How to use Instagram to get people into your Brick and Mortar Store.
Alright, so if you have been following along with me for the past year, you know how much I love to support local businesses. In fact, that’s how this whole thing [Original Spark] got started! After learning so much about social media last year and my love for small local businesses, I decided that I would learn the ins-and-outs of what it takes for them to success with Instagram marketing.
I wanted to know that all of my research was going to actually translate into success. In order to apply it I needed my first client. I started by walking into a store in my hometown (population 3200) and pitched an idea;
“Let me open up an instagram account for you to attract more people into your store”.
It was a three month trial and they allowed me to take my creativity without really any guidelines. After the three month term was up, I knew this was something I wanted to continue doing. Fast forward one year and I have helped 23 other businesses do the same!
It is totally possible to use Instagram (IG) to attract people into your physical storefront location. But there definitely are some best practices and it takes more than just posting a picture on your feed of some products that you have in stock.
In this blog I’m going to walk you through a few ways that you can use IG to get people through the door!
Mastering Your IG Strategy
Your instagram profile is the ‘handshake’ to your business. It’s a brief introduction of what to expect when working with you. We want to make sure that when people look at your profile they have a clear understanding of what you do, who you help, and where you are located.
1 - You are a ladies fashion boutique that is size inclusive from a rural town.
2 - You have a cafe that serves only vegan food downtown Winnipeg.
3 - You own a store packed with supplies for quilters, knitters and sewers in Brandon.
The point here is that we want people to instantly know all the answers to the above questions just by glancing at your profile so that you are attracting your target audience!
Not sure if your Instagram bio is clear and attracting your target customers? No problem, get in touch with me here and we can make sure you’re on the right path.
Creating Captivating Content
Alright so now your profile makes it clear who you serve and who would value from your store. Now we need to consider what exactly you will be posting and why it matters.
Content refers to the images and captions on your page. This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and spend thousands of dollars on a camera. All this means is that you are posting content that is grabbing the attention of your followers as they are scrolling through your feed. An iPhone photo with a little bit of editing can look just as good as a professionally taken photo. I have taught a workshop on this, if you’d like to learn 1:1 how to edit your photos on your iPhone with FREE apps, you can get a hold of me here.
When you are diving in to your content creation make sure you are being consistent. You want to be consistent with your colour scheme, posting frequency, and the voice of your page.
It should be clear to your audience exactly what they are getting from following you and why they NEED to keep checking back to see what your up to. Posting consistently proves that you are willing to show up over and over again to serve your customers. It also helps keep you fresh in their minds so that when they do need to buy something your store has to offer, they know exactly where to go!
Use captions to educate on the value that your services/product brings to the potential customer. For example, if you are a spa, educate your followers on the benefits they will see by booking a massage at your location. Yes, they would likely receive those benefits from any location but YOU are the one teaching them and therefore YOU are the expert in their eyes.
Building a Loyal Following
Now it’s time to build that relationship with your following. In order to make sure that those followers are loyal and will eventually walk through your doors, you have to build a relationship with them and show them why they NEED to come check out your store!
You have to remember that Instagram is part of the customer service experience that your store provides. This is extremely important to remember so that you can build a relationship with your following that keeps them wanting to come back for more! With this, we want to make sure that your followers have connection with you. There are a few very important pieces to the puzzle here when it comes to building that relationship and showing what kind of service your store has to offer.
This means responding to comments and direct messages every time but also starting conversations with people just like you would if they walked into your store! If someone leaves a comment on a photo of a dress you carry in your boutique you could direct message them and either introduce yourself, thank them for the comment, or let them know you have the dress in another colour or other pieces from the same line that they may love.
And this one is the most important! Like I said, Instagram is part of the customer service that your business offers and you want to show this by engaging and interacting with your followers.
Why? Read this instagram post I made that gives a good analogy as to why engaging on your instagram feed is important for building a loyal following!
From Follower To Customer
So now we have a clear IG strategy; you know your target audience, you are building a following that is engaging with your posts and interacting with you on instagram- but let’s get them into that pretty little shop of yours! In order for someone to do something they often need an incentive. If your drool-worthy Instagram aesthetic won’t cut it alone try creating a unique offer that they can’t turn down.
Discounts Strictly For Followers
Create a graphic and post it on your IG story for your IG followers to screenshot and bring into your store for a discount rate or free gift with a purchase.
(hot tip!) -> Canva is a great free tool that allows you to create IG story graphics on your desktop or with their mobile app! It is super easy to use and they have all the dimensions that you need.
💡In the case of a supplies shop for knitters, sewers and quilters maybe you offer a discount code strictly for your followers that gives them 10% off their next purchase.
💡If you own a boutique offer a BOGO25 coupon for your IG followers that gives them their second pair of shoes at 25% off.
💡If you’re the cafe owner offering your clients a free cookie with a latte purchase, or a free cup of coffee/any specialty beverage when they order a lunch menu item.
💡Maybe you’re a spa offering a free essential oil bottle or lotion with any massage service they book.
This is an offer exclusively for your instagram followers that will show you just how committed your followers are to your business because you can see exactly how many of your followers will come into your store.
The trick here is to just get them into your store- give them a reason why they need to come in. This way you let them see for themselves how great of an atmosphere your store is so that they want to keep coming back for more!
Collaborating with other local businesses in your town, or hosting events at your shop is a good way to get a lot of people in your door at once! Even if they don’t buy the first time having that initial exposure is important in the buyer’s journey.
💡Maybe you’re a clothing store- having a stylist come into your store (who is also active on instagram) to do a pop up styling event.
💡Maybe you own a floral shop- hosting an event that teaches your attendees how to make a terrarium or small potted floral arrangement.
💡Maybe you are a cafe- hosting a local talent (musician, public speaker, etc.)
Coupon or Free Gift with Purchase
Also, if you want to increase your conversions, you need to make sure your potential customers are going through your door and trying something out. Give them something just for stopping by (a coupon for next time their in, a free sample/gift just for stopping by). This shows that you care and appreciate their support and continues to build that loyal relationship you have with your customers.
After that initial purchase it is more likely someone will buy from you again. It’s much easier to increase the frequency of your existing customers purchasing than finding new ones all together so create a loyalty program or maybe a rewards card to keep people coming back to your store.
With every $5 they spend, they get 1 reward point, and once they get ten rewards points, they get 5% off their next purchase and so on.
Maybe you give them a card so that once they buy 10 coffees/massages/haircuts/shoes they get one for free or for 50% off.
I’m sure you are already practicing some of these ideas in your business! The point of this blog is to show you how you can tie Instagram strategy in with your everyday marketing practices! I’d love to know what your biggest takeaway from this blog was, and what you’re excited to implement moving forward!