page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia: November 2011 My title page contents

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Google Search Advertising With Lead Capture Form in The Actual Sponsored Listing - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Google Search Advertising With Lead Capture Form in The Actual Sponsored Listing

Google site extensions in Adwords as a email lead capture tool without users being required to leave the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Toyota FT-86 Concept Becomes the Toyota GT 86 - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Toyota FT-86 Concept Becomes the Toyota GT 86

Toyota FT-86 Concept Becomes the Toyota GT 86... Discover the stunning Toyota GT 86, and rediscover the fantastic images of the initial FT-86 concepts. Some said it took Toyota forever to launch this car...

Toyota 86 - 2011 Tokyo Auto Show

As promised, the eagerly-anticipated Toyota 86 made its official world debut in Tokyo. Named in honor of the legendary Corolla GT AE86 model and co-developed with Fuji Heavy Industries, this rakish, rear-drive 2+2 sport coupe was designed from the outset to be an affordable lightweight sports car with impeccable handling credentials. Starting next year, a rebadged version of the Toyota 86 will be sold in the U.S. as the Scion FR-S and the platform will serve to underpin the new Subaru BRZ model, also being unveiled this week in Japan.


Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The New Steps to the Sale - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The New Steps to the Sale

Trust - In order for people to want to do business with you, not only must they like you; they must also "trust" you. Just like being likable, this is also something that happens in the heart – and not in the mouth. In order to be a trustworthy person – I love that word: "trustworthy"...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Video Marketing Classes at 2012 DMSC

Video Marketing Classes at 2012 DMSC

I really like this video... about producing videos... The overlay and the transitional effects are very attention keeping and truly enhance the clip. Since producing videos like this is part of what we are going to learn at DMSC in Las Vegas, I am more excited than ever about attending and participating in this event!

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Monday, November 28, 2011

http://www.toyotacommunity.com/profiles/blogs/2012-toyota-rav4-ev-at-los-angeles-autoshow

In 2012, the new Toyota Prius line will become more of special focus for the auto maker as they release several new size versions of the very popular hybrid. With the Prius in mind, it will be interesting to see how clients react to an all electric vehicle that gets around 100 miles to a charge.

http://www.toyotacommunity.com/profiles/blogs/2012-toyota-rav4-ev-at-los-angeles-autoshow

Sunday, November 27, 2011

True Car and ZAG - Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business?

True Car and ZAG - Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business?

Jim Ziegler asks; "Are we so bad at what we do that we have to line up and pay vendors to lose money? AND, who is giving these people access to your data that is used against you?" Use the link provided to red Jim's entire post and see the chart provided...

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What is Automotive SEO these Days?

Brian Pasch states: "Dealers can't know in...
Ralph Paglia1:45pm Nov 26
Brian Pasch states: "Dealers can't know in advance which digital assets a consumer will connect with so they should be providing multiple choice paths that include: videos, blogs, social media, content syndication, microsites, and of course a strong website. An SEO specialist also has to advise dealers about their online reputation because of the frequency that review websites appear for searches on their name. Bad reviews impact consumers during the Zero Moment of Truth so dealers need to have a multi-platform approach to collecting customer reviews." The article includes illustrations and charts that go a long way towards delivering Automotive SEO insights.
By the way what is Automotive SEO again? - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community
www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com
This blog post was inspired by Tony Rhoades today, when he commented on a blog post about ZMOT sayin...

http://RalphPaglia.com http://GPlusRalph.com 

By the way what is Automotive SEO again?

By the way what is Automotive SEO again?

Brian Pasch states: "Dealers can't know in advance which digital assets a consumer will connect with so they should be providing multiple choice paths that include: videos, blogs, social media, content syndication, microsites, and of course a strong website. An SEO specialist also has to advise dealers about their online reputation because of the frequency that review websites appear for searches on their name. Bad reviews impact consumers during the Zero Moment of Truth so dealers need to have a multi-platform approach to collecting customer reviews." The article includes illustrations and charts that go a long way towards delivering Automotive SEO insights.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Why ZMOT is BS - According to Larry Bruce

Why ZMOT is BS - by Larry Bruce

Larry Bruce points out: “It is all too easy today for consumers to just cut you out of the buying process for you not to be ultra-transparent and more importantly HELPFUL. The bottom-line the consumers web shopping experience when it comes to automotive is more of a process of elimination not one of inclusion”

Source: Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top Blog Posts this Week - Automotive Marketing Articles and News

Top Blog Posts this Week

Automotive Marketing Articles and News

Listed below are the Top 20 Automotive Marketing Blog Posts published during the past 7 Days on the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community... Each of these 20 Automotive Marketing and Sales Related articles deserve your attention, comments and readership! Please visit and read each of these articles to improve your understanding, strategy and tactical execution of automotive marketing and sales best practices.

Top Blog Posts 

Rank
1 How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site's SEO

How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site's SEO

Added by Mina K. on November 18, 2011

2 The Road to the NO SALE!

The Road to the NO SALE!

Added by Keith Shetterly on November 18, 2011

3 From the Trenches - Remembering Johnny Walker

From the Trenches - Remembering Johnny Walker

Added by Tom Gorham on November 20, 2011

4 The 5 WORST Questions to Ask a Phone Up

The 5 WORST Questions to Ask a Phone Up

Added by Melissa Roberts on November 22, 2011

5 Is The Road to the Sale Obsolete? by Jim Ziegler

Is The Road to the Sale Obsolete? by Jim Ziegler

Added by James A. Ziegler on November 15, 2011

6 All Automotive Marketers Are Publishers; Learn How To Do It Well!

All Automotive Marketers Are Publishers; Learn How To Do It Well!

Added by Ralph Paglia on November 23, 2011

7 If a Review is Written in the Great Forest of the Internet, and It Makes No SEO, Does Anybody Read It?

If a Review is Written in the Great Forest of the Internet, and It Makes No SEO, Does Anybody Read It?

Added by Keith Shetterly on November 16, 2011

8 Updated Information on Google Places and Reviews

Updated Information on Google Places and Reviews

Added by Scott Falcone on November 17, 2011

9 The Lowest Person on the Totem Pole.

The Lowest Person on the Totem Pole.

Added by Ashley AutoDealer Marketing on November 23, 2011

10 Start Using Conversion Funnels With Google Analytics Updated Interface

Start Using Conversion Funnels With Google Analytics Updated Interface

Added by Brian Pasch on November 21, 2011

11 Why Your Online Storefront Matters More

Why Your Online Storefront Matters More

Added by Kathi Kruse on November 16, 2011

12 Cinnamon Challenge Added to 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference

Cinnamon Challenge Added to 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference

Added by Brian Pasch on November 14, 2011

13 Video Blog With Craig Lockerd Of Automax Recruiting And Training

Video Blog With Craig Lockerd Of Automax Recruiting And Training

Added by David Johnson on November 18, 2011

14 Twitter Tips 101: How to Tweet Like a Pro for Your Dealership

Twitter Tips 101: How to Tweet Like a Pro for Your Dealership

Added by Jessica Wolf on November 22, 2011

15 Is What Your Dealership Stocks a Marketing Decision?

Is What Your Dealership Stocks a Marketing Decision?

Added by Larry Bruce on November 18, 2011

16 Actual artwork meant for a dealership

Actual artwork meant for a dealership

Added by Angela Martin on November 21, 2011

17 HELP! Competitive Comparisons Vendor's?

HELP! Competitive Comparisons Vendor's?

Added by J. Lugo on November 18, 2011

18 The Dealership Newsletter

The Dealership Newsletter

Added by Tom Kain on November 13, 2011

19 Staying on the 'Road to the Sale'

Staying on the 'Road to the Sale'

Added by Kurt Kubicki on November 14, 2011

20 Why Google Plus Must Not Be Ignored By Car Dealers

Why Google Plus Must Not Be Ignored By Car Dealers

Added by Ralph Paglia on November 23, 2011



The 5 WORST Questions to Ask a Phone Up - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The 5 WORST Questions to Ask a Phone Up - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Melissa Roberts, has written a great article that will help all of us to stop making the mistakes that cost dealerships a lot of money in lost sales and service profits from not handling phone calls properly. Sometimes, knowing what NOT TO ASK can be as, or more important than knowing what to ask. Too many people in dealerships are fumbling these opportunities to do business that come through the phone. As a marketer, it pains me to see so much interest from customers get driven away from people saying the wrong things, and asking inappropriate questions when people call the dealership. Check out the entire article with the 5 things you should never ask people over the phone by using the links provided...

Monday, November 21, 2011

What Should Dealers Look For When Selecting an Internet Trainer or Consultant?

Characteristics of Top Performing Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultants

written by Ralph Paglia

Since 1998 I have personally delivered Internet Sales Training and Digital Marketing Consulting services to over 1,000 car dealers and at least 6 car companies. Between 2001 and 2010 I recruited, hired, trained or supervised over 200 Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultants... While managing the services they delivered to dealers and car companies. As I am sure you can imagine, along the way I have acquired some very developed criteria for the background and skills that can be directly associated with the people who will do a good job assisting dealers in their Internet Sales Management and Digital Marketing strategy, tactics and operational management development. So what are these criteria that I personally associate with the people most likely to make a positive difference at a dealership when it comes to selling cars and service using the web? Joe Webb asked me to list them in a manner that he can include in a document designed to help car dealers make better decisions on who to hire as an Internet Sales Trainer or Consultant, so let me itemize what I consider to be the Top 5 ways to select an Internet/Digital trainer or consultant in a prioritized list based on each item's rank in order of importance:

1. Experience - How many dealership Internet Sales Departments has the trainer or consultant set up, built, managed, designed and monitored? In many ways, when a dealer hires a trainer or consultant what is actually purchased is that person's previous experience in both success and failure in the various aspects of creating and operating Internet Sales Teams, Digital Marketing Strategies and related operational aspects of making these people, processes and technologies work for dealers in regards to selling cars, parts and service business. Les experience should cost less and more experience is worth more to the dealer hiring an outside trainer/consultant. Also, as important as it is to hire trainers/consultants who have had BOTH sales and management experience in dealerships prior to becoming a trainer/consultant, it is important to point out that 48 weeks on the road as a consultant installing Internet Sales and Digital Marketing strategies and tactics in 24 different dealerships is probably equivalent to 6 years of experience working as a manger in a car dealership. As a dealer, when you hire a trainer/consultant who has done similar work in dozens of different dealerships you are acquiring a broad base of experience that increases the likelihood of success in your dealership. Let me describe a graphic and personal example... I have personally installed over 100 Business Development Centers in Ford dealerships. I know which of my first 100 dealerships subsequently either disbanded those BDC's or simply let them decline into non-existence. Of the 60 that are still in operation 7 years later, there are common element in their design and implementation that can be associated with their long term success and profitable contributions to the dealership's they serve. Likewise, of the 40 BDC's from those original 100 I installed that no longer exist, there are common elements to the way they were designed, set up, staffed, physically located and managed. It is safe to say that I know what make a BDC more likely to be successful. Likewise, broad based experience working with many dealerships and in different parts of the country is more likely to result in a better trainer/consultant for any dealership considering who to hire. Lastly in regards to experience, this is the essential ingredient for success with "Situational Management"... As opposed to implementing robotic, one way to do something processes in any dealership, the implementation of results based processes is far more effective when it comes to sales, customer retention and efficiency. There are very few tasks that can only be executed in one specific way in order to experience the most success for your dealership. The sign of a truly experienced and wise trainer or consultant is that they know how to achieve the dealership's objectives in a variety of ways and are not dependent on one way to get something done... If that one way doesn't work, the experienced trainer/consultant will know how to get it done using another method.

2. Work Ethic and Productivity - Since hiring a trainer/consultant usually involves the dealer paying for units of time, how much actual in-dealership face-to-face training and consulting time will you get for the money being spent and how many dealership employees and their ability to implement and execute processes will be positively impacted? What are the "deliverables" that the consultant will produce and deliver within those same units of time? Will they deliver a documented Action Plan each time they visit the dealership? Will the trainer/consultant follow up on whether the assigned dealership resources have completed those tasks prior to the next visit to the dealership? Will the trainer/consultant prepare performance reports and assessments for management and dealer review? All of these tasks are certainly in the realm of capability for every trainer/consultant worth considering, but how much is done within a billable time period is a sound basis to use in evaluating their productivity. How much output in high value deliverables is also a function of basic work ethics inherent in the trainer/consultant personal profile.

3. Passion, Persuasion and Communication Skills - I debated whether to list this as #2 or #3, but let's just say that these are VERY, VERY important skills (character traits?) for any trainer or consultant a dealership is considering... How effectively can that person express themselves to a variety of different people in your dealership? How well will their message resonate with your team? Is the trainer/consultant passionate enough about the work they do to have their enthusiasm become contagious and infect your dealership's employees? The ability to both communicate what needs to be done on a daily basis and persuade your team that they will each be more successful by doing these things is paramount to whether or not a dealer gets the most bang for the buck when hiring a, Internet Sales Trainer or Digital Marketing Consultant. There are several ways to evaluate these types of skills... Watch the trainer/consultant on video, read the articles he/she has written and published. Look at the quality of training materials they use, speak to them by phone and ask the trainer/consultant to convince you to do something an Internet Sales Manager, BDC Rep, Marketing Manager, Sales Manager or Salesperson should be doing each day as part of their work flow process. After all, if the trainer/consultant cannot convince you as the dealer or GM that something should be done, how the heck are they going to convince your employees?

4. Dealer and/or OEM References - Before you sign any contracts or pay any money, speak to at least two people who have hired and used the trainer or consultant you are considering... As they say on Wall Street, "Past Performance may not be an effective indicator of future performance" but checking references is certainly a prudent step to execute in evaluation a trainer or consultant and falls under the category of Due Diligence. What are some of the things to ask about a trainer/consultant? You should ask if whatever they did effected the behavior of the dealership's employees after the trainer/consultant left the facility. How long did their visit to the dealership, or the remote work they did for that dealer continue to have a positive effect on the dealership's operations? What should you watch out for? I have heard dealers describe many horror stories, such as paying a trainer/consultant in advance and then having difficulty getting them to visit the dealership on a date that worked for both parties. Or, having paid for one trainer/consultant only to have somebody the dealer never met or heard of show up to deliver the services. However, there is one issue I have noticed over the years that may sound bad, but is actually indicative of the very best trainers and consultants I have worked with... Have they ever been kicked out of a dealership? Some of the best and most effective Internet Sales Trainers and Digital Marketing Consultant have been asked to leave a few dealerships over the years. This is what happens when a passionate, highly skilled change agent works in a dealership that is determined NOT to change; almost like an unhealthy body rejecting a healthy organ transplant! Bottom line, always contact 2 or more dealer references when considering hiring any trainer or consultant.

5. Do They Walk The Talk? - Whenever considering a trainer or consultant who specializes in any aspect of web based marketing, sales and communications, you should check on how much they practice what they preach. So, for example if an Internet Sales Trainer tells you he or she believes in prompt responses to Internet Sales Leads and customer emails... Send them an email message and ask for their phone number; then take note of how long it took them to respond. If a consultant professes to being able to help you improve your dealership's various website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) implementations, do a Google search for their name or the name of their business and take note of how well they show up and how many listings are sites or accounts they are in control of. If a trainer/consultant tells you they will help your team send better emails to your dealership's customers, ask them to send you examples using your name as if you were the prospective car buyer or service customer. The trainer/consultant claims to be able to make sense out of using social media to enhance your dealership's sales and marketing? Then, get their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Ning and Wordpress site or profile addresses and go check them out online... How do they look? Are they practicing what they preach?

I hope these five evaluation recommendations help you make a better decision when considering brining in an outside Internet Sales Trainer or Digital Marketing Consultant, but let me include a final bit of very important advice... If you are not prepared to implement that vast majority of a trainer or consultant's recommendations and operational processes, then your dealership is not an ideal candidate for these types of services. Having assisted many dealerships over the past 13 years, after managing dealerships and departments for many years before that, it is always a little surprising to me when a dealership embraces all that I give them and actually does it! I love it when this happens, but more often than not, dealership management teams will pick and choose the items a trainer or consultant gives them and only implement those items... This does not always provide the best results. However, every dealer I have ever worked with that reinforced the implementation of the vast majority of what i recommended, then enforced the discipline to make sure the dealership employees executed these processes every day, has been VERY successful in achieving the Internet Sales and Digital Marketing objectives. So, the lesson learned is that if you do what the trainer or consultant you hire tells you and your team to do, your dealership will experience success... But, if you choose partial implementation by picking and choosing which items to implement, you will get only partial success, and maybe none at all.

For the past four years I have made myself available and accessible to members of the online professional network I set up for dealers and their employees at www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com<http://www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com> and look forward to seeing you there!

Ralph Paglia
www.RalphPaglia.com<http://www.RalphPaglia.com>
http://LinkedIn.com/in/RPaglia
http://Twitter.com/RalphPaglia
http://Facebook.com/RPaglia
http://YouTube.com/RalphPaglia
www.ADMPC.com<http://www.ADMPC.com>
[http://api.ning.com/files/qivS4zTdJnBbHIY-KRcLA8Gr4-psDWbEL349gk*yaQIIQourcPghdWGQhw2GPkkhuTlrOwGUI8pE2yvTzMOP*nrCgcUZmqOL/GoogleFirstGen.png]

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dealers United Interview on Automotive Digest - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Dealers United Interview on Automotive Digest - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

The whole concept behind Dealers United is fascinating and one of those rare "Win-Win" situations for both dealers and automotive suppliers that should not be ignored. In this video clip Jesse Biter answers the question about what exactly does Dealers United intend to do, and how does the new company intend to succeed? Well worth watching!

Automotive Marketing Network Activity

Here's what's happened in the Automotive Digital Marketing Newsroom during the past day.

New Automotive Marketing network posts:
   
Keith Shetterly commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'If a Review is Written in the Great Forest of the Internet, and It Makes No SEO, Does Anybody Read It?': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/keith-shetterly-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-if-a-review-is-written-in-the-great-forest-of-the-internet-and-it-makes-no-seo-does-anybody-read-it
   
Tom Gorham commented on Kurt Kubicki's blog post 'Staying on the 'Road to the Sale'': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/tom-gorham-commented-on-kurt-kubickis-blog-post-staying-on-the-road-to-the-sale
   
Tom Gorham commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'The Road to the NO SALE!': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/tom-gorham-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-the-road-to-the-no-sale
   
Tom Gorham commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'If a Review is Written in the Great Forest of the Internet, and It Makes No SEO, Does Anybody Read It?': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/tom-gorham-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-if-a-review-is-written-in-the-great-forest-of-the-internet-and-it-makes-no-seo-does-anybody-read-it
   
Keith Shetterly commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'The Road to the NO SALE!': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/keith-shetterly-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-the-road-to-the-no-sale-1
   
Tom Hawkins commented on Mina K.'s blog post 'How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site's SEO': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/tom-hawkins-commented-on-mina-k-dot-s-blog-post-how-a-company-blog-can-help-your-sites-seo
   
Ric McCoy commented on Keith Shetterly's blog post 'The Road to the NO SALE!': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/ric-mccoy-commented-on-keith-shetterlys-blog-post-the-road-to-the-no-sale
   
mtumilty, Barrett Henry, Peter W. Korallus and 4 more joined Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community: http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/mtumilty-barrett-henry-peter-w-korallus-and-4-more-joined-automotive-digital-marketing-professional-community
   
Ralph Paglia commented on Mina K.'s blog post 'How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site's SEO': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/ralph-paglia-commented-on-mina-k-dot-s-blog-post-how-a-company-blog-can-help-your-sites-seo
   
Scott Falcone replied to Mike Warwick's discussion 'The Power of WordPress Blogs': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/scott-falcone-replied-to-mike-warwicks-discussion-the-power-of-wordpress-blogs
   
Aj Maida commented on Kathi Kruse's blog post 'Why Your Online Storefront Matters More': http://automotivedigitalmarketing.kapost.com/posts/aj-maida-commented-on-kathi-kruses-blog-post-why-your-online-storefront-matters-more-1
   


Saturday, November 19, 2011

What You Need to Know in the World of SEO

The Moz Top Ten
What You Need to Know in the World of SEO
November 2011, Issue 2
 
 
In the season of thanks, we want you to know that we think you're awesome. You're what makes our Top 10 list better than all the turkey dinners at grandma's house. Before your stomach starts rumbling too much, take a look at the most interesting links in inbound marketing we've found around the web.
 
 
 
1

Google's up to it again. Just when your panda-inflicted wounds healed! New changes include more attention to content freshness and improved rich snippets. [search engine land]
 
2

500 internet markets dish about their experiences in digital marketing, revealing top trends and topics. [webmarketing123]
 
3

G+ has opened the flood gates for brands. Now how will this influence Google search results? [search engine land]
 
4

Rand weighs in on Google's keyword referral data hiding. Actually, the really interesting part is all the fascinating comments left by you. There's no way anyone could quantify this affect on all of us without sharing our stories. [seomoz]
 
5

Watch Matt Cutts say no and read Jason's review of Cutts' talk at PubCon. [everspark interactive]
 
6

Why side projects and hobbies enrich your life and work productivity. [justine musk]
 
7

Why your products shouldn't make users do mindless work with continual upkeep. [zach holman]
 
8

Danny Sullivan asks for your thoughts on this term and gets lots of interesting responses. [g+]
 
9

Are you missing the power of leveraging professionals interested in your business? [outspoken media]
 
10

Tips on connecting with your customers without being afraid you're being a pest, and how not to worry about those random unsubscribes from your e-newsletters. [ittybiz]
 
 
 
Did You Know?
 
26 advanced SEO and online marketing videos from the brightest minds in search. For regular price $399 (SEOmoz PRO members $299), you get instant access to:
  • 26 videos (over 14 hours) from MozCon in high definition
  • Stream or download the videos to your computer, iPhone, or Android device
  • Downloadable PowerPoint slide-decks for the presentations
  • Limited time offer: Order by November 30th and get an additional 42 videos free of charge from our 2010 seminars


Friday, November 18, 2011

Using Brand Journalism for Social Media Marketing

The Force Behind Successful Brand Journalism

Guest post by Todd Blecher, Communications Director, The Boeing Company

Much wisdom did Yoda accumulate. But experience with social media I think not the Jedi had. Yoda's insistence that we "do, or do not. There is no try," to brand journalism does not apply.

When it comes to brand journalism the instruction should be "Try. There is no do or do not." In fact, since April, 2010, when we transformed www.boeing.com into a brand journalism platform, we've been all about trying. We started with modest goals and walk-then-run approach that has been essential to sustainable success.

Starting with walking seems obvious but not everybody does it. It not only builds your experience in a manageable way it also helps gain essential internal cooperation. We designed our initial stages as a trial run that could be halted relatively easily. Going slow helped address the unease of doing something new (aka risky) that we found in some corners. It got our nose under the tent and allowed for gradually picking up the pace when the time was right.

From what we've learned success with brand journalism seems to flow with the force of some basic principles outlined below.

First and foremost, as with any communications effort, brand journalism must be part of an overall communications strategy. If it's not, its content will communicate in a vacuum, with little benefit to the organization and of little interest to audiences.

When thinking about brand journalism content an organization must recognize that the stories must, as Shel Holtz recently put it, "be inspiring, clarifying, funny, useful or just plain interesting." Developing such content requires thinking like an audience member and not just a representative of the organization. Content that serves a communications strategy must be shared. Content that meets what Holtz outlined has a much higher likelihood of being shared than content that doesn't.

Many organizations, however, won't allow for thinking like an audience member. They should not do brand journalism.

For those ready to try brand journalism I would recommend hiring some former journalists. And I say to former journalists, as David Meerman Scott put it in this column, consider the opportunities of working for brands. Being that kind of journalist isn't akin to joining the Dark Side, as some would have you believe.

Having former media journalists doing your brand journalism should save time, money, and aggravation because they are trained to create the engaging content that brand journalism requires. What's more, they know the necessary tricks of the trade. Organizations doing brand journalism are publishers. They need to think about broad and timely content distribution, editorial calendars, and a strategy for repurposing stories. Former media journalists know how to do all that.

As you may've guessed, we have many former reporters on our team. While it's possible to hire such talent on a project-by-project basis, the best brand journalism requires commitment, access, and trust. Those all seem to come easier for an in-house journalist.

When brand journalists think of what's interesting to their audiences and create engaging content they generate stories that can, pardon the pun, really take off. Here's one of ours that did. This story is about testing the brakes on our new 747. The test involves speeding an airplane down a runway then hitting the brakes just before takeoff. It ends with the brakes on fire, which is eye catching, to say the least.

That story had it all for our audiences: iconic airplane, an interesting test activity, and great visuals. We've had more than 1.1 million views, and our key messages about safety and durability reached more people through our website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page, than we would've reached with a traditional news release.

Another, albeit more unexpected success, came with this story about our Phantom Eye unmanned system. It has more than 400,000 views, a lot for a military story as those usually appeal to a niche audience. This one broke out by presenting a new and unique vehicle in a way that sparked imaginations and discussions.

We've certainly had our share of stories that didn't work. Here are two: this one is about a retiring security dog while this story is about designs for World War Two-era uniforms. Our audiences didn't know what to make of either of them.

Overall, however, we think (metrics remain a work in progress) that we're succeeding more often than not. We've concluded that brand journalism is a very useful communications tool that, if an organization is prepared to properly pursue it, is worth trying. And doing.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Source: Brian Solis email message

http://RalphPaglia.com http://GPlusRalph.com 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rewarding Unique Content on Automotive Marketing Network

Unique Content versus Duplicate Content

 

I have an idea that was prompted by a message received from David Johnson, one of the ADM Community's esteemed editors and admins.  His question and recommendations were regarding a means of rewarding those who post unique content to the ADM Professional Community...David and I both agree that when an ADM Member posts content that is unique to the ADM Community, whether a blog, forum discussion, photo, video, etc. that the member should be rewarded for sharing something with ADM Members that is not readily available in the same exact format on the other automotive networks, blogs and communities that exist elsewhere on the web. 

 

As some members are aware, the ADM Community syndicates blogs, forum posts, photos and videos out across hundreds of affiliated sites using a variety of RSS feeds, application layer integration and widgets built for such purposes.  The ADM Community could begin a process of only syndicating "Featured" content items.  This would then reward unique content posted to ADM by an admin electing to mark the content item as "Featured". This would result in a broad based syndication of those content items which are identified by the author as being exclusive to the ADM network...

 

What do you think? Would this be an effective way of rewarding those who post unique content? 

 

Of course, everyone would be free to continue posting the same thing on ADM as they post on other sites, but those who post unique content would get many more views, responses and referring links from what they included within their content due to the widespread distribution of that content across ADM's affiliate network.

 

This would also make it easy to "unfeature" any content items, or even delete them if the author claims they are unique to ADM and they are not.  Rather than getting draconian about the whole process, repeat offenders would simply not get there content posts featured even when they mark them as unique to the AM Community...

 

Please let me know what you think, as we are a community of professionals and neither i nor the dozen editors on staff want to take such an action without getting feedback from members.  All in all, I think we will all agree that unique original content that is valuable to ADM Members should be featured and have attention drawn to it.

 

Ralph Paglia

Editor-in-Chief

Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community

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