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Learn some must-have digital marketing strategies to drive offline sales.

In today’s digitally driven and increasingly hybrid world, the boundaries between online and offline shopping continue to merge. According to a recent study by 1WorldSync, 87 percent of shoppers have used their phones to look up products while inside a store and 61 percent of in-person shopping excursions begin with online research.

Small businesses with brick-and-mortar stores can lean into this trend by focusing on their online marketing efforts. Here’s how you can increase your in-store sales with online marketing.

Online activity influences offline sales and a comprehensive digital marketing plan can help translate some of your online traffic into in-store purchases. Here are some digital marketing strategies to implement for your brick-and-mortar store:

Using your company’s website to promote informative and engaging blog content can be an excellent way to attract new customers to your store. Unique, relevant content helps build brand loyalty and a reputation with your target customers who, in turn, will choose you over competitors.

To drive traffic to your physical store location, consider posting on your website about products sold only in-store, events or sales taking place in your brick-and-mortar location and other potential interest drivers.

SEO remains another driving force in digital marketing. To gain website visitors, employ SEO best practices by consistently researching related keywords and phrases, producing valuable and relevant content and ensuring you’re ranking highly on search engines.

Email marketing is a popular way for brick-and-mortar shops to connect and build customer relationships. It’s a great way to keep current and prospective patrons aware of your offerings, including new products, promotions and events. Equally importantly, email communications can help boost brand awareness, making your audience more likely to think of you for their shopping needs.

Engage your customers throughout the buyer cycle with various marketing emails, including the following:

Business texting can be an excellent marketing tool. Text message marketing, also called short message service (SMS) marketing, is a convenient way to reach patrons where they are — and stay top of mind amid countless other priorities and notifications.

SMS marketing leverages short-form texts to nurture leads and encourage repeat business from existing customers. Send brief promotional texts about upcoming store events, limited-time offers and new product launches to encourage in-store purchases. Text your loyal customers on birthdays, anniversaries or milestone dates. Texts are also great for soliciting customer feedback via links to mobile-optimized surveys.

Social media is the ideal platform for keeping in touch with and engaging current and prospective customers. It allows you to showcase your products and services while building your brand’s voice.

On your brick-and-mortar business’s social media pages and profiles, share photos and videos of your store, content from in-person events and information about upcoming exclusive sales and deals. Keep followers informed and invite them to pay a visit.

You can also leverage social media marketing to expand your community presence — ideal for local brick-and-mortar shops. Join local groups, pages and events to connect with your target audience.

There’s no shortage of online tools to help small businesses boost their marketing efforts to drive in-store sales. Here are just some of the most popular categories and options.

The best email marketing services help you create automated email campaigns to guide your audience through the sales funnel and test custom templates for higher engagement. Some of our favorite platforms include the following:

Text message marketing supports consumers’ mobile-first browsing behavior, ensuring messages stay top-of-mind instead of sitting in a full email inbox. Here are some of the best text message marketing software solutions for businesses that want to increase in-store sales:

The best social media management and marketing tools can help you improve your social presence across multiple platforms. Here are some of our favorites:

The best CRM software can help companies manage customer relationships and control sales and marketing communications with current and potential customers. Some top options include the following:

Make the most of your online marketing efforts with these proven techniques.

Reaching your target audience and understanding its needs are the first steps toward creating an effective digital marketing plan that can increase in-store sales. Analyzing data trends can help determine various audience segments’ behaviors, interests and demographics.

Collecting data from various sources, such as searches, social media, CRM systems and third parties, will provide insight into how users find and engage with your brand.

Developing personalized content is critical for increasing user engagement and visibility in organic search results. When you produce frequent content, search engines will crawl your site continuously and users will remain involved with your brand.

To keep customers on your website and boost sales, create content that speaks to user segments’ specific needs, encouraging them to move offline with clear calls to action. In addition to providing articles, offer your fans different ways to stay connected, such as downloads, images and video marketing materials. Encourage users to interact and share content to organically promote your brand and create a buzz that can carry offline.

Once you understand what your audience is looking for online, use paid advertising to increase your visibility and offline sales. Because digital ads are so customizable, you have significant control over your advertising results. With targeting, you can show various user segments specialized content at specific times, locations and online locations.

For example, showcase unique product coupons to different segments or leverage geotargeting to have ads appear within a certain distance from your stores. The expansive ad placement options available (search, social, mobile, retargeting, banner and more) allow you to distribute your ads exactly where your users are searching.

You’ve likely spent a lot of time creating your brand image and perfecting the in-store experience, but does your online presence tell the same story? If your branding and online content don’t reflect your offline image, your customers may be less engaged or disappointed if your in-store delivery falls short of their expectations.

Stay true to your brand and develop content that creates a sense of authenticity and engagement to keep customers interested and coming back for more.

Get your fans involved to create brand advocacy that expands beyond your digital presence. Integrate influencer outreach into your communications and feature your die-hard fans in your marketing to keep them involved.

Encourage and reward positive customer reviews and other forms of user-generated content to build advocacy that can increase online and offline brand engagement. Nurture that support by interacting with customers and exceeding expectations.

Customer support is no longer limited to store managers and call centers. Customers discuss your brand online and influence others’ purchase decisions regardless of whether you’re involved. Join the conversation by monitoring your social pages closely and responding to users who reach out.

Review sites are another opportunity to reward users who love your brand and to solve the problems of those who don’t. Remember that online users are real customers who can significantly influence your offline sales, so it’s important to respond to online reviews.

Analyzing data helps measure the return on investment of your online efforts. By looking at data from your search, social media and website campaigns, you can discover which content is best at drawing users.

Try using unique coupon codes for specific products and locations to measure offline sales. These distinct codes allow you to track your true return on investment from online ads to offline sales.

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