Talk. About. Eventful!
If you were able to join us for any of the powerful 3 days at EVOLVE 2022 last week, you know what I mean. Each day was jam-packed with invaluable marketing information for retailers; each session stuffed with a-ha moments. And deciding what makes it to your to-do list, likely the most challenging part!
While every business owner’s priorities are different, I thought I’d share some of the biggest breakthroughs from this year’s event to help you determine what will make the greatest impact on your business in 2022.
1. Short-form video is still king. While retail is constantly evolving, short-form video remains the top tool with which to connect in 2022. Focus on Facebook and Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Pinterest Idea Pins, and TikTok as the most powerful means to connect with your audience and grow your business. (Gain instant access to countless marketing ideas that perform on short-form video as a Crystal Media Insider.)
2. An omni-experiential marketing strategy is critical to independent retailer success. As Bob Negen of WhizBang! Retail Training asserts, there is no place for “Hobbyists” in retail anymore. A goal-oriented, multi-pronged approach to finding and reaching customers is imperative to success in today’s retail environment—with off-line marketing (i.e. in-store events, endorse mailings, cause marketing) being just as important in driving more new customers.
Pro Tip: Adopt a Give to Get marketing mentality by always giving your customers something of value to gain their loyalty. “Love your customers. The money will follow.”
3. Expanded shopping functionality on various platforms is coming. Be on the lookout for new eCommerce capabilities that make shopping even quicker and easier for your customers. Think direct shopping from Facebook Groups, the development of TikTok shopping, and partnerships between YouTube and eCom sites like Shopify.
4. Micro-influencers are on the rise! Micro-influencers (content creators with a following of less than 25,000), are driving better results than macro-influencers. Their relatability and passion for shared interests with their audience make them highly valuable to small businesses.
5. The most under-estimated number in retail is IMU (Initial Markup). Per Cathy Donovan Wagner of RETAILMavens, adjust your IMU for an immediate increase to your cash flow. An IMU increase of just a few percentage points means increased revenue with each transaction.
6. Humanize your content for greater engagement and reach. As a small business owner, this is one of your beat-the-big-box superpowers. Create posts that showcase you, your team, and everyday experiences to acquaint your followers with the faces and business behind the brand.
7. Find and hire your dream employee on social media by showcasing your brand personality. It’s no secret that finding and keeping employees in this current climate is a monumental task. Post where your PCGs (Perfect Customer Groups) are with familiarizing content of you, your team, your storefront, and your store experience. Allow followers to see just what it’s like to be an employee, hence attracting the perfect fit for your team!
8. Try new things on social! The longer your audience interacts with your page, the more you’ll be rewarded by the algorithm. Focus on engagement by entertaining, educating, and post-consistency with trends like Augmented Reality (AR) filters, Tweets as posts, IG Collaborations, and using storefront images.
Pro Tip: Carousel posts on Instagram are one of the easiest ways to increase your engagement rates. Utilize all 10 of those carousel slots by choosing engaging photos and videos that grab attention and retain interest.
9. Ads are still the #1 way to promote online. With Facebook Advertising Reach continuing to increase, plus the roll-out of FB’s ODAX (Outcome-Driven Ad Experiences) on the horizon, the power of Ads is evident and should remain a unifying part of your overall marketing strategy. Also, with a 2x higher return on ad spend for retail brands, consider adding Pinterest Ads to the mix! (Want us to take Ads completely off your plate? We’ll do it for you! Learn more about our Ads agency here.)
Pro Tip: Frustrated by the effects of the recent iOS update? Maximize your ability to track Ads results by using first-party data (i.e. your list), on-platform resources, and accessible analytics tools (i.e. Google Analytics) as much as possible.
10. You can affect your rank in Google search. Take more control of your online presence and adjust 6 out of the 7 Local Justifications to help ensure your listings are consistent throughout the data ecosystem and rich with your business specifics. Here’s how to make the simple fix.
11. Bonus Takeaway! NFTs for retailers. Create NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that align with your business and the products/services you offer! Some retailer NFT ideas are VIP Groups with special discounts and/or free products, access to events, influence/voting on what merchandise you’ll carry, and first to try/first rights to buy limited editions.
Feeling a little FOMO right about now? Become an Insider member and instantly access all of the EVOLVE 2022 presentations and replays. This event alone—chock full of fresh, time-saving content, easy-to-implement resources, and game-changing marketing for retailers—will ensure you’re prepared to thrive in the evolving world of retail. Never feel like you’re missing out again!
What I Want You To Take Away From This Blog:
- The world of retail is evolving. An omni-channel marketing approach is critical.
- Short-form video is still the most powerful way to connect with your audience. Just press Play!
- Humanize your content across all platforms for greater engagement and reach.
- Don’t be overwhelmed! Give one new social/digital marketing idea a try at a time.
Okay, over to you…
Let us know which of these EVOLVE takeaways you feel will impact your business the most in 2022. We’re always happy to help you succeed with new efforts and attain your goals!