Many brick-and-mortar retailers have invested in developing websites, social media pages, content, and blogs to establish an online presence. Today, shoppers use websites to research products and services online and learn more about a business. The importance of these online assets is relatively straightforward, and consistently blogging throughout the year builds on those successes. Blogging is an incredibly potent marketing tool for businesses of all sizes and industries - if you know how to use it.
Offering Insight into What You Do and What You Know
Blogs provide businesses the opportunity to explain their products or services and demonstrate expertise comprehensively. While you can list technical specs and pictures on your website, blogs more effectively demonstrate your service's value while informing customers about your industry.
You can use your blog to discuss how to complete specific tasks. A hardware store or home improvement company may make content explaining how to use particular tools around your home. One blog post could explain how to choose the proper screwdriver for a project or use a combination of tools to extract a screw with a damaged head. Another might focus on how to change the blades on your utility knife or to use a level effectively.
Publishing blog posts create a compelling case for why a consumer should trust you. Blogs are a platform to demonstrate to prospective customers that your company is knowledgeable about its industry and that any questions they have, you can answer. Building credibility with prospective customers makes them more likely to seek out your brand and stay top-of-mind when they have a relevant problem.
You're also not limited in how much you can publish using your blogs. While there are best practices as far as blog content length, you can publish an almost unlimited number of times and create multiple posts about different aspects of your services over time. You can publish updates about new product offerings from different angles, which helps establish your brand's authority on your industry's trends and developments.
It’s also crucial to blog throughout the year, and not just during your main season. Customers research all year, and you must provide them resources consistently in anticipation of them doing so. A new homeowner may start researching lawn care companies in January, and they’ll find information from companies blogging at that time. Posting your own blogs all year increases the odds they’ll find you.
Building Your Brand's Personality
Blogs also allow you to showcase your brand's personality. Blogs allow you to shape your voice alongside conveying your expertise. Developing a style guide and adhering to it over time helps you maintain consistency to shape your presence and tone when reaching out to customers, especially if it reflects your target customer. If your target persona likes quirky humor, you can create content in that voice. Or you can have staff members write blogs using their voices to showcase the people behind your brand. Using your blog to show your personality creates a very favorable impression of your brand, which can help make the difference between a consumer choosing you or your competition.
Connecting with customers is a huge benefit for companies, and blogs allow a direct channel. It is a platform to speak directly to customers and share your wisdom and expertise. You can help them by providing critical information about solving their problems while letting them know your brand better in the process. Your customers are people first, and they want to work with companies where they can sense the human behind the brand.
Improving Your Search Engine Ranking Results
Publishing content that showcases your products and services, industry knowledge, and brand personality helps convert your prospects, and it helps prospective customers find you. Blogging is a critical component of a well-designed search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Implementing this plan positions your website to appear in search engine results when someone looks online for the products you sell.
You can improve your search engine results when you incorporate both internal links and the keywords that local prospective customers search for into your blog content. Writing valuable content that third parties link back to on their websites and blogs increases your credibility amongst search engine algorithms. Having other reputable websites link to your content increases your search engine rankings.
When local customers search online to research the services you offer, you want to be the first business that appears. Most consumers only look through the results that appear on the first page, and many of those consumers stop after the first two or three results. Having a top search engine ranking position (SERP) dramatically increases your chances of being found by consumers who are ready to buy. Integrating blogging into your SEO strategy is key to showing up in searches.
Developing Customer Relationships
Blogging itself can be an excellent way to nurture leads and increase conversions, and it can also foster longstanding customer relationships. When you create valuable content, you strengthen your customer's positive brand association. If they share that content helps you generate leads. And when you engage with them directly on your blog platform, you keep them connected and engaged, indirectly priming them for their next purchase.
Blogs also give purpose to customer outreach and offer points for engagement. Sharing blogs on social media helps you reach your followers, gives them valuable information, and something they can share with others to increase your scope. Using email marketing to distribute blogs works similarly, but lets you reach out to your curated list of customers. Your email list allows you to reach a more dedicated audience since you have built that list yourself and have your followers, whereas social media offers less control. Both channels present great opportunities for getting your name out and maintaining relationships with your existing customers.
It often costs a lot to acquire a new customer. But with regular blog posts that your customers find useful, you can retain them for a lot less. Enabling comments on your blog allows consumers to dialog directly with you and creates opportunities for them to engage your brand. By engaging with your blog readers, you show you care about their feedback and opinions, which strengthens engagement with your brand and fosters greater loyalty. Implementing or responding to the feedback from customer comments makes customers feel heard and helps you identify and address potential pain points before they become an issue.
In addition to aiding customer outreach, you can promote other tools to engage your customers. Adding calls-to-action alongside your blog can present more pathways for customers to interact with you. For example, a home improvement retailer might use their blog to promote a contest for consumers to share photos of DIY projects they've completed, or a store might post a special promotion on its blog offering a prize to the first 50 paying customers on a given day. These opportunities can significantly increase your customers' lifetime value or help you earn new customers.
Building Your Base and Brand Loyalty Through Blogging
When you maintain a business blog and share compelling content your customers find valuable, you establish a positive narrative about your brand. You're communicating to the public who you are, what you do, what you know, where you are, and why consumers should choose you over the competition. Working with a media partner can help you implement this strategy and stand out quickly, without the effort of learning how to accomplish it yourself.