The good old advertising sign has outlived its usefulness. As reported recently in paidContent.org, the use of conventional online advertising media such as banners and pop-ups is expected to decline significantly in coming years. You, too, should explore new ways of acquiring and retaining customers. In addition to newsletters, search engine optimisation and promotions, social networks and social media tools are especially useful in allowing you – inexpensively – to get closer to your target audience and increase awareness of your online shop. Social Media Optimisation (SMO) is the new strategy for success. In this series of articles, we will portray the most important opportunities for socially marketing your online shop. This first article focuses on weblogs.
Blogs as Marketing Channel
Weblogs are currently the most important channels for effective dialogue with specific target groups. There is nothing simpler than creating and maintaining a blog – a digital diary. Weblogs are topic-specific, extremely dynamic and interactive. We no longer live in the era of enlightened webmasters sharing their expertise with timid Internet novices. Nowadays, everyone is participating and – potentially – they can all spread the word about your products or services.
Purpose and Benefit of Your Corporate Blog
In your corporate blog, you can address everything related to your business. Write about the products in your shop, details on manufacturers or production methods, your market pursuits, or aspects of your everyday business life which are interesting, amusing or exciting. Interesting blogs are cited and linked by fellow bloggers. As a result, you will enhance your recognition and attract the attention of Google: after all, being linked means being relevant. And being relevant means being successful! If your weblog has a different domain than your shop, you can link them to one another for added mutual benefit.
Blogging does not merely entail permitting comments – you should also name pages which contain links to your blog. Many blog services offer a trackback function which allows you to monitor instances of linking. By the way, comments can serve as a meaningful feedback tool. Even negative feedback is good feedback. It tells you what your target group feels needs improvement and what they want in the future – and you stand out above the crowd by being transparent.
Publicise Your Corporate Blog
Draw attention to your blog by mentioning it in a newsletter, for example. In addition, surf the Web to find blogs and forums about your industry. Link to them and participate in discussions. But be careful: relevance is key here, as well; otherwise, you will quickly acquire a bad reputation as a spammer. To become a true member of the community, conduct yourself as a leader of opinion. Keep in mind that people dislike the buying of backlinks (links on other websites which link back to your own site).
Integrate a Blog in Your Shop or Your Website
In the product version ePages 5 It is best to link your online shop and your blog to one another. Learn how you can do this by reading our article “Editorial pages in the online shop”. All you will need is your blog’s URL, which you can – as described in the article – enter as appropriate in the link element.
Available external blog systems:
- WordPress (very popular)
- Movable Type (only gratis for private use)
- ExpressionEngine (for commercial use)
ePages 6 already contains a blog module so that you can directly create and maintain your blog in the shop and website administration. Create a new page under the register Content/ Categories -> Datasheet view -> Pages and choose Blog as pagetype. Now click on the new element and define who may contribute to the blog’s content and who doesn’t, if the blog shall be visible in the menu bar or not and so on.
Under the register Posts you create new articles. Add images and format the post by clicking on the post’s name. Don’t forget to insert keywords which allow users to find the post.