Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Should You Do With Your Dealership Marketing Budget?

eMarketer predicts that total digital advertising spending in the auto industry will increase from $5.85 billion in 2014 to $6.56 billion in 2015. We're hoping you have plans for all that money, but if not, you can make checks payable to Callbright. Just kidding. But seriously, don't blindly spend it, don't burn through it, and don't toss it in the air to make it rain.

Digital marketing iconsIf you're going to spend more in the digisphere, you'll need an attack plan to make sure you're successful. Digital advertising can range from social media to YouTube to paid search campaigns. To help you get started on your attack plan, we've come up with a few tips.

Social Media


Most businesses are already on social media, but just being there isn't enough. You have to post interesting and relevant content to keep your readers (who should be prospects or customers) following you. Start out by following industry experts so you can get an idea of what content generates activity.

Once you've nailed down your content topics, check out these tips to craft an awesome tweet. But don't let a perfect tweet go to waste — post it at the time it'll get the most action. If you don't know when that is, post at different times during the day for about a week to see what time generates the most activity for your content. The average best time to post or tweet may not be your best time, so take the time to do an experiment to get the most out of your social media accounts. 

Videos


Commercials have always been big in the auto industry, but now online video ads are becoming more popular. Online videos allow auto brands and dealers to create a story around their products and develop a more intimate relationship with their consumers. After all, over 20 percent of Internet users visit YouTube every single day.

We'll be honest: Creating a video campaign takes a lot of creativity. You'll have to make your video stand out from the rest, and you can't stand out without Jean-Claude Van Damme doing an epic split atop two 18-wheelers in reverse. Make sure you convey your message and include a call to action, such as a unique TFN so you can track the ad response. Add a little bit of finesse, and you've got yourself a video campaign! Check out this post for more video advertising tips.

Paid Search


Dealer Marketing suggests that you focus on finding pay-per-click keywords that are relevant to your dealership and write really good ads. Easy enough, right? Wrong. You need to do experiments to see what keywords drive the most traffic, what headlines catch the most attention and whether you perform better on the Search Network or Display Network. In Google AdWords, that's easy with the Campaign Experiments tool. Another helpful tool in AdWords is the Keyword Planner. It'll help you find keywords and will give you traffic estimates for those keywords.

No matter which network you choose, one common element of awesome ads is a killer headline. You want to draw people in, but not give a blatant sales pitch. Once people click on your ad, they want to see something relevant to what drew them in. Don't forget to link your ads to relevant content or you'll get penalized big time. Here are a few more paid search tips if you're a first-timer.

Do you plan on doing any of these things with your dealership's marketing budget? Let us know in the comments!