Even if we’ve met, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that I was a Boy Scout. As a young man, I was all about Scouting. There was always something new to learn, and camping was a blast. One of the toughest assignments I could get was lighting the campfire. Between finding dry wood and stacking it in just the right way to stay lit for an entire evening, this was always a big challenge.
Whenever I attend Digital Dealer, it feels like I’ve been given a similar assignment. Every session has the potential to spark a fire of improved digital marketing results. The key is to gather the hottest ideas from industry thought leaders that have the best chance of burning brightest.
In this spirit, I’m excited to present seven of my hottest takeaways from Digital Dealer you should implement this month:
- Close today’s leads first. Before you get all spun up about the latest digital marketing wizardry that promises to triple your qualified leads, take a step back. Staple yourself to the next 10 customers who call your BDC or fill out a form on your website to understand how well your sales process is performing. Speed is the key. Why? Well according to the Harvard Business Review, you’re 7 times more likely to qualify a lead if you reach out within an hour—and more than 60 times as likely if you wait 24 hours.
Takeaway: Before spending another dime to bring in fresh leads, bulletproof your phone etiquette, track your website conversion data, then lock down a consistent 30 minute-or-less lead response time no matter where they’re sourced.
- Shoppers want to browse with mobile, but they can’t. If you’re like most dealers, your website does not work properly on a mobile device. The impact: A NetBiscuits survey of 6,000 mobile users found that 9 out of 10 mobile web users switched to a competitor’s site that made it easier to complete desired actions, enter information, and find that they were seeking. This forces shoppers to switch to a PC. If your website gets 60% or more of its traffic from laptops or desktops, chances are it’s because your mobile experience is lacking.
Takeaway: Engage your prospects and spark more conversions with a responsive website. Since most shoppers own smartphones, their first contact with you will be your website, which sets the stage for a frustrating—or flawless—purchasing process.
- Stop trying to boil the ocean online. If you’re like the majority of digital dealers, you’re trying to advertise too much (makes, models, services) with too little budget. It’s not going to happen. The impact: Our data shows that dealers who focus on five advertising categories or less increase their conversions and qualified website over clients with broader campaigns.
Takeaway: Remove all non-essential ad groups that are underperforming. A leaner campaign will stretch your budget further and deliver better results for the 3-5 categories that matter most. Monitor and verify that your campaign delivers a 70% or higher share of advertising voice for your most important vehicle and service categories.
- Less shotgun, more laser beam. When it comes to bagging new customers, you’ll do far better messaging to a smaller population versus a large one (i.e. your entire state or region). Resist the temptation to blast your message to a mass audience if your goal is to attract a specific kind of customer to your rooftop within close proximity.
Takeaway: Instead of a 50-100 mile radius, reduce your target geography for your core campaign to 20 miles or less. Remove underperforming locations and experiment with new geos, each with their own 10-20 mile radius. Use performance data to find out what’s working, and remove what’s not. Once your core campaign is solid, add conquest-search remarketing (RLSAs) and display retargeting to deliver tailored ads to your recent website visitors who are nearby.
- Video content is king. A new Google Shopping survey finds that 62% of consumers are influenced by videos on YouTube. More than half of respondents say they start their research on the world’s second largest search engine, which happens to be the home to billions of videos.
Takeaway: Vehicle buyers make a purchase with the same mindset that they consume media. Ask yourself; Would you rather read about a new model on an inventory page, or watch a short video that walks you through its top features? Most auto shoppers start their research journey by watching videos. Make fresh content to match their wants and needs.
- One goal per webpage. Google is no longer a search engine, it’s an answer engine. Think about the questions local buyers are trying to answer at each step in the path to purchase. Google wants to send them to webpages that have the answers. Take a look at each individual page on your site. Each page should have one purpose and one call to action.
Takeaway: When you add new content to your website, it must be original and deliver an answer to shopper’s intent. Write out a list of searcher intents, 2-5 keywords for each, then create pages to target each intent. Plan ongoing content efforts with more competitive keywords.
- Content, content, content. Your goal should be to dominate your local search engine results pages (SERPs) from top to bottom with relevant content. If your website visitor count has flatlined in recent months, it’s time to invest in fresh content. Rand Fishkin, an inbound marketing expert from Moz.com, offers up six criteria for modern content investments that will move your needle: one-of-a- kind, relevant and on-topic, resolves a shopper’s query in a useful manner, uniquely valuable, easy to consume on any device, well-written, and likely to be shared online.
Takeaway: Start by updating your digital ads with fresh, relevant calls to action so they appear in the top 3 sponsored slots. Next, publish new content that answers local shopper’s frequently asked questions and appear in the top organic (free) results further down the page.
Your call to action: Implement these seven takeaways to ignite new sales opportunities and kindle a steady increase in results month after month.