You’ve got an awesome eCommerce store. You’ve spent a lot of time and money setting it up and you’re so happy with it you’re glowing.
What’s even awesome-r than the aesthetics is that sales are good and you’re growing. Your marketing efforts are paying off but you’re still not 100% satisfied. You’re sure you could be doing even better and truth be told, you probably could.
One of the most underrated and overlooked marketing tactics is the use of eCommerce blogs. Utilizing your blog can attract new visitors that over time could convert into customers, meaning more sales for your business.
But, don’t just take my word for it. In the book Inbound Marketing: Attract, engage and delight online customers, authors Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah say this about the benefits of a blog:
- First – A blog will help establish your company as a thought leader in your market.
- Second – Due to its dynamic nature and the fact you’re creating content on a regular basis, a blog will change your website from an online brochure to a living, breathing hub for your marketplace
- Third – A blog gives your potential customers a way to engage with you versus being hit with a premature sales pitch; by conversing with your potential customers via your blog you build trust over time, so that when you actually talk to them about your product or service, they’re prepared to hear from you.
- Fourth – A blog will dramatically improve your search engine rankings; a blog is a great way to create more pages on your site (each article is a page) and the more pages Google has, the more your site shows up in the search engine results page for dozens of keywords.
There are even stats to back up their claims. Hubspot conducted a study that shows how having a blog creates a positive impact on gaining new leads and increasing website traffic. Here we see the effect blogging has on lead generation and blogging frequency.
As you can see, companies that increased blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost doubled their leads! While blogging that frequently may seem like an awful lot and at first it might be, know this; B2B companies that blog only 1-2X/month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t. Everyone needs to start somewhere and just by simply having a schedule of blogging twice a month can go a long way.
Now, while increasing leads is wonderful in itself, having a blog also increases website traffic. Take a look:
A B2C company will see a 59% increase in traffic after growing total blog posts from 100 to 200 total. Now it’s true that blogging is a serious commitment but in the long run your business will benefit greatly from your efforts.
Now you might be thinking “me, a writer?” well stop worrying, you don’t have to be a pulitzer prize winning journalist. In fact, blogging is not about being a journalist but more about being an opinionist.
Your blog is where you get to have, and should have, an opinion. You’re appealing to your ideal customer, not everyone, so you’re allowed to be biased. Plus, nowhere does does “it” say your content has to be a 2000 word essay, nor should it be.
A great blog will contain a variety of content from interviews to videos. In fact, the best blogs out there have a combination of content which is what makes their blog so fresh and exciting. Lets take a look at 3 of those eCommerce blogs and draw inspiration from them.
Warby Parker is a company that offers designer eyewear at affordable prices and believes businesses should be more socially conscious.
Warby Parker believes the eyewear industry has been long dominated by companies that “keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.”
They do an incredible job of branding and speaking to their ideal customer; the young, hip and fashionable consumer.
They have their blog broken up into 5 sections
- To See
- To Read
- To Buy
- To Meet
- To Do
Notice that most of these sections make no reference to their products. The blogs purpose is to serve as a reference guide for their customers to the hippest things out there.
Here is a small screenshot taken from their latest “To See” post entitled “The Best Spots in NYC to Bliss Out”
Harry’s is a mens shaving company that prides themselves on quality shaving products. They believe that every man has the right to a great shave at an affordable price. Here’s what they have to say on the matter:
“Like most of you, we’ve long had to choose between over-priced, over-marketed razors that disrespect your intelligence, and low quality, cheap razors that disrespect your face. We knew there had to be a better way, so we created Harry’s as a return to the essential: a great shave at a fair price.”
So what’s so awesome about their blog? It’s for the modern gentleman that features music playlists for the gym, interviews, recipes and even a guide on how to tie the perfect knot for mountaineers.
Does this have anything to do with shaving? Nope. Is it content that their customers be interested in? Absolutely.
It’s embracing the lifestyle choices of their ideal customer and turning those choices into content they would be interested in.
Urban Outfitters is a retailer that caters to the bohemian/eclectic/wandering soul. Yes that is an actual person and their blog reflects the uniqueness of that person by perfectly offering an eclectic mix of content.
From DIY wall hangers to recipes and summer fashion tips, they encapsulate their ideal customers interests without being in your face salesy. In fact, they aren’t salesy at all, which is why this blog is so great.
Here is a snippet of their DIY Reclaimed Wood Planter post.
What you can do
First, identify who your ideal customer is. You should complete a profile for them and try to be as detailed as possible. Ask yourself things such as:
- What are their hobbies?
- Where do they spend their spare time?
- How much money do they make?
- Where are their morals and values?
- Male or female? Age? Career choices?
Be as specific as possible. Remember how detailed Urban Outfitters ideal customer was? The bohemian/eclectic/wandering soul? Ya, get that specific.
Now that you know who your customer is and what they’re interests are you can start, coming up with ideas. Keep in mind you’ll want to produce a variety of content; this keeps your blog fresh and interesting.
Once you’ve determined the type of content you’re going to produce, make yourself a schedule for the next month. Can only post twice? No worries. Remember you’ve got to start somewhere, just make sure you stick with it! It’s the only way you will grow a loyal following.
Staying organized is essential to succeeding and will definitely help you stick to your content calendar. Trello is a great tool to come up with ideas and post those ideas onto a content calendar and the best part; it’s free! Full disclosure – I use it and I love it!
Once you’ve got your plan together it’s time to unleash the content! If you ever get stuck on how to produce good blog content, there are tons of amazing resources out there such as Quietly, that can really help you.
One last point to remember is this, quality always trumps quantity. The content king himself, Rand Fishkin tells us
“publishing every day or every week may not be a very good goal.
Attracting the right kind of customer, potential customer, and evangelist should be your focus … and finding the content and time frame that accomplishes that.”