Today’s consumers are way smart and tech savvy: the internet has made shopping by comparison very easy. Sadly, it also has open the gates to every sort of scam: spam websites, shady fly-by-night merchants, and shoddy knockoff products in abundance. This leads to the customer wanting to know more about your business and the kind of products it sells: in the 80’s a description on the back of the box or a pamphlet would have been enough. But today consumers expect a flood of information about you, your products, and your industry on the web.
Many companies have indicated that blogging is the way to go in order to enhance their credibility with customers, to show their will to open a two-way discussion, about what’s new on the shelves and what’s going on in the executive ranks. But it’s not enough: the next step is to build an infrastructure that shows that your business is part of a larger ecosystem that puts the community first.
What does that mean? If you run a travel-oriented website, your company hould be publishing independent and authoritative information about what’s going on with the airlines, how to get the best frequent flyer deals, and where delays are likely to crop up on the next holiday weekend. If you own a pet store, you should be talking about legislation that effects pet owners around the nation, advances in pet food science, and even studies that say how often your dog needs to get a walk in.
You have to keep in mind that it’s not about your business, but the industry in which you operate: it shows that you’re looking out for your customer even if you’re not directly involved.
iI’s what consumers love: it’s not promotional, it’s independent. It’s the truth, it’s honest, it’s information they’re going to find elsewhere: better for them to find it on your blog. The ultimate goal is to become the first step for the customers when they want information, because that’s likely to translate into a lot of new customers.