I am going to go out on a limb and guess that most of you reading this have never thought about writing a blog! After all, few of us “car” people consider much out of the day-to-day operations of the business. Honestly, before I started writing this blog for work, I had never considered it either! I like to write, but I always figured it would be for a salacious soap opera called “As the Dealership Turns”…you all know what I am talking about! There is a reason most dealerships offer free popcorn (it goes so well with drama…)! Let's review some of the pros and cons of having a blog for your dealership!
A blog allows you to appeal to a wider audience, and that means more customers. Let’s face it, automotive websites are not inherently interesting. I mean, I like cars, but I need a reason to keep coming back besides drooling over that sweet ride I can’t afford! A blog can do that for you. It creates new content on your website to keep people coming back for more! The more times they visit your website, the more likely they are to find that vehicle that they just can’t live without!
Also, a blog is a great way to keep your customers engaged and attract new customers! It allows you to share your expertise and creates service after the sale! The more you can stay in front of your customers, the better the chance of them returning when it’s time to buy. Plus, if you get known for your informative and entertaining blog, others will take notice.
Having a blog allows you to distinguish your brand. Sure, you know what you do, but do others? Obviously, you sell vehicles, but so do a lot of other people in your market. What makes you different? A blog is a great way to convey the culture of your business! For example a dealership's culture can significantly affect sales. Women influence 85% of vehicle purchasing decisions, and one of the top things they look for in a dealership is a culture they can be comfortable in. Using a blog to show the dealership's culture can build trust and lead to sales, so blog away!
From an analytics standpoint, a blog can help you increase your SEO! SEO is how your business ranks on Google without paying for ads. One of the things Google looks for when determining rank is that your website is active and “alive”. Adding new content regularly in the form of a blog can help with this! This can help you rank better with search engines, thereby getting more customers!
Finally, writing a blog forces you to stay up-to-date on current trends! It requires you to organize your thoughts as well as dig into information that you may not otherwise review. We live in the information age, with more information available at our fingertips than we could possibly use. Blogging requires us to narrow down that information and understand it well enough to convey it to others. Often we get too busy in our day-to-day lives to do this, but blogging holds us accountable!
Blogs take time. It does take time to craft an engaging and informative blog, decide what topics are pertinent, do research, combine the material, find an approach to present the material, and actually type the blog. And, this isn’t a one-time thing, you have to do this over and over again for a blog to be successful and develop a following. Consistency is key. Think about it this way, have you ever sat down to watch your favorite TV show (favorite drink and snack in hand) and there are no more episodes? Makes you mad, doesn’t it? (I’m still eating the snack, but I am NOT happy about it!) People feel the same way about their favorite blogs!
Another obstacle to writing a blog is the actual writing itself! Many people find writing an anxiety-inducing task! If you are one of those people, blogging is not going to be enjoyable, and your audience will sense that. The nice thing about a blog is that while you want your grammar and spelling to be on point (trust me there is nothing more annoying than those errors in an otherwise well-written blog), you are allowed to be a bit more “free” with your writing. This is not a formal research paper and it should have your personality and humor injected into it. Most people read blogs for the entertainment aspect. Even people who are scared about writing can blog, because blogging is more about being yourself. That being said, always have someone proofread your work!
While there are certainly obstacles to overcome when writing a blog (the blank page staring back at you, taunting you), overall it's worth it! Blogging gets your business out in front of new potential customers, keeps you engaged with current and former customers, increases your internet and social media presence, helps distinguish your brand and culture, and increases your SEO! I understand that developing and maintaining a blog takes time and commitment, trust me! However, I believe that the time invested is worth it to help grow your business. Plus, it not only helps grow your business, it will help you grow as a professional too. Now, that’s a win-win!