7 Reasons to Blog for Your Retail Business

Have you thought about starting a blog for your business, but doubted that the investment in time would be worth the return in customers or sales?

Do you wonder what you could possibly have to say that anyone in the world might want to hear?

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Blogging is all to often consigned to the “too hard basket”. After all, you’ve invested in a website, created a Facebook page, dabbled in Twitter and Pinterest – so what value can starting a blog possibly add?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. Businesses with blogs receive 55% more visitors and 97% more inbound links than their non-blogging competitors*. In addition to generating more traffic and sales, blogging is the glue that ties together your social media marketing, and can do some pretty wonderful things for your business.

And yes, while the internet may, at times, appear to be bursting at the seams with Tweets, posts and status updates with very little to actually say, quality always rises above the rest.  The very fact that you were passionate enough about something to start your own business, and found customers who wanted to buy what you were selling, means that you have something interesting to say, and, more importantly, an audience ready to hear it.

Here are our top 7 reasons to blog for your business.

(*Source: HubSpot)

1. Optimize SEO 

If you have a business website or ecommerce shop, more than likely you’ve spent a bit of time on your SEO. You know what your keywords are, you know how competitive they are, and you know you want to rank well for them.

Mapping your blog content to your keywords and linking accordingly can have a very positive effect on your page ranking. Plus, it means you already have a lot of material to work with. Your knowledge about your company and products makes great blog content. Just be sure to avoid keyword stuffing. It will harm your SEO more than help – not to mention the negative effect it will have on your readership.

(source seomoz.org)

2. Build trust online

Consumer trust is incredibly important in business – particularly when it comes to ecommerce. There are many aspects to building trust online. An easy to navigate site and simple check out process are key. These days, however, transparency is becoming more and more important to consumers. People are savvy and traditional barriers are being broken down. Customers expect you to be open, honest and present. A blog is a great tool for you to show yourself as a person and an expert.

Tash from Holland Road Yarn signs every post just like that – by Tash. Her posts range from how she organizes her time as a small business owner with her very own personal life, to her latest sock-making aspirations. Via her blog, Tash is as present in her ecommerce store as she is in her brick & mortar shop. Customers from distant cities get to know and trust her immediately.

3. Generate buzz

Buzz is a big part of marketing. Look at how much big and small businesses alike invest in getting people talking on social media and sending out press releases. Buzz is also a form of trust building. Lots of buzz means your product is very popular, which implies good quality and desirability. Use your blog to keep the buzz rolling and show the rest of us how much the world loves you.

Whimsical jewellery label Verameat has caught the attention of media and celebrity alike. Their press blog boasts images of Zach Galifianakis and Chloe Kardashian sporting Verameat designs and snaps of editorial and fashion features. With very few words and a small time investment, Verameat makes a strong case for the label’s desirability.

4. Build your brand

We don’t need to tell you how important it is to have a strong, clear brand. What we can tell you is how great a blog is for adding credence to that brand.

Take fashion boutique Superette, for instance. Superette’s brand isn’t about fashion – it’s about lifestyle. Of course you want to look great when you’re sipping homemade iced coffees on the beach. Naturally you want the best deal to look great on the weekend. The Superette blog is all about making their brand accessible.

5. Cultivate community

Where some brands promote a lifestyle, others make it personal and actively create community. The Bread and Butter Letter live and breath vintage items, crafts and everything people make with their hands. More than anything they want to share that love with their community. Which is why their blog is the focus of their website.

Online customers stop by to check out their latest in one-of-a-kind clothing, take a moment to learn about gingerbread houses and are invited to the next Nana Night (a sponsored evening of camaraderie, crafting and conversation).

6. Create a craving

If you are a cafe or a bakery you don’t need to look far for compelling blog content. Start up a tumblr feed and populate it with beautiful snapshots of your mouthwatering creations. Consider it bait, and look forward to capturing people’s appetites hook, line and sinker.

Crave Cupcakes has taken this to another level. Not only do they blog images of their goodies, but they’ve incorporated it into their homepage so the first thing browsers see is an almost daily stream of eatable marvels.

7. Inspire & motivate

Interior design and decor specialist, Father Rabbit, has not one but three blogs. One is the official blog of Father Rabbit (the brand’s venerable and discerning long-eared patriarch), one provides recipes for any occasion and the last is all about achievable interior design.

Father Rabbit’s three-tiered strategy speaks very cleverly to their audience. First the blog inspires their customers with, say, a beautiful table arrangement for a small dinner party. Then they provide everything one needs to achieve it.

Find out how Vend is helping brick & mortar retailers all over the world build successful businesses in 2013 and beyond.

Do you blog for your business? We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories. Email tara@vendhq.com ^Tara

About Tara Benedict

A former retailer (and unabashed nerd) who daydreamed about integrated POS software, Tara now delightedly recruits, promotes, and enables Vend's wonderful channel of add-ons and partners. An ardent sharer of Vend news and events, connect with Tara on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ and never miss an opportunity to meet up with the affable Vend team.