Vending and micro-market operators that properly manage and market their businesses have a much higher growth rate and chance of success than those that don’t. Out of all the things we have seen operators do, we have narrowed down the top 5 things that we believe all vending and micro-market operators need to have in their marketing arsenal to be successful in the long term.
1. Location Management – Get Found
How many times have you been hungry and pulled out your phone to just simply search “food near me”? Now take that same experience and ask the question, how many times do your customers do the same thing – search for “vending operators near me” or “micro-market operators near me”? Research has shown that up to 79 percent of customers do online research about a company before making a decision to purchase. Your vending or micro-market business can gain new customers by simply making sure that you are listed in the appropriate directories. Some of the major ones that you should manage are Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook among many others (in fact there are over 75 major directories).
2. Get Social – Be Where Your Customers Are
Social media is one of the most important tools that companies need to be taking advantage of in a world that revolves around technology. It was found that 91 percent of companies got a boost to their website as a direct result of their social media. Be consistent with posting to make sure that you remain in the minds of your customers and don’t get lost in the sea of advertisements. A high functioning marketing plan would be to run social media by scheduling content ahead of time to better fit your goal, interact and engage with your customers, run analytics and so much more. Be sure to also run analytics to give a clear picture of where your social media is most effective and where it may be a good idea to switch things up.
3. Reputation Management – Your Ratings & Reviews Matter
How you are perceived online can greatly impact sales and the future of your business. We highly recommend keeping track of what is being said about you on your social media platforms and the rest of the Internet. Most people rely on the reviews of others on products and brands, with 93 percent saying that a product review would impact their decision to buy that item. When you know what people are saying, you have a much better idea of the things you are doing right and the things you might want to fix. Also, monitor what your competition is doing well to see how you line up, by looking at their ratings and reviews. If they are doing better than you are in certain areas, adopt their practices in your own business.
4. Advertising – Growing Your Business Smartly
Advertisements cost money, so it is a good idea to make sure that you are getting as much as you can with that money. Analytics can help you to see what kinds of ads your particular audience best responds to. It could be that you get the best customer reaction to ads that ask them questions that they can respond to or they simply enjoy the ones with pictures included. Find what works best for you and start reaping the rewards.
5. Website – YES, You Need One…
Once you have their attention, make sure you don’t lose it as soon as they see that your site looks right out of the stone age. Hold their attention with a visually interesting site that offers everything they are looking for in conveniently located sections.
Have a clear progression of how they can go from observers to customers, which will look different depending on the services you offer. Make it very obvious where they need to go to get in contact with you to move forward with their inquiry.
Finally, always make sure to run analytics on your website to better understand how your website functions in generating leads. There is a saying in many business circles, What gets measured…grows. Analytics have been mentioned multiple times in this article for a reason! Know how you are currently doing to better know how to move forward.
We have teamed up with The SMB Hub to provide our vending and micro-market operators a simple and easy-to-use solution, starting at $49/month, to manage the above 5 marketing items for your business. The SMB Hub helps small and medium businesses like yours manage their marketing activities from a central location, and successfully grow their online presence. Learn more HERE.