Good morning, everyone. Each Tuesday we bring you the latest ideas from the world of marketing. Today we’ll look in depth at one of the latest new trends in online marketing: content. The word content is a bit misleading because it suggests something boring and static. In fact, the best content marketing could be better described as information marketing. We’ll take a look at what some people are saying around the web.

But first, what is content marketing? It’s a strategy for reaching people online. It employs some of the tenets of marketing, blogging, and online news/entertainment sites to pull eyes toward your brand. This post is content marketing. It is interesting and informative, and it’s perfectly fine being just that. But it also has sponsors, and they, of course, would be pleased to see you click over to their website. The key, though, for content marketing to work is that it must not read like an advertisement — not even close. Nobody wants to read an ad. But they do want to read something relevant to their lives. The goal is to create new revenue from organic interest in your brand.

  1. The first thing a car wash owner needs to do is decide whether content marketing is worth it for his or her business. As John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co., points out, doing content marketing is a huge investment of time and money. Doing it in-house can drain an immense amount of work hours, and outsourcing it contains inherent risks that you’d need to mitigate. If you outsource you have to be sure that the company you hire is not plagiarizing and is going to create information that’s interesting and relevant to your brand.
  2. For car washes, the audience you want to reach is hyper-local. The person you want reading that copy is the guy with the dirty car down the street, not some anonymous web surfer in Guyana. That’s why it’s important to “build local links,” as Social Media Today reports. That means using your existing relationships in the community to build awareness about your posts. Ask the local car dealer to post your link on their site, or display your new blog on your logo the next time you sponsor a charity event. Having your blog listed on the chamber of commerce website is another way.
  3. And finally, take a look at this. It’s also from Social Media Today. They talk about the “new SEO,” and, yes, it’s very different from the old SEO. Old SEO, as we mentioned in a previous Marketing Roundup, was all about getting the right keywords, increasing the number of links to your site, and producing copious amounts of content. All those things are still important to some extent, but Google is less interested in them. Plus, throwing thousands of words onto the Internet does nothing for your brand. Your new SEO strategy should take advantage of existing relationships and social media to find users near your car wash. Create content that’s interesting to the customers you want to reach, and then use the web and traditional marketing strategies to make sure they see it.

Have other strategies that work? Feel free to post a comment or send us an email at carwashblog@gmail.com.