Gift Shop Marketing

For several years I have been  a speaker/trainer at the North American Celtic Trade Association‘s annual Celtic Marketplace near Chicago for buyers and vendors. I reviewed dozens of member websites and made recommendations on everything from design to messaging and marketing.

I’ve written articles for their newsletter, Seanchai, on website success, and most recently an article on gift shop marketing to help  their members attract new business throughout the year.  I was limited on the number of words and images, so I have upgraded the content here. The ideas expressed should benefit all retailers, not just Irish gift shops.

Local Marketing:

How Buyers Find You Even If They Don’t Know Who You Are or That You Have What They Want

For many gift shops and other retailers, the biggest shopping days of the year are right around the corner. What is your strategy for getting more customers during the holiday shopping season?

Whether you own a website or not, here are some FREE and inexpensive ways for more buyers to find you 24/7/365.

To Be Found You Need to Be Findable

When people search for you, do they always find your phone number?
Is the right address listed?
Do all fields in your listing have information that will help people choose your business?

According to Google, more than 80% of users search for stores and local service providers online before visiting them, which means that it is important for your business to show up in “Local Search.” Your prospects will use search engines, review sites and local directories looking for recommendations.

Local Marketing for Gift Shops can include many things from optimizing a website for both the types of products you sell; such as Irish wool sweaters, kilts, communion dresses, Lalique, books or jewelry, and the communities that you serve, to getting listed in local business directories and review sites. Shoppers will look for you in multiple search engines, directories, review sites and social media.

Being listed as a ‘gift shop‘ might attract people who aren’t necessarily thinking of your goods, but will be amazed when they become aware of your unique quality offerings. Many directories will allow you to classify your business 3-5 ways, like ‘clothing store,’ ‘religious goods,’ ‘home furnishings‘ or even ‘book store.’  Some Celtic shops are also ‘travel agents’ and ‘tour operators.’ Make sure you categorize your business for your primary offerings.

For example, Papa John’s offers pizza for takeout or delivery but does not offer on-premises dining. It should use the category “Pizza Delivery” and additional category “Pizza Takeout” (instead of the less specific “Delivery Restaurant” or “Takeout Restaurant”).

If you have another business that you do not own located inside your gift shop, you should list that separately. An example would be a pharmacy in a grocery store. If you are a tour marketer as well as a gift shop owner, then you could include both, but in many cases, it’s better to create multiple listings, especially if both entities are different brands.

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Content Strategy

What is Content Marketing?

content strategyTo develop a content strategy begins with understanding what content marketing is. In this post, we will define content marketing and share a dozen links to more tips and resources.

Like Social Media, Content Marketing isn’t new. The way we communicate using social, including blog content, has evolved with technology. But the conversations are largely the same.

But Mark Schaefer says the trends of content consumption are changing. In his podcast, he talks about changes and testing of content marketing strategies and why Snapchat may be the most important new communication channel online. Click here for The New Psychology of Content. Continue reading

Audience Core Desires

Determining the Core Desire of your Target Audience

core desires of your target audienceFollowing up on my recent post, Writing Content for a Website, I was watching a video by Charles Kirkland this weekend on Core Desires of Audiences. The training was for targeting audiences with paid advertising, but I think it’s important to consider when writing website content for specific personas AND how much you can charge with the right positioning.

Read the classic book: Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries & Jack Trout

Charles calls it the C4 Strategy. Read on to learn how to avoid commodity products and pricing for a stronger brand and revenues.

The first example Charles used was in the ‘lose weight’ niche and he identified that as the broad category that almost everyone was targeting – of interest to many, but not a passion. On the surface level, they are saying, “I’d like to lose weight.

There are two things wrong with that…

A) Everyone is targeting it, so competition is high.

B) There may be a more powerful passion, desire or outcome with lower competition and higher perceived value that you can target.

Take it a step further and you might find your prospect saying…”I’d like to be healthier.” Most advertisers will target those top 2 core desires. Charles says that it’s usually the 4th level where you get the best return, hence the “C4 Strategy.”

The third core desire of people in the ‘lose weight’ niche are those who want to “Feel better and have more energy.It’s more specific, but maybe not a passion.

Deep down, the biggest core desire is to feel sexy. She doesn’t want to turn the lights down before her husband comes to bed. She wants to feel sexy and desirable. Losing weight, being healthier, feeling better and having more energy all matter, but most people perceive being sexier as as a much bigger core goal or desire. Continue reading