Flowers

Top Three Ways To Expand Your Florist Business Online

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You’re ready to expand your floristry business – but opening new stores or taking on more space isn’t what you have in mind.

Luckily, growing your company doesn’t have to mean increasing the physical size your business – more often than not the secret lies in enhancing what you’re already doing and outshining your competition.

By using technology, and tapping into new marketing tricks, you can grow your business by becoming more visible to new customers and strategically nurturing the relationships you’ve already got.

Here are three ways you can take your floristry business to the next level without the need to open another outlet in a new location.

GET SAVVY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Nearly half of all people now use social media when undertaking their wedding planning, with people most likely to follow photographers, venues and – you guessed it – florists.

However, with so many platforms to choose from, it can be easy to spread yourself too thinly and become frustrated when you don’t see results.

Each social media network works best for business when you can devote more time to becoming a confident user, as a florist it makes sense to focus on the most visual platforms. While Pinterest is great for inspiring brides with your beautiful arrangements, Instagram is better for connecting with individuals at a local level.

Instagram lends itself well to ‘micro-blogging’, where you can share your stories and build authentic relationships with your potential customers over time.

You can also use hashtags on Instagram so that people who don’t follow you can still find your business

Social media isn’t a numbers game; instead, focus on making quality connections with individual people who you think are the most likely to buy your products. Base your decision on your own experience as well as what you know about any new markets that you’d like to target.

For example, you could start by seeking out people using local hashtags (try to check they weren’t just visiting the area on holiday first), or look for couples who are planning their wedding at a venue near you.

You could also look for users who are enthusiastic about the qualities that your business possesses. In the example above, Gillyflower grows British, organic flowers, so the business taps into some of the hashtags used by customers who might share the same interests.

Feel free to Like posts by potential customers and leave a comment if you have something valuable to add to the conversation – customers increasingly like to have a two-way dialogue with brands and to see the people behind the accounts, so don’t be shy.

If you get a warm response, consider adding your new lead to your paid advertising list and, with a little bit of social media stalking, create ads you think they’d find enticing across the platforms they seem to be most active on to help keep you front of mind.

 

OPTIMISE YOUR WEB PRESENCE

Search engines like Google and Yahoo! are increasingly providing more useful search results for consumers based on their search queries as well as their location.

This presents a great opportunity to appear in front of more relevant people and to grow your floristry business, and all it takes is a bit of digital prep work.

 Identify your profitable keyword

You need to discover the keywords your potential customers are using in their searches on the main search engines before you do anything else, so start by using Google’s free Keyword Planner to determine the best keywords for you to target.

Lots of people will be searching for ‘wedding flowers’, for example, but generic search terms like this will be really competitive so also check to see if people are looking for more specific things like ‘organic florist’. You can even look down to a local level, for example ‘wedding flowers Berkhamsted’.

The search volumes will be much lower, but so will the competition, meaning your floristry business will have more chance of appearing in the results pages for these search terms.

Plus, because ‘longtail’ keyword searches are more specific they often imply buying intent, meaning they’re more cost-effective to target.

 Use your keywords on your website

Every page should have a unique title and description and be written in a way that makes users want to click through to your website – so no stuffing these fields full of vague or irrelevant keywords as search engines will simply penalise you.

You can even make your images search engine-friendly by naming the image file using keywords and using ‘alt’ tags which are attached to the file when you upload images to your site and simply require a concise description of your image.

Your URLs should be as brief and descriptive as possible – doing this for new pages is simple but, if you want to go back and change old URLs, make sure you use a permanent 301 redirect from the old page to the new one so that search engines know the old URL no longer exists.

Lastly, provide your business address, opening hours, phone number, images and map for your company’s location on a page on your site:, make sure this matches all the information you use across your Google account, which brings us nicely onto the next step.

Set up your Google account

A well-optimised website paired with a complete Google account gives you a better chance of appearing in Google’s search results for your target keywords, like you can see here.

For more attractive search engine results which get higher click-through rates, set up and link your business’ Google Plus page with Google My Business, which allows you to update your company information across Google Search, Google Maps and Google Plus all in one go.

Be sure to use a consistent company name, address, location and telephone number across your Google profile and your website so that Google can easily make the link between your account and your website.

Also, fill in every field you can with as much keyword-rich detail as possible to help search engines and potential customers to understand your business and the products and services you offer.

NAIL IT WITH BLOGGING AND ONLINE PR

A huge advantage of blogging and online PR is that, so long as a website is running, content has the potential to drive customers to your website for weeks, months and even years to come with no extra effort on your part.

Creating unique, useful and interesting content for your own blog, sprinkled with your target keywords, gives your website the chance to rank for that longtail search traffic, as well as cementing you as a go-to source for information and tips among your existing customers.

Another highly effective way to reach new audiences is to supply external websites with content that would interest and benefit their readers whether through guest blogging or paying for sponsored features.

Not only that, but if you secure links back to your site from authoritative third party websites, this hugely helps your own website to rank in search engine results, which can continue to bring you organic web traffic long after it’s been published.

Ideas for consumer titles could be the latest trends in home décor and tips on how to achieve a certain look, or ways in which you can save money when planning a wedding or funeral.

Don’t forget that B2B readers are still consumers, so consider writing columns for marketing and business websites describing ways you’ve successfully marketed your floristry business or consumer trends you’ve noticed based on your sales data.

In a highly visual world where attention spans are dwindling, you could also have fun with different content formats, from articles and infographics, to galleries and videos.

People love ‘how to’ tutorials as well as human interest pieces and fresh data with case studies go down well with the national, regional and local press.

Another option to consider involves signing up to services that alert you when a journalist is looking for expert quotes for the chance to be included in the press, like florist Lorraine Wood did in the Daily Record two years ago.

Of course, creating high quality content and signing up to media services can take up a lot of time and often requires specialist knowledge so you may wish to hire a freelancer or agency to do the work for you.

Consider making use of finance for small businesses to cover this investment until you start to see the returns, keeping in mind that the results often start small and snowball over time.

Lastly, don’t forget to make your content go further by shouting about it in your social media and email marketing messages!

 

source theflorist.co.uk

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