Harnessing the Power of Video in Retail
As we step into 2024, the digital landscape continues to evolve, offering new opportunities for independent retailers. A key trend that shows no sign of slowing down is the rise of short-form videos, particularly on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. These platforms are not just a trend but a powerful tool for building trust and connection with your customers. The trick? Be consistent, authentic, and engaging. Share your stories, ask questions, and don’t shy away from being vulnerable. Remember, in a world increasingly dominated by AI, your genuine personality is your greatest asset.
Navigating the A.I. Revolution in Content Creation
A.I. is transforming content creation at an unprecedented pace. We’re anticipating more A.I.-generated videos that are so lifelike, it might be hard to tell they’re not real people. While this opens doors to innovative content, it also raises questions about trust and authenticity online. We hope to see government regulations addressing these concerns. At Crystal Media, we’re committed to helping retailers leverage A.I. not just as a tool, but as a virtual team member, saving you time and helping you stand out.
Adding Value Through Content
Your content should do more than just showcase products. It needs to educate, inspire, and add value. Content that resonates, educates, or entertains tends to capture attention, encouraging viewers to engage more deeply, whether that means visiting your store or making a purchase.
TikTok Shops: The New Frontier of Social Shopping
TikTok Shops, a game-changer since their launch in April 2023, have revolutionized how products are sold online. They’ve enabled stores and influencers to sell products in record time. This trend is likely to intensify as TikTok continues to invest in social shopping, aiming to compete with giants like Amazon.
Staying Ahead with Trends and User-Generated Content
In 2024, TikTok is expected to remain the birthplace of new trends, particularly in audio and content. Jumping on these trends can significantly boost your visibility. Additionally, user-generated content (UGC) will continue to be invaluable. Encourage local customers to showcase your products in real-life settings, making your offerings more relatable and appealing.
The Continued Success of Instagram Carousels
On Instagram, carousels will continue to enjoy strong organic reach. The key is to be strategic: start with a compelling opening image and create a narrative through the slides. You can showcase slides that tell a story, give tips, or showcase products around a theme or in a collection. End with a call-to-action like come in, shop online, join your email list, DM us, etc., inviting engagement and connection.
Direct Messaging: The New Frontier of Customer Service
Direct Messages (DMs) are a great place for you to stand out on Instagram. If someone follows you DM them thanking them, ask them a question/give them something of value. If someone comments on your post DM them and take the conversation further. This is a great way to WOW your followers. Yes it takes a little extra time but it will go a long way in showing how much you care about your followers – nurture them, talk to them, you’ll create lifelong customers when you do. Also in DMs you can send audio notes and videos, that’s a way to take the conversation to the next level and offer personalized ideas/advice or answer FAQs this way so they are talking to a human. Consumers are going to appreciate talking to a human because of the rise of A.I. we’ll see, so show up personally!!
Creating Memorable Experiences
In a world increasingly digital, unique in-person experiences are more valuable than ever. Consumers want things to do that are unique, Instagramable, fun to share and be a part of. Retailers have an incredible opportunity to do this since you have the building/location and are a part of your community. Spend time this year strategizing how you can stand out with your events and in-store experiences. Create Instagrammable vignettes in your store, have an influencer come in and host a meet and greet, partner up with other local businesses, do something hands on – how can you provide something unique and special that is memorable that your customers will love? And don’t forget to document it!! These experiences not only delight customers but also provide great content for your social media channels.
I want retailers to think of their social media as documenting their lives as a store owner versus being a content creator. Creating content can be daunting and there’s a lot of fear that it won’t look good, sound good, not pretty – but if you look through the lens of documenting it’s easier to get it done. Take your customers on a journey with you when you’re buying for the store, merchandising, working with your team and customers, researching products and trends, sharing your personal life – build the relationship because you GET to connect with your customers using social media – not you HAVE to. That mindset shift will help you show up more consistently and more meaningfully. You get the opportunity to be with your customers daily on social media: Take advantage of the incredible gift, and have that kind of mindset to make it more fun for you and your customers. This approach is less about producing perfect content and more about building authentic relationships with your community.
What I Want You To Takeaway From This Blog:
- Use short-form video to engage and connect with your audience.
- Don’t fear A.I. – embrace and leverage it as a tool to your marketing and content creation.
- Lean into social media trends and highly engaged content types like IG carousels and short-form video.
- Use DMs as a more personal and direct way to communicate with your customers.
- Keep the mindset of documenting your journey as a store owner when it comes to posting on social media.
To dive deeper into these trends and strategies, join us at EVOLVE, our transformative in-person business conference, on April 28-29, 2024, in Denver, CO. Get your ticket at https://crystalmediaco.com/evolve and gear up for a successful year ahead!
Okay, Over To You!
What trends are you leaning into or keeping an eye out for in 2024? Let us know in the comments!
Wishing all independent retailers a thriving and connected 2024! 🌟