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Hit the ground running in 2018

By Lauren Labunsky

Happy holidays, Powersports Business readers! The new year is mere days away, and we want it to be your best yet for dealership sales! The best way to fulfill that goal? We believe it’s by upping your game in digital marketing. Let’s dive into a few trends and best practices that are predicted to increase in importance in 2018, and make sure your business starts off the new year on the right foot.

A Smart Insights survey found that content marketing is the top activity that marketers believe will make the biggest impact on businesses in 2018.

  • Remember that “content marketing” is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of advertising methods online and allows different types of content to reach different audiences. For example, some of your customers might enjoy an article about how to perform simple maintenance on their bikes. Other customers would have no interest in reading the article but would be thrilled to watch a video with the same message. For the best results, plan to be strategic with a variety of content marketing efforts that will best reach your audience.

Statistics prove that you should be integrating video (including live video) into your online advertising process.

  • The popularity of video has been fueled by social media. While YouTube continues to be the second largest search engine after Google (making video content important to your dealership’s SEO strategy as well), we’re also seeing a major rise in both live and recorded video on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. According to digital marketing blogger Neil Patel, 80% of online users would rather watch a live video than read a blog post.
  • Utilizing video as a marketing tool makes perfect sense for a powersports dealer. What customer doesn’t want to see live-action shots of the powersports unit they’re interested in? There are tons of opportunities for live video in a dealership setting, too - give a tour around your showroom, show off your newly stocked units, or interview a happy customer. According to Social Media Today, mobile video consumption is expected to grow by 25% in 2018.

Customer service is more important than ever, and so is transparency online.

  • It takes seconds for potential customers to find your dealership on review sites, and now it’s equally important to monitor reviews and comments on social media as well. People will check your dealership’s reputation online before making a big purchase from you, and a negative review score will literally appear next to your dealership’s name on Google if you have unhappy customers with unresolved issues.
  • Before social media became such a huge part of our everyday lives, customer feedback wasn’t as easy to spread. Now, word of mouth through social media spreads like wildfire. Any negative experience that a customer decides to share is on display for all to see. At the very least, monitoring customer reviews across platforms and responding to them in a timely manner is crucial.

Add a human touch to your dealership’s online presence.

  • As much as we are moving more and more into “digital everything,” people still want to have a human experience. For example, the most successful email marketing campaigns are the ones with personalized messages, and search engine algorithms favor conversational keywords and phrases for SEO content. As we dive deeper into the world of digital, many want to take a step back and be acknowledged as an individual on the other side of the screen.

All four of these trends have grown in importance throughout 2017 and are only expected to become more prominent in 2018. A common thread between them is the element of connection and treating customers as people rather than simply customers. Take a cue from this and help your dealership perform its best in the new year by making genuine relationships the #1 priority both online and in person.

Lauren Labunsky is the public relations manager at Dealer Spike, a leading web services provider for powersports dealerships. The award-winning digital advertising company is focused on helping dealers increase sales through powerful, distinctive website design and a full suite of online marketing tools to drive results. Dealer Spike’s expertise comes from real-world dealership experience and a team of professionals who also ride. When you work with Dealer Spike, you’re working with digital marketing experts who have a passion for your industry.

Website: www.DealerSpike.com

Phone: 800/288-5917

Email: Press@DealerSpike.com

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