EACH YEAR DURING late spring or early summer, millions of young people graduate from high school or college, starting a new chapter in life. It’s a time of celebration and one of life’s most precious memories. Gifts are given by family and friends to not only help mark the special occasion, but to make sure it’s always remembered. Unique and personalized gifts are treasured and jewelry can be customized to the individual no matter what their style.
Spending on graduation gifts has only grown over time, with the average age of the purchaser in the 40 to 55 year age bracket for a receiver who is between 17 to 23 years of age. For jewelry store owners, parents of graduates are the key demographic to target, but there are also gifts being bought by siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and more! In fact, anyone related to someone who is graduating can become your customer. Not to mention there are also family friends who may also buy a gift.
Graduation is an ideal time for every jeweler to step-up their marketing game and grow their business. Here are three ways you can boost your online jewelry sales during the months of May and June.
1. Run paid digital advertising.
Having organic traffic flowing into your site is wonderful, but it isn’t always guaranteed. The only way to ensure that your audience you want to reach sees you is through paid advertising.
With recent reach cuts on social media and the increasing difficulty to rank within Google’s search results, jewelers continue to face strict competition from both other local jewelry stores and larger online rivals.
You’ll want to focus your efforts on the traffic channels your audience is on and engage them where they are. Running paid ads helps expose your brand to new prospects and reminds them that graduation time is coming near. One platform which has been remarkably effective is Facebook; the ads they offer are very targeted and can fit any digital marketing strategy.
No matter which type of digital advertising or channel you choose, it’s more important to get started than to wait “until the time is right”. Otherwise, it may never happen. If you run your ads too late, the momentum is lost and many graduation buyers have already purchased a gift or gone to your competition.
2. Have an email marketing plan.
Even with the dominance of social media in our lives, it’s been proven that consumers check their email just as often, if not more than Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. Email remains one of the best ways to reach your target audience and ensure that your offer is being seen. Often on social media, your message can be easily drowned-out or ignored.
Email is a way for you to cut through the clutter and is very cost-effective.
With email you can offer promotional codes, buy-one-get-one-free offers and even personalized content customized to different segments of your audience. You can even create special in-store only offers and drive foot traffic to any location. By split-testing your list with different offers and running email drip campaigns, you can greatly increase your chances for success.
The most successful jewelers start building their email list early to ensure they’ll have a good base of potential customers when graduation time approaches.
3. Drive traffic using social media.
A recent report by Forbes showed that 25% of social media users who followed a company’s page, it had a direct affect on their purchasing decision. Social media is how people today communicate and has become the new word-of-mouth marketing.
There are many different ways you can leverage your social media strategy. User-generated content also known as UGC is content created by your audience which is re-shared on your channel. For example, a customer who snaps a selfie and is wearing your jewelry then hashtags you, is a great
piece of content to share with your audience. It also acts as an implied endorsement and becomes an organic testimonial about your jewelry store.
To fully take advantage of social media, you may also want to consider working with social media influencers who are trusted by their audience and can help promote your brand. In many cases, influencers have driven dozens of new sales over the lifetime of a partnership.
Think of what type of influencer your ideal customer would follow, then work with them on a promotion or special offer you think would appeal to who you’re trying to reach.
You can also use this same method to generate jewelry leads through giveaways or contests, running them yourself or partnering with someone with an existing audience. Think outside the box and see what you can come up with!
Remember, content is always king. It’s the most important factor to being seen on social media and is how the algorithm determines how many likes, comments and shares each post receives. It how things go viral.
Social media can be a crowded and noisy place so consider every piece of content before you post it and ask yourself: “Is this something worth sharing?” Content that doesn’t perform can hurt you tremendously while tamping down your social reach, keeping you unseen.
It’s very hard to recover a social media channel with posts which do poorly. Social media companies have limited bandwidth in their user feeds and won’t show your content or invest in your channel unless it’s worthwhile and will keep users engaged.
In conclusion, when preparing for graduation season it’s important that jewelry retailers plan their marketing campaigns well ahead of time and are sure that their website can handle the influx of new buyers. If your digital advertising is done correctly, you should expect a surge in demand within the months of May and June.
It’s critical that you not only have the technical capabilities in place to handle everything, but also the jewelry inventory in stock to fulfill orders. You’ll also want to ensure that your website is mobile friendly and that the experience is comparable to the desktop version and just as easy to use. Mobile ecommerce now makes up the majority of most site traffic so this is one area which can’t be overlooked.
Remember, today’s consumer has a wide variety of choices when purchasing a gift for a loved-one. As the trusted jeweler in your area, your goal should be to become the number one choice when someone wants to buy jewelry to remember a special occasion.
Start now with these 3 methods and when graduation season arrives you’ll be valedictorian of your class.