Want to set yourself apart from your competition?
One of the best ways to do so is to influence how your target market perceives your company, and publishing quality content online is a great place to start.
Research shows that 78% of consumers believe that companies providing custom content want to build long-term relationships. That goes a long way for brands trying to find new and keep customers, especially when the purchase is a big ticket item like a new car or auto service.
Content that is informative solves a problem and educates, that earns trust positions you as one of the leading authorities in the industry.
Content that is continuously sales based to push your product is a turnoff and depletes trust.
Every business needs to position themselves a partner with their target audience, you are in this for the long haul and want to foster in-depth, long-term relationships. Your target audience wants to trust you and build a relationship that stands the test of time.
Today, more than ever brands need to establish an online presence to stand out from the crowd.
Facebook ads, PPC ads, TV ads are all great and serve their collective purpose to ‘brand’ your company; however, they do not drive user engagement.
The consequences of not being innovative or finding engaging ways to stand out in today’s increasingly competitive online world may result in your brand and message being overlooked and lost in the crowd.
Today, search engines reward websites who continually update their website content with fresh, in-depth articles that answer the search intent with higher rankings and push down sites which are stagnant.
There are many different types of content from blog posts, to eBooks, white papers and even videos the ability to communicate with your target market, to generate new interest and grow your audience is virtually limitless.
‘53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority (HubSpot, 2017).’
You may be thinking that content isn’t right for your business if you are still on the fence about content marketing or need some reassurance to continue to invest in content marketing, below is a list of long-term benefits to consider.
If your sole outcome for producing content is to improve search engine rankings you to change your mindset.
Content should be utilized to add Avalue to your audience, if you are solving your target audience problem, educating them and answering their questions, your customers will love your content, and we expect the search engines will too.
Quality content marketing can significantly improve your search engine visibility. However, you need to think like your customer and how they search with intent. People don’t search for “Honda,” they search for long tail phrases such as, “what Honda holds its value over five years,” or “what Honda model has the best crash results.”
The SEO benefits are that each new content piece you add to your blog or resources page is another page Google is going to index.
More pages may not necessarily lead to more search traffic; the more quality content you have on pages that answers the searchers intent you have indexed, the more opportunities you get to rank for in these search queries.
As you produce quality content, you’ll likely to get people linking to the content, sharing your content on other forums and blogs.
Adding graphics to your articles helps you rank in Google’s image search.
The best thing about image search is that it’s much less competitive and can be a significant source of traffic. According to Moz, the number of visits resulting from image search accounts for 20% to 60% of all visits.
Think of a spoke and wheel; you need to establish a base piece of content that is the hub of a subject matter. Then link other pieces of content to this piece of content and continue to build the spokes. This is internal linking.
Internal links are links that link content from one page on a website to a different page on the same website. Your goal is to build strong internal links throughout your site and content allows you to do this.
Pages of content on related topics build good internal linking architecture. This will help important pages and cornerstone content rank better. Below is an example of internal linking:
Source: Neil Patel
Providing valuable content to your audience to quickly access drives traffic to your site. Over time, with improved search visibility, the traffic to your website will increase.
Guest posts, native advertising using content on your website and syndication where appropriate are all ways to build backlinks to your site. You prompt the reader to click-through to your website and read internally linked articles. This improves the user experience providing more content that educates on the topic of interest.
Adding a short, informative bio at the end of a guest post is a quick way to drive more traffic to your website you can leverage this description by mentioning your products, services or company.
Below is an example of how the author has anchored her services and linked back to her website. If Ann had mentioned her social media profiles, she would have grown her social media following.
An example of an author bio
Producing educational and informative content influences how people think of your brand and what emotional appeal they associate it with trustworthy or dishonesty, expert or novice, educational or salesey and so on.
Your goal is to position yourself through your content as the go-to resource for any solutions to problems or questions your target audience may have.
Today, 94% of buyers conduct online research at some point in the buying process. Establishing yourself as the “go-to source” in the awareness and consideration stages of the sales funnel puts you in strong contention to be the “go-to” website as they are considering and are ready to make a purchase.
Then layering in guest posting or content syndication to help establish you as a thought leader. Guest posting and syndicating content on authoritative websites your target audience visits drives additional credibility.
Strong content shows your target customers who your company is and what your brand stands for.
If you want your content to have the most significant impact and reach as many people as possible in your market, your brand awareness strategy should be geared toward mainstream topics that appeal to high-authority news sites with large followings.
Examples of this are suggested articles such as:
The consumer’s ability to recognize, recall and associate your brand with critical qualities they are looking when starting down the car purchase path and as they move through the sales funnel is essential into deciding which dealership they choose to ultimately purchase from.
Content helps establish your brand’s identity by using brand-specific language and tone of voice, content marketing also aids in delivering important messages about your products or services.
The number one marketing challenge today for marketers is generating traffic and leads (63%). Content marketing is a great way to do this.
One of the most impactful benefits of content marketing is the ability to attract new leads.
Research continues to find that companies that blog generate 67% more leads than companies without content (blogs/articles/videos, etc.) or content-rich websites.
Gating some content or adding downloadable PDFs of checklists, ebooks or infographics that accent or summarize an article where the reader is required to fill out a form to access it is an easy way to generate leads and build your email list.
Once you’ve have the readers contact details, you can nurture them with more relevant content through a bi-monthly newsletter that incorporates educational content and special offers or coupons. This aids in moving the prospect through the sales funnel and ideally into sold customers.
Content marketing continues to deliver an ROI even after its published. Old blog posts and articles continue to generate leads over time, content stays searchable, and it’s a good practice to update older pieces of content every once in a while to keep it fresh and add in market changes that have occurred since ht initial publication. Evergreen content is an asset to your business and offers a compounding return on investment (ROI).
While the initial investment may seem significant, the amount of time needed for planning and executing a strong content marketing strategy are well worth the investment.
When compared to other outbound marketing strategies, content marketing still proves more cost-effective in delivering results.
In fact, content marketing costs up to 62% less than traditional marketing, and considering that 615 million devices have installed ad blocker technology and it’s across all generations, fewer people today are seeing your ads.
Then when you look at ad spend:
84% of consumers expect brands to create content; consumers want content from brands.
Brand loyalty is built when you provide consistent, engaging and riveting content. Loyalty can last for years, creating a steady flow of people who are ready to engage with you when they are ready to make a purchase.
Brand loyalty is influenced by updated and relevant content, resulting in your consumers returning to buy more of your product or service. From new cars to auto service.
The community that results from content marketing provides a consistent source of revenue for your company, reducing the pressure to continuously seek new customers.
Buying a car is stressful for most people, it’s a big ticket item that warrants time and research before a buying decision is made.
Car buyers want to be as educated as possible before stepping onto the lot for a test drive, and most have narrowed their decision down to 3 vehicles long before they showed up on the dealership lot.
Car brands and dealers can help buyers with this process by developing and syndicating educational and helpful content.
Below are three types of content marketing auto dealerships can create to bring buyers back to their sites again and again.
Cars are a significant purchase, and it can be an intimidating process for buyers today. If anything the car selection has increased as has features, the move to add additional technology into cars, including and the connected vehicle add to consumers need for education.
Articles and blog posts that include topics similar to:
All offer educational aspects for car buyers.
These types of articles, ease the car buyers concerns by giving them information and downloadable tip lists that can quickly build confidence in your brand and help develop a relationship where there may not have been one previously or to enhance the relationship, building additional trust in your dealership.
Giving auto buyers a place to find answers to common questions, or even ask questions of their own, is another excellent way to build deep relationships. This aids your ability to assert authority and knowledge on the subject matter, giving car buyers and drivers a go-to resource that they trust and can turn to as needed.
Checklists are evergreen material that stands the test of time. They can be used over and over again without the need to update them.
Creating a downloadable checklist that car buyers can print out and take with them to the dealership lot gives buyers a boost of confidence, and help improve the relationship you’re fostering.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of content marketing or would like to get to work on your strategy, we would love to hear more about your dealership; please feel free to contact us.