It’s Time to Invest in Digital!

It’s that season again – where leaves are falling and budgets are calling. 

Yes, as you prepare your retail marketing budget for the upcoming year and plan for a successful 2021 shopper marketing strategy, it’s essential to invest in digital.

Digital marketing has proven the best way to improve shopper engagement and boost sales – both online and in stores. And, as always, for best results – partner with a dedicated retail marketing agency who will give you access to specialists who will work from the same side of the table as you to maximize your marketing budget!

Where to Focus your Retail Marketing Spend in 2021

So, you’re creating a shopper marketing budget for your brand – where should you focus your marketing spend when emphasizing digital? 

Start with High-Quality Visuals

High-quality visuals trigger one of the most important aspects of digital marketing – attention and trust. If you want to foster shopper engagement, you need to put your best brand forward, give it context and provide the visual appeal that stops consumers in their tracks. 

People associate visuals with quality – and although product shots are great – your target audience is looking for more. Add some context. For instance, if your company sells kitchen utensils, consider posting the product alongside an eye-catching recipe that will boost engagement. 

High-quality visuals (and audio) should be used in any video or ad campaign your brand publishes as well. Quality is hard to fake so when you’re budgeting for this, remember: you get what you pay for. 

Add Attention-Grabbing Online Experiences

Consumers are continuously inundated with ads and promotions, whether it’s on social media or in-store. So, how do you make them engage with your brand rather than your competitors?

The key is attention-grabbing online experiences. Your audience needs a reason to engage with you – to find out “what’s in it for them” – so give it to them!

Consider launching a digital sweepstake or a photo contest that features one of your products. These gamified experiences that employ user-generated materials are proven, battle-tested ways to drive web traffic and sales. Plus, they’ll help you capture a database of marketing leads.

Be sure to budget for the sweepstakes prize and ad dollars accordingly so you can support your campaign appropriately and ensure its success.

Keep Consumers Coming Back

In today’s digital world, it’s not enough to have one-time visitors on your page. The cost of acquiring new customers is much higher than re-engaging existing ones, so you need to find a way to keep them coming back!

Think of this like online brand loyalty – you need to create consistent, high-quality content that will encourage your audience to return to your site. 

Consider a monthly blog, rewards programs or episodic content releases that entertain and provide valuable information to consumers. It needs to be something that creates value above and beyond your product features and price. This can be tricky, so the best option is to work with a shopper marketing agency that will help you find the right retail marketing strategy for your brand. 

Bring It All Back to Your CRM

Are you tracking your shoppers and their engagement sufficiently? Your shopper marketing budget should include funds to help you build (and grow) your database. This audience has chosen to interact with your brand – whether that be by subscribing to emails or making a purchase – and you’re now in the best position to market and remarket to them. 

This is definitely not the newest marketing tactic but investing in the creation of a solid CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has a lot of value when it comes to organizing and automating the steps that build a stronger relationship with your customers. As far as ROI, Cliffedge Marketing estimates that a database can generate between $0.50 to $0.80 per subscriber per month for a brand’s direct-to-consumer platform. Plus, your investment can be light when you use some incredible free CRM options from MailChimp and HubSpot to get started.

Capture More Engagement via Social Ads

Social ads are an essential component of your retail marketing budget since organic growth for brands on social media has suffered from recent platform algorithm updates. These days, targeted, paid ads are the only way to effectively get your brand in front of your consumers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.!

Social media not only helps you engage with your audience, but it also provides a platform to better understand them. One note to keep in mind though – these followers belong to the social media platform, not your brand, so driving action back to your website is key. Be sure to budget around product seasonality to maximize effectiveness and use social ads to funnel traffic directly to your website’s landing pages. This will help you capture data and build brand loyalty. 

Find the Right Partner for the Right Results

As you map out an effective 2021 retail marketing strategy (and its corresponding budget), enlist the help of a retail marketing agency who can partner with you to understand any short or long-term goals you’re targeting. 

Cliffedge Marketing has a lot of free resources to help your brand implement the ideas and strategies that will resonate and drive results with your target audience. 
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