SEMA: Supercharging Your Digital Content to Convert Customers

Nov. 4, 2022

Barry Alt and Dean Heckman talked about what digital marketing is, how shops can use it, and how it affects awareness, acquisition, and customer retention.

Nov. 4, 2022—Defining digital content as the “stuff” that conveys an idea, delivers a message, or is informational, Barry Alt and Dean Heckman of Motorhead Digital laid out three key points for developing potent digital content for shop owners to use to engage their customers. That “stuff,” Alt said, is a message that strongly influences readers and helps you make a connection with customers.  

Point 1: Build Awareness

You need to get found, build a following, and add value. "If you're not seen you're not hired," Alt said. He recommends a "clarity and strategy before tactics" approach. 

“You have to understand your customers, where they are, where and how they consume information, and their demographics,” Alt said. "We need to determine what they need to see, feel, and hear to know that you're the trusted advisor for their needs."    

He said that consumers search with content, peppering search engines with questions to find what they’re looking for. He said shop owners need to understand how search engines work and learn good keywords that people will use to find their shops.

 "What is your findability? If you don't use keywords and content, just pretty pictures, no one is going to find your business. If you do good content, even with your social media, Google will find you," Alt said.

He used blogging as an example and recommended shop owners use blogs actively to reach customers on the web. He mentioned how in his analytics program, 11 of the top 20 searches were from blog posts clients found online. 

"Blogging adds a 67% increase in monthly leads when done regularly, " Alt said. 

 He said shops could leverage YouTube, creating content on the world’s second largest search engine and then pushing those videos to their other social media platforms.  

“Videos get the best and most engagement. The most engaging type are informative (44%) over entertaining (37%) and 66% of marketers believe video guarantees more qualified leads," Alt said.  

For many shop owners, social media is the source of a love-hate relationship. On one hand, they know they need it, and it helps business, but on the other hand, finding time creates inaction or inconsistent action online. Alt recommends using a social media scheduler to automate posting and to save time. 

"Choose a platform your customers hang out on, and then craft posts for them on there," Alt said. “Then post it on [other platforms]. Craft once, use many. Don't just create one post. Create many posts from one.” 

 Point 2: Customer Acquisition 

Once shops begin to create consistent content that engages their audience, the next step is converting those people into customers. 

“Many shops start to tumble at this stage. Turning prospects into customers means continued support and investment in content. You're going from unknown to known,” said Heckman.  

Alt said this is the point where he recommends shop owners to build an email list. With an email list, those people who may have signed up online or through a web form can now be entered into a funnel where they’re directly marketed to by the shop.

"Email is still a thing. It's big but try not to sell right off the bat; offer value," Alt said.  

Point 3: Retention 

Now that you have the customer in the pipeline, how do you keep them engaged? For starters, shop owners need to remember that retaining customers is about customers and their relationship with the shop. Get that right, and you win customers and their friends and family. Alt said to differentiate yourself here by being more personal. 

 "Give them a virtual or in-person tour, introduce them to your team, show monthly project updates, and showcase your customers [online]. They love this," Alt says. 


The benefit of this is it turns your customer into a brand evangelist who will talk about your shop to their friends. Awareness, acquisition, and fermion make you money. 

"People want education and value. It's a long game. It can be six months to a year before you get any traction."    

Position Yourself as the Expert

Alt offered the following tips for using digital marketing to help position you as a shop owner as the expert in your field. 

  • Blogs. Writing blogs that are 600-1000 words creates content Google can find and shows your subject matter expertise. "Blog contents is huge for search and is very educational. So having blogs on your page is good."  

  • Video. Do Short form videos, five minutes or less and post them online. “Talk about problems consumers have in the shop and how to solve them. Customers love it,” said Alt.

  • Webinars and Podcasts. Find a platform to share your expertise and perspective with the industry. "If you're a business and want to show your expertise, get on webinars and podcasts,” said Alt.
  • Print Articles. Magazines are still popular within the industry. "Can you get published in magazines or get articles written about your shop?" Said Alt. 
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NOLN Staff Reporters

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