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Automotive Lead Generation – Don’t Take Content for Granted!

Posted on: August 31st, 2012 by credit

Many dealers do not realize it but the content of your dealership website or blog can greatly impact your automotive lead generation efforts, especially if you do it right. Whatever form of content marketing (blogs, social media, articles, white papers, ebooks, etc.) you are employing to generate car sales leads, consider the following basic principles in doing content marketing and learn how to do it more effectively.

The Topic

Finding a topic to write about is one of the most challenging aspects of content marketing as sometimes, fresh and interesting topics seem unavailable. Keep in mind that topics should always be relevant. Some great topics to write about for car shoppers are car reviews, automotive news, auto industry trends, tips, and information about the technical aspects of car buying.

Topics must be relevant and interesting because your goal in writing for car shoppers is to establish connection with potential customers. Thus, content must appeal to their needs and interests. Find out what car shoppers consider as hot today by talking to some of your leads, reading conversations of car shoppers and buyers in forums, and monitoring consumer behavior by subscribing to studies.

What Keywords?

The use of keywords may not be necessary in print and broadcast advertisements, but when you do it online, keywords become an important part of your content. Come up with a roster of most searched keywords through the help of a keyword research tool. Use these keywords in your articles. In this way, you will drive more traffic to your website, which could bring more leads and eventually turn into sales.

The Good Content

First thing that should be established here is your content should be non-promotional. Although you use content as an automotive lead generation tool, car shoppers would hate, or even not be interested at all, to read promotional materials. You will capture leads more when you give them information instead, which brings another characteristic of a good content: educational. Make sure that your readers will certainly get something useful from your articles. Articles must be simple and concise. Use only simple language and keep the articles short. Car shoppers do not always have all day to read a lengthy article. Lastly, a good content is something worth of being shared with others. This means that your content must be so good that your readers would love to share it via social media.

As Catchy as Odd

Make your content eye-catching by using attention-grabbing headlines and engaging graphics. Attach relevant photos, videos, infographics, or charts and tables to complement your article and to make them more interesting and understandable. In most cases, this is where you need to squeeze your creativity more.

The Last Things You Want to Do with Your Internet Auto Leads

Posted on: August 30th, 2012 by credit

The last thing you want to happen with your internet auto leads is losing them. The painful truth to that is it is possible and it could already be happening in your dealership right now even if you have been converting enough leads. How could you let go of some leads and not know about it? In what ways do you lose internet auto leads? The following points answer these questions and these are the last things you want to do with your leads.

Delay Responses

The need to respond quickly follows the logic that the internet is a fast-paced world and therefore, the demands of its users have to be fulfilled in a quick manner as well. If you don’t get to your leads fast, your competitors will. Studies about automotive internet lead generation still show that there are leads which were never responded to. Moreover, some dealers take several minutes and even hours before they respond to their leads. With this response time, these dealers would not really see their internet auto leads turn into sales.

Give Up on Leads

Leads that has not responded yet with a yes or no to your offer are not yet dead leads. You need to follow them up and keep them interested in your offer. There are several reasons why a lead would not have a definite response immediately. While a lead is still in its decision-making process, take that opportunity to send emails, direct mails, text messages, and the like as follow-up efforts. Following up leads needs patience and diligence on your part. If you remain to be that way until the end, the results will be rewarding.

Be Unavailable Online

As has been pointed out, internet auto leads want quick responses and there’s no quicker response given via live chat. Live chat is among the newest technology now used by businesses in their websites to connect to their leads more conveniently. As long as you always have a sales person online, you’ll get more leads and even more sales than when you were not using live chat. Live chat allows you to attend to your prospects’ queries in real time. However, keep in mind that live chat isn’t supposed to be primarily used to sell but to establish rapport with your prospects.

Hide Important Details

Some dealers are not aware of the adverse effects of some of their strategies on car shoppers. For instance, some dealers hide the car prices in their dealership websites to compel car shoppers to call them up for the price. While this strategy works for them in some way, they should also be aware that many car shoppers get suspicious of a dealership when the prices are hidden. When your leads ask for important details such as car price, specs, reviews, and financing options, make sure that you provide them with honest and accurate answers.

Mobile Marketing: Things Car Dealers Must Remember

Posted on: August 29th, 2012 by credit

As technology continues to advance, car dealers should never be left behind from the newest techniques being used in generating leads for car dealerships. In 2011, about 15% of more than 5 billion phone users in the U.S. are smartphone users. Moreover, a research group found that the mobile advertising and marketing sector expanded to more than 50% in 2011, making it the fastest-growing sector of the year. Indeed, mobile marketing is growing and is becoming more effective.

However, not all dealers are successful with their mobile marketing efforts. The reason is simple: They are not doing it right. There is something wrong with the way they use the power of the medium or it could also be their strategy that is defective. In any case, here are some important things that dealers must remember when doing mobile marketing for their dealerships:

Purpose. Mobile marketing has more than a couple of functions. Dealers can use it to make their service more accessible and convenient for their customers, allowing them to easily set appointments with them when they need repairs or tune-up. Dealers can also send their car shoppers bits of information like quick tips, links to the latest car reviews, and the like. And lastly, mobile marketing for dealerships is mainly for promotions, but dealers should be careful not to overdo it.

Mobile Website. Having a mobile website is a must. Dealership websites must be accessible in a car shopper’s mobile device so dealers can increase their chances of acquiring more sales. Dealers do not have to make their mobile sites grand. They can just keep it simple as long as it provides the information and details that a mobile car shopper needs to know. Dealers have to also ensure the compatibility of the mobile version of their dealership site.

QR Codes. Quick response codes function like bar codes except that they contain URLs. QR codes are deemed by many as the easiest way now for dealers to promote their mobile sites and attract more leads for car dealerships. Dealers can include QR codes in their posters, direct mails, tarps, and the like to allow anyone interested to check out their website. According to a recent study, QR codes scans expanded to 300% in 2011 compared with the previous year.

Ethics. Last, but definitely not the least, dealers must consider some factors in sending messages to car shoppers. One is how they use the language. They must be careful to use simple and decent words even if they are creative with their text message. Another is the time of the day the y send messages. Dealers should not send messages in odd hours and days unless necessary. Finally, car shoppers must given the option to request the dealership to stop sending messages to them.

Why Thou Art Not Blessed With Internet Auto Leads From Social Media

Posted on: August 28th, 2012 by credit

Social media is one of the most powerful lead generation platforms today. With this fact, you may be expecting that it has to give you, then, more internet auto leads. But you are not getting enough and you might be wondering what’s wrong. Perhaps, you are doing social media marketing the wrong way. Here is a list of social media mistakes and see if you can relate with any of them.

Selling Than Interacting

In case you haven’t realized it yet, social media is for interaction—whether in the hands of a dealer or a typical teenager. Social media is not primarily designed to be a marketplace. Therefore, use it according to its first purpose that is, to interact with people online. Many businesses fail in their social media marketing efforts because they’ve got the wrong focus: selling. In fact, some people get turned off when they realize that a business entity in a social networking site is just trying to acquire as much customers as it can. Internet auto leads would not come flowing in to your dealership with this approach. Make interaction the priority and engage with prospects and customers online.

Getting Too Much Attention

Do not be so vain wanting to get many hits, likes, followers, and comments. Many businesses pour out much of their marketing efforts and tricks just to get noticed online. This is not why you have chosen to be social. Focus on your target market and nurture relationships with potential customers and foster loyalty among your existing customers. You don’t need much marketing gimmicks to do this, as much as you don’t need too get all the attention in the social media sphere.

Little Content

This is an obvious mistake. Do not be misled that social media does not need content. It does. The best way to build relationships online is to be a helping hand to the car buying public. Give them helpful resources and information that might answer their needs. Post quick tips, news, or links to your blogs. Make sure that the topics you write about are always relevant to your prospects’ interests and needs.

Being a Copycat

Perhaps, this is something that you need to wake up from. Don’t just copy what you notice is working well in your competitor’s social media campaign. The truth is, what works best for them may not work the same with you. Find out, with your own experiments, what works best for you. Just copying from someone else’s strategy would not be a great effort that could result in great results.

When Will Dealership Blogging Start Generating More Leads?

Posted on: August 24th, 2012 by credit

The answer is simple: when you already know how to do it right. Sometimes, even if you read about experts’ advice on dealership blogging, you wouldn’t still figure out how to do it right. You may sometimes need to experience mistakes to learn best. Experience is really the best teacher and can make you your own expert.

The dealership blog is just a part of your dealership website which is supposed to bring you more auto finance leads and sales. Realize that your blog alone is a powerful tool that can drive massive traffic to your website. However, many dealers struggle with formulating concrete and sustainable strategies to experience the full benefits of their blogs. This hints the need to provide the following tips:

Talk about the industry. You are a dealership and obviously, you’re part of the once-again thriving automotive industry. Your blog should therefore contain relevant information that your readers—basically car shoppers and people seeking auto financing—might find helpful and interesting. Things like automotive news, trends, car buying advice, car reviews, car maintenance tips, and the like are some interesting topics to write about on your dealership blog. It is a blogging sin to write irrelevant content.

Be compelling and engaging. A content marketing study found that dealers usually struggle with writing compelling and engaging content. It is really a challenge but it is not impossible. You can start by writing striking and attention-grabbing headlines. You can engage your readers when your content is something that answers their questions, stirs their thoughts, or provides solutions to their problems. Compelling and engaging content does generate auto finance leads.

Know SEO. This is the technical part of blogging that you must understand. SEO or search engine optimization is the process of improving a website’s visibility in the world wide web. To make your dealership blog drive more traffic to your website, use relevant most searched keywords in your articles. If you are just starting with SEO, you can use SEO tools to help you understand how SEO works in blogging.

Make commenting available and respond. Your blog is also your medium to reach out to car shoppers and auto finance leads. Let the people’s voice be heard by making commenting available. Always respond to them smartly and kindly, even if there will be some readers who would contradict what you wrote. In this way, you are building good reputation for yourself as a dealer and able to establish relationships with prospects in there.

Display social media buttons. Tell your readers to share in Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ what they just saw in your blog by providing social media buttons near the comment box. If your readers do share your content, you’ll earn more readers and potential customers in effect. You can also tell your readers to visit your social media pages.

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