5 Digital Marketing Alternatives for Retail Businesses

Is Social media too time-consuming and results too dismal?

Everyone is on social media. That’s why you are also juggling Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Pinterest, Snapchat (just to name a few) accounts. Are you getting the results that you were expecting?

Juggling multiple social media accounts is not easy. Firstly, they are relatively different and the people who use them are different, as well. They also use each and every one of them for different reasons. That requires lots of your time and consideration — because you want your efforts to bring the results.

Even with a social media dashboard consolidation tool, it is difficult. Social media is important. But instead of relying heavily on it, we suggest you adopt at least a couple of strategies listed below. This article will solely give ideas for retail businesses of any type — coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, car wash, hairdressers, etc. You name it. Ecommerce requires a different kind of approach; thus, we will leave it aside for now.

Here are the 5 Digital Marketing Alternatives

Strengthen Your Website

Website Organic SEO is as important or more so than your active Facebook or Instagram accounts. In fact, it may be even more important. The reason is, Google is used for search and if your website is well optimized for it, you’ll be discovered. That’s why you need to take the time to analyze your website. List the main keywords you want to rank for on Google search and make sure that your website is well optimized for these key phrases.

Here are the steps to follow

Identify and come up with a general Organic SEO strategy by researching and identifying the main keywords and overall website structure.

  • Make your website easy to navigate and make the navigation natural and page load speed is quick.
  • Have well-optimized content on your web pages. This means the text you produce should include the keywords you want to rank for.
  • Use original photos that are relevant to your business. Ensure they are well optimized for search. (Hint: The picture name should always be the main keyword of the page.)
  • Make sure all your titles and subtitles are optimized for search.
  • Make sure all pages are optimized for mobile users.
  • Connect your website to your social media accounts. Once you have people coming to your website, make sure you entice them to come and visit your shop. A strong website with relevant ranking organic SEO is a foundation for your success in search results and organic traffic. Remember that organic traffic is cost-free and can be very beneficial to your business with very high return-on-investment (ROI)

Use All That Google Has to Offer

Google is a tremendous tool for digital marketing. Not only should you rank high in Google search results, but you should also ensure that you advertise on it. Google Ads is one of the most popular digital advertising tools because it brings traffic that intends to find out more about your business.

For example, if your ad ranks for “hairdresser in downtown Miami”, it will be shown to people who are in fact looking for a hairdresser in downtown Miami — these people are your potential customers. By bringing them to your website, you’re one step closer to converting them into paying customers. Google search (organic or paid) has an advantage over social media posts. Its users intend to find particular information or a service.

If I am shown a hairdresser’s ad in downtown Miami on my Facebook feed, it may be redundant to me, because I may not be looking for such a service. Another important tool that Google has is Google for Business. It’s free and gives you an option to list your business on Google. People would be able to see the address, contact information, opening hours, etc. It makes the search much simpler for your potential customers and will also increase your traffic to the

Get Your Customers’ Email Addresses

Nowadays, having a loyalty program costs barely anything. If you come up with a simple registration form for your customers to become members of your brand’s loyalty program, it will give you the most valuable information — your customer’s email address.

By having their email address you’ll be able to send regular newsletters with various promotions and brand information. It is essential to have an audience and email marketing gives you that. This is a huge advantage compared to social media followers because your email content will definitely reach the people on your mailing list. This cannot be guaranteed on social media, as social media platforms control the algorithms and how the content is distributed.

When I talk about loyalty, I don’t mean having a membership card — everyone is bored of these and has definitely too many. Simply tie your customers to yourself with their email.

Re-engage With Your Past Customers

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a crucial component of your business’s success. If people visited your shop, they are likely to come again. Entice them! That’s where your email marketing strength should come in.

Don’t neglect your past customers. They are frequently busy and if you subtly remind them of yourself, they will be happy to return. For example, we are a member of a nice private club. It’s not convenient for us to visit the place every weekend as I seldom come to the area. However, I keep being reminded of my outstanding cash-back balance (loyalty program that they offer) from time to time and it keeps me enticed to visit the place again and again. Especially if there is some special occasion.

That’s why you must not neglect your past customer base. The conversion rates from the past consumers are much higher, and it takes much less effort and money to drive them back to your shop. Just have the right strategy. Don’t sound too desperate.

Get As Many Reviews As Possible

Consumers today are spoilt with choices. If I Google “hairdresser in downtown Miami”, I will be exposed to tens or even hundreds of options. How would I choose one? Based on consumer reviews. Google reviews are crucial, as Google is the first stop where people will hear about you. If they are happy with your Google reviews, they might check up on Yelp or Facebook and browse further to find out more about your brand.

Therefore, encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on Google. It costs nothing to them, but it can be a game-changer to your business. I noticed that some businesses ask people to write a review in exchange for a discount. I believe this is one of the ways to get the ball rolling, however, what is important is genuine and honest reviews. If someone leaves “great service” it actually is meaningless to a prospective consumer, because he/she won’t be able to get a better understanding of what they would be getting by choosing your business.

I wouldn’t trade discounts for reviews. I would strive to wow my customers so that they would love to share their experiences with the world.

Bottom line

I know We have been writing a lot about alternatives to social media and how businesses should start paying more attention elsewhere. I believe that social media is important, but it’s becoming very crowded and the results are hard to achieve and sustain. I suggest paying attention to alternative digital marketing strategies, but at the same time have a decent presence on social media.

We recommend about 10% of your digital marketing budget. I wouldn’t recommend relying solely on social media to drive traffic and customers. I notice this a lot. Many retail businesses, where I am, do not have a proper digital presence. They rely on Facebook and strive to get more followers. In the end, the consumer chooses their competitor, because the competitor looked more professional and better positioned himself/herself on digital space, such as website, organic SEO, and thought leader publishing, newsletter, or reviews on Google.