It’s no secret that bricks-and-mortar businesses have had a tough time in the past two years, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many firms have had to temporarily or permanently shutter their shopfronts, and those still around are struggling to break even – despite loosening COVID-19 restrictions like quarantines and social distancing measures.

You’re probably reading this article today because you own a retail business of some description, and you’ve experienced a slump in trading profits. But, you’re unsure of what to do to turn things around and have a booming business again.

Thankfully, the following ideas will help you turn things around by applying creative approaches to your marketing efforts. Here’s what you need to know:

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1. Review Your Local SEO Marketing Efforts

You first need to review your local SEO (search engine optimization) marketing efforts. For example, you should check that you have filled out your “Google My Business” profile correctly, as it’s an excellent way of drawing new customers to any retail business.

Another point to consider is whether you’re using the right local SEO tools – whether they are free ones like Google My Business or the services of a local SEO expert.

Check that your website has plenty of references to your business location, such as with landing pages and on your contact page.

2. Make Your Shopfront More Prominent

Once upon a time, when the Internet didn’t exist, retail store owners had to rely on other marketing methods to get people through their doors. One such way is making signage, window displays, and even color schemes prominent to all potential passing trade.

You have to think about ways of getting people’s attention, whether they are walking past your store or in a vehicle on an adjacent road.

Making even some simple changes can positively impact the number of people visiting your store that may never have noticed it before.

3. Encourage Online Reviews

Many people pondering a visit to your retail store will want to know if you are worth visiting or not. One way to make that decision easier for them is by enabling them to see reviews from previous customers.

Online reviews are beneficial to all businesses – not just Internet-based ones – and they give a clear picture of what the buying and customer service experience is like.

Consider enabling Google reviews of your business as potential customers can see them instantly when doing a local search or even when they type in your brand name into Google.

4. Build Some Website Landing Pages

If you don’t already have a website, you can skip this step – although it’s worth seriously considering getting a website made!

Landing pages are highly beneficial to local businesses as you can create tailored content for specific locations, keywords or phrases, products, and services.

For example, if your retail store sells plumbing supplies and your location is in Manhattan, you can create tailored location-based landing pages for specific products and product categories.

5. Create Some Special Events

One sure-fire way to draw in crowds of people into your retail premises is by running some special events. For example, you could have an exclusive invitation-only event with complimentary food and wine to celebrate the launch of a new product or range.

You could even have a notable industry expert or celebrity demonstrating something you sell in-store or perhaps partner with another business to cross-promote two products or services used in combination for a single purpose.

When running special events, make sure you publicize them as much as possible on the Internet and offline through local media, for instance.

6. Automate Your Social Media Content

There’s no denying that social media is an excellent way of connecting and engaging with your target audience.

These days, most people use social networks like Facebook and Twitter several times a day, so it makes sense for your business to be active on those platforms too.

The trouble is, writing social media content can be time-consuming – especially if you don’t have a dedicated social media person at your retail store.

With that in mind, you should take steps to automate what you post by using scheduling tools. You can then create new content in your spare time and schedule them for prime times and days.

7. Sponsor A Local Sports Team

One final creative way to boost foot traffic to your retail store is by sponsoring some local sports teams.

Doing so is undoubtedly a great way to support your local community, but it’s also an excellent way to promote your brand and make it memorable in the minds of local people.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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