There is a good chance you have customers at your dealership who have done thorough research on equipment specs and reviews before ever walking through the doors. In fact, a 2014 report from Retailing Today, found that 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. Maintaining a blog for your dealership is a great way to reach these information seekers and engage them with your business before they ever step foot in your dealership.
Why a blog?
Blogging can have many benefits to your dealership. You may remember a previous EDA post focused on using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase your website’s online search rankings. Search engines use keywords to determine the relevancy of a website. Blogs are one way to provide fresh content using keywords that will improve your rank. The higher your website appears in search engine results, the more likely someone will visit your website. By regularly updating a dealership blog, you can drive more traffic to your website and engage customers by providing best practices and helpful information.
Additionally, blogs give you complete control of the message. You can communicate the assets and knowledge of your dealership to current and potential customers directly, when they are ready and open to consuming the content. By giving customers the opportunity to learn more about your dealership on their own terms, you can help strengthen loyalty and create more returning customers.
Create engaging content
It is important to keep in mind that most people don’t go on the Internet wanting to be sold something. If you simply use your blog as a way to push your products without offering helpful information, you won’t see much of a return on your investment. The key is to focus on relevant and useful topics that also explain the benefits or knowledge of your dealership or a particular product or service. Your customers will see these helpful blog posts as a value added service from your dealership.
For example, if you want to increase the number of customers who come to your dealership for preventive maintenance services, consider a blog post on the top five maintenance tips to extend the life of their equipment. The post can include maintenance items the customers can do themselves, but also explain the benefits of bringing the equipment in for maintenance.
Continually coming up with inspiration for new blog post topics can be a challenge. Creating a content calendar that maps out any timely topics ahead of time will help direct your content. This post about creating a content calendar for social media or eNewsletter campaigns is also relevant for blogs.
How to get started
The good news is starting a blog is a fairly straightforward process. When you set up a blog, it can be a part of your existing website or stand alone. However, keep in mind, adding the blog as a page on your existing website will help with SEO and will improve your website’s overall search ranking. There are many platforms that offer low-cost and user-friendly options for creating a blog, with WordPress being the most popular. You can learn more about various blogging platforms to determine which platform is best for your dealership, along with how to get started with each here.
Blogging allows you to communicate the personality, strengths and abilities of your dealership. Listen to the topics your customers are most concerned about, and use that to set dealership apart from competitors by providing the information customers are frequently seeking out online.
About the Author
Sara McClendon is a public relations manager at Osborn Barr, an agriculture-focused full-service marketing agency. She enjoys telling the stories of individuals in ag and rural America by building meaningful relationships with clients, farmers and media outlets. Sara grew up in the small town of Buffalo, Missouri and now lives in St. Louis.