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Content. That word scares a lot of dealerships. They’re told they need it from every vendor, at every conference and in every article. They need it for SEO, for blogs, social media, and their website. Advertisements? No problem. They have tons of cars and know what is a good deal in their market. They have ad agencies designing the ads and helping to assemble them. Content, however, is a mystery. They don’t know where it is or how to get it.

Content isn’t a mystery. Content, in fact, is easier to get than all the intricate details you need for an advertisement. It’s not the Loch Ness Monster. You don’t have to find it. It finds you.

So where is it? Content is in life.

Your lives, and dealership, are filled with all the content you could ever need. Your employees all have stories. Your dealership creates them everyday. Your customers contribute to it. Your community is filled with it. Your manufacturer creates it for you.

If you’re struggling with finding content, here are four places to start:

  1. Employees – All of your employees have a wealth of content. They all come from different places and their lives have taken all of them down different paths. Your employees are your dealership. Only they can give your dealership a personality and experience that sets you apart from your competitors. Without them, your dealership is just another place where someone could buy a car. Tap into your employees’ lives. Find out what makes them unique, how they got into the car business, what they like to do and why. Then tell the world. Your employees will appreciate the recognition; you’ll begin differentiating yourself from other car dealers and have great content to share.
  2. Customers – Your customer like to hear stories about your customers. Does that make sense? Some of the most engaging content on social media from dealerships is pictures of other customers taking delivery of cars. I’m certainly not saying you should limit content to this type. Your customers also have different stories and, if asked right, some will be willing to share them. Ask them if you can interview them. Why did they choose your dealership? Why did they choose your brand or a particular car? How was their experience? You will also have customers who give you content without you asking. Those would be reviews left for your dealership on various review sites. Not only does this reinforce to potential customers that your dealership is a good place to do business, it also provides great content for all your needs; whether that’s on a blog, in a newsletter or on a social media site.
  3. Manufacturer – Your manufacturer provides content constantly. They send information about new models, various trim levels and new features. They pump out commercials, how-to videos, announcements and images. Look at their YouTube channel and you’ll find content. Their website is also filled with content which is not limited to vehicle information. You’ll see how they’re interacting with their audience and if their involved in charity work. All of this is great content to share with your customers. It instills value and creates brand loyalty.
  4. Community – Your dealership is part of your community just as your community is part of your dealership. Get involved in events and charities. Find opportunities to give back to your community. You could hold a food drive, participate in car shows or help local school organizations with fundraisers. Even if you don’t get involved financially, you can support these efforts using the power of your marketing that already exists. If you give back to your community, they will give back to you.
  5. Google – It may sound obvious but many people overlook the power of Google to provide content. I guarantee you that you’ll find new and relevant content on a daily basis. There are articles written about your brand, car reviews, spy shots, cool or funny pictures that you can share that are never ending. Do a Google search daily for news, blogs and images. Limit the search to results from the last 24 hours. You’ll always find something. If it interests you, it’ll interest your audience.

Don’t get intimidated by content. Publishing content will benefit you by creating an online presence for your dealership. It will also transform your dealership from a place that sells cars, to a place that people want to do business with.

Views: 639

Tags: content, dealership, find, google, marketing, publishing, writing

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Comment by Alexander Lau on December 18, 2013 at 1:37pm
Comment by Alexander Lau on September 18, 2013 at 1:14pm
Comment by sara callahan on September 17, 2013 at 6:16am

Thanks for the fabulous comments everyone! 

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 16, 2013 at 8:46am

Great points Tom!

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on September 16, 2013 at 7:28am

Following alexander and brian is tough, but I think it is a combination of factors that make content successful. Just reposting internet content is literally plagiarism, but there is nothing wrong with paraphrasing an article and pulling a few quotes, especially if provide attribution and link back to the source. There are data repositories where you can buy the rights to content - which for a dealer can range from how to winterize your car to towing tips.

I think the intent of the content will depend on where you got it. Linking a photo of your brand's latest concept car to update your customers is different than writing specifically for SEO. When it comes to SEO, how and where you are posting becomes the magic potion, as well.

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 16, 2013 at 6:59am

I can see the point of your article, but understanding content that converts (measuring that through time through detailed processes) and where to apply / share content is much more important.

Content doesn't necessarily come to you, I disagree. Using content that was published by another isn't going to help your cause, it might not exactly hurt you per se, but it definitely will fail to help you. For anything online (I suppose excluding E-mail blasts), Googlebot will hunt you down and give credit back to the original publisher and potentially smack you down in the process.

Rather, hire a copywriter or a 3rd party production unit such as iWriter or TextBroker (hunt until you find a writer that works for you). There are plenty of 3rd party mechanisms (some of them directly connected to popular blogging tools) such as SEOScribe, that will enable you to understand keyword search traffic (enabling your content to be much stronger), which can be broken down based upon your geographic location / demographic. SEMRush is a stupendous tool that can take you in the right direction as well.

Comment by Shahid Kinnare on September 14, 2013 at 9:50pm

Thanks, Mr Brian. I always welcome critic it helps me to learn. I would be more than happy to send my newsletter to any one who would like to read it. kinnare@samkinnare.com please also visit by web site at www.samkinnare.com

Comment by Brian Bennington on September 14, 2013 at 5:08pm

I apologize to you for monopolizing your blog with a unsolicited suggestion for Shahid, but felt I should say something after JBs most humbly-received endorsement.  My first response reading Shahid's comment was..."Quick, get me a 5th grade teacher."  Then, after a moment of thought, I realized how heartfelt and honest his sentiment was, and how courageous, positive and ambitious he is for doing a newsletter.

Therefore, here is a suggestion that should improve his content 100 times over, and it's good advice for anyone publishing anything.  When you're done writing and have looked your piece over, have a minimum of two people, FLUENT IN READING (not speaking) your language, read it.  That's it!

I feel so strongly about it that, if I didn't have people doing it for me, I'd run up and down the street in front of my business begging strangers to do it.   

Comment by Brian Bennington on September 14, 2013 at 4:20pm

Sara, A blog by you about actual content construction would be valued by all.  You, as an accomplished professional writer, could give special insight into just how important the writing actually is.  You know it's a lot more important than finding content.  After all, a good writer can make the most mundane subject into a great read, but without good writing, the "Second Coming" could be boring.  Really, in today's IT packed marketplace, good writing is well worth a dealership investment.

Never having had any formal training, I would especially enjoy reading your "content" article.  While I've had some success ghostwriting relationship-centered letters for dealerships and reps, there's still way too many times when I'll agonize for an hour over a three sentence paragraph.  If you were to ask what my experience is based upon, it's a combination of the notes and letters of friendship and referrals written to customers from my very beginnings in retail sales, mixed with the love letters I enjoyed writing in my long ago youth.  Amazingly, or maybe predictably, when the moon is full and the stars are inline, they can make a potent combination. (Sorry I digressed, but know I look forward to your next post.)     

Comment by JB Floyd on September 14, 2013 at 8:52am

Shahid, you should talk to Brian Bennington, he is the best!

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