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Social Content Matters - What is the content that matters to our Customers and Search?

I see the real game changer moving forward as being Content, Social Content. Content that is being consumed by the prospective customers and search sites. As we all know having good content that is relative, is good for our web site, inventory, and blogs. Keeping this fresh is a good thing and helps our cause and looks fresh to our visitors. But when we go to get Social and add info and good content that you hope will go viral - and be picked up by New style search, what do you see as subjects that are good to target and will be relevant to search - meaning will get the nod for good Search engine placement?
I know that Basic Social is not to Sell hard your services, products, inventory, events.
I see it as more of a informative, adding insights, adding commentary, Showing involvement, stirring the pot some.
Also, I see a lot of redundant info placed on multiple sites. Add it to a blog that goes out to Twitter and so on, this seems to be more distractive than helpful,
Your Thoughts..

Views: 18

Tags: SEO, marketing, media, social

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Comment by Keith Shetterly on December 31, 2009 at 9:25am
@Ryan -- Old Model: Engineer creates better mousetrap. Nobody Cares. Marketing creates content for ads that say "New Mousetrap!". Nobody cares. Marketing creates commercial content for TV show (content) that says "New Mousetrap!". People start to care. Marketing creates ficional commercial content for popular TV show (content) that says "New Mousetrap! So good, Grandma Sat On It, Haha!". People love grandma and sales start to rise.

New Model: Engineer creates new mousetrap. Nobody cares. Engineer makes geeky video (content) for his other engineer friends about his new mousetrap that his Grandma accidently sat on--and, since it is inadvertently hilarious to the non-engineers of the world, his teenage son uploads it to YouTube for his friends, and suddenly Everybody Cares! 10million hits later, the Engineer's mousetrap is on fire for purchases.

Content is King, on outbound and inbound marketing. If you don't create content that drives both, you don't HAVE customers.

Thanks!
Comment by Ryan Gerardi on December 31, 2009 at 8:09am
Wow @Keith you sure make a compelling case that content is king versus the customer. Think I have to side with you on this because I too draw correlation of the Internet to the advents of radio and television, and email and telephone for that matter. But what does that really mean anyway, "content is king".

At the advertising level, TV and radio use content to generate awareness to compel the masses. At the production level, e.g. shows and programs, TV and radio use content to establish and build an audience.

For email and telephone, content is used to make a connection with individuals, although you can use email content to generate awareness and compel your audience to some extent if done effectively.

With the Internet content can be used for both generating awareness for the masses AND for making connections with individuals.

So really in all areas content is the means to the end (of establishing customers), not "the King".
Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 24, 2009 at 1:27am
@Larry and @Joe - When you move across a lot of different groups, with each group made up of fairly consistent personality types, education and work backgrounds... But, each of these groups being essentially VERY different types of people... Well, you simply either learn to adapt to the communication style most effective with each group, and then become as close to a person with multiple personality disorder as you can without COMPLETELY losing touch with reality, or you accept the corporate status quo that "no matter what I do, nothing will change around here...".

Anybody that has spent any time or worked with me knows that I have a real problem with accepting status quo, especially when I still have yet ANOTHER dozen or so of my Wreynolds/Half-A-Car/Cyber Car "alumni" brethren who are still looking for a better team to become part of... So, I keep pushing for more business and solution development progress, which creates the value and revenue to bring more of our industry's best on board... So far, the "methods of my madness" have created over 50 new high paying jobs in the past 24 months. I often wonder what will happen when this economy shifts out of neutral and into a forward gear.

Anyways, the combination of ADHD, too much education as a means of avoiding working for my father, 10+ years of selling cars and managing dealerships, 10+ years of work in automotive training and consulting, conceiving, creating, writing, building, selling and then deliver programs to get dealers in the digital end of marketing and sales... starting with a fascination for some weird Voodoo people were calling "The Internet" all adds up to some pretty weird content being written and posted... And, I am sincerely grateful to all of our ADM community members for tolerating my madness, sometimes even responding to it, and for being willing to try new things to see if they might help us sell a few more cars and pay for those trips to Digital Dealer, NADA and JD Power and such...

I hope all of you enjoy this holiday season, get to take some time away from work and enjoy your loved ones, or maybe just watching a few bowl games... whatever floats your boat! I know that anyone who has bothered to join a community like this one, read stuff posted and gotten involved in some way, is definitely in the part of the auto industry that is the best place to be working in right now, and the foreseeable future. So, I know with a high degree of confidence that each of you will have a successful year in 2010! God Bless America and a special thanks goes up to Mr. Thomas Lessard (RIP) from Apple Valley, CA.
Comment by Keith Shetterly on December 23, 2009 at 12:23pm
On video content, I'd also like to point out that vendors are coming around with "video" that is a rolling set of still photos (with nice fades and zooms) with a voice-over. Not a bad idea for pre-owned vehicles, IF again you focus on the VEHICLE not the dealership until the end. And if the voice-over isn't too smarmy (think NOT the MoviePhone Guy! :). You can highlight any vehicle on the lot in less than 40 seconds, including the intro, maybe even in 30. Done well and in budget, I think these are worthwhile.
Comment by Larry Bruce on December 23, 2009 at 12:11pm
@Keith, No Problem! do with it as you will. Thanks for the props though.
Comment by Wendell Dossett on December 23, 2009 at 11:00am
I absolutely agree with Joe and Keith. The thing we may want to consider - hardly anyone does video at all. So maybe something is better than nothing. I recently asked a large inventory aggregator about the number of people doing video and he replied 5 ! I was initially just complaining about file size, they were acting like they never heard the problem before.
Main thing I see with walk around video: Introduce yourself, make them like you in a fun way, add content that they are looking for, keep upbeat. Also, if it has flaws, bring it up, make light of it - get a little freaky if you have too. Stand out as different at all costs.
Comment by Larry Bruce on December 23, 2009 at 10:52am

Amen Joe! Ralph you're an Ecommerce Terminator, don't know where you find the time. The human translation for what Ralph is talking about is a modular web presence where you compartmentalize content around the traffic vehicle (PPC, Banner ad, ect), the referring vehicle (yahoo, Google, msn, email offer, your main random access website or Facebook ect.), I could go on but I won’t. The bottom line is this network of sites work in conjunction with your main website to get the user the experience they expected when they clicked from wherever they clicked from.
Comment by Joe Webb on December 23, 2009 at 10:41am
Keith,
I definitely agree that dealers should not have a canned "intro" to every video as no viewer will sit through it more than once. The beauty of youtube is that it can be a little gritty. Production quality doesn't matter. If crappy movies like Cloverfield that get you sick to your stomach for 90 minutes can make a 100 million, than a customer interested in a car and a dealership doesn't mind a little shaky handicam work by an amateur on a dealer lot. I believe you sell your dealership after you debut the vehicle on the video - but I think you should introduce yourself (not just by voice, but on camera) at the start of every video. They want to side with you and see who is talking to them. A quick shout like "Hey folks, my name is Arsenio Hall and I'm the Internet Sales Manager here at ABC Motors...I want to show you this great..." 5 second intro of yourself so they have someone to latch onto is imperative.
Comment by Keith Shetterly on December 23, 2009 at 10:34am
@Larry: By the way, I co-opted your "don't brain damage the customer" metaphor just today when discussing our new website with the vendor. It's darn near perfect. Thanks!
Comment by Keith Shetterly on December 23, 2009 at 10:30am
@Larry: I ABSOLUTELY agree with your point that dealership website visitors are looking for Inventory (incl Specials) and Service, not marketing--but I would still say that hosted video and testimonials and marketing in general is not verbotten. Why not have that too? And the point started here on this thread was video content on the social site effort, not the main dealer site. And looking for a phone number, as we've found that The Yellow Pages are now a Google search--even if customers know your dealership name many of them will still do a search first rather than guess at a domain name.

@All: On the video side of things, no matter where you put it on the web, 40 seconds is an eon of Internet time, and that is not a linear experience, either: The first few seconds are "The Grabber" and viewers weary quickly when the first twenty seconds is a "Our Dealership is SO Cool!" intro video on a vehicle video. That is very ainful, and super painful if you have to sit through it on every video for the cars you want to see! A few seconds of canned intro showing a website and phone number, then the short video on the vehicle while you scroll your phone number through the bottom of the entire video, and then put your "Our Dealership is SO Cool!" effort at the END. So, if viewers want it, they can see it at least once and skip it otherwise.

For principals and GMs and Internet Directors and Consultants who may not agree, please think about this: Would you want a walk-around on the lot to begin with a long intro about the dealership? NO!!! Twenty seconds is LONNNNNG on the Internet for a video, so Get To The Car With a Scrolling Number Beneath, and you'll be lots more effective.

Thanks!

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