Many dealers, busy, busy people that they are, question the need for a dealership blog. And it’s a good question – does a world flooded with blogs on every conceivable topic need yet another one?
And do you need yet another drain on your time – or the time of employees who’d have to write your blog posts? Is blogging just one more of those things everybody says you have to do, but when you ask why, they get sort of vague, wave their hands and say “Google” a lot?
Plus, why does everyone have to be a writer these days? If you wanted to be Internet Shakespeare, you wouldn’t have become a dealer, right?
This is where we’re supposed to tell you that you must, must, must blog, that if you don’t post an informative, insightful, entertaining, viral post three times a week, all manner of horrible, no good, very bad things will befall you.
This is not true – you can be perfectly successful without a blog. It happens all the time. But it could be the case that you’d be more successful with one.
Here’s one reason why: consider that traditional advertising channels connect with fewer and fewer people these days. We fast-forward through TV commercials. We install an ad blocker extension in our web browsers (and, soon, our phones). Speaking of phones, we don’t talk on them much anymore. Print? What’s that? And so on. Everywhere you look, you see a “road closed” sign when it comes to reaching your customers.
So how do you connect with customers in an advertising-hostile environment? You get them to come looking for you, instead of the other way around. One of the best ways to do that is with content. The useful kind, the kind your customers want. And where does that content live? Very often, blog posts.
People need your posts. Why? More and more, people are doing most of the work of selling themselves, themselves. They do their own needs analysis and then hit the web to see what’s available to meet those needs and how the various options stack up against one another. That means Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Facebook, online forums, etc.
That’s where the content comes in. Not only does fresh content on a regular basis help improve your rank in search engine results, but it also dovetails with this trend toward DIY sales. The customer’s looking for information and guidance. You provide it. That’s where you meet up, right there on your blog.
Another reason someone might hit your blog is when they’re looking for insight. Advice. Opinion. Even entertainment, if you can be entertaining. So don’t be afraid to write about things other than your products and services. Sometimes, these “digressions” can be some of your blog’s biggest draws.
If you build it (content), they will come. Maybe they’ll have a look at some of your other pages while they’re there. Maybe they’ll come away with the impression that you’re making it easy to learn about and pay for the solutions they need. And very possibly they’ll remember your name when it comes time to choose a dealership.
So, content drives traffic to your site. And if it’s good content, the sort of thing your customers can really use (and not just a thinly disguised sales pitch), it builds your authority, as well as creates lasting relationships. Both good things for your business, things that would have been difficult to achieve with the traditional marketing that customers are ignoring in droves.
Once you have that content, there’s no reason to pen it up on your blog alone. Set it free. Let it roam. Send it to LinkedIn. Post it on Facebook. Point to it on Twitter. Mention it in your email communications. Encourage people to link and repost and share.
Again, you absolutely can succeed without a blog. But maybe you can succeed more with one. Give it a try. Get some posts up and see what happens. Who knows? You may even connect with your inner Internet Shakespeare.