Good content gives you a trustworthy voice—and makes you stand out from the crowd
Creating your own content can transform you from one dealer among many into a trusted industry voice, helping to reassure potential buyers of your credibility and expertise. Engage your audience with video, graphics and images, as well as words. It’s all a lot easier than you might think.
Why create content at all?
You have an optimized website and a tightly honed online advertising strategy. Your inventory is widely listed. You might even take out a regular full page ad in the local newspaper.
So why on earth would you bother creating your own content?
The short answer is that, ultimately, dealers who create their own content ramp up sales. The longer one is that creating content publicizes your brand and simultaneously builds trust in it. Cautious buyers naturally drift towards dealers that demonstrate authority.
Good content gives you a voice and personality. It makes you approachable, friendly, and knowledgeable. It turns you into exactly the kind of dealer buyers feel comfortable doing business with.
But that’s not all. Content delivers value to both the reader and the producer because it helps to start a dialogue. Learn to recognize the type of content that is most widely clicked, shared, and commented on, and you’ll gain insight into the minds of your buyers, while fostering conversation. When you know what your audience is interested in, you can feed that interest with useful content, such as a strong opinion post, an eye-opening infographic, or a snippet of the latest industry news.
What sort of content should you create?
Buying a used car is rarely an instant decision. Customers want information—and reassurance—so the content you produce must deliver that. Your content should offer another avenue for them to explore, and one more opportunity for you to provide the peace of mind they crave.
Take this scenario, for example. A father wants to buy a car for his daughter, who has just passed her driving test. He visits two dealership’s websites, both of which sell models on his shortlist. On the second site, he also comes across a post on the safest small cars for new drivers. Because the dealer has given him extra information and peace of mind, it’s the one he’s most likely to return to.
The dealer didn’t have to work hard for that priceless goodwill. He read a report on the safest used cars for young drivers, paraphrased the text, and linked the recommended models to his own listings.
While content that is reassuring is always good, the news is also full of automotive stories that might be of interest to your buyers, and on which you—as a dealer—have something credible to say. For example, diesel cars are in the news for all the wrong reasons. If that means there are bargains to be had (some of which are sitting on your lot), the post almost writes itself.
But don’t restrict yourself to stories that are part sales pitch. You’ll become a more trusted authority by commenting on wider automotive topics, from the potholes that plague your local roads to the latest driverless vehicle tests. And don’t forget your own news. If your staff is taking part in a charity car wash, take some pictures, write a paragraph about the event, and post it. Customers like companies that give something back.
A word of warning: avoid rants or party politics. If you post opinion, make it measured and balanced. Apportioning blame alienates potential buyers.
Spread the news
So you’ve got content ideas, but will anyone read them? They will if you share interesting content regularly.
Try to post once a week to start. That might feel like a chore, but it really needn’t be. The charity story mentioned above requires nothing more than uploading three or four pictures and writing a short introduction.
Similarly, transform a blizzard of statistics on used car sales into engaging content by creating your own infographic. There are plenty of free tools that will do most of the hard work for you.
And don’t forget that short videos play well with time-pressed viewers browsing on mobile devices. You don’t need a film crew to make a brief video on a topic like the thorough checks and rigorous cleaning every car goes through before it goes on sale—all you really need is your smartphone.
Mix up your content—and share it. Use the SEO tools on your blogging platform, but don’t wait for readers to stumble across your content by chance. Share posts on your social media channels, and make sure to answer any comments posted in their wake. Posts that start conversations draw more readers in.
Finally, remember to tag other interested parties. From relevant trade organizations and your Chamber of Commerce to local media outlets, third parties can help share the content you produce beyond your core audience.
Creating content is an easy win for progressive dealers
Buyers are crying out for reassurance, and your dealership can use content to provide the information those shoppers need. Create exceptional content and share it consistently—it can eventually prompt interest from industry publications and local newspapers, offering significant PR opportunities.
That increased exposure can be priceless, transforming you from one dealer among many into an informed industry commentator, and putting your business front and center in the minds of buyers. As your authority grows, trust in your brand—and calls to your sales team—will inevitably follow.