A well-written blog is the perfect addition to any retail business, attracting traffic and creating conversation with potential customers. From large-scale retailers to brick and mortar shops, blogging has become a popular method of marketing and communicating.
When successful, a blog creates credibility and establishes retailers as experts within their field. On the other hand, a blog without a specific business function will not contribute to your bottom line. In fact, when it is not planned and executed to create value for the reader, a blog can prove a poor return on investment and even damage reputation.
Success lies in planning, captivating the desired target market’s attention and adapting to create cutting-edge content.
Here are five key considerations when blogging for retailers, working to engage customers, boost sales and increase brand awareness.
1. Know your audience
A blog will only succeed if it is designed with the target audience in mind. Keep content on brand and relevant to viewers’ interests, tracking the popularity of posts to notice trends. Tap into relevant subjects to encourage debate and interaction, while being careful to avoid controversial topics which may alienate customers.
- Design pieces suited to your target demographic
- Keep a consistent tone of voice with other channels
- Showcase your most popular products on blogs
2. Be unique
Nobody wants to read the same content again and again. Stand out from your competition by finding unique angles and creating exclusive content. A retail blog can quickly become the mouthpiece of your company, so make an impact with your words.
- Take inspiration from other blogs
- Stay true to your brand identity
- Create original angles on existing content
3. Make it relevant
Many retailers make the mistake of expecting visitors to understand the connection between their blog and products. Make content relevant to your industry, designed to increase sales and promote your products. Use clickable links between your blog and items you are selling to tempt readers to make a purchase.
- Promote products within blogs
- Make it obvious what your business does
4. Capture details
There’s a fine line between capturing details and deterring visitors. Don’t lock all content to members only, as this will quickly have an undesired effect, sending visitors to competitors.
Users will not input their contact details unless it benefits them in some way. Offer something in return for their details, for example, making a specific ebook, catalogue or offer available once details have been entered.
Some sites choose to limit the number of blogs which can be viewed by non-members each day, while others create exclusive promotions for those who input contact details.
Once details have been collected, retailers are able to promote future blog content which may be of interest to each subscriber. Popular methods of communication include email roundups of content, or messaging around specific promotions.
- Don’t make data input forms too time consuming
- Be careful not to send irrelevant content once users subscribe
5. Keep updating
The goal of a blog should be to have regularly returning readers or subscribers. There’s nothing worse than enjoying a site’s content and then realising they haven’t posted in a year, so keep content fresh and post updates often.
Keep your blog up to date, ensuring it is relevant and current to continuously grow your blog’s following.
- Create regular posting schedules
- Use feedback to make improvements
- Pin recent blogs to landing pages
By putting these simple steps into practice, blogging for retailers can become more simple than ever before. For inspiration, check out these fantastic retail blogs.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.