The State of Automotive Marketing
Automotive Marketing hasn’t just changed. It is continually changing… faster and faster. The problem is, most car dealers haven’t changed with emerging automotive marketing solutions. Worse yet, most auto marketing dealer vendors haven’t advanced either! The internet is 27 years old! SEO, SEM, Social Media, Dynamic Retargeting, Geo-fencing, “AI,” VR!? Everyone is trying to sell you on the next digital marketing wave. And can we be honest for a minute? Tier 3 automotive was a little slow to adapt or even accept that the internet was going to be here to stay — let alone become the fundamental way in which we would communicate. As a result, now dealers are often fearful of missing out on “the next big thing.” Meanwhile, we’re often not doing a stellar job with the tools we already have at our disposal.
While it is true that staying current and identifying emerging automotive marketing trends and shifts that come will be very important, a much greater focus is needed to identify auto marketing solutions providers that can truly deliver on their promises. Sadly, that is not an easy prospect. Some OEMs make things worse by forcing you to use a single provider leaving you, the check writer, zero leverage to hold results accountable. Or worse, they may penalize you, take incentive money, or co-op away if you don’t choose from a short list of poor providers only chosen for kicking back large percentages to the OEM or their “shifty,” marketing thugs. What can you do?
Start by identifying the difference between automotive marketing solutions experts and the sales people who throw around a lot of buzzwords and acronyms. No matter what service an automotive marketing company is selling, there is one truth that is inescapable — content is king. The foundation upon which your automotive marketing strategy should be built is, without question, automotive SEO. Its almost 2019. Does your automotive marketing company have a blog? Do they update it? Or was their last post written in 2016? or worse… never? Doesn’t it stand to reason that your marketing provider would use their own services to market themselves? (hint: google “automotive seo” Who comes up first?) There is only one reason why automotive marketing companies don’t keep an updated blog. Because they can’t afford to.
Think about it. We might enjoy the guilty pleasure of a McDonalds cheeseburger from time to time… But would you eat at McDonalds every day, 3 meals a day? Of course not! The same should be true when it comes to your automotive marketing strategy! You need the highest quality vendor partners if you’re going to be able to generate consistent, lasting results. When an auto marketing company doesn’t have the resources to provide free, relevant, marketing content about their supposed field of expertise, it’s because their goal was simply to create something cheap and scalable that they could sell the OEM. Thin margins, low cost, and the strong hand of the OEM are sure signs of a low quality product or service designed to make everyone but you, the dealer, rich. With over 100 years of combined automotive retail experience, Wikimotive is the partner you’ve been looking for to deliver accountable, tangible results. Start focusing on your future now and you’ll be able to spend less acquiring customers and outsell your competitors like never before!
Print is Dead. Do Not Resuscitate.
How much money are you spending on print each and every month? From what we know about dealers in general, we’re going to assume it’s still too much. And how many tangible sales are those campaigns generating? Can you even tell anymore?
There’s a reason newspapers around the country have been dropping like flies in the past decade: automotive digital marketing has taken over and it’s never going away.
But it’s not just the fact that newspapers top the list of America’s disappearing industries–it’s the fact that digital marketing is cheaper, easier, and more effective in generating ROI. With platforms like Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, you can custom tailor an unlimited number of unique ads to target different keywords, demographics, and locations. You just can’t do that with a newspaper (or other forms of traditional marketing for that matter).
Now, don’t take this the wrong way. The point we’re trying to make is that you can have more control over your success with automotive marketing than with print, and that can make the difference between a little bit, or no profit and a lot of profit.
If you’re looking for ways to supplement your traditional advertising, Wikimotive offers three incredibly powerful automotive marketing services that work to put your business ahead of the competition online: Automotive SEO, Automotive Social Media Marketing and Automotive Reputation Management. Below, we’ll provide more information on each service to help you decide which individual services are right for you.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO (should be) the Foundation of your Automotive Marketing
Traditional advertising will continue to be a component to automotive marketing. But, now and well into the future, SEO is the way to consistently build and grow businesses. What separates SEO and traditional advertising is one simple thing: customers who are in the market find you, instead of the other way around.
By creating content, earning links, and optimizing your website, Wikimotive is able to provide dealers with more exposure to search engine users for more unique searches. We’re not focused on individual keyword rankings like most automotive SEO companies, as this is an outdated method. Instead, we focus on building authority and relevancy between your website and topics related to your business. This allows your site to be more easily found by customers with unique search queries. This leads to better quality visits and leads, which then translate into easier sales on your end.
But don’t think of us as just another automotive marketing agency. We put our team to work on campaigns immediately, with little to no time wasted on your end. This is what separates us from our competition. We still spend time educating clients on best practices, but we don’t expect you to do the heavy lifting.
SEO is not something you just throw onto someone’s plate. It’s a highly-specific service that requires customization, constant updates, and extreme care. And that’s exactly what you’ll get from Wikimotive.
Here’s an inside look into what you’ll receive as an SEO client:
– Complete Website Audit and Re-Optimization – Upon sign up, the Wikimotive team will audit your site in order to identify issues that could be affecting your SEO. Once we’ve identified the issues, we’ll immediately get started on fixing them in order to boost results quickly. This typically involves rewriting metadata, rewriting homepage and main navigational content, and optimizing all content with relevant keywords.
– Website – While Wikimotive isn’t a website vendor, we often find platform deficiencies with your website during our initial audit. When this happens we work with your website vendor to make improvements and corrections, and if they aren’t capable of making the necessary changes, we will recommend a new vendor and help you through the transition.
– SEO Content – After we’ve optimized and/or upgraded your site, we’ll begin adding content. By identifying high-volume, buyer-intent keywords, searched in your market, Wikimotive’s content team can begin crafting quality automotive marketing content to build up your site’s authority for those keywords, as well as its overall authority. This helps consistently increase traffic to your website as a whole, and boosts traffic from searches with specific intent. One problem that plagues the automotive SEO marketplace is spun or duplicate content. Google devalues content which is partially or completely copied from another page or website, so Wikimotive never reuses or duplicates content. Everything we write for you is completely unique to you, and produced by our own staff.
– Local SEO – A simple, but generally tedious way to increase rankings and local exposure is to manage and sync all your citations. This involves matching your NAP (Name, Address, Phone-number) information on your site, to what is listed on over 100 listings, ranging from Google My Business to obscure sites most people haven’t heard of. We take on this responsibility for you, syncing up all your citations and optimizing the way you show up on Google My Business. This makes you easier to find, and also aligns with Google best practices.
– Social Media Syndication – Included in Wikimotive’s SEO is social media syndication, intended to build social signals using the quality content we create for your site. Social signals are the activity and engagement associated with content on social media that help influence rankings on search engines. Likes, comments, and shares all count as social signals, and are counted by search engines. Traffic driven by social media syndication is also considered by search engines, and helps to reinforce the perceived quality of the content.
– Monthly Reporting – Each month, Wikimotive staff meets with your team in order to review the work we’ve done and report on results. This allows you to ask questions, receive insight into SEO, and provide us with information that can better help us do our best to get the best results possible. Our goal is to ensure you understand how our work translates into results for your dealership that are tangible. This is an important differentiator between Wikimotive and other SEO vendors. We understand that a PDF report only provides a snapshot in time, and not the context you need to truly evaluate your ROI.
Social Media Marketing
Use Social Media Marketing to Connect with Car Buyers
For most car dealers, social media feels like something you have to do instead of something you have to do well. This is the “everyone’s doing it so I guess we have to” mentality. It’s true you have to be on Facebook; it’s where people spend an absurd amount of time online nowadays. But, just being there isn’t enough to generate results.
Wikimotive’s Automotive Social Media Marketing service puts a team of social media experts to work providing you with the best marketing across the most important social media sites. We don’t waste time on sites that don’t provide results. Instead, we focus on the platforms that allow us to reach local car buyers and drive them to your site and store.
How do we do this?
1. We target local users only, including retargeting to customers who have shopped on your website but haven’t submitted a lead.
2. Post quality, relevant local and automotive marketing content. This allows you to connect with people interested in the vehicles you sell, as well as all local residents.
3. We integrate blog content to build social signals to your website, a huge benefit to your site’s SEO.
4. Use inventory to tell stories about individual vehicles and get people excited about the cars on your lot.
What are the results?
1. Increased number of likes and comments on each and every post from local users. This puts your brand in front of more and more potential car buyers who will see you in high regard thanks to the quality content they see from your dealership on Facebook.
2. More organic views on content from increased shares. You’ll find more that your page receives an increase in natural likes and engagement thanks to the shares received on the content Wikimotive creates for your Facebook page.
3. Better SEO results thanks to an increase in social signals associated with your domain. The efforts by our social media team will help boost the work done on the SEO side, which will provide you with even more traffic from ready-to-buy customers.
4. Sales directly from social media. Yes, it’s not just possible — we do it every day! With the increase in engagement and overall attention to your page, the inventory we post begins to be seen more and more. In fact, our Inventory posts and Dark Posts generate thousands of VDP views/month. Leads are also regularly fielded in comments and Facebook messages. These are then passed along to your team in order to convert them into sales.
There is an alternative, of course: you can continue posting the same old awkward pictures of customers with salespeople for the rest of eternity. There’s no harm in it, really. But unless you’re satisfied with the knowledge that you’ve neglected one of the most powerful online marketing opportunities, we hope you’ll contact us about our automotive social media marketing services.
Reputation Management Protects and Improves Your Business’s Reputation
As one of the newer services offered by automotive marketing agencies, Reputation Management is something you may have yet to hear about. But don’t let that make you think it’s any less important than SEO or Social Media Marketing.
We’ve learned that negative reviews can cost your business customers before you even knew they were interested. Simply by searching your business’s name on Google, they’re able to see a rating that could define public perception of your dealership.
Because here’s something you probably already know about customers: they’re going to complain louder than they praise. What that means is, you’re going to find that for every 10 happy customers, only one submits a good review. But for every three unhappy customers, one or more will definitely submit a negative review.
In thinking about this, three things need to happen:
1. Your dealership needs a system to better facilitate positive reviews.
2. You need a system that can reduce the number of negative reviews that end up online.
3. All reviews must be given a public response on sites that allow it.
The reason these are so important is because it helps change public perception about your dealership. Because if users see that your dealership has a 2 out of 5 rating, they’re going to assume that you have terrible service. Using Wikimotive’s Reputation Management strategy, not only will you have more positive reviews–which will increase your overall rating on review sites–but you’ll also have responses in place to show potential customers that you don’t just ignore issues when they’re brought up.
A study from Bazaarvoice showed that 7 out of 10 customers who left a negative review felt differently about a business after receiving a response to their review. And those are the people who had the poor experience; not just the ones who are reading about it online, so it’s very likely this small change in handling reviews can make a big difference in how people perceive your business at first glance.
With Wikimotive’s Reputation Management service, your dealership will be given a system for facilitating better reviews and receive responses to all new reviews within a 24-hour timeframe. None of this is automated, either.
Your reviews will be thoroughly read by one of our representatives, who will create professional responses to each and every review. Should a negative review mention a specific issue with the dealership, we will direct that person to our point of contact at your dealership. The goal is to quickly resolve negative feedback to prevent more negative comments. Many times, these customers will come back and edit their negative reviews to reflect a positive outcome once the issue has been resolved.
At the end of the day, reviews can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help. Our strategy allows us to handle the monitoring and bulk of review replies so that your team can focus on creating better and better experiences for your customers.
Contact Wikimotive to Supercharge Your Automotive Marketing
Whether you’re in the market for automotive SEO, automotive social media marketing, or reputation management, Wikimotive is here to answer your questions and help you discover ways we can improve your dealership’s digital marketing. Our team is headed by automotive retail veterans, comprising nearly 100 years of retail experience, who are passionate about helping dealers sell more cars.
At Wikimotive, our internal benchmark for success is 500% ROI to our client, and we need to perform if we want to earn your continued business.Wikimotive clients see cost per lead as low as $3.11 and cost per click as low as $0.20. Compare this to any other marketing avenue, and the choice is clear. In fact, we are able to deliver excellent results to our clients with such consistency, that only one Wikimotive client has ever canceled service, after using us for a year or more.
It’s time to take your digital presence to the next level. With Reputation Management you’ll save time, generate positive consumer perception, reduce unhappy customers, and improve your online ratings. With Social Media management you’ll generate an engaging brand image on your all-important Facebook page, while serving users with compelling ads that drive website traffic and leads. With SEO you will generate ever-increasing website traffic, dominating your market and expanding your geographical area of influence. Not only that, but you will keep doing this year after year, generating more sales every year at an ever-falling cost per click, lead, and sale.
You won’t find a more serious and hardworking team in automotive marketing, so give us a call at (888) 975-9454 or use the contact form below to introduce yourself!