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Putting Search and Social in their Place Below Content

For the past several years, content has been a component of search engine and social media marketing that fell far below the tricks and techniques that helped achieve business goals. It was possible to be successful with limited or low-quality content. In fact, there are those who were able to succeed with no content at all, fooling the search engines and social media sites with methods that proved to be more fruitful than actually creating content that the audience wanted.

Those days are finally behind us. It has been a long time coming, but now that search engines, social media sites, and people themselves have seen through the tricks, it's a whole new world in marketing. Today, content rests at the top of the marketing funnel with search engine optimization and social media marketing reduced to components of an overall content marketing strategy. Here's what it all means:

Why Content is Finally King

Despite the proclamations of many marketers over the years, content has not been "king" until very recently. It was always useful, but great content without supporting inbound links would not rank and great content without strong social media promotions would not go viral. Things have changed.

Amazing content that is useful, entertaining, or both now has a better opportunity to be seen through both search and social. Google is finding the content more easily, making it possible for it to be found without having to artificially inflate the inbound link count. Today, link-building is still an extremely important component of a proper search strategy, but it must center around quality content rather than boost up poor content.

Good links are still powerful and high-quality content can help to generate these links. With a little seeding, the links can come in more easily than in the past when most of the links that marketers created were bulk rather than quality.

From a social perspective, there's still a distinct need for some promotions. Unlike Google, Facebook and the other social media sites will not actively find your content. However, by getting it a little promotional exposure by sharing it and focusing on it from the website homepage or landing pages, the content can be found. From there, it's a matter of allowing the content to be easily shared.

Rising social sites like Pinterest and Tumblr are ideal for seeding the promotions of content. It can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as well, of course, but the tighter communities on Pinterest and Tumblr actually create an easier path to take content viral on social media than the larger sites. There's a need for a strong account or two to promote them, but it's not as involved as building power accounts on Facebook or Twitter. One can be exceptional at Tumblr and Pinterest very quickly.

Content is at the top of the marketing food chain. It's the spark that generates search marketing links and social signals. It's also the source of social media sharing. Rather than use content for SEO or social media marketing, smart marketers will switch it up and use the content as the central point through which search and social marketing can flow.

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Tags: Content, Content Marketing, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, SEO, Search, Social, Social Media, Social Signals, More…Tumblr, Twitter, marketing


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Comment by Jason Richmond (HondaPro Jason) on December 10, 2012 at 1:52pm
very interesting reading. I don't know enough about this subject yet. Reading this article help me out.
Thank you for posting
Comment by J.D. Rucker on November 26, 2012 at 9:04pm

Excellent points across the board in these comments. Dealers, if you haven't read through the comments in this thread, please do so now. They are all strong pieces of advice to consider.

Content has become the core of marketing. In a way, it always has been, but now it's taken center stage rather than being a simple component of larger arenas. Content IS the arena now through which internet marketing types like search and social must flow.

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 26, 2012 at 6:13am

iWriter is also a good content production source. I've found their writers to be very good. I do use SEOScribe to clean up their work as well. Almost a QA process of sorts. There are writing services of all types over at Fiverr (generally $5 per) as well, but the content request process is much weaker than services such as iWriter, TextBroker and Skyword.

Comment by Alexander Lau on November 26, 2012 at 5:40am

Interesting Ralph and JD. I've been praising both TextBroker and Skyword (much more comprehensive of an option, albeit not cheap). TextBroker has a very good system and is affordable. I've sat through many demos of Skyword and actually interviewed there, knowing the importance and magnitude of content. It's from the guys that run or ran Gather.


Essentially, Skyword does (as does similar tools) the following:

  • Increase sales by reaching customers through natural search and the social web
  • Decrease acquisition costs: natural search traffic costs half as much as SEM
  • Improve conversion: natural search converts at a 25% higher rate than SEM
  • Build stronger brand affinity: become a trusted advisor to your customers


*Reposted from an earlier content related post of yours JD:

Obviously, with the changes to Google's algorithm (Penguin and Panda), sites have to be constantly monitored and updated according to new requirements. Dealers need to have the flexibility to publish content and not just any content. Original, informative content production and its application has never been as important and Social (social signals) is becoming a vital part as well. 

Whether that be their own content or brought in through a 3rd party hook or mechanism, it has to be of interest to their user base. There are many options out there for content production and it's becoming a market in its own right. In my opinion, it should boom, actually, that is when companies get on the ball with doing this the correct way.

Strategic production and implementation of quality content (original and audience-driven), pushed through a seamlessly integrated, and consistently updated blog system in really the way to go these days (preferably streamlined within you main site). Think of a blogging tool that allows you to choose from a number of well-written, search engine friendly content pieces (articles or posts), prejudged for authenticity, SEO power, etc. (Ex: The Skyword WordPress plugin integrates a WordPress site with the Skyword content creation system. The plugin uses the Metaweblog API to transmit content (text and images) to the client WordPress site. The plugin also syncs author, tag, and category taxonomies between systems and generates a Google News Sitemap for news content.)

It's just beginning on that level. If you think about it, it's just evolving. Gone are the days of buying exact keyword phrase domains, expecting those sites to rank with little or no informative and original content.

In short, fuel your website engines with original and informative content in order to reach your objectives. Take into consideration the two types of content as well: 'News Related' and 'Evergreen'. Produce according to your overall strategy.

Comment by Jason Wyatt on November 26, 2012 at 12:12am

J.D. thank you for a good 'back to the fundamentals' article, wholeheartedly agree content is king and should always remain at the core of a dealers marketing strategy.

Comment by David Johnson on November 25, 2012 at 7:26pm

Great post JD and I wholeheartedly agree! I wrote a post earlier this year called Social Blogging - Forget About The Algorithms, They Aren't THAT Important trying to make the same point. It's here on ADM if you care to read it.

The point I was trying to make and the point you made in this post is worry more about creating valuable content than trying to game the system.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 25, 2012 at 5:49pm

J.D. - I would like to personally thank you for making the point about Content meriting higher priority than "Tricks and Techniques" whose primary purpose is manipulation of SERP rank for website listings... For many years, as you know, I have lashed out at the prioritization of SEO "game the system" emphasis above that of creating and publishing good relevant content. I have repeatedly stated on stage, in articles and during one on one meetings with dealers that great Search Engine Marketing (including SEO) results should be an indirect effect caused by a substantial and relevant content creation, publishing and distribution system that leverages multiple digital channels.

What has been happening all too often is that Car Dealers and their marketing service providers have looked at marketing as if it was a bicycle with a rider peddling the bike down a road... Asking; "How do we get the bike to go faster?" Then, instead of focusing on the rider's ability to peddle faster, we have been trying to put a stick in between the spokes and drive the wheels at a faster rate... Then when we break a few spokes, such as when a dealership's website provider generates 269,000 indexed web pages, 99% of which are duplicated content, causing Google to push the dealer's primary website back to the SERP Page #11 when searching for that dealer by name, we cry foul! (there is a foul all right, but it is the smell of someone's idea to trick 5,000+ Google engineers with such silly nonsense!) 

Next Related Issue: I would like to point something out that has been a stunning realization when so people in dealerships and at social media service providers say to me "But Ralph, that is not scalable .."  or "You gotta be kidding... That's too much work!"... What I am referring to is creating original content for a dealership rather than re-purposed content.  Too many dealers are investing budget and resources into a social media service provider who has published virtually the same content for dozens of other dealers before posting it on behalf of YOUR dealership (as if it were original)... Or, the dealer is put into a position of republishing press releases from their OEM brand, MotorTrend, Car and Driver or Road & Track vehicle road tests or some other republishing of something created for somebody else's business. Give me a break! It is simply not necessary and a false economy...

Any dealer or General Manager who lacks the ability, is too lazy, illiterate, unwilling to hire employees capable of writing a paragraph, or who does not have enough time to deal with creating ORIGINAL CONTENT can simply outsource their requests for original stories about their dealership, their local community, their people, customers, products, local charities or how Billy Bob hit 14 home runs in the last Little League game by opening up an account at . Then, for $.025 a word the dealership can get original, copyright registered and plagiarism checked articles written for them by writers with Master's Degrees, original content that THEY NOW OWN!  

Let's put this simple little value proposition into perspective; a 500 word article about the dealership's launching of a new QuickLube facility, featuring the benefits to local automotive consumers (with links and keywords used as specified), will cost $12.50 and the dealer owns exclusive rights to its use... Yup... ORIGINAL CONTENT!

Get Fresh Content and Articles with Textbroker®

Textbroker® is a car dealer's article writing service for unique and exclusively written content created to your specifications. Their fixed rates make cost planning for content marketing projects of all sizes simple. Place multiple orders for website localization and SEO quickly and easily with our unique interface. Whether you need a quick snippet for a website, a well-researched white paper on your newest hybrid model or a sharp press release about your dealership's new facility, our deep database of knowledgeable authors is exactly the right resource to quickly cater to your content creation needs. Dealers, get started now.

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I have used within several dealership marketing teams where our mission was to generate original unique content for many car dealership clients... Once you get the hang of it, then create your own group of authors who are knowledgeable about your dealership, the payoff is phenomenal! 

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