Retailers all over the world have been experiencing the coronavirus pandemic differently depending on their country, state, city, and industry. Many stores, regardless of their industry, were forced to shut their businesses down completely. Others received an “essential” status and were permitted to remain in operation, though with significant modifications in place such as social distancing and mandatory facemasks for both customers and employees.

If you’re a tobacco retailer, then you’ve faced a unique challenge petitioning your state governor in order to receive an “essential business” status. Not every retailer in the tobacco industry was awarded this special status. Some states regarded tobacco as an essential good, along with all nicotine products including vaping goods and nicotine replacement therapies… but not all states. There have been cases of vape stores being forced to close when in the same state tobacco stores could remain open. All this is to acknowledge that the road your business has been down over the course of the past three months has been bumpy, confusing, and for some, downright unfair.

But you’ve made it this far. A national opening is on the horizon for all industries, and that means that whether you’ve been fully locked down, or in partial or full operation, there are measures you will need to take in order to reopen, and rebuild, your business.

In this article, we are not only going to focus on the most important measure you should take—marketing—but we will also delve into the most important aspect of the most important measure, i.e. what is the most cost-effective marketing tool available today and how can it benefit your business?  

It’s 2020 and you definitely don’t need to read another blog article about why marketing is important for small businesses. It’s a given that you already agree with, and you probably also accept that digital marketing is where it’s at. But you probably don’t know the raw stats of why that is, so let’s take a look.

As of last year, the average internet user had at least 7 social media accounts. Five years ago, that same user had only 3. The growth rate of consumers signing up for the latest and greatest social media site is exponentially increasing, and users aren’t just using these sites to entertain themselves by getting into heated COVID-19 debates, thought there’s been a fair amount of that going around…

Now more than ever, consumers and customers are using social media as a direct means to communicate with businesses. 97% of US adults under 65 are on social media, and according to a recent pole, most of those users strongly prefer to use social media accounts as a means of customer care and satisfaction. This means that “sliding into a DM” has become a legitimate mode of business communication and not just a private exchange afterhours between two—ahem—curious adults.

Customers like the immediacy and accessibility of being able to get fast responses to questions about products and services whenever they send a DM to a tobacco retailer’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, among other social media sites. Yet, despite this strong preference, as many as 89% of customer messages go ignored by businesses. This is a massive missed opportunity.

If you don’t yet agree, here are more stats—57% of millennials said that on social media the ads that show up in their feeds are relevant enough to click on, according to a recent survey. 48% of Facebook users said they made their last online purchase as a direct result of a Facebook ad that appealed to them.

If you’re thinking that your tobacco retail store has been doing just fine without you pouring time, effort, and resources into revolutionizing your social media accounts…

…and if you’re really thinking that you would pour time, effort, and resources into your social media accounts, but every time you make a post it looks face-palm unprofessional, or worse, like the result of your 90 year old great grandfather holding a smartphone wrong—how does grandpa’s blurry thumb accidentally get in every photo?—then your secret’s safe with us.

But what it really sounds like is that you’ve never found the right software to easily generate amazing social media posts, as well as graphics for online ads, email newsletters, and even in-store digital signage. Getting your brand “out there” on the internet by regularly posting and advertising on social media sites while also sending out frequently scheduled email blasts to your subscribed customers doesn’t have to be a full-time, or full-team effort. In fact, with the right software, you can create one graphic and the software will resize, reconfigure, and even redesign that single graphic so that you can use its variations on just about every platform there is.

Why focus on creating a digital marketing strategy as a means to rebuild your tobacco store’s business and brand as the nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns lift? Because the statistics mentioned earlier in this article didn’t take into account the massive increase in online use that has occurred since quarantine measures were established across the country and the world. In short, all eyes are online these days. Period. And while your loyal customers may already know to come to your tobacco store, are you really sure that everyone else in your town, county, and state is also aware? They could be if you utilize professional-looking digital marketing graphics that capture your brand and unify your message both online and in your tobacco store.

If you’re convinced that digital marketing graphics used on social media and elsewhere can only help and not hurt your reopening strategy, then you’re probably wondering what specific software is out there that doesn’t require an advanced degree in graphic design to understand. Don’t worry, you won’t have to go through a six-week Photoshop course to get started, because the best software on the market today has nothing to do with Adobe, we promise!

FasTrax AdPro is the leading ad graphic design software for business owners, not trained graphic designers, and is a tool built specifically for tobacco retailers, vape stores, and cigar shops, and of course retailers who sell all three under the same roof.

AdPro takes the guess work out of creating ads for all of your marketing campaigns, both online and also in-store because the graphics you design in AdPro can be displayed on all of your in-store digital signage. AdPro’s large assortment of ready-made ad templates are completely customizable so you can feature best-selling tobacco products as well as time-sensitive deals and discounts, whether in your social media posts and ads, or on your store signs. Just choose the template that best fits your needs, change the text, photos, or background, and create your ads in no time…

…and also, create your ads for free.

Take a moment now and let that good news wash over you like a warm, cleansing bath…

Yes, you read that correctly. FasTrax understands what retailers in the tobacco industry have gone through since these lockdown orders were put into place months ago. Businesses across the board have suffered and everyone at FasTrax wants you to get back on your business feet as easily, quickly, and cost-effectively as possible, which is why we’re offering FREE AdPro for the rest of 2020.

Yes, you read that correctly! You can create gorgeous graphics to advertise your tobacco store all year until December 31, 2020 for free using FasTrax AdPro!

Create branded images for all of your print, web, email, and social media campaigns by designing and customizing rotating, animated, dynamic graphics that are easily displayed directly to your in-store digital signage as well. Our easy-to-use software is cloud-based and all digital work can be downloaded easily for fast upload onto social media and other online campaigns such as your email newsletters, website updates, and blogs. 

FasTrax AdPro Features

  • • Displays high res, engaging images, graphics, and video directly to your digital signs
  • • Choose from over 1,000 pre-designed templates build specifically for tobacco retailers
  • • Peruse an expansive photo library to build your ads from the ground up
  • • Customize your ads with layering tools and intuitive navigation like the pros
  • • Select eye-catching animation graphics to increase customer engagement and sales
  • • Design and edit your ads from anywhere using our cloud-based FTx Control Center
  • • Create branded images for print, web, email marketing, and social media campaigns

Take us up on our FREE USE OFFER from FasTrax AdPro throughout the rest of 2020 to support your reopening efforts as you transition from locked-down to liberated!

You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to create quality graphics with FasTrax AdPro, for all of your digital signage needs. Our graphic design software was engineered to deliver professional results regardless of a user’s design experience or skill level. The extremely user-friendly software features drag and drop tools, and context sensitive menus, that help you easily navigate your way through the design process.

Learn how FasTrax AdPro can benefit your reopening strategy, especially when implemented with FasTrax Digital Signage, by contacting our FasTrax team today. We’re also offering a special discounted promotion for FasTrax Digital Signage in conjunction with free AdPro, so if you really want to be back in business and better than ever, be sure to ask our team about how Digital Signage can work for you.