Having good automotive content on your site and in your marketing is crucial when it comes to selling cars. People research, ask questions, continue to research, and much more before they ultimately decide to purchase a car. As a dealership, your goal should be to get in front of car buyers at many points in their journey. And not only get in front of them but make them interested in what you have to say and offer. While other digital marketing strategies (like PPC, social media ads, etc.) are important and integral during the car buying process, more often than not, most of that research takes place on search engines. And what gets you higher on search engines? Improving your dealership’s content marketing.
“But, I am doing automotive content marketing, and it’s not working!”
Getting in front of buyers on search engines with your dealership’s content marketing is the key to more traffic and more sales. So why are many not prioritizing this as part of their digital marketing? If you surveyed automotive dealers and marketing managers, many will probably tell you they are prioritizing it. But most might tell you that it’s not as effective as other marketing tactics, or it’s not as effective as they hoped. If you’re doing content marketing today, and aren’t happy with the results, there are probably two things that come to mind:
Adding More Content And Blogs On Your Site Doesn’t Improve My Rankings
And When It Does Rank, People Don’t Convert!
And while those may be reasons to think it’s not effective, it’s more often than not a cause and effect of your overall content strategy, and many other things within that strategy. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why your dealership’s content strategy may not be working and converting users.
Your Overall Automotive Content Strategy Isn’t Refined (or Defined)
Oftentimes, dealerships invest in content marketing without a clear strategy in place. Your overall strategy should start with KPIs. Identify what metrics are important to track, and identify where you can improve. As a dealership, things to consider:
- Keyword Positions. Measured within Google Search Console
- Traffic/sessions( both national and local). Measured in Google Analytics.
- Leads/conversions. Measured through your CRM or Google Analytics.
Defining and measuring your goals/metrics aren’t the end of your dealership’s content strategy. And just publishing content and writing blogs isn’t a strategy. Your dealership’s content strategy should be something that you and your leadership team define. Your strategy should be built around who your target audience is, where your target market is located, what schedule/frequency is, what types of content you’re creating, and content ideas that hit people at many points in their journey (beginning and end).
And defining a content strategy is just the beginning. Just like you’ve evolved your marketing strategy over time, your dealership’s content strategy should constantly be refined. Things that worked years ago, may not be the things that work today. The same goes for the type of content. Don’t set yourself short by only focusing on written content as part of your SEO and content marketing. Make sure your overall strategy not only incorporates different topics but things like video and imagery.
Tip: Define and develop your overall strategy with your dealership’s leadership or marketing team.
You’re Not Creating Enough Automotive Content
Your overall strategy often dictates how much content you may be putting out there. And many times behind poor automotive content marketing, it’s a matter of the amount you’re creating. There’s no secret number in how much you need to be creating, or how much you should be spending on content creation. Especially when competition, location, population, etc. all differ among many dealerships. But as a rule of thumb, at least 40% of your digital marketing budget should be spent between SEO and content creation. And if budget is an issue, evaluate performance and focus on a content strategy that can provide both short and long-term value.
Throwing more money at content isn’t exactly the answer either. You need to first make sure it aligns with your overall strategy. Your content strategy should be diverse. Hitting both local and national topics that your target market can relate to and has SEO/ranking opportunities is crucial to successful automotive content marketing. More content doesn’t always equate to success. But higher quality content, a good strategy, and working with a great automotive content partner are.
Tip: Evaluate your digital marketing and content marketing budget. Identify where you can spend more to increase your ROI.
You’re Not Promoting Your Dealership’s Content
Promoting your content is often a piece that gets ignored in content marketing. Promoting your automotive content is just as important as creating it. And strictly hoping your content might rank on search engines is not a promotional strategy. Successful content strategies are not only creating high-quality content but doing everything they can to promote it and get more eyes on it. Adding your content to social media channels, boosting it on social media, adding to your email newsletters, partnering with other businesses/influencers, and more can all be effective ways to promote your content.
Tip: Evaluate how you’re promoting your dealership’s content. If you aren’t, adjust your strategy and budget to include promotion as part of your content marketing strategy.
You’re Automotive Content Isn’t Engaging or Doesn’t Provide Value
Creating high-quality content is certainly a struggle that most content marketers face. The automotive industry is not an exception. When it comes to producing content, creating high-quality and engaging content is just as important. Some strong indicators of low-quality content could include low page metrics (low time on site, high bounce rate, low pages/session, and low lead volume). If your content is ranking and people aren’t reading it or converting, that certainly is a strong indicator you need to be producing higher value and more engaging content. Couple of things you can do to fix it:
- Test out new themes, topics, and angles. Coming up with new topics can often be a challenge, but at the same time, there are so many opportunities in the automotive space. And even locally – even if it’s not 100% automotive-focused, there are many opportunities to rank for things that can help increase your dealership’s exposure.
- You’re working with a poor partner or inexperienced writer. In the automotive industry, there’s no shortage of partners. And while there are many great ones out there, there are also many that aren’t. Investing in a good partner and one that knows content marketing is crucial to producing high-quality and valuable content.
- Don’t just do blogs/landing pages as part of your content marketing. Creating more engaging content can certainly be done with a writing-focused content marketing strategy. But don’t ignore the other ways people consume content. Video content (like YouTube Videos or TikTok videos, infographics, podcasts, case studies, etc. are other great “content” pieces that shouldn’t be ignored. Incorporate those pieces into your existing content and as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Tip: If you’re struggling with where to start – evaluate your content. And try to identify a handful of things you can do to make your content better.
You Have a Lot of Competition From Dealerships In Your Local Area
Standing out from the crowd with your content is often a challenge. And one that certainly can be more of a challenge in a highly competitive local market. But with any challenge, it’s not impossible. If you’re in a highly competitive market, here are some things you can look at to stand out from the crowd:
- Find holes in their strategy. Spend time analyzing your competitors and identifying what they are missing out on or producing poorly. Use those holes to shape your local content strategy.
- Focus on different audience segments. Similar to your competitors’ strategy, there certainly can be opportunities on the audience/personas you’re targeting with your content marketing. Use your competitor analysis to find audience segments that they aren’t targeting, and focus your attention on a more niche or smaller group of target car-buyers.
- Keep producing content. Going up against a competitor who produces good content is a challenge, and the last thing you want to do is stop content marketing. Keep producing and adjusting your strategy.
Tip: Evaluate your competitors, target audience groups, and keyword in your local area to find more niche content opportunities.
You Haven’t Given Your Dealership’s Content Marketing Enough Time
Content marketing is often synonymous with a long-term strategy. Successful automotive content marketing doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to fine-tune, gain traction and deliver results. Keep producing content and make sure you’re giving it enough time to see results.
Tip: Wait at least 3-6 months before evaluating performance.
Your Dealership’s Website and SEO are BAD!
Your overall site health and SEO strategy play an important role in your dealership’s content marketing strategy. It’s no secret. A good SEO strategy with a healthy/fast site helps improve organic rankings. Without both, your content marketing may be all for nothing. If your dealership’s SEO and website are questionable, audit and fix those issues before focusing on your content strategy.
Tip: Perform ongoing SEO audits on your dealership’s website and fix glaring errors/issues.
Improve Your Dealership’s Content Marketing With the Right Partner
Creating a successful dealership content marketing strategy that ranks on search engines, engages with your audience, and ultimately gets people to convert doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to define, fine-tune, optimize and build a successful content marketing strategy. And hopefully, these tips and partnering with a good content marketing provider (like us) can help up your content marketing game!