You work hard to keep your dealership in the spotlight. You run TV ads, keep up a steady stream of relevant and timely social media posts, engage in targeted email and direct mail campaigns, and go out of your way to promote and retain name recognition among your potential customers.
But here’s one marketing resource you might be overlooking: local sponsorships.
Being involved in the local community is an important way to make a connection and to highlight the values and philanthropic efforts of your business. In other words, it helps car shoppers see you as more than an auto dealership, but as a partner in enhancing and strengthening a shared community.
What to Sponsor?
Whatever you decide to put your business name behind – whether you’re supporting a local youth sports team, a nonprofit organization, a church or school group, or an outreach effort – should be something that matters to the community at large. You probably want to stay away from the potential polarizing effect of backing a certain politician or elected official, for example. Think in terms of how you want your business to be perceived among locals.
What’s in It for You?
In return for your sponsorship, you’ll get a mention in the promotional materials for the event or organization and an immeasurable boost as an active champion for good in your area. But is there more?
Good thing you asked! There is one extremely valuable – and often overlooked – way to make your sponsorship really count. It’s a small thing, but it can have a big impact: It’s a link from the event or organization’s website to your own.
Trading Links, Building Business
There are many factors that go into the equation for ranking websites. We covered the topic in our recent post about Google’s BERT algorithm update. But as many considerations as there are, one key fact is that external backlinks – from one website to another – are a crucial ranking factor for any website. Having something as simple as a link to your dealership on the page highlighting the event you’re sponsoring can be a huge benefit to your website’s organic ranking – and that’s a big deal!
There’s no charge to the charity for this small consideration, and there’s no denying the benefits. So, ask for a link, and give a link in return. If your site has a philanthropy page, there’s already a home for such a link. And if their site has a sponsors page, your link belongs there! This mutually beneficial arrangement is a great way to enhance the impact of all your future sponsorships.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising.
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