Marketing for Your Brick-and-Mortar Store, Part I: Why You Need Dynamic Website Content

Brick-and-mortar store owners have unique considerations when it comes to marketing their content online. The practice of content marketing involves interacting with your customers in an online space, through your website, social media networks, and other digital means. If you exclusively sell your products offline, you might think this doesn’t apply to you. Small brick-and-mortar businesses run on thin margins, and you might find it hard to justify spending a lot of money on your digital marketing efforts.

Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do as a business owner to increase your in-store sales by doing some simple DIY online marketing. That’s what this series is all about – providing actionable, simple tips that you can leverage to drive your in-store revenue. First up, learn why regularly updating your website content is an essential aspect of your marketing plan – and how to do it yourself.

The Importance of Your Website

In the digital age, it’s vital for every small business owner to have a dynamic website, even if they only sell products offline. According to a recent survey by Clutch.co, 71% of small businesses recognize the value of an online digital presence and have a website. On the other hand, this means that 29% still do not – and miss out on valuable opportunities for conversion and sales. Consider this compelling statistic:

According to Google data, 68% of consumers who conduct local searches online via their smartphones go to the brick-and-mortar store with 24 hours. About half of consumers who complete searches make a purchase within a day.

This highlights a couple of pieces of information: first, that your website matters. Secondly, that a dynamic website with regularly updated content will improve your sales.

Static Versus Dynamic Website Content

Certain aspects of your website will remain static – for example, your hours of operation, about us landing pages, and contact information pages will remain the same, unless you need to note a change. However, certain areas of your website should be dynamic – in other words, show signs of life that you’re working behind the scenes. Dynamic content includes things like ebooks, blogs, white papers, informational videos, news or announcements, and more. Having dynamic content on your website is important because:

  • It enhances your SEO, or makes it easier for visitors to find your website. Search engines like Google rank websites on several factors, and having regularly updated content is one of them.
  • It will attract for visitors. People generally visit a website because they’re looking for something in particular, whether it’s hours of operation or to research your product or service. The more helpful, updated content you have, the more likely you are to convert a potential visitor.
  • It gives you a chance to showcase what makes your brand unique. Running specials, highlighting team members, talking about your outreach in your community – this all present opportunities for you to connect with buyers and prospects in your community in the digital space, which makes it more likely for them to come into your store.

Here’s the bottom line: regularly updated content on your website not only makes your business more visible in the online space, it makes it easier for you to connect with customers and prospects before they enter your door. Ideally, this will lead to more sales and an enhanced awareness of your brand in the community.

DIY Ways to Give Your Website ‘Signs of Life’

Creating dynamic content for your website doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can do much of a website’s updating yourself, attracting new customers and prospects for no more than your website’s hosting fee. The following are just a few ways you can give your website “signs of life” and improve your customer reach:

Update Your Blog Regularly

Your blog is one of the simplest ways to regularly show your web visitors that you’re open for business, so to speak. Use it to communicate important new, views, and events that might be relevant to your customers. Generating blog content ideas doesn’t have to be difficult (the options are virtually endless – read more about the subject!) but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Make an announcement about a special or sale. You don’t need to be a seasoned writer to update your own blog – just use it to make important announcements about goings-on in your store. This will naturally drive more foot traffic into your space.
  • Highlight team members or company highlights. People like to feel connected to a brand and use emotions to make buying decisions. They’re more interested in what makes your company tick than you might think.
  • Coordinate and publicize a community event. Are you helping organize or sponsoring an event in your community? Let your followers know it? This not only helps increase attendance to the event, it also creates an awareness of your brand.

Image source:
https://pixabay.com/en/wordpress-blogging-blogger-editor-265132/

As you update your blog, make sure it automatically posts to your social media networks, as this will naturally enhance your exposure. Here’s a good example: I follow the barbeque joint down the street from my house on Facebook. While looking through my feed one day, I found a link to one of their blog announcements – they bought a food truck and now bring it to the Farmer’s Market down the street every Tuesday. I never would have known about it if they hadn’t updated their website and linked it to social media – and I’ve gone almost every week since.

Optimize for Mobile if You Haven’t Already

When you get a chance, try loading your website from your smartphone. Is it simple to navigate? If it looks just like your desktop site and is hard to look around, it will benefit from mobile optimization. In many cases, the process is simple – this web developer did it in five minutes. If you don’t have a web developer on staff, consider doing something easy like switching hosting – Pagely is a good, affordable host for WordPress sites – and watch your bounce rate decrease.

Marketing for your brick-and-mortar store doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with applying these tips, and tune in for our next article in our series, which addresses the importance of a diversified digital marketing toolkit.

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Sarah Voigtman

Sarah is a native Michigander and mother of three. She spends her spare time searching for the perfect burger recipe and navigating the tumultuous waters of parenthood.

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