Earlier this month we talked about how a blog on your shop’s website can help build consumer trust, build your brand and lead to new customers. Let’s go over how to get that blog off the ground.
You’ll want to use a good variety of topics for your blog post, and then actually get them written. Once you have a few on hand, it’s time to start publishing.
Use variety in your blog posts
You’ll want to put some variety in your content. Use these ideas to create distinct, helpful articles that customers will want to read:
- “Pattern” defects that are specific to a make or model. For example, “Does your 2005-2015 Ford’s engine rattle when you first start it? We can fix that!”
- Basic maintenance, such as “How to check your engine’s oil and top it up.”
- Cosmetic auto care topics, like “How to properly wash your car.”
- Seasonal content, such as “7 ways to prepare your car for winter.”
- Safety-related topics, like “How to tell if you need new tires.”
- A “call us when this happens” series, including issues like “What to do when you find a puddle of coolant under your car.”
- Articles highlighting your community efforts, such as becoming a Toys for Tots drop-off location, or putting the spotlight on your staff members and what makes them special.
Creating your content
The next step is to get the first several articles written, before you post anything. You want to have plenty of content ready to go at any given time. This lets you stick to your schedule and gives you flexibility.
While the first few articles should come directly from the owner or manager of the shop, it’s helpful to get other interested staff members involved. If they can write well enough and have an area of expertise that will reflect well on both them and the shop, use their talents.
Every article does not have to be “written.” Some can be shot on video, others can be a sequence of photos with captions. These techniques work well for posts about service and maintenance procedures. Customer testimonials are also ideal for video treatment. Just make sure that the videos and photos look professional, and the commentary is serious, so that it all reflects well on your shop’s image.
Publishing your content
Depending on how your website is set up, you may be able to add blog content yourself. If you are still farming out your website administration to an outside supplier, they may be able to set up a blog page that you can manage yourself, after a simple tutorial. If not, you can send them your writing and they can post it.
Promoting your blog
Once you start your blog, and posts are being published regularly, you’ll want to drive people to your site to read them. Here are a few tips:
- Collect customer email addresses, and get their permission to send them emails. Make up a small form promoting the blog and requesting this information and permission, assuring them in writing that you won’t resell their email addresses. Pay your staff members a small bounty for each email address they collect, and this should get done quickly.
- Use a free or low-cost email management tool like MailChimp or Constant Contact. These tools are designed to manage your email address list. They also let you easily create and send a professional-looking promotional email to your customer list, each time a new blog post is published. Briefly describe the new post in the message, and place a link to the article in the email.
- Link to each new blog post on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram and any other social media your shop uses. Respond thoughtfully and respectfully to any meaningful comments you receive.
Would you like some FREE high-quality content for your blog?
As your partner in success, we can help you engage customers, and keep them coming back. Here are four articles you can share on your website or blog, via Facebook or other social media, or in an newsletter.
- Warranty Guide
- FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: Which Is Best?
- What To Do When Your Airbag Warning Light Is On
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