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Kevin McKillop

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Content Marketing For Auto Dealerships - Why, How & Where To Start.

Content Marketing For Your Dealership, what that is and how it helps. 

There are plenty of ways to market your dealership, old and new. One online way of marketing rather than displaying ads would be to do content marketing.
The term content marketing is about creating content that is consumed by your potential customers.

When you put content out on the internet that is helpful to potential customers, they seek that information and end up finding your website, store, brand whatever it may be.

You see, customers don’t seek out your website right away, they do research, they look around and when they do that, your content could be what they find and provides helpful information to them right there. Your name, and your brand now helping them make decisions about their vehicle purchase.
So lets cover off what I mean by content. Content could be videos, it could be blog posts, it could be pictures, things people can share, look at, read and find useful in their quest for answers and information.

This video for example would be an example of content.  For a dealership, you could have a dealership blog where you educate potential customers about the things you normally would if they were in the store.   It’s about sharing quality information (content) online so people can find it because that’s what they’re looking for, and they can also spread it around and share it if it’s helpful enough.

What could you post on your blog to help out potential buyers?  Ryan Thompson over at the Dealer Geek blog has a great post outlining just that.  20 things you could talk about to kickstart your dealership blog.

You could share information such as, should I lease or finance? do I need to take my car to the dealership i purchased it from for service? what is an admin fee, what does it cover?  winter tires vs. all season tires? What can void my factory warranty?

You see all kinds of things you could educate your potential customer about through your blog.

The next part about having this content is for search engine optimization.  Google loves fresh updated websites with relevant high quality content.  You ask what’s high quality?  Stuff people share, stuff people make requests for, it’s relevant to the rest of your website.

A few weeks go Search Engine Land posted an article (content) online about SEO Attracts & Converts customers in 3 purchase decision phases.  The first phase is research, so they go actively search online for answers, and your content could provide those answers.  2, they start doing comparisons, now they’re looking at all the research information and comparing, again this is referencing your original content.  3 is the buying phase, now they’ve basically made a decision.

Your brand, your store has been a part of this decision and phases from start to finish.  No banner ad, or newspaper ad sticks like online content does when you provide quality information that people are looking for.

With highly relevant quality content on your site and your social media profiles, you will attract people, which is called inbound marketing, you’re not putting ads in their face, you post content they find YOU!

If you are going to start a blog which I highly recommend, please make sure that’s part of your domain and not a hosted blog somewhere else.  You will get a lot of SEO juice from having your articles posting on your domain, do not let that traffic and content go to waste on someone else’s website property. You create the content, you reap all the rewards.

Now you may think that’s a lot of work, and you’re right it is work, but that’s marketing, it’s not going to be easy.  But here are a few suggestions to make this much easier for you.

Create a schedule of things to create, always keep a running list of topics, questions that come up in your store, pay attention to automotive news and your OEM announcements made to the public.  These are places to get ideas.  Next is spend a day or two getting 4 pieces of content done per month.  This will give you 1 new item to post every week.  This way you’re not constantly worrying about what’s next.  Get 3 to 4 content pieces created and then slowly distribute those.

Having a schedule and sticking to it will take most of the burden out of it, and when you keep at it for 6 months to 12 months, you will have an inbound marketing machine as your content is consumed, shared and found online, bringing people back to your website or picking up the phone to call you, because your brand has been with them the whole time.

If you have been creating content for your dealership, I’d love to hear in the comments how that has been working out for you in terms of inbound marketing and exposure.

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