“You can do anything once you stop trying to do everything” – Eric Barker
Looking back at my 2018 SEMA recap blog where we had turned my race car into a show car for the NGK Spark Plugs booth, it was a big learning experience for all of us. From my point of view, I learned that (most) males outside of drag racing are still old-school and think racing is only for boys, and they think that leaving sexual compliments on social media posts for the girls that do drive or work on cars is flattering. Thankfully, since I’ve gotten engaged, this type of activity has gone down, but there are still those keyboard creepers who like to send unnecessary comments and messages. I even got an email from a fan who told me to stop posting pictures of my fiancé and I because I’m hurting my fan base and Top Fuel drivers don’t do that.
Anyways, this year’s SEMA/AAPEX Show went much smoother, but was still jam packed with appearances, marketing classes, and keeping up relationships. We visited the NGK booth each day for autograph signing and had a blast visiting with Aaron Parker with his Mazda RX-7 drift car featured in the Netflix show Hyperdrive, and Monster Jam driver Jonathan Elkins.
Megan with Jonathan Elkins and Aaron Parker (photo by Kevin Arechiga @kevthephotographer)
Per usual, companies debut new products and partnerships, including Weld Racing wheels, who came out with the new Ledge wheels that are perfect for off-road trucks and Jeeps. Also, they won an award for the sharp all-new Cinch wheel design that’s available in true beadlock and street versions. NGK Spark Plugs announced their exclusive partnership with Kalitta Motorsports, and they have revised their Top Fuel plug for the team to run in all of their cars in 2020. This is huge news; the battle for spark plugs in drag racing keeps growing, and NGK is making their mark in the sport.
Megan with Kalitta Motorsports drivers J.R. Todd, Shawn Langdon and Doug Kalitta
Similar to last year, my goal at SEMA this year was to have every meeting, interview, dinner, and autograph session scheduled before I got there so I didn’t have any hiccups or unseen circumstances happen. Like I said, trade shows are a marathon, and I planned on attending a marketing seminar each day, in addition to signing autographs, visiting with our current partners and setting up meetings and getting to know potential companies to join the team for 2020. The marketing seminar that I enjoyed the most was about SEO and how to increase traffic to your site. Below are a few notes that you could use:
- Internet marketing and sales include niche product advantages, measurable ROI, specific customer targeting, image technology (high-resolution photos), and low entry cost.
- Once you have a new website, first you need to do an audit, then optimize it for mobile, then build up a list of keywords and key phrases for SEO. Test, measure, and tweak.
- Know the difference between campaigns and conversions when trying to work with companies online: how do you utilize campaigns and tracking with partners, and what are your goals and how do you define them?
- Acquire online citations (mentioning you without a link) and focus on getting links from local businesses and other organizations in your area to build SEO authority.
- Create a glossary on your website and include a FAQ section to be more relevant and get a Google featured snipit. Featured snipits can get upwards of 30% of the available traffic to a given keyword search.
- The quality of content matters just as much as the quantity; the quality now impacts rankings on Google more so than it used to because Google is so much better at understanding semantic relationships and what things mean based on intent.
What do you look forward to the most at SEMA? I love getting involved deeper in the industry and branching out to other sections of automotive such as off-road or problems that small repair shops are facing and overcoming. One group that I have come to hold dear to my heart is the Women in Auto Care Association, which I first met at AAPEX a couple of years ago. Since then, I’ve dedicated one weekend a year to attend their leadership conference to learn, network and help them get more involved with drag racing.
The Auto Care Association recently worked with Clay Millican and Erica Enders at the Vegas Nationals for their You Car, Your Data, Your Choice campaign to help small shops demand access to and control of the data that your car collects about you and your driving techniques every day. Large car manufacturers own this data and are not sharing, which limits your ability to choose where you would like to get your car fixed.
We need your help to sign the petition because it’s important for Americans to retain privacy and control over their own car and keep the family-owned and operated shops competitive. Three in four consumers are unfamiliar with vehicle data (or even that their car collects data just like your phone does) – are you one of them?? Join the movement with us because you have a right to choose! Learn more at yourcaryourdata.org and click here to sign the petition – we need less than 2,000 signatures!