By time you read this paragraph, your rural lifestyle customers could have visited your web site, lost interest and moved on.
According to BBC News, “The addictive nature of web browsing can leave you with an attention span of nine seconds — the same attention span as a goldfish.” As further explained by Sally Hogshead, a brand consultant to world-class companies, “nine seconds is all we get before people’s brains make a decision of whether to stay focused or jump to a new topic.”
Beyond keeping the brick-and-mortar aspect of your dealership fresh, it’s because of this nine-second reason that it’s just as important to continuously update your web presence. A web site is not designed to be a static brochure, but rather a platform for engaging content to keep drawing back customers and prospects alike. Think about web sites you tap into for news and information. Is the information on these sites the same or does new content keep you coming back?
I compare refreshing a web site to home remodeling. Recently, my husband and I built a new house, and he surprised the architect by asking if he could design the house with moveable walls. When the architect asked what he meant, my husband explained, “My wife continuously rearranges the furniture now, so if we try to decide on a house plan that will work for the rest of her life, she will need moveable walls.”
I like to change things. A new look to a room refreshes it and captivates my attention. And, I don’t think my thirst for the new and updated is unusual in today’s society, particularly when it comes to people’s desire for new content and information.
How do you keep your site engaging? You know better than anyone that life at the dealership puts plenty on your to-do list. From learning about new products to staying abreast of financing programs, you have a lot of everything but time. Multiply that by the number of shortlines you carry, and it’s easy to see why updating your web site can move its way down the priority list. However, fundamental business items like these can work to your advantage.
Try these tips:
Communicate What’s New: Designate a section of your web site to showcase new product information. In most cases, this information comes from the manufacturer. Highlight key features, special financing offers or purchase programs.
Share Your News: Spotlight an employee of the month and highlight events at your dealership or in your community. Ask your staff to report on events they participate in such as farm shows, county fairs, fundraisers, etc.
Educate for Business: Post a monthly “How-To” page. This can be seasonal content that relates to equipment maintenance, proper attachment use and other topics that educate your customers, while establishing your dealership as a trusted expert.
Borrow from Others: Set up your web site to handle RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds from magazine sites, your equipment manufacturers, industry blogs or web publishers. Grab these RSS feeds from related equipment and news sites and display them on yours. It’s an efficient way to have new, relevant content on your site.
Repurpose and Reuse: Content management is like preparing a turkey. You may carve the turkey for the first meal, but then you will likely have turkey sandwiches, soup and casserole in the following days — all from the same bird. Think of web content in the same way. Let’s say you host a safety day with the local FFA chapter. Take videos to post on YouTube and your web site. Post a safety checklist used at the event. Repost an article about the event from the local paper.
Tap into Young Talent: Still limited on time to make these web site updates? Partner with a local school and sponsor an intern to make your updates one or two nights a week.
Providing new content is a necessity to keep your online audience engaged in your business, but it doesn’t have to be cumbersome. By implementing a few of these tactics, you can move the needle higher on the customer engagement gauge, and even have time leftover to rearrange some furniture.