Use your store blog to answer customer questions, drive traffic to your website and store, and burnish your reputation.
BY JULIE A. PALM
A blog can help your retail mattress business accomplish many things—push traffic to your website and store, build awareness for your retail brand, answer consumer questions, even give you and your staff a creative outlet.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your blog:
Stick with a schedule.
You don’t have to blog every day. But like any marketing effort, consistency is critical. A reasonable goal for smaller sleep shops may be once or twice a month. If you find a larger marketing team, once a week might be doable. But if inspiration hits and you’ve got time for an extra blog, go ahead and post it. Timely, news-oriented blogs are perfect.
Focus on information, not sales pitches.
Give readers news they can use. It’s OK to mention products you carry or an upcoming promotion if it’s relevant to your overall blog topic, but don’t make a holiday sale or even a new product the focus of a blog without providing other information that’s useful to readers.
“Write as though you are having a friendly, yet professional, conversation with your readers, keeping in mind that many of your readers may not know, or like, industry lingo. And even if they do, they probably don’t want to read something loaded with jargon,” says business and technology writer Jennifer Lonoff Schiff in an August 2016 blog post on CIO.com.
Add compelling photos and videos.
Images enliven your blog and break up text. Whenever possible, use original photography and videos. As Stephen Kenwright, director of search at Leeds, England-based search engine optimization agency Branded3, tells Siobhán McGinty in a March 2015 blog for HubSpot Inc., stock photos that have an obvious “stock photo feel” actually can drive traffic away from your blog. “If you’re framing your post with an image that the searcher has already seen, you’re missing a chance to show that you’re offering something unique,” McGinty writes.
Mine your customers for content.
Knowledge-hungry consumers eat up explainer and “how-to” posts. Search your store’s social media feeds for recent customer comments to spur topic ideas or ask your retail sales associates what customers are asking them most about. Getting a lot of queries from shoppers about adjustable bases or how to choose the right pillow? Blog about it. Then use that blog post to answer future questions on the same subject by linking to it. In addition to giving consumers the information they seek, you establish yourself as an expert on the subject and drive continued traffic to your website.
Spread the word.
Don’t simply post your blog on your website and let it sit there. Promote it on your social media feeds and encourage your staff to repost blogs on their feeds, too. When appropriate, even email your blog to customers. For instance, if you have a great post about the best way to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty on a mattress, email it to everyone who’s bought a mattress from you in the past year as a nice reminder.