Online and digital marketing is more important than ever before when it comes to showcasing your business and here are some stats to prove it.
- Almost half of the global population now use social media
- Facebook had 2.2 billion active users every month in 2019
- 54% of consumers make a purchase after seeing a product on Instagram.
Used effectively, social media can provide a powerful and very low cost tool to attract customers and new talent to your business.
But how do you get it right?
- Establish your Goals
Lots of businesses make the mistake of jumping into online marketing without any sort of plan which can result in a lot of time and effort spent for very little results. Build your strategy by identifying who your audience are, what they are most likely to be looking for online and ways you can target them.
Next, you need to determine what you want to gain from your online marketing so that you have something to measure your success by. You might want to increase footfall in your Dealership, generate more vehicle sales or upsell additional services you provide in your Independent Garage. Whatever your goal, defining it will ensure your marketing activity contributes to you achieving it.
- Setting up your Accounts
Once you’ve identified your typical customer you can work out which social media platforms they are most likely to use and channel your efforts into building your presence here. It’s advisable to have a prescense on more than one social media platform because they all attract different audience types. It goes without saying that your accounts should look professional and reflect your brand to ensure they are easily identifiable by your audience.
- Share Engaging Content
The only way you’ll grow your online following is by sharing content that engages your target audience. If you are a Dealership, it’s likely that your audience will want to see what vehicles you have in stock. If you’re a Bodyshop why not share before and after pictures of the work your team have done?
You can also create original content by writing industry led blogs, instructional videos and comment on topical industry news to highlight that you’ve got your finger on the Automotive pulse! Our top tip for content creation is to add personal touches whether it’s sharing positive new stories about your staff or your customers (with their permission). People buy from people so if you can put a face to your brand it will really help people to engage.
- Strengthen your Brand
New customers will always seek reassurance that you are a trusted business and a great way to reinforce this is through customer ratings and testimonials. Ask your customers to comment on your pages when they’ve had a positive experience with you and ask your staff to share what a fantastic place your business is to work.
It’s also wise to develop specific brand guidelines for your business to adopt online. This means the tone and style of writing will be consistent at all times and overtime your customers will be able to recognise it and buy into it.
- Use Messaging Tools
Trends show that customers are spending less time in the showroom and are finding out answers to their queries online via forums or by contacting businesses directly through social media messaging features. Utilising these tools gives you the chance to build the rapport that would have primarily taken place in the showroom.
Research also shows that 53% of consumers are more likely to buy when they can contact the business personally and directly so by opting out of messaging tools, you are reducing the probability that a customer will choose to spend their money with you. Instead they will opt for the company who does engage with them online.
- Be Consistent
The online world moves at an incredibly fast pace with many businesses sharing posts multiple times a day. This means that even if you’re sharing top notch content but only posting once every few weeks you’ll have very little impact and see very little results.
Consistency is key.
Post regular content across all of your platforms to ensure that your messages don’t get lost on those extremely saturated social media timelines.
- Involve Your Team
Getting your team involved in your online marketing is great for both boosting engagement and enhancing morale amongst your staff. Whether it’s asking them for ideas, sharing news stories about them or allowing them to take over the accounts for a day, all of these techniques will prove beneficial if managed properly.
It’s also wise to ask your team to set up work social media accounts from which they can share and endorse your posts. This will increase the number of people who view your messaging and gives your pages further credibility.
- Paid Advertising
Compared to other types of advertising, social media advertising is relatively cheap and can cleverly target very specific audiences. You can use metrics like interests, geographic location, age, job title and many more, to target your customers with specific messages. You can also opt to drive traffic to your website and generate sales here.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, marketing your business online can seem like a minefield however, with a bit of effort and a dedicated resource you can see great results.
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