Creating a Marketing Strategy for Your Pop-Up Shop

Cover: Creating a Marketing Strategy for Your Pop-Up Shop

Pop-up shops are here to stay! Well, not literally, but this is a concept that has great potential to engage your prospective customers with its dynamic, unexpected, and limited-time nature, which makes it very likely to stand the test of time and prove that it's not just a passing marketing fancy. Now that we've established that these temporary retail stores generate their appeal mainly from the scarcity and urgency principles, it's important to stress that FOMO ("fear of missing out"), although a powerful driving force, can't be your only marketing strategy. Pop-up shops, which serve as part of a bigger marketing plan themselves, require a blend of traditional and digital channels to ensure their effectiveness and success.

Spread the word digitally

More than 3 billion people around the world are social media users, so it's a no-brainer that when it comes to creating buzz, no effective marketing strategy can be imagined without social media. Make sure to come up with a plan that will cover your social media activities before, during, and after the launch of your pop-up shop.

The first step is creating a unique, catchy, and relevant hashtag that you will use on all your social media channels throughout your promotion. Apart from giving a sense of consistency to all your efforts, it will also provide you with a valuable insight into how your campaign is performing. Creating a Facebook page and inviting all your friends and followers to like it is the next step, together with creating compelling copy for your Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn accounts. Snapchat, Viber, and other IMs platforms can be great tools for getting in touch with your audience directly.

It's a good idea to promote your pop-up store by hosting online contests and giveaways. Use incentives to encourage your customers to tag themselves, as well as to share the photos of your pop-up store and your products on social media. It's essential to be responsive and to address all questions and comments in a timely manner, and ask your customers about their opinions so that you can improve your future marketing efforts. Online polls are one of the best methods of collecting feedback, especially if they include a financial reward, since customers are more likely to share their opinion when they get paid to take surveys.

Use guerrilla marketing

This unorthodox approach is a perfect fit for pop-up retail. What's great about this kind of advertising is that it's very cost-effective, as it heavily relies on creativity, the wow-factor, and the use of unconventional tools, which means that you won't need a big budget in order to capture your audience's attention. Picking an unexpected place for your pop-up shop, giving away branded stickers and similar swag, setting up geo-fences, murals, graffiti, and flash-mobs are excellent and highly-conspicuous methods that will definitely get your here-today-gone-tomorrow establishment on your target audience's radar and make a memorable impression.

Connect with influencers

Unlike the previous idea, this one is expensive but worth investing in. Influencers can help you expand your reach way beyond your initial target audience, and bring you a lot of potential customers interested in what you have to offer. Bear in mind that opting for a micro-influencer from your industry can be a better deal because not only are they 6.7 times more cost-effective, but they also deliver 60% higher engagement rate than niche hotshots. Also, their following is, although smaller in size, more loyal. They're big on the latest industry buzz and hot news, so what you should do is throw pre-launch events such as parties and dinners during which you'll reveal some exclusive information and give away cool prizes. This way you can be sure that influencers will be quick to put in a good word for you with their followers. Take this whole thing to the next level by teaming up with an influencer more closely and turning them into the star of the event. This means that they will host the event, curate it, and encourage their audience to participate by sharing photos from your launch on their social media channels. Needless to say, this collaboration can be lucrative for both of you.

Don't ignore traditional media

Even though we're living in an age dominated by the internet, old school media technologies such as magazines, radio, and television are far from being obsolete, and it's important to incorporate them in your marketing strategy. Get in touch with journalists and reporters from local media, and invite them to a press preview during which you'll present them your pop-up shop in detail. Don't forget to compose a well-written press release that will also help spread the word about your business. It should contain a strong headline, all the relevant information about your pop-up shop and brand in general presented in an interesting and entertaining manner, as well as details about the launch itself and any promotions that you will be running.

A pop-up shop is an excellent tool for promoting your brand, but if you want this concept to work, you need to develop a dedicated marketing strategy for driving traffic and supporting your overall marketing efforts.

About the writer: Emma Miller is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.

Join the #retail, #inspiringretail and #SmartStore conversations on Twitter @emma_k_miller & @RetailNext, as well as at

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