‘Content’ is a buzz-word.
It’s the BIG thing right now that everyone seems to be talking about. When Google launched their Hummingbird and Panda search algorithm updates, the term ‘content’ exploded like never before.
It’s no secret that every good website needs relevant and engaging content.
Two years ago, I wrote an eBook titled, “The Ultimate Dealers Guide to Creating Awesome Content” which revealed how to get the attention of qualified automotive buyers and increase dealership profitability. But today, everyone seems to be talking about content and for good reasons. I mean, what would search engines be without it?
There is a problem, though.
While everyone seems to be talking about the need for content, nobody is actually explaining HOW to create it. At the end of the day, nothing else really matters but action, and if none is taken no results are achieved.
That’s why I’m sharing the four steps that I use to create content and help hundreds of dealerships and other small businesses around the world create and produce content that has helped them gain search engine visibility and increase their profitability.
1. Identify Who You’re Speaking To
Seems like a bit of a no brainer, but let’s be honest. If it was really that simple, why aren’t more dealerships doing it. I’ve reviewed thousands of dealer websites in my career and the one thing that each of them have in common is that they aren’t speaking to a single market segment.
As it is in life (and in content), it’s about being something valuable to somebody, not worthless to everybody. Instead of trying to speak to everyone on your website as if they are “People who purchase vehicles,” start thinking about them in terms of who they are. Start by making a list of the people who purchase vehicles. It might look something like this:
- Young Families
- Military/Civil Servants
- Special Finance
Select one segment from the list and then move on to step two.
2. Identify Their Questions, Concerns and Needs
Once you know what audience to focus on, you can easily identify what makes them tick. For example, if you selected Young Families from the list, think about the stage of life that their in and what features they might be looking for in a vehicle. Create a second list with them in mind. Something like this:
- Need more space/cargo
- Fuel economy
- Seating configurations
- Safety features
- Convenience features (e.g., DVD players, etc.)
Once you’ve made this list for your target segment, move on to step three.
3. Align their needs with the vehicle that best solves their problems or fills their needs
Using Young Families and their list of needs as an example, what type of vehicle best aligns with what they’re interested in? You might conclude (using a little common sense and logic) that either a mini-van or SUV are the top two vehicles of choice for the audience.
With this info, you can brainstorm the topics that you’d like to create content on that you think will be most valuable to your target market segment and speak about that topic in a way that will resonate best with them.
You could start by creating a video walk-around of your favorite mini-van or SUV, pointing out the features that address their needs and wants. Doing so will shape their desire for your vehicle because they are now looking at it in the light that it was designed for.
4. Have an Objective
One of the biggest problems that I see with most content online is that there is no apparent objective.
It’s so important to know what you want the reader/viewer to accomplish by the time they are done consuming the information that you provide.
If you’re posting a video on YouTube, be sure to include a link to a VSR (vehicle search results) page on your website that specifically lists the type of vehicle that you’re talking about. Don’t link back to a generic inventory page. Get a little more specific.
If you’re writing a blog post, get creative with a call-to-action at the end of it that says something like, “Check out your new [yr/mk/mdl] here!” or something along those lines.
NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER release a piece of content that you don’t have an objective for. All your work will be in vain. Following these four steps will help you create content much faster, increase consumer loyalty AND most importantly leverage your existing site visitors into customers because you’ve now spoken to them in the terms that are most beneficial for them.