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How to promote a pop-up shop in 5 steps

Savvy businesses understand that running a pop-up shop is a great way to connect with customers, but the success of a pop-up comes down to getting people’s attention.

That’s why knowing how to promote a pop-up store – where a business or brand makes a splash by “popping up” in a space or shop for a set amount of days, weeks or months – is vital.

pop up shop on footpath

A pop-up shop is a great way to dip your toe into a market. Picture: Unsplash

There are lots of ways to promote a pop-up, some are free and others cost very little. Here’s how to let as many people as possible know about your shop…

1. Use free listing sites

Alicia Beachley, marketing specialist and CEO of April5 Agency, recommends using free event listing websites like Eventbrite, Eventbirdie and Facebook Events to get the word out about a pop-up shop.

She says Facebook Events is a great tool to promote an upcoming event because it targets people’s interests and suggests events to those living in a specific geographical area.

2. Tap into existing marketing

If the pop-up store is in a shopping centre or part of a local council initiative, join existing marketing efforts and make the most of them, Beachley says.

“They’ll usually have their own marketing activities, so get in contact and ask what they can offer. Make sure you do this early, when you are negotiating your space, so you get more leverage that way,” she says.

3. Get social

Next, harness the power of social media.

“Social media is very powerful and cost-effective. Most platforms use hashtags and tagging of locations, so make sure you’re using these in all your communications, so people who are interested in the topic or around that location can see it,” Beachley says.

Start new accounts if required, or use existing channels, to promote the pop-up store.

“If you’re willing to put a few dollars behind it, you can also ‘boost’ posts, so even more people can see them.”

Social media icons on black iPad

Social media will help you reach your desired audience. Picture: Unsplash

4. Don’t forget ‘old-fashioned’ marketing

Beachley says there is still a place for traditional marketing methods, like flyers and signage, in promoting a pop-up shop.

“If it’s in a shopping centre or similar, posters and signage can be a great option to let existing visitors know what level and location you are on. If it’s a market or street-level pop-up, leaflets and mail drops can be useful, especially ones with a discount code or exclusive offer,” she says.

Be creative with the design of any material and ask local cafes, medical centres and general stores that have a lot of traffic if leaflets can be left near their point-of-sale or in waiting areas.

Also, look into using mainstream media to advertise.

“Mainstream media can be costly, but it can certainly be useful and offer amazing results if planned strategically,” Beachley says.

5. Learn from the best

Look at successful pop-ups and emulate them.

Beachley’s April5 Agency recently did a series of pop-ups for H&R Block during tax time to capitalise on a peak time of consumer interest.

“We think this is great because it shows that pop-up stores aren’t just limited to product-based businesses.”

pop up store

When it comes to setting up your own pop-up store – learn from what other brands do. Picture: Unsplash

She says another great case study is the Magnum “Pleasure Store”, where consumers can build their own ice creams.

“It’s been so popular that it’s become an annual event.”

These success stories show a pop-up store can be a great way to get all sorts of brands front and centre, without the cost of a retail lease. It’s not just about selling.

“We find it’s a great opportunity to test new concepts or products, support a wider marketing campaign, reach a new demographic or new geographical location.”

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