In earlier marketing days, blogging wasn’t taken very seriously in the business industries. Blogs were never suggested as a primary marketing communication source and were hardly involved in any SEO strategies.
Today, it is pretty obvious that the blogging industry has taken a drastic turn, increasing in huge significance when businesses realise the need to create an online presence unique from the rest. If you take a look around today, from the largest retail chains to the smallest store brands; the majority have a blog. Are these retail businesses just living up the hype?
Or is business blogging really essential for investment?
Better than us trying to convince you, we’d rather show it to you.
7 Latest Marketing Stats For Our Blog Skeptics:
- 79% of best-in-class marketers rank blogging as most effective of all marketing strategies. (Content Marketing Institute, 2016)
- Hubspot’s 2014 State of Inbound Report concluded that blogging is the number one way to increase ROI* through inbound strategies.
- Business blogging can increase the number of pages Google indexes by almost 500%. (WTC Marketing, 2016)
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. (Hubspot, 2015)
- Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. (Hubspot, 2015)
- 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information in a series of articles online versus an advertisement. (Marketing Cloud, 2014)
- 65% of daily internet users read a blog a day at least, and 46% read more than one a day. (Top Rank Online Marketing Survey, 2010)
Currently, business blogging is the easiest way you can link your brick and mortar retail store with the online world.
Going fully online for your retail business? Perfect. You should be over the moon now that blogging and retail e-commerce trends are rising together, complementarily.
But you might be wondering. If blogging is so great for business, why isn’t everyone on board?
We list you the Top 10 Reasons Retail Business Owners Fail To Blog:
- I don’t have the time and resources for it. Running a blog AND business is too demanding on me.
- I do not have the technical expertise to start or manage one.
- I don’t know what it takes for a blog to be competitive.
- It is too challenging to be consistently finding topics to engage customers AND sustain their interest.
- I’m already having difficulty getting viewership for my website. A blog? No one will read it.
- My writing skills are not exactly great.
- Even if they are, I wouldn’t have a clue what to write about.
- I’ve tried blogging. The flood of customers never arrived.
- I’ve heard of too many who failed, I’m not going to risk trying.
- My retail e-commerce already has a great web design with all my products and descriptions in display. What else would I need a blog for?
Dear retailers we hate to break it to you, but blogging is not an option for your business.
Trying to stand out from your competition is extremely hard in the retail industry when products and prices are closely similar. In this day and time, majority of shoppers research online before deciding to make their purchase. Your brand’s online presence has to be exclusive enough to stand out from the crowd. A blog is where you get a chance to do that. Through blogging, you can impress your previewing audience with a complete brand experience online. A business blog should play an integral part of any retail company’s branding process, and also a leading role in your digital marketing strategy. Successful blogging is achieved through multiple inbound strategies, structurally devised to increase sales conversions. It is far more intricate and complex than we think.
Work your way down our collated list of business blogging benefits, and you’ll see why.
How Blogging Benefits Your Retail Business:
It facilitates inbound marketing processes to increase leads and fuel higher sales conversion rates.
It attracts new customers online and offline.
It establishes your brand as an industry expert and market leader when you offer brilliant style advice and fashion insights or useful product knowledge.
It improves SEO, helping your website climb Google search rankings through the sharing of its content.
It builds and promotes your brand’s image.
It works as a medium to foster genuine customer relations, cultivate brand loyalty and unite a community of followers in the longer run. Hubspot importantly terms this “Human to Human” marketing.
It attracts teaming opportunities and encourages new business partnerships with other retail brands. (eg. through guest blogging, design collaboration or native advertising when other brands pay you to write sponsored posts) You enjoy mutual benefits and a larger audience exposure.
It attracts investors, sponsors and other big players in the industry. Your blog gives them a bird eye’s view of your company’s internal workflow and design process.
It will help you attract qualified retail staff.
It promotes in-house creativity and innovational practices.
It supports your social media initiatives and vice versa. These networking sites can have a powerful impact on your brand’s promotional campaigns when combinedly used.
It drives long term profitable results. “The effort you put in yesterday can turn into hundreds of thousands of views and leads in the future.” –Hubspot on blogging.
Now, let’s not forget that money is what we’re running a business for.
Regardless how wonderful they may sound, the benefits listed above would count for nothing if they are not achieving a profiting end goal.
Hence, we back these benefits up with business blogging ROI* reports from our industry experts:
- Blog posts that were shared on Twitter and Facebook for 149% more inbound links than those not shared on social media at all. (Retaildoc)
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI*. (Hubspot, 2015)
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Demand Metric)
- Conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs 0.5%). (Aberdeen)
*ROI is best defined as: the return of an investment divided by the cost of the investment.
Measurement is what substantiates the feasibility of our marketing efforts. Solid metrics enable us to determine our strategies working or futile with accurate facts and figures.
How do we size up our blog’s effectiveness and work out it’s profits?
Familiarize yourself with the following metrics or KPIs (key performance indicators) in order to track your website’s ROI*.
- Leads generate
- Unique page visits
- Conversion rate
- Lead to Close Ratio
- Social shares/views
- Channel-Specific Traffic
- Bounce Rate
- Customer Retention Rate
Monitor and analyze your blog posts with these metrics to evaluate what requires adjustment. Data-driven marketing will achieve triumphant results for all your specified business objectives.
“My web business is unprofiting and in crucial need of a new strategy, now where do I start! “
In today’s competitive world of marketing aggressiveness, it is inevitable that we’ll find ourselves in this plight at some point.
What can we do to be well equipped in pre-combat?
We’ll tell you. Master the skills to methodize your retail website’s ROI. Learn how to determine its effectiveness and potential revenue expertly. Optimizing and maximising the right sources, while re-strategizing to improve underperforming ones- is the success formula to a continual increase of your overall web profits, higher each time. Learn how to achieve all that with key knowledge in our e-book below. We show you the money and where it should go.
Now not forgetting those of us who long recognised the essentiality of business blogging and have been putting one out for a while, but gotten somewhat disheartened by its perpetually low stagnanting viewership;
Or even with an increase in viewership, we don’t see customers streaming in to purchase the merchandise like expected. While it seems to be working out pretty fine for the other competitor brands, we are left wondering if we’re missing something or perhaps, simply not cut out for writing.
Check all your blogging practices against these ultimate business blogging Dos and Don’ts.
Find out what you’re not doing (or doing) that’s turning your readers off. Be attuning your posts and writing till you see some results. Be patient and meticulous, you’ll get there.
Market the benefits not the features of your retail products.
Your audience wants to know what’s in it for them, not soley how great your products are.
Trigger and incite emotions from your readers in your writing.
It is scientifically proven that emotions are the biggest drive factor influencing our decision to purchase. Study persuasive psychology techniques that will positively influence your viewer’s buying action.
Establish trust in your industry.
Be persuasive, but honest.
Post and update consistently.
An active blog represents a healthy and well-maintained brand image, Google also rewards that by ranking your site higher. Irregular updating conversely portrays a negative one and is the number one reason blogs fail to attract new customers.
Ask for and respond to comments.
Comments allow readers to interact with you. Monitor and observe them (without getting offended). They can be extremely insightful feedback or vital information when improvising on your marketing strategies.
Have a blog-subscription feature. And make it easy for readers to subscribe.
This allows easy and regular access to your blog updates, agglomerating a group of loyal followers all in good time.
Have a blog personality.
Let it shine through your writing. Among tons of retail blogs, what attracts readers and sustains their interest is a unique and earnest voice that they find relatable to.
Use images. But smartly.
Search engine algorithms are getting smarter for visual searches. Know how to make your uploaded images readable to them. Cloud Vision API is the latest technology that allows Google to analyse the content of your images.
Always cite your sources and credit them.
The worst thing you can do as a business blogger, is copying insights from other web articles or blog posts and not citing them correctly. You do not want to be publicly called out.
And for the blunders you should be avoiding,
Blog all about yourself or your brand.
Customers don’t care to know, they care about themselves and what’s in it for them.
Sound like a salesman when writing your post.
If you haven’t heard, hard-selling no longer works.
Host your blog independent from your retail website.
While its better than not having a blog at all, there are much more benefits having your blog hosted on your primary domain.
Have typos and grammatical errors in your posts.
Needless for elaboration, it reflects on the overall brand image you’re trying to put out.
Be boring and lacking in conversational points.
The whole point of having a blog is to facilitate communication between you and your readers. Research well what would interest your audience, address their pain and curiosity points.
Go after your brand competitors or be posting controversial topics.
A blog is not a forum for you to let out all your personal business disgruntlements or to publicly bash your competitors.
Use misleading blog titles just to bait readers. (Click-bait titles)
Posting irrelevant or low-quality content un-matching with what your title promises, will cause your readers to lose their respect for your brand and company. Value in your content is key for trust-building.
Every venture definitely has its risks and so does blogging. To reap its golden stream of benefits, think of it as a marathon rather than a sprint.
We’re not going to lie. It takes quite an investment of time and effort for visible results in a longer haul. It will also demand a commitment to track, observe and be continually improvising on your strategies along the way.
But its fruit is sweet. When you catch it’s momentum, you’ll be in clear coordination of all your brand’s marketing and sales strategies and watch them achieve skyrocketing results. You can await profits to start raining in then.
Want to know how to successfully sell all your blog content?
Find out shortly in our next article:
The Content Marketing Strategy Your Retail Blog Needs For Better Business
Remember, before you get started on your web blog, it is essential that you access our e-book “Learn How Much You Should Invest In Your New Website” (below) to first grasp a practical overview of where your retail e-commerce stands in it’s profitablity. Only after, you’d then be able to strategize and plan out your web or blog content in the most profitable course.
Now that you’ve successfully bagged the vital info you need, you’re all set to get started on your blog posts purposefully and effectively this time!