There are endless tactics for boosting digital foot traffic and visitation numbers for your brick-and-mortar store or website, but I’d like to focus more on something less often discussed – your brand exposure. Every time your customers see your logo or color scheme, they should get an immediate emotional reaction that entices them to reengage with your brand.
I’m not just talking about running a few Facebook ads, so they see your posts more often, although that doesn’t hurt. I’m talking about shifting how you interact with your customers by providing a unique shopping experience they’ll want to frequently return to and share with their friends and family.
Don’t worry, I’m not selling you a how-to guide. I’m going to talk about real changes that can be used right now in your current business culture that will help by increasing local foot traffic to your physical and digital locations.
Local Strategies First
First, let me begin by saying if you are operating a physical store and are still in business through the pandemic, you’re a rockstar! This has been one of the most challenging times to be a business owner, and you deserve an appreciative pat on the back for keeping your doors open.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. With economies starting to reopen, it’s time to change your trickle of business into a mad rush of returning consumers eager to enjoy their shopping experience again by using some local marketing strategies.
Build Omni Brand Presence
People do not flock to Starbucks because they have the best coffee in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love a caramel macchiato just like you, but the difference between Starbucks and a local shop is branding. When you walk into a Starbucks, there are posters, logos, special offer notices, folding boards with events celebrated on every counter space you frequent. Walk through your store like you would if you were a customer and outline the shopping flow. Then place brand promotions, engagement points like social media, and other notices in those highly trafficked areas so they cannot help but recognize your logo and branding identity.
Embrace the Local Scene
Host events and support community goals that allow your brand to be integrated into the local hive mind. Is there a youth sports team in need of uniforms? How about a community fundraiser for the fire department? You could even go as far as including a simple bulletin board where local businesses and individuals can post their events and business cards (yes, people do still use those). The goal is to make your brand synonymous with the community, so you are highly identifiable and become a destination whenever someone visits that town or area.
Signage, Signage, Signage
It is 2022, and this is still the make-or-break part of local marketing that businesses always forget when increasing their local foot traffic. You need an obvious sign that directs local traffic to your business and is aligned with your brand identity. If customers cannot find you, they cannot buy your products. McDonald’s is the best example. When you see those golden arches, your mouth begins to water for salty french fry goodness. That is your goal! A recognizable sign that inspires people to stop.
Introduce Some Gamification
Want the secret to marketing? Gamify your brand. Disney World has these huge lines that lower customer happiness when the sun is out and their kids are crying because they’re bored. How did they solve the problem? They added interactive games and experiences within the queue that immediately made the overall journey way more fun. They even had to turn some of these new features off because visitors were spending more time in line trying to enjoy the games than going on the rides!
You can apply the same idea to your brand. Gamification is using game design elements in non-game applications to make the experience more enjoyable. How do you do this?
- Gamify Your Promotions: Back to McDonald’s again. They have this annual promotion where people can play Monopoly to win free prizes. This increases their sales and brand awareness because more consumers want to play the game. Take your next promotion and turn it into a game, whether digital or non-digital, and you’ll find more people in your store because they want to play. Scavenger hunts, board games, and races to certain revenue levels that support local charities are great options.
- Higher User Engagement: The best part of introducing gamification into your attempts in increasing local foot traffic is that it allows you more exposure and time with your customers. This gives you more opportunities to engage their attention with secondary products, other promotions, long-term loyalty programs, and events. The more full exposure they have, the more likely they will become free brand ambassadors.
- Cross-Platform Applications: The final note on gamification is using your digital media! You can run a local in-shore promotion that stretches onto Instagram or TikTok by having challenges where the top social media posts get certain rewards.
The Idea of Content Anchor Points
Alright, swap over to the digital foot traffic problem for a moment. A key design tactic in web design is putting content anchor points on your pages that drive traffic to specific locations. The same is true for any other aspect of your digital business. You want highly recognizable touchpoints like a particular hashtag that supports your business or certain social media behaviors your customers will want to engage. Why? The goal is to encourage them to go from digital media to physical customers.
No list this time, I want to hammer home the most valuable content anchor point that gets frequently overlooked – user-generated content. Most of the time, this is original content created by your customers on things like review sites, but it can also be the materials they share online to their social media. UGC is the best way to get social proof that you are offering a unique solution to people’s needs at a reasonable price compared to their value.
Ready to Get Started?
Let’s create an example. You are a local business ready to launch a new cold-pressed soaps line. You make a hashtag #franshappysoaps and run a promotion to your Instagram followers where the funniest local use of your soap wins a custom basket of your best soaps and a $200 donation to a local charity of their choice.
You’ve just gamified a method for local community members to want to reach out to your store, increase their purchases to join in on the game that has a content anchor point, and spread the news to local charities that you’re ready to collaborate. Now you can push press releases, social media ads, and in-store flyers to support your new marketing pathway that uses all the methods we’ve discussed.
Need some help with this type of synergy? Why not reach out today? I’d love to help you! I specialize in crafting holistic digital marketing and local campaigns designed for increasing your digital foot traffic. I want to help you grow your revenues by expanding your brand awareness and building solid customer relationships. One simple email or DM with me can transform your business into a local mainstay with solid strategies for future growth.