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Posts Tagged ‘automotive dealership marketing’

Article Posting, Social Media, Blogs Among Most Popular Content Marketing Tactics, Study Says

Posted on: August 13th, 2012 by credit

A study completed by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in 2011 revealed interesting shifts in the way industries perceive and use content marketing for the growth of their businesses.

According to the 2012 B2B Content Marketing report, with more than a thousand of marketers surveyed from various industries across the globe, article posting (79%), social media (74%), and blogs (65%) remain the three most popular content marketing tactics employed by B2B marketers. Meanwhile, blogs, videos, and white papers increased in usage. That means, more businesses have employed these content marketing tactics in 2011 compared to 2010.

In terms of effectiveness, in-person events, webinars, case studies, and research reports were rated by the respondents as the most effective tactics. However, the results also showed that marketers have more confidence now in the effectiveness of blogs, which has the biggest growth of 45%, case studies, videos, and webinars.

The study also measured the challenges that marketers face with content marketing. The top challenges cited are producing the kind of content that engages prospects/customers, producing enough content, and budget to produce content. Some of the respondents explained these issues further saying that it takes time to engage prospects and that they need to find time to create content. Some also cited the problem in human resources that there’s not enough people to work the content. Others find it difficult to produce “emotionally compelling” content.

Zooming in to the automotive industry, dealers also experience the same challenges in providing content for their own web pages and blogs. In effect, many of them do not see these channels as effective in producing internet leads. For dealers content marketing challenges, here are some tips:

  • If you find it difficult to produce compelling content, write about relevant topics that you think are interesting and useful for online car shoppers. Examples of such content are car reviews, car financing information and advice, car buying tips, automotive news, and the like. Keep in mind, though, that there is no easier way to do this. Providing relevant, fresh, unique, and useful content as frequently as daily requires hard work.
  • Allot more funds for content marketing. Be part of the 60% who said in the survey that they will increase their budget for content marketing for the next 12 months. If you have more funds, you can hire more people to work the content for you, solving the human resource problem.

Keep in mind that in reality, the effectiveness of a marketing strategy is all about what and what not works for you. There is still a possibility that article posting, social media, and blogs will not work for you. Take the time to experiment on other tactics and consistently measure results to see what works best for you—that means generating more internet leads and experiencing sales boost.

Dealership Reviews Can Gain You More Sales

Posted on: July 30th, 2012 by credit

Dealership reviews are basically your customers’ opinion about your dealership’s performance. Lately, they seem to play an important role in generating auto sales leads and making more sales for dealerships.

According to Digital Air Strike in their first study on Automotive Dealership Social Media and Online Reputation, nearly 70% of the 275 car buyers they surveyed, who purchased a car in the last 6 months, said that dealership reviews influenced their decision on which dealership to visit. 50% of the car shoppers said that the reviews affirmed their decision to visit a dealership and 18% either changed their initial choice of dealership because of reviews or the reviews were the only reason for visiting a dealership. The top review sites according to the study are Edmunds, Cars.com, Yelp, and Google Reviews in their respective order.

Moreover, 68% said that dealership reviews helped them in their vehicle purchase decision with nearly 30% who said they purchased from the dealership because of the positive reviews they had read about it.

Since car shoppers give importance to dealership reviews when they shop for cars, dealership reviews then can be considered as an important factor in a dealership’s sales generation strategies. If this is the only time you realize this or if you want to improve your campaign for dealership reviews, here are some pieces of advice.

1.) When you have a customer who just bought a car from your dealership or availed of your services for the first time, ask them for feedback. Have them sign a comments/suggestions form or complete a short survey or an evaluation sheet. Make sure to get feedback from your customers so you would also know which aspects of your dealership are performing well or needs improvement.

2.) Solicit reviews. Ask your existing customers to write a review for you by writing about their experience in your dealership or the car model they have purchased from you. If there are customers who are not satisfied with your products or services, address the problem immediately before you let them go and work to improve on that.

3.) Publish the reviews. You can ask your customers to drop their reviews in to popular review sites by providing them the links. Make sure that your dealership website also has a page dedicated for reviews. You can actually show some snippets of each review on the home page. Print them also on your brochures telling your auto sales leads why they should buy from you. You can also include some reviews on your advertising materials.

4.) Publish only genuine opinions. Never fake reviews just for the sake of attracting car shoppers. Keep in mind that being online is about building reputation. You can do that by simply not faking opinions about your dealership.

Shun Deceptive Auto Marketing Practices

Posted on: July 27th, 2012 by credit

Many consumers tend to generalize and believe that all dealers are the same—they are deceptive and too profit-oriented. However, this may not be true for each and every car dealership. It may be true that many dealerships practice deceptive auto marketing techniques, who could have been the main contributors in building an untrustworthy image for dealerships in general. If you want to maintain for your dealership a brand of credibility and trust, you can choose to take the other road and follow the auto marketing or advertising rules. Here are some dealer advertising practices that the New York State Attorney General considers as deceptive.

The Fine Print

The advertising guidelines said that any footnotes or asterisks, which both identify the presence of a fine print in a print ad, that “contradict, confuse, materially modify or unreasonably limit a principal message of the ad” are considered as deceptive.

Moreover, if the font size is too small for the text to be easily read, the ad is considered deceptive. The standard font size that is considered readable for print advertising is at least 10-point type.

False Price Advertising

Many car dealers do auto marketing by advertising a car price falsely, meaning that the advertised price is not the actual price that a buyer gets to pay. According to the guidelines, any price figure that does not represent the actual purchase price is deceptive. Moreover, an advertisement is also deemed the same way if the dealer failed to indicate the fees that are included or excluded in the car price advertised (Registration and title fees and taxes are not really included.), the number of models in stock that are sold at the price they are advertised, and if the car features or accessories in the ad are included in the car price or are optional.

In addition, the term “low prices” or any similar terms that imply that the dealership has cheaper prices than the other dealers must only be used if the dealer has already surveyed his competitors in the area and proved that his prices are truly lower than them or the lowest in the area.

Ambiguous Car Financing Advertisements

A car financing advertisement is deceptive if it does not comply with the terms of disclosures indicated in the Truth in Lending Act. According to law, dealers and lenders must disclose the important details, such as the down payment, loan term or the number of months of payment, and the annual percentage rate or the APR, of the financing program.

Use of terms such as “we finance everyone” and any similar terms that imply that financing is available for everyone regardless of the credit rating are deceptive, unless the advertisement includes a statement of the important terms and conditions for such financing.

Picking the Best Partner in Automotive Advertising

Posted on: July 26th, 2012 by credit

Admit it. You cannot do everything that needs to be done to run your dealership successfully: lead generation, lead management, and automotive dealership marketing. Moreover, you cannot also be the expert in all three aspects. Automotive dealership marketing comprises of various strategies and techniques that need to be carried out across various platforms. This really sounds like laborious. Thus, you would always be needing help from marketing companies or advertising agencies to execute your marketing plans.

However, you should realize that hiring one is going to be a crucial decision. The company that you will be working with will be your partner in pursuing success for your dealership. Moreover, marketing is where all lead generation and management efforts start. Therefore, you need to make a careful and wise selection of your marketing partner. Here are some tips in finding a good one.

Expertise. One of the major factors that could make or break your decision in settling for an ad agency is the expertise. Since you are a dealership, the company must be well-versed in consumer advertising. You should also ask them about what medium are they expert in. If they are still traditional, you can consider looking for more unconventional marketing companies. However, it would be great to choose a company that knows how to work well with both traditional and new marketing strategies.

Experience. Although this does not entirely speak for a company’s performance, it is still better to work with a company with enough experience in automotive dealership marketing, using the medium that you prefer, and working in the kind of marketing style that you want. You can ask around for recommendations or ask for references from the company to learn more about their track record.

Measures. Ask the company how do they carry out their marketing plans for their clients and measure the results for them. Do they have the right meters? Also, ask them about their rates and always try to negotiate for a lower charge. If a company really charges too high for you, do not compromise your budget and look for a more affordable one.

Before you even begin calling up ad agencies, make sure that you are clear about your target market, the message you want to put across, your budget, and objectives. In the process of selecting a company, call up at least 3 companies and compare their prices. As has been pointed out, do not resort in compromising your budget for a marketing service that is beyond your means.

Did You Just Get Social? Better Do It Right

Posted on: July 4th, 2012 by credit

Social media is trending now in auto dealer marketing. More and more dealers are turning to social networks to build their online presence and to promote their brand. However, social media experts have slightly different views on social networking sites as marketing tools.

Some say that dealers should use the social media not as a medium to sell but only to instigate word of mouth among their followers and their networks. Some also say that the focal point of being “social” in the context of auto dealer marketing is engagement. However, many car dealers do not realize these and in the eyes of some experts, they are seeing social media the wrong way. Here are some points expressed by some social media experts.

Social media is all about relationships, interaction, and engagement. Working to meet that standard is not easy. According to a social media expert, you cannot hire services to build relationships, interact with and engage prospects for you. You have to figure it out and do it yourself. You also have to know what factors impact your relationship with your prospects online.

One: People would not care about your dealership or even the brand that you carry if they don’t know who they’re interacting with. As a social media expert puts it, you are in social media and it was called “social” for a purpose: interaction. Connection may be weak, or may not even be established, if you don’t show a face on your page. Some car makers and dealers are showing the face of their social media persons on their pages. Doing the same stirs interest and initiates engagement.

Second: Some could go on thinking that content is not really that important, but whether they like it or not, content impacts engagement. Say, you have been publishing dull, irrelevant, and boring content. Do you think people will still be interested in what’s going on in your page? However, if you provide helpful information like important announcements and interesting photos and videos, you could even attract more prospects. Try and see it for yourself.

Social media is not originally for selling, although you can also do that. However, as a social media expert explained, you cannot mix up selling with being social. The two complement each other but you’ve got to have separate strategies for each. Social media is different from other forms of auto dealer marketing. You have to learn the right approach, which is different from the traditional marketing methods, to maximize its potential.

As a final note, don’t focus on the quantity of likes, fans, followers, comments, viewers, and the like. Although these numbers are important for monitoring and measures, your social media marketing efforts do not revolve around these. For the last time, it’s about interaction, relationship, and engagement.

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