With the Autumn Statement now being revised as the year’s main Budget from 2017, let’s have a look to see what the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and the Office for Budget Responsibility are pledging and how it will affect our clients.
Today’s consumers are taking a much more digital approach to car buying. With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, gone are the days when you would spend time trekking from forecourt to forecourt looking at cars and chatting to salesmen before making a decision.
These days, savvy consumers have a wealth of information at their finger tips via a plethora of outlets and devices and are doing most of their research online before even setting foot in a car dealership. From dealer websites, review sites, manufacturers’ sites, social media, video, reading blogs, they’ll spend time trawling information online before taking the plunge.
To drive sales and stand out from the crowd, car dealers need to do everything they can to boost their online presence and be part of the customer’s overall purchasing journey, so when a prospective buyer has done the ‘clicks’ (online research) they visit your ‘bricks’ (dealership) to make their purchase.
Here are my top tips for how car dealerships can stand out online:
- Have an amazing online ‘shop window’
An obvious one but the power of a great website should never be underestimated and for a car dealer your website is your online shop window so it needs to be slick, SEO-optimised and full to the brim with great content. Your website is your brand’s digital manifestation so make sure potential customers have as positive a perception of your brand as possible!
- Reviews and recommendations
Reviews are becoming increasingly important for dealers and customers, with a recent survey* showing that more than 80 per cent of consumers saying they check out reviews online before purchasing a car or even heading to a showroom. This means reviews play a vital role in converting potential sales.
- Generate some news
Appoint a ‘newshound’ in each dealership who can sniff out the stories that will work well for media and your social channels. Remember though, that for a story to be ‘newsworthy’ it must fill at least one of the following criteria:
- Topical: Does the story relate to any local or national news/events going on at a certain time?
- Relevant/interesting: Are people going to want to read the story, and why?
- Photo opportunity: Could there be a strong photo to go with the story?
We are increasingly being asked to produce content marketing strategies for our clients, including those within the motor sector. Given that 90% of the car buying journey takes place online, a creative and targeted content marketing strategy could be what sets you apart from the competition.
We recently ran a campaign for Trusted Dealers, one of the UK’s largest used car classified websites, to develop a targeted content marketing campaign to boost traffic to the website and increase sales conversions amongst the site’s target audience of men aged 45+.
This creative campaign combined social and traditional media relations, and we also commissioned a survey to generate content, drawing on the relationship between parents and children and the problems that come with getting kids on the road.
In just under three months, the team doubled the average engagement rate for Trusted Dealers’ Facebook posts, increased clicks from Facebook to the Trusted Dealers website by more than 600% and reached more than one million Facebook users. We also boosted page Likes by more than a third.
The campaign spanned social media, vox pops, competitions and partnership opportunities with partners including Honest John, Silver Surfers and Driving Test Success.
Our creative, proactive approach ensured Trusted Dealers consistently outperformed the market leaders in terms of social media reach and engagement over the duration of the campaign.
The campaign has so far delivered more than 112 million media opportunities for Trusted Dealers, including national pieces in the Daily Star and on the MSN homepage and more than 160 pieces of coverage across national, regional and local titles.