Just as with a physical store, a presence on the Internet is essential nowadays because of the increasingly popular experience of shopping online. To that end, one of the best mediums of communicating with your potential clientele is through a blog (web log). Why should you blog? You want to supplement your marketing efforts for your retail business so as to appeal to as many customers as possible, without exhausting your marketing dollars.
- How can a blog enhance your marketing efforts:
- You can be much more exhaustive in your descriptions of new products.
- The information is available to anyone who searches for your particular products.
- It is a form of advertising.
- It can include testimonials from satisfied customers.
- You are marketing yourself and your business.
Blogging is free. There are some superb outfits online where elegant blog templates can be created that suit whatever area you wish to represent, be it teenage fashion, or rap music, home decorating, or yoga classes. A blog is a way to connect with your potential buyers. But a blog is not merely a log, or journal – a boring rundown of your daily activities, your life in 140 characters broadcast for all to view. A blog serves the purpose of telling your potential customers what your enterprise is all about. What can you include in a blog?
- You can write about the purpose and vision of your business;
- You can speak about the owners/employees of the business, provide photos and short biographies.
This humanizes your blog/website, as well as your business, thereby creating warm relationships with potential customers. You can showcase your products with descriptions and pricing. A blog can also serve as a forum for customer comments, so as to know how your merchandising and advertising is working out there in the real world. As well, customers can receive updates on new items or any special coupons and sales.
Importantly, when you create a blog, you are presenting yourself and your business on the World Wide Web – the internet. And search engines are constantly scouring the internet for relevant information, according to what people are searching for. So, if your blog is about a design business, for example, you might write about decorating, architecture, home decorating, room design, all of which are fodder for searches, and with searches come potential customers.
The more you write, the more experience you gain, and the further you can refine your blog to meet not only your marketing desires, but also your prospective customers’ affiliations to you. They may contact you directly, if you provide such information, or may post comments with which you can interact, thus increasing your business’s exposure – and eventual success.
You might think that writing a blog is too time-consuming, and perhaps not a good use of your time as you establish your new business. Such thinking would be self-defeating. A blog reflects who you are, especially when written honestly and sincerely, openly talking with your audience, and revealing your inner thoughts – regarding starting your business, the purpose you see for your business, especially if it has a social bent, your visions for your business, your philosophy on employment, etc. Arguably, one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, is the relationships you establish – with your customers or clients, and with your employees. There is no getting around this: if your employees are happy, rewarded, and esteemed, they are likely to be more productive; and if your customers or clients feel respected, they are likely to remain your customers in the long run, as well as be conduits to future referrals.
Do not minimize the importance of maintaining a blog. If time is in short supply, why not hire someone to perform this task? It can be done on site or as a telecommuting operation, or even via the Internet. Begin to value your business, and it will flourish in unexpected and pleasant ways that you may not be thinking of at the moment.