The number of people with an online presence continues to grow each day. The age that we’re in is becoming increasingly digital, with more and more technology being implemented every year. In order for your pawn shop to keep up with the general public and keep making sales, you must have an online presence too.
This article is here to discuss the top 10 ways that you can market your pawn shop online, from utilizing Facebook groups to asking your customers for a little boost on Yelp. We’ve got it all covered. Keep reading to find out just how much the internet can do for your pawn shop.
Here are ten things that you can utilize to grow (or start) your pawn shop’s online marketing campaign.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines are the main way that people find information and businesses that they want to shop at. Many people, when searching, won’t bother scrolling down the first page of Google - and most don’t even consider going onto the second page. This is why you want to make sure that your pawn shop ranks high in the search results, and it’s why search engine optimization is so important.
Potential customers don’t want to put in much work when it comes to finding your pawn shop, they want you to be right in front of their nose, just waiting for their business. If you utilize SEO correctly by putting a heavy focus on keywords and customers see your pawn shop immediately, there’s a high chance that they’ll look around on your website.
Your pawn shop is going to make the most money by targeting people in your local area; those are the customers that are actually going to make time to stop into your store. You can market your pawn shop online by promoting your offers to a local audience - people who don’t just see you online, but in person as well when they pass by your physical storefront.
If you up the strength of your local SEO, people who might have passed by your store before while they’re out and about might just stop in because your store came up as a search result for them. You can make sure that your pawn shop shows up in local results by maintaining your Google My Business profile with a current address.
Never underestimate the power of social media marketing. Many people of all ages spend a large chunk of their day on social media, so there’s no better place to market your pawn shop - whether that’s through Facebook ads or your own social media pages.
When you utilize social media, you're meeting your potential customers where they’re already located. So many people spend their free time on social media these days, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. If you maintain an interactive and updated page, people who are interested in your business will undoubtedly find you.
Social media is a great way to share updates about your inventory, a change in hours, or the arrival of new employees. By coming across as personable, you’re making customers feel welcome and upping your presence within your community. This way, you’ll always be top of mind when people think about pawning.
Getting involved with local Facebook groups is a great way to boost your pawn shop and get people thinking about you. Think of the ranting and raving type of Facebook groups that encourage a lot of conversation and communication within a community - those are the types of groups you should be on the lookout for. Within these groups, you can start (lighthearted) discourse, host giveaways, and get opinions from locals on your most recent merchandise.
By remaining active and responsive in such groups, people will see you as a friendly face and feel encouraged to stop in and see your store in person.
You can join Facebook groups for pawners in the area, secondhand shops, or pawn shops in your general location. With like-minded sellers and buyers alike, you’re sure to increase your audience and learn more about the customers that you already have.
Hosting giveaways in Facebook groups is as simple as:
Offering something free (whether that’s an item or an experience)
Asking people to comment under the post in order to be entered
Including a deadline for the giveaway
Collecting leads from the people who participated and targeting future marketing material (read: newsletters and offers) towards them
What you offer in this giveaway doesn’t necessarily have to be something within your inventory. It can be a free pizza, a t-shirt, or even something as luxurious as a spa day.
Google Ads (PPC)
Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising solution puts you right at the top of the search results when someone searches for ‘pawn shops near me.’ When people are searching for what you have to offer, their eyes are undoubtedly going to catch on your pawn shop first - and you have a higher chance of snagging their click.
PPC ads, as their name would suggest, mean that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. These types of ads are a great tool if you’re in the midst of updating your website and trying to get your SEO to the highest level that it can be - and you’re just not quite there yet. PPC allows you to move to the front of the line by buying your way there as you do the rest of the work behind the scenes.
By placing your pawn shop at the very top of the search results page, PPC ads put eyes on your website and bring customers into your pawn shop.
Email marketing can be as simple as sending out a newsletter once a month so your customers can stay in the loop on what’s new with your store. All you have to do to create your email list is put a sign-up sheet at your checkout counter, and the customers who want to keep in contact with you can sign right up.
Creating an email list allows you to keep customers in your database and always maintain an avenue of communication with them - and this will turn them into repeat customers - especially if you include discounts and special offers in these newsletters.
In your newsletters, you can also include photos of new items that your store has gotten and what you’re pricing these items at. You can also encourage customers to sell you their gold by advertising how much the going rate for gold is at the current moment.
All you have to do to get started with your newsletter is to create that list. And that just involves a clipboard, a paper, and a pen.
People need a reason to visit your store - and hosting an event can be a great way to get customers - new and old - through your doors. It could be a seasonal party, a blowout sale, a celebration of new inventory, or any type of event that you choose.
This has to do with online marketing because the way that you boost this event is through your social media pages. The more people that know it’s happening, the more will show up. By creating more hype around the event, excitement will grow and you’ll see a boom in your customer base.
After the event, you can also share photos to your social media and share how the festivities occurred. People who didn’t make it will be enticed enough to make sure not to miss the next event.
Social Profile Updates
A huge way to keep people engaged is to keep your social profiles updated with current information. This should include not only your address, phone number, and operating business hours, but you can catch the interest of more customers by going even deeper than that.
Keep your social profiles updated with current employees - maybe even go so far as to highlight an item a week picked by a different employee. They could write a small blurb about the item, attracting attention to it and your store in general while simultaneously allowing customers to get to know your staff on a deeper level.
You can also make announcements like new hires, or when a current employee gets married and has a baby. It can only strengthen the feeling of community fostered between your business and the people it serves.
A great way to keep your social profiles updated is to continuously and consistently post high-quality photos of items within your inventory. You’d be surprised at the attention that an HD photo of an item can attract. By keeping your audience updated with new and fresh images of what you have in stock, you’re making sure they’re always interested. This is also how they can evaluate their future purchases and make that final decision to stop into your store.
Another reason why you want to keep posting pictures is because the Google algorithm loves it. The more that the algorithm sees you updating your profiles with pictures, the higher it will rank you on search results pages.
Promote Special Offers
There are so many ways in which you can promote special offers for your pawn shop online. First of all, you can do it through your monthly (or weekly, depending on your preference) newsletters. You can place a coupon at the bottom of the newsletter, allowing a customer 10% off if they bring the newsletter in with them on their next trip to your store.
Or, you can advertise and promote special offers on your social media pages. These types of posts will usually garner plenty of interaction - likes, shares, and retweets. Everyone loves a good deal - because they love saving money. You can take this trait that many people have in common and use it to your pawn shop’s advantage.
In order to create a special offer that will actually get utilized, take a look at what your audience gravitates to the most within your store. Is it jewelry? Electronics? Vintage clothes? Depending on what your answer is, promoting offers on the most popular items is sure to get people inside your doors and interested in what you’re selling. They might come in for one thing and leave with another - which has always been the beauty of pawn shops.
This is where your customer base comes in - and they can really help you out on this one. Encouraging your customers to leave positive reviews on Yelp gives you a better overall presence online, because those reviews are what people are going to see attached to your name when they google your business.
When potential customers see that current customers highly approve of what you’ve got going on, it will only encourage them to want to stop in and see your shop for themselves.
It’s a disappointing reality that not many customers will go out of their way to leave reviews - which is why it’s always good to offer incentive. In exchange for leaving a review (positive or otherwise, seeing as you can’t buy love), you can offer a customer a special discount the next time they stop in your store.
Remember, it’s not necessarily a bad thing if a customer leaves a negative review - it just means that you now have an opportunity for improvement. In order to showcase that you understand this, try and respond to all negative reviews by asking what you could have done better, or how you could have enhanced this customer’s experience. People like to feel heard, and interaction is a great way to make sure that all of your customers get their needs addressed.
In this digital world, it’s easy for pawn shops to fall behind and get lost in the fray. But pawn shops are an age-old tradition, and the last thing anyone wants is for them to be forgotten about. In order to keep your pawn shop at the forefront of everyone’s minds, utilize these tactics and focus your marketing efforts towards the online sphere.