Over the past decade, the internet has exploded. It’s changed the way we consume media and connected billions of people across the globe. Marketing has changed, but so has the way we buy products.
While shopping once involved piling into a car and driving to a store or mall, many consumers are simplifying the process. People can now find a product, compare prices, and purchase in just a few minutes with a few clicks. If things get crazy, they might have to type in a few search phrases.
For some companies, offering your product straight to the consumer online is an acceptable option. That isn’t the case for every business though. As the shopping experience continues to move from physical locations to computer monitors (and drone delivery), the businesses that maintain storefronts need to develop new and creative ways to get customers through the door.
So how can you drive local, targeted foot traffic into your location?
1. Harness social media
The power of social media is no longer questioned. From the biggest brands to the smallest mom-and-pop operations, having a Facebook page or a LinkedIn presence can be a game changer.
According to the audience you serve, whether they be part of the construction or trucking industries, you need to know where to focus. For instance, if owner-operators are your core customers and they only use Facebook, you probably shouldn’t worry about Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Focus your resources on the best opportunity to reach and influence your audience.
If you want to find research about your audience, we have plenty available on our industry research page.
Building your local audience is critical for a brick-and-mortar location.
Most often, the customers who will be walking through your dealership are living within your AOR or within close proximity thereof. This is a benefit though. Instead of spending money on reaching and influencing a large audience across the country, you can focus your efforts on creating loyal followers who have maximum buying potential at your store or dealership.
Social media is a great opportunity to build awareness and drive traffic to your physical location. Social media contests and discounts are a great way to get fans and followers engaging with your page. At the same time, requiring winners to come by your store to pick up their prizes or redeem their discounts is the perfect way to get decision makers to visit.
It’s also a great way to gather information, such as emails, addresses, and phone numbers.
2. Target locally
Generating leads can be a challenge for many smaller businesses and brick-and-mortar locations. In many cases, you’re probably using your sales teams to prospect and qualify sales ready leads. However, marketing can help here as well.
SEM is the perfect tool to supplement your sales prospecting process.
Search engines, Google in particular, have huge traffic. Google alone translates over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. Odds are prospects in your AOR are lodging those search queries.
Fortunately, paid search ads put your advertising in front of people who are actively looking for what you have to offer. By targeting specific keywords, you deliver ads to searchers who are more likely to have a high purchase intent. You can also layer on additional location-based targeting to make sure you’re reaching an audience most likely to travel to or call your brick-and-mortar location.
Another option that can help you drive traffic to your physical location is by utilizing ad extensions for your paid search ads. Location extensions allow you to show your business address and a map marker with your ad text. For mobile, you can even include directions to your location.
3. Utilize data
Data is a great tool, one we talk a lot about. Usually, however, we tend to look at how data can empower your sales team, but that’s only part of the equation. You can’t overlook data’s usefulness for marketing either.
Data can especially enhance the effectiveness of your local marketing efforts.
In this case, you’re trying to get people into your brick-and-mortar location. There are a number of tried-and-true tactics which you’re probably using, and you’re seeing success. But you’re missing out if you’re not incorporating data into your marketing.
For instance, let’s say you’re sending out direct mail to prospects, encouraging them to visit your storefront or dealership. Because you don’t know much about all of your prospects’ equipment or product needs, your message is very general and untailored. This is where data can really come into play.
Data, especially equipment data from sources like EDA, can tell you more about a prospect than you previously knew. You can see equipment transaction history, the age of financed equipment, and even find physical addresses and contact names. Now you can start creating customized, tailored offers for prospects that are more likely to catch their eye and get them in your brick-and-mortar location.
Data helps you encourage traffic by creating tailored offers for prospects.
Getting people into a brick-and-mortar location presents a set of challenges that many marketers will never have to face. Budgets are smaller and you have to be more creative in the campaigns you run. However, if you’ll use the right tools and put in a little work, you can get important decision makers into your brick-and-mortar location.