Resolve to Create Better Inbound Marketing in 2017

Resolve to Create Better Inbound Marketing in 2017

Happy 2017, auto marketers! Let’s start the year on a creative note. 

Rushing to meet deadlines, scraping together budgets, and creating goals for the year ahead can fog up the opportunities we have to create meaningful relationships with people online – by improving your content creation practices.

As you put together your dealership’s inbound marketing plan for 2017, set aside some time to bring creative marketing strategies into focus.

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Dealer Content Creation

In the inbound marketing business, creativity means more than just churning out ads, blog posts, emails, and landing pages. In inbound marketing, true creativity means connecting people to places, products, and people they love at the right time.

Those of us who are responsible for inbound marketing content creation is also responsible for putting it into context.

Gone are the days when you can blast everyone in your CRM with an email and expect to move the needle. No longer can we shoot out a lease offer to people who don’t want to lease. No more shouty TV spots. No more tone-deaf “big events.” No more talking without listening first.

This will be the year of proactive, relevant auto marketing. Here’s how to keep up.

create spaces for creative inbound marketing

1. Connect the Right People to Your Message

Find the niche of people who care about your products, and join their journey. It will pay off in customer loyalty.

Your leads have plenty of options, but that doesn’t mean your dealership has to be a commodity too. Differentiate your dealership from the competition online by gathering the right audience around your message.

What does finding the right people look like? 

  • Telling digital leads about your store’s differentiating brand values
  • Sending well-targeted emails that make your contacts feel special
  • Creating dynamic web content that adapts to your visitors’ known interests

Your message can be simple and clear. For example, if you’re one of three Chevy dealers in your market, simply explain why your team is the best to work with; then put that explanation in front of your in-market leads. It’s really that simple — and it works.

Many dealerships hold a set of “brand values” or “brand promises,” which make for wonderfully relevant content creation. In 2017, bring those brand values to the forefront of your messaging.

It’s not all about sales, either. If you sponsor a certain organization, if you hold special events, if you’re closed on Sundays, if you’re a “best price” dealer, or if you provide free soda in your customer lounge — explain why.

It’s not a new concept, but it’s effective. 2017 will bring more opportunities for you to create these online spaces where you can share the right messages with the right people at the right time.

create content with empathy

2. Create Content With Empathy

After you create the right space in which to engage your audience, create meaningful content targeted to that audience.

In 2017, move your personalization practices beyond the salutation of your email. To truly personalize your message, you’ll need content creation that does more than “Hi [Insert First Name].”

As a dealership marketer, you need to note that not everyone experiences your brand in the same way. It’s one thing to show your voice and brand consistently throughout multiple platforms, but it’s another thing to tell your brand’s story in a logical, sequential way for one person.

In 2016, dealerships were still sending emails that got marked as spam. C’mon!

Dealerships that embrace inbound marketing mean much more to smaller groups of people, rather than meaning just a tiny bit to the entire market. There is no excuse for sending tone-deaf, one-size-fits-all emails.

The digital tools we need are at our fingertips. Never has there been an easier time to connect the right message to the right person at the right time.

In 2017, relevance involves a consideration of a person’s digital experience. When you send (or automate) an email, write and target it with empathy. Learn from how people interact with it. Create a list of people who clicked on a link within it. Heck, you could even make a list of the people who viewed certain products after clicking on the email!

Build a pathway. Pull together the resources your leads need. If an unsold lead has never been to your brand promises page — which is information you should be able to find — make sure that page ends up in front of them.

Send leads the product information that fits their profile (or, better yet, their persona). Those people with balding tires in the service lane? Tell them about your tire sale.

Focusing on the digital experience will allow you to see your brand from a lead’s perspective. From there, your content creation can fill in the gaps in your sales funnel.

create a new sign for the exit door

3. Provide a [Digital] Exit Door

Finding the right people (see resolution #1) involves letting go of the wrong people. No matter how well you scrub your email lists, there will always be leads who don’t want to hear from you anymore. And that’s okay.

Provide the freedom of choice. Encourage people to unsubscribe before things get sour.

In 2017, we suggest including unsubscribe links conspicuously at the top of your marketing emails. After all, an unsubscribe is better than being marked as spam, which can permanently damage the deliverability of future emails.

In addition to showing people the digital exit door, build other “doors” that will help you learn from your audience.

For example, if your dealership wants to create an audience around commercial vehicles, set aside a special part of your website that focuses solely on commercial vehicles. That way, people who gravitate toward the commercial vehicles page can be qualified (put on a list) to see special commercial ads, emails, and other relevant content.

Not only will you be able to learn about the interests of these visitors, but you’ll also be able to stay relevant to them in your messaging — preventing them from even needing the exit door.

Good inbound marketing requires creative solutions. For auto marketers, 2017 will be another crazy year — but this is your year. If you resolve to do just one thing: always say yes to creativity.

See How Other Dealers Will Market in 2017

9 Clouds offers educational and informative blog posts, on-demand videos, case studies and more to help auto dealers like yourself put your best foot forward. We also offer a free digital audit of your company to see how you can improve and if we can help you along the way. Sign up now for a free digital audit.