Ecommerce may be based on sales but it’s important to remember that even online businesses require a little customer service, and using a blog is a great way to interact with your customer base. Your product landing pages are where you put your detailed information to help persuade the buyer, but your blog is where you can connect with the buyer on a whole new level, a more personal level. Because blogs go beyond the “hard sell” you also have the opportunity to attract a fairly wide following if you know what you’re doing. Updating your blog regularly with content that your customers actually want to read is the key to get them coming back for more. Uncovering content that appeals to your customers is an art of it’s own, so before we delve into that let’s take a look at a few benefits to setting up a blog for your Ecommerce site.
Growing Your Business With Better SEO
There is no doubt that a blog can be an important tool for successfully growing your company. Daily blogging is proven to help your website appear higher in search engine results such as Yahoo and Google by increasing the number of targeted landing pages for key phrase groups as well as establishing your site as a source of fresh share-worthy content. The way that SEO works is varied and constantly evolving, but one thing that has remained consistent is that websites providing content tailored to their specific audience generate traffic regardless of the search climate. To use your blog effectively for better search engine results you’ve got to keep your updates relevant and creative. Outdated or uninspiring jumbles of words with a few related keywords could land you at the top of Google’s hit list.
Why is content generated traffic so important to an eCommerce site? That’s a good question… according to multiple sources including the State of Inbound Marketing, inbound marketing strategies such as blogging doubles the average website conversion rate. Not only that, but content driven marketing on average saves online businesses 13% in total cost per lead. Just about any successful Ecommerce store owner can confirm that conversions of a more organic nature far outweigh those compared to PPC.
Giving Your Business A Face
Humanizing your business is one of the best things you could ever do and a blog is the perfect outlet for this. One thing that I find myself saying to clients time and again is that you have to give people something to relate to. You have to build a relationship — a bond much stronger than a simple product or service offering. Building rapport with your customers as well as other industry leaders can help you make a name for yourself, gain loyalty from users of your products, and build a lasting relationship so that people want to come back. Give your readers a way to contact you so that they will realize that your business (YOU) are really interested in what they think. You can also include customer reviews and ratings to provide a less biased front to new users of your site.
Finding New Fans
Social networking isn’t just popular – it’s how your content is amplified. With a blog you can easily include links for readers to share interesting updates with friends and family members through their social feeds with a simple click of the button. This is another reason why it’s so important to be creative and to post high quality content every single time, because while it might be easier to just fill space in an effort to get ahead, it won’t be nearly as effective, and could have a negative impact on your fan base and readers. Posting videos and images are a good way to accomplish an interesting and creative update that users are more likely to stop and look at. In fact multiple Facebook studies have shown that 93% of the most engaging posts are photo posts. Just to clarify how important good photos are, Shopify found that Instagram provides brands with 25% more engagement over any other social platform. Similar to the way that your writing has high quality standards, any pictures or videos that you share on your blog should be equally relevant and of the best quality. Sure, there are probably plenty of videos you could find around the web that tell your clients what you want to say, but if they aren’t well-made and well-executed they could lead to some poor feedback.
Creating Content That Relates To Your Customer Base
This is the real trick isn’t it? If you follow Hubspot, then you’ve probably seen statistics indicating companies that create 15 or more blog posts per month typically receive 5X the traffic than those that don’t. When you read statements like that the first thing you think is, “Perfect! I’ll just do that and quickly increase my traffic.” Then you attempt it and quickly realize that creating great blog posts every month isn’t all that easy. You might find that after the first month you’re tapped for ideas and not really sure what to write about. There’s a lot of work that goes into running a successful blog, but it’s not impossible even for the small start up. There are a couple points that I always go back to when developing content plans for a blog.
Know Your Audience
You have to know their interests, motivations, social activities… think like your customer not someone trying to sell a product. Why would you be interested in a given product? How would this product help you in your daily life?
Don’t Promote Products, Create Content That Speaks to The Lifestyle Your Brand Promotes.
An example of a smaller brand that does this extremely well is Sigma III Survival School. This website uses it’s blog consistently for very useful tips focused on their audience lifestyle. This site is rich with written content, video tutorials, expert reviews and events. Not only is the content updated frequently, but every post advocates the customer lifestyle which makes it effective in drawing new viewers as well as return visitors. What I love about this site is that throughout posts you will see products that are sold in their store in real life scenarios. There’s no hard sell, but when viewers see those products in action, they just gotta have them.
Don’t put off writing that blog post any longer. It’s time to jump in with both feet. Sure you may struggle a little in the beginning but the more you post the more your content is going to improve.