Content: Authority vs. Engagement

Content: Authority vs. Engagement
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| Posted on | Content Management, Just The Tip

Fair warning, today’s topic might get us in trouble with some of our friends who specialize in social media… but here it goes. Just because your content isn’t “engaging” on social media, doesn’t mean it’s not valuable for your business. Hopefully, we don’t get canceled for sharing this…

If you are like us, the majority of the content you will be working with exists in the automotive space and your focus is selling your products and services. While there is definitely more to it, your content goals can probably be simplified to:

1. Build a larger customer base
2. Promote your products and services

We’ve previously given tips on how to engage your audience, how to come up with good topics, and how to be an authority on your subject matter. But now, let’s tablk about the importance of building authority vs getting clicks.

Let’s start with a quick refresher: How do you create good content?

Your content should have a purpose. If you can’t answer “why” your topic is important to a prospective car buyer or service customer, don’t write it.

Some easy steps for coming up with good content include:

1. Identifying your audience.
2. Identifying your topic.
3. Identifying why that topic is important.

At this point, you might be saying, “this is all well and good but how do I make all of my content engaging?” Remember we’re not here to talk about engagement. We’re here to talk about purposeful content that establishes you as an authority of the eyes of your audience, and in the eyes of Google.

Before you start rolling your eyes and thinking “but engagement on social media leads to more shares and more customers and this and that…” That’s not the full picture.

Authoritative content is just as important to a dealership as engaging content is. Maybe even more….

Now you might be thinking “how can content not be engaging???”

A great example would be technical guides for DIY work on my vehicle. I personally wouldn’t find those engaging if I came across those on Facebook or Twitter. A step-by-step guide about how to change a tire might be engaging when you need to change a tire, but it’s not necessarily going to get you a ton of clicks when shared on social media. I will say that it is still important to consider your audience. If it’s the average car buyer or service customer, this DIY guide won’t be interesting. If your audience is mechanics, this might be something they want to check out and even share.

This begs a good question “if the content I’m writing isn’t engaging for the everyday buyer, why am I writing it?”

The answer is pretty simple, you want to be the leader in your market. You want to give your readers the answers they need to the problems they have and to be a credible resource for your buyers, setting yourself apart from your competition.

If we need content that sets our business up as an authority, do we still need interest pieces or “click-bait?”

Absolutely. Part of getting more traffic to your website includes creating content that people are interested to read. By creating this kind of content, over time you will build up followers who seek out your content, they will share it on social media which will attract more people, and it will also add to your authority.

All of that is well and good but what kind of content is engaging and will attract people in our market?

As I said earlier, your audience is very important here. Everyone has a different idea about what they think is engaging or interesting. Someone might prefer automotive content that has technical explanations or first-hand reviews of the vehicles. I also tend to look for history pieces, like the histories of famous cars. Others tend to gravitate towards content that aligns with my everyday interests, like the latest news, random and unusual facts and trivia. I even will click on some of the more “click-baity” content when I want a mindless distraction during the day. As for myself, you’d be hard-pressed to find me clicking on random links unless it has to do with celebrity fashion choices. If it’s related to cars, I might click on something about the new Ford Bronco or what car Kim Kardashian was last driving.

The bottom line is that you need to find out who your customers are and cater to what they are looking for.

Don’t just create click-bait with no real strategy and don’t just set yourself as an authority with all technical guides or informative pieces. The content you create should be part of a larger strategy that contains the best of both worlds.

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