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For the past 10 months, we have been travelling around the country as an executive staff, talking to current and future clients to get an understanding of what they are really looking for in a complete Internet marketing solution. We've taken this information and worked with leaders in marketing and strategy to harness what we know about automotive in an environment tempered by best practices in other industries.
The general theme that we've discovered is that dealers and marketing professionals agree on most (not all) aspects of Internet marketing, but one thing stood out as a clear "must have" across the board: integrating search, social, and website lead generation was the key to success going forward in 2011 and into 2012.
We have been doing this to gain an understanding of how to build and position the newest variation of our award-winning Power of 5 marketing platform to be unveiled in the Spring. What we learned is that "variation" was not appropriate. This is a complete re-imagination.
But that's not the point of this article. This knowledge that we've acquired has opened our eyes to how dealers should be positioning their Internet marketing strategies. Seeing your website, SEO, and social media as three separate activities is not the best way to take advantage of any of the three. An integrated strategy allows the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts.
When improving and implementing your strategies, keep this in mind. Keeping them as separate activities is not as effective. When you design or improve your website, ask yourself some questions:
When putting together your SEO strategy, ask yourself a couple of more questions:
Finally, when considering a vendor or internal strategy for social media, ask these questions:
With these questions in mind, you'll be able to see the correlation between the three most important aspects of automotive Internet marketing.