Embracing Digital Marketing Within Your Dealership
You know getting into digital marketing is necessary to grow your dealership. But you already have so many things to do, contemplating new marketing techniques can seem like yet another plate-full. How can you possibly embrace digital marketing within your dealership so that it’s manageable?
We have four words of advice for you: Have fun with it!
It’s the content of your digital marketing that counts.
But no worries, you’re already surrounded by great content. You just have to assemble it and put it to work following your strategic marketing plan. It’s not as hard or time-consuming as you might think.
Here are some tips to help you get started “thinking content.”
Spread the wealth.
Ask everyone in your organization participate, at least in an advisory role. Each of you has somewhat different interactions with customers, and that speaks directly to the diversity of digital marketing. So hold periodic brainstorming sessions, and keep a file of great questions, quotes, ideas, etc.
Whether you have a larger staff or your people wear more than one hat, you’ll want to “think content” from all these perspectives:
- Sales and marketing
- Repair technicians
- Customer service desk
- Accessories expert
- Accounting and billing
What questions do people ask most?
These are obvious topics to engage people with content they care about. Use your blog to bring up issues and explain how you resolve them, or how customers can be proactive to fix their own problems or avoid them in the first place. Create a series of how-to tip sheets. Or, better yet, a series of short videos you can post on YouTube and Pinterest.
And speaking of video . . .
You don’t have to be a famous film producer or TV personality to “star” in your own productions. Creating an online webinar or short video is essentially the same as talking to someone — or a small group — in person.
Mine your customer base.
People love to talk about themselves, especially their business. So ask customers to submit stories and photos — simple, day-to-day stuff or way-out-there “you’ll never believe what happened on our last job.” They tell you these things in person and over the phone all the time. Hold a contest to gather submissions, and let people vote on their favorites via your social media sites and website.
Listen to your social media audience.
Use only two or three social media sites. And designate someone to be the official monitor of each platform, to spread the time commitment. Make an ongoing list of comments or questions your followers post, and add that list to your brainstorming file.
Action photos, not the static beauty shots that your OEM provides. People buy equipment to use it. They know it will get dirty, so it’s OK to show it that way.
Make it easy for people to engage with you.
That means putting obvious sign-up buttons and link icons on your blog, website pages, etc.
Think “digital” throughout your dealership.
Do you offer invoicing and receipts via email? Do you offer parts ordering and accept payments online? You should. These things don’t really constitute “marketing,” but one of your goals is to be seen as a forward-thinking, authoritative resource. Showing leadership demonstrates that.
Embracing digital marketing is about providing helpful, timely information for people. So how can you be most helpful? Think beyond your own products and services to broader business development tips, etc. If it helps you run your business better, it will probably help them, too.