Dealer Blogs: Reaching Your Customers
Blogging is a relatively older tactic with websites. For years it was kin to having a public diary, a lot of writing about self and favorites. Your favorite dog/cat, trip, or the joys (and trials) of raising children. Just about any topic could be covered at just about any time.
It has gained more popularity over recent years as a means of providing information to customers and potential new customers. Now, it has become a means of providing content marketing information to be consumed by those that may have, or just discovered, an interest in a product, service, place – just about anything in any specific niche that relates to the reader’s needs.
In powersports and motorcycle dealerships it could serve as a non-sales way to gain trust of customers – make them more like a friend than a buyer. That’s the important thing. We want customers to feel more like friends than just buyers.
Because of this, we need to approach the entire concept of blogging as completely different than a sales pitch. What we are talking about is human experience and not just features and costs—and there lies the difference. As a blogger, it is my job to inform you not just try to sell you something. I want to share with you my experience. If something clicks, great, I’ve done my job.
Many dealers of powersports and motorcycles do not share this feeling. To them, it is a matter of how many units did we move, what was the revenues from service, parts, and what can we do to in crease the sales. More ads—billboards—or maybe some demo rides or an onsite radio show—a deal on special financing. Free food and picnic activities always help—anything to get the buyer through the door
In the past all of these worked (and don’t get me wrong, some of them still do) but, in the new age of blogs, social media, product reviews, and large consumption of videos—some of the tired old ways are obviously that—tired old ways. Customers have changed and dealers need to change with them. Remember the days when you spent a small fortune on large Yellow Page Ads? How about spreads in the local newspaper or even radio (even some TV) spots…they helped bring in the bodies and get the units sold.
That worked for dozens of years, but at the same time, there were millions of baby boomers (born 1946-1964) who had reached maturity enjoying powersports and motorcycles. They had also reached disposable income levels that could afford such luxuries…but wo to those who would not heed change. Remember Sears? Over 100 years of doing things well, the old way, and refusing to recognize the new. Don’t put your head in the sand the same way…it isn’t that change is coming…it is already here! The following are some blog tips you can consider.
1. Don’t Pretend
Nothing stands out more than a failed sales attempt disguised as a blog. You must be genuine and not get into a habit of writing about price, performance, and delivery. Yes, you could from a personal point of view refer to all of these within a short blog, but if it even hints the sound like a sales pitch—you’ve already lost them. Sincere personal account shines through…if not yours, then tell of someone else’s.
2. Be Interesting
Blogs are short, informational, informal writing pieces that convey sincere feelings about an interesting topic. Since much of powersports has to do with travel, racing, recreation, and so on, so should the blog. Profiling a racer, describing the joys (and pitfalls) of a trip – short and to the point. If you haven’t noticed, along with a lot of the other old ways, reading has declined, and video excelled. Again, sign of the times…information is consumed the easiest and fastest way possible. So, if your blog is not short, to the point, your readers will soon be over watching a YouTube video.
3. I’m Talking to a Friend
The relaxed feeling tone should convey a sense of friendliness. Dictatorial academic type proclamations will quickly turn-off readers. Instead, imagine you’re at a table sharing coffee and conversation with an old friend. It will come through in your writing and be much better received.
4. Powersports Consumers and Motorcyclists are Similar
It is not that they are THAT different, but they truly are in some ways. They are active risk takers. They know there is related dangers to their activities but enjoy them just the same. Years ago, I was researching personalities of motorcyclists and found that an inordinate number of the were also pilots and police officers—again, high risk activities.
5. Enjoy what You Write About
Again, the sincerity factor—really like what you talk about. Again, it comes through in the writing. We all remember having to do some dreadful report on some dull topic in school—what a task, and the writing sounded like it. Again, if it is a chore, it will sound like one.
6. Seek Outside Help
If you just don’t have the time, or you’d much rather be out racing or riding, have someone who loves writing ghost write the blog for you. A consistent voice is what needs to shine through. Most blogs are only a few hundred to a thousand words…if it takes you 10 hours to crank it out, you’d be better off to go change the oil in your bike. If you don’t enjoy it, hire a professional. I’d be happy to help—go.