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One point of reference that DD7 ingrained in me was that there is a greater urgency for car dealers to understand and implement Automotive SEO, Social Media, Internet Reputation Management (IRM), and microsites as part of their overall marketing strategy.
In the six months since last Digital Dealer Conference in Las Vegas, the types of questions that were asked of me in Nashville showed a deeper understanding of Internet marketing strategies. When dealer employees are asking questions about the best tools for blogging, what is duplicate content, best linking strategies or how to tag photos on their inventory pages it is obvious that change is in the air.
I was very excited to engage and help educate the dealers at DD7. I hope I was able to motivate those who attended my SEO seminar to go back this week and implement some things on their own. The more dealership staff can do on their own, the faster change will occur.
It was great to see Jared's seminar on Social Media completely jammed with not a seat remaining. The tide is turning. Having a comprehensive Internet Marketing strategy however is becoming an interesting challenge because of the staffing cuts made in the past 2 years.
Unlike other operational paradign shifts in the automotive industry, many new Automotive marketing strategies are labor intensive. This is just the opposite path that software tools have offered car dealers in the past 10 years. Implementing an SEO and Social Media strategy for every dealership is unique and multi-brand dealer groups cannot expect to see large economies of scale.
That is where this marketing shift is different than other changes in automotive innovation. Dealers are faced with the labor requirements that quality content creation takes. Dealers are struggling with the hours it takes to encourage customers to post reviews, maintain Facebook pages and keep their blogs up to date.
In the coming months, it would be great to start threads about how to manage the "time" requirements for the new tools in automotive marketing. It's not about outsourcing or keeping it in-house. I think it will have to be a balance of both in-house training and outside assistance. The market is moving too fast not to engage experts that are on the edge of change.
I'm working on some ideas to create SEO training curriculum that we can post on Driving Sales. I would like to hear if a library of video training segments would be of interest to dealers.
If you could not attend the 7th Digital Dealer Conference in Nashville and would like to read through my PowerPoint, click here to get a copy: Automotive SEO Seminar