Whilst most retailers understand the need to blog, what to blog about can be an enormous hurdle. Getting your content wrong could be disastrous and could turn away your potential customers. Getting it right, however, could push your brand out to a wider audience, gaining you a new audience and reinforcing your brand and customer loyalty. So what should a retailer be blogging about?
Don’t be afraid to share your story on your blog and be honest about sharing both your successes and your failures with your customers. Let your audience know where you came from, why you love what you do and the lessons that you have learned along the way. To be successful in any business you have to be passionate about what you do and you should share this passion in your blog. Whilst retail appears to be moving more and more towards e-commerce, people still like to do business with people. Customers are more likely to buy from a retailer that they feel they know and can trust and sharing who you are will help to build that relationship. Fine jewellery designer Wendy Brandes is a great example of this. Whilst her blog is linked to her website it is much more about who she is as a woman and her passion for jewellery and design than it is about the products she sells.
A constant stream of blogs which do nothing but sell your products, will not only bore your customers but also potentially alienate them. Do you really want to be the bore at the party who does nothing but talk about themselves and how great you are? That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t blog about your products but how you do it is key. Instead of telling your audience how much they are and how to buy, tell them where they are from, how they are made, why you chose them and what makes them different or special. Use images to show how they look or work in real life. Announce new products and tease your audience with exclusive reveals and coming soon but don’t just tell them that they should buy. Make your customers want a product by showing them how desirable it is so that they choose to buy.
When you create blogs that help your audience you don’t just position yourself as an expert but also give them a reason to keep coming back to you. “How to……” is one of the most popular searches so think about the questions your customers ask you about your products and create a blog to answer them. If you are a fashion retailer create blogs on how to wear the latest trends that concentrate on your target audience. If you sell gifts, create gift guides for special dates throughout the year i.e. Christmas, Mothers Day, wedding gifts and so on that help your customers easily solve their buying dilemmas. Net-a-porter has created their blog with a magazine feel to it. The format appeals to their audience but also covers various different topics such as holidays, behind the scenes, trends and general fashion and not just the items they can buy.
Whilst you obviously wouldn’t want to share blogs from the competition, regularly sharing blogs from others, or content curation should be part of your blogging strategy (always ensure that content taken from another blog is credited back). The key to success is relevancy. A children’s clothes boutique, for example, could share blogs from parenting bloggers as their audiences are highly likely to be similar. In return for sharing their blog, the blogger may be willing to share the boutique’s blogs to their network, increasing reach and potentially introducing new customers. A great example of content curation is Etsy. The Etsy blog relies on curating many different blogs on different subjects from their list of sellers. Whilst Etsy may have a bigger resource pool to share from the principle is the same – sharing relevant blogs from others can help you build your own audience and customer base.
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