Your dealership’s blog is a valuable way to engage and educate potential customers about your vehicles, events, and service specials. It’s the perfect place for your team to share their expertise and help customers get the most out of their automobile. However, many dealerships either aren’t blogging, or are failing to create enough of the right kind of content on their blog. In most cases, those are also the dealerships who have not taken the time to establish an editorial strategy for their blog.
Having a proper strategy in place will help your dealership to create content on a regular basis to engage your target audience and help to convert prospects into paying customers. Here are 6 steps to creating a blog strategy that will drive success for your dealership:
Know Who You’re Talking To
Before you start putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) you need to decide whom you’re writing for. Who do you want to reach with your company blog? Be as specific as possible as you outline your target audience. You don’t need to talk to everyone in the country who has an automobile – instead, really focus on your vehicles, your processes and what makes your dealership great.
Set Benchmarks and Goals
Creating a blog is a big commitment. Before you get started, you need to identify what you’d like your dealership’s blog to accomplish. It’s these goals that form the overall plan for your blog, and help to determine the direction you go with your content. Whether you want more visitors, interaction with customers or to be seen as a thought leader in the automotive industry, your blog needs to start out the same: with a clear vision of what you want to achieve.
Create a Schedule – and stick to it!
The previous step had you identify your goals for the blog – this step is what you're going to do in order to complete them. Building a successful blog takes planning, and developing an editorial calendar is an absolute must for success. Outline important dates, categories and blog titles that align with your overall goals for the blog. Schedule all of your blog posts at least a month at a time, and ideally, some of your social media updates as well. Once the schedule is created, stick to it! Actually, having a content calendar allows you to write and schedule posts in advance, so use any extra time you have to get ahead.
Once you start posting blogs, it’s important to be consistent. Not only with the time that you update your blog posts (generally it’s best if you stick to the same days of the week once you get started) but also with the tone of your posts. Writing one blog in a formal tone and another that’s really casual or informal will only confuse your readers and dilute your messaging. Your blog’s delivery is extremely important, as this is how you’ll establish a connection with your audience.
Share your Posts
Your responsibility to your blog doesn’t end once the post is published. In fact, that’s just the beginning. In order to maximize potential readers, you need to notify your target market when you’ve written a new blog post. A large part of your blog’s strategy should be your distribution, or, where you’re going to share your blog content after its been written. With social media, sharing is easy – promote all of your blog posts on your social media profiles, and highlight important information in your e-newsletter.
Analyze and Adapt
Once your blog is up and running and the content is flowing, track site visits, clicks, comments and shares. This will help your dealership make decisions about the type of content to create, and also to determine the type of content your audience is most interested in.
Creating a successful blog can be challenging, but by investing the time needed to build an editorial calendar, your dealership will be ahead of the game when it comes to creating great content. Are you blogging on behalf of your dealership? Share your tips for success in the comments below.