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Content That Is Relatable Is Content That Crushes – Hear From the Experts in the Space

  • October 16, 2022
26 min read
Content That Is Relatable Is Content That Crushes – Hear From the Experts in the Space

Ilana Shabtay
VP of Marketing, Fullpath

Brian Ortega
Creative Director and Social Media Manager, Valley Hi Toyota

Nathanael Greklek
Chief Digital Branding Leader, Mohawk Honda Dealership

Jeff Revilla
Digital Marketing Director, Smail Auto Group

Brian Ortega is the Creative Director and Social Media Manager at Valley Hi Toyota. He is responsible for marketing, design, photography, video production, and maintaining the dealership’s social media. Before joining the automotive industry, Brian worked for the American Forces Network for over 13 years. He is a proud graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a BA in film studies.

Nathanael Greklek is the Chief Digital Branding Leader at Mohawk Honda Dealership. He is passionate about leadership, culture, and branding and helps dealerships, collision centers, and salespeople brand themselves. Nathanael is an expert in marketing strategy, creating video ads, social media marketing and engagement, and personal branding.

Jeff Revilla is the Digital Marketing Director at Smail Auto Group, where he directs the company’s digital footprint across multiple platforms. He is an award-winning digital marketer with over 20 years of experience and has been recognized five times by as a Top 100 dealer. For six consecutive quarters, Jeff has been ranked in the top 1% of 1,300 Honda and Acura dealers for an independent digital marketing evaluation. He is also a podcaster, virtual event producer, and founding member of AutoGenius.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How Brian Ortega, Nathanael Greklek, and Jeff Revilla create content for their dealerships
  • Top strategies for promoting content on social media
  • How to get started with content creation
  • The challenges dealerships face creating content for different social media platforms
  • Leveraging content to create value for customers
  • The benefits of management in content production and investing in good audio equipment

In this episode…

Engaging content is crucial in generating customers for your dealership. So, what strategies can you leverage to create impactful content?

The best type of content has to bring value to your audience. According to Nathanael Greklek, Brian Ortega, and Jeff Revilla, it’s essential to produce and share content that strategically meets your clientele where they are. Good content is well-structured and helps build connections with your audience.

In this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast, Ilana Shabtay interviews Brian Ortega, Jeff Revilla, and Nathanael Greklek about tips for creating relatable content. They share strategies for leveraging content to create value for customers, promoting content on social media, and the benefits of management in the content production process.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by AutoLeadStar, a company that helps car dealerships engage quality customers on the web and convert them into car buyers.

Co-founded by Aharon Horwitz, Yishai Goldstein, and Eliav Moshe, AutoLeadStar’s state-of-the-art software automates a dealership’s entire marketing funnel and provides around-the-clock service for dealers.

AutoLeadStar’s innovative technology helps dealerships automate ads, connect with customers, and discover ROI and performance metrics.

Visit their website at to learn more about their around-the-clock marketing service.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03

Welcome to InsideAuto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you’d want to talk to you in and out of the automotive industry.

Ilana Shabtay 0:15

Ilana Shabtay here, host of InsideAuto Podcast where we interview top dealers, GMs, marketers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in and out of the automotive industry. Before we introduce today’s guests, I know you guys are very eager. This episode is sponsored by AutoLeadStar is automotive’s first and leading customer data and experience platform. Top dealers invest in CDXPs to unify dealership data sources, automatically create one to one customized journeys, and execute omni-channel shopping experiences. I don’t even need to introduce you guys because you just go ahead and introduce yourself. Go ahead and introduce yourself. This is the gang that I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at ASOTU. We have Valley Hi Toyota’s Brian Ortega. We have Mohawk Automotive’s Nathaniel Greklek. And we have Smail Auto Group’s Jeff Reville. We’re excited. I’m excited to have you guys. There, they’re wearing the uniform this for those of you watching the actual video and not listening to this. They’re wearing their taco cat shirts, which we were together at the panel. So tune Philly.

Nathanael Greklek 1:32

First off, we’ve been listening to the podcast, you need to go to YouTube right now and just check out. We’ll put the link in the bio, a little.

Ilana Shabtay 1:38

left out, I feel a little left out.

Brian Ortega 1:42

When our staff is doing their own thing.

Ilana Shabtay 1:45

It’s all good. Anyway, so too, we spoke about content that crashes because these are three dealers that are real experts. In this we’re going to talk about what is content that crushes how you can get there yourself and why it’s so important for your dealership. We can get started with whoever wants to jump in you guys moderate this yourself. I’ve done this before we’ve done this before. We know why don’t we jump right in. You all have like very different angles of how you actually put out content for your dealership. So I’d love to hear a little bit from everyone.

Nathanael Greklek 2:20

Valley how you reverse valley high up above Valley High gophers.

Brian Ortega 2:26

We’re all different areas. Hey, so my name is Brian Ortega, Valley Hi Toyota. Alright, so we are located in the beautiful state of California. Ah, yeah, exactly. Well, I don’t know right now, if you know what’s going on in this state. But how we create content that crushes is we try to build the brand in terms of just finding relevant content that’s going on in our lives in our towns in our state. On TV, right, we just try to follow what’s going on. For instance, this month, the month of October is Halloween. So we just are about to post our latest commercial, which is about zombies. Right? So we will take it’s a series and this is commercial number six. So it’s a whole series if you go back the first previous five years, it leads up to this to where myself my GM and my GSM are all zombies. But after the pandemic, we are getting back to normal at the dealership. So now you guys got to watch that commercial to see how that plays out. But in terms of what we try to do is try to be comedic. Try to just have fun, right along. I mean, it’s just about for us having fun. But bringing that into the dealership so people can see that we are people at the dealership.

Ilana Shabtay 3:58

Yeah, I think it’s great also that you bring in the outside world because at the end of the day shoppers and consumers are coming from that outside world if you’re going to talk just about things within the dealership, no one will really relate to that. So that’s a great point. This Daniel ICU itching to jump in?

Nathanael Greklek 4:17

No. Obviously I love content and content is content is king as we like to say and creating a content that crushes specifically you has to be has to be strategic towards where you are, you know, it has to be strategic and it has to not only talk about you but as talk about what the customer wants. And specifically creating content that crushes is what customers what people outside of your four, four walls. think is valuable that at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters is is somebody that sees this host sees this video. Are they going to like it? Are they going to enjoy it? Are they going to consume it? Is it snackable enough to where they can Take a look at it, and scroll on and then find another piece. So for us creating content that crushes is branding, everybody in the dealership, not only our salespeople, but our sales managers, our service advisors, our technicians, our detailers, everybody that we can get into a video, we’re going to do that because at the end of the day, that’s who the the customer is going to come in and see, they’re going to see all of these people. And they’re like, hey, you know, I saw you on Facebook, and you’re really cool. So I want to work with you. And specifically, that’s what creating content that crushes means is finding a valuable piece of video pictures, graphics that your customer wants to consume at the end day.

Jeff Revilla 5:45

I’m surprised we’re still running with the content that crushes that we didn’t name that’s right.

Ilana Shabtay 5:51

Everybody, you guys so well, right?

Jeff Revilla 5:54

Everybody, everybody, especially in the audience focused on the crushing. Yeah. And it’s, and it’s not, you don’t just turn this on, like, the way you know, it’s a process. It’s like, I’m doing more organic content, I’m doing content for SEO value, I’m doing content to fill the gaps. So like, where my Google My Business Profile can get to like, like, you know, Greensburg Honda dealer that’s easy to rank for, get the Google Map Pack, get the right rail, on desktop, you’re going to get that but why did you start to get in 510 15 miles away from there, now that that Google Business Profile dilutes now what right, you can start spending more AdWords, you can start doing other things. But if you have the right video, and now when I talk about my videos, when we’re talking, you know, 500,000 views in a month, and we 100% know that 90% of those views aren’t in our backyard, those are global, there’s are all around the world and I don’t care where people watch my videos that All I care is that when it comes down to zero in on Western Pennsylvania, the stuff that we’ve created has become the most relevant Honda dealer or Acura or Kia dealer in that area. Now we’ll start to win those searches. Outside of that 510 miles it is an ecosystem that takes five to seven years to crush it. Like we push out autotrader Carfax will outrank them with specific keywords because we have the volume of content now. And we’re so hyperlocal that we can we can push them out of the rankings.

Ilana Shabtay 7:40

That’s I understandably, that’s obviously, you know, it’s been years building that up, do you have a content calendar that you stick to, let’s say, monthly or quarterly based on these keyword searches that you do? What does that look like?

Jeff Revilla 7:54

We process the processes structure. We have, we have a series of like small television series that we produce for each make and model. So we know that the faster you can get a make an effort 2023 rolls off the truck, and you’re the first one to get it. That video needs done that day. So it’s it’s not only long term, but you you can you can, if you start to rest on this process, you slip because the next model year, somebody else steps right in and crushes you, they can crush you again. We don’t want our competition to crush us we want to so you want to get out fast, fast with the model in the three type of videos that we create the kind of hit all levels of the shopping process. We do that for every model.

Ilana Shabtay 8:43

That’s awesome. Yeah. Kudos.

Nathanael Greklek 8:51

Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s really what it comes down to is creating stuff like that. I mean, I’ve I’m convicted Jeff, you know, I don’t always get on top of as soon as the new one drops down, I’m not gonna lie to you. That That, for me, is definitely something that I’m taking away. And if you’re listening to the podcast, you should definitely write that down. And if you’re in the automotive space, things like that, you know, we do have videos up on our YouTube page that they’re not up at 500,000 Like, Senator Jeff here, but they’re, they’re over in the 3050 1000s. And they’re, they’re just going through the technology as a vehicle. So that definitely helps for us specifically, we just like to push out content after content. So you know, we push out on our stories. We’re very, very active, highly active on all the social media platforms. We’re posting constantly. And it goes back to the structure like I do have a content calendar like Jeff does. It’s not it might not be as robust. I’m just starting to get into this content, calendar structure, but it definitely allows you to push out all the things that you’re trying to look for as well. You know, we all have our own goals that especially our GMs and all winners, I’m sure you’ve talked to many people here on on this podcast about what they’re trying to achieve. Well, social media is a one way that is another way that you can achieve that. And it’s relatively free compared to previous advertising causes such as billboards and TV where you would spend exuberant amounts of money and you don’t know where it’s going, you just know that these many people watch the channel, but now you can accurate figures of, okay, you know, I had 21,000 post link clicks on my last post this month on my six 730 posts that we put out there, I can see these tangible things. And obviously, not everything is tangible, there’s not always going to be a one to one correlation all the time. But you have the ability to always be in front of someone with content. I’m a huge Gary V fan, and every opportunity that you’re not posting is another opportunity loss. So that’s how I look at it.

Ilana Shabtay 10:59

Yeah, to kind of bring that into the why. Yeah. Go ahead, Ryan. Yeah.

Brian Ortega 11:04

So just kind of piggybacking on what they’re talking about, because people that are listening may not know where to start. Right. And we kind of alluded to this during our, our presentation is just start. I mean, yeah, you can get bogged down in the minutiae, and you can try to figure things out. And while you’re taking that much time to find structure, you can just grab your phone and go outside, grab a salesperson and grab somebody. Yeah, grab your phone, and just create something and posted on the stories, you you might not know what’s going to hit. And then that one that you like, no way and no one’s gonna watch this, it just boom, you know, hits the algorithm and takes off. Who,

Nathanael Greklek 11:46

what, what a great point. And that is, you know, I wasn’t always posting 600 500 Plus posts a month, right? I have stats that go all the way back to the beginning of when I started creating content four years ago, four and a half years ago, and I was literally doing 30 posts for the dealership. That’s it like, that was my max, you know, like, that’s all I could do. And then we added more people, but that’s exactly what we did. We went out there. I had an iPhone seven. Do you know how much better I just got an iPhone 14. This thing is incredible. Like, what? This has action mode on it. I don’t even know what the like, there’s so much potential you have just by using this thing. And people get caught up like, Oh, I gotta I gotta hire a production company. I gotta hire us. I gotta hire my my cousin sisters. Nice to come in and do my social media, you

Brian Ortega 12:43

know, read or I think his name is grito.

Nathanael Greklek 12:46

But you can literally go out there. And it is so easy to go out there and literally take a picture, or write a photo or any type of cash and like, hey, what have you thought about this, like engaging your customers over and over again? All right.

Ilana Shabtay 13:01

Yeah, no, also something you guys mentioned in the, in our presentation that resonated with with me was also you can go out, take your phone and just take a video and that can take off versus something that you’ve actually planned. You shoot it and then you’re like, Absolutely not, and you just kill it. So I think it is an important takeaway, you never know what’s going to come out. And sometimes the stuff that you plan is the stuff that you end up throwing out. So you know, you never know.

Nathanael Greklek 13:30

Jeff’s got some good stories. Yeah, my Jeff. Last story about like,

Ilana Shabtay 13:37

the worst the worst video ever put together?

Jeff Revilla 13:40

Well, there’s times there’s times where, you know, I have a videographer maybe tries to push it a little bit too much because something went wrong. And you know, sometimes the way the first cuts are, I’m like new to the, you know, the we talked about the microphones being out and then you have a backup audio source, but that backup audio source might just be the built in camera mic and you’re picking up road noise and just to distracting you and you’re not getting your there’s no connection in the video. And then there’s times like that, where there’s just no connection. There’s like, why would I watch this if it’s not beneficial to the consumer, like if it’s even a tinge of a hint that this is a dealership video for the dealer by the dealer to benefit the dealer. It’s gonna go nowhere, it will have no legs and oh, and we talked about we have three different real really three different disciplines. You know, Brian’s doing a lot of traditional they repurpose us for social Nathan’s really heavy into social, and I’m like, insane about YouTube, which is as social elements but it is it is a it’s a we’re all three like different beasts that we’re working on. And, and when we’re

Brian Ortega 14:48

not birds, right, sorry. Well, no, all the different platforms are trying to catch up to one another. Right? So where we have to, you know, YouTube just came out with some new stuff. For, for what do they call? There’s shorts. Shorts, right? Up to tick tock, right. So that’s where we have to be aligned with in fault be following up what’s going on in the industry. So we can repurpose whatever we create to fit those platforms, whether it’s the size where there’s format, whether it’s, you know, because all the different formats require different styles of of execution.

Jeff Revilla 15:28

Yeah, it’s a YouTube is about beats like YouTube is a fast paced, get the attention. Tell me you’re gonna tell him tell him. Tell him what you told him. Come again. And you’re gonna lose if you don’t if you don’t keep it moving. Yeah, I mean, it’s, if he felt like, you know, obviously, we all talk about somebody who’s, who’s crushing on YouTube is missing somebody, they, Mr. Beast, if you watch the first 1520 seconds of his videos, like clockwork, there’s probably 30 cuts in there. 30 like just bang, bang or losses, I

Nathanael Greklek 16:03

gotta go. I need pacing.

Jeff Revilla 16:05

And that that keeps the attention. And I’m so sure that you’re sick of hearing me talk about click through retention equals recommendation like it’s, it’s YouTube is that simple. But you got to figure out what does that mean, for me, people don’t wake up in the morning and want to watch a car dealer video, then they’d have a good night’s sleep. Is it Oh, I wonder what my local Honda dealer posted on YouTube, they don’t care. People don’t care, unless they’re in the market for it. But when they’re there, you better have the video that has the best click through the best retention. And, and you’ll see YouTube will just recommend that video 90% of your views come from recommendation, it’s, it’s that powerful. If you’re looking for keyword search, or SEO optimization or your subscribers, you’re wrong, you’re dead in the water, I should say 70 80% recommended when you hit that 70% recommendation. You’re wrong. You’re dead in the water. Right? What a good point is it’s not you don’t you don’t SEO your way to the top of YouTube, you get recommended to the top of YouTube. And that’s that’s what a lot of people like, the purpose of this video will you’ll have a little purpose. And maybe it’s the like I talked about our first gear videos where we’re just pushing buttons and pulling levers and sometimes taking the plastic off. Just how would you use the car in that moment? Like, how do you use it every day? What features do you use every day? That’s what people want to see. They don’t care about horsepower, or I don’t know, whatever the stuff that they talk about. And like nobody cares about performance again. How do I use it? Yeah,

Ilana Shabtay 17:40

cuz that’s the audience. You always have to remember your audience. Your Videos differ in market shoppers, not you know, top automotive

Jeff Revilla 17:50

enthusiast. Right? Not at all. It’s for the customers. And when you when you start to piece these things together, like getting that retention, serving the customer, you will see like you will just see this insane hockey stick growth on YouTube. It just comes when you stop serving yourself. And you start serving the customer. You’ll see. You’ll just see it, you’ll see it, you’ll see it you’ll see it. How many? How many seconds does it take for to go zero to 60?

Brian Ortega 18:21

Now how many cup holders does it have? Right? So we’re real world, people that that want to know, before they make that purchase? Yeah,

Jeff Revilla 18:31

we used to have one guy, his name was David feet, or we would measure things in feet or like he was six foot three, he would get in the back. Or he would fold down all the seats. And he said look, it’s it’s one feet or length plus five inches if you wanted to lay. You could say okay, well, that was like seven feet. I got seven feet of space back here. And that was just humanizing the feature of a car not from a bullet point list like this 2000s You know, those robot videos that I can’t stand? This 2012 Honda Civic has three rows of seats. I don’t know why I never saw three rows Civic, but not It’s not reading bullet points. It’s demonstrating those bullet points in a real world situation.

Nathanael Greklek 19:12

Yeah, to that point, you know, creating the value like we were talking about it, a lot of our content that you’ll see is literally just describing everything. Because what happens when someone comes in, they literally know they might have done it once or twice, but things change and you know, they don’t live in the dealership and they don’t understand all the terminology that goes on. So what do we do is on top of all of our community events and hosting about all the fun, heartwarming stuff, we do a lot of educational video videos. So when someone goes into finance, what the heck is Simonize What the heck is all of this? This stuff that you’re telling me what’s a lease versus buy? I don’t even know I don’t know. I just signed a check in I have my car still. You know all of these things that people don’t know. Especially when they’re they’re looking for your dealership You know, we talked about earlier we, we put our people in the videos and one video we did recently has been our salespeople literally do a walkthrough when you come in they, they show you everything, and we put that out on social, you know, hey, when you come into Mohawk you’re gonna park here you’re gonna be greeted by this person you’re gonna go here, I’m going to show you the coffee, the donuts, the restrooms are here a service person is here. All right, when we sit down, I’m gonna go over your wants and needs and make sure I find you the right car make it affordable. After we do that you sign your signature your, your, your autograph we bring in to the finance manager who is going to go over all these options to see if you want to invest into your this vehicle that you’re spending 1000s of dollars on. And then we’re going to bring into a delivery specialist who can make sure you know all of the technology. Wow, how’s that for transparency? You literally know everything that’s going to be going on. So you know, that’s another thing like just branding your people and showcasing exactly what people are asking the questions about every single day. You walk in, they walk in dealership.

Brian Ortega 21:01

Yeah. Ilana, especially with with that, you know, given the information, right, because people are intimidated, you know, when you’re walking on to a dealership, or especially if you’re a first time buyer. So if you can alleviate that and kind of set them up for success before they even walk in. We just signed up with something called WrenchWay and it’s to because of there’s not that many technicians, right. So now we’re creating videos of technicians, whether it’s not even clean stuff, it’s just with the iPhone, but the audio is good, Jeff. Alright, so the audio is great. And in we just asked him particular questions, and there’s a lot of us and arms and all that. But when technicians because they’re not. They’re not like these guys, right? These brilliant guys that, that create content that crushes and can talk on camera and all that. But no, they’re just regular people. And if they can see themselves in them, then it’s just going to create an opportunity for them to apply. And actually, we had a lot of applications come in because of that.

Ilana Shabtay 22:06

And that’s wonderful. So it helps with also employee branding, which I think is important. Before we wrap this up. I want to hear a little bit about I know you mentioned that the GSM. And GM is actually in most your commercials and videos. Meaning they have invested now and understand the full value. Was that a process for you? Do you feel like you had to really prove the value of content? At some point they it was by him like what what did what was that process like for you?

Brian Ortega 22:39

Yeah, I mean, if you can get management on board, I mean, that’s a that’s a huge win. And early on my GM saw that when I came in and with the, with the abilities that I had years, this was years ago before like video was the thing. And we just started producing content in the when we created the commercials, he was the only one in it. Then I was kind of directing him during the shoots and they’re like, Hey, let’s bring that guy down as well. So then we started really building out the brand and kind of just having that buddy cop type demeanor with our with our content. And it just flourished throughout the years. This seven years, eight years going on those commercials one a month. So yeah, now we’re getting other people involved in the dealership. And I’m kind of kind of jealous. I’m just kidding. That’s one of our

Ilana Shabtay 23:32

That’s a win.

Brian Ortega 23:35

Stuff that you gotta watch.

Ilana Shabtay 23:38

Oh, yeah, I think that’s really important. Get management involved and show value because there is so much value, right? I mean, we spoke about a lot of value. Any last thoughts? Jeff? Nathaniel, before we sign off on that?

Nathanael Greklek 23:50

I mean, yeah, if this is predominately for GMs and dealers out there, the one thing that you can do is invest into social media pre bowl. For me, a vision of mine is to and I’m gonna say it out loud is that every single dealership, in the nation and throughout the world, I guess I would throw it out there should have at least two social media people, at least because what happens is when you have that team of minds that are in everyday working and listening to what’s out in culture, what’s out in the showroom, in the service bays, you’re able to make content that relates to the customer and at the end of the day, that’s what you want.

Jeff Revilla 24:29

Content that relates that’s the better title.

Ilana Shabtay 24:33

We can use InsideAuto Podcast episode whatever we want.

Jeff Revilla 24:37

And also just to reiterate, on Brian commenting on something I said, Oh brands. Me not here. He’s here for me.

Ilana Shabtay 24:45

He’s over here.

Jeff Revilla 24:46

Now you’re messed up. You’re backwards. No, you’re wrong. Anyway, Nathan’s over here. I’ve been pointing up the Nathan every time I say like the Go.

Ilana Shabtay 25:00

And he’s there. He’s right there. The most important thing.

Jeff Revilla 25:04

Whatever Brian said, he talked about something I said, and that’s what I want to finish on is no video will go anywhere. If you don’t get your audio right first. If you’re trying to create content, I love it. You’re doing it in your parking lot. You got your salesperson invested in trying it, but you’re next to a highway. You’re there’s truck tractor trailers, pumping the brakes, highways zum zum zum. You can’t hear anything. Spend a couple 100 bucks, get the mic get a Bluetooth microphone that connects to your phone. It just picks your audio audio is number one. Before you get the video perfect. Get audio right first. Yep, that’s all then

Brian Ortega 25:49

Use captions, use captions.

Ilana Shabtay 25:53

Captionsand get that algorithm for the recommendations and structure. Content that crushes and content that relates thank you so much for joining. This is InsideAuto Podcast. You can find us on all your favorite streaming podcast platforms Thank you so much to this awesome crew that joined me today. Thanks guys.

Outro 26:19

Thanks for listening to InsideAuto Podcast. Check out our other episodes with top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

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