WORD UP AND OUT: And a blog certainly is the best way to reach Gens X and Y, a vast pool of potential customers friendly to chauffeured transportation who grew up using limos for proms and special childhood events, such as birthday parties, school rewards rides, and Christmas lights tours.
Operator Eli Darland of Rare Form Limousine
in Seattle has put together one of the best, most visually appealing blogs we’ve seen so far in this industry.
Eli was featured as the small fleet business operator in our October 2008 issue. He has built up his three- vehicle operation by leveraging night club experience and connections and equipping his vehicles with some of the best entertainment system components.
As LCT sends our first-ever Media, Sales, & Marketing (May 2009) issue to press today, Eli’s blog is a good example of savvy marketing strategies for a recession.
Darland told me he launched the blog in late December and posts a minimum of one item per week each Thursday at 8 a.m. The blog puts his website high on search engine placements, and gets his company’s name out on the Internet.
For example, by using a blog to post about “Passport to Woodinville,” an annual wine country event in his region, Darland got his business ranked as the first two placements when someone Googles “Passport to Woodinville.”
“I strategically picked an event that I know people are looking for,” Darland said. “I try to do that periodically when looking for specific events.”
The blog also serves as a repository of information on everything from weddings, to restaurants, to special events. His posts can serve as links to other e-newsletters and blogs. Darland points out that even if only a handful of people start out reading your blog, it automatically raises your website profile and gets your word out.
“Every time I create a link to another business in our blog, I e-mail them and let them know we mentioned them in the blog,” Darland said. “I create a rapport with business owners and create alliances at no-cost.”
Darland notices a growing share of his clientele say they learned about his company on the Internet.
Setting up the blog was simple. Darland used a template in WordPress where he applied his company logo and colors, came up with header tags, added a few menu items, and linked directly to Rare Form’s website. He drew upon some consulting help from Andy Ebon, Marketing Therapist, at EBS Virtual Communications
Darland at first thought blogging about a limousine company would be boring, but he found the content should be more about subjects that relate to your company.
“You can think of a million things that relate to your company and how you can make that interesting to the user, the reader,” he said. “How do you get away from narcissistic thinking about your company and how do you instead create rich content that can potentially drive searches to people finding your web site? That’s what it is all about.”
One blog post per week is the minimum, but one plog post a day, while ideal, is not necessary. About four-fifths of blog posts should be about others; only 20% about your company. “That helped me relax enough about blogging,” Darland said. “I can’t talk about myself all the time.”
-- Martin Romjue, LCT editor
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