Phew. I'm finally back on my home turf after spending the majority of the month of January speaking at trade shows across the world-- literally. I love gettting to spend time with retailers from every walk of life and learn about their businesses and all the good associated with owning a retail endeavor. But the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is when retailers tell me -again and again- that don't do marketing on a regular basis. What?
I know the economy is challenging, and that marketing budgets are slim,but you must continue to find low-cost or no cost ways to engage with your customers on a regular basis-or your competitors will! With so many tools available today to connect with customers affordably and effectively, you must put together a marketing program that will reach customers where they are watching.
Within any given month, here are 5 different ways to connect with your customers-mix them up,create a schedule that works for your business and start marketing on a regular basis today!
- Facebook Fan Page. Simply put, you have to be here for your business on a regular basis. With over 500 million users, many of your customers and potential customers are on Facbook- and your business should be too!
- Email marketing For many of you, this tool has become an effective way to reach customers. While social media is the darling of marketers (and highly effective) you can't abandon email all together. You can however include inks articles and information that is found on your social media sites to introduce those marketing tools.
- You Tube Video Millions of videos are viewed and uploaded every day. This powerful tool offers a unique way for retailers to share information, education and store personality- all in 10 minutes or less! ( But don't go more than 3-4 min per video-folks get bored)
- Blogging Writing short articles like this on topics relevant and interesting to both existing and new customers can highlight your knowledge and help build trust and credibility for your business.
- In Store events. I bet you thought we'd leave out traditional marketing tools based on the emergence of social media. Wrong. Creating in-store events that bring like-minded customers together will drive sales and raise awareness for your business. (And look at all the tools above as places where you can promote your events)
Now that you've got some tools, it's time to mix them up,create a schedule that works for your business and start marketing on a regular basis today!
Lynn Switanowski is the founder of CBCG a retail consulting firm which helps retailers of all size to create and develop effective marketing and social media strategies. Contact CBCG at email@example.com