What's changing in the digital space and how is it going to affect the number of 'Web Ups' flowing into your lead management system?
Speakers and dealers attending the Digital Dealer Conference invested a major amount of time speaking (mostly) about social and SEO (But there's a major change that Google just announced which didn't get a whole lot of airplay). Let's discuss some specific action steps you can take to improve your digital marketing presence today:
1. Focus on Local Interaction -- Facebook introduced Edge Rank (and more recently Graph Rank) which are algorithms that determine which messages appear in your fans news feeds. In the past it was critically important to boost your fan count in order to communicate to Facebook that you are an influencer, but this has changed. Facebook and other social networks (like Google Places) care much more about conversations that fan counts alone. In other words, with the tremendous shift towards local advertising on the web, you need to publish content that people comment on, 'like' and share with their friends and family.
Action Step: Study top brands like Zappos.com (and see the Subaru photo) to learn how to write and share photos/videos that are irresistible. Learn about your local shoppers/fans and identify their prime motivation on the social web. Some dealers will succeed using racing images and hosting concerts and lifestyle events, while others should try engagement strategies like the 'Dirty Car Contest' (Asking fans to post on your page sends positive ranking signals to Facebook).
2. Build Bulletproof Landing Pages -- Google released a change to the way they rank pay-per-click ads which could fundamentally change who wins the battle for views, clicks and conversions (Sales 'ups'). The change is simple: Higher quality landing pages give you the opportunity to gain better positioning. In other words, when someone searches for a specific car (or service), you damn well better have a specific ad and correlating landing page to appeal to local shoppers.
Action Step: Build pay-per-click advertisements that speak directly to your customers need the second they search for it, and 'land' them on a page containing information they need to make a buying decision.
3. Quality vs Quantity -- Don't believe the hype that more is always better when it comes to search engine optimization. Blasting out automated pages that contain little, if any, relevance to shoppers is a waste of time. You're better off building hyper-specific pages and content that address often neglected profit centers (Oil changes and tires), like Infiniti of Lisle has created. Your customers are learning to search for fixed operations on Google (And Foursquare, among many other social networks).
Action Step: Invest in specific content for your website and social networks (Think about titles that reflect what customers search for vs. what your branded service name is, i.e. "Baltimore 24 Hour Mobile Truck Repair and Service" vs. "Fleet Services").
3.5 Pick Up the Phone -- None of the steps we take on the social and traditional search web matter if we don't turn positive (and negative) sentiment into a live discussion. In other words, how are you taking what people say about your store -- word of mouth -- and turning it into a branding and sales opportunity?
Action Step: Discover the word of mouth about your dealership. Read reviews and respond to them. Encourage advocates to become raving fans who will sit for a video testimonial. Call (if possible) people who react negatively to your dealership.
That's the news from Digital Dealer. Hope to read your thoughts in the comments section below!