How to use digital marketing to increase footfall

When we talk about digital marketing strategies, the results are often seen in online sales and engagement. But what if your end goal is to get more people into your physical store? The good news is that digital marketing can help with this, too.
Many might be calling time on bricks and mortar stores thanks to the arrival of the internet, but there are some things that just can’t be sold online. If you run a showroom, for example, you’ll know that there’s no substitution for letting your customers see your products up close and personal.
So, how do you go about using digital marketing to drive people through your doors?

Think local

The foundation of any campaign to drive footfall is location targeting. In social media, PPC and even SEO, you have the option to focus your efforts on specific areas. This can help to improve the relevance of your paid campaigns and drive down the costs as you aren’t targeting a broad audience.
With any local digital marketing campaign, you need to ensure that your online ads match up to your website. While you might sell to a national or even international audience, it’s important to have a local feel to your website.
Make sure that it’s immediately obvious to website visitors that you have a physical site where customers can visit you. You should also ensure that your physical address is listed on your website and that it matches the format used for third-party listing sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor.

Claim your business

Think about all the ways your customers might find out about you. Is this information up-to-date and accurate? Have you claimed your Google My Business listing? Have you claimed your Yelp listing?
Check things like your contact phone number and your opening hours. Google allows users to submit their own opening hours, so make sure you keep an eye out for changes as misinformation could cost you valuable sales.
Once you have claimed your local business listing, you can also see valuable stats related to your profile. Once you ramp up digital marketing activity you’ll soon see an increase in these stats!

Offer platform-specific offers

If you want to bridge the gap between online advertising and in-store sales, you can offer platform-specific offers. For example, if you offer a free item with every in-store sale on Facebook and a percentage off the complete order in your email marketing, you’ll know which sources are driving your sales based on which offer your customers request.
The biggest pitfall of this method is that your offers can quickly end up on discount websites, so any user can take advantage of them and muddy the feedback. However, if this leads to an increase in sales, you could chalk this up as a victory of sorts.
If you wouldn’t typically offer discounts, you could use an appointment booking service to better understand the link between online marketing activity and in-store visits. Offering a bespoke personal shopping experience, for example, would be more suited to high-end stores than offering a discount.

Implement accurate tracking

Conversion tracking is becoming more and more sophisticated, so it’s important to make the most of what is available. Through the use of specialist landing pages and appointment booking or inventory reservations, you can start to get a better idea of how your customers are finding you. This will allow you to attach an ROI value to your digital marketing efforts.
While the process might not be as clearcut as e-commerce conversion tracking, with a little bit of creativity and attention to detail, you should be able to keep track of how your digital marketing activity impacts footfall.