photo5Content. That word scares a lot of dealerships. They’re told they need it from every vendor, at every conference and in every article. They need it for SEO, for blogs, social media, and their website. Advertisements? No problem. They have tons of cars and know what is a good deal in their market. They have ad agencies designing the ads and helping to assemble them. Content, however, is a mystery. They don’t know where it is or how to get it.

Content isn’t a mystery. Content, in fact, is easier to get than all the intricate details you need for an advertisement. It’s not the Loch Ness Monster. You don’t have to find it. It finds you.

So where is it? Content is in life.

Your lives, and dealership, are filled with all the content you could ever need. Your employees all have stories. Your dealership creates them everyday. Your customers contribute to it. Your community is filled with it. Your manufacturer creates it for you.

If you’re struggling with finding content, here are four places to start:

  1. Employees – All of your employees have a wealth of content. They all come from different places and their lives have taken all of them down different paths. Your employees are your dealership. Only they can give your dealership a personality and experience that sets you apart from your competitors. Without them, your dealership is just another place where someone could buy a car. Tap into your employees’ lives. Find out what makes them unique, how they got into the car business, what they like to do and why. Then tell the world. Your employees will appreciate the recognition; you’ll begin differentiating yourself from other car dealers and have great content to share.
  2. Customers – Your customer like to hear stories about your customers. Does that make sense? Some of the most engaging content on social media from dealerships is pictures of other customers taking delivery of cars. I’m certainly not saying you should limit content to this type. Your customers also have different stories and, if asked right, some will be willing to share them. Ask them if you can interview them. Why did they choose your dealership? Why did they choose your brand or a particular car? How was their experience? You will also have customers who give you content without you asking. Those would be reviews left for your dealership on various review sites. Not only does this reinforce to potential customers that your dealership is a good place to do business, it also provides great content for all your needs; whether that’s on a blog, in a newsletter or on a social media site.
  3. Manufacturer – Your manufacturer provides  content constantly. They send  information about new models, various trim levels and new features. They pump out commercials, how-to videos, announcements and images. Look at their YouTube channel and you’ll find content. Their website is also filled with content which is not limited to vehicle information. You’ll see how they’re interacting with their audience and if their involved in charity work. All of this is great content to share with your customers. It instills value and creates brand loyalty.
  4. Community – Your dealership is part of your community just as your community is part of your dealership. Get involved in events and charities. Find opportunities to give back to your community. You could hold a food drive, participate in car shows or help local school organizations with fundraisers. Even if you don’t get involved financially, you can support these efforts using the power of your marketing that already exists. If you give back to your community, they will give back to you.
  5. Google – It may sound obvious but many people overlook the power of Google to provide content. I guarantee you that you’ll find new and relevant content on a daily basis. There are articles written about your brand, car reviews, spy shots, cool or funny pictures that you can share that are never ending. Do a Google search daily for news, blogs and images. Limit the search to results from the last 24 hours. You’ll always find something. If it interests you, it’ll interest your audience.

Don’t get intimidated by content. Publishing content will benefit you by creating an online presence for your dealership. It will also transform your dealership from a place that sells cars, to a place that people want to do business with.

Sara Callahan | Carter West Public Relations