Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Blogging Benefits for College Stores

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 1/31/17 5:30 AM
Topics: college retail, retail management, Marketing to Students

Web logging, an online diary or “blogging” is not just for hipsters sitting in a coffee shop writing about their views on politics, skinny jeans and the best beard look. It’s now a tool. A resource. A “thing.” It’s the megaphone for you to tell your customers what they need to know from the mouth of the expert: you.When you hop online and look up the benefits of blogging for your business, experts will tell you why it works, the top “x-number” reasons blogging will help your business grow and so on. Some benefits include generating relevant traffic, acquiring customers, establishing your business as an industry leader and developing stronger relationships with your customers. In short, blogging promotes your business alongside social media. However, the people who are reading your blog are more interested in what you have to say than those social media.

Who reads blogs?

Social media covers everything a person is doing or is interested in at a specific time. Let’s look at a fictional customer:

Frat guy Fred is a junior majoring in sports business. He is involved in his fraternity, enjoys working out at the rec center and fishing on weekends. When not involved with school he holds a part-time job in the athletic department learning more about the marketing side of college athletics. 

Fred is one of your followers on Facebook and opts to post a photo of a trout he caught over the weekend. While impressive, is Fred’s trout something your customers find relevant to their needs from you? This is where your blog comes in, making you an expert in a specific area. You know your store and what’s on your shelves. Writing specifically about your products, their benefits and why you carry them carries more clout than the size of Fred’s trout.

Focusing on one specific area, such as the clothing available in your store, encourages readers who want to know more about clothing to read your blog. Perhaps you carry a specific type of sweatshirt. Tell your readers why this product great for game day, how it benefits them and some of the differentiating factors this sweatshirt has as opposed to one made by another company. Do the same for the fleece blankets, moisture wicking-athletic wear and so on. 

Be the expert

People are reading your blog because of your specific knowledge about the clothing items you carry. You’ve now established yourself as an industry leader. Notice price is not mentioned. You’re not selling anything. You are providing your knowledge as a service to potential customers enticing them to connect with you. Link your blog to your social media pages and vice-versa further intertwining your presence.

Blogging on a regular basis, writing about specific topics, gives you a greater chance of showing up in someone’s search results when they are searching for “hoodies to wear to football games.” You have built a relationship with your customers. The people who are reading your work know and trust you. Now you have an opportunity to drive people to your website, through your doors or to pick up the phone and make an order. Your chances of success are greater because the reader didn’t need to sift through photos of fish. 

When you post to social media, your topic is hot for a shorter amount of time. When you blog, your post can be reused or someone can find it months after you wrote it and find your information valuable. Not a common result from social media.

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