In today’s uncertain environment, it is more important than ever for dealers to be transparent and up to date in all they are doing as a business to support their customers, their employees, and their communities. Whether you have mandated store closures in heavily impacted areas in the country, you are located in an area where the concern is growing, or in a location where it’s business as usual, you need to be digitally present. It is critical that you are communicating with your customers on a regular basis and nurturing that relationship to keep you top of mind for when customers are ready to shop.
More time at home means more time on smartphones and computers for shoppers, thinking about their future purchases. It is imperative to keep your digital storefront as relevant and current as possible. Relevancy can be created through on-line messaging and creative, SEO content attracting organic traffic, and a strong presence through frequent updates on your social properties. According to data released in March 2020, there has been a +53% increase in Facebook platform browsing and +32% increase in Instagram. In addition, interactions with Facebook posts (likes, shares, comments) are up 3X over the past 60 days.
Nurture Future Customers
Prior to February 2020, over 60% (or an average of 14 hours) of a shopper’s research time was done via the internet. – and we now anticipate this time spent online will only increase. Your car dealer website, and how a shopper interacts with it, acts as a window into the mind of the shopper and buyer. The ability to understand why and how a consumer considers, selects and buys their next vehicle is measurable and actionable. While in the short-term, the number of people test-driving vehicles will certainly decrease, dealerships should seize the opportunity to provide more quality on-line content around their inventory. This allows potential future buyers to become more familiar with their vehicles. Many dealerships already create model-specific pages, but today is the time to get more granular to include images and videos of specific inventory. Dealers should also create assets, such as banners and landing pages, communicating the solutions they can provide around expanded services, delivery of inventory, and even delivery of vehicles for a test drive.
With fewer people traveling long distances to purchase new vehicles, the recommendation is to continue to focus on your local market. Leverage Google My Business and keep business information up to date. Note any changes, confirm your phone number is accurate, and articulate precautions your dealership is taking during this time. If you’re open, make sure everyone is aware with home pages slides and banners to communicate your open status. Include photos of your clean and spacious dealership and share them on your social media channels. Leverage Google Posts and blogs as your status changes.
With immediate vehicle servicing and purchases less possible, shoppers have more time to think about potential future purchases and how to take advantage of significant incentives from OEMs. As the health situation stabilizes, we expect the pent-up demand will drive an influx of transactional shoppers ready to buy in their local markets. Maintaining your digital marketing investments now will allow you to reap the benefits of being top of mind with your customers. Keep your foot on the proverbial gas pedal. When demand returns, you’ll want to be highly visible.
At Dealer.com we are committed to our dealers, our team members, and our community. Our A-team of Managed Services custom content creators are available to help you in any way we can. Wishing you all safety and health during this time.