By: Joey Little
As you already know, a strong presence online makes your dealership more recognizable and highly valued—it’s a huge asset. But, your dealership has the potential to set itself apart from others even more. Nothing adds value to your site, positions you as a thought leader in the industry, provides value, and garners the trust of your market like expert-level content.
Your brand is much more than your look, dealership experience, or inventory. It’s how you package your unique talents, abilities, and expertise to stand out in the industry. By leveraging the experts on your team, you can turn your dealership into the place everyone turns for advice, service, and sales! Here’s how your dealership can do it.
Realize What Your Employees Can Offer
Creating expert content starts with taking an inventory of your team’s unique talents and encouraging them to share their knowledge and interact with customers every day. Most dealerships have professionals on staff who stand out in particular areas or specialties. Do you have a service professional who excels at brake repair? Be sure to encourage that person to interact with customers when possible and explain vehicle maintenance and upkeep that will help them in the future. Have a salesperson who is great at explaining financing to newer buyers? Seek out that person’s expertise when possible to make buyers feel at ease. By doing this, not only will you be encouraging your employees to build on their strengths, but you’ll also be showing customers your dealership staff is fully prepared to meet their needs.
It’s a pretty good bet that not all your sales professionals began their careers seeking positions in sales; in fact, some of your best salespeople may have studied other subjects. It can be very beneficial to your dealership if you allow them to utilize the experience and talents they bring to the table from other fields to supplement their sales positions. These in-house experts are often untapped assets, and when leveraged by your dealership, they can help position you as the trusted brand in the marketplace.
Create Value-Added Content
Once you’ve taken a look at the strengths of your team, providing valuable consumer content becomes easier. Just as you leverage the strengths of your team to communicate with shoppers when they’re in the dealership, your in-house professionals can help when it comes to creating relevant content for your online audience as well. Encourage your team to share and contribute their voices to online forums, chats, and Q&As to broaden the scope of topics you may be covering. Once your dealership positions itself as a leader in the industry, consumers will begin to turn to you for the insights and know-how your team can provide.
It’s important to remember that just as each individual employee can offer different insights, communication strengths also differ amongst your team. By offering a variety of ways for your team members to contribute and share their talents with your audience, you’ll reach more potential shoppers and provide a range of content for your dealership. It can take time to learn the strengths of your employees, but once you’ve discovered the things that drive everyone toward success, you’ll be able to utilize them to reach out to more consumers and share valuable industry information.
Check out some of the ways your dealership can create content that highlights your expertise and offers the most value to your market:
A traditional form of content, writing articles can beef up your blog and website. If you have pros on your team who are word wizards, be sure to offer them the opportunity to share their expertise in the automotive industry by inviting them to prepare posts for you. When you provide a topic or select an employee who is an expert in a specific area, content should flow easily. Be sure to look over everything before you publish it, and remember, articles don’t have to be lengthy, wordy, drawn out, or boring. Consider creating content by utilizing lists, how-tos, Q&As, and industry expert guides in order to engage and interest your followers.
2. Video and Live Video
Keep an eye out for knowledgeable pros who may have a bit of an extroverted side. The marketplace is crowded right now, and that makes video and visual content even more important than ever because it appeals to consumers. Look for your salespeople and office professionals who may be willing to appear in short videos like lot walk-throughs to show off new inventory, shop updates that showcase important seasonal maintenance, or even event announcements to invite the public to your dealership. By engaging with video, you’ll build even more consumer relationships.
Your knowledgeable employees are perfect for participating in text-based interviews. Even if they don’t want to write an article or appear on camera, they may pull off a brilliant interview. Interview-based blogging is a great way to interest your audience and share up-to-the-minute industry information. You can start off by planning to interview one of your in-house pros about what he or she excels at professionally. Have a transmission expert? Plan a Transmission 101 interview and let the employee work some magic by answering questions and showing off the know-how that will bring consumers to your dealership.
Much like video, photos tend to grab online consumer attention more than words alone. You probably already take photos throughout your dealership whenever something of note occurs, but consider appointing one or two employees to be your photo ambassadors. What about posting before and after photos of vehicles that have come in for repair? Or what about posting photos of happy customers with their new cars? As long as you have permission to post, you can create some great content simply by using photos to engage consumers and generate enthusiasm.
5. Twitter Chats
If your dealership is active on Twitter, you are likely building a following—and that means you can generate some great discussion via Twitter chats. By engaging your dealership’s followers at a pre-set time and chatting about a given topic, you can answer shopper questions, share your knowledge, and generate interest in your dealership. You likely have several professionals in your dealership who are Twitter savvy and ready to help out, so use their voices and let them chat and engage shoppers!
6. Contests and Promotions
Your dealership experts will help you spread the word about contests and promotions you are running. Remember, the fastest way for you to extend your social reach is to engage your employees and get them involved by sharing your information on their personal social platforms. They have a much greater reach than your dealership alone, and by creating a positive, engaged workplace for them, your employees will want to share what’s going on in your dealership.
There are many ways to create compelling content, and today’s consumers are on the lookout for businesses that stand out from the crowd. When you position your dealership as a thought leader, leverage the strengths and abilities of your professionals, and create engaging content, you’ll be well on your way to gaining the trust and loyalty of your consumer audience. Your employees hold a wealth of knowledge and experience, and by encouraging them to share their expertise with consumers, you’ll be showing shoppers the value of choosing your dealership.
Bio: Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.