Content Marketing. for Car Dealers

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1 BEGINNER S GUIDE TO Content Marketing for Car Dealers It s no surprise that today s consumers shop differently than they used to. In fact, studies show that 95% of shoppers use digital channels to research a vehicle purchase. With the average buyer relying on at least 24 points of research, car dealers need to market differently in response to evolved shopping habits. You ve realized that your dealership could benefit from a completely new marketing strategy, so now you re on the road (no pun intended) to greater digital and all around success for your business. Potential buyers are not as easily swayed by boisterous television commercials and radio announcements as they were in the past, so it is important to understand that moving forward, the effectiveness of traditional marketing strategies will only continue to decline. The fact of it is, you need a striking presence on the web. Enter Content Marketing. But simply having a website or a Facebook page isn t going to do the trick. You must also implement some of the most cutting-edge marketing tactics if you don t want to get left in the dust by the competition. And if you re looking to be at the center of your local auto market (which you are!) you re going to have to be ahead of the Internet marketing game.

2 What Is Content Marketing? Content marketing is a type of non-interruptive marketing that provides consumers with information they want or need in exchange for their attention. It can take the form of a blog, social media or podcast anything that allows you to get your brand s story out to your customers. Why Is Content Marketing Important? By implementing a content marketing strategy, you will be creating more awareness without spending large sums on television, radio and newspaper ads. More importantly, content marketing allows you to build trust with your customers, and ultimately, become a reliable resource of automotive information for your community. The bottom line is that if your dealership delivers consistent, relevant and valuable content to potential buyers, they will ultimately reward you with business and loyalty. Take note as we explore some of the most important aspects of content marketing. 2

3 Build A Strategy. As previously mentioned, simply having a company website or Facebook page just doesn t cut it anymore. Your dealership must develop a strategy in order to become better than the competition. As an auto dealership, step one is already complete you know your niche market (your customers and potential customers). Now when it comes to developing content, there are a number of things you can do to keep the information interesting. Build variety by producing how-to guides, forums, video reviews, side by side comparisons of vehicles, commentary on hot industry topics and much more. Your dealership consists of a team of automotive experts, so it s time to put their knowledge and expertise in writing. Ditch Traditional Pitching. The moment your content becomes too self-promotional, readers will likely turn away. Customers visit websites and social media pages to learn insightful information about a business area of expertise, not experience a hard sell. Good content marketing drastically reduces the need for a traditional sales pitch. Instead, provide customers with the information they are looking for in an engaging and informative way. Use content marketing to increase repeat web visits from potential customers, strengthen brand awareness, build brand loyalty and ultimately increase direct sales in the process. In order to do so, your dealership would needs to make its website (and blog) a place for consumers to find out valuable automotive information and advice. An example of this would be Three Reasons the 2015 Jeep Wrangler Is Different than the 2014 Model or How to Find the Best New Tires for Your Used SUV. 3

4 Because readers keep coming back to learn from your content, they will be more likely to remember your dealership and visit your website when they are looking for their next car. By providing information instead of just using your content to self-promote and sell, you are giving the customer time to develop confidence in your brand before receiving any sales messages. If you continue to deliver engaging, informative and creative content, the customer will remember your company and come back to make a purchase when they are ready no pitch necessary. It s as easy as that. Start Blogging. Hosting a blog on your website not only allows your visitors to understand your position as a thought leader in your community, but it s also the simplest and most effective method of driving traffic to your website. Make sure you call your website provider and make sure the blog is enabled and that you know how to access it in the backend of the site. It s recommended to develop a weekly blogging schedule and post on the same days each week so your followers will know when to expect new content. Businesses should be publishing an original blog post at least twice a week, and your dealership is no exception. If your dealership doesn t have a blog, start now by brainstorming topics that potential customers would find informative and unique. Think about your audience s major questions and pain points. Having a blog with average, uninspired content won t do much for your business, but if you can find a way to generate unique and engaging content, the benefits will be too great to quit! Master the art of a blog post» 4

5 Make It Social. Social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways for dealers to post and share content. It is also a great marketing medium for developing relationships with potential customers. Utilize the blog content you re creating as well as other pages on the dealership website to share across social media. The more views each post receives, the more it will be shared, commented on and enjoyed by both new and existing customers not to mention the greater ROI that your social media outreach will earn. In addition to sharing content created on your website, you should be sharing links and photos from other sources such as local news, videos, statistics and other content relevant to your audience. Dealerships should be engaging with customer s posts to ensure continued satisfaction, even post-sale. If you have fans engaging on your page, be sure to respond back! Social media is one of the easiest ways to leave a lasting positive impression on your customers, so take full advantage of it! By incorporating a social media posting schedule, your dealership will develop a competitive edge and ensure that you are offering a variety of interesting content to potential customers on a regular basis. Get more engagement from Facebook fans» 5

6 Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly. Within the next three years, the number of people accessing the Internet through mobile will be more than those accessing it with a computer. This should be a flashing warning sign for you to start working on the mobile version of your site. Mobile devices are the primary choice of people today, so you will want to be accessible to them. Just remember that while making mobile sites, there are certain things you ll need to keep in mind: Since people use mobile devices for browsing to save time, you ll want to make sure that the site does not take too long to load. Mobile screens are quite small, so make sure that the content of your page can be viewed easily and that the site can be navigated easily as well. Read why shoppers need a mobile website» Be SEO Friendly. While it s great to produce content, but it means nothing if no one can find it. A healthy mix of great content marketing and SEO will have your dealership being found more often. Be sure to include the keywords your dealer would like to rank, for, such as Sacramento Nissan Dealership, in your H1 and H2 tags, in your meta title, description and meta keywords, and throughout the body of your content (naturally, of course). Also, be sure to produce content constantly and consistently. Every time a new piece of content is published, the search engines scan your site, leading to a boost in your search ranking. SEO may be difficult to understand and manage at first, but it is quite important to keep it in mind in order to have more potential customers reach your site. Learn the automotive SEO basics» 6

7 Get Started. If you re ready to get started, open up that editorial calendar and start your plan! Stumped? Here are 10 topics to get you started: 1. Write a new model blog featuring a walk around video. 2. Create how-to guides for DIY repairs and maintenance (e.g. wax your car, change a tire). 3. Start an Employee Spotlight to highlight a different team member each month. 4. Deliver auto industry news and share your insight. 5. Highlight the five most fuel efficient SUVs on your lot (or best family cars, most sensible first cars, etc.) 6. Give preventative maintenance tips (e.g. how to keep your car running longer). 7. Talk about the three best selling cars on your lot this quarter. Why were they best sellers? 8. Explain the difference between financing and leasing. 9. Write a comparison article: Looking for a new Honda Civic? Try a Kia Forte! 10. Share your dealership s review of the new 2014 Dodge Dart (every model you sell should have a dealer-produced review) Is Your Dealership in Need of a Great Content Marketing Strategy or Advanced SEO? See how PCG Digital Marketing is helping car dealers around the world achieve better results with our award winning automotive content writing and SEO services. 7

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