Mobile marketing– indeed, all forms of digital marketing— is a powerful tool. Because it doesn’t require the time and cost of printing physical advertisements and such, digital mobile marketing is more efficient than traditional marking. And since it is more cost effective than, say, renting a billboard or buying a TV ad spot, it also serves as a sort of equalizer between larger and smaller businesses. However, these benefits can only come into play if your dealership knows how to best use mobile marketing.
So why, among all the various kinds of digital marketing, is mobile marketing so important? Well, for one thing, it may currently be the single most effective method of marketing. According to the NIADA, there are about 300 million currently active cell phones in the U.S. And make no mistake, people love their handheld devices. This means that mobile marketing provides businesses and dealerships with greater opportunities to attract attention and customers. There is one small issue, however: everybody else is doing it too. If you’re not using digital and mobile marketing, you’re losing customers and profits. If you’re not using it properly, you may be getting lost in the constant swirl of images and information, which means you may not be marketing as effectively as you could. If that’s the case, don’t despair! As technology constantly changes the world around us, a lot of businesses find themselves in the same boat. Staying on top of the latest technology in the digital world is easier than you might think. There are two main things you need to focus on: your mobile website and your local search result presence.
A mobile website is, naturally, essential for mobile marketing. Not only that, if you’re in car sales, it’s also essential for your business. A recent survey found that 88 percent of all cell phone owners in the U.S. reported they’d be more likely to buy a car from a dealership with a mobile site. Keep in mind, with 300 million active cell phones in the nation, that’s a staggering number of customers: up to 246 million! In this day and age, a mobile site is not an option, it’s a necessity. If you’ve already got one, that’s great, but don’t forget keeping it updated is as important as building the site in the first place. If you don’t have a mobile web site yet, you’ll want to know the elements of a good design before you have one built.
When designing a mobile website, there are three basic rules to consider. The first is to keep is simple. On the smaller screen a cell phone provides, lots of graphics, animations, popups, and such become nothing more than an annoyance. Make no mistake, customers will leave your site and go elsewhere if navigating your page becomes an irritation. To that same end, the second rule is just at vital: make sure your mobile site is easy to navigate. Necessary information should be easy to find and read, and should not be hidden in a graphic. Navigation tools such as large buttons and clickable text should be employed to make the mobile website easier to use. After all, the entire point of mobile marketing is to convert prospects into buyers. All of the marketing in the world won’t help much if your mobile site is so cluttered or difficult that it loses buyers’ interest. Last but not least, rule three is perhaps more of a guideline, but it is one that should be heeded. While there are many things with online development you can assign internally or do yourself; mobile web design probably isn’t one of them. With the above rules, as well as your mobile site itself being so vital, it is well worth it to hire a marketing company that offers professional web design services. They will understand both the workings of a mobile site and the importance of mobile marketing aspects, which with increased traffic, will pay for itself in the end.
The next vital aspect to a successful mobile marketing strategy is understanding, managing, and capitalizing on your local search history presence. The ranking of your website on search engines such as Google is enormously important because, statistically, most consumers only look at the first page or two of results before deciding on a dealership. If your dealership’s website is on page four or five, you’re not getting noticed which means you’re losing customers. However, this second step of building a great mobile marketing strategy can help fix that!
There are four major tools used in creating and honing a local search presence: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), Geotargeting and Geofencing. It’s important to understand how all four tools work and to have a good handle on when to use each. SEO, is perhaps the easiest to understand. Search engines use online “bots” called crawlers to examine every website on the internet. Sites that are regularly updated and utilize relevant keywords for their content will rank higher while sites that “stuff” keywords, meaning that they simply pile them in without relevant content, will lose ranking.
This brings us to SEO writing. The concept is simple: when creating online content, from websites to blog entries, a skilled SEO writer will research relevant terms being entered into search engines by people in your set area. They will analyze which terms are being searched for the most and which terms have the lowest competition – the terms that combine the two criteria are the ones a writer will choose as your SEO terms for that article, web content, or blog entry. By doing so, these writers help the sites they’re writing for rank higher on search engines like Google, thus getting more attention and traffic.
Pay Per Click also plays into this. Anything can be bought online, including web traffic. Where high-competition, high-impact search terms are concerned, this may sometimes be a more viable option than trying to rank for those terms using SEO alone. The only problem here is when PPC is used too often, it can become very expensive. As with SEO, there are professionals that specialize in PPC, and it is better in the long run to let them handle Pay Per Click on your behalf.
Finally, we come to Geo-targeting and Geo-fencing. These can work separately, but work best when hand in hand. Mobile marketing won’t help you if it is reaching customers thousands of miles away from your business location(s). Geo-fencing and Geo-targeting are intended to prevent that. The concept is fairly simple. Geo-fencing essentially “fences off” an area around your physical business address to ensure that consumers outside of that area– in other words, those too far to buy– do not see your ads. Geo-targeting is a little more complex. It combines available data about a consumer’s behaviors– such as whether they have been looking at used cars online recently– with their physical location. When a person interested in buying a used car gets within your dealership’s Geo-fencing area, they will begin receiving your online ads. This allows you to accurately target the most likely buyers in your area using your mobile marketing strategy.
As you can see, combining each of these aspects will lead to a strong mobile marketing strategy that will increase your traffic and profits. More than that, it will keep your dealership relevant for years to come. If you do not yet have a mobile marketing strategy in place, don’t wait and don’t let your competition beat you to the next deal!