BY ERIC MCMULLEN
If we only use ten percent of our brains, imagine what percentage we use of our computers. After being the “social media guy” for two years, I have learned many things. There have been countless failures and a handful of successes that have transformed our dealership from a light bulb into The Sun. Web exposure, a streamlined sales funnel, and a complete omni-channel marketing strategy are the three greatest successes I have seen since my start at Team Winnebagoland.
SEO Web Exposure
In the last year, the number of pageviews on our website has grown by 167%. Prior to 2018, the largest rate of growth was a meager 20% according to Google Analytics. What is the secret? Fortunately, there are many small secrets that work together to get you above the surface. Remember, an island is a mountain in the water.
The most beneficial thing you can do for your website is to create original content. This content MUST be valuable for your customers. For us, this has been landing pages for monthly sales campaigns, events, rides, PG&A sales, and new product showcases to name a few. This content is valuable to your customers and team, but what really makes it powerful is the use of keywords, local targeting strategies, and alt tags on images. This is the practice of Search Engine Optimization, which I will cover in my next blog.
Another essential driver in collecting pageviews is a complete database of web inventory. This inventory must contain compressed image, specific alt tags, and your company logo. This will help you show up on Google and will also get you more referrals through specialized search engines such as Cycle Trader and Craigslist. All of this combined with a promotional social media strategy (hint: Google My Business!!) will make the internet start working for YOU and will attract more eyes to your stuff.
The Circle Of Likes
One thing I have learned from my store’s owner is the importance of holding our customer’s hands throughout the entire sales process and beyond. The internet is a miracle of an opportunity to be able to do this even after they leave the store. This is what I call the Circle Of Likes.
When a customer needs something, they will Google it. Once they find you there, they need to see your culture through pictures and reviews. When that goes well they will check you out on Facebook. Game on. Your culture is most present on your Facebook page and as long as you have that locked down, they will call or message you. If your team is lively and your hold message is current, you have further strengthened the relationship before they have even spoken to sales. At the sales desk, your team will use your landing pages and online inventory to show the customer what’s going on in the store. On the tour, they will see your in-store video on your monitors that will remind them of your website and Facebook page. In the finance office, they will see flyers and hear from your finance personnel about how they can continue to hold your hand after they leave. In the parking lot, you can take their picture for your Facebook page and direct them to go see it for their personal send off. Before you know it, your customer has been brought in a full circle which will lead to service, parts, and more major unit sales. The Circle Of Likes has made our sales process an enormous success and will continue to grow as we find new ways to include the internet in our sales processes.
Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy
Using the internet not as a separate way to collect leads, but as a way to assist our already successful sales strategy, has been the biggest success of our dealership in the last two years.
At AIMExpo this year I attended a Sam Dantzler presentation where he talked about the importance of an omni-channel marketing strategy. An omni-channel marketing strategy is one that uses every facet of your dealership from the sales floor to the smartphone as one complete process. If something is missing, you lose credibility and risk losing the attention of your customers.
Stay tuned in on these Powersports Business blogs as we dive deeper into these concepts and learn how to get technical.
Long live the internet!
Eric McMullen is the marketing coordinator at Team Winnebagoland, a premium midwest dealer, where he manages all marketing efforts for powersports and marine. With backgrounds in marketing, media production, and automotive, Eric brings an exciting twist to powersports and is redefining the industry with groundbreaking digital marketing techniques.