Marketing your organic shop is vital: how can you get started?
You’ve just opened your store selling organic and sustainable products, you’ve chosen your suppliers (including Kami Store :)) and now you need to market your product offering.
We all know that marketing is a genuine skill!
If you don’t have the skills to do your marketing yourself, you might be wondering whether to hire someone to do it for you. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of this first important decision.
Lastly, to make it easier for you, I’ll also provide you with a list of the best tools to help you to get started in digital marketing, if you know little or nothing about it. Let’s go!
Outsourcing your shop’s digital marketing?
A quick overview of digital marketing
To start with, here’s a quick overview of digital marketing.
Firstly, digital marketing is now vital to ensure a shop’s visibility. Most of your customers have a smartphone and use Google and social media.
It’s possible to ignore digital marketing, but you’ll be missing out on a powerful way to develop your business.
Furthermore, digital marketing takes time and skill. Unfortunately, you can’t expect miracles: you’ll need to spend a certain amount of time on your marketing. But the good news is that there are lots of tools which are easy to use and which will save you time and money. We’ll take a closer look at them in the second part of this article.
Let’s focus on the different components of successful marketing:
- If you post on Facebook every 3 months, the results will not be impressive. You need to post regularly.
- If the person doing your marketing has just arrived and knows nothing about your business or what you do, he or she will not be able to do a good job. He or she must be comfortable with marketing tools, in addition to understanding your industry and your company.
- If your marketing isn’t relevant to your product offering, appealing or engaging, you’ll find it difficult to attract attention. Your marketing needs to have an impact!
- Lastly, you need to be customer-oriented, which means always thinking about your customers. What do they need? What are their problems? What do they want? What solutions can you provide?
The pros and cons of hiring someone to manage your marketing
Taking the above into account, let’s look at how you can make the decision to hire someone to manage your marketing.
Of course, the first thing to consider is your finances: can you afford to pay for an employee? Or is it better to use the services of one or several freelancers who may be specialised in a particular subject?
The first “con” is therefore the cost, which needs to be limited as much as possible.
The second thing to consider? The skills of the person you hire to manage your marketing. Whether you hire a student or a recent graduate who’s new to marketing and the working world, you’ll probably need to be patient and supportive as you help him or her to start out in the role. This can be very rewarding, but also time-consuming. It’s important to consider this kind of “hidden cost”.
Thirdly, you also need to think about the administrative work involved in having an employee (pay slips, paying salaries, etc.), along with the constraints which are specific to salaried employment (such as paid holidays, during which you may have to take on your employee’s work).
Lastly, when you hire someone to work full time, you need to find work to keep them busy full time, which isn’t always easy for a small shop.
It’s best to talk with your future marketing employee to explain that he or she should take on other roles, such as helping you in the shop, with your accounting or other useful tasks: this will save you time on a daily basis.
The 15 digital marketing tools you need to use!
Now let’s take a look at a range of tools which can help you to promote your shop.
Today, Facebook and Instagram are vital social media for your shop’s communications.
Other social media may be relevant, such as LinkedIn, if you also sell to businesses.
Remember: Facebook and Instagram are actually the same company (Facebook bought Instagram).
Focus on the following:
- creating a Facebook page and posting regularly on it,
- creating an Instagram account and posting regularly on it,
- consider paying for advertising campaigns on these social media, using Facebook Ads.
There are other social media, but I recommend not spreading yourself too thin! In general, it’s difficult enough to keep up with your digital marketing efforts in the long term, so you don’t want to complicate things by having accounts on 10 different social media :)
Tools for finding content ideas
Content marketing is particularly important when it comes to digital marketing.
What is content marketing, you may ask?
Well, it’s simple: you’re reading an example of an article which is part of a content marketing strategy!
You need to think about the content you can create and share on the Internet which will answer your customers’ questions. You want to be useful, relevant and/or entertaining by providing quality content.
Tools for creating content
Do you have ideas for content? Bravo! Now you need to choose the appropriate format. Here are a few tools to help you:
- Canva: this tool (which has a free version) can be used to create posts, banners, infographics and various other visuals,
- Pexels and Pixabay: these two sites are image banks and provide copyright-free images which are usually free of charge. Use these sites to find beautiful photos to illustrate your content,
- Promo: for a reasonable monthly fee, you can create quasi-professional videos with this tool, without any specific skills. It’s very impressive!
- Info.gram: if you’re looking to create infographics, this tool is excellent.
Tools for managing your newsletter
You can also consider creating a monthly or quarterly newsletter, which you can send to your customers to tell them about your shop’s latest news, offers and promotions, new products, in-store events, etc.
Tools for sharing your content
It can be tedious to constantly log in to social media to post on your pages, but there are tools to make your life easier.
They make it possible to create and schedule your posts in advance, something which is very convenient.
Your local SEO
Lastly, remember that your shop is located in a geographical area and that a large proportion of your customers will find you thanks to local SEO.
I strongly encourage you to consider creating listings on the following tools to give your shop the visibility it deserves:
- Google My Business,
- Your country’s Yellow Pages,
- and other relevant local and specialist directories.
All of the ideas I have mentioned above relate to the digital world. Ideally, the marketing action plan for your shop should also include offline elements, such as:
- street marketing (a fun or eye-catching campaign in the streets near your shop),
- distributing flyers,
- displaying visuals (posters) and providing business cards in other shops,
- establishing partnerships with other shops,
In conclusion, digital marketing must be a key part of your strategy: that means being organised and posting regularly. You can get help with your marketing, whether from an employee or by using various tools designed to make your job easier!
Post written by Mathieu Maréchal.
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