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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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JD Rucker

JD Rucker Founder

Exclusive Blog Posts

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The Ability to Post Content Easily on Your Website is a Must for 2013

Content Management

Content marketing is internet marketing. It has been for a while (which I’ll discuss below) but is 2013 it will emerge to become the “must have”.

It was during a discussion on ADM where the venerable Ralph Paglia brought up a great point. It was regarding an article about using your website as the content hub for both search and social when Paglia mentioned that not all web platforms, particularly those in the automotive industry, give users the ability to post content as easily as they can on WordPress, Tumblr, Ning, or any of the other platforms specifically designed as content management systems. Many automotive websites (and business websites in general) trap users with content restrictions. This has been an annoyance for years. Going into 2013, it will be a major drawback.

 

Content Has Been The Key Forever, But…

This isn’t anything new. Content marketing has been a component of search engine optimization, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and just about every strategy that relies on driving traffic from one source to another. The difference now is that it’s going beyond the status of being a “component” and becoming the heart and soul of these various types of marketing techniques.

SEO for years has been a function of appropriate keyword-rich content, keyword-rich title tags, and powerful inbound links with keyword-rich title tags. There was a time when you could have next to zero content on your website and still rank well for challenging terms. Those days are behind us. With the Penguin update in April and the Panda update last year, Google forced search marketers to shoot for quality, to draw in the links based upon organic prominence. For this reason, content truly has become “king” even though it was really just a queen or a jack in the recent past.

Social media marketing can always relied on content as the driving force, but one could easily center the content on the social sites and still benefit from it. This strategy is still in play, particularly for big brands, but smaller or localized businesses (such as car dealers) should rework their social strategies to include the content that appears on their website.

The reality of the trends is this: content marketing was a part of larger marketing strategies before. Now, those other marketing strategies are easier to manage if you make the content aspect the central activity that bleeds over into search and social. It’s a paradigm shift in many ways and is the reason why changes should be coming for many websites in the coming year. Some would argue that they shouldn’t even wait for 2013, that now is the time to act. I tend to agree.

 

Post It or Move Along

There’s an episode of Seinfeld where Cosmo Kramer starts receiving phone calls at his home from people wanting to get movie times. He tries to become Movie Phone. Unfortunately, he runs into some roadblocks.

Embedding is disabled, but watch it anyway.

This is sort of what’s happening for many business website providers, particularly in automotive. “Why don’t you just tell me what content you want on your website?”

They don’t offer the tools that allow users to log in, post a piece of content, and make it live immediately. For some, you have to send them the HTML itself. Others tell you to email them the words and pictures and they’ll post it for you. Some let you build a page, but won’t allow it to go live until you call them.

Call them? Really?

To be able to perform the basic marketing techniques required for success in 2013, you must be able to post your content how you want it and when you want it without constraints. You must have the ability to put the right social media buttons on your content; that doesn’t mean a blue “F” in a small box that links to your Facebook page. You need true share buttons. Social signals are becoming the most important tool in both search and social marketing. If your website platform breaks the codes, you need to make a change.

If you are unable to post content easily without putting a ticket into tech support, you will fall behind your competitors. If you cannot make your websites socially engaging, you will fall behind your competitors. People are really starting to “get it” when it comes to content marketing. Some of these people want to succeed over you. Will you let that happen?

Joey Abna
Preach on JD. I get really frustrated trying to use some of the backend tools that the "big boys" are so proud of. Also, I get tired of being told by tech support folks that the vast majority of dealers do not want or need the ability to create pages, alter meta information, use rich snippets, change url structures ect.
JD Rucker
Joey, I have to disagree with you. The vendors are right. The vast majority of dealers DO NOT want the ability. Then again, the vast majority of dealers are not the thought leaders, the "Driving Sales Savvies" as I like to call them. You are in a very exclusive crowd. Trust me, over 90% of dealers would not add content if their sites were built on Tumblr, let alone on an automotive website platform. YOU, my friend, are the exception, which is why you're here at Driving Sales.
Jim Bell
Love it JD! Yes, content will be king and that seemed to be the themes at the digital conferences this fall. It's now a matter of dealers finding a way to get all of that great content that they have on their off-site blogs to their site which may be a challenge to some.
JD & Joey-As the Senior Website Manager at Cobalt, I can tell you with all confidence: you’re both right. The truth is, there are some savvy dealers who are embracing DIY content management. But, there are still some who prefer to have it handled for them. So, I would amend the above recommendation and say the wave of the immediate future is really a website solution that is scalable for all comfort levels (driver’s seat or chauffeured, so to speak). That being said, with the rise of content marketing, even in just the past two years we are seeing more and more dealers leverage these DIY capabilities and become more digitally fluent and autonomous, which is why our focus for the past two years has been on creating self-managed tools like Dealer Command Center and Flex Websites, which literally let dealers run the whole show if they are so inclined. Over the next few years, we expect this will become the norm, and we are developing our tools accordingly. But, we are not there yet, which is why it’s still nice to have that white-glove consultation for those who want it. Bottom line: it’s a pain to have to pick up the phone, but it’s nice to be able to pick up the phone if you want to, and know there’s someone on the other end ready and willing to help out.

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