YOUR 9-STEP GUIDE TO DEALER DIGITAL MARKETING
“What a pretty-looking website you’ve got, you must be the absolute and ultimate best!” said no-one-ever in the history of time.
So you’ve got a great-looking website, what do you do now?
In the past, RV and Auto consumers went straight from research (in-person/word of mouth) to purchase. The number of steps have now increased so Dealers have less opportunity to engage their customers face to face until they’re ready to purchase. This reduces buyer influence and can result in lost sales.
Without stalking your customers at their homes, how do you re-engage them?
The answer is ‘online’. In order to reach your market share you need to take the next steps in Digital Marketing.
We’ll delve deeper into each piece of Digital Marketing in future blog posts but here’s a broad overview to give you an idea of what you should be thinking about:
1) DEVELOP YOUR STRATEGY
At this point you should have already established your brand and built that pretty-looking website. Having a well-thought out digital marketing strategy should be the foundation of all your marketing efforts. During strategy development you’ll need to outline your desired outcomes (i.e. sales, leads, walk-ins, calls, etc.). What do you want to achieve through your marketing efforts? Define those outcomes and break them down so they can be measured later.
2) KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Next you’ll want to establish who your audience is. Your target audience can undoubtedly be broken down into micro-segments (age/interests/gender/industry/likes/dislikes/etc.) that will allow you to target your marketing more effectively. You’ll then want to target your marketing to meet those specific segments. If you do broad-spectrum marketing with the hope of hitting everyone at once with the same message then you’ll find yourself losing potential business as a result. It’s impossible to please everyone. Choose your target customer, market directly to them, and then let the customer spread the good word-of-mouth.
3) STALK YOUR COMPETITION
Earlier we said don’t stalk your customer. That doesn’t mean you can’t stalk your competition. Competitive Research is smart for a number of reasons, the least of which is to make sure you’re not duplicating what someone else is already doing. Understanding your competition can give you insight into established best practices and give your business something to measure against.
4) CONTENT THAT DOESN’T SUCK
‘Content is Key’ is a heavily overused buzz phrase that sits right up there with other overused terminology such as ‘synergy’ and ‘holistic’. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Content Marketing is an essential piece of a great Digital Marketing Plan. The content you create for your Google Adwords, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Digital Ads, Print Ads, and everything else in between, needs to speak to your brand and fit seamlessly into your overall Digital Marketing plan. Don’t skimp on this part, it’ll be worth it.
5) THE DIGITAL TRINITY – SEM, SEO, SMM
Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Social Media Marketing (SMM) are all methodologies to make the internet work for you. SMM is still new on the scene but has quickly become a mainstay. SEO and SEM are a base requirement for Digital Marketing and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can actually work against you.
6) SOCIAL GRACES
Social Media is so called because it’s social, interactive, and lends a potential personal touch to your business. Those customers that no longer visit your location can be found here, and you have the opportunity to speak directly to them, likely while they’re still drinking their coffee and wearing pyjamas with little hearts on them. Being interactive on social media helps to establish and reinforce your brand while opening a direct line of communication to your customers. You should also know that SMM is more than just Facebook. There are a lot of different social channels and each has been created to be used and targeted in a different way. Make sure you do your research!
7) GOING OLD SCHOOL
On average, companies will spend 70% less on Traditional Marketing in 2014 than previous years while Digital Marketing budgets have been increased exponentially. Digital Marketing tools like Email Marketing, SMM, SEO, SEM, Mobile Marketing, and Online Ads all rank above any traditional marketing methods when it comes to marketing budget allocation. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t utilize traditional marketing, you just need to make sure it supports your online presence and brand.
8) IS IT WORKING?
While creating your Digital Marketing Strategy, you will have defined your desired outcomes for your marketing efforts. Measuring and evaluating those outcomes on a quarterly basis allows you to change your strategy accordingly and re-target your marketing efforts.
9) DEVELOP YOUR STRATEGY . . . AGAIN
Now you have your results you’ll want to change your strategy. Maybe everything you’re doing is working perfectly and you want to increase your efforts. Or maybe that one ad campaign is creating negative feedback and you need to change your content. Being fluid in your Digital Marketing Plan will ensure your survival in an ever-changing consumer-driven world.
I could say that you now know everything you need to know. But I’d be lying. Digital Marketing requires know-how, planning, and hard work but don’t worry, we can help! In future blog posts we’ll be looking at individual pieces of Digital Marketing including helpful tips and how to create your Digital Marketing Plan so be sure to check back for new articles to help you navigate the digital world and reach your customers.
*Statistical data sourced from 2013-2014 reports by Google, Latitude, Nielsen, Trinity Digital Marketing, and Forrester.