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 Cirillo andyou're listening to the dealer playbook podcast, episode twenty eight. Here we go. You're dialed into the dealer playbook podcast, where it's all about winning auto dealerstrategies that deliver proven results. And now your hosts, Robert Weisman andMichael Cirillo. All right, and thank you so much for tuning into thedealer playbook podcast, where, every single week we're delivering winning auto dealer strategiesthat will give and bring you results. That's right, every single week we'resitting down with some of the elite power players, trainers, experts, authorsand motivators in and out of the automotive industry to bring you actionable insights intohow to grow your business. My name is Michael Cirillo. I am notjoined today by my cohost and partner and crime, Robert Wiseman. In fact, last week, for those of you who listened into our last episode,twenty seven, you'll know that I was under the weather last week. Iwas bed ridden. I had a nasty, nasty cough and cold and I didn'tthink you wanted to hear that. So Robert came to me and hesaid, look, maybe you should do your own show just to kind ofbalance things out. Don't fear, though, this is going to be a powerepisode where we are going to bring you some of the most powerful informationthat we aren't talking about nearly enough. That's right. I'm going to giveyou some actionable information today about how you can create objective driven content. Now, the reason I say we haven't really talked about it that much in theautomotive industry. Don't get me wrong, we talked a lot about creating content. We just never really get into the nitty gritty of how to do it, and that's what I am going to do today. For those of youlistening in, pull out your IPAD, your smartphone, your laptop, whateveryou're going to want, to take some notes, and don't forge. Don'tworry about it too much if you can't...

...or you're not in a position todo so, because I'm going to hook you up in the show notes andgive you the exact process that I use and that my team uses every timewe want to help dealers dominate their market with objective driven content. Now somebodywants asked me. Hey, you know, you seem to spend a lot oftime talking about content. Is there a reason why you focus so muchon that? And and you know, and I love that question, myanswer and my response is simple. You know, there are more than enoughpeople talking about all man, Hey, your website sucks and you need tochange this and do that and move the layout and change the theme and thenBlah, blah, blah, Blah Blah. Well, you know what the realityof 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, really cool is that it gets everybody in a frenzy.Oh Man, I website sucks, what am I going to do? Andand they don't have control over a lot of the elements that people critique themon. So if you don't have the ability to like, add things onthe fly to your website or add new pages or new car, new youknow, calls, action or images, or change the layout, then what'sthe point in talking about it? So I tend to focus on content,and it's really because of this quote by Theodore Roosevelt that I absolutely love.He said do what you can with what you have, where you are.So I tend to lean towards creating content and showing dealers how you you knowyou can create objective driven content, because that's the one thing, no matterwho your web provider is, that you can do to have a massive positiveimpact on your website and its performance. So here we go. Let's divein. When it comes to content,... need to understand a few things. The first thing is that dealers globally are not providing nearly enough content ontheir websites. Every single day. You know, it's important for you tounderstand every day there are millions of people, autom mode of shoppers, that goonline to research vehicles, your vehicles, your products in your services. Butit's also important to understand that there are, according to Google and theirinsights, nearly twenty four or twenty five research touch points that the average automotiveshopper touches on average, and it's important to know that of those twenty five, or twenty four twenty five research touch points, nearly fifty percent of themcan be included on your own website. Things like blogs, things like landingpages, content pages, information pages, sales pages, things like reviews andtestimonials. All of these things can be included on your own website. NowI've been fortunate enough to sit down and audit several hundreds, if not thousand, dealer websites in my career and be able to work with dealers of allsizes dial in their website so that they can leverage their existing site traffic toget higher conversions, more leads and, of course, as a result,more sales opportunities. Did you know that thirty seven percent of automotive shoppers enterthe market with an initial consideration set? So they might be thinking, Hey, I need this type of vehicle or I want this year make model,but they also have an open mind and that translates to about forty three percentof that thirty seven percent switch from their first brand preference to the brand thatthey ultimately make a purchase. I was...

I think I was on facebook andI saw one of our good friends, at least kept part. She wastalking about how she entered the accurate dealership looking for particular vehicle and actually endedup driving out in a different vehicle. And so you can kind of seein the real world application that, you know, majority of us, whenwe're initially looking for a vehicle, we, you know, have a certain criteriaat the top of our head. But typically, and I mean tothe percent of you know, to the tune of forty three percent of usare changing our mind somewhere in the purchase process or in the research process.Seventy three percent of in market search volume deals with heavy cross shopping. Sothat means, again, you know, just to validate my point, thatwhen consumers are going into the market, they have an initial, you know, consideration mindset that they're going in with, but somewhere along the way, dependingon how their decisions are shaped by the information they consume, they're purchasinga whole different vehicle altogether. So, with that in mind, you needto understand what majority of automotive shops are thinking when they come to your website. And I'll tell you right now, from my own observation and from allof these audits on dealer websites that myself and my team of conducted, thatthe number one complaint that we are finding from the consumer, the end user, the automotive shopper, is that there isn't enough information. Close to that, they also say it's like reading the newspaper, and I mean we coulddo a whole different podcast about the no, no, of you know, treatingyour website like a newspaper Ad. I thought it was kind of funnysome of the other things that we've found in the process of doing these audits. They say things like this dealer really likes themselves, and you know why? It's because of that canned content that's...

...on each page. is like,Hey, we've been in business for thirty years, we're family owned and operated. Look at all these awards we've won and look at our top train technicians. Guess what, nobody cares. They care about themselves. Everybody has afavorite word and it's me. They have a favorite letter of the alphabet.Did you know this? It's the letter I. Why? Because we onlycare about ourselves. And if you know, when, when a consumer is visitingyour website and they can't find enough information that indicates that you care moreabout them than yourself or Tuting your own horn, they're hopping off. They'regoing to go look at other dealer webshite a deal website. So let's drillin here and solve this problem once and for all. We know that yourdealer website needs more information. We know that millions of automotive consumers are aroundthe world are going online to research your products and services. But I understandyou know, and you might be feeling this way too, that it's difficultto know where to get started. It's difficult to know what process to followfor sustainable content creation so that it's not this overwhelming, you know, taskthat that just burdens you on a daily basis. So here we go.Get Ready. Let's take some notes. Step one to creating objective driven contentis you need to know who you're speaking to, okay, and the wayyou do this is you want to segment your market. Market segmentation is avery popular marketing strategy because it really would it entails, is taking a broadset of consumers who all have a common need. So in this instance,it would be people who purchase vehicles. K. That's just a big thatthat includes just everybody, right, people who purchase vehicles, and then breakingthat out into subsets of consumers, for...

...example, or, sorry, subsetsof consumers who have similar needs. So, for example, you would have youngfamilies. Okay, there's a grouping of of consumers who have similar needs. There are seniors, another grouping of individuals who have similar needs military,right, an affinity kind of group there that you can build rapport with.There are union workers or construction workers, k another group of people who havesimilar needs and desires. There are students, there are people who have special financeneeds. Do you see what I'm doing here? I'm taking the largegroup of individuals, people who purchase vehicles. Okay, that's the main need,and we're breaking them out into smaller subset groups who all share common interestedinterests. 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 interested in.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 thatnewspaper Ad That's just, you know, pictures of a vehicle splashed on thepage. There's like twenty of them, and then the associated price. WhoAre you speaking to? Who are you trying to attract? Well, whatI propose in the strategy that I follow is that we identify first who ourtarget audiences. That way it's easier for us to move on to step two, which is to identify what their interests are, what their problems they faceare and any questions they might have. So what I suggest you do,this is what I do. I create a spreadsheet and in the first columnof this spreadsheet I write down, row by row, all of the marketsegments or target audiences that I want to...

...speak to. So again, youngfamily, seniors, construction workers, in that order, or whatever order youwant. That's just kind of the order I follow. In the second columnnext to that target audience, I'm just kind of taken a few notes aboutwhat their interests, problems and questions are. So, as you go down rowby row in this spreadsheet, you know you would see young families incolumn one, row one. In column to row one, you would seethings like we need more space, seating configurations, safety, fuel economy,all of those sorts of things. What's the difference between this vehicle in thisvehicle, or things of that nature, any questions that they might have.Now, in column three, you want to identify the vehicle that fills theirneeds, that solves their problems and answers their questions. Now, logic andexperience tell us that a young family who has the need of space, fueleconomy, safety seating configurations is conditioned or primed for what vehicle. Well,there's really two choices, aren't there many vans and SUV's. So looking atyour vehicle lineup, you can align the target audience and their needs, wants, desires problems with a vehicle that will solve their concerns. Okay, nowI use the example of Ford in the F one hundred and fifty because they'vedone an extremely good job at segmenting the market. In fact, if youcan recall off the top of your head, or maybe I'd encourage you to goto youtube and check out F one hundred and fifty commercials, you're goingto see something interesting. Narration from Dennis...

Leary, very grungy sounding. You'regoing to see the vehicle itself driving up hills and through mud and on theconstruction site. Make no mistake, the one thing I think the OEM's doextremely well is segment the market. We can't suppose to think that they sayhey, maybe we should design a truck and develop it, you know,and put rd and all that kind of stuff into developing a new vehicle andthen see if anybody wants it. No, no, no, they sit ina room they go hey, we need a vehicle to fill the needsof construction workers or heavy laborers. Let's design something that fills that need.So they know each vehicle in their product lineups specifically align with a target audience, and that's how you know. If you look at the OEM commercials,you'll always see that they are speaking to one group of individuals another examples ofthe Honda Element. You always see it with, you know, a surfboardon the roof, on the roof rack, or bicycles, you know, hangingoff the back and you know some hip and trendy people. It's parkedat the beach. You gotta know, Hey, Honda intended this vehicle tobe marketed to a specific segment and in this commercial we are showing how thethe vehicle fills the needs and solves the problems of that specific target market.Just like the one hundred and fifty, you can go through and watch anyOEM produced commercial and understand that they spend millions and millions of dollars to hirethe best marketing firms to identify how to align their vehicles with specific target audiences, and so you can learn a lot from them. Now, once you'vesegmented the market, then you also need... identify your objectives. You needto say, okay, if I'm going to create content that speaks to youngfamilies, that addresses the topics of safety, seating configurations and I know that thataligns with my minivan inventory, what is my objective? Is it toget more eyes on an article that I produce and from that article, isit to, you know, get them to view my inventory, where thenthey will have the opportunity submit a lead? Or is it to just, youknow, build more brand equity? Is it for Seo? You needto understand what your objectives are, because if you don't have objectives, thenyou have nothing to effectively measure progress against. Does that make sense? So makesure you say, Hey, okay, you know what. I've segmented mymarket, I know who I'm speaking to about what vehicle, and hereis the the action that I want this audience to complete, whether it's requestingmore info, reserving a test drive, viewing the in stock inventory for thatvehicle. It needs to be very, very clear and very documented somewhere,perhaps in the spreadsheet that we're talking about, what you intend the audience to doas a result of consuming the information that you're going to produce. SoI hope that helps you understand the the the first steps that you can taketo creating objective driven content. Let's go through them again. Step one,identify who you're speaking to. It's about being valuable to somebody, not worthlessto everybody. Step too, identify what their interests are, what problems theyface and any questions they have. Step three, aligne. One of yourproduct line, one of your vehicle types,...

...with the interests, problems and questionsthat they face. In other words, find the vehicle that will solve theirproblems, answer their questions and and that they would be interested in.And then identify your objectives. You need to know what to be held accountableagainst, and this is a common mistake that I see in the industry,not just this industry, but every industry that deals with you know, reviewingmetrics and stuff. They don't really have clearly defined objectives and because of thatthey always seem to think that they they're just not performing well. You know, when you have an objective, it's going to be much easier for youto measure your performance. Okay, so give that a try. Start theSPREADSHEET, get it rolling, fill out who you're speaking to, segment themarket, that way, identify their interests, problems and questions, align those witha vehicle, identify your objectives and understand that, because majority of dealerwebsites lack sufficient information and relevant content based on what the market is interested in, that you have a massive opportunity here to move the needle far enough,to distance yourself far enough from your competition to be the reliable, relevant,credible source of information that your customers will come back to you and drugs.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 timeI have for you today. I hope that you've received an incredible amountof value out of this episode. You know, it's so incredible to methat we have loyal listeners in over fifty...

...countries around the world. You knowwhat? That's just evidence to me that there is an abundant number of dealershipprofessionals, including you listening now, who are actively pursuing greatness and success,and I think you so much for allowing myself and Robert Wiseman here at thedealer playbook to be a part of that with you. Do me a favorright now, go to the go to triple w dot, the dealer playbookcomforward slash twenty eight, where I will outline all of the things we've talkedabout in the show notes. Plus, I've got a couple of things thatI want to give away to you. If you go there, you're goingto see a download link for the same exact excel spreadsheet that I use tosegment the market and create objective driven content. And, on top of that,I want you to get the absolute most out of this episode and Iwant you to build a foundation for incredible success moving forward, and that's preciselywhy I am offering free, no obligation, thirty minute content creation strategy sessions forthose that are interested. You and I personally are going to sit downtogether, review your market come up with a content creation strategy that will helpyou move the needle, stand out from the clutter and dominate the web.So go ahead and do that right now. Visit Triple W dot, the dealerplaybookcom forward slash twenty eight so you can take advantage of this. Thanksagain for tuning in and we'll talk to you next time.

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