Businesses are always looking for ways to grow. If your business is part of a local community, you’ve most likely benefited from word of mouth exposure to new customers. While that is an excellent way to grow long-term, it doesn’t necessarily encourage growth quickly enough, so you need to engage your brand in various marketing strategies to actively increase brand exposure and recognition.

Keep in mind that marketing is an ongoing investment. It involves advertising, client support, public relations, media planning, and more. Your brand’s marketing plan should integrate strategies that let you grow your client base over time while still allowing you the flexibility you need to respond to changes in the needs of your local clientele. In addition to attracting and retaining clients, you also need to stand out from your competitors both local and online. A top-notch marketing plan and the subsequent execution of that plan are essential to the success of your brand.


Responsive Website

Internet searches are happening all hours of the day and night throughout the week as consumers look for everything and anything their hearts desire. Your shop’s website is the digital face of your brand. It helps potential clients find you and can provide information and resources for existing clients.

Visitors to your site will expect a consistent experience in regards to viewing and navigating around your website, regardless of what type of device they are using. They will quickly leave your site if it doesn’t meet their performance expectations. The best practice today is to offer a website that is device responsive.

Responsive design is entirely flexible regardless of the type of device being used to view the site. Websites that are responsively designed literally respond to the screen size of a user’s device, unlike mobile optimized sites that react to the specific browser or device type. Responsive design utilizes a combination of reformatting and re-optimizing to present all aspects of the site.

Responsive design provides amazing flexibility and usability for all site visitors. Website hosting platforms like Squarespace offering responsive design website templates. This allows businesses and web designers alike the opportunity to place their focus elsewhere without having to worry about what their site will look like on variously sized screens. Depending on your marketing budget, you can either create and maintain your own website or hire an agency to handle those tasks.


Email Marketing

Email marketing campaigns are a relatively inexpensive means of marketing and easy to implement. Your shop can use email to share promotions you have going on, any changes in business hours that might happen because of holidays, new services or products you are offering, and more.

To reward people who actually open and read your emails, consider running an email contest that can only be entered via an email invitation. This will also encourage customers to open future email communications. You can also use your email list to push out customer surveys asking customers for feedback on service, products, etc.

Brand-based emails are an excellent way to maintain regular communication with your client base and to encourage customers to visit your shop. They allow you to target specific subgroups of your audience with relevant, personalized messaging. For more on this topic, see our article:

Personalized Email Marketing


Social Media Marketing

Social media is an excellent place to show your brand’s personality. Consistent, brand-centered messaging will help you to create an effective social media presence. Determine which platforms your target audience uses and then meet them there with content that is original and engaging. Social platforms are also an amazing channel for advertising because you can target specific audiences based on things like geographical location, keywords, age groups, online behaviors, and so many other demographics.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer amazing opportunities to utilize the power, reach and low cost of social media marketing. Get creative with your social posts – use images or videos to show behind the scenes action, happy customers interacting with your products or staff (with their permission, of course), and encourage your customers to post their own content with a brand-centered hashtag.


Client Reviews (and managing your online reputation)

Many consumers seek out online reviews and recommendations before visiting a local shop. Multiple studies have found that social proof like reviews and recommendations play an important role in converting potential customers. Post on your website and social media profiles reviews from current clients to help build and maintain a positive reputation of your brand. Reviews can be text-based, text paired with an image of the (hopefully, willing) client, or even better, in a video format.

The review process helps you build a relationship with your clients and allows you to improve the customer experience. Be sure to keep tabs on client reviews that are on public platforms such as Google and Yelp. It’s important to respond to all reviews as consumers judge businesses based on whether or not they acknowledge and/or respond to customer feedback. In fact, consumers expect brands to respond to reviews with 53% of people expecting a response within one week of their posting.

Be grateful for positive reviews and thank reviewers for their feedback, time and energy. Show that you value customers’ input by crafting original responses to each review. Invite customers to contact you directly with any concerns in hopes of avoiding being the recipient of a negative review but know those will occur.


Implement a Customer Loyalty Program

There are a number of ways you can reward the loyalty of your frequent customers. You can establish a loyalty program that rewards your customers for repeat visits. Your system can be as simple as punch cards that track the number of purchases made and after a customer makes a certain number of purchases, he receives a 5% discount on his next purchase. If you want to build it into your POS system you can create a more complex points system. This is another great way to capture email information for your customers so you can add them to your mailing list.


Location Based Marketing

Location-based marketing strategies are being implemented by more and more brands. eMarketer predicts that marketers will spend $26.5 billion in mobile location-targeted advertising this year alone. From geofencing to geotargeting to proximity marketing and more, location data is reshaping mobile advertising. For more on this topic, see our articles:

How Marketers Can Use Geo-Location Data

Put Location to Work with Geofencing


Wrap Up

It is important to remember that marketing is an ongoing investment that involves advertising, client support, public relations, media planning, and more. Your shop’s marketing plan should integrate strategies that let you grow your customer base over time while still allowing you the flexibility you need to respond to changes in consumers’ needs and shopping behaviors. Show them the best of what you have to offer. Use as many channels as you can:

  • Responsive Website

  • Email Marketing

  • Social Media Marketing

  • Client Reviews (and managing your online reputation)

  • Implement a Customer Loyalty Program

  • Location Based Marketing

The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing are ready to help you with all of these efforts. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can create a personalized marketing plan that works with your particular business goals and budget. Let’s get started!

Cover photo by Joe from Pexels