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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
- Establish a goal (traffic, conversion, etc…)
- Develop a set of keywords.
- Map out specific topics based off of those keywords and create an editorial calendar.
- Pick the authors who will be writing about each topic.
- 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!
- 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?
- What formats will you use? I just gave you 10 ideas, which ones appeal to you?
- Where will you be sharing it? Your own blog? Facebook? Twitter? Who at the dealership will be sharing it and where?
- How often will you post? Come up with an editorial calendar and stick to it!
- 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?