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Strategies for Winning Customers with Content: Part I

Studies show that 95% of today’s shoppers use digital channels to research a vehicle purchase, meaning they are no longer easily swayed or impressed by TV commercials, mailers, and radio announcements. With the average buyer relying on research before even stepping foot on a lot, dealerships have a responsibility to react to their need for content. In order to be ahead of your competition and at the center of the local auto market, you’re going to need more than a few Facebook posts and email messages to grab consumers’ attention. Every dealership can make changes to their content marketing strategy to accommodate their consumers’ evolved shopping habits and ultimately, generate more revenue.

What is Content Marketing and why is it important?

Content marketing is a type of continuous marketing that gives consumers access to information they want or need. It includes social media, blogs, podcasts, and anything that shares your brand with customers. When dealerships implement a strong content marketing strategy, they spread brand awareness without spending large sums of money on TV advertisements or newspaper space. Even more importantly, this kind of marketing allows you to build trust with your customers by showing that you are a reliable and knowledgeable source of automotive information in the community. The truth is that when your dealership delivers consistent, relevant, and valuable content to potential buyers, they will reward you with business and loyalty. To improve your dealership’s reach, brand visibility, and bottom line, give the following 5 content marketing best practices a try:

1. Resist self-promoting.

Content marketing is a powerful tool if used correctly with the right content. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post, a Facebook post, or a podcast—the moment your content becomes too self-promotional, readers are likely to lose interest or turn away. Customers don’t visit business websites and social media pages to experience a hard-sell. They are more interested in seeing a dealership’s perspective on aspects of their area of expertise or to see what the dealership’s presence in the community is like. Providing information instead of using your content solely to self-promote gives customers confidence in your brand before even receiving sales messages.

2. Be honest.

The best content marketing drastically reduces the need for a traditional sales pitch by providing transparent, straightforward information and answers about products and services. Providing truthful content to customers means your blog is a place consumers can turn to find valuable automotive information and advice they may not find anywhere else. Examples of this would be “Five Reasons the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Is Better than the 2012 Model” or “How to Properly Clean Windshield Wipers.” Sharing this kind of content shows that your dealership is interested in helping consumers solve problems and answer questions. Additionally, you should share links and photos from other sources such as local news, videos, and statistics relevant to your audience and industry. This shows your dealership isn’t writing biased content, but that you rely on other credible sources of information to support your internally-created content.

3. Post abundantly.

As previously mentioned, simply having a company website or Facebook page just doesn’t cut it anymore. A competing dealership in the market needs to post something new almost every day to ensure their readers they have the best, most relevant, and updated content. As a dealership, you employ very talented and smart people who specialize in automotive. Dealerships can use this to their advantage and have employees put their knowledge and expertise to use in content creation. 

4. Keep it interesting.

When it comes to developing content, there is an unlimited amount of ways you can display information to keep it interesting and intriguing, including how-to guides, forums, video reviews, side-by-side comparisons of vehicles, checklists, commentary on hot industry topics, and much more. When readers find your content interesting and unpredictable, they will keep coming back to your site to read more. If you continue to deliver engaging, informative, and creative content, customers will remember your company and come back to make a purchase when they are ready – no sales pitch necessary.

5. Share your content on all social media outlets.

Social media is one of the easiest and most effective methods for dealerships to share content. With social media, dealerships are able to engage and develop relationships with fans and potential customers. Utilizing the blog content your dealership creates, as well as other pages on the dealership website, across all social media is another fantastic opportunity to do these things. Additionally, when a post receives views, the opportunity it has to be shared and commented on is heightened. This can only lead to new customers and better dealership-community engagement, improving your ROI.

The correct application of content marketing is vital to a dealership’s success. Come on too strong, and customers are scared off. Don’t promote your business enough, and you lose a sale to someone else. When implemented correctly, content marketing has the power to increase web traffic, strengthen brand awareness, build brand loyalty, and ultimately increase sales.

For more on how to frame your necessary content, read “Content Marketing Part II: Paving the Way With Your Content”.

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