Competition in the world of retail is as fierce as ever. Customer attitudes and trends change quickly, and it is essential to the survival of your business that you stay ahead of the curve. There are lots of things you can be doing to stay competitive, ranging from visual merchandising to personalized discounts. But perhaps one thing you haven’t considered when trying to find ways to help your business grow is a blog.
If this is the case, you’re missing out on a tremendous tool to help your business.
Let’s take a look at why you need a blog.
We are all aware of just how important it is to have strong brand awareness in today’s competitive marketplace. There are lots of ways to achieve this, and they all fit together like a puzzle. But a blog is critical.
A blog is a great way for you to show yourself off and to explain what you are all about. You can post content that is relevant to your audience and develop yourself as a resource. This way when people find themselves on your website, they will be able to learn a lot more about you, leaving a stronger impression on them and raising recognition.
Having a strong brand also makes your business more valuable, something you will want to keep in mind should you decide to sell your company one day. It might not be something you’re considering right now but a business worth buying is a business worth owning, it might help you make some improvements.
A blog is a particularly valuable tool for helping you build a strong brand, something that will open the door for your business’ future growth.
For those who don’t know, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of designing your website and its content so that certain pages appear near or at the top of Google search results.
This is unbelievably valuable to your business. Say, for example, you are a store that sells clothes in Brighton. You could write a blog post optimized for the keywords “best clothing stores in Brighton.” Then, whenever someone searches for that term, your blog post will show up. And just like that, a potential customer has walked through your virtual door.
Now, this example is a bit simplified. Achieving high rankings in SEO requires you to have good content, a good number of backlinks, a low bounce rate and so on. But having a blog is a good start. It gives Google lots of pages to index, establishing you as an authority in your niche and boosting your chances of appearing towards the top of those rankings.
Generally speaking, people like to do business with real people. They don’t like the idea that they are shopping at some huge, nameless corporation that simply wants their money.
When customers make their way into your store, you can control this. By treating them well, being helpful and addressing their needs, you can give them a positive customer experience that will factor into their decision to return to do more business with you.
But when dealing with the virtual world, this is a lot harder. A blog is a great way to put a face to your company so that people feel like they are doing business with other people.
The idea is to post content that is helpful to your audience. You want them to come to you for information or help, and you want them to trust that you are providing them with valuable and useful information. But you also want them to interact with you. Encourage people to leave comments or ask discussion questions to help generate a conversation between you and your audience. You’ll know quickly if they’re engaged. Reaching out to a disengaged audience will surely produce crickets.
This is also a great opportunity to get feedback from customers. Ask them what works well and what does not, and then let them know how you plan to address these concerns. This kind of attention helps to build trust between you and your customers, and this trust builds loyalty, which helps boost new and recurring sales.
A blog is one of the easiest ways to help connect with your audience. It is run through your own site—meaning you have full editorial control—and as long as you have people to produce the content, it is a relatively straightforward process. Of course, you’ll need to nail down the strategy and have the right approach, but once you do this, you’ll see just how much value a blog can add to your retail business.
Advice & inspiration to help retailers grow…