YES! You need a blog. As important as a website is to your business, the dealership blog is just as important. It needs to become the gateway to your dealership. Your blog will be the most important tool you have in maintaining and developing relationships within your market.
There are a few dealers who have a blog just so they can say, “yes, I have a blog.” But the blog’s content is weak. No focus, no target, no purpose and therefore no relationships and no dealership traffic.
Here are 20 ways to help you and your automotive ad agency get your blog to the next level:
- Identify your target audience and be sure it is very clear.
- Your focus is to build a community that keeps coming back for helpful, relevant content.
- Deliver original automotive content.
- Be personal and conversational in your tone. We want to educate but this is not an academic exercise.
- Make sure your material is relevant to your target audience. You want to post regularly but don’t post just to post.
- Ask questions and enlist feedback. Relationships are built when both sides can contribute to the conversation.
- Get your own unique URL. This is critical if you are on a site such as WordPress.com, Typepad or Blogger and you decided to change platforms.
- Have a clean layout that highlights your content, don’t let your automotive ad agency sell you on a bunch of sidebar widgets.
- Highlight your best posts based upon your blog’s analytics with a “Best Of” or “Most Popular Posts” page.
- Have a “point of view ” post that is a summation of your blog’s purpose, your point of differentiation and your stake in the sand.
- The most important part of your blog is the writing so make the start up easy. Start out with WordPress.com, an easy platform to upgrade from without dependency upon someone from your IT department.
- Select a few keywords that your target audience will most likely use to find you and then refer to them frequently in your blogs.
- Your blog’s design and layout should be configured for SEO.
- Tracking social media success is not difficult. Get in the habit of checking your blogs’ analytics frequently. Keep it simple, but know on a daily basis the number of unique visitors, page views, top posts, how people got to your blog, search terms and incoming links.
- Provide links to and from your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. But remember that the Blog is the driver.
- Include your blog address on everything including your business cards as well as your email signature.
- Allow your blog to become the “gateway” to your dealership.
- Become the face of your dealership. You are in a relationship business. People want to work with people they know, like and trust.
- You don’t have to be naked but be transparent. Inform your audience with relevant content.
- Repurpose your blog content using Twitter and Twitter tools such as Tweetlater.
Provide your thoughts and additions to this initial list. Also, please feel free to asks questions. The blog should become an integral part of driving dealership traffic.