In the movie Field of Dreams, a ghostly voice tells Kevin Costner's Ray Kinsella character, "If you build it, he will come."
The first question you'll want answered is, "What is it?" In the movie, the 'it' was a baseball field, but it was actually so much more than that. In reality, the 'it' in the movie was the dream of baseball itself from a bygone era when the game was pure and joyful.
The second question you'd want answered is "Who are they?" In the movie, the question wasn't about 'they' but rather 'he.' We go through the movie (spoiler alert) thinking that 'he' is Shoeless Joe Jackson, but it isn't until the end when we realize that Jackson was the voice guiding him and 'he' was Ray's father who was broken as a man but happy when he was young and playing baseball.
This isn't a post about symbolic movie analysis. Let's talk about your dealership's digital marketing. There has been a semi-true notion that 'content is king' for some time. In the world of SEO and social media, it's a fact that content is the cornerstone of success, but things have been changing. Today, building content alone is not enough to help it stand out.
Many dealers (dare I say most) are building content of some sort. They're either doing it themselves or paying a vendor to do it for them. This is great and has been a much-needed element in automotive digital marketing, but it's not the end of it. With so many building content, the true key to success is supporting the content with external elements.
From a search engine optimization perspective, the outside elements are links and social signals. They are the support mechanisms that give content validation in the eyes of the search engines. If you're building content on a topic and your competitors are building content on the same topic, Google and Bing must choose which to serve for their searches. Links, despite the negative press they've received here and on other forums since the rise of the Penguin algorithm update, are still the most powerful way to help your content stand out from your competitors'. The important thing to know is that high-quality contextual links from strong sources are the only types of links you want. Low-quality, spammy, or purchased links can be the kiss of death.
In social, the outside force propelling great content is money. Some think it's unfortunate that sites like Facebook and Twitter have pretty much become 'pay to play' if you want exposure due to the decrease in organic reach. Twitter is doing something about it with 'while you were away', but even in a best case scenario the 140-character social network has minimal organic reach.
Ads work wonders when done properly. Most companies and dealers are throwing money away in social media because they're not handling their ads appropriately. However, when you mix strong content with proper social advertising management, the result are miraculous.
Building content on your dealership's website is extremely important, but don't let your marketing efforts end there. Do the things that are necessary to support the content and it can work wonders on traffic, leads, and sales.