Is Throwing Away Profits by Not Using Digital Marketing Worth it to You?
Let’s begin with a true story and how I figured out the facts about the digital marketer definition, and how digital marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization have made the difference in keeping my profits vs. throwing them away.
The Start of My Dream Did Not Include a Digital Marketing Strategy
January 2016 marks a significant milestone in my life, when I realized I knew nothing about marketing, advertising on a budget, or reeling in customers. I opened the front doors of my first pawn shop, Sam’s Locker (now Idaho Pawn and Gold) and I was proud.
I thought I knew it all; build a cool store front, give customer service, and have a desired product. Oh, little did I know until my bank account was dwindling, and my enthusiasm was bruised-I was wrong.
I jotted down ideas, talked to friends, and other shop owners. I didn’t have thousands of dollars floating around to get the word out that there was a new show in town. I did my research and knew there were free digital tools I could use to get more foot traffic.
My journey to employ my limited digital marketing skills began.
I knew about social media marketing, and how marketing efforts could make a difference in my bottom-line, but I didn’t have extra money to pour into marketing. So I began a journey and can say I am satisfied and seeing incredible results.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free web tool. It helps local businesses get higher visibility for relevant local searches. Business owners can control and improve visibility.
I was sold. It was free, and the tutorials looked easy enough. I jumped in with both feet and started using Google My Business, started getting reviews and posting content to rank on Google Maps.
Patrons of a business can place a Google Review for the business they shopped at and for the person that helped them. Then Google uses an algorithm, and the ratings appear on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.
Future consumers look at the reviews to determine if a business is a quality business and worth frequenting.
Seven years later, it has resulted in over 1000 reviews at the original location of Sam’s Locker. As the reviews rolled in, so did foot traffic. A new customer would come into the shop, and while checking out, the team would ask, “How did you hear about us?” The reply was consistently, “I googled for a pawn shop.”
I quickly understood that using Google My Business and getting reviews is one of the most powerful digital marketing tasks you can do. And it is free!
A Digital Marketing Strategy
As your first step to digital marketing, establish a plan to get reviews on Google and other platforms.
Second, set a goal to get 100+ reviews by asking for them.
Third, train your team to talk to customers and ask for a review before they leave. Remember that by providing them a link to make the review, it is easy for them to do so.
Remember, each review butters your bread. Without them, you are throwing away thousands of dollars to competitors in your area.
The goal of Google
Google has a key goal. The goal is to get customers the answers to the questions they have, and Google wants to give searchers the best answer. If their question is about a similar product or service you provide through your business, then you benefit if Google sees your shop as the answer to the searcher’s question.
A simple example: If a searcher puts into their search bar, “Where is a pawn shop near me?” and you have several hundred reviews and content on your website that gives the best answer to the question the searcher asked, your business will rank in the top three results. This means you may get the searcher to stop into your store and convert to a paying customer.
You have to take time to set up Google My Business, then an avenue to get reviews, and finally add paid ads on Google.
Let’s do an experiment.
Search for “Gold Buyers Near Me.” Notice the ads at the top, these are paid ads. If searchers find your name and see your great reviews, they will quickly convert into a visiting customer to your store, called a lead.
Where did you plan on the results page?
Google Ads, Paid Ads
Before using paid ads, take a critical look at the number of reviews you have. Make sure you have over one hundred reviews. The more five star reviews, the better.
The world-wide web creates competitors everywhere. National buyers and platforms are running ads, thus taking your local market. But why let them? By engaging in digital marketing and running ads, you will not only compete with them, but also build on keeping a local customer, local.
Google Ads are ads that you pay for. Ads are a product used to promote a business, help sell products or services, and increase traffic to your business’ website. Google Ads is a way to create and change ads at anytime, and on any budget.
Getting the right people interested in your product, services, or brand is key to the success of a small business or pawn shop. Targeting specific audiences helps connect you with potential customers. It decreases the effort and costs associated with reaching out to customers who have no interest in what you have to offer as a business owner.
Running paid ads is a good digital marketing strategy.
When you use Google Ads, you are using a cost effective tool to promote your business. It works for all sizes of businesses and can reach potential customers worldwide. Using Google Ads as part of your successful digital marketing strategy is also flexible, because you can start, stop, adjust the cost per click and pause the ads whenever you want.
After I employed Google My Business, I stacked up a bunch of 5-star reviews, and started running Google ads. My foot traffic increased.
Google ads can also use video ads.
There are different types of video ads. Linear video ads are shown before, during, and after video content. They are like a commercial.
Non-linear video ads run concurrently with video content, so the ad is seen while viewing the video content.
Companion ads include text, images, and rich media; these ads don’t interrupt the video experience.
Customers want to connect to a business. I added both video ads and social media marketing as part of my next marketing efforts.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing uses social media apps to get the word out about your business. Social media platforms create an avenue for you to connect with potential customers.
Through social media marketing, I could make connections, build relationships, share expertise, increase visibility, drive traffic to my website, and provide immediate solutions.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and some newer platforms like TikTok create an avenue to create engaging content. An engaged searcher is a potential consumer or lead.
Social Media Changes Quickly!
In 2017, US adults who engaged and used social media numbered about 213.19 million users. Today, there are about 302.25 million social media, according to Statista. They estimate there will be 323.07 million social media network users by 2026.
The world wide web has opened up communication across countries, and social networking has expanded its reach to make connections. Networking helps businesses recruit employees, find people with unique skills, and boost sales across the boundaries of the world. There is no doubt that social media marketing captures local consumers and tells them about your store.
With the advancement of social networking reach, advertisers have found that social media is a tool to reach a bigger audience than ever before. Social media advertising now has both a worldwide and local audience. So why not bring these leads in?
Let’s Understand Potential Customers and How They Spend Their Time Online
Today, Americans spend an average of 2 hours 27 minutes each day on social media. Tic Tok is the fastest growing social media platform. Social media users want to engage with businesses . They want to have their questions answered and be able to have a conversation with the team to understand what the business has to offer.
When it comes to the social platforms consumers use, YouTube is top: 73 percent of adults spend their screen time on the video-sharing site.
Social networking giant Facebook ranks second, with 68 percent of consumers spending time on the platform. Other sites included in survey data include Instagram (35 percent), Pinterest (29 percent), Snapchat (27 percent), and LinkedIn (25 percent). The last place belongs to Twitter, with 24 percent of consumers spending time on the site, according to mdg advertising. Since the article was written in 2018, Tic Tok has moved to the top list, competing with Facebook and Instagram.
There is no denying social media has a vast reach. The various social media networks can be used to drive traffic to your website.
Social media advertising can be completed manually, and this is the most cost-effective way to build brand awareness in your target audience. There are no ad management fees or agency fees, and you can develop your skills and learn as you build advertising campaigns.
By manually running an ad campaign, you can test out what works, and it doesn’t cost you.
Traditional marketing tools included fliers, mailers, newsletters, signs, and commercials. These tools still work, but are not as effective in attracting a larger consumer base. Digital marketing is a relatively new practice. It incorporates some principles of traditional marketing to approach consumers and understand their needs and behaviors. Sometimes you can combined traditional marketing techniques and digital marketing efforts for a mixed approach.
Learning the different social media platforms and what works for your business will take time. Unfortunately, business owners may not have the time to do their advertising, and it takes time and effort to get social media ads to a place of success.
No Social Media Advertising Budget – Some Time = Learn As You Go
If you have a limited budget and don’t have the funds to hire a marketing expert, learning and managing your social media advertising might be the best option. There are fewer overheads, it is cheap. Time may be expensive for you as a business owner when you learn about digital channels, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, influencer marketing, mobile marketing, social media channels, content marketing, digital marketing tactics, video marketing, digital technologies, PPC campaigns, how to increase brand awareness, and technical SEO.
If it all sounds overwhelming, take a breath, one step at a time.
No Time, Find an Automated Platform and Hire an Expert
If you don’t have time and a limited marketing budget, using an automated platform may be the answer. Once you learn the automated software, it will take less time.
You might find that your business will only meet its business goals by highering a marketing management service. These experts know what they are doing and how the vast field of social media advertising works. They understand the ends and outs of marketing automation tools that can increase your visibility and get you more customers.
The chances you will get your desired results are higher simply because it is their job. You would pay for the service, and the goals would be that advertising would turn into sales and long-term customers. It is an investment that pays off.
When looking at who to hire, do your research to spend money on advertising results. The advertising analytics will show how many users turn into website conversions and paying customers. This information will help you determine if you get the best bang for your buck.
Automated Marketing Platforms
An Automated Software Platform Investment
Owning and managing a business is time-consuming, and understanding how to leverage your time and talent is vital to ensure your business is profitable. Believe me, I know. Over the past seven years, I have become an expert and continue to grow my skills. In fact, I started an automated marketing company to assist other pawn brokers, so they can use digital marketing tactics and online marketing tactics to gather and pull in their target customers.
Selecting and utilizing an automated software platform will help you automate your marketing and sales engagements so you can generate leads, focus on your lead generation strategy, follow up with prospective customers, close more deals, and accurately measure marketing success.
Today, several automated marketing platforms are available for businesses to purchase and use to increase lead generation.
When selecting the right automated system for your business, it is essential to consider these seven things:
First user interface design
How user-friendly, simple, or overwhelming is the platform’s user interface? User interface design or user interface engineering is used to design user interfaces for various machines, software, and mobile devices. These tools can be easy, and they can be difficult. How is the design, and does it maximize usability? Is the platform one that speaks to your customers and your team?
Features and Integrations
With so many platforms to choose from, make sure you are shopping for one that maximizes its usability, has customer support, learning resources, user-base reviews, set-up, easy on boarding, and features and native integrations that suit your needs. Don’t settle!
Will the Platform Fit Your Skills?
If you need a platform that automates marketing campaigns and interacts with social media platforms, ask the questions to ensure the platform can do these tasks easily. If you or your team spend hours trying to figure out how to post for sale items in your eCommerce store, you aren’t spending time with customers building relationships.
Suppose you have customers come into your store, and you want to follow up regularly with them. In that case, you want to ensure that the platform you choose has quality lead generation tools, is capable of completing email marketing campaigns, tools to promote funnels and opt-in campaigns, text messaging, and learning tools that will help you use the platform to its fullest capability.
Let’s Talk Pawn Shop Platforms
There are several platforms available for pawn shops to consider, and there are pros and cons for all of them.
After I opened the first pawn shop, tackled digital marketing cost and efforts, I opened two more stores. In the meantime I decided after searching for my own business needs that there wasn’t a pawn shop friendly automated platform I was satisfied with, so I decide to start Pawn Leads. I am the co-owner of Pawn Leads.
Why, because “point of sale and marketing platforms lack often lack technical advisors and implementors needed to automate things with a focus on customizability.” Pawn Leads brings state-of-the-art software to the Pawn Industry by having a development team and the resources to bring integrations and customizability needed to generate improved quality leads to each pawnshop.
This decreases the worry that you are throwing away profits by not using digital marketing.
I know that by offering a platform designed and used by a pawnshop owner, you will be assured that the Pawn Leads platform is designed to fit your rhythm and operational process, and Pawn Leads is an excellent choice.
I guarantee that as a Pawn Leads customer, you will have quality direct engagement with me as the owner or an expert team member to discuss your prospective leads, understand your business leads, how you will benefit from the platform as a paying customer, and how you can be assured that the buying process for the platform is quick and easy.
Focused primarily on Pawn Shops in the USA, Pawn Leads offers our Pawn Leads CRM system (2-way texting, reviews, email marketing, blog post writing and SEO services, landing pages, etc.), website builds, progressive mobile websites that add to your current site, web hosting, and custom development as needed/required. We also offer Google Ads and dedicated marketing support (flyer creating, holiday marketing, etc.) to enhance your marketing efforts.
Understanding that traffic to your website is essential to attract potential customers, Between me and my team we will start with reviewing your website with you and providing consultation about how Pawn Leads can work best for your company.
Pawn Leads is the most affordable rate in the industry at $97 Monthly! We want to assist pawnshops by web hosting, Site Speed Enhancements, and Quick Website Launches.
You will understand your specific lead scoring through monthly individual marketing meetings with your Pawn Leads representative if you are on dedicated services. Lead scoring is a method to rank customer prospects against a scale representing each lead’s perceived value to your pawnshop. This, along with monthly reports and analytics, will give you a proper understanding of how you are performing regarding Google ads, Facebook ads, blog posts, and press release ranking. These tools designed with your pawnshop in mind, will help plan for future activity to generate leads and grow your business.
Pawn Leads CRM
Pawn Leads is a Customer Communication System that provides a complete marketing solution for pawnbrokers and small businesses. By using a customized automated conversation through two-way texting, email, and webchat, potential customers can engage and convert to paying long-term customers.
Pawn Leads provides user-friendly, integrated marketing solutions through social media platforms like Google and Facebook Ads. Understanding how ad formats will bring unique traffic, Pawn Leads will help encourage people to engage in your website through dynamic ads that reach a larger audience than your business before.
Organic posts and stories can be an excellent way to boost traffic to your business website. Social media advertising can be linked to a landing page on your website or a product page, leading to quick and easy engagement, giving you the maximum advantage of your social media advertising. Pawn Leads will work with you as a business owner to identify your business goals and marketing strategies. This way, you can pinpoint exactly who you want to reach to maximize how the Pawn Leads CRM can help, so you get the best bang for your buck.
Pawn Leads Will Review Your Website
When Pawn Leads reviews your webpage with you, we will discuss building a landing page or two. A landing page is a follow-up and is the next step toward becoming a paying customer. A landing page may include a form to gather customer information for future campaigns, and it may offer a discount, a call to action button, or an “opt-in” deal in return for providing contact info. Once the information is obtained, the data is stored in the customer relationship management (CRM) database for future use to build long-term customers.
When you have a compelling message to get out, Pawn Leads will provide the tools to send an email marketing campaign to your leads. Email campaigns can be a valuable tool to generate web traffic and help you achieve those goals.
Video Ads and Lead Magnets
Short videos posted on your business Facebook page, along with your company name, and a compelling lead magnet like a form or button, do wonders to improve conversions. Pawn Leads will work with you to develop fliers, text message campaigns for holidays and special events, and email campaigns to generate paying customers. At the end of each month, social media advertising analytics and performance indicators will be reviewed to ensure that your social media advertising aligns with your identified business goals. Social media posts work and we want to stay on top of the analytics to ensure that digital platforms reach potential consumers.
There are several social media advertising platforms available to businesses. Understanding how an advertising medium works is essential to expanding how your product, brand, and service are introduced to users. It is vital to understand how the platform uses a call to action button to hook a customer or encourage people to visit your business. Pawn Leads are experts, and this is our job. We know how to optimize each digital marketing tactic to bring the best results.
Pawn Leads Follows Best Practices When Building Social Ads
As co-owner, I have worked with my partner Lex Case to create a business model that follows best practices when working with each company to build social ads.
Identify the Potentials
First, we work with you, the business owner, to identify your target audience with all its unique characteristics.
Is Pawn Leads Right For You?
Second, we work with you, the business owner, to ensure that the Pawn Leads software is the best platform for you. Then, we help you identify which social media platforms will give you the best results. We understand that businesses leverage digital channels and have their preferences.
We will help you build connections with current and prospective customers one post or ad at a time.
Pawn Leads knows that customers want digital conveniences. To keep the profits in your company, it is important to adapt and use digital marketing. Pawn Leads also understands that you are busy as a business owner with many competing demands. So convenience is also important when considering how to improve social media marketing and digital marketing strategies.
Providing a phone or text quote instantly, and web chat, is a must if you want to keep profits. As technology advances, and digital customer interface becomes the new norm, multi channels to message will be the ticket to success. Pawn Leads can automate these tasks.
Think about it, there are a 1000 ways for people to get cash for their items. If someone down the road is providing the easiest path for someone to get a quote, and you are not, then you may be throwing away thousands of dollars. People will travel the path of least resistance.
There are plenty of systems to connect all messaging traffic (email, text, web quotes, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, utilizing niche lists, text blasts, and others). I recommend investing in an automated system that helps save you time. Pawn Leads is here for you. Closing one quote a month will pay for the cost of the system.