The days of just having a flyer in the Sunday paper are long gone. There is only one maybe one and a half generations of people that even physically pick up the newspaper to look for grocery specials. Most people are online prior to hopping in their car and heading over to their local grocery store looking for deals and coupons. These days having a robust online stream of communication with your shoppers is extremely vital for your grocery store marketing. For some grocery store managers and decision makers taking a web based strategy to grow their clientele might seem far-fetched but the reality is that your audience is already looking for it.
Are you there for them to see you?
Here are some grocery store marketing ideas and strategies that could help your business grow in a whole new light:
Everything starts with your website first. The website for your grocery store is your foundation and it needs to be solid and up to date. What you think is up to date might be vastly different from what really is up to date so get a second opinion from a reputable design firm. Your website should also have a blog where your grocery store can express their online personality, it should have a newsletter sign up form where you can email your customers once per/week with specials and promotions, it should have a video section where different employees talk about different products or even departments if you should any animated employees.
Do you see where I am going with this? It should be centered on building a community of loyal shoppers that do not just look at you like a grocery store but rather a shopping experience. It will take time, and patience but it will be worth it in the end once things get rolling.
If you don’t believe in social media you are crazy!! It is not a fad it is here to stay and there are many businesses using a social media strategy to significantly grow their presence not only online but offline as well.
Here are some real world examples of how food met social media to create a utopia of success. These examples are only scratching the surface for what can really be accomplished.
A social media strategy for your grocery store can bring your community together and give your store a voice it never had before.
Local Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component in gaining visibility online on a local level. SEO comes down to being 100% efficient with your website and your voice in order to be visible in the pages of search when people are conducting local search queries. Search engine optimization will build power and influence to your website over time giving your website a great deal of SEO power and ranking abilities. There are many different areas where your grocery store can and should be listed online to gain local SEO power online. Launching PR is also an important part of SEO that will help you gain strength in your community.
A local SEO strategy looks something like this:
Strategic online PR
Local business profiles
Blog Writing & Marketing
People love businesses that have a good personality. It shocks us when we speak with decision makers that say company personality is just not important, really? Personality is what gets a community buzzing. A blog is nothing more than the ability to make a journal entry every single day for your business. That blog entry can be anything you want and overtime the blog can give your business a personality that your local audience is looking for. If you take a strategic approach with your blog you can also create a steady stream of inbound traffic to your website.
Here are some ideas on what you can write about:
Customer of the month
Employee write ups
Weekly Email Newsletter
A weekly email newsletter is much cheaper than the Sunday flier and it is extremely quick as long as you give your audience the ability to sign up for it, which is where the website comes into play. Let your local audience signup for the newsletter and you will be able to reach out to them whenever you like for a fraction of the cost of offline communication.
Let Customers Check-In
“check-ins” are a new popular method to pulling in new foot traffic to your business. Foursquare is a leader in geo-targeting check in efforts for brick & mortar businesses looking to pull in new customers but Facebook is also extremely popular for checking in.
Facebook Check In
The important thing to take away from this information is that you don’t have to spend $500K per/year to execute this grocery store marketing strategy. Many times it can be done with a realistic budget you just have to start the process of communicating with the right people to see what you need. If your grocery store is still sitting idle online take the time to do something to get the ball rolling.