Digital marketing has changed the way dealerships advertise, and is continuing to increase in importance. Many BHPH dealers have adapted to online marketing and sales, but are they really using these resources to the greatest advantage? Building a solid online marketing strategy is like building a puzzle– a lot of different pieces fit together to make it work– and where digital marketing and SEO are concerned there is one big piece many dealers are missing: reputation management.
Online Reputation Management, or ORM, is more important than ever in today’s digital world. While twenty years ago a dissatisfied customer may have merely shared their negative opinions with a few friends, now it is easy for anyone to share a review with thousands of potential customers. Because of this, ORM should be just as important to your BHPH dealership or related business as digital marketing. It hardly matters how many people know about your company if they are also hearing a lot of negative things. SEO and digital marketing can, themselves, be used as tools to maintain your company’s reputation even while simultaneously capturing leads and increasing sales. Unfortunately, relatively few BHPH dealers take this into account when building a digital marketing strategy.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a great tool for both getting your brand out there and managing your reputation. In fact, SEO is vital not only to digital marketing but also to online reputation management. Many dealerships deal with negative reviews by responding to them, and while this is helpful, it doesn’t remove the influence of the review, so its usefulness is limited from an ORM perspective. There are, however, some ways in which SEO can be used for online reputation management.
First, where reviews are concerned, don’t forget to respond to good ones as well– and use strong SEO keywords in those responses to attract more attention! Some sites list reviews by popularity. Between increasing the likelihood of positive reviews on search engines and helping the best reviews to climb to the top of lists, you can help ensure that potential customers are seeing more positive things about your BHPH dealership or company.
Second, be certain you are choosing the best SEO keywords to benefit your online reputation management. Consider who your audience is. If you are a BHPH dealer, using too much auto industry jargon in your SEO will not help you. Other dealerships may realize that your business is wonderful, but if customers are not searching for those terms, you will miss potential business. Consider what the audience in your area is looking for – are they more interested in low prices, an easy, hassle-free approval process or in your dealership’s customer service? How can you make sure that the strengths you are focusing on are the same ones your potential customers are looking for as they search online?
Social media is another aspect of digital marketing strategy that can help you build a strong reputation management campaign. Never forget that your BHPH dealership or business social media accounts are a vital part of your brand. Consider how many potential customers in your area use at least one social media site; it’s likely to be nearly all of them! As a result, social media can be a powerful tool not only for digital marketing but also for ORM. Post some of your best customer reviews to social media sites to attract more attention. You may even consider some sort of incentive program that encourages happy customers to post their experiences on their own social media pages. Finally, combine SEO with social media to create posts that potential customers will notice, and, as with SEO in general, be sure you are focusing on what will target customers in your area.
Like every aspect of digital marketing, online reputation management can be time consuming and, at times, confusing. You may be asking yourself exactly how you can find and identify great SEO keywords, see what customers in your area are searching for, and know when pay-per-click will benefit you more than organic SEO and vice versa. You may wonder how your dealership can get the biggest return on investment where both online marketing and ORM are concerned. The best answer is simply to leave it to the experts. This is why finding the right digital marketing company, which also understands ORM, may be the best investment your company can make. (Take a look at our digital marketing partner, Magnum Contact, for more information.) Of course, there are companies that specialize solely in reputation management, but truthfully this should be a constant part of a successful BHPH dealership’s digital marketing strategy. The two should work flawlessly together. That is why it is better to work with a digital marketing company that understands online reputation management. Having the right team on your side for both digital marketing and online reputation management can make sure your BHPH dealership or business puts its best foot forward in the ever-growing network of the world wide web.
Too many BHPH dealers and related auto industry companies fail to recognize the importance of regular and consistent online reputation management. By making ORM a part of your digital marketing strategy, you can ensure that customers are not only finding you online, but also see the best you can offer, putting you above others in your market. As the internet continues to determine where consumers spend their money, building a strong digital marketing and ORM campaign may be the difference between continuing to succeed as a BHPH dealership or being left behind.