One of the most important elements of the pop-up store is the marketing plan. Before you start planning your pop-up store, it’s crucial to invest time, energy, and dollars in a strong marketing and communications strategy.
The spread of social media and influencers allows companies to be creative with their marketing plans and it’s one of the many reasons why pop-up stores today are so successful for brand awareness and customer engagement. In order to get customers to your space and get them shopping, you’ll need to have a strong marketing plan in place before opening. We’ve highlighted a few key points on how to market your pop-up store below.
- Build Awareness in Advance
As soon as you have secured your space for the pop-up store you should immediately begin laying out your marketing strategy. The goal is to create as much hype and anticipation around the event as possible. Social media is a great medium to use to spread the word. It’s important to have a healthy balance between sponsored posts aimed at your geographic location and organic posts/stories that give out just enough information but leave people wanting more. Paid Facebook and Instagram advertisements should be directed at your target customer. Plan what you want to post pre-pop-up shop to target the right audiences.
Generating some pre-press around the pop-up store is an important opportunity that should not be missed as well. It’s helpful to take advantage of both digital and print publications that specialize in what’s happening around town. Whether you’re in a big city or a smaller city, you can always find the ‘what’s going on this weekend’ type of features that should highlight your pop-up store.
Make a list of influencers in your niche and invite them to a pre-launch exclusive party, or the pop-up store in general. Naturally they will start posting, spreading the word, and getting their followers and community to come and visit, building up more awareness for your event.
(Tip: Don’t forget to share a few behind-the-scenes images on social media or on an event page. People love these images and it builds more excitement and anticipation!).
- Launch Time
A day before the official opening to the public, host a press/influencer day to drive awareness and enthusiasm before the official opening. Allowing content creators and tastemakers inside first to give a voice behind the pop-up store guarantees the word will spread fast. This is the time for you to create an event inside of the pop-up store. One option is to provide some snacks, beverages, and show them an exclusive product or collaboration.
An example is the recent YSL Beauty Pop-Up store, where influencers led the masterclasses. This was a strategy to get people inside to see the influencers and see them in action applying all of the latest YSL Beauty products. The space also held fragrance workshops and had makeup counters that allowed for interaction and experimentation with classic YSL Beauty products.
A completely different approach that suited the audio specialist brand, Sennheiser, was to team up with the entertainment platform TIDAL to launch a pop-up space with a musical performance by top musicians. The performers used Sennheiser microphones and wireless systems to capture the performance.
The launch event and approach that each brand chooses should be true to the brand’s values and speak to the audience. A launch event or small gathering of influencers and media before the official opening provides more press and exposure to get people in the door. It also allows for more social media stories and posts, instantly extending the reach of your social media marketing.
- Ride the Momentum
Depending on the length of the pop-up store, it’s important to keep the momentum going. If it’s only a few days, try to pack in as much hype and excitement around that time. If it’s longer, like the Sennheiser X TIDAL pop-up, you can continue to add events throughout the duration. Sennheiser had a total of four performances during the pop-up event to keep people interested and attract new customers.
A major part of the marketing strategy should focus on press, influencers, and events. The pop-up store is the perfect place for interactive events, workshops, and launches. One way to get higher engagement is to offer an incentive like ‘visit us and receive 20% off your next online order.’ It’s important to hold on to that customer, get their info in your email list, and continue the connection with them post event.
Engage with key influencers and media in your industry to create buzz and noise around your pop-up event. Create anticipation around what’s being revealed or what’s happening inside the pop-up store before it even happens, and once it does, leave customers with something to write about, post about and remember!