Marketing Monday is a weekly-ish feature about growing your business through (you guessed it) marketing.
Are you reading this article because you went to write a blog post about your business, lost your motivation, and started aimlessly clicking around on the internet?
If so, I feel your pain. In fact, I stared at no less than thirty-four unrelated-to-work websites in the course of writing this post. I now know what alligators do at night (same thing they do during the day, but in the dark), the right way to clean my house (hire a housekeeper and avoid children or pets), and what cake recipe I should try to make my next dinner party sparkle (I prefer to just dump craft glitter in the batter but apparently that’s “a bad idea” and “toxic to humans”). But unfortunately, my blog post was still not done once I finished up wasting my time.
“But why should I even bother with a blog? I run a store, isn’t that enough work to do?!” you may be lamenting, while still clicking through a quiz to find out what kind of modern animal you are (I took that one too, I’m a koala on a juice cleanse). The answer to that very valid question is: because an entrepreneur’s work is never done, and because blogging has a lot more benefits to your business than you might think.
Also, according to the quiz you’re a hummingbird who needs a spa weekend.
First and foremost, blogging about your business raises your all-important SEO profile. In an industry that increasingly takes place almost entirely online, SEO is vital for keeping your business afloat. It’s how your new customers can find you, and how you can find new customers. And in a world where content is still SEO gold, there’s no easier and faster way to generate good content than through a regularly updated blog.
A blog can also help you connect with all of those new (and current, and old) customers in a way that is hard to replicate in person. Specifically, you can ask questions of your customers in a blog post, and they can comment in a way that is (hopefully) thoughtful and well-reasoned in the replies. Your reach is also greatly extended in blog postings, too; you may only have a chance to talk to a handful of shoppers a day, but your blog is available to anyone who’s interested in your store, 24 hours a day and on weekends, bank holidays and on company time when you’re hiding from your boss under the desk and surfing the web. …theoretically.
Blogging creates a ton of content for social media sites, as well. You can post your own content to your sites, and your customers can share and comment on it as well. The beautiful thing about social media is that anything that goes up on it can be spread across the internet like the roots of a tree, or some kind of profit-generating virus.
But how can blogging about your store help your business evolve? Well, besides everything I just mentioned, you can see what’s happening behind the scenes in a way that you can’t get from typical customer feedback such as surveys or sodium pentothol. You already know that your website analytics show you where your customers are spending their time and clicks on your site, but you can also see what blog posts are creating the most buzz. Maybe you wrote about a new product line you’re thinking about carrying, and you’re getting tons of clicks on that post. It’s a good indication that your market is interested in buyin’ what you might be sellin’.
So what should I blog about?
Your blog should be about all things that relate to your brand and your store. If you have some new merchandise, take a few pictures and put together a write-up about it. Do you have great clients? You can interview them and post it online. Your employees are wonderful, and they could use some online accolades as well. Maybe you had something funny and/or tragic (the best stories have both) happen in your store. Share it! As long as you’re posting regularly and being sunny and upbeat about your business, you can’t do much wrong here.
So what does “posting regularly” mean? It’s good to have at least one post a month, but weekly or more is always better. People and search engines both love new content, and the more you post, the more attention you’ll get. And if that’s too much work for you to fit into your extremely busy schedule, don’t forget that you’re under no obligation to write all the posts yourself. You can outsource to your employees, or even hire a freelancer to cover those bi-weekly blogs.
Just make sure they stay off the internet.
PayGo is a solution provider for independent retailers based in Rochester, Minnesota. Our primary focus is on point of sale / retail management software. We also offer a Merchant Account integration, a WooCommerce integration, Digital Marketing Services, and more.