Everyone keeps telling you how you need a blog as a secondary alternative to drive traffic to your online store. It can be very effective as you target your prospective market with articles they care about, and it inadvertently brings them over to your online store. But a blog is a lot of work, so don’t venture into it lightly. Some big retailers do it really well, with ideas that may inspire you.
3 Online Retailers with Amazing Blogs
1. West Elm
Home retailer West Elm has a blog called Front + Main. They cover categories their customers care about such as Food + Entertaining, Before and After Room Makeovers, Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Bathrooms, Kitchen + Dining, Handcrafted, Inspiration and DIY. But also intermixed throughout this highly visual blog are links to recent posts on some of the top home decor blogs, so they curate content as well. They will also answer design dilemmas sent in by customers, giving a personal touch to their business. All content is very attractive for social media-sharing purposes and they actively encourage the use of their #mywestelm hash tag. Front + Main looks like a glossy online magazine that successfully promotes West Elm’s products but not in a in-your-face-kind of way.
2. Free People
Boho clothing retailer, Free People, has a blog but is not strictly about fashion. They have also given it its own name – The BLDG 25 – and it covers all the topics its 18 to 35 year-old female demographic likes, such as music, beauty, food, decor, DIY, and inspiration. Every Monday they offer their motivational quote (which always do so well on social media), and the blog tends to focus on the bohemian approach to life – yoga moves, granola recipes, vegan smoothies, monthly horoscopes. They only have posts about their clothing every 5 or 6 post, so again, it is a subtle way to sell to readers.
For wedding retailer BHDLN, a blog almost seems a given. But how to complete with the hundreds of wedding blogs already out there? Well they offer the best of both worlds. Like West Elm, throughout their original content are posts from some of the top wedding blogs. They do promote their products, as Free People does in every 5th or so post, with the other content being articles such as wedding day make-up tips, wedding shoe guide, hot trends, as well as studio visits and interviews with some of their designers. Like the others they give their blog its own name, calling it B-Inspired, and sometimes, instead of posts, they actually post a graphic representing one of their Pinterest boards, and selecting it takes you directly to it. A great way to get more followers.
Your Marketing Take Away
- Post content your target market cares about
- Give your blog a name so it has its own identity
- Encourage using a company hashtag when sharing the post on social media
- Link right to Pinterest boards as content
- Curate content from other top blogs
- Only promote your products every 5th or so post
- Use it to connect to potential customers by answering their questions
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