Like most new years, 2017 began with great ambition, full of plans, and full of hopes and dreams. Many of the ideas we had been toying around with leading up to the new year seemed to be on the horizon finally. All we had to do was act.
And act, we did.
By the close of 2017, the trail of evidence was clear, and our investments were paying off. Website traffic increased. Subscription rates and online conversion rates increased. Our product offering was enhanced. Revenues increased. Most importantly, an overall interest in what we were doing had increased, a “thing” difficult to measure, but not difficult to feel.
When people ask me, “Ryan, what exactly do you do?” I take a deep breath and imagine a response that is personalized and custom tailored to that person or group asking me the question.
The general answer: “We try to forge and foster relationships through digital media, communications, and ideas.”
Thank You for a Fantastic 2017
Before we list out the year’s accomplishments on our end, one of my favorite accomplishments is that you are reading this RIGHT NOW. Whether you reached this post from our email newsletter or from an email that I or someone from my team sent, or maybe from a social media link, or from a search engine result, you are here, right now, reading this post.
Summary of 2017 Accomplishments
Here is a list of our accomplishments (and some of the results) from 2017:
- On AutoConverse.com we stuck to a rigorous editorial schedule on the Future of Mobility blog. Our objective was to publish one post per week. We didn’t hit this mark, but traffic on AutoConverse increased more than 100% in 2017, and subscriptions increased by more 500%.
- On AutoConversion.net we also stuck to a rigorous editorial schedule on the Media, Advertising, and Technology blog. Our objective for this blog was again one post per week. We were close. Traffic there increased by more than 200%, large in part due to the new Sponsored Webinar program we introduced, which leads to our next 2017 accomplishment.
- In 2017 we introduced and conducted more than 15 Sponsored Webinars, mostly for our Affiliate Partner – DealerRefresh. These were not just your ordinary webinars though. A Sponsored Webinar with AutoConversion is a multi-faceted marketing campaign that produces multiple rich media assets that funnel traffic into a lead magnet. With a combined total of more than 500 registered attendees (and counting), we also produced more than a dozen mini-webinars and podcasts to boot. Which leads to our next 2017 accomplishment…
- With DealerRefresh we launched three new rich media programs: The DealerRefresh Roundtable, the DealerRefresh Podcast, “In the Mix,” and Refresh Fridays – a weekly Facebook Live Broadcast. See below for a more detailed breakdown of what these new programs entailed.
- AutomoBuzz was introduced. Originally referred to as Automotive B2B Casual Videos, this experiment got underway in 2017. We produced a total of 14 videos under the series and have every intention of picking up where we left off on these ideas. Check out the videos on this YouTube Playlist.
- In the events arena, AutoConversion made appearances at NADA, the DrivingSales Executive Summit, both Digital Dealer Conferences, and two Rockstar Auto Conferences. See below for more details.
- Finally, as a team, AutoConversion grew from fewer than 5 people at the beginning of the year to more than 15 people by the end of 2017. Our team now consists of a writer, a blogger, a web designer, an email marketing manager, a social media manager, a client services manager, four video engineers and two podcast engineers, not to mention a few admin folks handling things like IT, Legal, and Finance. Shouts out to the entire team for their individual contributions working together as a whole to make all this amazing stuff come together each week. No one will appreciate how well we work together, not more than we will.
Live Event Coverage and Interviews
One of our favorite (and more valued) activities is covering workshops, conferences, and expos. We have strong partnerships with Digital Dealer, DrivingSales, and Rockstar Auto Conference, and are able to bring significant value to the table for our dealers, our sponsors, and the events themselves. Naturally, we are always looking to expand on these types of partnerships as well.
- VIDEO: Interviews, Montage, and more from DD23 Las Vegas
- VIDEO: NADA 100 in New Orleans
- Event Coverage on Facebook Live
The All-New DealerRefresh Media Initiatives
To expand on bullet #4, here is a recap of the three new rich media initiatives we launched in 2017 for DealerRefresh:
- The DealerRefresh Roundtable – A monthly webinar conducted in a video conference / webinar format where we bring on 2-3 guests and explore two or more hot topics in auto retail in a way that those in the industry can take action, innovate, and improve. For more information on this program visit Introducing the All-New DealerRefresh Roundtable – In the Forums and on the Lot.
- The DealerRefresh Podcast: “In the Mix” – In 2017 we helped produce 15 episodes, many of which were conversational analysis of the auto retail business with me and Chris K Leslie. Other episodes included interviews and sponsored webinars I had conducted. For more information, visit Introducing the All-New DealerRefresh Podcast – In the Mix.
- Finally, Refresh Fridays, a weekly Facebook Live broadcast where we covered everything going on in auto retail that week. For more information about this program visit Introducing the Refresh Fridays Weekly Broadcast Series on DealerRefresh.
Looking Ahead to 2018
As nice is it is to look back at what has been accomplished, it’s what lies ahead that excites me the most. For 2018, we are looking to build on this foundation through new partnerships and new programs, reaching two if not three times as many people as we are now.
The podcast efforts seem to have the most promise for me, and we expect to put even more emphasis on those initiatives, but our video efforts play a significant and growing role as well.
For 2018, I expect we will remain focused on these new rich media efforts by expanding on our brands, our program offerings, and our sponsorship efforts.
Join us today by subscribing to BlogPro Automotive if you aren’t already. If you have any ideas, we certainly welcome your feedback and input.
Here’s to 2018!
Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Future Mobility & Connectivity Podcast, Ryan began working in the automotive industry in 2001, establishing his roots in online vehicle merchandising before expanding into digital marketing and now multi media for Automotive B2B. You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.