What Motorcycle Holdings is doing to optimise its content marketing strategy

Group head of ecommerce talks about the search engine optimisation strategy helping it produce content that counts

For some motorcycle owners, their bike is their life. For others, it is just the cheapest means of getting from one place to another.

For group head of ecommerce at MotorCycle Holdings, Elliot Schoemaker, the diversity of motivations held by motorcycle owners presents a clear challenge in creating and promoting content that will bring would-be buyers to the company’s showrooms.

That challenge is further complicated by the scale of the company itself. MotorCycle Holdings has been operating since the mid-1980s and was listed on the ASX in 2018. Today, it’s Australia’s largest wholesale and retail motorcycle group. It represents a wide range of manufacturers across more than 30 dealerships, including the TeamMoto Motorcycles outlets and specialised Harley Davidson dealerships, as well as operating services such as smash repairs and rider schools.

“Having multiple different retail brands, each with a different footprint around the country, adds to the complexity,” Schoemaker tells CMO. “The marketing team has to coordinate with the vehicle brands as well, as the various brands we deal with have varying guidelines and different flexibility in terms of what we can do with them.”

It makes for an equally complex content marketing strategy to ensure MotorCycle holdings is getting maximum value from both its organic and paid search traffic.

“The key is sitting on top of each brand’s most popular bikes, which demographics are searching for which bikes, and in which location, and driving traffic to those retail sites in specific local areas,” Schoemaker says.

A key element in getting the content marketing strategy right is constant monitoring in the real world, as well as online.

“We have a number of staff talking to customers every day, understanding what the customer are looking for,” Schoemaker says. “And we can target towards that as well. There is a lot of test and learn.”

Those insights are used to determine trends and to create content that will attract and direct would-be buyers.

“Part of that involves focusing on certain keywords or content that appeals to that rider,” he says. “The other thing is working with the brand to create events and drive traffic. So there is a lot of offline marketing and that ties into our digital marketing to activate those customers in the physical world.”

Making the strategy work requires MotorCycle Holdings to have clear insight into how content is performing. When Schoemaker joined the company in July, one of his first acts was to implement the SEMrush analytics platform to better understand the search performance of its content and strengthen its keyword strategy.

“What we needed was a way to track our effectiveness internally across paid and organic as well, but also in terms of the technical SEO to track how we were performing,” he says. “It is throwing up a lot of opportunities in terms of keywords that have an affinity that we wouldn’t have thought to try and track ourselves.

“We want to show people what they are looking for, so we targeting certain keywords based on trends we are seeing. But also if there are new product lines and new models coming out, they will also be a focus for us to push to the consumer as well.”

But while Schoemaker has a much better understanding of how his content is performing, he is careful to avoid letting the data take complete control.

“It is very easy to set a high-level strategy and then change that willy-nilly, but what I like to do is set a strategy, give it some time to mature, and then tweak the smaller tactics that we have,” he says. “We definitely have some insights that are going to affect our plan moving forward.”

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