“A well-polished blog lets you create added value for your brand.”
Margaret Halpin, Marketer
KEEP IN TOUCH: You’re staying connected with your customers off the sales floor and engaging with them outside the box of your website. Depending on your resources, a blog may be just the ticket.
YOU’VE GOT PERSONALITY—SO SHOW IT: Why bother blogging? You want to keep your website dynamic, but easy-to-navigate without too much extra content to clutter the landscape. Blogs offer one way for customers to see around the bend of that streamlined Web presence, where you can show off your business’ personality, charisma, and expertise. It’s a place to project in-depth what your brand is really built around, invite dialogue, and delight customers and prospective shoppers with fun, helpful information. Then there are the obvious SEO benefits of a blog—opening up new streams of search traffic.
IF YOU DO IT, DO IT RIGHT: If you decide to get your blog on, put it in the hands of someone who has the enthusiasm and know-how to make it worth your customers’ time. A blog with weak content or poor presentation will only have customers questioning your credibility. We can all be a little too quick in seizing whatever vines we think will help us swing into the world of online buzz. What works better is choosing which tools suit your team’s skill set best, and then knocking those out of the park.
“I follow a food blog, car blog, and my favorite, a beer blog. But a jewelry blog?”
Christopher J. Arends, Owner
Morris Plains, N.J.
BLOGGING IS JUST THE BEGINNING: Independent stores must focus on a combination of traditional marketing: mailing, billboard, television, and radio, and digital vehicles that have far greater reach. Improving your website search engine optimization is a benefit of a blog, but custom-tailored YouTube videos will do the same and reach far more people for the same time and money.
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE THE TIME? Blogs require a tremendous amount of time and attention: Any discussion or thread needs to be addressed immediately, not in a day or two. Participants are conditioned to expect real-time responses and answers, and that seems a monumental task to ask of store owners. Conversely, Facebook and Twitter posts can be generated days or weeks in advance, and the postings can be scheduled to hit automatically.
JUST BECAUSE ANOTHER STORE IS DOING IT… When making any marketing decision we weigh the cost—in time and money—and the realistic benefit: direct sales. Yes, blogs can be fun, but do they drive fine jewelry buyers to our stores? There is no question that social media and Web-marketing tools are vital to the success of the independent retail jeweler, but we should not feel the peer pressure to implement every vehicle out there.