Here at Spidersnet, we’re always trying to help our car dealers learn as much as they can about the world of online marketing. There are many channels and methods that you can use, one of which is your own dealership blog.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a blog as: ‘A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.’
Essentially, it is the part of your website where you can write your own articles that aren’t too salesy and don’t bang on about the products and services that you offer. It’s a great place for you to express yourself and write about your dealership’s news and announcements. You could also offer up industry news, or anything else that might interest or entertain your customers!
It’s not necessary to have a blog on your site, but if you have enough time (and you don’t need much!) to do it right, it can be very beneficial to your dealership.
“A blog offers you the chance to spread the word about new announcements and news coming from your dealership. You can also write about the motor industry, events and the goings on behind the scences. Use it as a place to express yourself.”Claire McEvoy
If a new or potential customer comes across your blog and it is full of informative and interesting articles, then they will be suitably impressed. If they read entertaining and relevant pieces that are based around industry news and vehicle reviews, as well as other useful advice, they will go away thinking of you as a well informed business that cares enough to keep up-to-date with the goings on in your industry. This means that they will appreciate your dealership as a trustworthy and credible business.
You may also want to write blog posts about the company itself. People love to see what’s going on behind the scenes and articles such as these will give your dealership character, allowing potential and current customers to get to know your business better. This may end up with them coming to you to purchase a car or service again and again.
A well-written blog can drive plenty of traffic to your website. If you write captivating copy that interests and excites readers, then they may come across your articles on search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. These users may then go on to spend some more time looking around your site at the services you have to offer. And you never know, if it comes to a time when they need a new car, they may come back to your website!
Search engines, particularly Google, love useful information. It’s what drives their search pages and makes them all of their money! Therefore if search engines can see that you’re providing useful, unique information (rather than just trying to sell) to the public then there is evidence that your website is more informative and useful than a competitor with “thin” content.
“Encourage interaction where possible. Ask for feedback, and respond to people’s contributions, build up a community and be nice. People love to interact, so make sure you’re friendly and welcoming.”the guardian
NEED SOME IDEAS?
We appreciate it’s not always easy to come up with ideas for posts on a regular basis. The best way of tackling this is to get your staff together and create a long list of ideas that you can reference when your brain’s not feeling up to it. Here are just a few ideas that should come in handy.
What’s going on in and around the company?
Have you had a revamp? Has a really unique vehicle arrive to be sold at your dealership? Has one of your staff had a special celebration or have you got a special promotion on? These topics would all make great article pieces, that give the customer some idea of what’s going on at your dealership.
What’s going on in your industry?
As someone who works in the motors industry, you are in a great position to share this information with your customers. Is there any new legislation about driving that your customers might find useful? Are there any stats about the motor industry you can comment on, and that your customers might find interesting? Think about the expertise that you and your staff might have to offer. So long as it is useful and informative, it will make for a good blog post.
What do you know about vehicles that your customers would find useful?
Being in the motor industry you probably know lots about basic car maintenance and repair. Why not write about this? You could even film a member of staff carrying out simple maintenance and package it up as a ‘guide to…’ video series. You could offer advice on changing a tyre, changing windscreen wipers or topping up your car’s various fluids. Also, seeing as you’re a dealership, why not offer some advice on things people can do to ensure they sell their car quickly and with ease.
“Your dealership’s blog could show off the people behind the scenes. A good blog should have character and allow your customers to catch a glimpse of the people running the business.”Adam Rowden
HOW MUCH SHOULD I WRITE?
You should be aiming to write as much or as little as the topic requires. If you’re posting about an interesting paint job that one of the vehicles on your forecourt has, a picture and one paragraph would suffice. You might even be able to avoid writing any text all together and create a video instead. However, if you’re writing a guide or review, then you’ll want to be more in depth and write a lot more copy.
In order to make a longer article more interesting you will also want to ensure that you are including a number of photos or perhaps a video or two. You could even highlight some quotes and make them stand out on your page (just like we have done in this post). The more encapsulating and interesting your piece is, the more likely a reader is to return for more.
DO I HAVE THE TIME?
You should aim to create one piece of content per month on your blog. If you don’t have time to do it yourself – ask your other members of staff to get involved and share the load.
If you really don’t have time to update create any content on a regular basis – don’t include a blog on your site. You don’t want your customers looking at your blog, and seeing one post saying “blog is now live” and nothing else – this will make your site look unfinished and won’t give the best impression to your customer. One of the key things to ensure when starting a blog, is that it will be continually updated and won’t end up looking stagnant.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER…
Here are just a couple of other things that you may want to consider when it comes to writing your blog posts.
Using images in your blog
You might want to include images in some of your posts to explain a point or to break up the text. If you are using images on your blog make sure they are yours to use, or that you have permission to use them and that you give credit to any sources. Not doing this could lead to court action. Read more about image copyright here
If you have referred to information on another article, paper or website, include a reference stating where you got that information from, and if it’s from a website – link to it. This is not a legal requirement, but it is good manners, and evidence shows that externally linking could improve your presence in search engines.
Spidersnet offer advice & content writing services to all of our customers.
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