Bloggers come under fire from many and that may be why dealers are not willing to participate in starting their own. I know that I have personally come under scrutiny on more than one occasion for views that I have published, was eventually fired for a blog post and started my own business. Two well know people in the industry have threatened to sue me over articles I have written on www.ismintraining.com. (here
<one I was fired over and here
) One of those stories caused a website provider to change their platform, whether they will admit it or not is another story, after I was informed by them how wrong I was in my opinion.
Another post that I did caused our dealership to get national attention, and our dealer principal wound up on many traditional media outlets
over a blog post
. The additional exposure came from social media after the story went popular on Digg.com
. Over 30 car deals were directly attributed to this almost free exposure, he gave me a nice bonus check out of the blue over a very nice meal.
When Landrover made a bad move using twitter to create brand awareness it heated up the blogosphere
and hopefully changed the way they use social marketing, it still built brand awareness. Jeff Kershner's blog www.dealerrefresh.com
has probably done more to affect long term strategy and products offered by vendors in our niche than any other online outlet to date.
Hoaxes by bloggers and other have also influenced traditional media most notably:
- Rush Limbaugh got punked when an unknown blogger published a post claiming to have uncovered President Obamma's college thesis.
- Story about a 13 yo kid who stole his dads credit cards and ordered prostitutes.
- An anti abortionist faking pregnancy and birth of a terminal baby.
- Fake press releases by the US Chamber of Commerce
Blogs have the ability to create buzz, while I would never encourage hoaxes, it amazes me why dealers are not participating more in creation of their own dealership blog
. From conversations I have had with clients it would seem that time and having the staff to keep it updated are the biggest excuses.
How many times have we seen a GM or GSM in their office with the door closed while working on print ads or planning television commercial shoots? I would offer that a well written blog post could generate more traffic than any single print ad or television commercial! It is a medium that cannot be ignored and needs to be included in your marketing plan.
Dealerships need a blog to help bolster their online exposure especially if they want to be involved in social media. Here are some topics that dealers could blog about that will bring in traffic and help them create dealer brand awareness. Occasionally things can go viral and draw an avalanche of traffic but that is not the reason for dealers to blog.
- Participation in charitable events such as the local Relay for Life or Habitat for Humanity.
- Local sports - even better if you have local professional teams but being from the south High School football is HUGE.
- Local political views that they do not mind sharing. Proceed with caution there, but I have yet to meet a dealer that did not have a strong opinion on local politics.
- Car buying tips and examples of how things such as leases work.
- How to change the time on clocks in vehicles they sell with video.
- Don't send a letter to the editor of the local paper, email them a link to your blog post giving them permission to republish it.
- New hire and retirement announcements.
- Special promotions and incentives and how to take advantage of them. Sparingly and tactfully.
- Customer testimonials, using the customers name with their permission.
- New model first deliveries. I sold every Challenger we got as they rolled in.
Here are examples of blogs we have helped dealers set up for a Cincinnati Ford dealer
and a North Carolina Chevy dealer
they publish their own content. The one for the Chevy dealer is new and the Ford Dealer blog is over a year old and it generates traffic to their main website and direct phone inquiries. You can poke around them and get some ideas for content for your dealership blog. Or ask questions in the comment section below.
Think of a dealership blog as a brand awareness tool, like billboards, shopping cart ads, license plate holders, key tags, silhouettes, pens, ball caps and other trinkets. Not only can it garner local traffic when people are searching for what is going on it can also be used as part of your search engine reputation management, a well optimized blog will take up two entries in the search engines for your dealership name like your traditional website. if you have a brand sponsored website in addition to you main website you have half the battle won on owning all of first page results for your dealership name.
Our next drivingsales webinar every Wednesday at noon
will be sharing strategies that dealers can use to own all of the front page searches for their name and protecting their online reputation. Hope to see you there.
SEGA Systems, LLC
“Without Traffic Everything Fails”
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