Happy New Year! This is a great time to refresh, review or rethink your business strategy based on the results you achieved during the past year. It never hurts to look at your entire operation holistically to get a fresh perspective on what strategies proved to be successful–or identify those that can be eliminated because they failed to gain traction. Develop a plan for 2019 that is nimble enough to support changes in technology that directly impact the retail industry. It should also leverage social media to build relationships with your customers and create more personalized connections.
Incorporating new ideas and analyzing trends, will shape your thinking and help you move ahead of the curve in gaining insight into the motivation of competitors. Although many small businesses have a limited advertising budget, here are three ideas to consider before you create your plan.
Developing Video Content
Our desire to access information quickly and easily have made videos increasingly popular with consumers. Within the next two years (2020), 80 percent of online traffic will be the result of consumer interaction with video content. Creating your own YouTube Channel will enable you to capitalize on this growing social media trend, attract new customers and build community among existing customers. The average online video is about 4 minutes. Becoming a YouTuber or posting videos on your company’s website can be a relatively inexpensive way to demo products or promote seasonal and in-store events.
- 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content
- 83 percent of global consumers prefer to access content by watching YouTube
- 73 percent of consumers want social media videos to be “entertaining”
“The best advice to a small business owner… is never stop thinking about how to delight your customer. Not to satisfy your customer, but to delight your customer. And when you wake up in the morning, start thinking about it. During the day, think about it. At night, think about it. And then dream about it.” – Warren Buffett
Generating Facebook Reviews
Consumers have grown weary of fake advertising and paid actors who pretend to be “real people” whose lives have been miraculously transformed by the products they are promoting. Customers reward authenticity and prefer to rely on word of mouth reviews posted by people who have actually purchased and used the products. Home Improvement retailers have a reputation for delivering outstanding service to their customers. Make it a habit to ask loyal customers to post positive reviews about their experiences online. Why is it important?
- 88 percent of people trust online reviews
- Potential customers check Facebook reviews to get community input
Why Omni-channel Marketing?
Traditionally, retailers chose to advertise on television, in magazines or on radio. But, instead of advertising on separate platforms with distinctive audiences and brand messages, omni-channel marketing creates a 1:1 seamless experience across platforms. It is a journey through the buying process that can take place in-store, on the company website, via a mobile app or social media or even through a catalog using a variety of devices. The outcome should be a consistent experience that reinforces the message and builds awareness of the brand. Here’s how to get started:
- Use the same logos, imagery, voice and general look and feel in every campaign
- Follow a schedule to engage customers regularly across each channel
- Employ tactics in your campaign that “move” customers from one channel to another to maintain interest and generate excitement. For example, send out an email that drives traffic to your website.
Remember to plan ahead and brainstorm ideas with your employees. Getting everyone involved will generate more ideas and offer different perspectives.