Pawn shops have been around for what seems like forever. Well, technically, the practice of pawning has been around widely adopted in many parts of the world, from ancient Greece to medieval China and medieval Europe.
Sometimes people get in a financial pinch and need money fast with the help of “pawning” their goods in exchange for money in a low interest loan type arrangement. Pawn shops are also a place to get fantastic deals on goods people couldn’t afford to buy back which are then put up for sale in their store.
The challenge for pawn shops in today’s world is a big challenge since historical marketing techniques such as newspaper ads, radio, tv, etc, have fallen in terms of circulation and viewership to attract new customers to their stores.
In this article, we’ll cover the top ways to promote your pawn shop to the masses across the US and within your local market(s).
1) Website Design
Your online presence and the perception of your brand is often driven by your website. Having a clean and easy to navigate website is a fantastic way to not only promote your brand, but it’s also a great way to showcase products for sale as well as offers to potential pawn clients such as “we pay top dollar for gold”, “we buy jewelry”, “we repair jewelry”, “lowest priced firearms around”, etc. You get the point here.
If you already have a website, great! If not, it’s best to go with an intuitive Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress (WP). If e-commerce and POS integration are necessary for your store, WordPress offers a solution for that called WooCommerce. As for different themes in WP, there are thousands available, but we prefer the Avada theme framework for site design, regardless of the vertical focus (Psst… Avada will work GREAT for your pawn shop).
2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If SEO is a foreign term to you, it’s simply a way to manipulate your website’s coding, content, and linking structure to focus on specific keyword phrases to climb up to the top of the search engines for relevant terms such as “firearms for sale Minneola”, “pawn shop Minneola, Florida”, as an example.
SEO is one of the strongest sources of inbound traffic to your site and is a top endeavor of pawn shop owners around the world. Why? It’s simple, really. They know that by “optimizing” their website for relevant keywords and phrases, they will shoot up to the top of search results and get in front of people that are proactively searching for their services. You can look at it as “reverse direct marketing” because that’s essentially what it is.
3) Google My Business (Local SEO)
The Google My Business (GMB) name may not be familiar to you, but if you’ve ever used Google you’ve been exposed to GMB listings:
Google My Business, which is often referred to as Google Maps and Google Local, are a pawn shop owners best friend when their GMB profiles are properly optimized for local search. After all, people are regularly going to search engines such as Google and typing in all types of relevant terms such as “pawn shop near me”, “firearms sales near me”, “gold for sale near me”. It’s not uncommon to see GMB listings showing up for general terms such as “pawn shop(s)”.
Google My Business optimization is no easy task, so make sure you optimize your profile with rich information such as your name, address, phone number, hours of operation, company description, and regular updates with pictures, videos and micro blogs to keep the profile updated with fresh content. There will also be a need to build local “citations” for the profile in order for it to start working its way up to the prized “3-Pack” (see image above) as it’s called in our industry.
4) Google Ads (Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC))
Google ads are those pesky listings you see at the top and bottom of search results that look like this:
As you may have figured out with the phrase “pay-per-click”, advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their ad and goes to their site. PPC can be a bit tricky though since it’s an auction-based platform that will pit you vs. your local competitors to bid on keywords and phrases. Whoever bids the highest oftentimes gets the highest placement in ad placement.
For newer pawn shop sites, we always advocate doing PPC to immediately start pulling in targeted traffic and new sales. It’s also a proven marketing avenue for established brands who have been doing PPC for years and never stopped.
5) Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are widely used by well over one billion people around the world to keep in touch with one another, share ideas, make recommendations, and engage with businesses.
For pawn shops, it’s important to first set up business profiles on Facebook and Instagram and optimize them for people searching them, especially through hashtags searches which is a common practice. Secondly, shop owners should put together a content strategy and plan out your content on a weekly basis based on new products available to purchase, new loan offers, etc.
On both platforms, it’s a best practice to pump up your profiles with rich imagery and videos (if applicable) to give people visual context of what’s going on at your store. Furthermore, it’s also a good idea to come up with a reoccurring weekly theme such as “Firearms Friday!”, as example. Each Friday is now considered “Firearms Friday!” which will resonate well with your audience who are into guns and ammo and entices them to continuously revisit your profiles to the latest deals on guns and ammo for sale. Don’t be afraid to use humor and other types of profile updates such as memes. In other words, mix it up to keep your audience coming back for more.
Facebook and Instagram also offer advertising with incredible targeting capabilities built around demographics and geographic targeting. Through advertising on these channels, you’ll hit your target audience when they least expect it which will often lead to foot traffic at your store.
6) Email Marketing
Email marketing may seem like an outdated tactic for marketing to your audience, but we can assure you it is effective in shoring up new sales and interest in your pawn shop’s services and products from previous clients who have opted in to receive updates from the store.
The key to email marketing is all about timing. Send out too many emails too frequently, and people will opt out of receiving emails in droves. Send out emails too infrequently and people may have completely forgot about your company and view it as spam.
For email marketing pawn shop services, we strongly advocate doing either monthly e-newsletters or quarterly e-newsletters to keep in regular contact with existing and previous clients.
If you own a pawn shop and are looking for assistance in marketing your company in your local market, let Online Marketing Standard be your marketing guide and provide long term residual value from your marketing dollars week and week and month after month.
Call us today for a free consultation at 407-604-0990 and let us take your pawn shop marketing to new heights!