Article

Why Dealers Invest in Digital Marketing

July 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Jennifer Murphy Bloodworth - Also by this author

The Time and Money Involved Versus the Return

When examining digital marketing, quantifying the time and money spent on it compared to the return is tough. Dealers have had decades to test the different forms of traditional marketing to determine which forms provide a monetary return and which forms are more about building awareness and brand recognition.

An oil-change coupon in the Sunday paper is extremely trackable; therefore, dealers know the return of that campaign to the penny. Sponsoring a little league team is a more abstract promotion. Dealers don’t sponsor a team expecting to be able to count the number of sales the expense generated. They do it to create brand awareness in the community and help the team.

Apply that logic to digital marketing and compare a microsite and a dealership Facebook page. A microsite is trackable—from the number of visitors it sends to the dealership’s main site to the number of those visitors who submit leads to the number of those leads that buy a vehicle. Like the oil-change coupon ad you ran in the Sunday paper, you can determine the return of that microsite to the penny. The Facebook page, like the little league sponsorship, is more about brand awareness in the community.

Some dealers choose to ignore the many facets of digital marketing because it evolves so quickly. Thankfully, some dealers and managers are able to keep up with and understand the power of digital marketing (or at least some aspects of it), and they were willing to share their insight on several different types of digital marketing along with:

• Why digital marketing is important

• Reasonable expectations for digital marketing

• Time and money investments

SEO
Considering how quickly Google makes changes to its search algorithm, keeping up with search engine optimization requires a huge time investment. While some in the dealership are capable of keeping up to date with – and maybe even ahead of – the ever-changing SEO landscape, many dealers choose to outsource the SEO of their Web properties.

However, a problem with outsourcing SEO is the difficulty in measuring results. Reputable SEO providers don’t promise organic page-one listings, so it’s understandable that many numbers- and results-driven dealers are hesitant to shell out the cash for SEO services. Brad Hensley, Internet manager of Cars Etc in Knoxville, Tenn., said, “I think that, if we as dealers don’t have an in-house person that can implement these ideas, we should outsource it. However, the huge drawback is that you are going to pay large amounts of money to third-party people that cannot guarantee results. So you may pay for something that you never see, and that is the toughest part of SEO.”

He mused, “Your website may be on page 235 of Google. When you pay for outsourced SEO … it could jump to page 130. That is results … However, nobody goes to page 130 … Studies show that if you are not on the first two pages of the major search engines in your market that you might as well not be on there.”

One dealership that handles SEO in-house is Hank Graff Davison. In the summer of 2009, Tom Kelly, who knew nothing of SEO or even “what the acronym stood for,” began the dealership’s SEO push. After much research on the topic and vendors that provide SEO services, he concluded, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.”

However, in-house SEO proved to be more than a one-person job. Kelly initially hired two part-time employees to “handle the technical issues” and implement his strategy; one of those employees has since transitioned to full-time. He said SEO has the potential to be an “endless” job because in addition to ongoing upkeep, “there is always more that can be done.”

He estimated the annual personnel cost for a dealership to do SEO in-house is between $60,000 and $70,000. While the third-party providers he evaluated may have been cheaper, they “essentially over promised and under delivered.” He added, “They appeared to be hampered by having to ‘balance’ their clients.”

David Pritchard, director of marketing and public relations at Gentilini Motors in Woodbine, N.J., said the cost of outsource SEO really depends on whether “its part of a website provider’s package or if it’s in addition to [it].”

Whether dealers choose to outsource SEO or keep it in-house, everyone seems to agree on the importance of it. Pritchard referred to SEO as critical and said it should be a top priority for dealers. “Even if your site converts poorly [but you have good SEO], at least you will have market visibility at a lower cost than traditional marketing channels like print and radio.”

Third-Party Dealer Websites
For the most part, third-party dealership websites are the core of most dealerships’ digital marketing strategy. With virtually all consumers going online to research vehicles and dealerships before making a car-buying decision, a dealership website is a necessity.

Heather Graham, e-commerce director, manages five dealership websites for RRR Automotive (including College Park Honda, College Park Hyundai, Toyota of Bowie, Scion of Bowie and Toyota Certified at Capital Plaza). Currently, she’s working with three different website providers for all five sites, but her goal is to migrate to one (or two at the most). She said, “A third-party provider is more able to stay on top of cutting-edge solutions … They usually have partnerships with other vendors that are beneficial to the site (and more economical).”

Since dealership websites are so vital to digital marketing, as well as a significant investment, dealers should have high expectations from them. Graham, who considers third-party sites extremely important because they are “where we drive the traffic to from our other online strategies,” said dealers should expect their providers to do the following:

• Deliver on promises

• Stay up-to-date on new trends and roll them out to dealers “for little or no extra cost depending on how labor intensive it is”

• Provide an intuitive backend tool for site administration

• Provide analytic reporting

• Allow changes to the site without extra charges

The average monthly cost per site is $1,200, said Graham, which includes daily updating of inventory, 24/7 support and video. While that’s a sizeable amount, the sites she manages generate on average 400 to 600 leads per site per month, and the stores close around 22 percent of those leads. Therefore, the dealerships easily cover their costs.

The savings coupon that loads on top of the home page generates the most leads for the dealership, with new car inventory generating the second highest number of leads.
Graham said, “I check the sites daily and add/change content several times per week to keep it fresh and optimized. In addition, I spot check our SEO rankings to see how we come up organically.”

Manufacturer Websites
Love it or hate it, vehicle manufacturers approve certain website providers for their dealers to use, and there are both advantages and disadvantages to working with these providers.

Christopher Turner, general manager and vice president of Prestige BMW in South Ramsey, N.J., said, “I think our branding and our advertising looks extremely professional, and a customer has a similar experience when they leave the national website and come onto our website.” He added, “Corporate branding and identity is a stringent requirement,” and partnering with the manufacturer-approved provider helps ensure the dealership maintains the standard.

Pritchard of Gentilini Motors said a manufacturer-approved dealership website has a “tier-one advertising look and feel with consistent professional OEM brand messaging throughout.”

One benefit of working with a provider that has the manufacturer’s stamp of approval is it allows some dealers to be a bit more hands-off. William Martin, who handles Internet marketing and is the BDC manager at Prestige BMW, said, “A manufacturer-preferred provider would be aware of all branding requirements of the corporations, so that we’re kept within specification.”

He said it’s part of the website provider’s responsibility to stay up to date on the manufacturer’s current programs and offers, so he doesn’t have to prompt the dealership’s website provider, which is Cobalt, to update that type of content on their site. While that helps keep the time he spends on the website down, he estimated he still spends about two hours a day on the dealership’s website and social media presence.

Frank Yaconis, owner and general manager of Discover Hyundai in Scottsdale, Ariz., devotes two to four hours per week “to keep the site updated and fresh.” One advantage he mentioned is the ability to use co-op money to help pay for the website expense. He said, “The site is subsidized by Hyundai, so I’m sure there are some cost savings.” However, he said, “We are not there because of the cost savings. We are there because Hyundai requires it and because we have figured out the keys to making the site our own.”

Yaconis touched on an important point when he emphasized the importance of making the dealership’s manufacturer-approved website “our own.” Manufacturers mandate many aspects of dealers’ sites, so it can be difficult for dealers to find the right balance of branding the manufacturer and branding the individual dealership on one site.

“That’s a challenge we’re faced with every day,” said Turner. “We’d like to have a little more real estate or a little more freedom with the page … I think sometimes it’s difficult to get our brand, which is Prestige, to the forefront of the customer’s mind.”

Advantages and disadvantages aside, one of the main purposes of the site is to deliver a steady stream of leads to the dealership. Pritchard said, “If done properly, [dealers] should expect very high close ratios.” While he deemed the number of leads the dealerships typically receive from their sites a “trade secret,” Gentilini Motors closes 22 percent of leads from its manufacturer-approved sites.

Prestige BMW’s site drove about 2,000 leads to the dealership in February 2011, of which the dealership converted just over 19 percent.

At Discover Hyundai, Yaconis said the dealership “continually ranks as the number-one producing Hyundai website … in the western region of 131 dealers” with an average of 225 leads per month, most of which generate from instant chats.

Microsites and Landing Pages
Microsites and landing pages are like miniature websites that serve a more targeted purpose than the dealership’s main site. A landing page is typically a one-page site, while microsites tend to be at least a few pages deep. Both can be used for a number of different purposes, including increasing visibility on search engines, link building, lead generation and as a means to share information that’s not included on the dealership’s main site.

At World Hyundai, Dealer Scott Falcone employs several microsites. “Initially, it was for lead generation via organic search and link building. The efforts we put in for organic have paid off for our credit sites, but not for our new cars. The added link value is still a good direction though, and we will continue to use that to boost our main property’s ‘presence.’”

Pritchard of Gentilini explained, “An aggressive dealer might use microsites and landing pages to capture additional market share.” By narrowing the focus through using these types of sites, dealers can target specific topics in search better. He said, “Dealers should look to this strategy in most cases as an indirect or passive visibility strategy perhaps to target long-tail keywords and phrases. I would not have a landing page today that did not offer some type of lead capture or information exchange with the customer.”

Falcone – whose dealership is near Chicago – said microsites and landing pages don’t generate a large quantity of leads “especially in a major metro market where search competition is high.” However, he still considers them important pieces of his dealership’s overall digital marketing. He said, “On a scale of one to 10, they are a six or seven.” He added that they can be more powerful lead generators if supported with PPC campaigns.

Pritchard also considers them important, but not as much as he once did. He said, “They are actually becoming less important to us as we gain brand dominance in our market space.” He’s “not willing to give them up yet,” but doesn’t think the dealership would lose much traffic if he did. Instead, he’s keeping them because he’s more concerned with what his “competitors might use them for.” He added, “They are both offensive and defensive in my strategy.”

The time required to set up microsites and landing pages and keep them up to date depends on if they’re outsourced entirely or partially or if they’re done in-house. Falcone said, “In-house is fairly time consuming if you are trying to update the content to keep it fresh. If it is static, it’s not so bad, but I would recommend adding to it regularly.”

Falcone estimated the “average cost to have an outside firm do a decent one is about $1,000 plus monthly maintenance [fees].” He has chosen to build and maintain his dealership’s microsites and landing pages in-house.

Not every dealer has the time to devote or the talent on staff to build and maintain microsites and landing pages. Pritchard said, “Depending on what is included on the pages … what you are posting and how often [you are posting], it could be massively time consuming. If the person in control of the pages is not an SEO authority, it can also have little or negative value.”

While Pritchard was hesitant to share any of Gentilini Motor’s microsites or landing pages, once again citing “trade secrets,” Falcone provided the following URLs as some of his dealership’s most successful sites: PickThePayment.com, Chicago-Car-Credit.com and WorldHyundaiSocial.com. He also shared the URL of his newest microsite, HyundaiElantraForSale.com.

Blog
Over the years, dealer blogs have come a long way, but a few things remain the same. They require a significant time investment with low measurable return, but they can be good SEO tools that build customer interest and loyalty. Wallace Higginbotham, general sales manager at Porsche of Hilton Head in Hardeeville, S.C., has maintained the Porschebahn Weblog, which is a Porsche enthusiast blog, for more than three years. He said, “A blog is a great way for a dealership to share information with current and potential clients without trying to make a hard sell. It’s a forum for the exchange of ideas and news about our brand, in a no-pressure manner.”

While at first glance his Porsche enthusiast blog may not seem dealership-oriented, his About page clearly states where he works. The blog benefits the dealership through linking and occasional posts that mention the dealership. “Once I started my blog, I learned that linking it to other blogs and automotive websites (and then back to the dealership website) helped the dealership’s SEO,” Higginbotham said.

He’s become somewhat of a Porsche authority online through the blog, which garners regular visitors and subscribers. “Many of our local clients and Porsche Club members visit the blog on a regular basis to see what is new in the Porsche world and what is going on in the dealership.” He blogs on racing and track events, car shows, dealership sponsorship activities, unique vehicles in the dealership’s inventory, and news about the Porsche brand. 

At Lebanon Ford in Lebanon, Ohio, blogging is at the “center of our marketing universe. Everything revolves around it,” said Jeff Cryder, the dealership’s digital communications director. He maintains and manages the dealership’s blog, Ford Life, which includes original content from him and four others. “We maintain and manage everything from content strategy to editorial calendars in-house.” He builds the editorial calendar in advance, which outlines when to post and what topics to cover. This ensures the dealership regularly blogs, and provides content on varied topics.

The Ford Life blog sees anywhere from 10 to 15 new posts a month on everything from a new stat released about Ford by J.D. Power, an open position at the dealership, and driving while talking on cell phones to one of the blogger’s takes on local issues or events.

Cryder explained, “You get out of it what you put in.” The time dealers spend maintaining their blogs varies, and he spends an estimated eight to 10 hours a week “coordinating, fixing things, content strategy and measuring.” He said, “Being a good blogger takes discipline and practice, so I’d recommend setting up an editorial calendar and stick to it. It’s also very rare to have immediate success, so be patient.”  Likening blogging to gardening, he said, “Know what you want to plant. Research it. Plant it. Give it TLC. Over time, it will grow into something you’ll not only reap the benefits of but others will as well.”

Higginbotham, who is the sole contributor on Porschebahn Weblog, estimated he spends an hour a day “researching, composing copy, editing photos and uploading my posts.” So far in 2011, he’s posted more than 10 entries per month. He said, “In the early stages of the blog, several hours a night were spent at home working on the WordPress site.” While it didn’t seem like work to him because he loves the Porsche brand, he acknowledged, “Whoever is in charge of the blog needs to have the dedication and persistence to post consistently and to keep the content relevant and interesting.” Why? He added, “You must add new content on a regular basis to keep visitors coming back.”

The cost of a blog can be minimal if the dealership uses a free blog platform like WordPress or Tumblr and handles it in-house. If using a free platform the dealership’s main cost would be the expense of a staff member’s time to maintain the blog, according to Higginbotham.

Cryder suggested dealers who maintain their own blogs do a few low-cost things like purchasing a blog theme and paying to have the blog hosted. A theme might cost between $100 and $150, and hosting services start at just a few bucks a month. Cryder said, “When you think of how important a blog can be, $100 to $150 is a steal.”

Online Deals
Online services that offer consumers coupons and deals have started hitting the radars of savvy digital marketers, especially as companies like Groupon and FourSquare are increasing in popularity, and driving traffic to the fixed operations side of the dealership seems to be the best use of these types of online services.

Groupon, one of the many deal-of-the-day services available, allows businesses to run campaigns. The company has grown its subscriber base to over 60 million across 500 markets from around the world, including most major markets in the U.S. The time required to set up a deal is minimal. The dealer proposes a deal to Groupon. Then, Groupon must approve the deal. Once the contract is signed, Groupon puts the deal in the pipeline of deals for that dealer’s market.

When it’s time for the deal to launch, Groupon sends an email to all its subscribers in the dealer’s market to alert them of the deal. Then, subscribers have a limited amount of time to purchase the deal (usually a day or two). While Groupon is the top dog among its competitors, companies with similar offerings include LivingSocial and Seize the Deal, and local media outlets in some markets run similar daily deals.

Bill Pratt, owner and president of Southeast Automotive in Nashville, Tenn., ran his first Groupon campaign in September of 2010 and was very pleased with the results. The deal was $19 for a lube, oil, filter, 27-point safety inspection and fluid top-off. He sold 680 deals, and by April 2011, about 90 percent of them had been redeemed. Almost all of the customers were either new or past customers who hadn’t been in for at least five years, and about 10 percent of the customers purchased additional services when they redeemed their Groupon deal.

Pratt reported, “We have had over 30 of them return for more extensive service work that was recommended at the time of the oil change. The ticket average on those customers has been over $600 per RO.” He ran a second deal on Groupon in February 2011—$39 for a lube, oil, filter, 27-point safety inspection, fluid top-off, and air-conditioner and charging-system check. He sold 102 of those.

While he sold significantly fewer deals the second time around, he said, “It didn’t go bad.” Pratt believes two things hindered this one a bit. One, the price, and two, the day the deal ran. “[Groupon] seems to be extremely price sensitive. If you can keep it under $20, you can sell tons.” He also suggested dealers run Groupon campaigns on weekdays; his second deal ran on a Saturday. He reported a higher percentage of upsells on his second deal (at least 20 percent) with the average RO around $500. His third Groupon will mirror the first $19 deal and is slated to run in June 2011.

The cost for Groupon is relatively low and can be free if structured correctly, and it has no upfront cost. There is a per-deal fee on the number of deals purchased. On Pratt’s first $19 deal, Groupon received $9 of each deal. Pratt collected the remaining $10 per deal, but spent $14 per RO to complete the work. “Four dollars to get a new customer in the store was the best deal I’ve ever had,” he declared. For his second Groupon, he structured the deal so there was no cost to him after Groupon took its cut. Pratt believes Groupon is best suited for dealers in larger markets (at least 100,000).

Like Groupon, location-based marketing is being put to the test in dealerships. FourSquare is the most popular location-based platform (with over 8 million users) that consumers use to “check in” to places they’re currently at via cell phones. When a user checks into a location, it’s typically shared across one or more social networks. Dealers can set up a dealership page on FourSquare and create specials for check-ins at their dealership.

Dealers can benefit from such services two ways. One, dealers can create loyal customers by giving customers perks for checking in, and two, check-ins create free online exposure for your dealership. When people check-in at your dealership, they automatically share a link to your dealership’s FourSquare page on one or more social networks.

Eric Miltsch, Internet director of Auction Direct USA in Rochester, N.Y., leverages the power of FourSquare to offer a free oil change to customers who check in at one of the dealership group’s five locations. Miltsch, who’s a proponent and very early adopter of location-based marketing, said, “Location-based marketing has emerged as one the hottest new marketing segments because of its unique ability to create new layers of customer engagement and even improve customer loyalty—two key areas dealers are continuously looking to build and improve upon using social media channels.”

The time required to set up and manage a page on FourSquare is minimal. Miltsch said, “Initial venue page set up for each location takes less than 15 minutes. Managing a venue is simply a matter of updating your official specials as desired and the time needed to review your venue analytics.” The next question: How much does it cost? “That’s the best part; it’s free.”

Online Reputation Management
Over the past couple of years, dealers’ digital marketing efforts have evolved to include online reputation management. Innovative dealers have been harnessing the power of positive reviews long enough now to generate hundreds and even thousands of positive reviews, and it turns out, they were onto something. A recent BrightLocal study revealed that 67 percent of local consumers have consulted online customer reviews of local businesses, and 69 percent of local consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Pritchard of Gentilini Motors said, “Reputation management, I believe, is absolutely the best money spent for marketing. It’s both an offensive strategy and a defensive strategy. A dealership focused on ratings and reviews is automatically going to raise awareness of its team to the importance of [providing] a great consumer experience.”

Dealers have an online reputation regardless of whether they manage it. “It is just like social media; you’re being talked about in those media channels whether you are involved with social media or not,” said Pritchard. “You’d better take the opportunity to share your story because [how] someone else tells it might not be too flattering.”

At Hawkinson Nissan in Matteson, Ill., Dealer Bob Hawkinson proactively manages his store’s online reputation. “It’s so simple … online reputation is important because people are looking at reviews before they choose which dealership to go to. Conversely, for a dealer to have bad reviews, that definitely diminishes the amount of people that would be interested in considering to buy new, used or service.”

The expectations of online reputation management are pretty cut and dry. Dealers managing their reputations online can first expect more positive customer reviews, which should result in more sales. Hawkinson said people come into his dealership and mention his dealership’s positive reviews. He has 1,400 reviews on a review site dedicated to his dealership through Presto Reviews, and his dealership has almost 90 Google reviews. His dealership’s Google Places page also displays several other reviews from a handful of other review sites like Yahoo Local, InsiderPages and DealerRater.

Pritchard stressed the importance of online reputation management, saying it “ranks right up there with SEO. At Gentilini Motors, he said, “It’s one of the most important elements of our strategy,” adding that implementing the practice of asking customers for reviews was pretty easy. He said, “When we launched the program, we tied it to an incentive until the habit was formed,” also crediting the dealership’s customer-service culture for helping make the process easier.

The time required to manage a dealership’s online reputation varies, but basic requirements would be 1) monitoring the dealership’s reputation online (whether with the help of a vendor or via something like Google Alerts) and 2) taking the time to ask satisfied sales and service customers for reviews, which is something everyone in the dealership can do. Hawkinson said, “If somebody tells me they’re happy with an employee or service or something I say ‘Thanks, do you mind … giving me a review?’”

The cost of online reputation management can be anywhere from “zero to $1,500 per month per rooftop,” said Pritchard. He warned against managing it “internally without any tools or controls,” expressing the importance of finding the right partner.

Social Media
The likes of Twitter and Facebook have become the favorite platforms of some digital marketers, which is no surprise considering their enormous popularity. A study by Edison Research and Arbitron fielded in January of 2011 revealed that 51 percent of Americans 12 and older are on Facebook and 8 percent of Americans 12 and older are on Twitter. While Twitter usage is low compared to Facebook, Twitter claims to be gaining 370,000 new sign-ups per day.

No doubt, they are the two social media powerhouses, but they still require a lot of time to manage and provide little return in the form of dollars and cents. Nevertheless, they are still an integral part of savvy dealers’ digital marketing. Twitter and Facebook are best used as a part of the dealership’s marketing and branding as opposed to hard sales tools. They are tools to create and foster relationships and engage past and future customers.

“A dealer should not use Twitter if they expect to increase sales by tweeting used cars and new car specials. That is not an effective use of Twitter,” said Ameer Khan, general manager of Acura Sherway in Toronto, Ontario. “I think a dealer should use Twitter if they care about relationships and want to build a fan base.”

He added that dealers stand to learn from Twitter as well. “Listening on Twitter is very important. A dealer can learn about consumer behavior, what makes people tick and what makes people want to engage with brands.”

Cryder of Lebanon Ford said dealers should “view Facebook as a social CRM tool,” adding that it “allows us to have two-way communication with our customers on a permission-based level.” He also stated the number of likes a dealership has should not be a key performance indicator and that dealerships should focus on content creation and engagement in order to be successful on Facebook.

He doesn’t spend a tremendous amount of time of Facebook, asserting that many dealers put too much time into it. “For us, it’s about 5 percent of our overall marketing strategy ... We learned not to view Facebook as a destination, but as one of the many tools in our tool belt to help build ... our website and blog.”

At Acura Sherway, social media plays a bigger role. Khan said it accounts for about 50 percent of the dealership’s online activity. “Twitter and social media should not be used to ‘push.’ It’s about ‘pulling’ and creating engagement ... and getting customer feedback.” His goal is for customers to think of him when they have car-related questions. “You can be the ‘expert.’”

He compared Twitter to joining a golf club or other social club. “You need to build relationships. On Twitter, you will find local Tweetups ... where Twitter people actually meet in real life.” He suggested dealers attend Tweetups and possibly sponsor one. “The key here is to understand that you might not sell a car to those you engage with, but they will become fans and refer customers to you.”

The cost to maintain social media profiles is free, except for the paid manpower to do so. However, there are service providers that offer things like customer landing pages for profiles and outsourced social media management; do your homework before partnering with a company. Cryder said, “There are plenty of free 101 materials out there to consume [if you’re trying to figure out how to integrate Facebook].” And when it comes to the custom-designed landing pages, he suggested dealers shop around because they can cost a “pretty penny” and there are several providers “outside the auto industry” worthy of consideration.

Video
The use of videos online is touted among many in the industry, and some dealers have learned the tricks to effectively harness the power of video in many different ways. Gibson Truck World in Sanford, Fla., videos walk-arounds of all vehicles, which are loaded on the dealership website and sent out across the Web to YouTube, AutoTrader.com, Cars.com and more. Moreover, the truck dealership’s videos are achieving some astounding numbers.

A YouTube video of a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 posted in August 2009 has received almost 20,000 views. While some may think a two-year-old inventory video isn’t still getting views, that particular video was commented on as recently as March 2011. Plus, they have staying power in search results.

Another video posted nearly two years ago that’s received nearly 19,000 views was the number-one video result on the Google search “2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500” (performed in April 2011). The number three result for the same search was another inventory video from the same dealership with over 1,000 views. While those trucks are no longer in inventory, they are still creating brand awareness for the dealership.

While Gibson Truck World is racking up views on some of its inventory videos, Pritchard of Gentilini Motors believes using “video to do vehicle presentations of inventory” is “exactly the wrong strategy.” He added, “[Video is] of growing importance. We use [it] sparingly when opportunity presents itself.” He said he uses it for things like customer testimonials, special events, branding, staff introductions and special messages.

With video, the main expenditure is time for most dealers. Dealers can purchase a digital video camera for around $100, take the video themselves and post the videos to YouTube, on their website(s), etc.

Hensley of Cars Etc said, “I think the … time needed to run a complete video campaign is tough for people in our industry. He added, “Typically, we are ‘car guys’ and don’t accept technology very well nor how to use it … however, the video tool can be a good one for our industry to use. It creates a face for the dealership … Customers can see they’re dealing with everyday people that just sell cars instead of walking into a giant dealership that is so overwhelming.”

Gibson Truck World employs a videographer part-time to handle the technological aspect of videos, and their videos as a result are much more professional looking than some dealers are. However, by employing that extra person, it drives up the cost to produce and distribute video.

 Vol. 8, Issue 5

Comment

  1. 1. mike [ February 21, 2016 @ 09:25AM ]

    Im a big fan of microsites but you have to have the time and expertise to do it right or the time/money investment will not pay off. It goes back to what you said about either having an expert in house and if not hiring this piece out to an expert. It is difficult to find an expert with the chops to take this sort of thing on and get you a great return, but they are out there. My advice is to look hard, check reviews, references and build a great team of experts behind you. If you do that you wont be disappointed. But if you hire the first person pitching you on SEO you likely will be. At http://www.bdcresults.com/ we've had first hand experience with seeing our clients and friends on both sides of the spectrum.

 

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