Dear Ford Motors,
I can remember it like it happened yesterday. As a 16 year-old teen just getting ready to enter my final year of high school, I looked out my bedroom window one morning to see what was the coolest gift I’d ever received in my life from my dad– A brand new 1994 Ford Festiva….with a sunroof.
Yep, I was now the happiest kid in Virginia.
So what if the car had something like 2.3 cylinders?
So what if it looked like a go-cart on steroids?
So what if my other friends had big trucks and sports cars?
Nope, I didn’t care what others thought.
Like your main man there Jim Farley, I loved my car.
And without question, I drove that little white matchbox around for the next year with a smile from ear to ear.
My Quest to Find Your Blog
I tell you this story my friends at Ford because, well, I’m not a Ford hater. Nope, not at all. You guys, in many ways, are as “American” as it gets.
But I have to be straight with you– I’m confused.
Here’s the thing– The other day I was listening to my man Jay Baer do his thing on his awesome new podcast, SocialPros. In one particular episode, he landed as a guest your head of Social Media there at Ford, Scott Monty.
I listened to Scott for a while talk about all you guys were doing to “get social” and being the inquisitive marketer I am, I took a stroll on over to your company website and started looking around for your blog. For whatever reason, I couldn’t find it (Note*** This is not a good sign) until I finally gave up and simply went back to Google and typed in the phrase “Ford Motors Blog”, at which point I saw the following:
Hmmm, odd search results indeed. Was it found in Ford Media? Was it found in Ford Social? Heck, was it found in Scott’s blog?
Not sure where to go, I figured Ford Social had to be the home of what would surely be an exceptional blog about Ford and the auto industry.
And after a good look around, I saw this nice little image buried at the bottom of the page:
Finally, I’d found your “blog.” Whew….
Sorry Guys, But Your Blog Stinks…and Google Doesn’t Like You Very Much
After a few minutes of looking over this section of your site, as well as what I’d reviewed on your main Ford site, I was left with two distinct impressions:
1. What you’re doing with Social Media is innovative, impressive, and commendable. Props to you guys for that.
2. What you’re doing with Content Marketing is, well, not so good. In fact, I’ll be honest in saying I think your blog, for the most part, stinks.
For me, the sign of a great business blog comes down to one core issue– it’s ability to address every consumer question about a product or service in a way that teaches, informs, and even entertains.
If a blog does this, not only will readers appreciate the content, but Google will reward it with awesome search engine rankings.
Testimonials Ain’t Gonna Cut It
But here is the thing– Your company blog isn’t really more than a bunch of product/Ford testimonials. In other words, it really didn’t address the questions I was looking to have answered.
But don’t take my word for it, look what the “Big G” has to say on the matter. I went to Google and started typing in basic Ford questions/phrases that consumers would ask. And as soon as I started typing phrases like “Ford Vs…”, Google would step in with their suggestion feature and offer me up tons of keywords that others had searched before me. So sticking to Google’s suggestions, I came up with a small list of 30 commonly-searched phrases, and wanted to show you where your company website was ranking for each:
As you can see, not too good.
Actually, just to keep it real, it’s a train wreck.
Out of 30 major phrases, you’re only ranked #1 on Google for 2 of them.
You’re ranked in the top 10 for 5 of them.
And you’re not even ranked at all for 9 of them!
Who is Your Voice?
How is it possible that your company isn’t showing up for these phrases?
Look, as I mentioned earlier, I like what you and Scott are doing, I really do, but your blog and your content marketing in general needs a serious face lift.
It’s time to start answering every single question folks are asking their friend Google.
It’s time to put your thoughts out there without fear.
It’s time you stopped ignoring the topics consumers like me really want to discuss.
(Note***Some folks will say, “But they don’t want to know Ford’s opinion on these subjects, they want other opinions.” And although people do like multiple opinions, I submit this question: When a person is shopping at a Ford dealership, and they ask the sales person a “vs” or “compare” or “reviews” question, do they simply ignore it, or do they answer it? Fact is, sales persons that work for Ford get these questions all the time. And why is this? Because consumers DO care about what Ford has to say. Otherwise, they wouldn’t ever ask the question in the first place. Furthermore, as I think most content marketers would agree, if someone in sales is getting the question, we should be answering that same question on our website.)
After all, why would you allow other companies and competitors to own your most important keywords? Why would you allow someone other than yourself to be the voice of your brand, your products, and where you stand in this incredibly important industry?
So, to my friends at Ford, I say put it out there. Be a fearless marketer. Be a teacher. Embrace the power of content.
After all, what’s more American than that?
Well I’ve had my bit of fun, but now I’d like to hear your take. Why do you think a company as massive as Ford, with such a high marketing budget, has yet to properly approach their blog by addressing the thoughts of today’s consumer? What type of difference do you think it would make if they did this? How would Google react? And, do you think I’m all wrong and that Ford’s blog is effective?
Jump in folks, time for your voice to be heard.
Download your FREE copy of my 230 Page Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy eBook now and start reading in 60 seconds!