Hardly a convincing argument, but in reality, there’s always a payoff of some kind. Build an interesting blog and they will come. But will they buy anything when they do come? Consider this example:
Do you sell plus-size garments for women? Start a blog on weight-loss or other issues of interest to overweight women. Take the approach of the Charming Shoppes-owned LaneBryant.com, which has a rather neat Web feature called “Speaking Woman to Woman.” (I found very little aside from basic product selling on the former Lane Bryant, now called Woman Within, that’s owned by Redcats.)
The Lane Bryant blog is written by Charming Shoppes Chairman/CEO Dorrit Bern. She writes about women’s issues and clearly is talking directly to her customer (see http://lanebryant.charmingshoppes.com/pagebuilder/chairman_letter). Most recently, she blogged about a nervous system ailment called fibromyalgia. (FYI: Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points.) And she encourages questions and feedback.
Like trying to get to the customer service counter in the back of a store, customers who regularly read her blog need to pass by Lane Bryant’s merchandise when they go to read Bern’s blogs. Certainly, there’s a portion of them who buy something along the way.
When it comes to entertainment value and customer interaction on a Web site, check out Alloy. There’s so much for the teen girls this cataloger/multichannel marketer targets to do on the site, and, of course, plenty of cute clothes to be bought.
A ‘BFF’ or a ‘Beeyatch?’
One particularly amusing feature on Alloy is “BFF or Beeyatch,” in which you can vote on whether a girl acted as more of a best friend for life or a “beeyatch” (a generation Y-ism for “bitch”) in a given situation (see http://alloy.com/4/23/4508/1/ref/1/1/4667/1/whats_new_module_spot_1_link). There are countless other features, such as daily horoscopes, slide shows and videos on dorm room designs, contests and globs of celebrity gossip. Oh, and plenty of stuff about “High School Musical 2.”