Identifying and understanding your audience

One of the most important pieces of a company’s digital marketing strategy is their audience. Without understanding your core demographic of customers, it’s nearly impossible to properly identify the direction of your marketing strategy. This can apply to any facet of marketing — from social media to print, email marketing and SEO, among others.

So how do you properly identify your audience to be sure you’re catering your content and tone to the right crowd?

Identify (or create) customer profiles

One of the most critical pieces to your business, even outside of just the digital marketing space, is understanding who your target demographic is. If your business already has buyer/customer profiles, you can use these. Otherwise, it’s time to create these. This includes everything from the age and income of your target demographic to their interests, and how you can help solve their problems.

Find out where your customers are most active

Understanding where your customers are interacting on a daily basis is an incredibly important piece of your day-to-day marketing. Are your customers primarily interacting in Facebook groups? Are they a younger demographic shifting toward TikTok? Are they more active in email vs. social media?

Related: Creating relevant content for your social media channels »

By answering these questions, you can make more educated decisions in where to be spending your time, effort and money when it comes to reaching your ideal demographics.

Keep an eye on your competition

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Now, we’re not telling you to copy what your competition is doing … unless it’s working, of course. However, keeping an eye on how your competitors are marketing to their demographic can give you plenty of insight — both good and bad — in how you should shape your content marketing plans. If customers are responding and engaging (from what you can tell), it may be time to model your content after their’s … and if their content is underperforming, you’ll be able to identify what you shouldn’t be doing.

Survey your customers

Sometimes, the most simple way to understand what your customers want is to ask them directly. Utilizing surveys is a great way to discover the needs and pain points of your customers, help understand what type of marketing they may be looking for, and where they are most active in their daily lives.

Also Read: The importance of email marketing »

There are plenty of great services that allow you to create free surveys and deploy them via email, or you can use a service or agency (such as SmartSolutions) to create and deploy these surveys for you.

 


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan a comprehensive marketing plan for your business today.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

Creating relevant content for social media

The importance of a company’s social media marketing has skyrocketed in importance in recent years. From sharing the latest and greatest products or services, to interacting with followers and sharing your company’s story, social media has evolved into a channel that help connect brands of all sizes with their target audiences.

Allowing your company to interact directly with your target audience and build a loyal consumer base is just one of the many benefits of having a properly planned and executed social media strategy. But connecting with them starts with one of the most simple, yet complex pieces of your strategy — content.

Keep it high-quality

There is nothing worse than following a company on Facebook or Instagram that shares blurry, non-engaging content that’s irrelevant to your interests. The quality of your content should be the forefront of all of your strategic planning — from the image or video, down to the text copy.

Use “smart structuring”

It’s no secret that attention spans continue to get shorter. Internet users read at a very quick pace, meaning the first sentence or two of your post is as vital as any other piece of your content.

Related: Writing captions that work for social media posts »

Nothing intimidates and turns off a social media user more than a giant “wall of text.” By taking the time to write short, engaging posts — with plenty of use of emojis, bullet points and headers to help break up the text — you are writing user-focused content, and, in turn, helping your posts and your pages/profiles.

Repurpose user-generated content (UGC)

The absolute easiest way to create content for your company’s social media pages is by simply repurposing “user-generated content,” or UGC. User-generated content can consist of guests posts, re-posted or shared images/videos, sharing of reviews, or even customer testimonials.

By sharing UGC on your pages, you are benefitting in two ways — first, it helps engage your audience, and shows how your product or services are being utilized by everyday social media users. Second, it helps create a greater brand awareness and, hopefully, inspires more users to share their experiences. These posts can help your audience really connect with not only your company, but with other customers, and help create a sense of “community” around your brand.

Prioritize video

Video is quickly becoming the most dominant form of online content — with more than 85% of all internet users in the United States watching some form of online video content on their devices monthly. As a result, it’s time for your company to finally take the steps needed toward investing in the proper video resources.

Also Read: Increasing your social media reach »

Whether you’re creating educational how-to videos, demonstrating your products or services, sharing video-based client testimonials, or creating funny (yet appropriate) short videos to keep your audience engaged, focusing on your video content (and keeping high-quality in mind) is a great step toward engaging with your audience.

 


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan a comprehensive marketing plan for your business today.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

Why Digital Marketing Matters

When it comes to putting together a business plan for your company, the tasks can seem a bit intimidating. From planning out long-term campaigns to summarizing short-term objectives, to social media marketing, advertising and more, there are many more details that one would originally think.

One of the most integral pieces of a marketing strategy, yet often the most overlooked, is a company’s overall digital media strategy.

Online marketing has skyrocketed in importance, and is increasingly separating the good from the bad when it comes to interacting with companies online. Considered your “digital footprint,” it can also be viewed as a “welcome mat” to potential (and existing) customers — meaning when they Google your company, it’s one of the first things they see.

So why does the digital piece of a fully-integrated marketing plan matter so much?

Creating an experience

In a recent survey done by GlobalWebIndex, 54% of those polled stated they used the website and social media accounts of companies and brands to research products or services before purchasing.

By properly utilizing the proper digital marketing channels, your company is able to not only dictate and create an experience around your brand, informing your customers and potential customers, but also allows your company to quickly respond to and resolve support issues or complaints from the customers themselves.

And by making sure your website is up to date, and designed in a customer-friendly way, you’re ensuring that these current and potential customers are having a positive experience — no matter where it is that they meet you.

Building trust

Once your company has made a sale or provided a service, the focus shifts from creating a customer to maintaining that customer — in other words, creating “brand loyalty.

Your social media channels and website not only helps create a trust and loyalty with your current customers, but helps provide some of the most powerful word-of-mouth marketing possible. Nearly three out of every four consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on online are likely to recommend that brand to their friends and family (via HubSpot, 2018).

Continuously growing

In 2021, it will be incredibly vital that every small business have a social media presence of some sort. Every minute, there are 400 new users on Facebook, 54,000 links that are shared, 147,000 new uploaded photos and 317,000 status updates.

And with nearly 42% of the world’s population, or 3.2 billion people and growing, already active on social media every day—the potential reach of your company or brand is seemingly limitless.

As a business owner, you probably understand that your company needs social media, but are having trouble navigating some of the finer details such as what platforms to use and how to optimize your engagement, among others. Here are some of our social media resources for small business owners:


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan a comprehensive marketing plan for your business today.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

Building Your List: The Importance of Email Marketing

Some people seem to think that email is dead — when the reality is, it is still very much alive.

While some businesses have guest books with thousands of email addresses and no idea what to do, others are just starting to figure out how to gather them. Here are some things you should know about capturing email addresses and using them to build relationships with your customers.

Why you should collect email addresses

Email marketing is a nearly unmatched way to increase your store’s exposure — over 99% of consumers open their email at least once daily, according to HubSpot. Even more than just increasing exposure, email marketing allows you to present more purchase opportunities than any other form of marketing. 

While social media marketing and advertising rely on algorithms and news feeds, email marketing is direct to your customers’ inboxes. What’s more, these customers have asked to receive your emails — meaning they want to hear what you have to say; they are engaged with your store. Following purchase experiences, over 80% of shoppers have said they were somewhat likely to make another purchase as a result of a targeted follow-up email, according to eMarketer.

How to start building an email list

There are numerous ways to collect email addresses, both in-person and online — whether that be a guest book on your store’s counter, a place for customers to enter an email address for a giveaway or simply a form on your website to volunteer contact information. Be sure you collect their names, too, so you can further personalize the emails you’ll be sending.

A key to building your email list is to choose not only the avenue that will most effectively capture your audience’s attention, but that also will be easy for you to load into your email marketing platform.

Being able to easily add email addresses as you continue to collect them is a great way to quickly and efficiently build your customer list. Once loaded into the marketing platform, you can segment your lists based on type of customer — such as customers who have purchased multiple times, potential buyers and more.

What to do after you’ve captured email addresses

Just collecting email addresses isn’t quite enough — you also need to know what you want to do with them. Having a plan and a purpose behind collecting them is key to being prepared to deliver on that promise to your customers.

Once you know how you’re going to use the email addresses, your email list is starting to grow and you’ve selected an email marketing platform, it’s time to start building a relationship with your audience.

First of all, make sure you send out a welcome email once someone joins the list. This can be set to automatically send from the platform once they’ve signed up — it will give your customers an idea of what to expect in the emails. It can even be an opportunity to bring them back to the store for an exclusive email subscriber special.  

You want to give your customers an enjoyable experience with all aspects of your store — including the emails they receive. Your emails need to be pleasant for your customers to get in their inbox, both in design and writing. Emails with clunky headlines or unprofessional design work tend to end up in spam folders — on top of that, they’re hard to read. 

During the design process, also be sure your emails display well on phones and tablets as well as desktops. According to email marketing platform Campaign Monitor, 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices — thus meaning that making your design and writing mobile-friendly is all the more crucial. 

As far as a schedule for sending emails, your strategy is completely customizable to your store and your customers. This can mean sending out weekly newsletters, new product announcements and spotlights, or can be even more personal. For example, you might want to offer your customers an exclusive discount every year on their birthday. Or maybe each year you have a VIP in-store event and want to personalize invites sent to each member. 

Your email marketing strategy should be crafted with your customers in mind — and should be evaluated over time. Analytics and engagement data can show you how your customers are interacting with your emails and if there are any changes you should make to that strategy. 

Email marketing is a valuable tool in any store owner’s marketing toolbox — make the most of it by having a plan, delivering on what you promise and continually evaluating and adjusting. Your strategy is key.

Note: email marketing privacy and laws 

As with any advertising structure, there are plenty of privacy laws that your company must be following when working on an email marketing strategy. There are different laws and compliance policies for different regions, but they almost all start with collecting customer data legally — with their consent, voluntarily offering their contact information and giving them a way to remove themselves easily and quickly from your database. 

To comply with most of these laws, you will need a privacy policy. A privacy policy is a legal document covering how your consumer data is collected, used, managed and disclosed, also disclosing how customer privacy and information is protected. Most email marketing platforms will include these privacy policies at no extra charge.

In the United States, the FTC also has an anti-spam law, known as CAN-SPAM, which regulates false advertising in email marketing strategies, such as false or deceptive subject lines. You can visit ftc.gov for more information on CAN-SPAM guidelines.

 

Need help with your email marketing strategy? At SmartSolutions, we are passionate about utilizing the power of communication to bring people and businesses together — and we are equally as passionate about your story. Our team of expert marketers bring their unique perspectives and diverse experiences together to provide a one-stop, full-service marketing solution to help your business thrive. Click below or call us today to get your free consultation!

 

Importance of a comprehensive marketing strategy

This article was originally published on the blog of our sister company, Great American Media Services. To read the original article and learn more about Great American Media Services, click here.

The most successful marketing teams spend much more time planning than those who lose track of the goal mid-year. By creating a marketing plan, you can set yourself up for greater success in reaching your marketing and sales goals. Here are some of the top reasons you need to create a marketing plan every single year.

Save money

Most marketing teams who place ads piecemeal think they’re saving money. But by not knowing exactly what your budget is for the year and not calculating where you are, the end of the fiscal year might be much more painful than anticipated.

The bottom line is that piecemeal marketing will cost you much more than planning your year in advance. Planning ahead will help you stay on budget and know when last-minute initiatives can be added. Often, you can receive discounts for buying repeat advertisements in a publication or with an agency. This allows you to get more impressions and ultimately leads for the same amount of money you’d spend throughout the year.

Consistent scheduling

Planning before the year starts will help create consistency in all aspects of scheduling. It helps to ensure your team has as close to an even workflow through the year, better using your personnel and time resources. Make sure you have plenty of time to create your year’s plan; many teams spend several months preparing for the year.

By maintaining consistent brand scheduling, you are not just helping out your team, but you are also going to ensure that your audience sees regular messaging, rather than a few flurries of activity during particularly busy times. They’ll remember you even if you aren’t running a special or going to an event because they still see your brand in the less-busy times.

Consistent messaging

Beyond planning timing, the messaging you want to use should also have the same level of consistency. When creating your marketing plan, consider any hashtags or themes you will use. Knowing these ahead of time will help reduce the number of late nights and amount of weekend work your team might need to do before big releases.

By knowing the messaging style of your marketing campaign ahead of time, you can ensure that all team members are creating content and ads that match in tone and design. We all know how big brands have used this consistency — through their logos and jingles — to even get that branding stuck in children’s minds.

While you may not aim for the level of brand awareness of McDonald’s or Target, you can still be front of mind with your target audience by being consistent and planning ahead. Consistency is key.

Setting goals and getting your ROI

If you’re not sure how to set goals or calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your initiatives, learning how to do so is an important piece to proving that you should retain — or even grow — your marketing budget year over year.

Your first year tracking might start from a set of cost estimates based on what you’d like the department to be able to do. Tracking your efforts throughout the sales funnel will help you calculate how much revenue — and ultimately profit — you gained through each initiative. Some efforts may have people costs, materials, lodging, per diem or other inclusions that aren’t hard marketing costs, and some companies prefer to lump that into overhead and others include it in the marketing budget.

Tracking can include using UTMs (tracking links used to monitor campaign progress and behavior related to clicking on the link itself) or landing pages, having specific questions on contact forms about how people found you, tracing trade show contacts through to the end of the sales funnel or just reaching back out after the fact to ask where the conversation started.

Proving that an initiative was more profitable than expected is a great reason to ask for a bigger budget for the same initiative in subsequent years. Without knowing if you are getting that return, it’s hard to prove that the department deserves the money in the next budget.

Be proactive, not reactive

The worst case scenario is being in a place where your marketing efforts are reactive. Planning ahead has benefits, but reactive marketing has steep costs in time and cash. For example, knowing that you want to advertise in a print publication before an industry event means that your team can be prepared to create that ad without feeling rushed or having to drop everything. It all goes back to the planning process; reactive marketers always feel stressed and spread too thin. You’ll keep your team happier and healthier by being predictable.

About the author

Jess Schmidt brings a creative writing degree and over a decade of professional writing experience to the team. As a career marketer with a background in the design world, she works with clients to make their brand stories stand out. Her specialties are thought leadership, compelling descriptive language, technical details and marketing strategy. She writes content for all of the publications under the Great American Media Services umbrella and manages advertiser-driven projects. She’s also the in-house SEO and SEM guru. Click here to learn more about our team.


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan a comprehensive marketing plan for your business today.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

Marketing Trends to Avoid in 2021

In a world where digital has become an integral piece of every small business’ marketing strategies, there is only one thing worse than having no strategy at all — having a bad digital marketing plan based in bad habits. We’re taking a look at some of the marketing trends your business should avoid throughout 2021 and beyond.

Spamming your customers

One of the cardinal sins that many small business owners commit when it comes to digital marketing is “spamming” their customer base — continually inundating them with emails and social correspondence. Aside from the obvious privacy laws and FTC compliance issues that can arise from spamming your customers, it’s just bad business, and will eventually drive their business elsewhere.

The risks of “spamming” can be eliminated by mapping out your marketing strategies and promotions to make sure there is very little (if any) overlap. When sending promotional emails, for example, make sure there is a timeline that you are following — one that lays out specific dates for email sends, and a tactical approach to what’s being sent. This is the perfect way to make sure you’re sharing just the right amount of content with your audience.


Posting too much

Many business owners equate the amount of times a business posts on social media daily or weekly with the amount of people they will reach — and they couldn’t be more wrong.

While posting multiple times is a good way to stay engaged with your audience, the amount of posts has no weight on the amount of people you’ll reach in a news feed. Take Facebook, for example. The amount of times posted has nothing to do with your company page’s ability to reach a wide audience, but rather, the content you are sharing.

When you post multiple times at once, Facebook will show all of those posts to your audience in one grouping — totaling the same amount of exposure as if they were spread out. Therefore, what your page is sharing, and how you’re engaging with your audience on the content that is shared, is much more important than the amount of content being shared daily.


Sharing unoriginal content

Going hand-in-hand with avoiding posting to social channels too much, making sure you’re sharing organic, original content is arguably one of the most important pieces to an effective social media marketing strategy.

Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have all announced news feed changes in recent years that prioritize organic, original content over articles and shares. On Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, native images with captions that engage users are seeing two and three-times the engagement rates of sharing a simple link with a short caption. On Instagram, the feeds are prioritizing content that is non-sponsored and highly engaged with, including likes and comments.

Make sure that, if you’re sharing articles and written content, you’re mixing in some pieces from your own company’s website as well. And if possible, share as much organic content as possible, including photos, graphics, videos or polls.


Ignoring engagement

Sometimes, when the focused gets shifted to content, business owners forget to keep up with the “social” side of social media — and the engagements that come with it.

Responding to comments on an image or post, for example, is a great way to keep the conversation going, and gain favor with the social algorithms, like Facebook’s news feed. Keeping up on incoming messages through Facebook messenger and Instagram and Twitter’s “direct message” features are also vital to keeping up your company’s response rate — especially on Facebook, where it shows your response times directly on the page.

Social media is meant to be “social,” and should first and foremost always be centered around engaging with other users — keeping up with comments, messages, questions, concerns and more can help your company maintain a professional, yet positive, reputation on the various social channels.


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan a comprehensive marketing plan for your business today.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

Increasing Your Social Media Reach

When it comes to the ever-changing algorithms of social media giants like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, keeping your company’s organic reach steady can be a challenge. Whether you’re taking on the challenge of building your company’s social audience from scratch, or simply trying to navigate the latest changes, here are just a few short changes you can implement to your company’s social media to help increase and maintain your social impressions.

Text? Keep It Short

For Facebook and Instagram specifically, it is important that your organic posts keep the text to a minimum. This is because of somewhat-recent changes made to the social media platforms’ algorithms that place a higher emphasis on organic images and videos that will garner more engagement.

When posting to these platforms, make sure you’re keeping your text to a minimum of 1-3 sentences, at most. Also, avoid using links in the text, when possible on Facebook (you should NEVER use links in text on Instagram), instead using the rich link preview that Facebook provides.

Video, Video, Video

Did you know that social posts containing video see over 48% more engagement and interaction, with a share rate of 12x that of generic text and/or static image posts? That’s because social media algorithms place a higher priority on seeing organic, engaging video content above almost anything else.

If your company isn’t utilizing videos to tell your story, showcase your products and more, you’re missing out on valuable real estate in the social media news feed.

Engage Often

Another way you can help boost your company’s social media impressions is to drive engagement on your organic posts — and a good way to do this is by interacting with users who are interacting with you.

When someone comments on your video or promotion, don’t just leave them hanging — like and comment back! You can be witty, helpful or even complementary, just so long as you keep it professional (you don’t need your brand to seem rude or unbecoming). By engaging with those that are engaging with you, Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms will see a high-performing post, helping your content to show up higher in the news feed — and, in turn, bringing more engagement to engage with.


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan a comprehensive marketing plan for your business today.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

Writing captions that work for social media

When it comes to your company’s social media posts, the captions are often the most important (and informative) part of the post…

While social media conglomerates like Facebook and Instagram seemingly change their algorithms by the month, there’s one constant that has always remained — the importance of properly-written captions.

On Facebook, for example, posts with text in the image garner less engagement than those without. This further emphasizes the importance of the written caption, as generally that’s the only place your followers are gathering information. So, what exactly goes into a well-crafted, properly-written caption for various social media channels?

Understand your audience

Although this is true for any piece of writing, your brand’s understanding of your customer base is especially important for targeting your audience on social media. Make sure you understand your demographic and your ideal customer, and then ensure that when you’re writing your social posts, you’re writing to speak specifically to that target demographic.

Keep it short, simple

Say what needs to be said, and keep it short. While attention spans grow shorter, so too does the likelihood of a user to stay on one post and read paragraphs at a time. Regardless of the social channel, keeping the caption short, witty and to-the-point helps catch users who are in a rhythm of scrolling.

Tag where needed

If your post or content includes another company, page or product — make sure you’re tagging their @username! Mentioning others is a great way to integrate other audiences with your content, while potentially boosting your own engagement and visibility.

Use hashtags and emojis (sparingly)

When done correctly, using #hashtags can help amplify your reach and potential engagement, especially on social channels like Instagram. And as for those emojis, keep them coming! Posts that feature emojis, when done tastefully, generally get people clicking and engaging at a higher rate than that with just a standard text caption. 😎

 


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan a comprehensive marketing plan for your business today.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

Business Marketing Tips for 2021

Kicking off 2021 with a “refreshed” marketing plan for your business

As we settle in to 2021, there’s never been a better time than right now to start planning your company’s comprehensive marketing plan than right now.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand why a marketing plan is important for your business. In short, over 50% of all consumers go online to research a company or its products before making a purchasing decision — meaning if you’re not capitalizing on a comprehensive marketing plan for your small business, you could be missing out on potential conversions.

Social media for your business

In 2021, it will be incredibly vital that every small business have a social media presence of some sort. And as a business owner, you probably understand that your company needs social media, but are having trouble navigating some of the finer details such as what platforms to use and how to optimize your engagement, among others. Here are some of our social media resources for small business owners:

Utilizing email to reach your customers

Email marketing is a nearly unmatched way to increase your store’s exposure — over 99% of consumers open their email at least once daily, according to HubSpot. Even more than just increasing exposure, email marketing allows you to present more purchase opportunities than any other form of marketing.

Is your website setup properly?

Today, companies aren’t just competing with local competition. Online companies of all sizes are trying to take a piece of the your industry’s pie, and it is up to you to stay relevant in an increasingly diverse landscape. One way companies can gain new customers or regain those they’ve lost to the online giants is through ensuring their websites are up to date for search engine optimization, or SEO.

Other resources


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan a comprehensive marketing plan for your business today.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

2020 Holiday Season Marketing Tips

Undoubtedly, the 2020 holiday season promises to be unique for businesses and retailers all around the country. Thanks to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, retailers have already had to shift many of their business practices to more of an online format. Now, with the holiday season fast approaching, retailers’ online shopping capabilities, social media and more are more vital than ever.

So how do you, as a small business owner, get creative with your business to ensure a successful 2020 holiday season despite the challenges?

Start with your online store

The base for everything you do in the digital space, whether it be email marketing, social media marketing or paid advertising, starts with your online store. If you do not have one already, setting up a virtual storefront needs to be step number one, so your customers can still browse and shop from the comfort of their own homes.

Allowing your customers to shop from home isn’t the only reason to set up a digital storefront — it’s also a prerequisite to utilizing social media selling tools properly. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer retailers of all sizes great, easy to integrate tools to promote (and even sell) your products right on their platforms. But without a storefront, these tools are impossible to utilize.

Optimize your social media and email marketing

Whether your company should or shouldn’t be utilizing social media and email marketing isn’t a question (spoiler alert: you definitely should be). But how you utilize social media and email marketing in times of uncertainty can change, depending on your target demographic.

Over 99% of consumers open their email at least once every day, according to popular marketing platform HubSpot. But even more than just adding exposure to your business, email allows you to present important information and additional purchase opportunities directly in your target market’s inbox.

From a social media standpoint, the uses are similar to that of your email marketing campaign — utilizing it to present alternative purchasing options, explain delivery/curbside services or present exclusive deals and coupons. However, social media also gives your company the opportunity to be a part of the community in supporting other local businesses, interacting with local community members and sharing important, localized information.

Utilize social selling tools

By setting up an online store using popular retail platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce, you can easily integrate your online storefront into the aforementioned social media selling tools — such as “Facebook Shop.”

By integrating into the “Shop” tab of your Facebook business page, you can promote products — with images, detailed descriptions and pricing — right in your social posts. Furthermore, if you connect your payment processing to the platform, such as Square or Stripe, you can take payments right on the platform — essentially creating a secondary storefront for customers to shop without ever having to leave Facebook, let alone their home.

» Related: Latest Facebook & Instagram “Shop” Updates

Instagram has created and made available some incredible tools for retailers during the COVID-19 pandemic, changing the way retailers and businesses are able to position their posts for not only optimal exposure, but in-platform shopping, as well.

Get creative with existing inventory 

One of the biggest challenges facing retailers is the existing inventory they’re currently holding — and how to move it without taking a loss. One way businesses can get creative is by utilizing their existing inventory to offer new, “experiential” product offerings, such as bundles or kits.

By bundling together a handful of similar items — to create a “project bundle,” for example — you are not only utilizing existing inventory sitting on the shelf, you are also creating an experiential item that families or friends can buy and take part in together. Bundling products is also a great way to advertise specific products that many customers might not initially think of using together, making it not only an experience, but an educational one, as well.

Offer shipping and delivery alternatives

Presenting your customers with alternative ways to receive the items they purchase from your business is just one of the many ways you can expand your service offerings. Many businesses have chosen to begin offering curbside shopping and contactless delivery services to their customers at little to no charge.

By offering curbside service — allowing your customers to order ahead via phone or website and delivering the items to their car upon arrival — you are allowing those who consider themselves to be most vulnerable an opportunity to continue shopping your selections without skipping a beat. And by adding in potential delivery services, your business can make it possible for them to shop without ever leaving the safety of their homes.


At SmartSolutions, our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan for your digital marketing channels.

Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story.