How does your community perceive you and your dealership? What about your internet viewers?
While you may have a solid representation within your community, have you considered how you need to present your brand in the digital world?
Branding is an often-ignored side of digital marketing, but it’s key to establishing your brand online and eventually gaining new customers through it. Many dealers already have a well-established brand within their communities, which means digital branding can be overlooked and even forgotten.
So how can you establish your brand online and, by doing so, achieve a stronger digital presence?
1. Provide Quality Information
This is key to developing a strong digital presence. You need to provide your viewers with information that’s relevant to them. Consider what information they might be searching for and learn how you can provide that.
Consumers today demand more. They’re ready and waiting for dealerships to provide them with relevant information throughout their vehicle shopping experience. In fact, the vast majority of digital buyers in the US want you to utilize data to provide them with the most up-to-date and helpful information across every marketing channel.1
Vehicle shoppers today are spending more and more time searching for their next vehicle online – 14.48 hours to be exact.2 If your target customers are able to find valuable information about your dealership no matter how they choose to engage with you, they’ll quickly discover why your dealership is superior to others before they even walk into your showroom.
In order to do this, make sure you’re hitting the top questions they need to know in order purchase a vehicle from you. Think With Google makes this easy for us – at least they provide us with the questions we need to answer.3
As vehicle shoppers begin their car buying journey, they search for the answers to these questions. Provide the right answers and you’ll win their business.
But for dealers, answering these questions during the right stages of a vehicle shopper’s journey is 90% of the battle. In order to provide quality information at the right time, you need to make sure your marketing is tailored to the average car buyer’s journey and to each shopper’s individual needs.
There answer here is to find a marketing strategy that understands the needs of a vehicle shopper and can provide answers to their questions, moment after moment, in a timely manner.
2. Utilize Social Media
Shoppers are relying more and more heavily on social media to influence their decision-making during their vehicle-buying journey.4 Which means that you must utilize social media in order to have any kind of digital presence. Without the use of social media, your dealership might as well be invisible.
Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all excellent tools that provide different strengths and weaknesses. Learn which channels you need to be using and which ones will provide the best value for your dealership.
- Facebook can provide the largest reach and broadest range of audiences of all the social media outlets.3 If you’re looking for a social media outlet that provides a higher ROI than any other chance and you’re confident in your social media marketing skills, Facebook is the answer.
- Gmail boasts over a billion active users and cost-effective advertising. With Gmail advertising, you can reach potential customers who may have opted out of your promotional emails and utilize the power of customer-matched audiences.
- Don’t overlook YouTube, either. Sixty-nine percent of people who used YouTube while buying a car were influenced by it – more than TV, newspapers, or magazines. Plus, you can repurpose commercials onto YouTube and get more out of your marketing!5
Utlilizing social media is key to developing stronger relationships with your current and prospective customers and raising brand awareness – don’t overlook it!
3. Optimize for Mobile
Roughly 66% of you are reading this article on your smartphone right now.6
A study conducted by Google, The Need for Mobile Speed, found that 53% of mobile sites are abandoned if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
If you want to make sure that you are holding onto your customers, make sure your website is loading appropriately. Easy enough, right?
Another key factor that is contributing to the surge in mobile traffic is responsive website design. Go ahead and take the next few seconds and perform a quick test for yourself; pull out your phone (or open-up a new window if you’re already browsing on it), and load your website.
What do you see? Does your website provide a good user experience?7
If not, then you know what you need to do!
Stay on Top of the Latest Trends
If you really want to develop a strong digital presence and keep it, you’ll need to stay on top of the latest information, data, and tools.
Find sources that give you the information you need to stay ahead of the digital marketing game and continually increase your digital presence. This isn’t something that you can achieve and walk away from. Gaining a digital presence requires a lot of effort, but keeping a digital presence requires dedication.
Stay on top of the latest trends and solutions and you’ll continue to increase your digital presence.
Author: Paul Ress
Paul Ress is the Marketing Director at J&L Marketing. Paul innovates turnkey, omnichannel campaigns engineered to generate relevant traffic and quality conversions for the automotive industry.