How to Grow Your Retail Store Foot Traffic with Digital Marketing

For retail businesses—places that rely on customers coming in the door—a great storefront is no longer enough to stay ahead of the competition and grow sales. If you’re not leveraging the potential of SEO, organic and paid search, display advertising, and other digital marketing initiatives, you’re limiting your results.

In this post, we’ll focus on four digital marketing must-haves to increase foot traffic at your retail store.

1. Targeted Local Search Ads

For your retail store location, there is no one more important than the local customer, so it’s critical to ensure that your business is easy to find. Research from Google on local search behavior shows that 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same. Target your ads accordingly by specifying a particular neighborhood, zip code, city, region, or radius. Make sure that when potential customers are searching for solutions you provide, they find you—and your optimized, mobile-friendly website.

2. Local Listings and Review Sites

It’s important (and free) to claim your business listing on local directory sites like Google+, Yelp, and Yellow Pages. Why does it matter? Consider that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Ensure that important details such as your business name, address, phone number, and store hours are accurate and up to date. In addition, it’s critical to monitor reviews and respond to negative reviews in a professional manner. A single negative review can cost a business about 30 customers.

3. Social Media

Social media is a great way to humanize your brand and your store while connecting with and engaging customers and prospects. It offers opportunities to get creative and show off your brand’s personality—and to show up where customers expect to find you. Stumped for ideas? Post photos of happy customers, share information and tips about your solutions, tease special deals, events, or exclusives on new products, and showcase employees or your company’s involvement in the local community. No matter what, remember to always keep posts relevant to your target audience. Does the content you’re sharing help inform them or position your brand positively? If not, don’t post it.

4. Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is an effective way to stretch your advertising budget, and it provides the ability to precisely target your ideal customer and drive them to your website for specific offers. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can match your ads with users based on their interests, age, location, income level, and other demographics.

Digital Marketing Reminders

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
    This is particularly important for retail stores, so that customers can easily find you when they’re on the go. In addition, when a potential customer clicks on an ad using their mobile device, you want their experience on your website to be a positive one.
  • Know your customers.
    Everything from ad placement decisions to your tone on social media should reflect the interests and preferences of your target audience.
  • Be helpful. (Really.)
    Being a thought leader and offering value to your customer does not require stretching outside of your area of expertise, but it sometimes requires creative thinking. For example, a shoe store might post information on how to care for leather shoes or repair broken sandals. A home improvement or hardware store can provide how-to’s for DIY projects or easy fixes around the house. If you own a clothing store, you could post about new trends or tips on how to transform an outfit from office-wear to after work-wear. Your creativity is the limit.

Today’s consumers are demanding more information and greater convenience in their shopping experiences, and the retail businesses that fully embrace digital marketing stay ahead of the competition. To increase foot traffic and grow sales for your store, make sure your customers can find you! And when they find you, make sure you’re serving up valuable, engaging content.

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