The eternal question—how to make your store appeal to students enough that they will visit and purchase regularly, be loyal customers and brand ambassadors? No big deal, right? You're keen on listening to others' success stories, trying new tactics, and embracing new marketing trends. As you close out 2016 and agilely leap into 2017, it's time to brainstorm new ways to reach and influence customers. We have a few ideas you can implement immediately.
AJ Agrawal outlines several emerging marketing trends to watch in the coming year in a post featured on Forbes. The four trends taken from his article, below, are ones you can do now if you aren't already and definitely ones you should be integrating into your 2017 marketing strategy. We've included ways to jump in now. When you're done here, check out the full list for other suggestions.
1. Influencer Marketing
What’s more effective than an ad in selling your product? A lovable social media personality speaking highly about your product to his or her fans and followers. Influencer marketing is on the rise, because people tend to trust recommendations from people they see as thought leaders. The right influencers establish credibility through each social media post or advertisement. When they work with brands, it’s because they genuinely believe in them, and that trust is passed on to consumers.
Ask your store employees and prominent campus leaders to engage in your marketing activities. You'll be surprised at the increased engagement you'll have. You don't need Kardashians to model your sportswear to make a difference. Students, faculty and others have friends and family who will love to see them in videos, digital and print media. University Store at Towson University is known for putting their students front and center in their advertising efforts. Take this a step further by drumming up recommendations your biggest fans/influencers would be willing to post on social media. Remember though, they need to be genuine.
Although we’re still working out the kinks of this technology, it’s clear that livestreaming will continue to push the boundaries. A big step in this direction was Instagram’s integration of a livestream option into its Stories feature. We’re going to see a lot more live broadcasts in 2017.
Smartphone technology and social media platforms supporting livestreaming make it easy to give this a try. What should you live stream? Create hype and buzz during store events, sales, promotions and product reveals. The more excited, charismatic and relatable the people in the livestream are, the better results you'll have.
3. Short-lived content
What gives Snapchat its appeal? The fact that the content disappears. Snapchat’s rampant rise in popularity did a lot more for the world of social media than just give users another platform to choose from. It showed the value of disappearing or short-lived content. This is a key attraction for Generation Z, the cohort famous for having an eight-second attention span, and is why you should be integrating short-lived content into your content strategy.
Snapchat is a great tool to grant the feeling of exclusivity. Only your followers can see your snaps, giving you a captive audience. Sales like Snappy Hour allow you to reach your most loyal customers and build excitement around sales and events.
4. Mobile First Strategy
The future is mobile. Internet traffic is now coming more from mobile devices than desktops. If you’re not catering your content, ads and online experience to a mobile user, then you are missing a massive opportunity. And remember: It’s not just about “optimizing” for mobile; it’s also about making sure that piece of content gets integrated with a user’s lifestyle on the go.
First and foremost, having a mobile-optimized site, like inSite, will allow convenient transactions with customers where they are, on their devices. And stores using inSite can now send text notifications with Twilio like rental reminders, buyback alerts, order and pickup confirmations. Beyond transactions, engaging with students via social media—paid or unpaid—is an easy way to connect with mobile customers.
Get 13 more strategies in the orginal article here.