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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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VJ VJ eCommerce Director

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Why Context is the new King in your SEM

Want it – Read it – Listened to it – or How to Build Your Context Library

It hit me like a ton of bricks when Gary Vaynerchuk entered the stage during the Driving Sales Executive Summit in Las Vegas this week and shouted out “SEO and Content is Dead – Context is the new King” – and I believe he has a very valid point here.  

With Google+ now open for everyone, Facebook announcing new changes on an almost weekly basis that allow fans to tell their friends not only what they “LIKE” but very soon even having buttons like “Want It” – have “Read It” and “Listened to it”.  

Because of this extension of features we will have an enormous avalanche of CONTEXT rolling towards us. With Google+ circles for example, we see not only what our friends have eaten, but when, where and if it was great. I can see which book my closer circle of friends just finished reading (the book “Go Giver”) and their praise, triggering me to buy it instantly on Amazon’s Kindle store. (Brian Pasch what I am referring to;))  

With this created context I as a consumer now have a much more pinpointed “search” result – even though I didn’t start my Google search engine at this point. The so-called Social Graph of immediate circles, friends or followers will be the new influential factors for checking out new businesses or weighing in on recommendations for which car to test drive or even to buy.  

As Gary Vaynerchuck said, “The more we create context, the more our wallet is going to be decided based on our friends.”

Let’s face it: Isn’t Google feeling more and more cluttered and diluted when it comes to finding exactly what you are craving or searching for? Even the so-called long-tail search terms sometimes leave me frustrated on search engines. I believe that just an SEO strategy alone is not cutting it any longer for dealerships or any other business. The task for 2012 is to have a well-balanced Content and Context strategy in place.  

So what would be my strategy in a dealership to build what I call a Context Index Library?

  • Logging in everyday (as a ritual) into and choose advanced search. In my example, I chose to look for tweets about “Honda” in “Atlanta” within a radius of “15 miles” – QUESTION: Do you think I could somehow engage with the following people below?! ANSWER: You bet! I see possibilities for Sales and Service (Dent removal) here, when approached right.

Content is good - Context is so much better for the future

[Twitter search is next to Google, and YouTube the next "search engine" to consider to find context rich information]

  • Make sure you ask your new or existing customers to join and LIKE you on Facebook. A study shown and presented by Kevin Root and Matt Murray during the DSES event showed that 25% of those questioned would say “Yes, I will like you” and 82% of these would actually follow through to “Like” you on Facebook. Pretty good outcome when you ask me, and again it tells us, “When you do not ask you won’t receive!”


  • Last but not least. Create context for your clientele, not just context you have on your website, but context on your Facebook business page, your Twitter account, your YouTube channel and hopefully your blog. No die-hard sales pitch but context about everything and everybody.

Some Great Context Examples:

1) World Hyundai does movie reviews and movie ticket giveaways

2) Hare Chevrolet, who posted a “Favorite Things about Fall” poll and in no time received 10 comments.

Using techniques like these, you can then weave the fan responses into your next marketing gig, like hosting a “Warm Cider Tasting Event” or even a “Pumpkin Carving Event” with prices around the car…think about it!  

Please let me know in the comment section how you introduce your context into your marketing strategy and what you found “really works for you”.

Happy Selling and of course do your context marketing constantly!  

Eric Miltsch
Kudos to VJ for jumping all over, what I felt, was one of the biggest takeaways from DSES this year: Content & Intent. The sooner a digital marketer can identify and respond to these elements, the quicker you'll be able to solve a problem for consumers. Nice post VJ!
Thanks Eric for the compliment! Even it will take time until every marketer sees the value - it is time to rethink strategies along this path! And we know "Early Bird Will Catch The Worm"
Bryan Armstrong
I love it. Great job on getting this out VJ. I loved when Gary V. said that a successful business NOW would be CLOSED in 15 years if they didn't start "getting it". Had a BMW Dealer that owns 8 Stores come up to me after and say "I'm so glad my people MADE me come". Progress is being made, thanks for continuing to educate.
Bryan, thank you for your comment. All your input means a lot to me and I hope to provide the right education for all of our peeps over and over again!
Joe Webb
Great article, VJ. For several years, dealers have struggled with the decision to create content for Google or for their customer bases. (Look at the text at the bottom of most dealer website homepages and you'll see the fight between trying to engage a consumer and trying to be keyword-relevant as they are not always one and the same.)

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