It’s ironic that the majority of automotive dealers don’t use social media like they should. If an automotive dealer utilizes the right strategies and truly promotes concepts on social media it will help sell more cars, the branding will happen as a result. Branding is a side effect of great social media, not a goal behind most campaigns.
The reason it’s ironic is because of the content marketing premise we’re about to divulge on. When comparing search and social in regards to content, most would assume that social media is the place where content can be used for branding and organic search is not really a branding tool. There are advantages to branding through organic search that propel your dealership ahead of your competition.
This industry tends to view search as purely to drive business-relevant traffic. Every piece of content should be geared towards sales, service or any of the other important search terms that consumers will type. This is all true to some extent, but not 100%. An aggressive strategy includes content designed to position the dealership in a positive light within their community and to take advantage of that through localized search.
Let’s say your automotive dealership supports a local charity. Building a page about that charity and optimizing it to rank for keywords associated to the charity can help in three ways:
- It helps the charity itself by giving it exposure on a new channel.
- Website visitors can see the page and get an understanding of how the dealership is involved in the community.
- In search, the branding associated with ranking for keywords associated with the charity can get you positive PR.
It is not about bragging. You’re not tooting your own dealership’s horn. By doing this, you’re continuing to help the charity and allowing the dealership to act as the community leader that it should be.
Here is another example. Let’s say you have a local branding challenge. People outside of your city know generally where you are, but aren’t aware of your exact location. If you happen to be close to a place known by the general community, posting content about that place can help you gain exposure with association by proximity. In other words, you can be known as “the Chevrolet dealership by the mall,” as an example.
Final example: local car shows. When you see that a dealership is supporting or even hosting local automotive events and they have no content on their website about it, sure, they might have a banner that leads to a page with a couple of paragraphs and contact form, but it often doesn’t rank about a participant’s Facebook post, let alone near the top for searches about the event. This is not acceptable.
There’s a difference between posting irrelevant content and posting content with a valid purpose, even if it’s not directly associated with your dealership. It’s a strategy that should only be applied by those who have all of their basics covered, but if that’s you, chances are you could benefit from this type of strategy.