Why Dealers Should be Doing Content Marketing and Blogging

Creating and placing content on websites and blogs is part of a great method of increasing search results and driving traffic.  In today’s digital space, we are all content marketers whether we realize it or not, and that’s why you’re hearing from everyone that “It’s All About Content.”

“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” Bill Gates, January 1996

 “Regardless of how you dress it up, consumers are looking for information… it’s important to provide information that solves their problems, preferably with your products or services.” David Ogilvy

“…we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content.” Matt Cutts, Google, Jan. 28, 2011

“100% of brand and agency marketers surveyed utilize content marketing in their overall marketing strategies.” The State of Content Marketing 2012 – outbra.in

Digital marketing is content marketing.

Further, I highly recommend that dealers engage in blogging as a primary component of content marketing.  Blogging is seen as a social marketing tool by experts.  As indicated in the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, blogging is used by 86% of experienced social media marketers. In addition, there are readily available blogging tools to make it easy for an individual dealer to build out the SEO potential of a blog.

There are four things that are critical around content marketing and blogging.

First, for content to be valuable, it also must be topical. Ideally, it should be related to the dealer’s business or surrounding community, and it needs to be unique. Google is heavily emphasizing fresh and unique content with their latest algorithm changes, Panda and Penguin.  Also, content marketing is a part of your overall marketing strategy and your topics should be determined as part of your plan. The more unique niche you can find where consumers are interested, the better.

Free sources to determine what is topical are readily available and include the Google suggestions, YouTube suggestions, Google AdWords keyword tool, Google Insights, Google Alerts, and Google Trends. These tools will give you a very good indication of what is popular with consumers.

Second, generating content is only the first part of the equation. After it is generated, content needs to be distributed. It is the old “tree falling in the forest” question… If it’s great content and no one sees it, does it matter? There are a number of methods how this can be accomplished, and social media cross promotion with Twitter, Facebook and Google+ is a great method. Blogging platforms are ideal for this, too, with the available tool sets to cross promote posts to these social sites, as well as feed information to readers via RSS and email newsletters.

Third, if I was told today that I could only work with and generate one type of content, I would select video.

Video has extremely high value in today’s search engine marketing world as Google continues to promote it within universal search results. Video sees excellent results for year, make, model and city (2013 Chevrolet Impala Kansas City, for example) searches.  In addition, YouTube is heavily used by the millennial generation as a first source for information, and video offers very high viewer engagement value.

Image content also offers some unique opportunities.  Google favors images in universal search results for year, make, and model (2012 Chevrolet Malibu, for example) searches, and images posted on blog sites are heavily favored in the results. In a sample I conducted with universal search results, images were shown higher in the results than videos 90% of the time, and images posted on blogs comprised 62.5% of all of the images shown.

Finally, while content marketing can generate some very nice short and intermediate results, we see much more significant gains in the long term. It is a commitment and something that needs to be conducted regularly as a component of your overall marketing plan to maximize the benefits.

Check out these tips to get you started.