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Why Your Website Needs to Be Updated Regularly

26 Sep, 2013 By: Darrell Amy, Dealer Marketing Systems

In our ongoing monthly eTrends series, we are exploring the components of an effective dealer website.  This issue we’ll explain why your website needs to be updated regularly and what type of content should be added to your site.

Here’s a scary fact from a recent research report:  “Prospects will contact a sales rep only after independently completing 60% of the purchasing decision process based on their online research.”  (2011 Corporate Executive Board survey of 1,900 B2B customers)

Without question, there is a sea change happening in the buying process.

In the old days buyers got information from meeting with sales people.  In the process of providing information sales people were able to begin a relationship with the prospect. 

These days are quickly coming to a close.  More and more prospects are doing their homework before they talk to a sales rep.  They are going online to find the answers to their questions and solutions to their business problems.  Once they have determined the direction they want to go, they engage a sales person.  The company they engage with is often the company that provided the most helpful information.

What does this mean to your dealership?  The companies that win in this new buying process provide helpful information.

We’ve always known that the company that wins competitive deals is usually the first one in the door.  This is still true.  The only difference is that the first company in the door is the one that provides the knowledge during the background research phase. 

Smart dealers are capitalizing on this trend by transforming their web properties (websites, landing pages and social media pages) into resource centers full of helpful information.

How do you turn your web presence into a resource to help the new kind of buyer?

You can’t do this overnight.  However, over time you can transform your company’s online presence into a powerful resource for new buyers.  Here are three ways you can get started:

1. Update Your Blog Weekly
If you add one helpful article to your website every week you will have added over 50 new articles to your site by this time next year.  Do this consistently for 2 or 3 years and you’ll look back and find out that your site has been transformed from an online corporate brochure to a powerful resource that potential buyers can use to complete the first 60% of the sales process.

2. Write Articles/Blogs
Write articles that answer questions that you receive during the sales process.  As our content team is writing blog articles for our dealer clients we are always trying to put ourselves in the position of the prospect.  Ask yourself what does a prospect have that we could answer online? This is highly effective at providing helpful information as a resource, while spotlighting your services/brand as well.

2. Update Your Social Media Pages Daily
Once you are providing helpful information on your website you now have information you can share on your social media properties: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.  You can simply take the key ideas from these articles and turn them into social updates that link back to your site.  You can also have your sales team share your company posts to expand the reach.

This does two things.  First, people that follow your company online will begin to notice the new direction.  Your company will stick out as a resource that provides helpful information, not a typical company that only self-promotes on social media.  Second, these social updates get indexed by Google, creating more back doors for prospects to find you online during the buying process.

Dealers can capitalize on the new buying trends by getting smart about their online marketing.  Put yourself in the seat of a prospect.  Would your website be a helpful resource full of useful information or it it simply a slick online brochure?

Look for ways to add helpful content to your website and social media properties.  This is about more than having trendy marketing.  It’s about capitalizing on the biggest shift in buyer behavior we have ever witnessed.

Darrell Amy, Chief Innovation Officer, DealerMarketing.net, and has spent the last 9 years working with dealers across the US and Australia to help them position their dealerships for success in solutions and managed services.  He has trained thousands of sales people in solution selling.  He has visited hundreds of dealer locations.  In his 20 years of industry experience Darrell has worked for an independent dealer, a national organization and a hardware OEM.  Darrell is a frequent writer for ImageSource and Office Technology magazines.  He is also a regular speaker at industry events and dealer meetings.  At http://damy@dealermarketing.net| 214-224-0050 x.101

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