Digital Marketing Dos and Don’ts

The one constant with digital marketing is that it changes… constantly. The challenge for retailers, including car dealerships, is keeping up with the ways in which digital marketing can help businesses discover and engage consumers, and turn those consumers into customers. In my interactions with dealerships, capitalizing on digital marketing is always top of mind and so are questions about how to do it. Here are the questions I hear most often.


What type of digital marketing is most effective in creating leads?

In terms of creating more leads, and, therefore, more sales, the ad spend side drives the most immediate results, particularly through paid search. With paid search, the dealer’s website will always show up near the top of the search engine results page for the key terms that the dealership has set. Moreover, paid search lets dealers test and measure the effectiveness of keywords and assess how much each lead is costing them. That’s powerful information.


What are the issues with digital marketing?

The biggest issues are how quickly things change in the digital world and how well prepared the dealership is to adapt. Dealerships don’t typically have the in-house expertise to completely manage digital marketing and still keep up with the changes. Just as a dealership might look to outside counsel for expert legal services, digital marketing experts can help dealerships stay on top of the digital world and respond to changes, such as when search engine algorithms are modified.


How does voice-activated search technology like Siri affect digital marketing?

Siri emphasizes why dealers should focus on making sure their business is listed on major local search engines like Yelp and Yahoo! Local, as well as on yellow pages sites and local social networks. Dealers should have their information on these sites up to date and optimized. Claiming your business listing is an important first step in optimizing your location pages. Consistency is also essential. Your core contact information should be the same in all places; include your business name, address, phone number, and website URL. The business categories you select are also an important aspect to helping consumers find you online.


What’s new in digital marketing?

Consumers are continuing to move daily activities online, such as watching TV and listening to the radio. Dealers need to shift their digital marketing to sites where consumers are going – places such as Hulu and Pandora. Additionally, Pinterest, a relatively new content and image sharing site, is getting a lot of attention as one of the fastest growing sites of the year. In a study conducted earlier this year by Shareaholic, Pinterest drove more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.


What are you doing to ensure your dealership is at the forefront of digital marketing changes?