As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s tempting to spend your marketing budget on virtual advertising efforts that live on blogs, forums and social media networks. However, by focusing all of your attention on the Internet, you’ll miss out on crucial marketing opportunities in the real world. If you want your brick-and-mortar store to have advertising that’s just as good as your website, here are a few tips for success.
1. Get Yourself Noticed
There are many ways to grab attention from people walking down the street. The most ostentatious are costumed characters who stand on street corners and do little dances while wearing your logo, but if you’d prefer something a bit more subtle, you can just put colorful signs in your shop window. The key is to make them stand out from the surrounding environment. If your walls are red brick, your signs shouldn’t be red as well.
2. Encourage Loitering
This might sound blasphemous, but loiters can actually be good for your business. They’ll increase interest in your store by making it seem popular, and what’s more, they’ll attract like-minded people who subconsciously flock together. You just have to make sure that the people hanging around your store are from your target demographic. Teenage skater boys won’t attract grandmas, but elderly women might attract other elderly women.
3. Invest in Digital Signage
Unlike printed ads that can’t be changed once the ink dries, digital displays can be edited and upgraded as you please. This is because they work by inputting your advertisements on a computer and sending them to your digital signs over a wireless network. You might need software like Navori ( www.navori.com ) to help you maintain your cutting-edge dashboard, but you’ll love the control and convenience of digital displays. If nothing else, you’ll never again have to worry about the printer running out of ink!
4. Use “Quid Pro Quo” Advertising
This is a business technique where you scratch someone’s back so that they’ll scratch yours. For a brick-and-mortar store, this means striking deals with other brick-and-mortar stores in the neighborhood. For example, if you run a music shop, you might put some flyers in the local coffeehouse in exchange for hanging up <i>their</i> flyers under your guitars. Not only will “quid pro quo” advertising help you get the word out about your brand, but it will also help you establish connections with other business owners in the area.
5. Direct Traffic Inside
Again, you don’t have to hire dancing bears to do a shuffle outside of your shop. You can have everyday employees stand outside and encourage people to walk through the door. To sweeten the pot, you might even have your employees hand out coupons as incentives. If there’s a charity walk going on in your humid city, and your employees are standing outside an air-conditioned store and offering discounts on bottled water, you better believe that you’ll get new customers.
6. Hand Out Freebies
Everyone loves a freebie. Whether it’s a door-buster for loyal customers or a gift to passing pedestrians, free stuff can make people think more favorably about your business. Just make sure to stamp your goodies with your logo before you start giving them away. You want people to become familiar with your brand so that they’ll think of you whenever they’re next in need of your services.
7. Set a Time Limit
Most people hate the thought of missing out on a sale, so don’t be shy about setting deadlines for your holiday specials or clearance events. If you put a sense of urgency in their shopping trip, they’ll be much more likely to make impulse purchases instead of dithering around in deliberation. In your advertising, this means that flyers, circulars and digital displays need to loudly proclaim “this weekend only!” and “while supplies last.” Make your customers think that now is the time to act.
These are just a few tips for advertising your business in the real world. Whether you’re running a mom-and-pop store in a small town or a quickly-expanding corporation in the heart of a major city, these ideas can help you conquer both the web and the sidewalk.