The beauty of certain industries — and the challenge — is they’re international, national, and local all at the same time. Such is the case with auto dealers. Car brands are national or international, but many dealers are locally owned and operated. While local dealers benefit from the marketing of the national and international brands, a big challenge is finding ways to build links to a local car dealer that operates its own Web site.
The key here: think local. What will get the people from the auto dealer’s city to visit the site repeatedly? Will they bookmark it? If it isn’t worthy of a bookmark, it’s not worthy of a link.
The next thing to consider is the buzz. More buzz means a higher likelihood of getting local press attention. There are enormous advantages to local search marketing in regards to the media. It will be easier to get mentions in newspapers, and often your local public relations company will have great contacts.
Here are two link building ideas for a local auto dealer that can be applied to various types of local businesses.
Team up with the local education system to offer a college scholarship to deserving students. This will build up the company’s reputation in the community and provide several link-building opportunities.
The initial press coverage will generate links and buzz. Team up with a local celebrity or politician to boost the results. Their contacts and PR people will elevate your marketing efforts.
Make sure there’s ongoing promotion of the scholarship during the application process. Reach out to the community to gain additional coverage, and don’t forget about your local bloggers! Ask everyone to help spread the word.
The scholarship awards announcement must be newsworthy. Host an awards ceremony. Invite community leaders and the press. Turn it into an event that politicians and community leaders feel they must make an appearance at. Make it into a community celebration.
Want even better results? Create a scholarship news section on the site to follow the awardees academic and professional careers. This is a great way to keep the local media coming back when they need positive human interest stories. This sets things up for yearly scholarships awards.
Help Families in Need — $2,000 Gas Cards
Many businesses, such as hotels and car dealers, give away gas cards to customers. We need to be different — let’s put a spin on it. Turn it into a human interest story. Have people from the community nominate families that are going through hard times for the $2,000 gas card.
This is a great way to get the community involved, elevate the company’s reputation, and get a ton of media attention. Who doesn’t want to help a family with extraordinary medical bills? Or a family that lost all their possessions to a home fire?
Need inspiration? ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” does an excellent job of getting the local community involved from beginning to end.
The key to local link building is getting the community and local press involved. That way, you can build a link marketing campaign that isn’t just focused on links, but combined with marketing and public relations. After all, good link building is just good marketing.