As a child, I remember excitedly awaiting story time. I often found myself completely immersed in the tale. I always wanted more: more information and more value.
As a marketer, I find myself wondering what it is that makes me truly engage with a product? The answer is quite simple: Consumers want a story that provides both information and value. As marketers, our goal is to provide Content Marketing that speaks to more than what is being offered “THIS WEEKEND ONLY!!!!!” We should be providing information to consumers that will tell them why this weekend’s offer may be relevant to them.
Content Marketing in this form is not a new concept. “The Michelin Guides” began its information-driven run as far back as 1900. The goal for the first edition of the travel guide that André and Édouard Michelin published was one we can all relate to — selling cars. At the time it was first introduced in France, there were only 3000 motorists in the country, but the thought was that it would help increase the desire for car travel, thus increasing automotive sales. The more cars that sold, the more tires would be needed. From there, it was logically a short hop, skip and jump to the Michelin brothers calculating their ROI.
In today’s frenetic Digital Marketplace, consumers are bombarded with marketing messages. There are pop-ups, display ads, social media campaigns – all incessantly vying for attention. How, then, do we successfully market to consumers who are, more than likely, searching for relief from the barrage of irrelevant and untimely marketing? Make your marketing relevant and timely!
As automotive marketers, we should provide information in the form of guidance to our customers. We provide value by giving the customer not only our best offer, but also the reasoning behind why it is the best offer for them. We develop loyalty by consistently generating content that reflects why our customers need us in the first place – automotive expertise.
For example, successful Content Marketing will take a customer who has missed a service appointment to a landing page clearly addressing why the appointment was of value to the customer. From that page, they would then be directed to a blog filled with engaging content that possibly piques interest in a new vehicle. Once armed with relevant information, the consumer has the freedom to make a feel-good decision – one that leaves them thinking they made the RIGHT decision.
As a mother and a professional, I am as guilty as anyone of letting the miles pile up between oil changes. My life is busy. While I have neither the time nor the inclination to read my owner’s manual, I am cognizant of how missing an oil change could negatively impact my life, both from an inconvenience and a financial perspective. I look to my dealership for the information that educates me on how to make the best decision regarding the maintenance my automobile.
When developing a dealership’s Content Marketing strategy, considerations must be made to the message, the sequence, the specific consumer and the value of the content provided. One size certainly does not fit all, just as a story I enjoy may not be someone else’s cup of tea. In the marketing world, we must determine what our story is, what our customer’s story is, then design our Digital Marketing efforts around them both in a way that makes sense.
So I ask again, what is YOUR story?
-Lynn Adkison, Digital Manager