Marketing is how businesses let customers know that they exist. If no one knows about your business, then they can’t shop. If they don’t shop, then your business doesn’t make money.
If your business doesn’t make money, then it’s not a business at all.
So if you have an online boutique (or if you’re thinking about starting an online boutique), you need to know how important marketing is. Because you can’t get customers without marketing.
So there are 5 ways you should consider marketing your online boutique. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what they are, why they matter and share some resources to help make marketing simpler.
Now these are not in any particular order. Different online boutique marketing strategy will work best for different businesses. But having a mix of all of these will give your business the foundation it needs for years of success in the future.
Social Media Marketing for Online Boutiques
Organic reach is not what it used to be. But social media is still as important as ever for customers to discover new brands.
Whether they watch a reel on Instagram, save a post on Pinterest, or watch a styling video on YouTube, customers are always on social media. With access to mobile phones at an all time high, and over 4 billion users on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram combined, practically half the world is active on some social media platform.
So your ideal buyer is definitely online!
You just have to show up where they are and create attractive content that turns them into fans, followers and eventually customers. Social media is a great way to share your personality and create a ‘feel’ for your online boutique.
You want to make sure you’re showing up consistently and curating an inviting feed. Think of it like a display window for a physical store. What’s going to entice someone to want to learn more about what you offer? Share that!
Content Marketing for Online Boutiques
Content marketing is a way to turn what customers are looking for into a bridge back to your online boutique.
Simply put, content marketing is anything that you create or curate that gets the attention of your target customer and leads them back to what you have to offer. It can take various forms too, from a strategic blog post to searchable content on YouTube and Pinterest.
That can mean a round up of the best cozy sweaters for fall or a video of the top vacation destinations for summer.
But as long as you find a way to embed your products into captivating content (and distribute that content on the channels your customer cares about) you can turn a reader—or watcher— into a buyer.
A great example is the Tory Burch blog, which shares everything from recipes, music playlists and interviews to behind the scenes looks from new collections.
Influencer Marketing for Online Boutiques
When you’re trying to grow your audience, you don’t always have to do it on your own. In fact, finding the right partner with an engaged audience can be even better.
That’s exactly what influencer marketing is.
When you work with an influencer as part of your online boutique marketing strategy, you’re not only able to create amazing content but you can share your latest collections, exclusive promotions and turn those ‘new eyes’ into customers for your boutique.
Now it’s not always easy choosing the right influencer, especially in a world where they can pay for followers, likes and comments.
But if massive companies like Amazon, Target, P&G and McDonald’s (not to mention some of your favorite boutiques and competitors) dedicate entire departments to influencer marketing as part of their online boutique marketing strategy, it’s safe to say you should be doing it too.
Want to learn how to find, vet and work with the right influencers to grow your online boutique? Click here for more.
Paid Advertising for Online Boutiques
Now if you’re serious about growing your online boutique, you need to be using ads. That’s the only way you’ll get your boutique in front of a large enough audience.
As we mentioned before, organic reach isn’t so straight forward. It’s not just about having the right hashtags. Now you have to think about algorithms or what new feature the platform is rewarding at the time.
But every online boutique needs consistent traffic (aka people visiting your website). And how do you get consistent traffic? By going to the traffic store!
That’s exactly what paid advertising let’s you do. Whether you’re showing up for key search terms with Google, Bing or Pinterest or using Facebook and Instagram to get in front of new and existing customers, you should be advertising.
Paid ads are not only for big businesses. The internet has made it more affordable than ever so you’re not paying thousands for billboards, TV or radio ads like in the past. So it’s important that (1) you have a consistent marketing budget every month and (2) you spend that ad money where your ideal customer spends her time.
Email and SMS Marketing for Online Boutiques
Now all of your efforts in marketing should be focused on one thing: building your contact list.
Because you want an ‘owned audience’. You spend the money and effort in marketing that you can have a list of people that want to hear from you. Then you can communicate with them any time you want. And that’s where email (and now SMS) marketing comes into play.
Every transaction ends in an inbox. That’s where people go to find their receipts, get updates and (you guessed it) shop for more stuff.
Email remains the most cost effective marketing channel. And SMS is quickly following.
Emails and SMS let you be more personal with your audience. And they’re not just for selling products. You can use emails and SMS to share content, send surveys or grow your social media profiles.
If you have an online boutique and you’re not collecting emails and phone numbers, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow.
Because marketing is not just about new customers. Businesses are built on how often existing customers make repeat purchases. That’s how you know you’re doing something right when people are excited to shop again and again!
If you want a successful online boutique, then email and SMS need to be in your overall marketing mix.
Marketing is not just a nice thing to do when you have the time. It’s a non-negotiable. If you want sales for your online boutique, then you should be marketing. The goal is to get in front of new potential customers (and serve existing ones) every single day.
If you know who you’re selling to and you’re reaching them with engaging marketing, then success is inevitable.