Writing a blog for your retail business might seem like an unnecessary waste of time, but you couldn’t be more wrong; a well written blog can actually be a valuable marketing asset and bring in droves of potential customers, while also building upon already established customer relationships. They key is to ensure that your content is relevant and great quality – the kind of content that your customers (and potential customers) will want to read and share.
But before we get to the ins and outs of how to craft content, why do you need a blog?
It improves SEO
Blogging helps you rank higher in search engines like Google and Bing, which means potential customers will find your website easier. Writing blog posts means more links from your site pointing to your homepage or other landing pages, which search engines love.
Also, having regularly updated content signifies that you’re not a dormant website, that you’re constantly active and relevant – which search engines also love! So if you’re updating even just on a weekly basis, you’re helping your site climb the search engine ladder.
Links from your own site are good, but links from other sites are great, so if your content gets shared on social media, you will have more outside links pointing to you, saying “hey, this site is reliable and relevant”, which will improve your SEO. This is why it’s so important to create high quality content which people will want to read (and subsequently share).
It generates traffic
Marketing isn’t just one activity; it’s a harmonious blend of various tactics which all play their unique role within the overall strategy. You can’t just rely on telesales for example, or social media; you need a combination of different marketing techniques which support each other, and blogging definitely has its strengths in generating traffic. In addition to improving your SEO, a company blog helps build your audience, tell your story, personify your brand, and turn browsers into buyers.
It builds an audience
Apart from the obvious SEO benefits blogging has, the other major appeal is building an audience. You’re aiming to craft well-written, helpful articles which people will want to read and continue reading – you want to get your readers hooked so they’ll tune in every day/week/month or whenever to read your super informative, helpful and entertaining content. This audience is likely to talk about and share your content, and more importantly, buy into your business.
How to write content
So we’ve covered why you need a blog, now what are you supposed to write? You need to put some thought into what your content will be about, but also how you’re going to distribute it and when. Are you going to write daily posts? Weekly posts? Are you just going to share on Twitter, or on a mix of social media channels? Will you be emailing your subscribers with weekly/monthly blog updates? You need to make sure you have it’s consistent and reliable – e.g every Monday and Friday, or the last Friday of the month so your readers know when you’re going to have fresh content.
Consider your audience
Who visits your site? Who buys your products? Who do you want to buy your products? These are the kind of questions you need to ask yourself. The purpose of your blog is to help your customers, engage with them, and promote your brand, so you need to provide a healthy mixture of content which fits these purposes.
Tell your story
You’re not limited to a character count or creatively stifled by social media like Twitter and Facebook, so you can use your blog to express your personality and humanize your brand – talk about your journey, the people who work with you, any company news and progress. Talk about your beliefs and achievements, your goals and your ethos. Share pictures of the team and your offices – show that you’re not just a company, and that there are people behind the product. The key here is to connect emotionally with your readers and potential customers.
Talk about the solutions your provide
Your blog is a great platform from which you can tell the world why they should buy your products or use your services. Address problems potential customers might have and talk about how your products or services solve those problems. As mentioned before, there’s no character limit here, so you can talk passionately and in depth about your business, your products and what makes them so great.
Feature products and make suggestions
You don’t just have to talk endlessly about how great your products are – you can simply place them in your blog to show why they’re so great. Say you’re a fashion retailer, for example. You could write a post called “10 Fashion Tips to Get You Through Winter in Style” and recommend some of your products throughout the post.
Sticking with the fashion example, you could write a post on which products compliment each other e.g “5 Office Outfits For Summer”, showing which products, colours and styles work well together which is a great way to get customers to purchase more than one item while simultaneously giving them advice.
Write something helpful
Your readers need to benefit from your blog, and while showcasing your products is a great source of content which could directly help sell more in the traditional “sales” sense, writing helpful and insightful content is excellent for keeping readers tuned in and sharing your content.
If they read something on your blog that has helped them, they might share it on their Twitter account, which could reach someone else who has the same issue; that person might then read the post and discover your business through your blog. Again, the key here is to write helpful, informative and shareable content.
Feature your customers
What better way to show your products working well than to feature satisfied customers using them? Case studies, testimonials and customer stories are all great sources of content for your blog which go a long way in showing potential customers what they’re missing, while making existing customers feel appreciated – they’re also more likely to share this content on social media, which can help widen your audience.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to having a company blog, and creating content doesn’t have to be such a challenge – there really is no excuse not to start writing!
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