The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 7 years ago

Michael Cirillo: How to Attract High-Quality Customers with Content Marketing


In session 28 of The Dealer Playbook Podcast, Michael Cirillo is back and dropping all sorts of crazy knowledge about how you can start standing out from the clutter and dominate your market.

Every single day, millions of automotive shoppers are going online to research vehicles, products and services. Sadly, most of the time your website isn't anywhere to be found. That's because most dealer websites around the globe are lacking sufficient and relevant content that has the power to create loyal followers, set you up as the credible source of information and increase your dealership's profitability.

Content is a real hot topic right now, especially with recent Google algorithm updates that are set up to recognize and rank more relevant and well written content. That being the case, many dealers are struggling to know how to start creating content that will have a positive impact on their business.

Does this sound like the situation you're in?

Don't worry. Check out what Michael does to create content that not only attracts more qualified vehicle shoppers, but converts them as well. Take out your notepad and get ready to take some notes.

Here we go.

1.) Who are you speaking to?

It's crucial to know who you are speaking to specifically. A major mistake that majority of dealerships make is that they try and speak to everyone and as a result, aren't really speaking to anyone. It's about being something of value to somebody, not worthless to everybody.

With that in mind, it's important that you break out from just trying to speak to people who are researching vehicles, and drill down a layer deeper. Who are they?

Seniors, Young Families, Construction Workers, Military, Special Finance etc.

When you look at car shoppers in smaller segmented groups, it's easier to identify the next step...

2.) What are their interests, problems or questions?

When you know who you're speaking to, it's so easy to know what they are interested in. Make notes about each target audience you have and the things that make them tick.

3.) Match their interests, needs and problems with the right vehicle.

For example, if young families have the interest in more space, fuel economy, seating configurations and safety - what vehicle are they likely interested in? A Minivan!!!

With that in mind, you can now start creating content about minivans for young families surrounding the topics that they are interested in. For example, imagine how powerful a blog post titled, "The top 5 reasons Young Families love the Honda Odyssey" would be. If you shared the interests and problems of a young family, wouldn't you be compelled to click and read?

4.) Know your objectives

Another problem that dealerships face is that they don't have clearly defined objectives, and therefore don't have a measuring stick to track progress (or the lack thereof).

With each peice of content you produce, you need to know what you want the consumer to do so that you can effectively measure your work. From your blog post, do you want them to click through to your AVehicle Detail Pages? If so, be sure to include a relevant and eye-catching call to action that instructs them to do so.

Resources from this episode:

Hey this is Michael Serillo and you're.Listening to the dealer, playbook podcast episode. Twenty eight here wego you're dialed into the dealer, playbookpodcast, where it's all about winning autotaler strategies that deliverproven results, and now your host Robert Weisman and Michael Serilla all right and thank you so much fortuning into the dealer, playbook podcast, where every single week we'redelivering winning auto dealer strategies that will give and bring youresults. That's right! Every single week we're sitting down with some ofthe elite power players, trainers, experts, authors and motivators in andout of the automotive industry to bring you actionable insights into how togrow your business. My name is Michael Sirillo. I am not joined today by mycohost and partner and crime, Robert Weisman. In fact, last week for thoseof you who listened into our last episode, twendy seven you'll know thatI was under the weather. Last week I was bedridden. I had a nasty nasty,coff and cold and I didn't think you wanted to hear that. So Robert came tome and he said: Look, maybe you should do your own show just to kind ofbalance things out. Don't fear, though this is going to be a power episodewhere we are going to bring you some of the most powerfulinformation that we aren't talking about nearly enough. That's right! I'mgoing to give you some actionable information today about how you cancreate objective, driven content. Now the reason I say we haven't reallytalked about it that much in the automotive industry don't get me wrong.We talk a lot about creating content. We just never really get into theknitty gritty of how to do it and that's what I am going to do today forthose of you Listenin in pull out your eyepad, your smartphone, your laptopwhatever you're going to want to take some notes and don't Fek, don't worryabout it too much if you can't or...'re, not in a position to do so,because I'm going to hook you up in the show notes and give you the exactprocess that I use and that my team uses every time we want to help dealersdominate their market with objective driven content. Now somebody ontesasked me: Hey, you know you seem to spend a lot of time talking aboutcontent. Is there a reason why you focus so muchon that and- and you know- and I love that question my answer and my responseis simple. You know there are more than enough people talking about. Oh Man,Hey your website sucks and you need to change this and do that and move thelayout and change the theme and then Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah. Well, youknow what the reality of that is that, while some of those points may be valid,don't get me wrong. I think a lot of them are. What isn't you know reallycool? Is that it gets everybody in a frenzy. Oh Man, my website sucks. Whatam I going to do and, and they don't have control over a lot of the elementsthat people critique them on. So if you don't have the ability to like addthings on the fly to your website or add new pages or new C new, you knowculaction or images or change the layout. Then what's the point intalking about it, so I tend to focus on content, and it's really because ofthis quote by Theodore Roosevelt that I absolutely love he said, do what youcan with what you have where you are so I tend to lean towards creating contentand showing dealers. How you you know you can create objective, drivencontent, because that's the one thing, no matter who your web provider is,that you can do to have a massive positive impact on your website and itsperformance. So here we go let's dive in...

...when it comes to content. You need tounderstand a few things. The first thing is that dealers globally are notproviding nerly enough content on their websites every single day. You knowit's important for you to understand. Every day there are millions of people,automotive, shoppers that go online to research vehicles, your vehicles, yourproducts and your services, but it's also important to understand that thereare, according to Google and their insights, nearly twenty four or twenty fiveresearch touchpoints that the average outomotive shopper touches on averageand it's important to know that of those twenty five or twenty four.Twenty five research touch points. Nearly fifty percent of them can beincluded on your own website. Things like blogs things like landing pages,content, pages, information, pages, sales pages things like reviews and testimonials. All of thesethings can be included on your own website. Now I've been fortunate enoughto sit down and audit several hundreds, if not thousand dealer websites in mycareer and be able to work with dealers of all sizes dial in their website, sothat they can leverage their existing sit traffic to get higher conversions,more leads and, of course, as a result, more sales opportunities. Did you know that thirty seven percentof automotive shoppers enter the market with an initial consideration set, sothey might be thinking hey. I need this type of vehicle or I want this yearmake model, but they also have an open mind, and that translates to aboutforty three percent of that thirty seven percent switch from their firstbrand preference to the brand that they ultimately makea purchase. I was, I think I was on...

Facebook, and I saw one of our goodfriends, Aleise keppart. She was talking about how she entered theacurate dealership, looking for a particular vehicle and actually endedup driving out in a different vehicle, and so you can kind of see in the realworld application that you know majority of us when we're initiallylooking for a vehicle. We, you know, have a certain criteria at the top ofour head, but typically- and I mean to the percent of you know- to the tune offorty. Three percent of us are changing our mind somewhere in the purchaseprocessor in the research process. Seventy three per cent of inmarketsearch volume deals with heavy cross shopping, so that means again, you knowjust a validate my point that when consumers are going into the marketthey have an initial. You Know Consideration Mindset that they'regoing in with, but somewhere along the way, depending on how their decisionsare shaped by the information they consume, they're purchasing a wholedifferent vehicle altogether. So with that in mind, you need tounderstand what majority of automotive shoppers are thinking when they come toyour website and I'll. Tell you right now from my own observation and fromall of these audits on dealer websites, that myself and my team Hafe conductedthat the number one complaint that we are finding from the consumer, the enduser, the automotive chopper, is that there isn't enough information close tothat. They also say it's like reading the newspaper, and I mean we could do awhole different podcast about the nono of you know treating your website likea newspaper Ad. I thought it was kind of funny, some ofthe other things that we've found in the process of doing these audits. Theysay things like this dealer really likes themselves, and you know why it'sbecause of that canned content, that's...

...on each page is like hey: We've been inbusiness for thirty years, we're family owned and operated. Look at all theseawards. We've won and look at our top train technicians. Guess what nobodycares? They care about themselves. Everybody has a favorite word and it'sme they have a favorite letter of the alphabet. Did you know this? It's theletter I? Why? Because we only care about ourselves and if you know when,when a consumer is visiting your website and they can't find enough information that indicates thatyou care more about them than yourself for toting. Your own horn they'rehopping off they're, going to go. Look at other dealer website, dealerwebsites. So, let's drill in here and solve thisproblem once and for all. We know that your dealer website needs moreinformation. We know that millions of automotive consumers areround the worldare going online to research, your products and services, but I understandyou know- and you might be feeling this way too- that it's difficult to knowwhere to get started, it's difficult to know what process to follow forsustainable content creation so that it's not this overwhelming. You knowtask that that just burdens you on a daily basis,so here we go get ready. Let's take some notes step one to creating objective drivencontent. Is You need to know who you're speaking to okay and the way you dothis? Is You want to segment your market market? Segmentation is a verypopular marketing strategy because it really what it entails is taking abroad set of consumers who all have a common need. So in this instance itwould be people who purchase vehicles Kay,that's just a big that that includes just everybody right people whopurchase vehicles and then breaking that out into subsets of consumers, forexample,...

...or sorry. subsets of consumers who havesimilar needs so, for example, you would have young families, okay,there's a grouping of consumers who have similar needs. There are seniorsanother grouping of individuals who have similar needs military right, an affinity kind ofgroup there that you can build raport with there are union workers orconstruction workers Kay another group of people who have similar needs anddesires. There are students, there are people who have special finance needs.Do you see what I'm doing here? I'm taking the large group of individuals,people who purchase vehicles Kay, that's the main need and we're breakingthem out into smaller subset groups who all share common interested interests.The reason we do this is because it makes it so much easierto provide value to people when you know the topics that they're interestedin see it's all about being valuable to somebody not worthless to everybody,and unfortunately, sadly, this is what we see a lot of from that newspaper Ad.That's just you know, pictures of a vehicle splashed on the page, there'slike twenty of them and then the associated price, who are you speakingto who are you trying to retract? Well, what I propose in the strategy that Ifollow is that we identify first, who our target audiences, that way it'seasier for us to move on to step too, which is to identify what theirinterests are, what their problems they face are and any questions they mighthave. So what I suggest you do n. This is what Ido. I create a spreadsheet and in the first column of this Sbreadsheet Iwrite down a Robi row, all of the... segments or target audiences,that I want to speak to so again. Young Familie, seniors construction workers in that order, or whatever order, youwant that's just kind of the order. I follow in the second column. Next tothat target audience, I'm just kind of taken a few notes about what theirinterests problems and questions are. So, as you go down robi row in theSPREADSHEET, you know you would see young families an column, one row, onein column to row, one you would see things like. We need more space,seating configurations, safety, Fuel Economy, all of those sorts of things. What'sthe difference between this vehicle and this vehicle or things of that nature,any questions that they might have now in column. Three, you want to identify the vehicle that fills their needs that solvestheir problems and answers their questions now. Logic and experiencetell us that a young family who has the need of space, fuel economy, safety,seeding configurations is conditioned or primed for what vehicle? Well,there's really two choices: Aren't there many vans and s uvs, so looking at your vehicle lineup, youcan align the target audience and their needs wants desires, problems with avehicle that will solve their concerns. Okay. Now I use the example of Ford in the Fhundred and fifty, because they've done an extremely good job at segmenting themarket. In fact, if you can recall off the top of your head or maybe I'd,encourage you to go to youtube and check out F hundred and fiftycommercials you're going to see...

...something interesting, narration from Dennis Leary, verygrungy, sounding you're, going to see the vehicle itself, driving up hillsand through mud and on the construction site, make no mistake. The one thing Ithink the oems do extremely well is segment the market. We can't suppose tothink that they say hey. Maybe we should design a truck and develop it.You know and put rnd and all that kind of stuff into developing a new vehicleand then see. If anybody wants it, no, no, no, they sit in a room, they go hey. We need a vehicle to fill the needs ofconstruction workers or heavy laborers, let's design something that fills thatneed. So they know each vehicle in their product, lineups specificallyaligned with a target audience, and that's how you know if you look at theOm commercials, you'll always see that they are speaking to one group ofindividuals. Another examples o the Honda Element. You always see it with.You know: a Surf Board on the roof on the roof, rack or bicycles. You knowhanging off the back and you know some hip and trendy people has parked at thebeach. You got to know: Hey Honda intendedthis vehicle to be marketed to a specific segment, and in thiscommercial we are showing how the the vehicle fills the needs andsolves the problems of that specific target market. Just like the F hundredand fifty, you can go through and watch any OEM produced commercial andunderstand that they spend millions and millions of dollars to hire the bestmarketing firms to identify how to align their vehicles with specifictarget audiences, and so you can learn a lot from them now, once you've segmented the market,then you also need to identify your...

...objectives. You need to say, okay, ifI'm going to create content that speaks to young families that addresses thetopics of safety. seeting configurations- and I know that thataligns with my minivan inventori. What is my objective? Is it to get more eyeson an article that I produce and from that article? Is it to you know, get them to view my inventorywhere then they will have the opportunity submit o lead, or is it tojust? You know, build more brand equity. Is it for SEO. You need to understandwhat your objectives are, because if you don't have objectives, then youhave nothing to effectively measure progress against. Does that make senseso make sure you say: Hey, okay, you know what I've segment O my market. Iknow who I'm speaking to about what vehicle- and here is the the actionthat I want this audience to complete, whether it's requesting Morinfo,reserving a test drive viewing the instock inventory for that vehicle. Itneeds to be very, very clear and very documented somewhere, perhaps in thespreadsheet that we're talking about what you intend the audience to do as a result of consuming theinformation that you're going to produce. So I hope that helps you understand thefirst steps that you can take to creating objective driven content.Let's go through them again, step one identify who you're speaking to it'sabout being valuable to somebody not worthless to everybody, step toidentify what their interests are, what problems they face and any questionsthey have step three: a line, one of...

...your product line, one of your vehicletypes with the interests, problems and questions that they face, in otherwords, find the vehicle that will solve their problems, answer their questionsand and that they would be interested in and then identify your objectives.You need to know what to be held accountable against, and this is acommon mistake that I see in the industry, not just this industry, but tevery industry that deals with you know reviewing metrics and stuff. They don'treally have clearly defined objectives and because of that, they always seemto think that they're just not performing well. Youknow when you have an objective. It's going to be much easier for you tomeasure your performance, okay, so give that a try start Thi spreadsheet, getit Rollin fill out who you're speaking to segment the market that way identifytheir interests, problems and questions align. Those with a vehicle identifyyour objectives and understand that, because majority of dealer websiteslack sufficient information and relevant content based on what themarket is interested in that you have a massive opportunity here to move theneedle far enough to distance yourself far enough from your competition to bethe reliable, relevant, credible source of information that your customers willcome back to you and droves. Now, when you align everything up, you will have the opportunity to growyour business online in a way that no other dealer website guaranteed in yourmarket is doing well talk about opportunity all right, that's all the time I havefor you today. I hope that you've received an incredible amount of valueout of this episode. You know it's so incredible to me that we have loyallisteners and over fifty countries...

...around the world. You know what that'sjust evidence to me: that there is an abundant number of dealershipprofessionals, including you listening now who are actively pursuing greatnessand success, and I thank you so much for allowing myself and Robert Weismanhere at the dealer playbook to be a part of that with you. Do me a favorright now go to the go to triplew dot the dealer playbookcom forward, twentyeight, where I will outline all of the things we've talked about in the shownotes. Plus I've got a couple of things that I want to give away to you. If yougo there you're going to see a download link for the same exact excelspreadsheet, that I use to segment the market and create objective drivencontent, and on top of that, I want you to get the absolute most out of thisepisode, and I want you to build a foundation for incredible success,moving forward and that's precisely why I am offering free, no obligation,thirty minute content creation strategy sessions for those that are interestedyou and I personally- are going to sit down together review your market comeup with a content creation strategy that will help you move the needlestand out from the clutter and dominate the web, so go ahead and do that rightnow visit triplew dot, the dealer playboothcom forward twenty eight. Soyou can take advantage of this thanks again for tuning in and we'll talk toyou next time.

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