From Zero to 100,000 Visitors in Five Months

The Story

The market for automotive news and car comparison websites is hugely popular – and crowded. Multiple sites compete for the attention of millions of visitors every day. That didn’t stop a team of veteran automotive journalists from setting out to create a new industry standard in the way consumers compare cars.
The founders of Total Car Score developed a new site that would appeal to everyday consumers as well as car enthusiasts: a simple, streamlined way to compare cars. Similar to Rotten Tomatoes for movies and Kayak.com for airfares, Total Car Score aggregated scores from the most authoritative automotive sources and car review sites, and combined them into a single comprehensive score between 1 and 100. The result was a car review site that offered a better sense of which cars and trucks are truly the best.

Total Car Score’s challenge was to develop a successful launch and quickly gain credibility in a competitive market. Traffic worked closely with the Total Car Score team months before launch to develop an integrated earned and paid media program.

The Strategy

  • Implemented aggressive national PR effort targeting consumer media
  • Evaluated and implemented best paid search channels to maximize traffic
  • Managed ongoing social media activities to build a vibrant community
  • Advised on site content and optimization

The Program

  • Pitched Total Car Score’s original content to major online news outlets, to drive traffic back to the site
  • Turned Total Car Score into a destination for hundreds of long-tail automotive searches
  • Established CEO as a leading voice in the auto industry with regular, high-level interviews on national TV and radio
  • Issued frequent targeted media pitches and news releases to generate viral site traffic and gain the attention of consumers as well as media peers
  • Developed an integrated paid search campaign – learned that Google Adwords was less valuable (and more expensive) than Facebook Ads and StumbleUpon Paid Discovery, where we could better leverage Total Car Score’s unique content
  • Launched a social media campaign that leveraged an engaging content strategy with paid ads, generating thousands of followers on Facebook
  • Worked on site at major national auto shows to position Total Car Score as a fresh source of news and commentary on major industry news and product
  • Starting from scratch, generated more than 100,000 unique visitors to the site in less than five months, earning the attention of major brand advertisers
  • Generated regular coverage in national media, including CNBC, Forbes, CNN, Bloomberg, National Public Radio and many others
  • Earned site co-founder a spot as a regular blog contributor to Huffington Post
  • Managed daily Twitterfeed and Facebook posts, bringing Facebook Likes from 0 to more than 7,000 in less than six months

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