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Recently, I was conducting research on the various rules around content marketing and the sharing of blog posts, videos, images and other online information resources across various media channels. While doing so, I came across two fascinatingly detailed and comprehensive articles that clearly lay out what car dealers must do to have effective content marketing strategies.


One of those two articles is: "How Content Marketing Will Enhance Your Social Media and SEO Strategy" published on the Teir10Lab blog site, and the other article is a treasure trove of details with links to complete articles describing exactly how to execute each item in the action list. This comprehensive guide is titled the "Content Marketing Codex" from Demian Farnworth at CopyBlogger.  


For many ADM members, this may be a little too much information and detail, but for those of you who are realizing how effective content marketing can be when it comes to attracting the very best customers a dealership can hope for, this is a high value guide to what needs to get done in order to optimize how well your dealership's automotive content marketing strategy will work.


Each of the colorful and eye catching infographics/charts I've included in this ADM forum post can be clicked to view in full resolution.  The very first infographic at the top of this post is from Tier10 Marketing. I want to highly encourage you to read the Tier10 Marketing article on Content Marketing for Car Dealers written by Elizabeth Frey at

Just like the author says at the end; what (if anything) is missing from the Tier10 Marketing article referenced and this exhaustive and already detailed, linked and resourced guide re-posted below? 

--Ralph Paglia

The Copyblogger Content Marketing Codex

Edited from original article written by 


Listen. If you are even remotely connected to the marketing and advertising world then you’ve probably heard the word “content marketing.”

You’ve at least been exposed to it:

  • Blogging
  • Google+ Hangouts
  • White papers
  • Tutorials
  • Email Autoresponders

But even if you consider yourself a seasoned practitioner I doubt you’ve ever had a handy, systematic and exhaustive guide — loaded with 53 articles that cover content marketing essentials to building a viable money-making platform — at your finger tips.  Thanks to your membership in the ADM Professional Community, now you do …

Want to know the two attributes of exceptional content? Need a way to jump-start your editorial calendar? Want to read how real-world businesses created their content empires? Would you like to learn how to earn profits with your content without sounding like a high-pressure salesman?

You’ll find answers to those questions — and more — in the following list. This guide will fill in the gaps to your knowledge. It will help you become a content marketing expert in your industry or company.

This list reaches back to November 2008 and goes all the way up to the present. It is broken down into nine sections:

  • Content Essentials
  • Content Strategy
  • Idea Creation
  • Content Creation
  • Social Media Promotion
  • Traffic Generation
  • Content Marketing Case Studies
  • Content Auditing
  • Content Business Building

And yes,  read all 52 articles. It took him seven hours over three days. He recommends that you do the same. If you don’t have the time at least scan the list — it’s a clinic in effective headline writing. That alone is worth bookmarking or printing for future use.


Content Marketing best practice example Side note: The list below makes for perfect Twitter content… drip out just one article a day to your readers over a 53 day period, and you’ll look like a content marketing genius ;)

According to Social Media Today"Thanks to the widespread adoption of mobile and social, consumer demand for online content is increasing geometrically. A 2011 survey of US Internet users conducted by research firm JZ Analytics found that nearly 87% of respondents consumed 11 hours or more of online content per week at their workplaces or homes, whether surfing the internet, watching online video or checking email. Moreover, 54% of those polled said they consumed at least 21 hours of digital content in a given week."

Most professional marketers (including automotive) have taken notice. Earlier this year, the creative firm Outbrain surveyed senior-level brand marketers and agency executives as they gathered to judge entries for the 2012 Effie awards. 100% of brand and agency marketers surveyed utilize content marketing in their overall marketing strategies. Of those surveyed, 82% of brand and agency marketers expect to increase content marketing efforts in 2012. The chart below illustrates their responses:

 Chart source:


And with that, I give you the Copyblogger Content Marketing Codex…

Content Essentials from Copyblogger

The First Rule of Copyblogger
Great content marketing begins here. Those who obey this rule share content that’s worth reading with an audience who is hungry for it. Long-term gains in traffic, leads and profits follow. Those who break this rule might experience short bursts of traffic, leads and profits — but not for long.

What’s the Difference between Content Marketing and Copywriting?
When you combine great content with great copywriting you end up with a powerful marketing platform that can launch you into the realm of the world’s greatest content producers.

The Three Essentials of Breakthrough Content Marketing
The glut of content on the web means that the market is crowded and cluttered. Your content needs to rise above that confusion. Here’s how to do it.

Why Content Marketing Doesn’t Suck
As the saying goes, “Haters will hate.” Don’t let them talk you out of the benefits that content marketing can deliver over a long period of time. This episode of Copyblogger Radio will show you what Procter & Gamble, soap operas and content marketing have in common. And then some.

The Two Vital Attributes of Quality Content
Ever wondered what makes some blog posts funny, vigorous and meaningful? You know, the kinds of blog posts that you not only share — but save. Print out. Study. Wonder no more.

Everything You Need to Know About Creating Killer Content in 3 Simp...
Here’s a simple, sticky formula — one that basically consolidates what every guru, expert and pundit has been saying about persuasion, usability and web marketing — that will make creating compelling copy easy.

Content Marketing Strategy for Car Dealers

10 Content Marketing Goals worth Pursuing
What do you want your content to accomplish? You do have goals, right? If not, start with these ten.

Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Social media tools like Twitter and Facebook are vehicles to spread your content (not places to build content). They play minor roles. Google+, on the other hand, is different. Brian Clark explains.

The 5 Keys to Content Marketing Mastery
If you’re happy bein

g an average content marketer, then you can ignore this post. But if you want to be a content marketing master, tap into these five strategies of “deliberate practice.”

The Old-School Content Marketing Strategy That Scores Freelance Wri...
While the Internet is more effective and efficient in many ways, you won’t want to throw this approach to getting more freelance clients in the marketing dustbin — it still works. And marvelously.

Automotive Content Idea Creation

49 Creative Ways You Can Profit From Content Marketing 
Build a membership website. Yellow page ads that look like a blog post. Address popular objections. And forty-six more ideas to help stoke your content creativity.

How to Use Content to Find Customers 
What do birthday cakes and content marketing have in common? More than you think.

The 10-Step Content Marketing Checklist
Sonia calls this blog post a “checklist” for building a solid content marketing platform. I prefer “law” or “commandment” because if you break one of these rules you’ll pay.

Zen and the Art of Content Marketing
Content marketing in the 21st Century might seem like an endless high-speed car chase. But it doesn’t have to be. Not when you apply the simple principles of quality used by this world-renowned Japanese sushi chef.

Why Content Marketing Is the New Branding
Your content defines you. And it becomes the vehicle in which you communicate promises and expectations to your customers. Check out the nifty infographic from PRWeb on the different options to share your brand online.

How to Brainstorm Brilliant Ideas for Your Blog

You probably know what brainstorming is. But do you know how to do it correctly? Do you know what you need to do before, during and after the event to make it actually successful? I didn’t. Not until I read this article.

Content Creation for Car Dealers

3 Components of a Content Marketing Editorial Calendar that Works
Are you strategic about your content creation? Or do you wing it, publishing content with a short-term view to the future? One will help you be successful for the long-term. The other will stunt your growth.

A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per ...
Want a beautiful 4-step procedure for creating a drop-dead gorgeous blog post each week? One that draws out the process leisurely over four days? And lets you do it in your slippers? Read on.

58 Ways to Create Persuasive Content Your Audience Will Love
You want to be a great writer. Seduce readers. Climb above the competition. If that’s you, then start with this step-by-step guide to creating ridiculously good content. Henneke doesn’t disappoint.

The Copyblogger “Secret” to Creating Better Content
Content marketers use content to advertise a product, service or idea. You want to attract attention. Create desire. Stoke interest. But you also want readers to actually do something. Here’s how.

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue
It happens to the best bloggers and content marketers. Idea dry spells. After dipping into the well every day for months … you come up empty. This infographic is a fast and helpful tool to help you jump start the idea process.

A Crash Course in Marketing With Stories
Stories are easily the most powerful tool in the content marketer’s arsenal. People love good stories. Stories communicate complex ideas simply. And stories stick in people’s mind. But if you don’t know how to write a good story, then they won’t help you.

How to Constantly Create Compelling Content
Where are you supposed to get all your ideas for content? The answer can be found in a little-known intersection that artists, scientists and songwriters have been crossing for centuries.

The Simple 5-Step Formula for Effective Online Content
Effective content marketing comes down to two things: education and personality. The right combination of these two elements will lead to leaps in traffic, subscribers and — ultimately — customers.

The 3-Step Cure for Boring, Useless Content
About the worst thing you could do if your business could benefit from content marketing is to avoid marketing content. The second worst thing is to create lame content. Geoff Livingston tells you how to make sure that never happens.

The 7 Essential Steps to Creating Your Content Masterpiece
Johann Sebastian Bach — one of the greatest composers who ever lived — had one of the most grueling production schedules one could imagine. And that, my friends, is one of these reasons he cranked out so many masterpieces. Mark McGuiness explains.

How to Craft a Marketing Story that People Embrace and Share
Storytelling isn’t limited to a blog post or a sales page. Storytelling works for your overall position in a market. So how do you write a story? Use these three steps.

Automotive Social Media Promotion

Why Content and Social Media are a Powerful Match
It’s not enough to create jaw-dropping content. You need to take that content to your tribe, who are sitting around those digital campfires (think social media). They’re waiting for you.

The Must-Have Social Media Tool Every Content Marketer Needs
Introducing the ultra-powerful, infinitely flexible and free social media tool that allows you to publish effective content without holding you to any arbitrary rules. It’s not what you think. Promise.

Are You Someone’s User-Generated Content?
The dangers of failing to build a digital asset that YOU own are real. Casualties abound.

Is Google+ the Ultimate Content Marketing Platform?
Good question, right. So, should you use Google+ to drive traffic back to your site? Here are three reasons why you should.

Customer Engagement and/or Dealer Website Traffic Generation

5 Ways to Get More Traffic with Content Marketing
We all want it: more traffic. But how do we get it? It’s the most common question new bloggers ask. And it’s the question seasoned bloggers never stop asking. Try these five strategies for solid, proven results.

4 Proven Strategies for Finding a Wider Audience for You Content
Have you hit the glass ceiling of audience growth? Want proven methods for spreading your content like wildfire? These techniques (with case studies) are golden.

8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content
Most content marketers are fighting a losing battle with obscurity. They write, publish and promote — and get nothing out of it. That’s painful. To make matters worse, this goes on day in, day out. Follow Pamela Wilson’s advice and that will change.

Should Your Content Aim for Traffic or Conversion?
The Cosmopolitan and the New Yorker approach content marketing — viewed in two entirely different ways. Both approaches are super-successful. And anybody can combine and use these approaches to create killer results.

Content Marketing Case Studies

How Chris Brogan Built His Content Platform
Look at Mr. Brogan now and you might think master of social media. He rules over one of the most recognizable independent content publishing empires. But life was not always easy for him. In fact, he struggled for eight years to get 100 subscribers. Here’s his story on Copyblogger radio.

5 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from a Weird “Real World” Business
Ideas are good. They are even better when they actually work. Here’s a content marketing case study of a business that creates high-end beauty products — for dogs. Weird, but true.

What to Do When You Absolutely, Positively Must Know if Your Conten...
Predicting what content will resonate with readers is tough — if not impossible. You simply cannot know unless you do this one thing. Indie band Wilco did and discovered the truth. So will you.

What Avatar Can Teach You about Repurposing Your Content
Blockbuster movies are not original. They borrow tried-and-true themes and repackage them. This same approach can work with your content. Pillage your archives for content themes — and then get to work creating something new out of something old.

The Grateful Dead 4-Step Guide to the Magical Influence of Content ...
I can hear you now: “Are you serious? An elderly, endlessly touring hippie band can teach me something about effective content marketing?” Yes, they can. Jerry Garcia was a genius. Or should I say “guru”?

The Matrix Guide to Content Marketing
A unique scheme on content creation that uses Neo, Agent Smith, Spoon Boy and Persephone as quadrants. Fill in the blanks and you discover what you are good at — and ignore everything else.

Dealership Published Content Auditing

Is Content Marketing Worth the Effort?
Let me be frank with you: content marketing is work. It is hard work. Hard work like laying bricks or teaching middle school children. But for the practitioner who loves the work? It’s a turn on …

Why Nobody Cares about Your Content (and What to Do About It)
Glen Allsop of ViperChill explains how to build your personal brand and authority by giving your readers everything they want — and never once talking about yourself.

Are You Creating Meaningful Content?
Ever think to yourself, “What does this content mean? Does it even matter? Is it significant? Do my readers care?” Those are good questions to ask yourself. And here’s the 5-step framework to help you answer them.

How to Beat “Invisible Content” Syndrome
I’ve got some bad news for you: every new blog is born with a disease. Professionals call it Invisible Content Syndrome — or ICS. Others call it obscurity. No matter … it sucks. The good news is you can conquer it. Here’s how.

The Foolproof Cure for Weak Content: 4 Ways to Get Some Perspective
You got a sweet idea for a blog post. You pop out of bed and hammer out the first draft. When you are finished you read what you wrote and think that sucks. Don’t worry. That happens to all of us. And there are four great ways to fix it.

The Force that Powers Persuasive Content (And 3 Ways to Intensify It)
Bet you didn’t know this, but character building and content marketing go hand in hand. Behind every piece of content you create is a person. Is that person honest, credible and an authority? If not, then here are three ways to improve those essential components.

Consultant's Corner: Content Business Building

How to Build a Business Using Paid and Free Content
Raise your hand if you got into blogging to make money. That probably includes most of you. So, are you making money? Why not? Sonia will tell you how to do it by creating a platinum version of your content.

Should We Be Worried About Fast Food Content?
Alarmists like Michael Arrington would have you believe that you can’t make a living as a content marketer. The big boys will eat your lunch. BS. His argument is built on five assumptions that are patently false.

Why Content is No Longer King (And Who’s Taking His Place)
Why would a novelist claim that content is not king? I mean, come one, this guy makes his living off of huge chunks of content. Has he got a BB loose in the can? No. What he’s got is a good argument.

Educate to Dominate Your Competition
Want to spark the buying process in your readers without resorting to a hyped-message? Dream of making your products so irresistible that customers hardly notice your sales offers? Then use the six psychological shortcuts of influence.

How to Succeed at Content Marketing Even if Your Content Skills Suck
Still a little weak in the knees about this whole content marketing thing because, well, you just don’t have any confidence in your skills? No sweat. Half the battle is doing this one thing.

Over to you …

What’s this content marketing codex missing?

What articles would you add?

 would love to hear your thoughts.

About the Author: Demian Farnworth is a freelance writer who hustles the finer points of web copy at the blog The CopyBot. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.



Tags: Car Dealers, Comprehensive, Content Marketing, Guidelines, Tactics, marketing, social media

Views: 1641

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Replies to This ADM Discussion

So much to digest. What are the metrics to measure content marketing success?

That is somewhat of a "to each his own" issue... I have lately been pretty satisfied with using the metrics aggregation systems from SproutSocial to track Key Performance Indicators (KPI) such as:

1. Social Media Referred Traffic to the Dealer Website

2. VDP views

3. Hours and Directions

4. Lead Volume

5. Chat Sessions

6. Phone Calls

7. Direct Customer Contact from Social Media Channels

There are many more, but basically I prefer to track what customers do going to and from the content being published.  Sometimes there is a delayed effect as well. Articles published 6 months ago have topics that get hot and start showing up in search results.  There is so much that start happening once you get going that there are very few people who do content marketing that would ever question the ROI.

Fantastic!! I don't even want to work now... all I want to do is chase every shiny jewel of knowledge in every article listed here so my brain can make use of as much of it as possible. THANK YOU for sharing!

Jim - Your comment cracks me up... Keep in mind that since the late 1990's I have spent a lot of time detailing out how dealers could do their own digital marketing on an in-house basis... Surprising as this may sound, the smart outside suppliers that sold these very same services LOVE ME!  Why? Because by the time I train a couple of people to do something like what is listed above, everybody realizes it is a full time+ job to execute consistently... Maybe for more than one person.  Maybe 2 out of 10 dealers have the discipline and motivation to staff the roles required and then supervise to ensure the job is getting done... Whether it is Content Marketing, Search Engine Advertising, building Microsites, you name it, if it takes a lot of work to get it done on a daily and consistent basis, about 80% of all car dealers will eventually outsource all or some of it.

With that said, the 20% that take what i share and commit to getting it done are the most successful of all dealers and most of them have become dear friends and business associates to me over the years... So, I will continue to NOT promote that crap about "It's easy, you can have the receptionist do it in her spare time..." and write, speak, push and publish the details around everything that needs to be set up and executed to get the job done, without pulling punches.

WHAT?!?!?!? The receptionist CAN'T do it in his spare time?!?!? (note the pc'ness :) Now I have to go back and rewrite our entire strategy. Sun'nuv'a!  All kidding aside, outsourcing has natural gravity due to the fact that it "costs" less than hiring multiple, talented Automotive Digital Marketing professionals. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the real "cost" to be realized. Only then will any industry's decision makers truly commit to what others hold as evident truth. Here's to the future!

I think one important consideration not addressed here is the nature of content especially in SM. Too many dealers are focused on engagement through what I like to refer to as "fluff", i.e. "What was your first car?" or "How will you be spending your holiday?". While these posts may create engagement, what is the intrinsic VALUE? In traditional branding we see much more dealer DNA specific content. If a dealership has the high visibility management and staff relevantly associated with their brand then more effort should be made to infuse these personalities into the SM efforts rather than garnering likes that are not only of no value but also clog the SM stream with content that most users will invariably choose to hide. If a dealership has a GM whom traditionally has been the face of the brand message, more effort should be made to further personalize the SM messaging to relate the specifics of that GM's philosophies and perhaps even a little more personal engagement between that GM and their audience. Content that doesn't follow these guidelines will almost always be ignored.

Wow... Amen, bother... You nailed that topic in your comment and I could not possibly agree more.  Every time I see one of those stupid questions posted by a dealer's Facebook Page, I know they are using one of a handful of social media service providers that have automated and put the dealer's social media strategy on the "set it and forget it" program... Sometimes I like to respond with a comment that is sarcastic or caustic, but regardless of what i comment, nobody every resplies, responds or tries to contact me... My question is then a silently whispered "WTF?".  There must be more stupid crap being passed around as "social media marketing" than just about any area of marketing to ever come in the auto industry's direction! Heck, a purple blow up gorilla on the roof of the dealership is about a BILLION TIMES MORE EFFECTIVE THAT THE IDIOT STRATEGY that gets put into place by certain social media service providers!

What you described is built into the ISMMS (Idiot's Social Media Marketing Strategy) in the third chapter of the book... Here is an example I just made while posting this comment (which shows how much such a service is actually worth):

Thank you for sharing.


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