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Why car dealers need a new breed of marketing hero

Automotive digital agency GForces is highly focused on search engine optimisation (SEO) of content, particularly for mobile, ensuring dynamic content such as interactive features, video and links to the most relevant parts of a dealer website are higher up a results page.

GForces’ group strategy director Tim Smith said: “When undertaking a search, especially via mobile devices, consumers now expect the ‘intent’ of the search to be understood and relevant results delivered.”

In the age of personalisation, SMS is effective for providing essential information such as appointment reminders, coupons for immediate redemption, item tracking and ticket updates and builds brand loyalty. However, a blanket text message about a sale can have the opposite effect.


Social media

Social media continues to attract high levels of advertising spending. Market research company eMarketer predicts that Facebook will take the lion’s share of it in the UK this year, a whopping £720m. The wealth of data held by such platforms assures the growth of targeted advertising and their diminishing organic reach means sponsored posts will be the main vehicle for views.

Evans considers Facebook to be a content platform where consumers find information and reviews on a product, while Twitter is central to customer service as it is where consumers compliment or complain.

Social media tools make the management of a company’s output over a number of platforms less difficult, such as Bulkbuffer for advanced scheduling, and Post Planner, an in-built Facebook dashboard app for better page management and identification of hot topics in your industry. For Twitter, Bundlepost builds up a number of days’ worth of social shares and Tagboard is a search engine that uses hashtags.


Content marketing

Content marketing boosts search engine rankings by creating trust for your brand among customers and establishing your senior personnel as thought leaders. For optimum engagement, quality content needs to include visuals such as video, infographics and images.

Marketers need to work closely with SEO colleagues for optimum success and tools such as Yoast, free for Wordpress blogs, which analyses posts for SEO value and helps identify keywords, can help.  King Sumo automatically rotates headlines to find the best performer. Inkybee finds influential bloggers and those more likely to share your content and Buzzsumo identifies influencers and top content. Curation tools such as make it easier to research content although the best strategy is to add your own expert insight.


Online review sites

Consumers are heavily reliant on the opinions of their peers seeking them out on comparison and businesses’ own websites.

“Consumer reviews are the biggest change influencing the decision to buy,” said Addley. “Car buyers will only visit one or two dealerships and they want to know about the business before they consider transacting.”


Marketing analytics

Understanding the full buying cycle is the key metric, but most dealer systems do not enable reports to be automated. Instead, reports are often compiled using spreadsheets from several sources including the CRM system, email marketing software and invoices. As a result, Marketing Delivery is working on a new suite of systems which pulls all the information together.

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