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Blogging for Business Owners – Can It Increase Your Retail Sales?

As a business owner you may have been advised to blog about your company, its products or services and you may be wondering “what’s the point?”  If you thought blogging was something for journalists or aspiring authors, then it’s time to think again.  Blogging is the new Marketing and failing to do so can leave you and your business behind in the 21st Century.  This is the Digital Age and savvy retailers and businesses know that leveraging as much muscle from the internet as possible is the way forward for all businesses in today’s busy world.  Let’s just take a look at some of the reasons you should be blogging for your business. 

A well-written and frequently updated business blog that’s interesting and informative provides the retailer with a personal voice to connect with their readers on a personal level.  This has the effect of building awareness and trust with customers and potential customers alike. 

  • It keeps your website fresh with interested information that will persuade your audience to return on a regular basis.  Adding blog posts on a regular basis is the perfect way to stay on Google’s search radar and will push your website higher in the search engine rankings.
  • You can provide expert advice to your readership about your products or services and the best way to use them.  This is a great way of building great customer relationships, especially if you offer advice on other subjects connected with (but not directly related to) your products.  Offering advice on a range of peripheral subjects in this way will persuade your readership that you’re an expert in your field of business.
  • If you make it easy for readers to share your blog content by providing social media sharing buttons, this will result in your blog being read by a much wider audience, attracting new customers or clients.
  • You can use the comments section of your blog posts to let your customers contact you and alert you to any problems with your products and services and use your replies to address these problems, offering discounts, advice, etc.  Being in direct contact with your customers is an effective way of building brand loyalty.
  • Providing an enhanced customer experience with the above activities will serve to give you an edge over your competitors.

Now let’s take a look at just how effectively business blogging can benefit your business.  Looking at recent statistics we see that 97% of all consumers search online for local businesses and services.

  • 20 – 35 year olds rely on the internet and are more likely to look to blogs and social media for information and advice.
  • 72% of adult internet users are active on at least one social network.  While unanswered complaints often go viral on social networks, damaging a company’s brand, the opposite is also true.  A massive 71% of consumers who’ve received a rapid brand response on social media (including comments sections of blogs) reveal that they would recommend this brand to others.
  • 70% of brands have a presence on Google+ and 69% are active on Pinterest.  Meanwhile, 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an advert on the site and a whopping 43% of US marketers have obtained at least one new customer via LinkedIn (don’t forget LinkedIn now provides a facility for publishing blog posts – a great opportunity for both retail and B2B bloggers).
  • Even more important is the fact that 68% of consumers investigate brands on social networking sites and review sites before committing to buy from a particular company.  This means that your company not only has to be visible online (high in the search engine rankings) but you’ll need to have performed well and built trust with consumers in order to stay ahead of the game.
  • However, many B2B decision makers consider vendor content untrustworthy whereas 67% trust research from professional bodies, 50% from industry organisations, 44% from analyst reports and 40% from independent product reviews.
  • While 86% of companies feel comfortable marketing via social tools, only 41% use social tools for communication with customers (Forbes) so this represents a real opportunity for business owners to get on board and get into a conversation with their customers and potential customers.