As a small business owner transitioning to e-commerce, you know great content is important to your success. Having the right messages, told in the right way, on your active social media pages, newsletter and blog will help people discover you, giving you the opportunity to generate visitors and turn them into customers.
5 ways to make the most of your content
When you create your content, be sure to make it:
- Visually attractive. Whether through photography and images or smart typography, it’s important for your content to look good!
- Relevant to your readers. Personal business stories, teaching a skill, exploring adjacent interests and showcasing past work can all be relevant.
- Consistently posted. Frequency can vary widely from business to business and industry to industry, but posting weekly is a good rule of thumb.
- True to your brand. Are you competent, community-oriented, funky or wry? Your online presence should be an extension of your business’ “personality” and your physical premises (if you have one).
- Show proof of your expertise. Show visitors that you’re a leader, whether it’s in your industry or your neighborhood.
These businesses do the work
Here are 10 small business blogs, social feeds and websites with great content (and why it works). They not only check the boxes above, but shine doing it.
Dimo’s keeps it funky
Dimo’s Pizza is an institution, insofar as any Chicago pizza that isn’t deep dish can be. Their excellent blog features great images and a sharp editorial style. Over the course of 2020, they posted a handful of updates: their coronavirus pandemic response, their new custom POS rollout and even a Queen’s Gambit pizza tie-in. They don’t post as frequently as they could, but they’ve blogged consistently for over eight years, meaning they’ve built up a strong archive. Posts from 2012 appear in Google searches, which goes to show that the content you create today continues to pay off years from now.
Roots goes green
Plants are highly photogenic, and Roots, a shop in San Francisco’s Mission District, knows it. Their lively Instagram account includes photos of the shop, which owner Michelle calls an “indoor jungle”; posts marking events like Valentine’s Day and Black History Month; and photos of happy customers posing with their new plants. And plenty of photos of shop dog Ziggy make it in, too. (Animals are also highly Instagrammable.)
Bonus points for the Roots website, which sports a “Chat with us!” widget, so visitors can ask questions and customers can check their order status.
Mo’s makes a splash
Mo’s Art Supply & Framing is a Louisiana art shop (with three locations) that has an inspirational, community-oriented, New Orleans-flavored blog unlike anything else on this list. It covers a range of topics: Mo’s connection to the community, heartfelt meditations on the news and art, and even product recommendations for Mardi Gras floats. It has a colorful voice and a striking black-and-hibiscus palette that proves you don’t always need to rely on images to make an impression (though there are those, too!). Also of note is the Sales, Events & Mo tab, which mixes contests, timely events and discounts without feeling too salesy.
The Sill teaches you a lesson
Another plant shop! The Sill is famous for streamlined design and well-packaged plants that are available for delivery nationwide. The company understands the importance of video content, offering free and well-priced workshops tackling the sometimes-daunting task of plant parenting. This site illustrates how by going a step beyond how-to videos with live online workshops, you can create opportunities to connect directly with customers and build brand loyalty.
Souder Brothers Construction gets busy
Souder Brothers, a construction business in Horsham, PA, has blogged about construction since 2014, so they’ve nailed the consistency element. Posts are a great mix of tips for construction workers, guidance for construction seekers and even career advice. Throughout are examples of the firm’s own work, conveyed in yearly roundup posts and individual project highlights. A variety of relevant topics make this blog a standout.
Zsa’s makes magic of the mundane
Zsa’s Ice Cream, in Philadelphia, has a delicious Instagram account that proves you can make must-see content from your day-to-day work. The business has a quirky schedule, so the Instagram provides a clarion call for when you can indulge. The shop posts multiple times per week, including reposting Stories from satisfied customers. Zsa’s, which opened in 2019, already boasts over 6,000 followers, showing the proof is in the pudding, er, ice cream.
Floyd takes you on a journey
Floyd, a Detroit-based furniture company, focuses its blog on high-res photography that shows its products in different contexts. The streamlined look of Floyd’s product line may have some potential buyers pondering its versatility in their own interiors. This blog uniquely addresses this, situating the company’s pieces in Airbnb settings, ranging from a rustic A-frame cabin in California to a sleek Scandinavian modern home in Michigan, all using the tagline “Goes With Anywhere.” The “Stay Floyd” blog is part refutation, part inspiration—and it makes viewers itch to travel.
Flowers for Dreams goes back in time
Flowers for Dreams is a flower shop with locations in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee, offering delivery across the midwest. It’s easy to love the site’s clarity, easy purchase experience and explosively colorful imagery. Notable is the Our Impact page, an interactive timeline with great photography, that showcases the business’ 2020 milestones: opening a Detroit location, making bouquets for healthcare workers and offering virtual workshops. Even if the animations on the page seem out of reach for you, timelines are an achievable format. If you want to share your business’ accomplishments, you, too, can create a page like this.
Graf Lantz gets scientific
Graf Lantz, a textile company with its own factory in Los Angeles, bet big on crafting its home and lifestyle accessories from merino wool. They’ve got a finely tuned website, but worth noting is this “Felt And Function” page. It quickly answers “Why Merino felt?” (hint: it’s odor-resistant, soft and renewable) before digging deeper on all things wool. This page is evergreen, so it can be referenced in Graf Lantz’s social media, blog posts and newsletters for a long time to come. They even link to scientific fact sheets about their medium of choice—and you’ll somehow want to read them!
The Monster Minders make it personal
The Monster Minders is a dog-walking business based in Philadelphia. Their dog blog provides business updates, pop culture dog content and safety tips, plus the owners’ personal story about their rescue dog Chicken. The blog mixes the business and the personal and forges a well-earned connection to readers. It covers topics that can attract varied audiences and boasts a frequent posting schedule. As a treat, check out The Monster Minders’ Instagram!
Now that you’ve seen how terrific content can be, and in so many different ways, think about what will work best for your business—and get started creating content of your own!