Are you running a business in the real world? This is always going to be different compared to setting up a business online. Online, your main focus for getting customers is going to be boosting up your website and staying active on social media. In the real world, you have to focus on other areas to get customers through the door as well. Notice that we did say ‘as well.’ This means that the tricks that you use to get customers to buy online can still be effective for a business in the real world. We are going to look at how you can use online techniques to drive customers to a local store, but first, we do need to think about things offline and the techniques that you can use.
You probably think that this is a simple task of getting the right signage or perhaps making sure that you have a stunning design. But that’s not the case because if you’re not careful you’re going to focus on typical marketing measures. Why are they typical? Well, everyone is using them and if everyone is using them, there is absolutely no way that they can make you stand out on the market. That’s why we’re going to think outside the box, looking at some of the options that you probably haven’t thought of.
Secrets Of Great Signage
Okay, so you’re setting up signage for your business. We imagine that you’re focused on the sign above the door of your company, but let’s be a little more creative than this. If your business is on the high street, then you can think about using the actual street as signage. Bear in mind that you will have to get the permission from the local authority before you do this. But, once you have gained their permission you can add signs to the street outside your shop on the road and on the sidewalk. Get creative here with cool colours and fun messages. For instance, you might use a gradually growing message.
Let’s say that you are running a shoe store. If that’s the case, you could have a message on the ground like ‘dragging your feet?’ Follow it up with ‘Follow the arrows to a new pair of shoes for you.’ The arrows in question could lead straight to the doors of your store. This is actually a form of guerilla marketing that will explore in greater detail a little further down. The point is that this type of signage doesn’t just send a message. It engages with customers and makes them more interested in your business, more eager to step through your door.
This isn’t the only way that you can use signage in a creative way to gain the attention of your customers. Perhaps your store isn’t on the high street at all or indeed easy to find. If that’s the case, then you should think about using a signage a short distance away from your business. Again, you’ll have to get permission to do this, but it will be worth it. You can even use signage like this to drive customers away from the competition.
Our last idea for signage would be to use a massive wall decal. If you own a large building, you need to take advantage of the exterior base. You can hang a massive wall decal on one side and attract customers from the road who will be eager to drop by your store.
Next, let’s think about guerilla marketing. The signage on the ground is something similar to guerrilla marketing, and it’s one possibility to consider, but there are many more. When you use guerilla marketing, you are doing something to engage the customer and make them part of the campaign. Online, you’ll see great examples of this in the movie industry. But what about offline? Well, you can think about running a campaign outside your store, hiring talent to get customers to engage in conversation and enter into your store. You might even hire models to make your store more appealing. Abercrombie and Fitch and similar stores use models as a way to gain attention from customers and help them to engage. In fact, it has become an idea synonymous with their brand.
Other guerilla marketing possibilities can include using unique points of interest outside your shop or store. This could be a sculpture or anything that is appealing to the eye and perhaps creates a selfie opportunity. Remember, great marketing won’t just get people to want to buy, it will make them interested enough to share info about your business online, creating some fantastic UGC.
You might assume that if you are working to build up your business in the real world than you don’t need to focus on the online market. But that’s not true. You need to make sure that you are putting every ounce of effort that you put into offline marketing into an online campaign. It’s just a little different when you’re not appealing to people halfway around the world.
For instance, rather than using a traditional SEO campaign, you should instead work on local SEO. With local SEO there are tools that you can use like Google Business. Google Business is like an online phonebook and can be very useful for any local company but in particular local service businesses. These days, when a customer wants to find a service, they don’t search the phone book, they look online, usually on their phones. With Google Business, you can make sure that if they are nearby, they will find your company.
There are lots of tricks to get the upper hand here too. For instance, you can adjust the opening and closing hours of your business. By doing this, you will be able to make sure that you can gain the attention of customers searching at off-peak times. It doesn’t matter whether your business is actually open during this time. They will still be able to find and view your website.
Or, what about AdWords? If you have ever used AdWords in your marketing campaign, you are probably aware that it can be quite expensive and that’s an issue. However, you can make it more affordable and indeed effective by using regional identifiers. Region identifiers will make sure that customers searching nearby or within that region find your company online and the services that you offer. If you use more specific regional identifiers, then you will face less competition, meaning that you can get the attention from customers for a far lower cost in marketing.
There are other online marketing tools where regional identifiers can prove to be very effective as well like on social media. When you use social media, you should make sure that you are creating posts and content designed to gain the interest of customers nearby. For instance, on a blog, if you have one you should use region tags to make sure that the right people find your blog. Other bloggers may see your blog, read the content share it with their followers and before long you have dramatically grown your customer base.
Devil In The Details
You do need to think about the little details if you want to get more customers to your store and to step inside. We’re talking about the basic issues outside and around your business property. Before you start focusing on massive marketing campaigns and expensive signage you have to make sure that your business property is in good condition and well maintained.
Why should you do this? If the building isn’t well maintained, it sends the message that you can’t afford to handle the repairs it needs. That is the absolute last message you want to send out into the world. Instead, you should be looking at the doors and make sure that they open easily for customers. You can get roller door repairs and window repairs to make sure that there is absolutely no issue here.
On top of this, you should look at more little details like possible mould around your windows or cracking paint around the door frame. All of this makes your business look a little less professional, and it will make customers think twice before engaging with your business. They might just walk straight past without even thinking about entering. You don’t want that so before you focus on buying expensive marketing and promotional services make sure that your business property is in tip-top condition.
Remember, it doesn’t stop at the exterior of your building. You need to think about the interior as well. You might think that once they enter your store, your battle to win the customer is over, but that’s not true. They can still turn on their heel and walk right back out again. They will if they don’t like what they see so get a store fit-out and make sure that everything looks absolutely wonderful with no problems or faults.
Take this advice and you will be able to drive customers to your store with a mixture of offline and online techniques.