In the days of digital marketing, there is a surplus of information to learn and apply to your business. There are literally 1000s of books on marketing, growing your business, being successful, etc.
That doesn't even include the vast amount of information that is posted online... I’ve found that a lot of people read these good books and have trouble implementing any of the ideas into their business. There are various reasons someone may not implement these practices into their business, including:
- Difficult to understand
- Feeling like it will take too much time
- Thinking that the business is operating fine without it
- Never finished reading/learning
In reality, the entire retail industry has seen a drastic shift to the digital market. Having an online presence is the best way to connect with your ideal customer and develop a relationship of touchpoints before they have made a buying decision.
Because of that, we have put together this short list of things that you can do to help grow your pawn shop. Continue reading to learn about the whats, whys, and hows of digital marketing in the pawn industry.
1. Post Giveaways on Big Local Facebook Groups
Joining Facebook groups is an excellent way to quickly ramp up your ROI. When you join a Facebook group—you know you are advertising to a group of people who are ALREADY interested in that type of product. Appealing to people with buying intent is the perfect way to get more eyes on your products and move inventory.
Additionally, offering giveaways in these groups is a great way to get noticed and cultivate engagement with your target consumer. It is as simple as:
- Offering a free item
- Request a comment on the post to enter into the giveaway
- Include a deadline for the contestant entrances
- Collect leads and retarget everyone who has shown interest in your post.
Keep in mind that your prizes do not HAVE to be inventory items. We have seen success by offering pizza gift certificates or T-Shirts. It will mostly depend on the category of Facebook group you are trying to target. The example below was specifically targeting people who were interested in rings.
By making it a game/contest, we were able to increase the reach of your brand on Facebook and see incredible results for people interested in rings. Now that you know who is interested in that type of product, you can easily offer them the next item that is similar to their interest.
This method works best with local engagement. It encourages brand engagement while showcasing your normal offerings. For example:
- Over 7800 people saw this specific ad
- Over 1000 people engaged with the post in some way
- 272 people reacted, commented, or shared the post, which means their friends also saw the post.
By leveraging these types of targeted Facebook groups—you can take advantage of cheap advertising and build rapport within the community. By staying local, you have a better chance of increasing positive word-of-mouth and improve your shops' reputation. Find out more about Facebook marketing by reading this four-part explanation!
2. Post Quality Photos of Your Pawn Inventory and Pawn Shop
When people first find your business online, what are they seeing? Photos are the first thing that catches the eye of a consumer. They use the image to evaluate their purchase decision and expect it to look EXACTLY like the photo. Posting old photos can cause the consumer to want to return or cancel their purchase. A good practice is to frequently add fresh photos of your shop and products. Luckily, when you utilize the Bravo Pawn Platform, you can upload photos with the click of a button!
Another reason great photography is good for your business is that Google loves it! You are telling Google that you have the most relevant product for the searches and will increase the visibility of that item. At this point, you have won over the customer with updated details and imagery of their desired item—but you are ALSO convincing Google to showcase your item to relevant buyers.
As you can see, Google asks you to post more photos on their “Google My Business” site. Google supplies the perfect summary of your business and allows you to post photos and videos so the consumer can get used to your business before making the decision to leave their house.
You also might notice that on the 20th over 1200 people viewed the photos posted on this Google My Business page. Another good practice is to create a Yelp account and add photos to your business page. These images will rank high on images search results and improve traffic to your pawn shop. Try to add a batch and post new photos on a weekly basis.
3. Post on Your Pawn Shop's “Google My Business” Profile
As we previously mentioned, your Google My Business page is the first thing anyone will see when looking for your pawn shop. It serves as a quick directory of your services, website, phone number, location, etc. When you have a "well-kept" Google My Business page, Google will understand the types of customers and their searching tendencies. Unfortunately, your posts will expire every week-or-so... BUT a frequent posting schedule will show that you are active and tell Google that you have updated information for their users.
Here is an example of a Google My Business post:
This is another good way to get local exposure for the services or products you’re offering. Keep your posts engaging and feature things like:
- Informative updates
- Special events
Google My Business is a free tool that has incredible potential for brand/business exposure.
4. Create Content on Your Pawn Shop's Website
We’re pawnbrokers, not writers, right? Well, if you can talk, you can create content. When people surf Google, they are usually asking a question and want the easiest, fastest, and most correct answer. They love to read articles, watch short videos, or read informative images that will quickly answer their question.
The easiest way to get started is to jot down a handful of topic ideas and show your knowledge on the topic. This may be things as simple as explaining the process for evaluating jewelry or showing the process of pawning items. This is your chance to get creative! Keep in mind—You don't need to go overboard. Keep your thoughts concise and to the point. Eventually, your ideal buyer will have seen numerous pieces of content and allow you to become "top-of-mind" when they do make a decision to purchase.
Back to the jewelry example, try a few of these options and figure out which one works best for you:
- Write an article about different precious metals used in jewelry
- Record a short video explaining how easy it is to buy/sell jewelry at a pawn shop
- Create images with text that have random facts about pawn shop with a piece of jewelry as the background
- Write a shortlist of the pros and cons of using a pawn shop for buying/selling jewelry
- Do a video that explains loans in your state
- Write an article of Top 10s
In the screenshot below, you can see that we were examining guns and wrote a short article that was interesting to the reader. By writing this article, we were able to see the number of readers that were interested in guns and decide if we should create another piece of content about guns or move onto another topic.
We get over 140 websites a month from just ONE of the articles we wrote on firearms.
Why should you write articles though? The short answer is: Google loves it!
Google recognizes that you are producing relevant content and will show your information in the search results. The better the content you produce, the more Google wants to show your business. While Google is a robot, it is programmed to think like a human and provide results before we can think of it. Google takes in every piece of information possible and spits out results to the ones who will be the most satisfied.
If they see articles about jewelry, they will know that you probably sell jewelry, and will show you up when someone searches for “used jewelry” or “gold buyer near me.”
You can see over the last 12 months, we have been growing the online presence of this pawn shop. The results have been outstanding and only took minimal effort. With an aggressive strategy, you will see incredible growth. Again, at Bravo Pawn Systems, we have an entire staff team ready to help you incorporate these strategies and integrate them with your POS and inventory.
5. Leverage Your Customer Reviews
Collecting reviews for your shop can be a sure-fire way to excite new customers. A good review can go a LONG way when it comes to making a purchasing decision. Amazon was able to harness the review process and increase sales of good sellers and reduce listings that were clearly bad. The same works with Google. When you get a review—your shop is immediately rated and consumers will use that information to base their decision.
Additionally, bad reviews can be harmful to your rating. Don't let that scare you away from leveraging these reviews. Instead, you should take them as a "suggestion box" and make efforts to fix things that cause customers to have a negative experience. You can also respond to your reviews by asking "how can we do better?" or ask them to contact you so you can rectify the situation. Either way, you want to stay on-top of your reviews and use them to increase customer engagement.
You can set up a link to review you through your “Google My Business” profile. Here is an example of that link:
You can (and should) print out a review card or social post that uses that link. For mobile phone users, try printing cards with a QR Code that redirects them to your review and place it near your register. This will encourage them to leave you a review—and if you are feeling a good connection with a particular customer—don't be afraid to ask them to leave a review of their experience.
Remembering to leave a review is the hardest part for customers—but if they have a card, they’re more likely to do it. If you make it a part of store policy, you’ll start rolling those 5-star reviews in! Just remember to give the card to the happy customers!
Increase Your Pawn Shop's Online Presence
If you use these five tips for your pawn shop—you will see amazing results! These tips are low hanging fruit that can all be knocked out within a day and only require minimal maintenance. Don't forget that you can accomplish most of these things after business hours!
You can do it!
Show your creative side and consumers will see why you are better than your competition.
If you are concerned that you do not know how to implement these recommendations—feel free to reach out to our team or request a demo! Use the link below to contact one of our team members and find out how we can leverage digital marketing strategies to skyrocket your pawn shop business.
About the Author:
Tally Mack is a fifth-generation pawnbroker and eCommerce enthusiast. She loves traveling, being outside, and working out.
Before taking the reins as CEO, Tally served as Bravo's Vice President of Business Development, leading the company's sales and marketing organization. She's been instrumental in leading and executing many of the company's strategic shifts, including the acquisition of CompuPawn and the recent launch of UsedGuns.com.
Tally earned her Doctorate of Law (J.D.) from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies. She also completed the Key Executives Program from Harvard Business School in 2013.
Tally is a pawnshop lover and eCommerce enthusiast—dedicated to the success of both her employees and customers!