By Jordan Bentley, National Sales Manager at Callbright.
The interesting thing about viral content is that it’s frequently as forgettable as it is memorable. For all the attention viral content gets, it can disappear in a relatively short amount of time as some other piece of viral content takes its place.
Blogging especially can fall victim to the viral nature of the internet, as a single post might be wildly popular and have a reach far larger than most of your posts. But by their nature, blogs should be built for long-term staying power. They don’t have to be 1,000-word think pieces, but a 500-word description on how to winterize your car can be far more in depth and effective than any 140-character tweet (that will be forgotten in a couple days) will ever be.
As such, blogging gives your dealership the opportunity to be truly memorable for longer than the traditional cycle of viral content. Unfortunately dealerships that do take on blogging for marketing tend to not stick with it and lose their way. They lack consistent content and don’t touch on meaningful subjects, so nobody comes back to keep reading.
If you’re already blogging for your dealership, great! But are you doing enough to make it memorable to your customers? I came up with some rules for quality blogging that will help you break the viral content cycle and turn your blog into a real marketing tool.
I call my rules the Three B’s of Blogging, and they’ll help your blog be all that it can be.
A recent Autotrader and IHS Automotive study revealed that almost 60 percent of the time people spend on the car-buying process is dedicated to researching online. What that means is people have reached your blog in search of information. You customers want to learn.
Don’t let your blog get bogged down by boring, reused content from other content creators. Build your own brand and make your blog educational. Use your blog to teach customers about features on a new sedan or let them know what kind of maintenance they should perform when their vehicle is nearing certain mileage milestones. Your customers are looking for answers, and a blog is your chalkboard.
Most experts say blogging more frequently is better for generating web traffic and leads. HubSpot, which publishes dozens of marketing and sales blogs daily, recently said that its customers who posted 16 or more blog posts per month received 3.5 times more traffic than its customers who posted 0-4 per month and received 4.5 times more leads over the same group.
I understand that blogging is just one of your (or your social media manager’s) responsibilities, and posting 16 meaty, educational blog posts per month is probably asking a lot. Regardless of how frequently you decide to publish a post, make sure you stick to a schedule. Being consistent will help you build a content base that will boost your blog searchability. If you’re feeling like you can’t meet a certain blog post count target, ask other dealership employees to pitch in and offer their perspectives on questions customers frequently have.
As your catalog of content increases, be sure you’re keeping track of which posts are getting hits and (if possible) leading to calls or web form submissions to your dealership. Remember how HubSpot said frequent bloggers get more traffic and more leads? You need to know that your blogging is having that kind of return if you’re investing the time to make it happen.
That kind of information will also help you see which posts are generating interest among your customers. What questions do they most frequently want answers to? Do blog posts about new car features get more interest than posts about how they should winterize their car? Use traffic knowledge to improve your content by making posts that are more likely to generate interest.
Whether you’re starting a blog or have been at it for awhile, be sure you’re following my Three B’s of Blogging to get the best bang for your blogging buck.