In a highly competitive market, the struggle for exposure can be difficult and expensive, and sometimes your own resources aren’t available for a costly campaign blitz. This is why commercial dealership success requires a nimble-minded ability to think outside the box and develop advertising solutions that don’t break the bank. In other words, commercial dealers need to learn how to be scrappy in marketing without spending a dime — or at least, spending very few dimes!
It’s important to keep in mind that being scrappy with resources doesn’t mean a dealership’s marketing strategies should suffer. Even on a tight budget, commercial dealers can maximize exposure, cultivate a sterling reputation, develop a leading voice, and become a powerhouse in sales. In Part 1 of our Scrappy Marketing on a Budget series, we’re discussing how that success can be achieved when dealers Develop Provoking Content!!
In this article:
- Benefits of Providing Content
- Content Channels
- Developing Content
Benefits of Providing Content: In marketing, content truly is king. Producing quality content, from blog articles to podcasts, is a clear way to set yourself apart from competitors. Not only can your team provide important information about the dealership, but disseminating practical content also helps transform your reputation from a typical business into a beneficial authority and reliable leader.
According to Randall-Reilly, a commercial marketing company, “The average prospects sees 300 – 3,000 marketing messages a day. Advertising is almost everywhere someone looks… Add in that 70 – 90% of purchase decisions are emotional, and the burden of marketing becomes even greater. That’s why content marketing allows you to cut through the barrages of ads and create an emotional connection.” In fact, inbound marketing company HubSpot reports that content marketing gets 3X more leads than paid search advertising. The research demonstrates that frequent posting of blog articles leads to significantly more traffic and leads than infrequent content sharing.
What’s also great about generating content is that it’s cheap and easy to get started. You are already in the industry, so from the beginning you should have a good idea of what you can talk about and what people may want to hear (more on that below). Many content hosting websites are completely free to use and are incredibly user-friendly, with helpful how-to guides and tutorials available for getting started. Finally, the process of writing down your thoughts (or recording some audio), putting the content on the host site, and then clicking “Publish” is relatively simple to accomplish with some basic computer ability.
Content Channels: A great way to create and provide relevant content is through a blog, perhaps the most traditional channel for businesses looking to provide digital content. Standard blogs are often free, while website blogs can still be affordable. WordPress and Blogger are the most well-known standard blogs. Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace are solid examples of website blogs. Blogs are also easy to customize with images, widgets, and other features, so you’ll be able to clearly brand your blog and provide links to your dealership website and/or inventory listings.
Meanwhile, podcasts are an innovative content option that are not only free to produce, but also free for consumers to subscribe. Podcast audio is easily hosted on sites like SoundCloud or WordPress, while specific podcast sites like iTunes, Google Play Music, or Spotify can quickly pick up the RSS feed from the audio-hosting site and make your podcast more widely available to consumers. And again, setting up those accounts may take some time, but it’s all free!! Of course, a podcast requires a microphone, but a solid introductory podcast mic is still less than $150, which shouldn’t put too big of a hole in your marketing budget.
Developing Content: What type of content should you provide? Ultimately, your specific content really isn’t for us to decide, but here are some quick questions to consider:
- What are you comfortable talking about?
- What do you know? What can you learn?
- Can you provide exclusive information or a unique perspective?
- Can industry pros or local business provide guest content?
- How does the content relate to the industry?
- How does the content relate to your customers businesses, or to them personally?
- Is the content timely? Does it match up with the current business cycle, time of year, or ongoing current events?
It’s important to note that your content doesn’t have to be hard-nosed industry-reporting 100% of the time. If you’re talking to people in the transportation industry, sure, it makes sense to describe the top-selling vehicles of the quarter. But it’s also interesting to discuss personal aspects of the trucking life, like keeping healthy or staying connected on the road. In fact, those lifestyle conversations will almost always perform better among your buyer audience than industry statistics ever will. At the end of the day, you have to find the balance that works best for you, producing content in areas that you’re familiar with, while also meeting your audience where they are, with content that is engaging and helpful to them personally.
Well there you have it. When the marketing budget is tight, and the money just isn’t there for an expensive advertising campaign, the development of provoking content is a great way to successfully maximize exposure and grow sales. And if you’re looking for more ways to pursue Scrappy Marketing on a Budget, future posts in this series will discuss social media, referrals programs, local partnerships, email campaigns, and community service. Stay tuned!!
About the Author
Ethan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the commercial brands Commercial Truck Trader, Commercial Web Services, and Equipment Trader. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to commercial dealers and their buyers.