So far, retailers have been slow to take up blogging but I do think they will come around. Because so few are doing it, it gives a huge PR advantage to those retailers who are blogging.
For example, ehobbies.com has been mentioned in the New York Times and USA Today, even though they’re off to a modest start with their blog and aren’t blogging daily.
Vintage Tub & Bath has a blog as well. The General Manager is the blog author and he manages to post quite frequently. Great beginnings for these smaller retailers.
Of those retailers who are currently blogging, most are too self-serving in their approach. Consider this blog from Magazines.com for example. It’s clearly meant to funnel users to subscriptions sign-ups without providing much value to readers or even attempting to engage in a dialogue. That’s not only a wasted opportunity, it alienates those who do visit and damages the relationship.
On the whole, retailer bloggers just don’t seem to be getting it. Instead of creating product information posts, they should be sharing tips, advice, special offers, discounts and passion for the particular industry or niche that they are in. I think this home interior design blog is a good example of this sort of value-added retail blogging.
As they say in the Cluetrain Manifesto, markets are conversations and your customers are already talking about you, so you can either join the conversation and be part of it, or stay clear of it and have no influence over it.
Personally I’d go for the former. But I’d do it in a constructive way; I’d have something interesting/useful to say when engaging your market.
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