Strathcom Media Blog

Digital Marketing for Dealerships

If You Only Make One SEO Goal in 2018, It Should Be This

Most dealers are bewildered by the concept of search engine optimization, and it’s not hard to see why. SEO is a constantly changing landscape, and tactics that may have sat at the forefront long enough for them to learn about it are frequently relegated to the back bench no sooner than the dealers have gotten a full grasp of it. However, one thing about SEO has never been clearer:

seo-searcher-intent

Modern day SEO is all about user experience.

Carrie, our Director of Web Development and Optimization here at Strathcom, says it best with the simple statement that, “user experience is the only metric that matters.” When we send out an e-mail marketing campaign, we care about how many users open the e-mail or click on its contents. When we build landing pages for online advertising, we care about how straightforward and easy we have made it for the customer to take the action to contact us. When we post on Facebook, we care about how many people viewed the post, and how many of those people liked, commented or shared. With SEO, what we need to care about is whether or not the customer found what they were looking for (and whether or not we were the ones who delivered it to them).

If Google’s primary goal is to satisfy customer intent, ours should be too.

We’ve all been there before. You need something (a product, a service, to eat), and you’re looking for a business that can help you out with that, but when you search for them on Google, you’re not quite able to find when they’re open for business, whether or not they have the product or service you’re looking for, or how much anything costs. Sure, you could call, and if you’re desperate, you might, but more likely than not, you’re going to look for the next guy who actually wants to give you the information you’re looking for, quickly and easily. It makes perfect sense that you want to be the second business instead of the first, right?

Setting (and prioritizing) SEO goals is just as simple as deciding you want to help a customer get what they want, quickly and easily. Focus on taking on measurable tasks that help customers find you, and find the solution that you’re able to provide them with to give them what they need.

If you want to check out three actionable SEO tips that you can resolve to do in 2018, check out the recording of this week’s webinar, Make Your SEO New Year’s Resolutions.

Automotive Conferences You Should Check Out in 2018

Group of people sitting in a row and applauding at conference.

 

Canadian International Auto Show

Toronto – February 16-25, 2018

AutoShow 2018 is excited present attendees with fast and furious opportunities and experience throughout this 10 day event! Check out the AutoShow’s daily schedule for amazing event content including prizes, promotions, a list of engaging speakers, and special events each and every day! Dealers are invited to a Facebook-hosted VIP party night on February 15th, as well!

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.autoshow.ca/

 

 

CBT Automotive Conference & Expo

Atlanta – March 7-9, 2018 

Considered the most comprehensive and information packed event in retail automotive, this event approaches all aspects of the industry such as Marketing, Social Media, Sales Strategy, Fixed-Ops, Leadership & Management, Technology and so much more.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://cbtconferenceandexpo.com/learn/

 

 

NADA

Las Vegas – March 23-25, 2018 

The need for dealers to understand digital technology and marketing, as well as the effects on their respective businesses is a top priority at NADA Show. To boot, there’s usually a Canadian party on the eve of the show’s opening! Things get rolling Friday, March 23 at 8:30-5, and things wrap up Sunday, open 8:30 to 4.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://show.nada.org

 

 

Auto Remarketing Canada Conference

Toronto – March 27-28, 2018

Learn from the best at this annual event that brings together the remarketing and used-vehicle industry for 2 days of learning, sharing and networking to optimize your business. Form powerful connections and attend workshops with top dealers and executive decision makes. If you are in the used-vehicle industry or the remarketing industry, this event should definitely be on your calendar! Early bird registration is now open.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://arcanada.autoremarketing.com/

 

 

Women & Automotive Canadian Leadership Forum

Toronto – March 29, 2018

This one day forum full of speaker presentations and panel discussions is an innovative, game changer for advancing women into leadership roles in the Canadian automotive industry. As more women join the automotive industry, it is key to provide them networking and career advancement opportunities that strengthen them into leadership and decision-making roles. A great opportunity to both network and achieve goals together. We were honoured to speak at the first annual Women & Automotive conference last year, and we look forward to seeing you there this year! Early bird registration is now open.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.womenandautomotive.com/

 

 

Automotive Conference & Expo

Niagra Falls – April 11-12, 2018

TADA’s Auto Dealers Innovation Series and Ontario Dealer Day have combined to bring dealers an exciting conference that features presentations from high profile industry leaders that are experts in new marketing strategies and technology. Fill your brain with empowering sales strategies, leadership, and a look into the future of the automotive industry that is ever-evolving.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://www.automotiveconferenceandexpo.ca/

 

 

DrivingSales Presidents Club

Ft. Lauderdale – May 6-7 2018 

This specialized event focuses on critical operation discussions with real-life experts, and solutions are provided for the most challenging issues. Take home actionable strategies for your dealership and engage at a deeper level with dealer executives pioneering new practices for their stores and groups.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://drivingsalespresidentsclub.com/

 

 

DrivingSales Canadian Dealer Forum

2018 date & location TBD

If you’re not into the traditional conference style and just want to learn best practices you can instantly take back to the dealership, this is a great opportunity for you.

“The Canadian Dealer Forum was designed to be a very practical conference – a true forum where dealership executive teams can create an actionable business plan. You will walk away with a list of tactics you can apply the next day to drive results inside your dealership.”

For more information, follow the link below:

http://canadiandealerforum.drivingsales.com/

 

 

Google Think Auto

2018 date and location TBD

 

 

Best Practices For Automotive

Detroit – September 11-14, 2018

This conference will unite all levels of industry professionals to create an innovative event built around learning, networking and peer collaboration. This is more of a hands on, interactive experience that will open your mind and leave you with fresh ideas and best-in-class strategies to optimize your overall business performance. To stay up-to-date on conference updates:  #BP4auto

For more information, follow the link below:

auto.bestpracticeconferences.com

 

 

DealerTalk

Montreal – (date TBD)

Calgary – (date TBD)

Toronto – (date TBD)

Vancouver – (date TBD)

Does your digital marketing strategy need a boost? If you want to learn about the latest creative and marketing trends, DealerTalk is the conference to go to. This year’s theme is Dealership of the Future, and is sure to be full of great keynotes (including Gary Vaynerchuk in Toronto) and networking. To make sure as many Canadians as possible can attend, they host the conference in Montreal, Calgary and Toronto.

For more information, follow the link below:

https://dealertalk.ca/

 

 

Western Canadian Dealer Summit

Las Vegas – November 1-3, 2018

WCDS is a must-attend industry event with the Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan Associations joining together for what is sure to be an information-packed conference!

For more information, follow the link below:

westerndealersummit.com

 

 

DrivingSales Executive Summit

Las Vegas – TBD

If you are looking for a progressive conference to give you help you with your strategic planning, DrivingSales Executive Summit is where you want to go. This event brings all of the most progressive dealers and vendors together to have industry-changing conversation. Last year, our very own Business Development Manager, Alecia Wilson, spoke at DSES about best practices for hiring and retaining staff.

For more information, follow the link below:

http://www.drivingsales.com/dses/ 

 

 

Google ThinkDealer

Montreal – (date TBD)

Toronto – (date TBD)

Halifax – (date TBD)

Vancouver – (date TBD)

Calgary – (date TBD)

Last year’s Google ThinkDealer events were extremely informative for dealers and us! Google discussed how dealers are currently spending their advertising budgets, and how they should be spending more of it online. Google also released their Dealer Playbook – a step-by-step guide for dealers on how to advertise on Google and generate more leads. If you would like a copy of the Google’s Dealer Playbook, just let us know and we will send it to you!

 

We will continue to update this list as more dates and locations are confirmed, and please let us know if there are any other events we might have missed! To keep up to date on events we will be attending and speaking at, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter!

 

Getting the Most From Facebook Lead Ads: Facebook Announces Lead Ad Improvements For Auto!

Do you remember your first version of Facebook? It might have looked a bit like this:

In the last few years, Facebook has evolved tremendously. Gone are the days where “pokes” were considered an acceptable means of initiating a conversation. Facebook has become a resource for people to connect and consume media. It has also become a predominate marketing platform. As such, its advertising platform has also evolved. One of the major developments in Facebook advertising was the introduction of Lead Ads.

Let’s Refresh – What are Lead Ads?

Simply put, when customers are compelled by your ad they can conveniently click on the call-to-action button to get more information. Clicking on these ads launches an unobtrusive, pre-populated form containing information that the user has voluntarily shared with Facebook. Most Lead Ad forms can be completed in as little as 2 clicks: the first click on the advertisement will launch the form; the second click will submit the form to the business page. This translates exceptionally well for the automotive industry, as Lead Ads allow clients to quickly and conveniently request information on specific vehicles, book a test drive, and even apply for credit.

If you’re not already using Lead Ads – you really should be.

The information collected from these ads lets dealers:

  • Capture the most important information for future marketing purposes.
  • Collect information for campaigns and contests.
  • Respond and follow up with leads.
  • Improve future ad relevance based on user interests and online habits.

By making form completion as simple as possible, it increases the likelihood that a customer will engage with your ad. However, we occasionally hear from our clients that Facebook Lead Ads don’t always generate the same quality of lead as they would if user were to actively navigate to their website and submit a form. This is logical; due to the simplicity of submitting a Lead Ad, users occasionally submit a lead on impulse while in the midst of watching cute cat videos and responding to Uncle’s inappropriate profile pic comments. It poses the question of whether users should occasionally be required to jump through hoops to submit a lead. However, doing so is counter-intuitive to purpose of Lead Ads. The objective of a Lead Ad is to intrigue users in the moment – encouraging them to engage with your business, take you up an offer, or enter a contest – with the fewest possible barriers. However, it’s not enough to set up a Lead Ad without proper targeting, messaging, and campaign optimization. But how do we enhance the performance of our Lead Ads, while also keeping it simple for the user?

Facebook has recently announced improvements to their Lead Ads for the automotive sector that will increase functionality to both the dealer and customer through features like:

  • Appointment scheduling which allow customers to book appointments and test drives.
  • A custom Thank You screen that lets dealers display a custom message or a link after the lead is submitted.
  • A full screen experience that will capture the user’s attention while also conveying a comprehensive message.
  • Dynamic ads that allow dealers to create personalized ads based on interests and preferences customers have demonstrated on your site, app or elsewhere on the web.

These functions will provide more tools in the effort to engage the customer on a meaningful level, helping to generate high quality, valuable leads. For more information on these improvements, visit: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/introducing-new-discovery-tools-for-auto

To learn how Strathcom can help improve your Lead Ad campaign, contact us today!

How To Do A 5 Minute SEO Audit of Your Website

If you’re struggling for page views and leads on your site, it is time for you to revamp your SEO, and you can start with a SEO audit. Why you ask? Well, gone are the days when you could add a new post or page to your site and expect that people will come to read it. Right now, experts estimate that there are almost 60 million new blog posts alone published each month, that is 2 million a day! And this number doesn’t even include landing pages and other published online content. That is a big sea of content and because of this, standing out has become increasingly difficult online.

This is where SEO comes in. Search engine optimization has always been important. This is probably something you knew before you started reading this post. But what you might not know is what you can do to improve your site’s SEO. That’s why you need to dive right in and do an SEO audit of your site!

Continue reading “How To Do A 5 Minute SEO Audit of Your Website”

DealerTalkX Toronto 2017

Another conference is in the books! DealerTalkX in Toronto took place November 16th in a very hipster and industrial venue called the Warehouse. Although it felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, and our Uber might have dropped us off at the wrong door, the content presented made it well worth the trip.

DealerTalkX Toronto 2017, The Warehouse, Toronto, ON
DealerTalkX Toronto 2017, The Warehouse

The morning started off with an interesting presentation from Malte Kruger from Mobile.de which is Germany’s largest vehicle market. He spoke about the importance of reviews when it comes to a vehicle market place and how a German Audi dealership gained 1000 reviews in just 18 months. The key – ask! If you don’t ask for the review, why would your customers think to give you one?

The most exciting presentation of the day was up next with the one and only, Gary Vaynerchuk. To say we were excited to see him present wouldn’t even begin to scratch the surface. He touched on a number of hard hitting points that dealers really need to take into consideration. The biggest one for us – “You can’t win in 2019 if you don’t start laying the foundation for it in 2017.” Seems like a simple thought at first, but when you start looking at your overall strategy in place today, is it really setting you up for the future? Think of where you’re spending your advertising dollars and look for the under-priced opportunities. If you’re still advertising with print and TV, you’re missing the mark! He left us all with one great thought to take back – “what’s the ROI of something you don’t know how to use? Zero!” Don’t be the one in the dealership to not invest in something like Facebook advertising because you “don’t see the value in it” when you haven’t spent the time to understand it first.

Gary Vaynerchuk, DealerTalkX 2017 Toronto, ON
Gary Vaynerchuk, DealerTalkX

Next up was Emma Hancock from The Car Girl to speak about the customer of the future: women! This demographic represents 40% of all vehicle purchases in Canada and women aged 50 – 70 are the largest segment of female consumers, have a higher income and overall net worth. Sounds like a pretty good demographic to target and sell to, but not surprisingly, 63% of women say they don’t like going into car dealerships. So what can you do to change this perception?  Simple: acknowledge, respect and recognize women car buyers and don’t make comments like “when will your husband be coming in to see the vehicle.”

The final presentation we caught was from Devin Daly from Spin Car. Although his presentation might have been taking us back a few years when the conversation of merchandizing inventory started to ramp up in the industry, he definitely hit on a lot of things that dealers still aren’t doing, or aren’t doing well. Some of his tips for getting the best photos online were: be consistent, convey professionalism (think clean cars!) and get those photos online fast to avoid missed opportunities.

This wrapped up our 2017 conference season, and what a great way to end it. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing the hard hitting lineup of speakers for DealerTalkX  2018. Keep an eye out for our 2018 list of conferences to check out and start planning where you’re going to go and who you’re going see early! We hope to see you there!