Every customer who’s considering a purchase is looking for credible information to support his or her decision. If your business is the voice that’s giving them that important information then that customer is more likely to buy from you.
Blogging generates leads and sales. My friend, Marcus Sheridan (thesaleslion.com) has proven the fact that when customers consume 30+ pages of your content, you have an 80% better chance of closing the sale. With every post, you provide each customer/prospect another opportunity to connect with you. It used to cost you thousands to reach a customer. Now, you reach them with your blog content.
For dealerships and other retail businesses, the daily operation may not conform to the creation and constant feeding of a blog. If you’re the owner or manager, it’s hard to even know where to start. This fact may be keeping you stuck. I would like to un-stick you because the value you get from blogging outweighs any excuse you can muster.
Content is what drives your business’ ability to be found in search results. Google is looking for valuable content for their users and you need to give it to them. They’ve spent the last 18 months morphing from a “fact” based channel into a “knowledge” based channel. Their desire is to give users the BEST possible answers to their query. Fresh, robust, trustworthy content is the “knowledge” Google is looking for.
Content is what drives your Social Media success. Sharing others’ content on your Social platforms is great but when it’s your own it offers up a whole lot more value for your business. Using Social Media to promote your own content can lead to “earned” media – where others find your content so valuable they share it to their network, friends and family.
Blogging is an extended conversation that goes on through every level of the sales process. Here are 6 tips to help you get your blog up and running:
1. Stake Your Claim
- Branding is important here so choose a URL that’s memorable. A good choice is to use your dealership business name with “blog” after it (example: ABCMotorsBlog.com). If you’ve done your SEO homework then people will find your site. Optimize your blog to give users more of what they’re looking for.
2. Build Your House
- The ideal platform for dealerships is WordPress (self-hosted). Download a theme (framework), add your custom branding (design) and then further customize it with plugins (small pieces of software that enhance your blog).
- The self-hosted version of WordPress allows you to own all your content. Another platform like Blogger or WordPress.com houses your content on another’s server.
- WordPress offers visibility and influence with search engines.
- WordPress provides nice options to converse with your readers (prospects) in the comments section.
3. Open the Gates
- Once your blog is built, it’s time to think about what you’re going to say. Think like your customer. What are the things they are searching for? Make a list. Brainstorm with your staff – they are the ones who talk to your customer everyday.
- One of the best ways to stay informed and remain inspired is to consume content. Spend 15 minutes a day reading others’ blogs and information about what your customer is interested in.
- Be open. Be aware. There are opportunities for blogpost ideas everyday at your dealership. It’s just a matter of shifting your mindset and honoring the process.
4. Avoid Excuses
- As the saying goes, “Writers have the cleanest kitchens.” It’s human nature to avoid or resist things that we know we’re going to be judged on. Blast through that because it’s BS. You know more about your product and services than anybody else on the planet. Your perspective is highly valuable to those who are searching for it.
- One of the most frequently asked questions I get from dealers is, “What do we write about.” This often stops dealers from exploring blogging further and keeps them stuck. This is harmful to your brand and your bottom line!
5. Perfect is the Enemy of Done
- When I first started blogging a few years ago, I devoured all the books and blogs I could about successful blogging. The Huffington Post’s book on blogging gave me the above advice and it’s never been far from my consciousness ever since. Do your best with your post, make sure it speaks to your brand and your customer, polish it up and hit publish. Don’t get caught up in the minutiae – perfection is an illusion.
6. Share Your Work
- Attach your blog to your website. If your website provider can’t do this for you, then at least make sure there’s a tab so customers/prospects can find it. You’ll still get the Google juice from your blog and this may create new and different ways to be found online.
- Syndicate your posts on all your Social channels and Social bookmarking sites. Create a unique place where your customers/prospects can go to find the information they’re looking for.