Dealer Outlook

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It’s all about content on your website

A dealer’s website performance is based on whether it spurs people to act — and click. Consequently, content is more important than any other aspect, digital promotion experts advise.

Content, then, is something a dealer makes happen, because it’s a key part of one’s marketing strategy.

The content of a website can’t be left to chance. It’s designed to provide information to customers and prospects. Product information? Of course. But, unfortunately, that’s where many dealers stop, falling far short of making their website really work.

On the other hand, by producing good content and adding to it on a regular basis, dealers can accomplish three things: (1) educate customers on how to get the most use and enjoyment from their boat; (2) coach them on how to maintain their boat by providing basic, easy-to-follow recommendations; and (3) call attention to new products or services as they come in. However, in the latter case, be warned that new products and sales messages cannot be the only time something new is uploaded to the website. Doing so will soon cause customers and prospects to dump the site altogether. Content is not just selling, it’s providing interesting information.

Writing content is likely what scares most dealers off. It really isn’t difficult. Nobody expects Pulitzer Prize-winning articles here. Simply, it’s putting subjects that resonate with the reader in plain language. Never use tech speak or jargon unless it’s needed for a specific message. Never appear to talk down to customers.

The goal is to create content that answers common questions or presents a new idea and illustrates a way to use the boat to its fullest. A good website also serves as a good place to direct customers and prospects with questions. It can establish the dealership as the go-to experts before prospects even consider a purchase. Good content consistently gives viewers something of value for free. And, let’s face it, people like getting things free.

Content can also be an important way to get a dealership in front of new customers, especially since the recession and current levels of recovery have significantly reduced paid advertising by most dealers.

Finally, the term “content marketing” is all over the business scene these days. And many large-scale businesses continually develop content for everything from YouTube to Pinterest, much less the company websites. For small-business boat dealers, trying to do too much is a recipe for failure. Dealers don’t have the time or resources to cover it all.

Concentrating on your website, with short articles, video, posting pictures, a blog or uploading available free content narrows the effort and enables you to do it well. And speaking of available content, a great place to start is at www.growboating.com, which is the industry’s portal to a lot of great materials that can be simply uploaded to add professional content to your site.

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