We take the pain, time and expense out of digital marketing, while organically improving your SEO.
Is your social media falling flat? Don’t sweat it; many hours have gone into perfecting the use of this not-so-secret weapon. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram strategies are outlined in detail below. Once you understand how they all work and which will suit your business best, learn how to handle them and other factors such as SEO, reviews, and more!
Facebook, Google+, & Twitter
What works: Images, videos, calls to action, industry-related content, general share-worthy content.
What doesn’t work: Lengthy content, bland content, poor business/related/share-worthy balance.
Videos and images are best used to catch the eye of social media readers, though video works a little better to hold the reader’s attention. Whether it’s redirecting consumers to your website or online store, or getting them to stop and look at an interesting piece of content titled by your business, images and videos are your anchor.
The three best ways to get traction from your readers are to:
Let’s say three people see your business posts about that 2 for 1 sale. These posts are not likely to be shared, so those same three people will see all your posts, and that’s it. Once people start liking and sharing your posts, you’ll start to see new eyes on your page. This is where industry related/general share-worthy content comes in.
If you’re a physical therapist, for example, get your readers excited to see and share those workout tips and you’ll have a better chance that someone who needs physical therapy will come across them. Having a good mix of these types of posts is extremely important.
Once you’ve gained the attention of your readers with a photo or video, a call to action is a great way to guide them to their next step.
“Do you like these home renovation ideas? Let’s get started with yours!”
As seen in this above example, calls to action can be used for almost every type of post. Tell your reader to check out your website for a business related post, or tell them to read the article or video you’re sharing. Though industry-related or share-worthy content may not lead your reader straight to your website, the posts are more likely to gain likes and shares.
Packaged in with the importance of shared content is the name of your business. Every time your post is shared, someone new has the chance to see you. That’s brand-recognition, baby! When the time comes for that person to need a lawyer, they’ll remember the interesting law posts you shared and seek out the name they remember seeing or hearing about.
On the other hand, lengthy content, bland posts, and a poor balance of business/industry/shareable don’t work well on these media channels. Lengthy content is an especially bad choice for Twitter’s 140 character count limit. As for Facebook and Google+, people just don’t have the attention spans to read posts that are more than a couple of lines long. Keep them short and concise! Don’t post bland, filler content like, “Happy Friday!” unless people have a reason to share it. “Happy Friday, here’s a hilarious cat meme” can improve brand recognition, but only if shared- use humour to your advantage.
Find your balance between business and shareable content. Too much boring business related posts and calls to action can lead to a stagnant viewer count, while too many share-worthy posts may lead to your readers not knowing what your business does.
What works: Images, videos, industry related content, general share-worthy content.
What doesn’t work: Lengthy content, bland content, and it may not suit your vertical.
Pinterest, like Instagram below, is all about the pictures. If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, you know that it’s a very visual sight to behold. The hook of Pinterest is that people are looking for ideas. This will work best for you if your business provides ideas or the means with which to make ideas happen. A hardware store can benefit from Pinterest because you may share tree-house building ideas with your store’s name attached- don’t forget about brand recognition. Once people get the ideas from you, they’ll come into your store to buy the tools they need for the job! The best use of Pinterest includes non-business related content. Show people ideas that may lead them to your business, but don’t try to sell them right then and there.
However, Pinterest may not suit your vertical, and it definitely won’t prosper with too much emphasis on text. Many verticals such as plumbing just don’t have many corresponding ideas given the nature of the job. In this case, Pinterest can only be used for shareable content and brand recognition. The text attached to Pinterest posts is often ignored, so any applicable text should go into an infographic displayed as an image. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use any text. A small headline or message will suffice here.
What works: Images, projects.
What doesn’t work: Mostly everything else.
Instagram is a strange beast. The entire point of this medium is to compel readers to follow you and talk about what you offer. This works best for verticals like restaurants because your customers can post images of your food for their friends to see. This also works great for verticals like home improvement. In this vertical, your business can post project and progress images of what you’ve been working on. Seeing these images and sharing them can work well to compel the reader to seek you out.
Instagram posts can’t include links, so just like Pinterest, the aim here is brand recognition. Can you consistently post interesting enough images for your readers to stay interested? Not every business can.
Now that we’ve covered the main social media channels, let’s discuss other ways they can be used. Facebook, Google+, and other media channels support reviews. Aside from the engagement from posts, reviews can make or break a business. You may be thinking “I can’t control what people rate my business”, and you’d be right. However, you can control how you respond to people. You can turn around even the angriest rater by replying to their review in a quick and professional manner. See our other articles to learn about the importance of reviews!
Forbes discusses social listening as finding where your audience is discussing topics related to your brand. People are talking about cars somewhere, and these are great topics for your dealership. The short and sweet of this is that you need to be researching your competitors and your peers. What are people talking about, liking, and sharing, and how can you get in on it? You’ll want to shape your social media strategies around what’s getting the best traction everywhere else. Get researching!
This likely isn’t the first time you’ve read about the importance of SEO, and it definitely won’t be your last. When you search your business’s name or keywords related to your work, how high on the results page does it appear? The more you and your readers are mentioning your name and other keywords in relation to your business, the better your SEO results will be.
Finally, take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Naturally, you’ll want to look for what’s working and what isn’t. Whether you’re counting likes and shares by hand or using Google Analytics to track the information for you, understanding your trends may just be the most important part of the process, so what are you waiting for?
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the revenue opportunities that many retailers aren’t taking advantage of. Before searching far and wide for new ways to increase customers and sales, make sure you’re capitalising on factors that are closer to home.
1. You don’t up-sell or cross-sell.
You’re missing tons of chances to increase sales by not engaging with customers who are already buying from you. If you have a customer who already has products on hand, why not approach them to see if there’s anything else that they’d like to buy?
Approach them by recommending relevant products, upgrades, or any special offers you have going on.
The key is doing this in a way that doesn’t come off as pushy. Remember, people love to buy, but they hate being sold to. So as long as you approach shoppers with finesse and you’re providing value, you shouldn’t have any trouble engaging them.
Here some quick tips on carrying out sale tactics effectively:
GET A READ ON EACH CUSTOMER TO DETERMINE THE BEST APPROACH.
Do they look open to conversation or does it look like they want to be left alone? Take time to read customers. Pay attention to what they’re saying, while also looking at their non-verbal cues at the same time. Look at their stance, observe where they put their hands, and note their facial expressions. Your observations should give you cues on how to deliver your spiel.
TAKE TIME TO GET TO KNOW THEM.
Ask questions and figure out your customers’ needs. Get to know the purpose of their visit. Get insights into their lifestyle. Engage in back and forth conversation. This will enable you to suggest products in a natural, non-sleazy way.
KNOW YOUR INVENTORY.
You can’t up-sell or cross-sell properly if you don’t know what you have. So make sure you always know what’s in stock. Also, familiarise yourself with the features, benefits, and stories behind your products.
TIME YOUR APPROACH.
When you decide to up-sell or cross-sell is crucial. As a reminder, here are the best and worst times to sell to shoppers.
When you’re familiar with the customer – Remember our tip about getting to know customers? Implement that before you decide to up-sell or cross-sell. Doing so will not only make recommendations more relevant, but shoppers will be more receptive because you spent time establishing rapport.
When they’re holding a product – This gives you an excellent opportunity to suggest complimentary items.
When addressing an objection – If you have a customer who isn’t too sure about an item or who is considering a product that’s not a good fit for them, grab the opportunity to suggest alternatives.
When a customer has just walked into your store – Shoppers who are immediately sold to after having just walked in might feel ambushed. Not to mention, you won’t know enough about them at this point, so your product recommendations will likely be irrelevant.
When a shopper tells you they don’t want to be sold to – When a customer makes it clear that they’re not interested in other products, respect their wishes and let them be.
2. You don’t follow-up on stock-outs, abandoned carts and “close calls” with buyers.
Did someone almost make a purchase? Find ways to make that “almost sale” into a sure thing.
The first step is to determine why the customer wasn’t able to buy. Did they change their mind? Was the price too high? Or maybe it was a matter of availability. Sales often fall through when the store doesn’t have the right colour or size in stock.
Whatever the case may be, these missed sales don’t have to be lost opportunities for good. Sometimes, you can bring back shoppers and convince them to complete their original purchase by addressing the sales barrier.
For instance, if the price was too high, why not circle back if you decide to put the product on sale?
Ecommerce site Tiny Prints does this. If a customer puts something in their cart but leaves without completing the sale, Tiny Prints sends an email reminding them to check out. For good measure, they even throw in a 20% off coupon.
On the other hand, if a sale falls through due to product unavailability, you can follow-up with customers once you have their merchandise in stock.
Consider what ModCloth is doing. The e-tailer sends “back in stock” emails to shoppers who tried to buy something that wasn’t in-stock at the time.
Do note that such tactics aren’t just for ecommerce. Brick-and-mortar stores can implement similar actions by proactively collecting customer information in-store.
For instance, if a shopper wants to buy something that isn’t in stock, you can take down their information and get in touch when the product becomes available.
You never know, they could still be in the market for that item. And even if they already purchased it from somewhere else, you taking the initiative to notify them still makes a good impression. It keeps you top of mind and increases the likelihood that they’ll shop with you again.
3. You’re not selling on other channels.
Digital channels (i.e. ecommerce, mobile, social) are opening up opportunities for you to expand and reach more consumers. By failing to capitalise on other channels, you’re not just missing out on sales, but you’re driving customers to your competitors.
Make no mistake: your customers aren’t sticking to one channel to shop. They’re also online. And they’re likely using their mobile devices to research and buy. The only way to stay competitive is to be there for your them at multiple touch points.
How exactly can you accomplish this? That depends. If you’re only selling in-store at the moment, then start by setting up an ecommerce site (hint: make sure it’s responsive.)
If you’re already selling online and offline, then find ways to optimise the experience. You can, for example, integrate your offline and ecommerce stores, so inventory and customer data flow seamlessly between channels. You could also implement initiatives such as click-and-collect and mobile ordering.
The key is figuring out what channels your customers are using to shop, and then finding ways to include those very same channels in your strategy.
4. You don’t communicate with existing customers.
If you don’t have a customer retention strategy, you’re missing out on sales. Selling to customers you already have is just as — if not more — effective than acquiring new shoppers.
Plus, it’s a lot easier to engage existing customers than it is to establish rapport with a buyer who doesn’t know who you are. So build up your database by collecting customer information.
The best way to do this is through a loyalty program that rewards people who provide their information and who purchase on a regular basis.
And once you’ve built up your list, make sure you put it to good use. Communicate with shoppers regularly through newsletters. Tell them what’s new in your store, offer them deals, and do what you can to entice them to come back and shop.
For best results, personalise your interactions with customers. If you’re sending out emails, segment shoppers based on demographic or previous purchases so you can make tailored recommendations.
Same thing for shoppers in-store. If you have a returning customer, take a quick look at their profile and previous purchases then craft your approach from there.
Let’s say you see a familiar face walk into your shop. You pull up their information and see that they previously bought products by a particular brand. With this information on hand, you can connect with them by mentioning new arrivals from that brand or by telling an interesting story about the designer.
The ability to personalise is a powerful differentiator in retail. In a world where shoppers can get whatever they want online or at lower-priced stores, the retailers that can get personal are the ones who will win.
5. Failing to take advantage of data.
If you aren’t using data in your business, you’re missing out. Collecting and analysing data about your customers, products, and sales will enable you to make smarter decisions.
What should you stock up on? Which customers are most profitable? Should you cut back on spending in some areas of your business?
The answers to these questions can mean the difference between smashing your revenue targets or missing them entirely. And the best way to figure all this out is to rely on data.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that’ll enable you to collect and use data. Many POS solutions now have reporting tools that generate sales, product, customer reports, so you always know what’s going on in your business.
If you’re looking for more sophisticated technology, you can look into in-store analytics tools such beacons, video analytics, and more.
Whatever tools you decide to use, see to it that they’re giving accurate information on the main areas of your business, including your sales, inventory, and customers.
You’re leaving a lot of money on the table by not capitalising on opportunities you already have. So before you go “out there” to search for ways boost revenue, re-examine your business and identify areas for growth that you aren’t taking full advantage of.
Can you name other instances of retailers leaving money on the table? Let us know in the comments.
Article Link: vendhq.com
Author: Francesca Nicasio
Published: July 19, 2016
Follow Vend on Social Media:
Interestingly, digital’s influence on in-store sales is higher in the 3 developing markets (India, Mexico and China) studied by Deloitte, hovering at around 60% of in-store sales. Mobile’s role is also higher in these countries, influencing slightly more than one-third of in-store sales in China.
In fact, a newly released report from PwC cites data indicating that almost two-thirds (65%) of Chinese shoppers shop online via their mobile at least monthly, roughly three times the proportion (22%) of US shoppers who do so with that frequency. Moreover, some 59% of Chinese shoppers believe that their mobile phone will become the main tool through which they purchase items, compared to 34% of shoppers globally.
How Are Mobile Devices Being Used In-Store?
About three-quarters of the nearly 23,000 online shoppers surveyed by PwC across 25 territories report using a mobile device while in-store. The most common uses of mobile are:
Not surprisingly, Millennials (18-34) are more likely to be engaging in these activities than those 35 and older. For example, among the more popular activities, they are:
Within the US, more than 8 in 10 Millennials (18-34) use their mobile devices while in-store, compared to 55% of shoppers over 35, per the PwC results. Globally, those figures are 88% and 65%, respectively.
Among those shoppers who do not use a mobile/smartphone while shopping in-store, the most commonly-cited reasons are: not seeing the benefit (38%); preferring to speak to sales staff directly (27%); and not owning a mobile or smartphone (18%).
Meanwhile, a separate report from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research also looks at US shoppers’ mobile activities in-store, finding that 41% look for discounts/promotions on their device, 28% compare prices, and 27% look up product reviews.
Finally, outside of the store, a study from UPS and comScore indicates that among shoppers who have recently purchased a high-tech product (such as a computer or mobile phone) online, 76% tracked the delivery on a mobile device. A majority of these shoppers also reported using a retailer’s mobile app (70%), purchasing products on mobile devices (69%) and researching products on a mobile device while in-store (69%).
How Does Digital Impact Different Categories?
Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that high-tech shoppers are more apt to be using their mobile devices for shopping, as electronics appears to be one of the most digitally-influenced retail categories, according to Deloitte.
The Deloitte report shows that digital’s influence on in-store sales varies by product category and market. Even so, electronics appears to be the category most influenced by digital in a majority of the markets. That’s true within the US, where it is the leading category impacted by digital among those identified, followed by furniture/home furnishings, automobile, books/music/entertainment and baby/toddler.
Meanwhile, PwC’s report shows how research and purchasing behavior differs across categories also, demonstrating that on a global basis:
The Store Maintains Its Influence
Still, despite digital (including social, which these reports also look at in detail) having a growing influence on retail, the store does maintain its relevance.
In fact, respondents to the PwC survey are more likely to prefer researching products in-store than online across almost all categories, with the only exceptions being household appliances, books, music, movies and video games, and toys (where the gap is marginal).
Moreover, when it comes to the preferred purchase method, in-store plays an even bigger role, leading in all categories save for the entertainment (books, music, movies and video games) sector.
Why stick to in-store shopping? The survey from The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research suggests that among those shoppers who believe that in-store delivers a better experience, the leading reasons are that:
In order to make the in-store shopping experience better, respondents to the PwC survey most commonly pointed to:
About the Data: PwC describes its methodology as follows:
“PwC’s Global Retail and Consumer practice, in conjunction with PwC’s Research to Insight (r2i), administered a global survey to understand and compare consumer shopping behaviors and the use of different retail channels across 25 territories: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China/Hong Kong, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.”
The survey was fielded among almost 23,000 online shoppers, 1,000 of whom are in the US.
The Deloitte study is based on surveys conducted by an independent research company between November 2014 and March 2015, polling roughly 2,000 random consumers in each of 9 markets: US; Canada; Australia; Germany; Netherlands; and the UK.
The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research survey was fielded among 1,225 US shoppers in November 2015.
The UPS and comScore “Pulse of the High-Tech Online Shopper” study encompasses data gathered from 2,133 survey panelists in February 2015.
Article Link: marketingcharts.com
Author: MarketingCharts Staff
Published: March 1, 2016
Follow MarketingCharts on Social Media:
"One of the trends on our minds is that people are spending more time on mobile than any channel," said Maz Sharafi, director-monetization product marketing at Facebook. "But purchase behaviour is different," he added, with 90% of retails sales still happening store in-store. "With the mobile shift, this is a fundamental challenge that marketers have, in not only how to drive people to a store but how to measure real business results. That's what we're interested in solving."
The store visits metric will be rolling out to advertisers globally in the coming months, Facebook said.
The catch, though, is that advertisers may not be able to get a complete picture of everyone who went into their stores, because users have to opt in to location-tracking in Facebook's app in order for conversions to work.
"It's a seminal moment for Facebook because it's the first time we can close the loop for retailers," said Sam England, product manager at Facebook. "It's been difficult to measure and give advertisers the full picture, but now they can see in real time the number of store visits on a location by location basis. You can cut the data any way you see fit."
Facebook is also rolling out a consumer-facing product, Store Locator, a map feature that pops up in people's news feeds as part of a local awareness ad carousel. The feature will offer retailers the ability to pinpoint locations near Facebook users on a map image, with details including hours of operation, phone number and address. If a person wants more information, like directions on how to get there, they can click the image to be taken to the map app that's native to their smartphones, such as Apple Maps or the map app on Android. The move builds on features introduced last year that enabled advertisers with multiple locations to create dynamic ads for each individual location within a single campaign.
This move, said Yoram Wurmser, analyst at eMarketer, is a bit of a catch-up to Google for Facebook. It will make Facebook's local awareness tools more effective, "but it doesn't add something that other companies don't have," he said.
Facebook's new Offline Conversions API lets advertisers connect in-store transactions or transactions done over the phone to their ads. "The Offline Conversions API allows businesses to match transaction data from their customer database or point-of-sale system to Ads Reporting," Facebook said in a blog post, "helping them better understand the effectiveness of their ads in real-time." Advertisers will have the option to work with partners like IBM, LiveRamp, Marketo and Square, among others, or with Facebook directly.
The data on people is anonymized and aggregated, so marketers can't see the exact individuals who come into or near their stores, but advertisers can view real-time results as transactions occur in-store and over the phone and gain demographic insights about people who purchase products, such as gender, age group and so on, said Facebook.
Many companies, including Google and Facebook, have been trying to link ads online to offline conversions for a while, said Mr. Wurmser, analyst at eMarketer. Efforts include Google's launch of local inventory ads, while Facebook started a partnership with Datalogix (now part of Oracle), which it used to link its ads to offline purchases via loyalty cards and emails.
Mr. Wurmser said in an email that Google has generally had an advantage because "people who enter search queries for products are generally closer to the bottom of the funnel than those who see the more discovery-oriented or retargeting ads on Facebook." He added that Google has offered offline conversion tracking in its AdWords API for some time.
But, he said, "From what I've seen, this new Offline Conversion API brings Facebook up at least to what Google has been offering, but probably goes beyond it. By virtue of the behavioural and interest data it gets from its social networks (FB and Instagram), the additional insights about store traffic are likely beyond what Google can offer. So, I think it's going to be pretty attractive to retailers."
Article Link: adage.com
Author: Maureen Morrison
Published: June 14, 2016
Follow AdvertisingAge on Social Media: