While advertising is important for every business, not every business has enough of a budget to advertise well. While anyone can use a little extra help making their advertising dollars stretch further, it's especially true of small businesses in highly competitive markets — restaurants, spas, nail and hair salons, single location retail stores, for example. Fortunately, you do have options!
In today's post, we're going to talk about ShopOzarks.com, a source of creative financing that's different from any other “coupon site” you’ve encountered.
What Is ShopOzarks.com?
What ShopOzarks is for Consumers:
ShopOzarks is a site that offers customers gift certificates Ozark-area businesses at special discounts, usually between 15% and 40% off. Through our email newsletter, they also have access to other coupon codes and special offers. All the businesses featured are local, and certificates are available both in print and digital (email or mobile). Many people hear the ads on ShopOzarks and listen for what's available, others bookmark the page and just check back periodically to see what's available. ShopOzarks is great if you're interested in dining at a restaurant (for example) and want to see if you can save a little money. You can shop by category, location, or sign up for the ShopOzarks newsletter to get an email with new businesses with offers on the site.
What ShopOzarks is for Businesses:
For businesses featured on ShopOzarks, it's a valuable opportunity for:
Creative financing options. It gives businesses access to advertising when they might otherwise be unable to afford it by payment to us through trade (in the form of gift cards).
Encouraging new customers to try out your business who may have never shopped with you before. Customers are likely to spend more than the face value of the gift card, so you make money and gain a chance to wow a new customer!
Added marketing exposure through promotional mention in radio ads across all four Zimmer radio stations in the Ozark area as well as in the newsletter that goes out to subscribers everywhere.
How Are Businesses Chosen?
All the businesses featured on ShopOzarks.com are hand-picked by Zimmer Communications. In this way, we can ensure that those appearing on ShopOzarks are the businesses that need to be there, and are of a quality that ensures the growth and success of all the businesses listed.
When you visit ShopOzarks.com, you'll notice many of the businesses are restaurants. That's because their gift certificates sell the fastest, and tend to be a huge revenue driver on the site. However, that doesn't mean we only work exclusively with restaurateurs. Nail salons, hair salons, and massage therapists have found success by taking advantage of the creative financing this service has to offer. Customers can also find businesses like:
Mini-golf (and other types of entertainment)
Gyms and athletic services
Local apparel boutiques
What's more, businesses that want to expand their advertising from one radio station to two, or that want to increase the frequency of their advertising can take advantage of this program as well.
What Does Participating in This Program Offer?
First, it's important to understand why ShopOzarks.com is different from other coupon sites. As we mentioned, businesses are personally selected by the Zimmer Communications rep partnered with them, unlike most coupon sites that accept any business.
However, the biggest difference is that your advertising opportunities are funded in trade, meaning that businesses with a small marketing budget - or no budget at all - can get access to effective advertising. For example, you provide the payment for your campaign by offering discounted gift cards or other offers through ShopOzarks.
Additionally, the marketing efforts the trade pays for are full action campaigns. These campaigns include strong calls to action at a frequency that should offer great results quickly. Your rep will work with you to determine which station is best for your campaign based on your industry and customer base.
Why Gift Cards?
It’s worth emphasizing that ShopOzarks utilizes discounted gift cards. This is another big way that this program is different, and why it has so much more to offer your business. First, there’s the obvious... customers are buying a gift card, unlike other coupon sites, which only offer a discount on goods or services. It is a discounted gift card, yes, however, it’s roughly equivalent to the sort of discount the coupon would be offering anyway. The other obvious aspect is that being on ShopOzarks.com is, in itself, marketing. It puts your brand in a positive light while also garnering you ROI through every purchase.
Traditionally speaking, gift cards are a liability, a promise for future services, but when they go unused (i.e., expire) or are only ever partially used, they positively impact your bottom line as revenue. And keep in mind that 72% of those spending a gift card will make purchases larger than the gift card amount — about 20% or more above the gift card total, to be exact. So a single gift card purchase can actually become a much larger sale in addition to bringing in foot traffic. Furthermore, 55% of gift card spenders require more than one trip to spend their card, which brings in repeated foot traffic. As you can see, by participating in ShopOzarks, what you offer in trade for a full action campaign can actually bring you so much more than just advertising.
Now that you understand why ShopOzarks.com is different from the other coupon sites, you can begin to consider whether or not ShopOzarks is a good option for helping your business get advertising. It offers the possibility to start a radio campaign, or to expand it, and thus reach your customers more effectively.