Cost-Conscious Strategies for ‘Shelf-Help’
Good news! Your product is finally in the store, on the shelves and looking good. Your shelf placement is strong; you’ve got that eye-popping packaging and you’re ready for consumers to enthusiastically raid the aisle, making a beeline straight for your brand. After all, your product is unique.
But the only problem is that so is everyone else’s.
You’ve overcome some major hurdles to ensure your product makes a positive impact. And yet, it’s still stuck on the shelf. That’s not exactly what it means to be shelf-stable.
Unfortunately, your product can’t do all the talking for you, even if it is amazing (we believe you). You still have to get your product off the shelf.
In other words, you need shelf-help.
Start by engaging your consumers with meaningful dialogue built around your brand. Make them interested. Get them talking.
Create an experience around your brand and activate among your target audience. From grocery cart to kitchen pantry, offer value to your consumer every step of the way.
Incorporate the following cost-conscious strategies into your new marketing plan and get your product off the shelf.
But before we get started, don’t be intimidated by the budget blues. Big budgets, small budgets and barely-there budgets all have some breathing room. Modify the strategies to work best for your brand.
1. Become social media savvy
For many small brands that aren’t looking to implement major marketing campaigns across all types of media, social media is an economical, effective and targeted approach to advertising. While there are several nuances associated with social media; for example, Facebook’s constant algorithm updates, we’ll run through best practices from a bird’s eye view.
1. Get organized
Think of your calendar as the central foundation and creative hub for all of your original content. It’s the strongest starting point for developing your strategy and it helps keep your messaging grounded in consistency.
2. Position your brand with personality
Allow the tone of your messaging to align with your brand’s personality and get creative with your posts! Let your presence on social media reflect your brand with honesty and portray it with character.
3. Be prepared to be spontaneous
While this is clearly an oxymoron, it nevertheless rings true for the sake of good content. Use your calendar as a template or guide for posting regularly, but don’t be afraid to be spontaneous! If a unique opportunity to post comes up, don’t feel confined to what’s already scheduled to roll out. Give yourself the creative discretion to shake things up.
4. Determine what gets users to engage
This is the part that takes a bit of trial and error (or perhaps even some AB testing) to figure out what content is the most engaging for your followers. After all, as individuals they’re always going to respond differently to your efforts. Incorporate a variety of content into your calendar to discover exactly what it is that inspires your fans to engage.
5. Determine who to engage
While the social media followers you have only reflect your consumer base to a certain extent, it’s still important to understand who they are and what they connect with. The Facebook Insights tool in particular compiles data on your followers as they grow, giving you a first-hand look into demographics, geographics and psychographics. These elements are helpful for creating a buyer persona, or fictional representation of your consumer, to whom you can closely target your content efforts toward.
2. Build your database
Database building efforts such as contests you run through social media or monthly newsletters sent to email subscribers help your database continuously expand and become a unique touch point for reaching your consumers. Gathering consumer data is like uncovering a gold mine of insights that you can use for future retargeting purposes.
With the data at your disposal, you have direct access to reach your consumer base. If they’ve opted in to hear more from you, you’re able to start a meaningful conversation. That’s pretty exciting stuff! But be smart about it. You don’t want to let that knowledge go to your head. Always make the content valuable and relevant. And more importantly, keep your communication at a level that is the least intrusive.
3. Optimize your website
The rules surrounding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are constantly under construction as Search Engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo adapt to modern searcher’s inquiries. Keeping that in mind, organize (or reorganize) your site in a way that reflects clear content navigation. Focus on improving your site’s ranking and authority through on-page and off-page SEO.
These are just some adjustments you can make to your own site such as:
- Using a concise structure for each URL (or if you’re using WordPress, it’s called the ‘slug’)
- Attributing alt-text to each image, making it easier for search engines to identify visuals
- Internally linking pages within your site to each other, creating a fluid path of navigation for users
- Building your site to be mobile-friendly
- Describing each web-page on a search engine using meta text and title tags
These are techniques you can incorporate in other areas outside of your website to improve your overall search ranking:
- Backlinks: quality links from other sites directing traffic to your site
- Feature guest bloggers to write posts on valuable content topics that are relevant to your audience
- Incorporate your site onto other channels such as email distribution and social media
4. Get boots on the ground
Brand ambassadors are the trick to connecting with consumers – they can physically embody your brand. Basically, brand ambassadors add meaning to your message by:
- Capturing data
- Building up an engaged audience in person and online
- Collecting feedback through personal interviews and surveys
- Representing your brand authentically and positively
These cost-effective strategies are designed to get your product off the shelf – it’s that simple. In person, in store, and online, each represent engaging experiences activated around your target audience.
There are several moving parts involved, from content creation and staffing to organizing, strategizing and executing. That’s our angle at Cliffedge Marketing; we collaborate with you (and your budget) to carry out these cost-effective strategies, pump up your brand’s presence and put your product into your consumer’s hands.