Content Is King: 10 Ways To Drive Traffic And Get People Talking About Your Dealership

Panda’s are cute and cuddly, or at least they look the part. Personally I would never want to cuddle one but that is what Google called their algorithm update that was released early 2011. The change is meant to lower the rankings of low quality sites and return high quality sites to the top of search results. While there are many different factors that go into the Panda algorithm change, in order to determine high quality vs. low quality sites, a major emphasis is put on high quality, valuable, unique content.

Before getting into the different types of content that your dealership can use in your own content marketing strategy lets talk numbers first:

  • Companies that blog generate 55% more traffic than those that don’t. (Hubspot)
  • They generate 97% more inbound links and have 434% more indexed pages. (Great for SEO)(Hubspot)
  • Companies that blog 20+ times per month get 5x the amount of traffic and 4x the amount of LEADS of companies that blog once a week. (Hubspot)
  • More than 90% of purchase decision begin online. (Forester)
  • 78% of people believe that companies generating content want to build relationships with them. (Customer Content Council)
  • 77% of people understand that content is created to sell them something but are okay with it as long as the content has value. (Customer Content Council)
  • 61% of people feel more comfortable with companies that provide custom content and are more likely to buy from them. (Customer Content Council)

Why Content Marketing?

There are 3 main reasons for developing a dealership wide content marketing strategy, they are:

  • Creates influence
  • Drives traffic
  • Increases loyalty

Lets unpack those three reasons in order to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Creates Influence

Influence is a great word, it shows that you have cause over what others are doing. Content creation will influence site stickiness, that is the amount of time a web surfer spends on your website. The longer they spend, the better chance you have of them submitting some sort of lead. Which brings me to the fact that content helps to influence lead generation as well as an increase in gross and word-of-mouth.

Drives Traffic

Content is search fodder, valuable content creates influence, such as we spoke about in the previous section. It also creates brand awareness and increases customer acquisition. Google wants high value content and will serve you up more traffic by increasing your visibility in search. Great content also provides many different sharing opportunities which will drive even more visits to your site through referral traffic.

Increases Loyalty

Great content will increase repeat customers. Not only to your website but right to your dealership. Through the creation of lead nurturing emails, full of valuable content you are better able to create loyalty which increases both repeat business and referrals. Don’t just think sales here, great content will also drive service traffic and loyalty.

10 Content Ideas

Below you will find 10 ideas for content creation. While there are others please don’t feel that you have to include everything, pick a few that you are comfortable with and start there.

Create An eBook

Create a downloadable eBook to set yourself apart from other dealerships. You can create a short eBook called 5 Things You Absolutely Must Know BEFORE Trading In and then ask for name, email, number, and  when they will be buying their next car in order for them to download it. We do something similar here at 3GEngagement and just created another eBook titled What To Expect From Your Digital Marketing Agency, check it out HERE and notice how we designed the landing page and download form. We’ve had many great conversation with the dealership employees that have downloaded it.

Design A Newsletter

With a newsletter you can stay in front of both sold and unsold customers, as well as service customers. Make sure that you aren’t pitchy, that you do share good content (link back to your website) and DIY videos. This is something you can do in house or you can hire a company that specializes in newsletter generation. Yes, at 3GEngagement we can design and deploy your newsletter. We’re still in the process of building that page out on our website but we have some really great success stories. Learn more about our newsletter offering.

Hold A Webcast

You can hold online clinics on car care, setting up the nav system, or even techniques on how to negotiate a good car deal. You can use a service such as UStream.com to manage it fairly easy.

Facebook Is Content

Don’t think of posts on Facebook as a daily chore that just has to be done. Think of ways you can use it to create engagement, two-way engagement. What I mean by that is there is a big difference between somebody commenting on one of your updates and another one entirely to have an actual conversation. Always strive for dialogue.

Create Videos

Videos are a great way to get people talking and to set you apart from other dealerships. Don’t forget videos for service as well, they can benefit as much as or even more than sales. Create videos on how to program the garage door opener or set the clock. You can even make videos on how to check your fluids and to tell when you need new tires. Videos like this showcase the authority of the dealership and help to make you the obvious choice.

Write Articles

Get published. Write for the local paper, they are always looking for good content. Many of them will even post on their website with a link back to your site, this is good for SEO rankings and for direct referrals. Again think value, think educational.

Live Events

Do you host live events at your dealership? I’ve seen dealership do chili cook offs and customer appreciation days. Take lost of picture and videos, you may even be able to get a testimonial or two.

Mobile Content

There are a ton of ideas for mobile content, how about this one: Create walk around videos and put QR codes linked to them on the window sticker. This works well on the days the dealership is closed or for after hours.

Create Microsites

Create microsites dedicated to each make and model that you sell, with plenty of content, reviews, videos, downloadable eBooks and sign up forms. Make sure that your microsite isn’t static, continue to create engaging content on a monthly basis.  Remember, keep feeding that panda!

Create A Blog

Blogging is a great way to drive traffic and to humanize the dealership brand. As I mentioned earlier if you want to increase your traffic by 5x and your lead count by 4x then you need to blog consistently, 20+ times per month. Think about all the people in your dealership, get them together and put a strategy in place. Below I will give you the 5 steps to creating a dealership blog:

  1. Establish a goal (traffic, conversion, etc…)
  2. Develop a set of keywords.
  3. Map out specific topics based off of those keywords and create an editorial calendar.
  4. Pick the authors who will be writing about each topic.
  5. Set writing guidelines (length,SEO, whatnot)

From there just repeat steps 2-4 every month, stay ahead at least a month and keep adding to your editorial calendar.

 Creating A Content Creation Strategy

 Ask yourselves these ive questions and you are well on your way!

  1. What will you be talking about? Will it be service, sales, or a mixture of the two? Will you focus on local sports teams? A Charity?
  2. What formats will you use? I just gave you 10 ideas, which ones appeal to you?
  3. Where will you be sharing it? Your own blog? Facebook? Twitter? Who at the dealership will be sharing it and where?
  4. How often will you post? Come up with an editorial calendar and stick to it!
  5. How are you going to track it? Remember, everything should be tracked!

Bonus, Lead Nurturing

So, now that you have all this content how are you going to use it, how about lead nurturing? First, some stats… because you know I love them so much!

  • 25% of your current leads are ready to buy.
  • 50% of leads are qualified to buy, but just aren’t ready to buy yet.
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing develop 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% less cost.
  • Nurtured leads spend 47% more money than non-nurtured leads.

You can use all this content to educate your customers. Remember the eBook idea I mentioned earlier? What about using that in your initial auto responder? Also, you should include video or testimonials as social proof. Imagine your customer getting a social proof email after you sent them pricing?

Another email you can create is an email asking people to connect with you, this is a great way to grow your social following. Remember, don’t email everyday and to keep it short. Keep in mind the importance of the initial email, it must be both timely and valuable. 35-50% of sales goes to the dealership who responds first and best!

There are lost of ways that you can use your content to customer nurture as well, that is to create a series of emails that you send AFTER the buy a car. Just a thought, what do you think?

Well there you have it. 10 ways to drive traffic and get people talking about your dealership. If anything I hope you see the importance of content creation and how it can have a HUGE impact on your dealerships bottom line. How are you creating content?

Post author

David has been in the auto industry for 11 years, starting off as a salesperson, then internet sales and then finally BDC manager before he started consulting full time. Now he is considered the forefront of automotive social media and is both the VP and partner of 3GEngagement.com

There are 11 Comments

  1. Posted by Nancy Simmons Reply

    Regal content as usual!!!

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      And as usual I appreciate your kind words Nancy. I was unsure about putting so much info into this one and will probably break out a few and make stand alone posts.

  2. Posted by utespotter Reply

    Ace post, cheers Charles

  3. Posted by Erick Ruiz Reply

    How can I begin to brand myself without branding the company itself first. I want to brand me first then the company. I am sales rep and want to drive traffic through videos, social and paid traffic such as pay-per click. I still want to provide valuable content

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      You can follow the same approach as I’ve outlined in this post. In fact, it’s better on the personal level because you’ve shared the human side of business and are able to connect person to person instead of person to business. The best place to start is with your home base, or your website. I feel that in order to connect and drive traffic that you must have your own platform first. So start there and then work on populating content and engaging with those that consume it.

  4. Posted by Steve Bartol Reply

    Years ago I worked for Earnhardt’s Dodge when we worked the sales drives and took ups. Since those days I began to work with social media content for businesses in the technology industries. I decided to move back into car sales but use my social media marketing skills to help gateway create a buzz around their business. I just now started and am having to generate great readable content for their Blog. This post of yours really brought to light the importance of content. I have already began to accumulate content and ideas that will bring the reader to the blog and provide them with calls to action and relatable advertising.

    How do you feel about call to action prompts on a blog. Statistically it appears like a very sound business practice but I was wondering what your thoughts were in this area.

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      I agree with you Steve, it’s good practice. Typically, I don’t care for a call to action that’s sales based, unless of course it’s a post about a specific model, but rather a call to action to register for a newsletter or some sort of download. This way the dealership can focus on lead nurturing and when the person is ready they will remember the dealership. I’m working on a new content related post that I think you will really dig. I’ll shoot you an email when it’s complete.

  5. Posted by John Reply

    Hi this ay be a stupid question but how do I get started with a blog meaning where do I go and how to get I linked to my website?
    really loved the article I am a complete rookie when it comes to this stuff but I know it would make a big difference. I own a small used car lot we offer In House and traditional financing.

    Thanks for your time
    John

    • Posted by David Johnson Reply

      I sent you an email John, just in case you don’t see my comment below:

      I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “There are no stupid question.” When it comes to blogging there are a lot of different places you can start. I don’t know who your website vendor is, but maybe they offer a platform to blog on?

      If they don’t then there are two different routes you can take, you can get a hosted blog or a self hosted one. The first one would be at a site such as WordPress.com. From there you could create a blog pretty easy but your domain name would be something like DakotaCars.Wordpress.com. Then you can link to it from your website. Finally, put a link in the navigation that says blog from your dealer website.

      The second option would be to have one built. You could have your own domain name if you were to use WordPress.org. That’s where you can download, for free, the source code for WordPress and host it yourself. You could even have it Blog.YourWebsite.com if you want, or just purchase another domain name. Again, put a link in the navigation that says blog from your dealer website.

      As you probably noticed, I’m a WordPress fan. It’s fairly easy to use and has a huge community of people backing it, so there isn’t any shortage of material on how to use it out there on the web.

      If you have ANY other question just let me know. I’m more than happy to point you in the right direction.

      p.s. I prefer the second option. Go self hosted.

  6. Posted by John Reply

    I have the steps as far as content really just need to know a starting point

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