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There is one common problem most companies run into when they start a content marketing strategy. Frequently, executives have unreal expectations and expect to go from zero to hero in a matter of days. They want an immediate return-on-investment – such as leads, engagement or website traffic. I am afraid that is simply not realistic. Hey, sometimes you can hit gold straight out of the gate. But that is the exception rather than the rule.
Content is more of a long-term gain, but well worth the effort. And it isn’t just another piece of the SEO puzzle. In fact, it’s pretty key. Most web traffic still comes from organic search, more than paid campaigns, social media or any other channel. And, one of the most effective ways to improve SEO is with good content. In fact, according to an infographic published by copygoals.com, companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more links.
However, many dealership websites are rather devoid of much useful or engaging content. They consist of a home page filled with specials, banners, multiple calls-to-action and pop-up widgets. Drill down and the “content” that exists is usually just inventory. The best form of content some dealers have on their website is typically the “Meet Our Staff” and “Who We Are” pages – and many of those aren’t updated or particularly engaging.
What happens when your customer needs information and advice? Perhaps they want to know how to pair their iPhone with their in-vehicle entertainment system – a common enough problem. If they don’t find it on your website, they are forced to bounce and go to another website to find their answers – which you probably don’t want them to do.
After a quick Google search, they end up on a third-party listing site. It is rich with content which answers many frequently asked questions such as how to set up new technology features, scheduled maintenance, available rebates and incentives, etc. But, the problem here is that they are also exposed to inventory from your competitors… and could just find something that catches their eye. I’m sure you don’t want that!
So, it is time to get some good content onto your site and out to your social media properties on a regular basis. I’m not suggesting you have to immediately bang out 40 pages of content. The point is to make a commitment to a marketing strategy with regular, quality content that is of interest to your consumers. Once you place it on your site and social media properties, it will build in value for both you and your customers.
A perfect example is this video from the Leith Auto Group website. Their service advisor explains the importance of an oil change, sharing his value proposition for getting that service done at his dealership.
It ranks high in Google searches and informs service customer why their vehicle needs regular service.
Another example is this written blog on the Capital Lincoln website, providing customers with valuable information about the different warning lights and what they mean. Along with what action to take if they come on.
And don’t think good content is limited to service. Customers are interested in your new models too. Video walkarounds are an invaluable source of rich information for online car shoppers. A great example is this video from Gosch Toyota. It is also a perfect illustration of why content marketing tends to be a long-term play. Check it out:
While the video was filmed in 2010 for a model no longer in production, it has produced an incredible amount of views – almost 25,000 and people still view it to this day! The dealership did not publish the video on its website, but it was part of their content marketing strategy on YouTube. The employee identifies himself and his contact info is included in the post.
When it comes to content marketing, consistency is the key to success. It is more of a long-term play but has a tremendous ROI. Plan out a strategy that includes video and written blogs. This will keep customers on your website longer, increase exposure, greatly improve search results, and ultimately, show customers that you care about them -- building trust and loyalty.
It may take time to work but it’s worth every penny.