The world is moving quickly, and with it comes the development of technology.
If you do not have a strong presence online and an organized digital marketing scheme, you lose out on an entirely new customer base.
Studies demonstrate that between 70-80% of consumers research a company online before they visit a small business or make a purchase with them (Blue Corona, 2019).
For a garden center, most business owners have seen the same clientele in for the last decade. But what about reaching out to expand your client base? To replace clients that have gone elsewhere or have lost interest in the hobby?
If you’re just getting started with a digital marketing plan, it can all seem overwhelming. If this is how you feel, then look into investing in your business with our help, Bloom, Digital Marketing for Garden Centers.
It’s best to come up with your priority list and research the most effective areas when trying to structure a plan yourself and go into it prepared. Look through these tips and focus areas to develop an individualized systematic approach.
Idea #1: Take Advantage of Google My Business
According to the statistic listed above, most people will try and check you out before even visiting the storefront of your garden center. That means that no matter how great your curb appeal is, unless someone passes by, they won’t come in without going through Google first.
Why Google specifically and not Bing or Yahoo? According to 99 Firms, Google accounted for 75.74% of all the worldwide desktop and laptop searches in August 2019.
This percentage changes monthly, but it is more than all the other search engines put together. This makes Google a priority when developing an online presence for marketing.
Google My Business is the program the search engine has developed to enable businesses to make a profile and become recognizable.
They have made it very easy for a legitimate company to get listed. Going to Google My Business page on clicking “Get on Google” starts the process. Then, enter your business details, verify your business, and confirm it. It will walk you through the steps.
Doing this allows you to show up when someone searches “greenhouses near me” if you’re in the vicinity.
Idea #2: Optimize Your Website Design
Once you have your business listed on Google, it is important to attach a website link to the profile. Then a potential customer to your garden center has a way to deep dive into their search and satisfy themselves with your products and services before heading over.
First, step back and take a look at the aesthetic of the site. The website should be as beautiful as the greenhouse itself. Think of it as a virtual curb appeal.
If someone walked by your storefront and all they saw were plastic wrappers and pallets sitting outside, would they feel tempted to come in? Probably not. The same idea goes for your website. The homepage should be well done and filled with color, anything that you think represents your business.
Another part of optimization is making it mobile friendly since people are often doing these local searches from a mobile device and not a desktop.
Idea #3: Make Important Information Accessible
Speaking of the homepage, make sure to include all the most important and applicable information here. You need it to be convenient. While some people will be interested enough to click through many pages, others only want to take a glance to find what they need.
This means including contact information and your location and perhaps having a link to your inventory right at the top. Think about things that people ask about the most when they come in and if it would be easy to include it here.
Idea #4: Develop a Useful Blog
Another aspect of your website could be developing a useful blog. This takes more time and is not always high on the to-do list, but it could be worth looking into once the major aspects are completed.
One of the more significant pros to creating a blog for the greenhouse is establishing yourself online as a resource. Some people who are interested in gardening and plants feel a lack of confidence in their skills. Make it known that you are not only there to sell but for advice, workshops, and other skill-building exercises in the plant world.
The blog can also give you a chance to feature new plants, employees, seminars, and more.
Idea #5: Get on Social Media
Getting on social media is one of those tasks that need to be high on your priority list in your digital marketing scheme. There are currently about 3.2 billion social media users globally, and each month, 1.65 billion of these are active (Fundera, 2019).
If that doesn’t convince you, we don’t know what will. Simply put, it’s a huge opportunity lost. Whether you use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or a mix, anything you are actively using to promote your brand will help.
If you want to know more of the practical steps, read through this short guide for developing social media.
Idea #6: Offer Promotions
You do not always have to expect that people will visit your greenhouse only because it has plants. Try to pull them in by offering promotions. It is a marketing scheme that works well since everyone loves a good bargain.
It’s easiest to grow aware of these by posting them on your social media or putting up a flyer on your website’s homepage. If your client base doesn’t know about it, how are they supposed to engage with it?
Idea #7: Put on a Gardening Competition
A competition that your garden center hosts can look like a wide variety of different ideas. For example, you can host a contest at your center and advertise it online and through your social media channels.
Other ideas would be doing a drawing. Say to visitors as they leave the store that anyone who follows them on social media for the next week gets entered into a drawing for a free type of plant. Growing your online audience is essential for increased interaction between your client base and your business.
Idea #8: Encourage Email Subscriptions
Getting people’s email address allows you to reach out and make contact every once and a while instead of hoping they keep up with your social media channels.
Starting on your path to digital marketing can seem like jumping into a black hole of endless possibilities. However, taking the time to sit down and develop a strategy gives you the chance to create an easier, step-by-step approach.
If it all feels like it’s too much, that is where we come in at Bloom.
We are ready to help boost your business and watch it flourish whenever you are. Contact us today to get a jumpstart on your garden center’s digital marketing plan.
Amanda Williams is a freelance writer that specializes in topics on gardening and online marketing. As a graduate with an honors degree in Horticulture and experience working in greenhouses, she understands the marketing challenges within the plant production industry. She has a background in content marketing, which she uses to help small businesses and enterprises enhance their advertising schemes. Find her work at clearvoice.com/cv/AmandaWilliams3.