Wouldn’t it be great if your dealership had a staff full of employees that could not only sell and service each customer with excellence, but also create optimized engaging content for your dealership’s blog?
I was reading a post by Kathi Kruse over on DrivingSales earlier this week.
The article is titled “Poof! Your Last Excuse Against Blogging Just Vanished”
While generally a fan of Kathi’s posts, unfortunately, this particular article had me shaking my head and rolling my eyes.
“In the dealerships of the future (read: 2013), every front line employee will be trained and be regularly submitting blog content.”
Kathi, I’m a advocate of your writing and it’s rare for me to not link to one of your shared articles in my twitter stream. This article is another example of your passion and forward thinking (maybe too forward). With 15 years of dealership experience, I feel confident in saying that asking a dealer’s sales and service staff to contribute to a blog (long or short copy) is living in the world of rainbows and unicorns.
While a noble dream, this would be a complete waste of time and resources on the dealer’s behalf. Not only would this likely result in a high failure rate, but there’s a good chance the one in charge of orchestrating this project would become very frustrated with their employees.
Please note – I speak from experience. I, too, thought this would be an easy and effective strategy. It failed, miserably, and for many reasons.
Let’s think about this for a minute. How many people are truly committed enough to write content for a blog? An individual that understands consistency, engaging copy, keyword optimization, and the audience. I’ll guarantee it’s a small percentage. Yet, here we are thinking the typical dealership has a sales floor or service lane full of these unique individuals.
I’m sorry, but NO.
Instead of dealerships wasting time trying to involve their sales or service teams, I’d like to suggest a couple, more effective, approaches.
- Hire “that” individual
Outsource: Find yourself an Ad or PR Agency that offers content writing. Ideally, one that would have the opportunity to visit the dealership on a frequent basis and build relationships with key individuals. This provides the agency with a feel for the dealer’s brand, access to content, dealer highlights, local news, etc.
Hire “that” individual: Possibly the better choice here. Maybe, just maybe, this one individual already exists at the dealership. If that’s the case, good luck getting this individual to contribute consistent content to the dealership’s blog. Eventually, they’ll tune into WIIFM and want compensation for their writing (rightfully so).
FYI – Dealers struggle with paying their sales employees for “additional services”.
If you’re a dealer that understands the value of social and content marketing, build a solid job description for this position (full-time or part-time depending on your goals and needs) and hire the right person. Choose someone that understands content writing and leverages local, industry and dealer news in order to build optimized content for your blog and other social media outlets.
A full-time content writer could hold other marketing responsibilities for the dealership as well: video blogging, reputation management, website content, social media, etc. Both of these approaches will yield the dealer a much higher success rate for their content / blogging strategy.
With all that being said, I’m in no way totally excluding the sales and service department from contributing to the store’s social and content strategy. But let’s keep it simple.
For example, items the sales and service staff could contribute to are:
- Photos of happy customers beside their new car.
- Positive reviews from sales and service customers.
- Video testimonials from service and service customers – even this can be a stretch.
- Feature / benefit walk around video (wrap this into an employee contest).
My purpose of writing this isn’t to be Debbie downer or to rain on anyone’s blogging parade. I’m just very much a realist. With my years on the front line of the dealership, I have a keen understanding of how most dealerships operate, specifically, the mentality of the sales and service floor. That being said, I wanted to place a more realistic spin on the topic while also providing more attainable goals for a dealers blogging strategy.
Kathi, please keep doing what you do. I’m an advocate and admire your passion to help dealers with their social media content strategies. It’s an important component of any dealers marketing mix.
After commenting below, be sure to follow Kathi on twitter, like I do.
DealerRefresh readers, am I Right or Wrong?
How may sales and service individuals do you have that would be willing, and able, to contribute engaging articles for your dealership’s blog?