collaborate again!

Use influencers

Influencers play a huge role in purchase decisions on the internet, and that’s why they’re so effective for new businesses like yourself to use. Think of your favourite influencer. If they were to say, talk about the latest gadget that’s well within your interests, you’d at least check it out with a possibility of buying, right?

Browse Instagram for influencers within your business niche and contact them for their price list. Sometimes, a simple quid pro quo situation is all that’s required for an influencer to promote your business. For example, if you’re selling a particular product online, why not send them a sample pack to test, review and keep? It’s an extremely effective way of getting your name out there for a minimal cost.

Work from home rather than rent an office space

Another expense that you could eliminate is the rent you’d spend on an office space. The beauty of an online business is that you have the option to work from anywhere in the world. Load up yours and your colleagues (if any) computers or laptops with all of the necessary programs you’ll need and save your business’s budget by working from home!

Working from home can be difficult as it’s easy to become distracted and neglect your working duties. Creating a space in your home dedicated to working will help eliminate this issue. Why not check out these fantastic ways of making your home office the perfect place to work.

Starting an online business with a very minimal budget is hard work but very doable! Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an online business that everyone thinks of!