There’s something organic about interacting with your customers in person, but as technology advances, convenience stores have more opportunities to reach potential and existing customers through digital marketing. Digital marketing opens doors for merchants to engage with their customers and understand them better.
In this post, we’ll review 8 digital marketing resources and tools every convenience store can use to enhance their digital marketing strategies.
1) Web design
According to Adobe, 88% of customers will not return to your website if they have a negative experience. Web and mobile design are important when it comes to engaging with your audience.
Traditionally, merchants who don’t have experience in web/mobile design, outsource to a professional to build an interactive website. While web designers and professionals are valuable resources, there are also tools like Wix and Weebly that allow merchants to build beautiful websites on their own without needing to be web experts.
Design matters and it’s important to find the right resource for your convenience store to build a website that people will want to visit.
2) Customer engagement platform
Convenience stores should have an automated customer engagement platform that enables them to use data to identify who their VIP customers are and increase customer loyalty. Platforms like Thanx, help merchants identify and target their best customers with highly personalized offers to encourage them to visit and spend more often.
With Thanx, you get to know your customers and engage with them in real-time. You can measure customer behavior across your locations, and track customer loyalty through mobile payments and mobile rewards. You can also directly interact with your customers through the app when they leave reviews and send you feedback, or when you are trying to win them back.
Engaging your customer while also capturing valuable data will help you generate ROI and improve your digital marketing strategy.
3) Mobile marketing
According to Google, people today have 2X more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else. Mobile marketing is a digital marketing strategy that helps you reach customers on their mobile devices and is changing the way customers are interacting with brands.
You can use mobile advertising tools like Tune or Appsflyer, which help marketers track their mobile ad campaigns across different networks and media publishers. They help you track data throughout a customer journey on mobile and look at impressions, clicks, and app installs.
Make sure your website and social media campaigns are mobile friendly too. This will help you manage your campaigns on-the-go and reach your customers at the right time.
4) Social media
Social media has a lot of moving parts. You can use Facebook Ads Manager to target the right audiences, create organic social media content to interact with your followers, and use a social media management tool to streamline the entire process. Instagram Business has been gaining heaps of traction for merchants and is a quick, easy, and visual way to engage your audience.
Social media ads:
Tools like Facebook Ads Manager lets you create and manage targeted Facebook and Instagram campaigns in one place. You can create paid social media ads, manage where and when they will run, and track campaign performance. This helps you reach more people on social in a targeted way.
Social media channels:
When it comes to creating organic social media content, use social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to reach more customers for your convenience store. You can post engaging blog content, customer success stories, unique coupons, marketing events, and more to encourage people to visit your store in person.
Social media design:
One great way to create design-friendly content is by using a tool like Canva or PicMonkey. These tools help you create social friendly images that are super-shareable and customizable. The more people feel they can relate to you through your social content, the more they will support your business both online and offline.
Social media management:
Once you have content and ads on various social media channels, you will need robust tools to manage all of your campaigns. Use tools like Hootsuite, Sprinklr, or SproutSocial to streamline the process and develop a social media strategy for your convenience store. These tools allow you to schedule posts, measure engagement, respond to messages, gather data, and more, all in one place.
5) Email marketing
Email marketing is an important digital marketing tool for retailers. Once you have a list of your customers, you can send them targeted emails with messages, promotions, and news to bring them through the door. The important part of email marketing is engaging your customers and subscribers with engaging, valuable content.
Once you have the right content, simply create a targeted campaign based on pre-built segmented lists, or lists of customers who have something in common. For example, one segmented list can be for your top customers who visit and spend the most. Another list can consist of customers you need to win back or those who stopped visiting.
Tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp, help you design professional-looking emails and collect high-level data like email opens and clicks. Automated customer engagement platforms, like Thanx, have email marketing built in and enable you to measure your impact in real revenue generated, not just opens and clicks. You can use automatically create segments and drip campaigns to target and engage your audience with powerful, revenue generating campaigns.
6) Local search results
Most people discover convenience stores on the road, or through online local searches. Search results and SEO play a large role in how stores get discovered so you want to make sure that you are appearing in local search results.
One way to do this is through Google My Business, which helps you list your business for free so that it appears on Google Maps and in local online searches. You can easily create and update your listing so you are discoverable. You can also use Google AdWords to make sure your ads are SEO friendly and showing up on relevant sites and searches.
If you want to learn more about SEO, take a look at Moz or SE Ranking. These tools help you identify which SEO keywords would perform the best for your business and make it easier for people to find you when they search for local convenience stores.
Once you have your listings and SEO tools in place, you can use a tool like Yext to manage your listings, local pages, and Google My Business. Yext helps you take control of your online brand and see how your business appears to others.
7) Customer reviews
Positive online customer reviews can encourage someone to visit your store, while a negative one can dissuade someone from visiting. It’s important to respond to reviews quickly, whether it’s through a customer engagement platform like Thanx, or through a more public platform like Yelp or Google.
Showing that you listen to your customers improves loyalty and brand perception.
8) Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the most popular digital marketing trends in 2018. As a small business, reaching out to local influencers can enhance your campaigns. People who follow the influencers you partner with will become aware of your brand. If they admire the influencer, they may also be interested in where they shop, here is where your business comes in.
For example, if you sell energy bars at your convenience store, you can partner with a local fitness influencer and have them feature your store and the products you sell that they love the most. They can create an Instagram post or video, or if they are a blogger, they can write a blog post about your store with featured images. Once they share content about your store, their followers will see it.
One of the biggest challenges that comes along with influencer marketing is finding the right influencers who are relevant to your business. You can use tools like NeoReach or Traackr to find the right influencers, manage, and track all of your campaigns. These tools help you find who you need and when you need them, and can, in turn, increase traffic to your store.
The digital marketing world is vast, and with these tools, you can improve your ROI, increase customer engagement and drive brand awareness. You can capture data and communicate with your customers when they are at your store and when they are on-the-go. Start conversations with your customers online so that you can increase foot traffic and build relationships offline.