On Monday I had the pleasure of meeting Arthur Zetes and Chelsea James, two-thirds of the start-up company Sperantsa. They are just finishing up their sophomore year at the University of Washington and have already started a business. Chelsea had contacted me to take advantage of our free Social Media Evaluation for Startups so we met at a coffee house near the University to talk about their website. Their business is pretty cool. They work with the Dece, a micro enterprise in Romania run by the nonprofit NetWorks. Dece works with underprivileged Roma mothers who hand-crochet hats that Sperantsa imports and sells on their website. It is a fair trade business that promotes a sustainable income for people who desperately need it while selling some cool looking hats.
We talked about a wide range of techniques to drive traffic to their website and Arthur and Chelsea easily understood the importance of blogging as part of their marketing plan. This is not always the case. Often when I talk with e-commerce businesses they will say that they don’t have time to blog they just want to know how to increase conversions, perhaps change the color of their “BUY” button. My view is if you don’t have traffic on your site it doesn’t matter what color your “BUY” button is. Regular blogging is the most effective way to increase content, build links and rate for keywords, three important elements of getting found on and generating traffic on the internet.
The next question that often comes up is what do we blog about? The answer is that it depends on your customer. Arthur, Chelsea and I did a little brainstorming and came up with some customer profiles.
Their first customer profile is college aged to their late 20s. They are tuned in to fashion but in an alternative, individual way. For example they may be a skateboarder or active in social causes or the arts. They want to be edgy with a bit of style. About 70% are concerned about social issues like fair trade, sustainability and women’s rights. The other 30% just want the cool purple knit cap.
Their second customer profile is generally women in the 35 to 55 age range. They appreciate craftsmanship and may themselves be involved in some type of handicrafts such as sewing or knitting. They all respond very positively to the story of the Roma women getting an opportunity to support themselves and their children where none existed before. They usually don’t buy the caps for themselves but they all have a niece or a nephew who is going to love that cool purple knit cap.
Now Chelsea and Arthur have a long list of topics to write about including: fair trade issues; micro-economics; Roma women and their children; how the hats are made; how the Roma women benefit from making the hats; sustainable businesses; knitting; craftsmanship; hat styles; skateboarder wear; knit hat fashions; arts and crafts; individuality; and the occasional clearance sale.
For more information about eCommerce blogging check out this great webinar by HubSpot’s Mike Redbord and Mike Ewing, Blogging for eCommerce.. On the next blogwe will go into a little more detail on what an eCommerce site can blog about. For more informatin on eCommerce sites getting more traffic you may be interested in: Costco’s 7 Rookie Inbound Marketing Mistakes and Learning from Costco's Inbound Marketing Mistakes.
If you are interested in a free evaluation like the one I gave to Chelsea and Arthur for their Sperantsa site contact Image Media Partners for a Free Inbound Marketing Web Analysis.
Photo Credit: Sperantsa