What can a blog do for a dealership website, exactly? Some of you may have heard ActivEngage CEO Todd Smith speak on the digital conference circuit. Automotive thought leaders contact Todd first for marketing tips on the latest advertising strategies. Marketing publications broadcast his thoughts on technological developments and dealership website optimization. GM booked Todd as a cornerstone speaker for their three-month eSummit tour starting in August. And, one great perk of being an ActivEngage Social Media Specialist? I get to hear Todd Smith’s pearls of wisdom for free (in fact, he pays me!). I thought I would share some of Todd’s insights with the rest of the world.
Todd told me a story that changed my outlook on the necessity of blogging for your website. The story wasn’t about car dealer live chat, or about auto dealers at all, or any of the things that we normally read about in these posts. It was about swimming pools. Todd became acquainted with the owner of River Pools & Spas, a wildly successful pool construction company that services the entire East Coast. The company website bills itself as “the most educational swimming pool blog in the country.”
Just by glancing at the site, you’ll notice that there is more content than you would expect from a pool builder’s Web page. In fact, River Pools & Spas has hundreds of blog posts, all about pool maintenance, construction, prices, materials, and accessories. But Todd told me that this was part of an ingenious e-marketing strategy. The founders of this pool installation company knew that when people consider large purchases like a pool (or a car), they consult the Internet first. If they have any questions about putting a swimming pool in their home, they’ll type their inquiry right into a Google search. And most of the time, the site with the most accurate, reputable, and convenient answer will earn their business.
Todd Smith says that these pool guys did some research. They figured out the top 50 pool-related questions customers were asking before buying. Then they wrote blog posts for each one of these questions. Should I build a concrete or fiberglass pool? In-ground or above-ground hot tubs? What are the monthly electrical costs? River Pools & Spas has a highly optimized blog post dedicated to each of these – and Google has ranked the site as an expert in the industry. Go ahead and try it. Search for anything about swimming pool installation and you’ll probably find them on the first hit – and if Google respects your business, customers will too.
What does all this mean for you? Car buyers will have exactly the same kinds of questions. Find out what your dealership customers are curious about when they start to do their research. Spend an hour writing about the differences between vehicle trims, or between different models (even those not sold at your dealership). Differentiate your auto website as “the most educational” and search engines will repay your efforts by driving shoppers right to you.
It’s a little-used secret of inbound marketing – and Todd Smith is full of marketing tips. If you haven’t made plans to see one of Todd’s presentations, you should! Check out the following upcoming events: