You have your online car-buying process up and running, and you have educated your sales staff and BDC department on how you are going to handle shop from home leads. Then slowly, showrooms around the United States begin to re-open as their state deems fit; however, this doesn’t mean that these new processes and procedures should be eliminated. Your dealership has the opportunity to refine these processes even further. How Americans shop is and will continue to be different, post-pandemic. To navigate through constantly changing guidelines and precautionary measures, creating a digital cadence to your dealership’s marketing strategy is essential. We have created three steps to help your dealership thrive, no matter what precautionary measures are in place.
1. Create a clear and unified message.
When the world is full of unknowns, all anyone wants to hear is something that gives them a sense of security. According to Twitter’s recent release of Advertising During COVID-19, only 7% of consumers believe that brands currently advertising should keep their typical tone of messaging that was utilized before the pandemic began. That is a tiny number. That means that 93% of consumers don’t want to see “business as usual.” Your community wants to hear about what you are doing as a business to keep your customers safe and how they should best engage with you digitally. Once your online sales and home delivery processes are solidified, create a video that highlights your new purchasing processes. This video can then be turned into an ad on Facebook and Instagram, and it can be embedded into a landing page that gives customers all the information they need to make a purchase safely and securely.
This video from Champion Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, in Kentucky, is an excellent example of how a dealer can reassure his or her customers. The dealer highlights the ability to be able to shop from home and showcases the special offers that are currently available.
This clear marketing message is not limited to “shop from home” and delivery options. If you are a dealer that is offering a special incentive to essential workers and those in the healthcare industry, this information should be live on every digital resource you have as well.
2. Share success stories.
Utilizing user-generated content in your dealership’s marketing message has always been important, but more often than not, dealers are limiting this user content to reviews. Don’t get us wrong – reviews are an excellent marketing tool and are an easy way for customers to get the inside scoop on your business, but there is a way you can take this a step further in the digital age, and that is with video. User-generated content is the easiest and fastest form of content creation. Typically, this video content is not scripted – it is created on-the-fly. The user gives a first-hand account of what their experience was like working with your dealership.
If you want to make it even easier for your customers, ask for their permission to feature their online shopping experience in a video that you create. Check out this content from Szott M-59 Toyota in Michigan. This dealer filmed a video that showcased the car being taken from the dealership and delivering it to the customer’s home with limited contact. They then sent it to our social media team, and we created a custom video for the dealer to utilize on their social media and their website.
3. Make sure the information is available on all of your digital resources.
Most likely, you have the basics covered: you’ve built a landing page on your website with your online buying process, and you have a Facebook Ad running that lands traffic there, but you could be missing out on a few more essential steps. Have you checked the messaging that is currently live in your PPC campaigns? How Americans are searching online is shifting during this pandemic. For example, when running our keyword analysis software this past week, I found that the keyword “shop from home” had a monthly search rate of a little over 700; however, the search term, “all of us” had a monthly search rate in the U.S. of over 18,000 times per month, and service search terms like “[Brand] service department” and “[Location] service department” are having significantly more conversions. Taking these high volume search terms and turning them into engaging messaging in your Google Ads will help convert new leads and increase remarketing traffic to your dealership’s website.
Another digital resource that you should keep up to date is your Google My Business profile. Posts within Google My Business can be utilized to highlight events and services that are taking place at the dealership; however, these posts only last for seven days. The best way to showcase your online shopping and delivery programs is to add it under the “products” section in Google My Business. These posts stay live until you choose to remove them. Check out how we have set up our “products” posts for Dealer Authority.
The automotive industry can expect more shifts in the coming months. Still, the best way for dealers and vendors alike to prepare for these shifts it to make sure that you are communicating with your digital marketing vendors with any changes in service or new programs that your dealership is offering. The more information we can all make readily available to the public, the more successful we all can be.
If you need any assistance with your dealership’s marketing message, feel free to reach out to our team. We are here to help you!