As a tangible reminder of your brand, promotional merchandise is a staple in promotional campaigns and events. Yet many B2C businesses – food and restaurant brands, in particular – are increasingly interested in selling (rather than just giving away) promotional products to their customers via online company stores.
Online company stores can be a powerful tool for raising brand awareness, loyalty, and engagement with consumers. They can also help improve customer retention and can bring in additional revenue. Westin Hotels, for example, uses their online store platform to sell their luxury branded mattresses, bedding, bath products, robes, towels, outdoor furniture, and gifts. Their store’s slogan? Bring the Westin Experience Home
Here is a list of five effective, inexpensive online company store promotion ideas for those who are looking for organic ways to drive more traffic to your online store in 2021.
1.) Use Pinterest to target ready-to-buy audiences and boost your Google rank
Some marketing professional say Pinterest is the best kept secret in social media marketing. An image sharing social media service and visual search and discovery platform, Pinterest’s rapidly growing base of users are highly interested in finding new products to buy. In fact, according to Pinterest: “Content from brands doesn’t interrupt on Pinterest—it inspires.” Pinterest boards are full of images or videos aka “pins”. Each board connected to your free Pinterest Business account has a unique URL and a description which can include search engine optimized keywords. Because of the way Google recognizes popular content on Pinterest as rank-worthy content, Pinterest boards frequently appear in organic Google search results – often on page 1. Well-performing pins also drive traffic to your website which can ultimately help you land a higher page rank on Google.
Best of all, a significant percentage of Pinterest’s user base of “Pinners” are “ready to buy”:
- Pinners are highly interested in discovering new products. According to Pinterest, 80% of weekly Pinners have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest.
- In addition to being more interested in content from brands than users of other social networks, many Pinners have considerable disposable income. 45% of people in the US with a household income over $100K are on Pinterest.
- You will likely be able to reach your target audience on Pinterest. Pinners have a wide variety of interests – from home improvement to automobiles to woodworking. They discover and save (aka repin) content related to their personal interests, lifestyle hacks, home cooking, health & beauty, professional development, entertainment and more.
2.) Add social media buttons to your site to encourage social engagement
Make sure your customers can pin, tweet, and share the items they like in your store with their friends, co-workers, and family. Adding social share buttons for popular social media websites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook is a simple but crucial way to promote the products in your online company store, grow your social media presence and encourage brand engagement.
The BrandHub online company store platform allows us to add links to any social media platform that your company uses. Your Metron Branding account manager will configure how each link appears on your online company store site, according to your preferences.
3.) Hold pop-up events to raise interest in new or limited edition merchandise lines
Event marketing is a tried-and-true way to increase awareness of new products and company services. Giving away sample merchandise from your online company store at in-person events can help build interest in a recently launched store or publicize a limited-edition line of products. Pop-up events featuring branded merchandise giveaways is an effective way to achieve valuable local or national publicity while increasing brand awareness and consumer engagement at the same time. They are also a great co-branding opportunity. Taco Bell & T-Mobile and Arizona Iced Tea & Adidas are some of the corporations that have used pop-up events in the past to gain free publicity by giving away co-branded apparel and accessories.
4.) Use fast-growing social media networks like TikTok to reach younger audiences
TikTok is a rapidly growing video-sharing app that is particularly popular with Gen Z and Millennials. The seventh-largest social network platform in the world, TikTok has more active users than more established social network sites like Twitter and Reddit. The majority of TikTok users in the U.S. are under the age of 50 and nearly half of all users are in the 10-19 or 20-29 age groups. Companies seeking to market to younger demographics and gain brand recognition with Gen Z and Millennials understand the potential that TikTok offers as an emerging social media platform.
Available on Android and iOS devices, TikTok recently began to let creators sell branded merchandise directly through their app.
Kwik Trip, a growing chain of Midwestern gas stations and convenience stores, links directly to their online company store of branded merchandise via their TikTok account which has 76K+ followers. They also recently posted a short, whimsical video publicizing their summer line of promotional apparel and accessories.
5.) Use social media contests and giveaways to bring awareness to the unique products available in your online company store
Social media contests and giveaways are a cost-effective way to increase awareness of the branded merchandise available for purchase in your online company store. According to Brendan Menapace of Promo Marketing Magazine, “A good modern promotion integrates both tactile and digital aspects. If you can get people to interact with something on their smartphones or laptops, and then hold onto a product for a long time, that’s a win on multiple levels.” A common promotional tactic used by B2C companies in a variety of industries, a successful social media contest or giveaway helps increase website traffic, improve social media engagement, and build brand loyalty and recognition.
Promoting BrandHub Online Company Stores
Online company stores help businesses improve customer engagement. They can also generate revenue. Let’s get started on your company store today. Contact Us for a BrandHub Online Company Store Consultation or fill out the form below.