Educate, Advise, Entertain...Oh, And Be Human!

Every day in North America, millions of people utilize search engines with the intent to find answers to their implied questions, or identify solutions for their problems.  Think about the last search you conducted online. Was it with the intent to find answers or solve problems? Of course it was.These days, anytime I want an answer for something whether it’s who starred in a movie or how many horsepower a vehicle has, I jump online and begin searching.

Automotive consumers are no exception. When they begin entertaining the thought of a new vehicle, a wishlist (so to speak) of emotional needs and wants is formulated. Most consumers rely on information gathered online from dealer/manufacturer sites, reviews, YouTube, blogs and forums to fine tune that wish list in an effort to determine what they’re really looking for.

This is where you as a dealer have a massive opportunity to help shape the automotive consumer’s purchase decision. The way to attract a larger audience is by providing subtle, informative content via your website. According to Consumer Barometer, your dealership is one of the top places online that automotive consumer go to find information. This means that your website is the perfect medium to produce content that will answer questions and solve problems. As you consistently provide content, you’ll be pegged as the credible source of information that will keep consumers coming back for more.

Today’s consumer is looking for content that will educate and enrich their lives. They desire to learn something useful or something that will advise them about a product or service. Today’s consumer is also looking to be entertained. By combining those three elements (Educate, Advise, Entertain) you’ll be doing something that most of your competitors aren’t and in turn, you’ll dominate the web.

So, what problem does the average customer have? What implied question(s) are they seeking answers to? Often, the toughest part about creating content is figuring out what topics to discuss. As a suggestion, I’d encourage you to put yourself in the customers shoes. Go sit in one of the vehicles in your showroom and ask yourself, “what would I want to know about this vehicle”. You’ll quickly realize that you have a plethora (yes, I just said “plethora”) of topics to cover.

How-to videos, vehicle walkaround videos, video test drives and blogs are all great ways to get your message out and picked up by search engines. Content feeds search engines and will help you draw in higher quantities of qualified traffic. Higher traffic places the odds in your favor and will increase your conversion opportunities.

When you decide to get started producing content that educates, advises and entertains, be sure to show people the human element of your dealership. I mentioned this concept in a previous article and I’ll touch on it again. People purchase vehicles from people. By supplying informative content that displays the human element of your dealership, you’ll break the ice much quicker, build rapport and loyalty and become a credible source of information. That credibility translates to trust, and that’s when the purchase decision is solidified. People purchase vehicles from people that they trust.

What topics do you think consumers would find valuable? List them below!

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Comment by Michael Cirillo on March 19, 2013 at 12:06pm

Thank Mr. Natural. Sounds like you have a really dialed in process for your staff! Thanks again for commenting.

Comment by Mr. Natural on March 19, 2013 at 11:56am

I frequently script calls and emails for my staff...I think along with all the dignity, respect, transparency, honesty, genuosity and the like, I am going to start including Educate, Advise, and Entertain.  Nice....

Comment by Michael Cirillo on March 19, 2013 at 11:40am

My opinion: It's important to keep in mind that the objective in creating content (in relation to what I've written) isn't to make them "experts" at car buying. It's to increase your visibility in search engines and dominate the web. While I do agree that too much (of the wrong) information can confuse customers and make the sales process more difficult, I submit that dealers need to create a strategy to identify what type of content to produce, and what topics to discuss so that the dealership becomes the credible source of information. I'd rather have the right compelling information come from me than one of my competitors.

Comment by Cars - Jim Canto on March 19, 2013 at 11:35am

Well said, Mr. Natural. You obviously see the larger point. 

Comment by Michael Cirillo on March 19, 2013 at 11:01am

Love it! Great advice. Be informative, but just enough that customers are compelled to pay a visit to the store and trust the council of the sales rep. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

Comment by Mr. Natural on March 19, 2013 at 10:20am

Great stuff Michael...Thanks,

I have often said-and I'm not the only one-that our customers are overwhelmed with far too many options. Almost always overloaded with too many choices, and too much information.  With so many choices and so much information available at your fingertips, our customers have a tendency to become "experts" at car buying.  The problem here becomes that they really don't have "expert" knowledge, they just think they do.

I like to think that almost everyone I deal with would get a better deal on exactly the right car if they would just listen to me...A better car at a lower price. Nobody ever buys from somebody they don't like.  People want to be treated with dignity and respect.  Customers like to feel comfortable, and trust their salesperson.  All the product fact in the world doesn't mean a thing if there is not trust.

I think customers should be assisted in learning to find a friend in the car business. They can get a good deal on a good car almost anywhere, but to be able to trust the people they are dealing with, well that's an option that cannot have a price put on it.

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