Cherry Orchard’s Helen Pallen gives our independent shops some amazing digital marketing tips. This article was originally published in Greetings Today Magazine.
Following on from Small Business Saturday, an annual event that takes place at the beginning of December that for some retailers can see their takings double, the Small Business Team are now supporting the Do it Digital campaign.
This includes the #100DaysofDigital on Facebook and Twitter (from 2nd December 2017 to March 31st 2017) highlighting a number of digital resources to help your business. These range from free training sessions from some local authorities to advice on getting funding to give your business a boost.
Small Businesses & Social Media
With recent research from YouGov showing that a quarter (23%) of SMEs surveyed have no website, four in ten (40%) no social media channels and nearly three quarters (72%) have no presence in an online marketplace. It’s estimated that the UK economy could be £8.4bn larger if that 23% of small businesses without digital resources were to address the situation.
The latest PG/Cardgains Retail Barometer suggests that for the 1000 members of the Cardgains buying group, the use of social media was the top promotional tool in the survey. An amazing 74% are embracing some form of promotional activity. If you’re not sure where to start, find out from Cardgains about their ongoing seminar programme in using social media.
Hope of Longtown
A digital presence can be a very effective way to promote your local business. Christine Hope of Hopes of Longtown runs a thriving rural shop in Herefordshire. With 50 of her suppliers within a 30-mile radius, she was inspired to launch the hashtag #shoplocal30 on Twitter. In the quieter month of November, every Thursday evening she helped customers to make personalised Christmas hampers The video clip that she filmed on a Facebook Live video was shared and reached more than 4000 people! But Christine’s monthly marketing campaign actually begins offline, with a piece in the church newsletter. The success is in being at the heart of the local community and making the connection before broadcasting through print and social media channels.
With close-knit groups, when there is a birth, death or marriage, people want to share the news, wishing the newly-weds good luck, welcoming the new babies into the world and saying sad goodbyes to much-missed friends and relatives. Whatever life-event it is, the mantelpieces will display rows of cards from friends and family all supporting those we hold dear. Local shopkeepers notice the flurry of activity in the greetings card department when there’s an occasion taking place in the neighbourhood.
Share a Story
Because everyone likes to share a story, a local independent shop can connect with the community by posting news and pictures on Facebook to let people join in the conversation, whether it’s a lost dog, a spate of thefts, the retirement of a popular local character, or the latest product or offer, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s something relevant to them.
When Vince Malone replaced his £1 pasties with locally sourced Welsh pasties for £2.65 in his Tenby Post Office he ran a Facebook campaign about the local company and when one of his customers pointed out that the two people who made them had different crimping styles, he highlighted it and saw his sales shoot up, despite them being stocked in a nearby garage which sold hardly any. Ros Jones, owner of the Celtic Company Card and Gift shop in Welshpool reached over 18,000 people promoting a free goody bag to people coming to her shop and knowing the Facebook password on a given day and of the 200 goody bags handed out, only 2 didn’t make a purchase.
So if you’ve left Spring Fair feeling just a little bit excited about the lovely new stock you’ll be getting in soon, put on your thinking cap, get out your phone and shout it from your local independent rooftop.
Helen Pallen is the Business Development and Marketing Manager at Cherry Orchard Publishing. Founded in 1995, they’re a company born from a determination and focus to create a platform of being able to provide not only quality greeting cards at a competitive price but coupled with high standards of customer care and service to the Independent retail sector.
Now 19 years later and headed up by Jackie Collins, Cherry Orchard continues with this ethos and is still very proud to state that it is one of just a handful of publishers who have their own dedicated, employed Sales Force, which has enabled them to build strong and lasting relationships with their customers over the years.
Now with a portfolio in excess of 2000 designs, covering seasonal and everyday product, Cherry Orchard continues, as always to provide a comprehensive selection which delivers a broad commercial offering to all of their customers. They pride ourselves in covering all major and minor captions, based on quality, innovation and value for money.
For more details please visit www.cherryorchardpublishing.co.uk