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Tips on Selling, Management

While providing engaging content will help to increase interest in a business, don’t forget about generating potential sales leads
While providing engaging content will help to increase interest in a business, don’t forget about generating potential sales leads

Win customers with your business blog

Text, images, links to third-party content and reader interaction – Emily Mobbs discovers blogs offer the whole package. Don’t lose out on potential sales by not having a blogging strategy or, for that matter, a blog at all.
Blogging. If the word stirs up images of misunderstood souls revealing their deepest, darkest secrets to the virtual world – all from the safety of a bedroom – think again.

The modern blog has evolved greatly from its “personal diary” beginnings and, like many online channels, can be an effective tool for creating customer engagement.

A blog usually combines text, images and links to other blogs or web pages related to a topic. It can be a stand-alone web page or link to an existing website – being the ideal set-up for a business.

The main feature distinguishing a blog from other static websites is that it allows visitors (potential customers) to leave comments and engage with a business. In this sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking.

As discussed in last month’s column, Instagram is an effective way for jewellery retailers, suppliers and designers to build customer engagement through sharing images that reflect the business’ personality and credibility.

Consider a blog to be a natural supplement to Instagram. The message behind those photos can be expanded with additional text, video and links to other sources. In doing so, existing and potential customers will have access to more valuable content.

Still not convinced? Research conducted by online marketing specialist HubSpot found companies that blog generate 55 per cent more website visitors and 97 per cent more inbound links (hyperlinks that link from a web page, back to a business website) than companies that don’t blog. Furthermore, businesses that blog reportedly have a 126 per cent higher lead generation rate than those that don’t.

As with any multichannel platform, there’s no use investing time and resources unless a clear strategy exists, which should include providing useful content to the audience.

Blogs should be used as a platform to “show off” industry knowledge and insight, enabling businesses to build further credibility and garner trust from potential customers. Content should be educational and encourage engagement with readers. The blogs operated by jewellery retailer Victoria Buckley and The Shop at Bluebird are great examples of how to do this well.  

The platform is more text-friendly than other social media networks and so, while posts shouldn’t be too text-heavy, use them to explore in-depth subjects. This could be an opinion piece on a topical industry issue like lab-created diamonds or a tutorial on how to clean silver jewellery.

Opportunity to shine
It’s all about creating exclusive content that makes readers feel like they have access to behind-the-scenes action.

Trips to national and international tradeshows may feel old hat for someone in the industry, but they can be really interesting to customers. Covering these events will help to provide them with a better understanding of how product is chosen and where their next purchase was originally sourced.

When in need of content ideas, Instore magazine’s Chris Burslem suggested a FAQ section of the 50 most asked questions by customers. Why not create a post for each question, with pictures and tutorials?

While providing engaging content will help to increase interest in a business, don’t forget about generating potential sales leads.

Placing calls-to-action – like a Mother’s Day voucher – at the top or sidebar of a blog as well as on individual posts will help to drive visitors from the blog to a business website and potentially into a bricks-and-mortar store.

Offering occasional free gifts or repair services can also tempt potential customers to make a purchase or prompt existing customers to buy again. Promoting the offer through other social media channels, newsletters and emails is beneficial, as not all readers will follow a blog on a regular basis.

Not a writer?
Imagine writing an article about conflict diamonds and finding an expert has agreed with a point you made. Add this information to your post. 

Content sharing is common in the blogosphere and can help to establish authority and credibility. 

Remember, it’s OK to republish third-party content (either an excerpt or entire article) with consent. Just make sure the work is attributed to the source with a hyperlink.

If you don’t know where to start, has educational content that jewellery professionals can use to start their own blogs. Go to the “Learn About” section to view our articles and contact us of you wish to use them.


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