January 27, 2015

Why You Need a Blog for your Online Store

Blogs for Online Retail Stores

Why you Need a Blog for your Online Store

Should I have a blog?

This is one of the most common questions I receive from clients, and hear in marketing forums for entrepreneurs.

The fit for service-based businesses, like a Financial Advisor, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Intuitive Medium or Consultant is natural with blogging.

This is because they base their business on their expertise, and their advice. 

So, if you fall into one of the above categories, it's a lot easier to blog about topics related to your field of advisory.

You also have a wealth of client interactions, and knowledge from your education and schooling to draw on for topics.

But, what if you sell shoes? Or handbags? Or clothing? Should you have a blog too?

My answer is absolutely. Here's why.

Blogging is good for Search Engine Optimization

I'm not an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert by any stretch of the imagination but the basics of SEO dictate that you must have relevant, and recent content.

Content includes your product descriptions, your header tags, text on pages, and of course, your blog.

Unlike product descriptions that won't always be updated, your blog will hopefully be refreshed with new content every week or so, which keeps search engines crawling your site discovering new info.

Additionally, linking your blog posts to previous posts, as well as other pages on your website, and products will help estimate in site links. Ideally, if your blog content is really good -- you'll get others linking to your content from external sites such as social media platforms, and possibly their own blog.

Just watch the 'keyword stuffing'. That is, putting too many keywords superfluously in content. 

It communicates your authority

If your brand stands for something specific, the reinforcement of that specific proposition comes through your marketing, as well as your on-site content.

For example, if you have a line of vegan leather purses. A customer might reasonably assume that you know quite a bit about vegan leather purses. And likely purses in general. Perhaps even living a vegan lifestyle. 

To reinforce this assumption, and give customers and potential customers the reassurance they need to purchase from your site, you need to re-communicate this to customers. 

What you need to communicate and reassure customers about for your brand depends on your target customer, and the stage the customer is at in the purchase lifecycle with your brand, as well as your website experience, and overall brand affinity. 

In general, new brands will need to reassure their customers about something.

Figure out that 'something', and leverage your blog as part of the method to do so. Doing this will improve your eCommerce conversion rates, and strengthen your brand. 

Blogging is an integral part of your content marketing strategy 

If you are a smaller brand, on an even smaller marketing budget, content is critical.

As they say, content is king, and analytics are queen.

What are you posting on social media? Content.

What are you mentioning in your newsletter? Content.

How can you add value to your target customers' lives on your website? Content.

As you start your brand, you may not be setup to be a content generator.

If you're a solopreneur, you may be struggling to manage day to day operations, even if you're not making your product.

So, initially you will be a content curator.

You will collect and bring to your audience content that is relevant, engaging and adds value to their day.

However, eventually you want to be the content generator. You want to pivot to create that content that not only brings value to the customer, to their lives, but to the brand. Creation of content, for the most part, is free. 

Yes, free marketing. 

It does take time, it will take resources, and if you want to go next level with videos and photography, you may need to hire help but in essence, it's self-generated.

Where you host the content can be in many places but your blog is a natural fit to host the source content for much of your work in this area, and help organize it for readers, and your target customer.

It's clear that there are many benefits that will positively impact your brand, business and ultimately your revenue for your online retail store.

Don't let the fact that you are not a natural 'advisor' hold you back form being a content generator. 

There is much content that has yet to be created, and honing in on your ideal customer is key to tapping into your content genius.

Do you have a blog? Why or why not? Leave us a comment below!

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Principal Retail Consultant/Founder