Breathe New Life Into Your Dealership Marketing Strategy
Just how up to date is your dealership marketing strategy? If it doesn’t include a heavy dose of inbound (web-based) techniques, you’re losing ground every day.
Consider this: 93% of prospects start their purchasing journey by searching online. 93%. That means if your dealership doesn’t have an effective online presence, you’re reaching just 7% of your desired audience. That’s not much of a growth strategy. Worse, when those few leads can’t find you online to follow up and learn more about your dealership, you’ll lose them, too. It will be impossible for them to believe that your dinosaur dealership sells and services the latest and greatest construction equipment or trucks.
There’s more. Already about half of online searchers are using mobile devices to do that. Industry watchers predict the number of mobile searches to double by 2019. Considering that no one is more mobile than contractors and truckers, it’s easy to see why an out-of-date dealership marketing strategy can cost you business instead of generating it.
Don’t despair, though.
You can breathe new life into your marketing and it’s not as overwhelming as it might seem. You don’t have to start over, you simply need to convert old-style advertising and marketing tactics into more modern presentation that focuses on your website, social engagement and electronic communication. You’ll not only get more leads, they’ll be better ones – more qualified prospects that can make a real difference for your dealership’s future.
Your dealership marketing strategy should focus on two things:
- Reaching your specific target audiences.
- Appealing to search engines, so you show up as close to the top as possible in search results displays.
Optimize your website. The longer it’s been since you redesigned your website, the more of an overhaul it needs. It is now essential to have mobile-friendly, responsive design so visitors can easily navigate and read your site no matter what type of device they are using.
Update your website’s content. It must be current and useful. You can easily convert traditional brochures and spec sheets into useful web pages, but prospects expect more than an electronic sales pitch. They want information that educates them about the “why and how” of the products you sell and the services you offer, so they can make intelligent purchasing decisions. Show them you’re working with them to build their business as well as yours. Emphasize what differentiates you from other dealerships.
Add a blog. According to marketing giant HubSpot, B2B marketers who blog at least 1-2 times per month attract 70% more leads than businesses without a blog.
Never buy stamps again. Everything you’ve been mailing to prospects and customers can be sent electronically. It’s faster and saves trees. It shows you’re up-to-date. And you’ll save a bundle on marketing costs by focusing on your website, email and social media. It’s easy to include links in your communications, so readers can find out more, sign up for your webinar, download an ebook, etc. with a simple click. Each time they do that they’re moving farther into your sales pipeline, getting closer to a buying decision that points to you. Each offer should have its own landing page on your website, to facilitate these conversions.
Invest in marketing automation. This software saves a serious amount of time and improve your marketing consistency. In fact studies show it can help you boost qualified leads by 450% or more. That’s serious business.
Say goodbye to mass media, hello to social media. Broadcast advertising on radio and TV is expensive, poorly targeted and has no shelf life. Instead, produce short, informative videos and post them on YouTube. These will attract interest in your dealership and continue doing so over time. You can easily link to them from your website, email, etc. Establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and use them to converse with prospects, customers and colleagues.
Go electronic at trade shows.
Trade shows continue to offer excellent value for dealerships. Use the tools above to promote your next show to customers, prospects, subs and suppliers, then use social media to update everyone in real time during the event. Incorporate video or interactive touchscreens at your booth to draw visitors and increase engagement with them.
These changes are not difficult to make, and taking the time to modernize your dealership marketing strategy will ensure you attract more, higher-qualified leads to grow your business.