Your consumers are ready to buy and ride, so here are just a few strategies that LotVantage, part of the Digital Air Strike family of companies, has implemented to help dealerships take advantage of selling season.
- Plug in and connect on social media
Buyers are on social media more than ever. Since the pandemic started, Facebook use has increased 53%. Instagram use has increased 32%. Twitter’s daily usage jumped 23%. “If your business is not actively on social media, I think that’s a real problem,” said Dan Vonderheide, Director of National Accounts at Digital Air Strike. “Your customers are on there so let’s make sure you are too, and actively engaging with them. Let them know you’re open, show your new inventory, your dealership safety measures and your online purchasing options.” With LotVantage, you won’t have to stress about posting on a regular basis. Our software will share your inventory for you and link to your Vehicle Display Pages, so you reap the benefits of the new traffic.
- Get engaged
It doesn’t take magic to turn your audience into customers and loyal fans, just a little dedication. Create posts that encourage conversation. Ask your customers questions and get their opinions. Make sure you respond to all comments and messages. This will show them and future visitors that you truly care about your customers and what matters most to them.
- Take advantage of your digital shelf space
When people search for your dealership on Google they will see your ratings and reviews, address, photos, hours, and more that can all be controlled from Google My Business. Your competitors will also be featured in search results. To keep the attention on you, be sure your Google My Business profile includes information about your inventory, special offers, even customer testimonials. This will give consumers all the information they need without having to click to your website and is a great way to turn shoppers into buyers.
“The first page of Google is the pristine real estate to be on,” Vonderheide said. “Be unique and use silent, short, timely videos on your Google My Business profile to keep customers further engaged and share helpful content. It’s not a set-it-up and forget it platform,” he said. “Over 50% of these customers may never make it to your website. Optimizing your Google My Business profile and updating it are very important. The only click they should be making is the click to call your business. Put as many things as you can on that page to push the competition down.”
One great way to stand out is by having YouTube videos of all your vehicles. Since YouTube is owned by Google, your videos will automatically show up in search results. And with LotVantage’s Video Marketing service, all of your vehicles will have videos automatically created.
- Spruce up your digital reputation
Your online reputation will always exist and will influence how past, present, and future shoppers view your dealership. It’s important to make sure you are presented in the best light. If your online reputation and star ratings aren’t what you want them to be, you can change that. When deciding where to shop, most people look at reviews of the products and the business. The reviews and star ratings not only impact your incoming traffic but they also impact your search rankings. By having good ratings, your dealership will be pushed to the top of the pack on Google and will be shown in results to more shoppers. To improve your ratings, offer an incentive to your happy customers to write a review about your business.
- Learn from your customers
When you take the time to improve the shopping experience in your dealership, customers will appreciate the efforts. Get their feedback by sending them a short survey asking what they liked and didn’t like about their experience. Any positive feedback you receive can be used as testimonials in your marketing. Any less than positive feedback can be used to improve the customer experience.
- Respond to all online reviews.
If a person leaves a review about your dealership, good or bad, they took the time out of their day to give you this feedback, so don’t let that fact go unnoticed. Point out the steps that you are taking to resolve any issues and always take the conversation offline by providing contact information for a high-level contact at your dealership. Positive reviews should especially be praised as they did your business a favor, resulting in a better online reputation.
“[Responding to reviews] shows you’re actually listening and shows that you actually care. Be conscious of what your reputation is online. Businesses that respond to reviews are two times more trustworthy than businesses that don’t, according to Google,” Vonderheide said.
- Targeted advertising helps consumers
67% of consumers find ads on social media helpful and 51% of consumers have purchased through a social ad. “These ads are so targeted now. It’s great from a digital marketing standpoint,” Vonderheide said. “It’s important because you can push out a specific, targeted message. Whatever type of dealership you have, you can find that targeted demographic.” With a lookalike audience, you can target online shoppers that are most similar to your existing customers and are most likely to convert to buyers. If you add a Facebook pixel to your website, you can serve ads on Facebook to those who have visited your website. You can even customize the content so that they see the product in the ad that they were looking at on your website! “Retargeting is a really cool way to track customers who were interested in buying something on your site,” Vonderheide said. “You can also do geofencing, so if someone drives by or walks by a specific business, they can get nearby ads, specials and/or events. You can get so specific and granular.” Our team of experts can quickly put together an advertising strategy to help you turn shoppers on social media into buyers!
- Turn on your camera
Virtual meetings and video communications are a regular occurrence now. Use this to your advantage by sending your customers real-time videos through a service like Digital Air Strike’s Video Lead Engagement to follow up on a recent lead or purchase. This is just one example of how to use targeted, customized videos at your dealership. Keep in mind that videos should be 60 seconds or less to ensure that you keep the attention of your customer. “Video is a cool way to communicate with your customers. Show customers your business is open and safe,” said Vonderheide. “Highlight your offers and incentives. Include testimonials, products, and service details. Make it easy for customers to engage with your dealership from the video.” Users watch over 1 billion hours of video a day on YouTube. Placing a video on high traffic areas such as your social media, website pages, and emails will increase conversions by more than 80% while 71% of consumers who viewed a video ended up making a purchase.
- Set up chatbots to handle leads
Leverage intelligent bots on your website and social media to capture and nurture inbound leads 24/7. More than 80% of shoppers visit websites when the business is closed. Capture that data with a chatbot. Add artificial intelligence that asks and answers qualifying questions. Use an integrated calendar so customers can schedule appointments. “What’s better than waking up and seeing a full schedule of appointments?” Vonderheide asked. “With Digital Air Strike’s intelligent chat, employees can jump into that chat conversation in real time and all conversations and leads are captured in a single inbox.”
- Start texting
There is a lot of noise in your shopper’s inbox and a lot of the emails are one-way communications that rarely get responses. “People are inundated with emails, but boy, when you get that text, you pick up that phone and check,” said Vonderheide. Ninety-five percent of text messages are read within three minutes, while consumers only open one in five emails. By utilizing bulk text messaging technology, such as Digital Air Strike’s Consumer Text Marketing, your dealership can stay in front of customers and prospects. Start the conversation with them instead of blasting messages at them. Make sure you have a team or technology set up to handle responses. Take it to the next level with images and videos to make your texts even more customized and eye-catching.
- Tip from the Pros: Stop spending on the things that are not working
Putting more money into a strategy that is not working, won’t make it any better. It’s best to really focus your time, money, and energy on what has been the most successful for your dealership. Review your monthly and annual digital marketing spends. Compare the different channels and examine the results you are getting. Are you seeing as much of a return as you would like? Is it time to change it up? “We have yet to find one of our clients that wasn’t wasting money somewhere, sometimes thousands of dollars in one month,” he said. “A lot of companies are doubling up on services. They were paying two different people to do the same thing on certain services. Make sure you’re not overspending.” Contact us for a free, no-obligation cost savings analysis.