March 2013, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
A new year is here. Hopefully you’ve already endured the potentially daunting task of sorting out your advertising strategy. If you haven’t, don’t worry. I’m going to make it a little easier for you by sharing seven tools that will help you reduce ad waste. If you are confused at any time, please e-mail me, and I will steer you to a helpful resource. Happy 2013!
If your website is typical, it will have a conversion rate of 2 to 4 percent, with 33 percent of visitors returning to your website later. That leaves 67 percent of visitors to continue the search process elsewhere. If you had a retargeting strategy in place, you might still capture these consumers. All the visitors to your site would continue to see your dealership ads online as they were checking the weather and sports scores and visiting various webpages. However, you need to approach retargeting with care, because unless you have a good strategy, you can waste a lot of money fast. To learn more about remarketing, search on YouTube for “What is Remarketing and Retargeting.”
This is the same thing as remarketing, except it is on your Facebook business page. If someone visits your Facebook page, they will start seeing your dealership ads on many other websites. This is an additional way to get more top-of-mind awareness. Facebook Exchange has shown increases as high as sixteen times for our Facebook ads, and it’s very affordable.
It’s true, Facebook has entered the world of search, and wow, have they opened it up. With Facebook advertising you can target “auto intenders,” “expecting parents,” “college grads” and much more. I can’t say enough great things about Facebook advertising, other than if you are not aggressively doing it, you are missing out.
Social Search Marketing
A fact of life regarding social media is that people frequently offer TMI (too much information), which actually is great! People reveal such thoughts as, “My car is junk,” “My car broke down,” “I hit a deer,” “I need a car,” “Such-and-such dealer is bad,” etc. Using tools that will listen to social noise and capture relevant chatter, you can generate leads. These tools can be configured to notify you of potential leads or send an automated a message to individuals making certain statements. You could offer them help, a discount or just your contact info. Your imagination is the only limit. One of the things we are doing is offering free pick-up and delivery when someone says their car is broken down, has a flat tire, etc.
It was bound to happen ... old-timers like me are dominating Facebook, and the younger demographic has gone to Twitter. I will tell you that I got serious about Twitter, and the response has been great. When I say response, I mean the return on investment. An example of how to use Twitter would be sponsoring a tweet in which you offer a free diagnostic vehicle check or a promotion to buy three tires and get one free.
There is no other opportunity like mobile marketing, and it’s only going to grow and grow. Think about this: How many people can you name with an iPhone, Droid phone, iPad or tablet? OK, now that you get my point, the question is, when will you start reaching these people with a mobile marketing strategy? Yes, it is overwhelming, so start simple with a pay-per-click campaign and use a lot of extensions. It is also important that you pretend to be a car shopper to test your mobile marketing strategy. Use all the devices to access your own dealership and see how easy it is to shop.
Content: A Long-Term Strategy
Why do people purchase the things they do? To fix a perceived problem.
Americans love to shop and buy, but we don’t like being sold to. So consider the process of shopping and where it starts. Awareness comes first, followed by justification to make the purchase. This is why you want to develop a strong content-building strategy. A shopper is looking for more information, such as technology features, fuel efficiency, safety features and ratings, warranty details, financing information, etc., to help them formulate a justification. The question is, do you have any videos or articles providing this type of information? Or is your content all geared towards price? A solid content strategy filled with answers to top car-buying questions will allow you to talk to people when they first start the shopping process and, therefore, will provide more opportunities to earn their business. It is really crowded in the war of price, but it is easy sailing with a strategy focused on content delivery.
Oh, did I mention that your content never becomes useless? What I am saying is, if you do a video walk-around on a 2013 model, you will still be able to use that video in 2015 because that 2013 will be in your used inventory.