Do you sell physical products in a store and/or online? If so, there are specific blogging strategies that create desirable, relevant content to keep you at the top of your customers’ minds and encourage purchases. These strategies are based on what’s always worked in retail:
- People love a good deal
- People love exclusive “VIP” treatment
- People love to be able to impress others
You can get more purchases by blogging if you remember the above points. People will subscribe to get notification of sales and specials. A study (link to PDF) done of 1300 consumers reveals that people expect to receive deals from brands via social media. Social media is often a point of entry for people to visit your blog.
Back to blogging’s roots
Blogging has come quite a long ways from the late 90s. When blogging first hit the scene, people compared it to a diary. You explained blogging to people by saying it was like having a public online diary. This was sort of like when the automobile was new, people called it a “horseless carriage.” We don’t need to call cars horseless carriages anymore, and blogging has evolved beyond being a “mere” online diary.
However, the roots of blogging are key to successful retail blogging. This is because you’re constantly informing your customers about what’s happening. New merchandise is arriving, new sales are happening, a customer did something really interesting with your products you want to share with and inspire others.
They key to making this work?
Remember that people buy products that fit in with the vision they have for themselves. This is why lifestyle content is so prevalent and powerful across all media: television, print, and the web. This kind of content doesn’t necessarily have to be extensive or deep, either.
A popular phenomenon from the tech world can apply beautifully in other niches as well: the unboxing video or photoshoot. An unboxing is when someone makes a video or takes pictures of themselves opening up the box for some gadget or other product. They remove the contents of the box and show them off, giving their opinions and reactions as they do so. At first glance that may sound banal and boring, but for people who are enthusiastic about a product, a company, or a lifestyle, this stuff counts as riveting entertainment.
When you see this, it really drives desire for the product if that product fits with your lifestyle and is something you already want, anyway. Have you ever sat and watched a friend or family member open presents at a party or holiday and felt a little jealous? You know the feeling. That’s why this works.
Have you ever seen an infomercial? For any infomercial or even short-length commercial, the product is always demonstrated. Infomercials take this to great length, going through a “dog and pony show” to entice the consumer as the product accomplishes one amazing feat after another. Even though we know these are highly staged, they still work.
What if you did something a lot more down-to-earth and unscripted? The authenticity factor and believability would be very high. Making such a video is not as hard as you might think.
Alignment is what I call it when you blog about how you carry and sell certain products because they align with the values and/or lifestyle of your customers (and probably you, too). Talking about this on your blog brings you and your customers closer because you share the same values and have a common cause. You, your customers, and the products are all in alignment with each other.
To accomplish this, simply talk about why you carry or make your products and why these details matter to you. Because they probably matter to your customers, too.
The products you sell are viewed as being part of a lifestyle. That lifestyle probably has an interest in certain news, events, and developments. Putting your own spin on this kind of information also makes for great retail blog posts. This is also another way to increase the alignment with you and your customers, except in response to a specific event or development.
You don’t want to just recount the news, you want to editorialize it. You want to offer your opinion on what it means and how people will be affected.
This is perhaps the most obvious one: making announcements about price, new items, specials, contests, and anything else you could care to announce. This ties in strongly with what people expect and want out of their online interactions with a brand. And since you’re planning sales and events far in advance, anyway, this is also an easy way to create marketing content in advance and get it scheduled ahead of time in WordPress.
Ecommerce or not… it doesn’t matter
What’s cool about these strategies is that they are viable whether you’re selling stuff online or not. None of them require much in the way of time-consuming writing. In one case, you’re directing people to a product page, in the other case, you’re directing people to set foot in your store.
Are you a retail blogger?
Have you tried any of these already? How did it work for you? If you haven’t tried any of these yet and you have a blog, give ‘em a shot. If you don’t yet have a blog because you feel stuck on the “what would I blog about” part, now you have your answer.