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28 Nov YouTube for Car Dealerships

taaa_youtube_twIn this decade, by the time a potential buyer walks in the doors of your dealership, he or she has probably searched online for feature information, reviews, and deals. The buyer has compared models and knows what paint options exist for the vehicle he wants. And, most likely, the shopper has visited YouTube more than once to check out the automobiles in the running. Yes, she wants to come in and test drive a model or two and kick the tires, so to speak, but she has a head start.

Per a DMEAutomotive study, the average car purchaser today makes less than two visits to physical dealerships. Before he arrives, the shopper has made numerous digital and mobile visits to check out both you and the cars. And among these virtual experiences, YouTube holds an important key.

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and third most visited site after Google and Facebook. The channel gets over 30 million visitors per day, which translates to about 1 billion active users per month. That’s a giant chunk of internet users consuming video.

David Mogensen, Google’s Head of YouTube Ads Product Marketing, issued a report in which it was reported that 70% of people who used YouTube as part of their car buying process were influenced by what they watched. Further, views on YouTube of test drives, features, options, and walk-throughs have doubled in the past year; mobile searches from dealership lots increased 46% in the last year.

What this means is this: before buyers grace your showroom, they’re making decisions and forming opinions via online research. And here’s the question: where do you want your buyers to get their information: from your dealership or from someone else’s?

Per Google, car review videos on YouTube were watched for more than 3 million hours in the first 9 months of 2015, of which more than 1.2 million were on mobile, more than twice as many as the previous year. In general, research shows that people generally tend to search for 3 types of car video:

  • Test drives
  • Comparison videos showing features of different makes and models
  • Interior and exterior car walk-throughs

This is a great opportunity for your dealership to use video marketing on YouTube to reach potential buyers. How can you maximize your time and money investment in this channel?

Conduct an online audit.  Pretend you are buying a new car yourself, or hire a consultant to audit your online presence. Are you covering the channels that could be most advantageous to you? Is your brand consistent and professional?  Are you using all the right key words to attract the most hits?

Build your video library: Remember that customers are impatient and they want concise and informative video content. Respect their time and yours and create video that reflects your personality in a way that will bring customers to your door.

Be responsive: Modern society is impatient and expects to find answers very quickly. If you aren’t there with the right answer, the moment shoppers are looking, chances are someone else will be.

Dive in! If you’re not already creating content for YouTube and tying that to your other marketing and sales channels, you could be missing a critical outreach opportunity.

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02 Nov Selling Cars Through Social Media

Blog Post

There is no doubt the digital age has forever changed consumer behavior. The decision to make a purchase is preceded by time spent online reading product and company reviews, or asking friends and family about products via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

In the world of automotive sales, understanding this type of behavior can help dealers if they take the more proactive approach. The key is to integrate the dealer’s website with display ads and social media engagement in order to maintain the same cohesive quality of content across all channels. In doing so, dealers can create a stronger customer loyalty base that can grow into a voice for brand advocacy.

Results from a recent study conducted by Twitter and Datalogix, were paired with comprehensive automotive data provided by Polk. Some of the intriguing findings include:

  • Households with Twitter users were 2x as likely to purchase a new car as the average U.S. Household.1
  • Households with Twitter users who engaged with promoted tweets from auto advertisers were 32% more likely to purchase a new vehicle than the average Twitter user.2
  • Auto brand Twitter followers were nearly 3x as likely to purchase a new car.3

But exactly how does using Twitter contribute to an increase in auto sales? This is where the website/social media/display ad integration comes into play. A separate survey revealed that 80 percent of Twitter users will mention a brand in their tweet.4 Another 54 percent said they pursued an action when a brand was mentioned, whether that meant visiting a brand’s website, searching for their Twitter profile, or even trying the brand for the first time.5

Traditional and digital media have their place in automotive advertising however, social media engagement extends beyond ads. A recent Google survey found that, on average, car buyers research 24 factors during the buying process, including search engines, OEM sites, and third party sites. The survey also concluded that more than half of auto shoppers watch 30 minutes or more of online videos, while 47% of auto shoppers heard about a car or truck from watching online videos. Finally, 65% were able to narrow down their search after watching a video.6

Think of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as virtual showrooms and car lots. When customers search for your dealership online, they want to get a feel for the kind of dealership they’re working with, including the people, the purchasing process, and the quality of available inventory. And above all, they want the process, from start to finish, to be seamless and easy.

If done correctly, creating continuity between an auto dealership’s website, social media sites, and digital ads builds a cohesive branding message for the consumer every step of their journey to the purchase decision.

1, 2, 3, Source: Twitter Blog, New Offline Sales Impact Offering: Measure Vehicle Sales From Promoted Tweets (2014)

4, 5 Source: CBT News, Why Everyone at Your Dealership Should Be Engaged with Social Media (2015)

6 Source: Google, Digital Drives Auto Shopping (2013)

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25 Jun Is your business responsive enough on Facebook?

If you are executing a successful social media marketing strategy at your auto dealership, then you definitely understand the importance of reputation management. Engaging with customers who would rather communicate via a tweet, private Facebook message, or Yelp post is an increasingly important aspect of the customer service experience. As you’ve probably discovered, responding to these customers in a timely fashion is a very effective tactic toward clearing up miscommunication or discovering that your business clearly did something wrong. Your reaction time could mean the difference between losing a valuable customer and strengthening their loyalty to your dealership. That’s something that Facebook is counting on, with their recent change to label businesses based on their level of responsiveness.

Recently, Facebook began drawing attention to this added feature, by prominently displaying results for Page administrators.

How quickly does your brand respond?

How quickly does your brand respond?

While it is certainly in your best interest to react quickly to social messages from consumers, each auto dealership needs to determine how much effort to put toward responding in less than 5 minutes to all replies. Below is the information from Facebook, taken directly from their Help section.

How does my Page get the very responsive to messages icon?

To get Very responsive to messages below your Page’s cover photo, your Page must have done both of the following over the last 7 days:

  • Responded to 90% of messages
  • Maintained a median response time of 5 minutes for all replies sent

When your Page has the icon, anyone can see that your Page is very responsive to messages.  When your Page isn’t yet very responsive to messages, only people who help manage your Page can see responsiveness info below the Page’s cover photo.

Note: Only Pages that have allowed people to contact the Page will have responsiveness info.

Facebook is clearly intent on continuous innovation, but a move like this is centered on one specific goal. Gamifying the response time for brand Pages is all a part of their big-picture strategy intended to draw additional attention to the platform. If Facebook can continually prove to brands how important and relevant their platform is, brands will have no choice but to stick with it and eventually spend more on sponsored posts.  If we could offer one bit of advice, it would be this.  Don’t rush your responses, especially in an effort to simply beat the 5 minute timeline that Facebook has set as the standard.  You’re having a one-on-one conversation with someone, so make it count!

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