Content marketing materials include videos, blogs, and even all those updates on social media. Content marketing helps dealerships (and other businesses, too!) reach their audience and, hopefully, stand out from the competition.
There isn’t a magic formula for content marketing campaigns or strategies. Why? It’s simple…uniqueness is an asset in marketing. Creativity can leave a lasting impression on audiences. Thinking outside the box, therefore, is encouraged. Looking for ideas for content marketing and messaging? These creative examples of content marketing for dealerships stand out from the crowd and show that being unique definitely catches the eye. After all, they made it into this blog post!
UNIQUE DEALERSHIP COMMERCIAL: PEARSON NISSAN OF OCALA
Pearson Nissan knows how to do YouTube the right way. Search for funny car dealership videos on YouTube. Guess what pops up near the top? That’s right…Pearson Nissan. So how did the dealership top the search result? The dealership posted a video titled “This Car Salesman is a SAVAGE.” In it, the salesman presents a massive automobile to an older customer. And proceeds to seriously sell to her in the worst possible ways. It’s awful, but funny. The message…visit Pearson!
FUNNIEST CAR AD: JOURNEE AUTOS IN LARGO, FLORIDA
Want to sell a car? Maybe use ‘brutal honesty.’ Journee Autos made it onto the local newscast, which is posted on YouTube, because of an ad that a salesman posted on Facebook. Apparently, the dealership needed to sell a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero, but it wasn’t the nicest of vehicles. So the salesman wrote a very honest ad about the car. Not only did the ad garner news coverage, but it also went viral on Facebook. BET posted the text of the post advertising the $900 car. And, yes, the car sold.
While the Facebook ad might have broken the standard mold for car ads, it was also quite memorable. And hilarious. Is this the new way to write ads? Maybe not, but that ad worked…and the old car is off Journee’s lot. Plus, the dealership gained LOTS of media attention and had a viral moment on the internet.
HELPFUL ADVICE: LEXUS OF EDMONTON
Videos that focus on tutorials or advice don’t have to be intricate or focused on high tech fixes. What Lexus of Edmonton probably discovered is that sometimes simple advice can get a dealership noticed. The dealership posted a video that showed viewers how to change a tire. The video has 18,000 views.
Lexus of Edmonton also posted many other ‘how to’ videos for Lexus drivers and dealership customers. Video titles include “How to Pair an iPhone to Lexus,” “How to Use Heated Windshield Wipers,” “How to Play Music Through Lexus Bluetooth,” and more. The dealership created a sort of hub for customers or Lexus owners to find answers to common problems.
CAR BUYING FAQS: EARL STEWART TOYOTA
Buying a car can be a process. Dealers and buyers try to negotiate to find the best price for both parties. Earl Stewart Toyota posted a video on YouTube that answered a question that some buyers might ask during negotiations: “Can I Refuse to Pay the Dealer Fee?” The answer is more detailed than a quick yes or no. The video provides great insight about the fee and negotiating.
Earl Stewart also provides a hotline and an Earl on Cars segment. Videos are available on YouTube and illustrate how dealerships can take content marketing to the next level to create memorable messaging that resonates with the public.
BLOG CONTENT: ZECK FORD
Not all car dealerships have blogs for their online sites, but Zeck Ford shows how dealerships can leverage this content to engage site visitors and provide them with expert information and even helpful tips. Zeck Ford’s blog includes articles about the Ford Mustang’s history, gas mileage tips, a look at new models and more. Dealerships blogs should resonate with site visitors and customers.
Not sure what to write? Post on social media that the dealership is starting a blog. Ask followers what they want to read! Chances are, the dealership will get some great suggestions!
THE SOCIAL SUPERHIGHWAY: CONTENT MARKETING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Many dealerships are likely active on at least one social media site. The most popular site—as judged by active users—is Facebook. Dealerships might also advertise via Facebook, too. Beyond Facebook, dealerships can post content on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and even TikTok or Pinterest (pin some cars!).
Staying active on social media can help dealerships connect with potential new customers and current of past customers, too. Dealerships can think of social media as yet another outreach tool. Posts or content don’t have to just be business. They can be fun, they can be supportive, and they can even be humorous.
Dealerships might be active on all social media sites, and they might even have a designated marketing team or professional whose job is to manage all of the accounts. Other dealerships might have a smaller staff and just post when they have the time. Maybe the owner has the responsibility for managing the accounts.
Smaller dealerships that don’t have a designated marketing team or marketing pro might benefit from creating a social media calendar. This document doesn’t have to be fancy or incredibly detailed. It might even be handwritten. Creating a calendar can help dealerships plan out posts and content ideas. For each day (or maybe just each week), brainstorm posts for each social media site. Posts can include details about promotions, new models or maybe just a fun message to followers.
Even posting something short and sweet to wish followers “happy holidays” or saying thank you to veterans can be impactful. Posts don’t have to be long. On Twitter, for example, tweets are limited to a certain number of characters. Brevity is everyone’s friend!
Each social media app or site is unique in the content it allows users to create. YouTube is the site for video content, and text can be added in the description section to tell users more about the video or to add links. TikTok is focused on short videos (think 60 seconds or less). On Instagram, users can post photos and videos. Again, supporting text can add more to the visual story. Instagram could be a great site to post photos of new vehicles.
Photos aren’t just for image-centric social media posts, however. With blogs or other text-heavy content marketing endeavors, dealerships might want to break up the print with inventory photos or other images. Dealerships might have professional stock photos of vehicle models or take their own photos.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND AUGMENTED REALITY
Snapchat is yet another popular social media platform. With Snapchat, photos and messages disappear once they are sent. However, Snapchat might have some interesting potential for the automobile industry. While Snapchat already offers its creators augmented reality tools to create unique posts, Snapchat also could be looking to expand more into the augmented reality market as it relates to e-commerce.
The Verge reported back in June that Snap acquired the company Vertebrae. This is an interesting development as Vertebrae creates augmented reality experiences for e-commerce and 3D models of products, too.
Many businesses offer their customers augmented reality experiences to preview products and even try out products. For example, Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams both offer augmented reality experiences that let customers preview paint hues on the walls of their home. Augmented reality has also been used by automobile manufacturers to showcase new models through an immersive experience.
In the future, social media might offer augmented reality tools to showcase products to customers. For automobile dealerships, augmented reality experiences could allow customers to check out the inventory from home in a similar way that they would at the actual dealership showroom.
With augmented reality, graphic overlays are depicted over the user’s real environment. How does this work? Augmented reality experiences require access to a user’s device camera (phone or tablet). Using the camera, the user can choose where they want to preview a product (in the case of a dealership, this product would be a car!). The user can then drop a vehicle into their backyard, in their garage or in the driveway…or anywhere. Using the camera to visualize the augmented reality vehicle, users can then walk around the image to see it from different angles or even look inside. Augmented reality experiences also could give customers the option to view the vehicle in a different paint color.
In the future, car dealerships might be able to use social media for content marketing and for more immersive experiences like augmented reality. For now, though, dealerships can check out how others in the industry have leveraged content marketing on social media sites and elsewhere to boost their visibility, reach out to customers and facilitate conversation.
A dealership’s content marketing strategy can be a unique blueprint that is both complementary and consistent with its brand. Of course, content marketing also could lead to a spontaneous post like Journee’s Facebook ad…and go completely viral!