Guest Blog post provided by Digital Boutique Co.
Let’s dive into the essential digital marketing tools for your boutique! When someone decides they want to open up a retail business such as a boutique, what are some of the first things they think of investing in? Inventory? An accountant or lawyer? A storefront or website? A few employees? They get all of this in line, and then realize they aren’t reaching their target audience. Why? Because they forgot one key necessity in the boutique industry – digital marketing.
So, what exactly do I mean when I say “digital marketing”? I’m not just talking about Instagram and Facebook, although those are good places to start. I’m talking about organic social strategy, paid ads, email and SMS marketing, optimized landing pages, SEO, quality Google listings, the list goes on. The truth is, about 76% of adults shop online. Meaning, your target audience will shop online, even if it’s not with you.
Think about the biggest online retailers. Why do you shop with them? Is it because they have trusted and consistent branding? Is it because they are always in your email inbox with the latest offers? Is it because they have a loyal customer base that vouches for them because they know they can deliver? Is it out of sheer convenience? It’s because we know exactly what those brands offer, exactly what to expect, and exactly where we can find them. Those big online retailers have accomplished this through digital marketing, and you can too!
Here is a list of 4 digital marketing essentials that your boutique should be investing in right now:
The number one thing your boutique needs before investing in any other area of digital marketing, is a well designed and optimized website. An optimized website means it has fast load times, is mobile and desktop friendly, your graphics and pictures are high quality and unique to you, products are updated regularly, etc. Basically, you need to make sure the user experience on your website is seamless. While outsourcing your web design can be a great move for some, you can still DIY a good bit of it.
Depending on where your website is hosted, most platforms such as Shopify or CommentSold have drag and drop design features that make it easy for anyone to customize and optimize their website. If you’re already paying for a domain and the website, you need to make sure it’s set up to convert the traffic being sent to it!
Paid Social Ads
Paid social ads is the practice of displaying sponsored advertising content on third-party social networking platforms with the goal of targeting specific customers. These ads can be done on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Google, and pretty much any other social networking platform. It’s a best practice to narrow down your target platform to the top 2-3 platforms that your ideal audience resides in. For example, if your target audience is millennials/young adults, you might want to focus on Facebook and Instagram. If your target audience is Gen Z, you may want to focus on TikTok. Most of these platforms make it relatively easy to begin to advertise with them.
You will need quality graphics and photos, fun eye-catching copy, an idea of who your target audience is, and a daily budget of at least $5 a day. This doesn’t seem too bad, right? And since it is such a big part of digital marketing, there are so many online resources to learn to do ads yourself or agencies like Digital Boutique Co. that offer done-for-you ad services or 1:1 coaching.
Email marketing is another essential. The first step before sending campaigns is to build your email list. This can be done in a few ways. A great option is to have a pop-up on your website where potential customers put in their email address for an exclusive offer. Another way to grow your list is by making posts on your social media urging people to sign up. You can also implement a rewards program where customers sign up using their email address. Once you have a few hundred emails in your list, you’re ready to start sending campaigns. It’s important that you nurture that list and reach out to them with specific messages that are relevant to them.
One of our favorite platforms for email marketing is Klaviyo. Klaviyo offers great email customization specifically for e-commerce businesses. You can set up either campaigns, which are one-time emails sent out when you decide, or flows, which are emails that are triggered by actions to automatically send. Welcome flows and abandoned cart flows are some of our favorites. One of the best features of Klaviyo is the product integrations! You can load your new arrivals right into the emails and send them out. This makes sure your email list is always getting fed the newest arrivals or best sellers, even if they’re not following you on social media. A standard monthly Klaviyo subscription runs about $30 a month, and the investment is so worth it!
A Customized Organic Social Media Strategy
Let’s talk about building relationships and personal branding with your customers. This is where organic social marketing matters most. Organic marketing includes social posts you are putting out on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, etc., the stories you share, and even the people you follow and interact with. All of these things will help craft a voice for your boutique, build brand recognition, and allow you to build lasting relationships. Social media strategy is important! It’s not just throwing spaghetti at the wall.
For starters, EVERYTHING you post should be branded to your business. Your own photography, your own graphics, your own copy, it needs to come from you. You should be posting more than just your products! Social media is where people should get to know you and your business. It’s okay to drop the curtain a bit and let people in behind the scenes. This helps you come across more personable, which inevitably draws more people in. This can all be done for free with a few hours of work each week, or you can consider outsourcing your social media/content creation. Hiring experts that do this for a living will ensure you are always up to date with the latest algorithm updates and it’s one less thing for you to worry about!.
Implementing these essential digital marketing tools for your boutique could cost as little as $180 a month and only a few hours of work. Digital marketing is NECESSARY to stand out from the thousands of other boutiques your customers see every day. If you’re ready to let the experts handle your digital marketing strategy, visit us at digitalboutiqueco.com to learn more about our services!