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You don’t win friends by talking about yourself


Customers are not interested in a constant stream of content that’s trying to sell something. 

They want value for their attention. 

Social media and blog posts should educate the audience, help them save time, and provide insights. And now, more than ever, your audience wants to feel like it’s part of a community of like-minded individuals. 

The fastest and easiest way to achieve this is to talk about more than yourself across your digital marketing channels. 

When you’re focused solely on brand-centric marketing, you’re limiting your audience. You’re not working efficiently because you’re looking for an audience after you’ve created content. On the flip side, identifying your audience first can help you create custom content where they can find value. 

Chart via Connected Social Media LLC (Source:

The concept of not just talking about yourself in marketing applies to both B2B and B2C organizations of all sizes and stripes — like a luxury automotive dealership DJG has worked with for years.

By centering the strategic approach around the client’s hyper local audience, DJG helped establish the dealership as an authority on local delights. By including a mix of curated content that aligned with the interests of the dealership’s audience, the dealership stayed at the top of customers’ minds, social feeds, and inboxes.

And here’s how we did it.

The Problem: People don’t care about car dealerships unless they’re buying a car

Customers — genuine ‘Car People’ aside — that are looking to purchase a car typically only search for specific models when they’re starting the buyer journey. Engagement with a car dealership isn’t typically at the top of mind for someone who has a car they’re happily driving. The only time they could theoretically reach out to the dealership is for yearly maintenance or a specific service issue. 

As a result, the key questions when thinking through a content marketing strategy for a car dealership were:

  • How do you stay top-of-mind for potential customers when they’re NOT ready to enter the buying journey? 
  • How do you build or deepen a relationship with a dealership when customers are not actively looking for a new car? 

The Approach: Not just talking about the cars or brand.

Given that the dealership’s audience is going to be in the same area of Toronto — their catchment area for potential customers — this target audience is living their daily life out and about in the community. That community includes the luxury dealership. 

This is a shared area of interest for the target audience and the dealership. The solution was to turn the dealership into a celebration of all-things-Toronto. 

On social media, DJG curated and shared content to highlight the sports, culture, food, fashion, design, and more that can be found in the city. This kept the audience engaged, drove dealership visits, and contributed to sales of luxury vehicles.

This content works in tandem with automotive content — primarily news and innovations from the brand, and reviews of exciting new car models — and interviews with dealership staff. The result is a well-rounded editorial calendar that is relevant to the audience. 

With the social media content driving engagement, DJG then designed and deployed a newsletter where some of the top performing content was shared to a subscriber list — with a call-to-action for the dealership’s online brand accessories store or model reviews or innovation stories from the brand’s headquarters. 

To round out the strategic execution and further celebrate the city’s local offerings, DJG deployed event coverage for social media. This resulted in two key benefits: 

  • It allows for efficient content collection from event’s around the city including local soccer games, art festivals, and neighbourhood food festivals.
  • It positions the brand as a source of original content about the city. 

The Outcome: A place at the top of customers’ minds, social feeds, and inboxes

With all digital channels for the luxury dealership being a source of curated and unique stories about the city, the audience took notice. The email newsletter open rate jumped to 67.41% — miles ahead of the average open rate for email these days — about 18.1% across all industries. 

The dealership also grew the largest follower base in social media for any luxury car retailer in Canada, and one of the live coverage activations at an event led to five sales inquiries.

By talking about more than just the last products or sales, the dealership earned these higher open rates and follower growth. Audiences have a finite amount of attention or hours in a day, and ever more sources competing for it, so we have to earn the eyes and ears of every contact.

If your goal is to reach a broad audience, this approach can be applied to make you relevant to them day in, day out. Of course, every business will have a different audience, with a vast array of interests, but it’s an approach that can help you find a winning mix of content to match your message.

If you’re interested in zhuzhing up your content marketing, consider these five tips we put together