Everyone wants great content but few are ready to do what it takes.
Content marketing is not for everyone. Coming up with awesome content everyday and knowing when to post it demands commitment and perseverance. It’s very difficult to operate a dealership (or any other business) while trying to fit social media and content marketing into your daily routine. It takes leadership, a well-defined plan and strategy to make it work.
If you’re a business owner or GM who believes you want to “dip your toe” in Social Media and content marketing, you’re not ready. Those stores who’ve embraced it know it takes a lot more than a toe dip to master social marketing. Don’t bother if you’re on the fence. Spend your time getting sure about your marketing goals by gathering as much information as you can. When you’re ready to commit, that’s the time to jump.
Ideally, you should have Social Media/Digital Marketing manager inside your organization. No one knows your brand like you do. Someone who works for you is ideal because they live in the market area, they know your customers, and they spend 8+ hours a day with your employees. Being blessed with a very unique personality marketing your store on social can really change your business! (I know because I’ve seen it happen).
Don’t sell yourself short by thinking you can simply pay some company to be your voice. Hire the right person. Get them some expert coaching and a detailed job description. It’s the most cost-effective and quickest route to success. After 5 years as a coach and 25+ years running dealerships, if you want to generate leads and sales, this is your best practice.
Content is what drives your online influence. Content marketing is act of delivering your customer’s information needs, in all the places they’re looking for it, across each stage of the buying cycle. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, your Blog or any other platform requires that you publish content that’s relevant, entertaining and informational.
The 20-Minute Rule
Content curation is the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific audience interests. Many times the content features subjects around the products and services you sell.
Content curation takes time and effort. Everyone (even you) can spare 20 minutes a day consuming content. Carve out a daily practice and don’t let anything deter you. Whether it’s content for self-improvement or content your audience will love, take 20 minutes per day and just do it.
It’s So Much Better When You’re Inspired
I’ve talked about “why buy here” many times and here’s another reason: people want to know your story. Use what you know. I have a client who’s developing her “why buy here” and she’s discovered a goldmine of stories from the dealer’s dad. They’ve been in business for 100 years. There’s a pretty good chance they have a few great stories!
Collaborating and brainstorming are crucial for inspiration. Don’t try to climb the mountain of content marketing by yourself. If you don’t have a coach, build yourself a trusted network of smart, savvy, creative people who can help when inspiration is thin.
Stop Ignoring, Start Answering
I believe dealerships make content marketing much harder than it needs to be. My friend Marcus Sheridan says, “Successful content marketing comes down to a willingness to address subjects—good, bad, and ugly—that no one else in your industry is willing to tackle.” Consumers like to ask hard questions. Businesses tend to run from frank answers.
Your frontline personnel get asked those hard questions every single day. Utilize your resources here. Your employees have a wealth of knowledge and expertise. The minute you stop ignoring and start answering you’ve broken down the wall to a sale.
What’s In It For Them
Whether they do it individually with their own network (social selling) or in collaboration with the business’ content marketing, frontline personnel are your key to great content. Frontline personnel know your customer better than anyone else in your organization. Make things easy on yourself: get their buy in by showing what’s in it for them. When they contribute, they share their expertise. Their content gets published on your blog and shared on social. All of a sudden, their influence rises. They Google themselves and start seeing the value in contributing content.
The Best Content Source
By far the best tip I can give you is…. to create your own content. It’s also the hardest and most time consuming. However, if you do it right, it will give you back what you put in. Here are some forms of self-published content that will rock your automotive content marketing:
- Answer customer FAQs. Deliver solid information, display expertise, and show what it’s like to do business with you.
- Daily operations. Employees perform their jobs everyday and you never think about it. Start thinking about it. Great images with text work really well.
- Employee milestones.
- Technician interviews. Run an “Ask a Mechanic Mondays” campaign on your blog and Facebook.
- Local events. Keep your finger on the pulse of your community and help spread the word about interesting happenings in your area (especially if employees participate).
- Stories about how you helped someone. My client just helped a poor lost older lady who had walked into the store asking if someone could help her find her way home. She lived 3 blocks from the store. The GM and salesperson drove her home and made sure she was safe. It was a random act of kindness that showed their true personality.
- Your passion. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Sprinkle your content with stories and subjects you’re passionate about. Great causes, vintage cars, sports teams, and community outreach are a few ideas. Brainstorm on more and notice how easy it is to create content on subjects you love.