Local gift shops and toy stores are regular fixtures on Main Street and in Downtown shopping districts and visiting one often clues you in to the community's history.
While competition from chain stores and e-commerce retailers has grown, local gift shops and toy stores are in a great position to add value and deliver unique experiences for locals and visitors alike.
This simple marketing and content plan is based on our Marketing 3-4-5™ approach and will show you how to clearly and effectively market yourself online without requiring much time or expense. In fact, many of the most important things you can do are free and take just a few minutes even if you're don't feel very tech-savvy.
Below are simple ways for you to rapidly create content that is relevant, compelling, yet requires zero creativity for your Toy Store or Gift Shop.
Content featuring products enables people to learn about what you sell and window shop from wherever they are at the same time. It creates the feeling of being there which can lead customers to want to be there in person.
If you are adding new products to your inventory, producing an "Unboxing" post could be beneficial. It's a phenomenon that has swept the internet, and it's relatively easy to put together.
They're both interesting and effective at driving foot traffic and product interest and can become a steady part of your content marketing strategy.
The key is to share the experience as well as what is unique and interesting about the product you're highlighting. Wherever possible, remember to include the basics about the product, its benefits, and something you found unique, interesting or unexpected.
A few simple questions to answer could be: What is it made of? Where is it made? How is it sourced? Is there anything surprising or notable about the product? Who is the ideal customer and what are the benefits?
Go even further with video. Record and upload a video of your next game night explaining the rules and more information and background about a specific game. Upload the video to YouTube, post it to your website, and publish it on Facebook.
As a local store, you don't just sell products you curate an experience. Why you choose the products you sell is important and should be part of your messaging and this includes any items that are hard-to-find, locally made, or those items exclusive to your store.
Like unboxings, you want to share information and pictures of specialty toys, handmade items, or unique products that set you apart from the rest. These details help people learn about you or remember the last time they visited.
Bonus points for referencing the craftsman, creator, or local source - don't forget to tag them when you share the post to social media.
Content about people featuring smiling faces is more engaging than most other types of content - it gets more engagement on social media when shared and attracts more attention when people see it on your website or email newsletter.
Include your employees to share their favorites. Is there something they've been waiting eagerly to arrive in stock? Perhaps they have a seasonal favorite or product that reminds them of their childhood?
This is a great, fun, easy way to help people connect with your staff and see products that you feature all at once.
What better way to attract customers than to celebrate how you delivered an amazing experience or helped someone find the perfect gift?
Can you think of a time someone was wowed by your store? They gushed about how they've been looking for "something like this" for someone important in their life?
Ask them if they'd mind if you tell their mini-story. If they agree, take a picture with them holding their purchase and ask them:
This can be short, sweet, and to the point as it reinforces what makes you unique and valuable.
In all cases, these events should be listed on your website.
Game nights and classes are well served with a calendar on your website featuring upcoming events (it should be sortable with the ability to access past events not just a list of activities). A simple post commemorating a recent evening of fun or a particular class reminds people of the great time they had or that they missed out on something special at your store... either case reminds people to visit you again soon.
Whether you have 2 employees or 20 recognizing them in a blog post is an easy way to reward them for a job well done while helping people get to know you and your shop.
You have a few options to recognize employees. You can recognize employees regularly as an employee of the month, you can recognize them in an ad-hoc way when customers report a great experience to you, or even celebrate new hires or work anniversaries.
Experience is important for local businesses and your store is a big part of that experience. Does your store feature old-wooden floors, area for workshops and play, unique artifacts on your walls? Share the story.
Go further and create a quick-post every time you change your store's layout, introduce a new section, or do a remodel.
The interior design of a Toy Store or Gift Shop plays a crucial role in creating an atmosphere of fun and discovery.
Let's face it, where you live matters to you - and it should. Why not highlight local causes you support and business your endorse?
This makes you look good - it's ok to make yourself look good - and it shines a light on a local organization you care about in real life.
Go further by highlighting Local Connections™ and feature local events in a community calendar, we have an app for that ;)
Don't forget that the blog lives on your website and follow our suggested approach to post and distribute content online. Grab our Content Marketing Checklist download for free below.