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Best practice

You Can’t Win On the Showroom Floor If You Don’t First Win Online!

In late 2022 the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, in partnership with Retain Media, launched Digital Garage


The ‘Digital Garage’ initiative is designed to support caravan and camping businesses in their digital journey and better position them to meet the needs of consumers increasingly researching and purchasing online.

Since then, several articles with tips, pointers and tools have been published to help caravan and camping businesses meet the buyer online.

At the 2023 Caravan Industry National Conference (May 10-12, 2023), Retain Media presented in one of the dealer break-out sessions.

Brian and Lou’s presentation was titled ‘You Can’t Win On the Showroom Floor if You Don’t First Win Online’ and built on what we have covered in Digital Garage.

You can get a copy of the slides from our presentation HERE.

Categories
Best practice

SEO For YouTube – Are You Harnessing the True Power of Video?

When it comes to SEO, most businesses focus their efforts on things that will help their website rank on the front page of Google, and understandably so, as search is the place where most customers will begin their journey. However, there is one search engine that businesses frequently overlook in their SEO efforts: YouTube.

While most people view YouTube as a video hosting service, it is really a video-based search engine. If Youtube was a stand alone business it would be the worlds second largest search engine! In addition, video is actually the third most influential touchpoint on the path to purchase after traditional search engines and brand (OEM) websites.

Think with Google The path to purchase for new car buyers: Why Aussie brands and OEMs need a digital-first strategy

Most businesses do have a YouTube chanel, but they simply use it to host videos and hope the Youtube Gods pick up their content and show it to users.

There is a better way.  

Today, we’re going to walk you through some tips that will help you harness the power of YouTube and video more broadly, by building a strategy that targets algorithms (to help Youtube understand and rank the content) and end-users to outperform your competitors.

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords

Whether you’re optimising for Google or YouTube, one of the most fundamental aspects of SEO performance are the keywords you use. Targeting the right keywords will help get your business in front of as many eyes as possible, but how do you know what to target? There are several approaches to finding out what keywords people are looking for, but one of the best ways is to just start searching.

Suggested searches tell you what other YouTube users are searching for and are a launching point for deciding what keywords to target. In the example below, we started our search with a very open-ended ‘buying a new…’ – as you can see, the top three suggested searches are all related to buying a new vehicle, indicating that these are popular queries for YouTube users.

It is worth remembering that there are other factors that contribute to the suggested searches we are shown, including your own search history, but suggested searches remain a good general indicator of what other users are looking for.

Include Your Target Keywords Wherever Possible

Keywords play a large part in helping the YouTube algorithm determine what videos to display in search results, and targeting them in both your video titles and descriptions is one of the best ways to improve your search ranking, as it tells the algorithm that your content is aligned with what people are searching for.

However, as with SEO for Google, you want to avoid keyword stuffing (using the same keywords over and over again) in an attempt to game the algorithm, as attempts to do this will often result in a penalty that will hurt, rather than help, your performance.

Don’t Neglect the Importance of Tags

Tags are a back-end function that helps YouTube to categorize your video and display it to the right audience. Tags can be single words or even phrases (such as ‘tips for buying a caravan’) that allow you to provide greater context around your video’s content. YouTube weighs the first few tags heavily, so make sure your target keywords are included here, as well as more general keywords, such as ‘automotive’ or ‘caravans’, for a video about caravan buying tips.

As with keywords, you don’t want to go overboard with your tags or include irrelevant tags because you believe they will boost your ranking. Although you won’t be actively penalised for doing so, including excessive or irrelevant tags can confuse YouTube’s algorithm and stop your videos from reaching the right audience.

Tags can be found in the settings section of your account.

Choose The Right Category

Like tags, categories signal to YouTube what your video is about and help it to be grouped with other, similar content – in a playlist, for instance – that will expose it to more viewers. There are 15 categories on YouTube, including music, travel, sports, autos and vehicles, and more. For almost everyone reading this, that category will be ‘Autos and Vehicles’, although some of your videos may fall under ‘How-to and Style’ or even ‘Education’ depending on their content.

The most important thing is to choose the right category for that specific video instead of using one category for everything you publish.

Think About the Viewer: Using A Custom Thumbnail

With YouTube, it is sometimes the smallest things that can make the biggest difference in how a video performs, and having the right thumbnail is one of these. While you have the option for YouTube to automatically select a thumbnail from your video, you will likely see far higher engagement (and, thus, a higher search ranking) if you take a few minutes to optimise your thumbnail.

As we mentioned earlier, this means optimising for both the viewer and the platform itself. Optimising for YouTube means using a thumbnail in a 16:9 ratio (or 1280×720 resolution), while for the user, it means choosing a thumbnail that includes your video’s title and offers a snapshot of the video as a whole. The example below shows several results for the search ‘car buying tips’ – if you were someone looking for tips or advice, which video would you be drawn to?

If we had to guess, it would probably be between the first two. While the first video’s thumbnail is ultimately sleeker and more professional than the second, both of them clearly communicate the video’s topic to the audience and will ultimately lead to more views and engagement. By contrast, the third video’s thumbnail doesn’t match its title and fails to mention the word ‘tips’ anywhere, while it is also the messiest and most poorly designed thumbnail of the three.

Add Hashtags To Increase Reach

Hashtags are a fairly recent addition to YouTube but serve the same purpose as on any other platform, allowing users to find content based on its hashtags. Some businesses prefer to use hashtags for branding purposes by including their business name, while others will use them to piggyback on the wider reach of an event or expo. 

However you choose to use them, the crucial point once more is not to overdo it, as YouTube will flag videos with excessive numbers of hashtags – choose two or three and leave it at that.

Create Playlists of Your Own Videos

Views are one of the most important metrics when it comes to determining your ranking on YouTube, and the simplest way to improve your position is to increase your views. As you grow your channel and publish more content, organizing your videos into keyword-targeted playlists is one of the best ways to keep your audience watching and bump up your views.

Remember, simple is best: if you publish a lot of how-to videos, create a playlist that targets keywords like ‘Tips & Tricks For Owners’, or ‘Video Reviews & Walkthroughs’ in the case of an OEM or dealer. The exact keywords will depend on your research but try to keep them fairly general: the aim is to keep viewers engaged with your videos for as long as possible and have them watch as many as possible while also trying to appear to an audience that hasn’t searched for your content specifically.

What To Do After Publishing: Keeping Engagement High

If you’ve followed these steps correctly, you will be giving your videos the best chance at success – but just because they have been published, it doesn’t mean that their fate is suddenly out of your hands. Responding to user comments is one of the best ways to improve your video’s performance after it has been published, as it signals a high level of engagement to YouTube. 

Additionally, you can pin one of your own comments to the comment section as a way of driving additional engagement with your audience. Again, this doesn’t need to be complicated, and simple prompts, such as asking them what they want to see more of or what they enjoyed the most, can be the best way to get high levels of engagement.

If You’re Looking to Harness the Power of Video, We Can Help

As online video continues to grow and play a larger role in brand awareness and lead generation, careful strategy and best practices are needed in order to keep you ahead of your competitors. 

At Retain Media, we specialise in SEO for the dealers and OEM and possess an intimate understanding of how and where your customers are searching for you online. With so many in the industry yet to realise the full potential offered by video, now is your chance to get ahead and stay ahead when it comes to YouTube.

If you are looking to expand your SEO beyond search engines and websites, we can help. To learn more about our SEO service and how we can make YouTube work for your business, get in touch with one of our team for a free, no-obligation consultation. For more industry information and tips to improve your digital marketing, read our Insights today.

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Google ads Best practice

Google Ads For Ford Dealers

Google Ads are a mainstay in digital marketing and should form a core part of every dealership’s lead-generation strategy. As representatives of one of the biggest automotive brands in Australia and worldwide, Ford dealers stand to benefit more than most from Google Ads and yet often fail to embrace their full potential.

This is partially due to an over-emphasis on traditional marketing channels such as print and television, but it also stems from many dealers lacking the knowledge to approach Google Ads in a way that will deliver results. In this article, we will explore why you need to make Google Ads a cornerstone of your marketing approach as a Ford dealer and offer tips to get the most value out of your investment.

Why Google Ads Should Be A Key Part Of Your Strategy

Although many dealers use Google Ads in some capacity, many are stuck in old habits, pouring money into traditional and ineffective forms of media. These old marketing methods (newspapers, magazines, radio and television ads) might have been the best options back in the day, but compared to Google Ads, they are blunt, expensive, and imprecise.

Instead of plastering your ads across the pages of a magazine and hoping they are seen by the right person at the right time, Google Ads lets you target qualified, high-intent buyers at multiple points in their path to purchase. In digital marketing, these stages are known as levels, and different ads can be designed to be seen by potential buyers at every stage of their journey, from initial research to consideration and purchase.

Google Ads allows you to target your marketing approach to buyers as they move down the funnel.

For example, a potential buyer might begin their research by Googling ‘best ford utes’, where they are shown an ad from your dealership outlining the core features of the Ford Ranger. Next, they might focus their research by Googling ‘2023 Ford Ranger’, where they are shown another ad from your dealership, promoting the newest model in more detail.

At every stage, your ads are targeting the buyer with a slightly different approach, based on their search intent and position in the marketing funnel, and it is this specificity that makes Google Ads so powerful.

Which Keywords Should You Target?

Millions of search terms and queries are fed into Google every second, and it can be hard to know which ones you should target if you are going in blind. But with a bit of keyword research, it will quickly become clear which terms should form the focus of your campaign. To make life easier, we’ve compiled and organised a list of keywords for Ford dealers below, along with their monthly search volume.

General

ford dealer – 14,800

ford dealer near me – 4,400

ford for sale – 590

ford for sale near me – 20

New

new ford – 390

new ford for sale – 20

new ford ranger – 6,600

new ford ranger for sale – 260

new ford mustang – 1,000

new ford mustang for sale – 40

new ford territory – 110

new ford territory for sale – 20

new ford gt – 170

new ford gt for sale – 10

new ford focus – 210

new ford focus for sale – 10

new ford fiesta – 50

new ford fiesta for sale – 10

new ford explorer – 30

new ford explorer for sale – 10

new ford escape – 140

new ford escape for sale – 10

Used

used ford – 110

second hand ford – 50

used ford for sale – 30

used ford dealer – 30

used ford dealership – 30

second hand ford dealership – 20

second hand ford for sale – 10

used ford ranger – 390

second hand ford ranger – 260

used ford ranger for sale – 140

second hand ford ranger for sale – 140

used ford mustang – 90

second hand ford mustang – 50

used ford mustang for sale – 40

second hand ford mustang for sale – 30

second hand ford territory – 70

used ford territory – 40

used ford territory for sale – 50

second hand ford territory for sale – 10

used ford gt – 10

used ford gt for sale – 10

second hand ford gt – 10

used ford focus – 70

second hand ford focus – 70

used ford focus for sale – 50

second hand ford focus for sale – 10

used ford fiesta – 30

used ford fiesta for sale – 30

second hand ford fiesta – 30

second hand ford fiesta for sale – 10

used ford explorer – 10

second hand ford explorer – 10

second hand ford explorer for sale – 10

used ford explorer for sale – 10

used ford escape – 50

second hand ford escape – 30

used ford escape for sale – 10

Service Centre

ford service centre – 2,900

ford service centre near me – 320

local ford service centre – 10

Model

ford ranger – 60,500

ford ranger for sale – 6,600

ford ranger for sale near me – 70

ford mustang – 22,200

ford mustang for sale – 2,900

ford mustang for sale near me – 20

ford territory – 14,800

ford territory for sale – 1,900

ford territory for sale near me – 90

ford gt – 12,100

ford gt for sale – 880

ford gt for sale near me – 10

ford focus – 14,800

ford focus for sale – 720

ford focus for sale near me – 30

ford fiesta – 9,900

ford fiesta for sale – 590

ford fiesta for sale near me – 10

ford explorer – 3,600

ford explorer for sale – 390

ford explorer for sale near me – 10

ford escape – 14,800

ford escape for sale – 320

ford escape for sale near me – 10

Shape/Series

ford falcon – 18,100

ford falcon for sale – 1,000

ford ute – 4,400

ford ute for sale – 880

ford suv – 2,900

ford suv for sale – 70

ford wagon – 720

ford wagon for sale – 140

ford sedan – 590

ford sedan for sale – 30

ford hatchback – 480

ford hatch – 90

ford hatchback for sale – 10

ford convertible – 210

ford convertible for sale – 20

Keyword Volume vs Search Intent

Google Ads campaigns work by targeting specific keywords like the ones mentioned above, and in general, you will want to target those with the highest search volume in order for your ads to be seen by the greatest number of people. But focusing solely on high-volume keywords is not always the best way to generate leads — you need to consider both search intent, and your goals as a dealer.

For example, the keyword ‘Ford ranger’ is searched 60,500 times a month and would seem to be a valuable term to target. However, if you want to drive sales of second-hand Ford Rangers at your dealership, then that term will not be specific enough to capture the buyers you are looking for.

Equally, the keyword ‘Ford dealer’ receives 14,800 searches a month, while ‘Ford dealer near me’ receives only 4,400. Once again though, the lower-volume keyword has a much greater search intent and is likely to generate more leads than targeting the high-volume keyword.

Google Ads Can Help You Target Profit Centres In Your Dealership

Every dealership contains multiple profit centres: new and used vehicles, finance/insurance, service and repairs, and parts and merchandise. With Google Ads, you can drive business towards your various profit centres by targeting specific keywords, allowing you to focus your marketing budget where it is most needed.

For instance, your sales might be sky-high while your parts and service department is receiving barely any business at all. To counter this, you could design a Google Ads campaign to target keywords such as ‘Ford service centre near me’ or ‘Ford dealer parts’ to deliver increased profit and a better ROI for your marketing.

Google Ads Let You Target Buyers Outside Your Prime Marketing Area

One of the greatest challenges of marketing a dealership is the need to adhere to strict Prime Marketing Areas imposed by manufacturers. Although PMAs are useful for avoiding direct competition and poaching of sales between OEM dealerships, they also impose an unnatural restriction on your ability to target potential buyers.

Luckily, Google Ads do not violate the restrictions of PMAs, and allow you to expand your marketing efforts well beyond your postcode. With Google Ads, you can reach potential buyers from outside your PMA that you would not be able to target through traditional methods and make more sales.

If You're A Ford Dealer Looking To Upgrade Your Google Ads, We Can Help

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of Google Ads and the many ways that they can benefit your dealership. However, while Google Ads may appear simple, they require strategy, implementation and ongoing management to deliver results.

As automotive industry experts, we specialise in designing, implementing and managing Google Ads campaigns for dealers, and know how to do so in a way that delivers qualified leads to your dealership with the best possible ROI.

If you’re a Ford dealer looking to add or expand your use of Google Ads, our qualified team of ads managers, copywriters and SEO experts are here to help. To learn more about how Google Ads can boost your bottom line, get in touch with one of our team today for a no-obligation consultation, and start generating better, more qualified leads to your door.

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Best practice

The Importance of a Call To Action in Advertising

A call to action, or CTA, is one of the most common terms in digital marketing. A CTA refers to any prompt that leads visitors to perform an action, whether that be downloading a brochure, calling a dealership, or signing up for a newsletter.

Without a CTA, even the most well-designed digital marketing campaigns will fail to deliver results, and knowing how to craft an effective CTA is a skill of its own. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about writing strong calls to action and explore some examples of what makes a CTA good or bad, so you can convert more customers.

The Who, What, When, Where & Why of a CTA

Although the term ‘call to action’ has become much more widely used and understood with the rise of digital marketing, almost all marketing contains a call to action. Some of the most famous examples are in cigarette ads of the 1950s and 60s, like the Lucky Strike ad below, which urges the target audience to ‘Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet’.

  • WHO is a CTA intended for? A CTA will always have a target audience, and this is anyone that you want to take an action -usually a lead or prospective customer.

  • WHAT should my CTA say? There’s no one thing that a CTA should say as they vary depending on who you’re speaking to and where they’re encountering your messaging. A simple CTA might say ‘Buy it online now’ or ‘Order yours today’ but as you will soon see, that is not the only way to write a call to action.

  • WHEN do I use a CTA? A CTA should always come at the end of your messaging, as you want it be the last thing the audience reads in order to spur them into taking action.

  • WHERE do I use a CTA? In the heyday of print advertising (like the Lucky Strike ad above) a CTA served as a general instruction, rather than something the reader could actually do in the moment. But in today’s digital world, CTAs are much more direct and usually take the form of a CTA button or a link at the bottom of a post or ad. This is the best place to put your CTA, for the same reasons outlined in the previous point.

  • WHY should I use a CTA? Because nothing happens without action, and if you don’t give people a reason to click, they won’t click. While good marketing might naturally lead the audience to take an action, a CTA instructs them to do so before their attention is lost.

Understanding What Makes A Good CTA

  • As with anything in marketing, a good CTA starts with a good strategy – and the first step is to get clear on your goal. Are you trying to build a database through email signups, or are you looking to drive sales, or build brand awareness? Having a clearly defined goal is half the work of creating a good CTA.

    Having a definitive goal doesn’t just benefit you, though, it also tells your customers what action you want them to take. Effective communication is the key to a successful call to action: customers need to know what you want them to do and why they should complete said action. Urging a customer just to ‘Click Here’ provides no information and offers no benefit to them, so there is no motivation for them to perform the action you want. If you’re struggling to come up with a good CTA or finding that your current ones aren’t succeeding, you can use the MIC acronym to test their effectiveness.
    • Motivating. Are you giving your customers a reason to click? Discounts are one of the most common and effective motivations there is – ‘Order now for 10% off’ – because they offer a clear benefit to customers.

    • Informing. Does your CTA tell customers what will happen? ‘Click Here’ is not only vague, but it’s also one of the oldest scams on the Internet. ‘Shop Now’, ‘Download A Brochure’, and ‘Book A Viewing’ are all explicit actions that tell the customer what to expect.

    • Concise. Don’t ramble. A good CTA is short, and sweet and creates a sense of urgency in the customer that leads them to the desired action.

Creating An Emotional Connection

  • The best CTAs succeed because they create an emotional response in customers, often by addressing a pain point. A classic sales mantra is ‘Identify a problem and sell the solution’ and this same approach can be used in your call to action.

    For instance, an insurer might use a phrase like ‘Pay less for your insurance’ or ‘Get better coverage’ to target prospects that feel as if they’re paying too much or getting too little with their current policy. With just a few words, they’ve identified a pain point – either the cost or lack of coverage – and offered their solution: pay less, get more.
    • Targeting Negative Emotions. Another option is to motivate customers by targeting negative emotions like shock or fear. Sticking with our insurance example, possible calls to action could include ‘Protect your investment’ or ‘Be prepared for a rainy day’. These CTAs target the fear of an accident or a weather event as motivation for purchasing an insurance policy.

    • Exploiting A Customer’s FOMO. Exploiting a customer’s fear of missing out (FOMO) is one of the easiest ways to create urgency and prompt an action. It is a simple but highly effective strategy that is used everywhere from infomercials to email marketing campaigns because it gets results.

      CTAs can target this emotion by creating a sense of scarcity, either of time or product. Some tried-and-trusted examples include things like ‘Get it while stocks last’ or ‘Limited time offer – get yours before it’s too late’. If your intention is to drive sales, these are some of the best CTAs you can use.

Strong Call To Action Examples

A call to action can have many different forms, so we’ve decided to share some of our favourites, along with what makes them so effective.

What makes this call to action work is its use of social proof – in this case, the fact that they’ve sold out 5 times – to build trust and create a sense of urgency in the target audience. Additionally, it instructs the audience to find out why the product is so popular, and lets them know what to expect with a simple ‘Shop Now’ button.

This call to action employs the same technique but substitutes the number of sales for the number of 5 star reviews, communicating to the target audience that the service is app is highly-rated by its users.

For a call to action that is good but not great, refer to above example from Stack Exchange. The strengths of this call to action are that it is preceded by a lot of valuable information, and is highly visible, with a bright orange button – although the button itself could be bigger to better grab the reader’s attention.

Where it falls down though is in the prompt. Not only is ‘Learn more’ generic, but it lacks urgency and fails to communicate what the desired action is. If the aim is to give the reader more information, something like ‘Read Our FAQs’ would be much stronger, or even just ‘Learn more About Us’.

Alternatively, if the aim is to get users to sign up to Stack Exchange, a CTA such as ‘Join our community’ is much more compelling and informative, and appeals to one of the strengths of the platform: community.

So What Makes A Bad CTA?

  • Although it may take time to transform your CTAs from good to great, it is easy to avoid writing bad CTAs as long as you keep a few things in mind.

    • Don’t Be Vague. Customers won’t perform an action if they don’t know what’s going on, it’s as simple as that. If you want them to sign up to your newsletter, say ‘Sign up to our newsletter’; if you want them to shop your products, say ‘Shop online’. Nobody is ever going to click a button that says ‘Click here’ if they don’t know what will happen next.

    • Give Them A Reason To Click. It’s all very well to tell someone what will happen if they click the button, but it doesn’t give them much of a reason to do so. ‘Sign up to our newsletter to receive exclusive offers’ promises a tangible benefit to the customer, as does ‘Shop now and enjoy 10% off your order’.

      Remember, simple motivations are often the best. You want to create a direct line between the desired action and the benefit it brings to your customer, so don’t get caught up in trying to reinvent the wheel.

    • Get To The Point. People have limited attention spans, so don’t waste time elaborating on the offer or politely asking them to take a moment of their time. A call to action is a request, but it is also a command: do this now. The faster you can get to the point, the more customers you are likely to convert.

Examples of Weak CTAs

Below are a few examples of bad calls to action that we spotted with a cursory scroll through Facebook. While these aren’t the worst of the worst, they have all made a few common mistakes that are undoubtedly hurting their click-through-rate.

This ad on Facebook fails to offer any clear value to the audience and has far too much going on.

This photo actually only shows half of the ad as it was too long to get a full screenshot, and therein lies the issue. With any online advertising, but especially with Facebook, you want to grab the audience’s attention immediately with a clear benefit. Instead, this ad waffles on for several paragraphs without telling you anything about the service – for someone trying to sell a Facebook Ads bootcamp, that’s a big no-no.

Moreover, the wordy CTA text underneath the image fails once again to offer any value to the audience and is actually cut off because it is too long. A much stronger CTA would have been this:

Say Goodbye to Overpriced Ad Agencies: Stop losing money & gain more clicks with my Facebook Ads Bootcamp.

This is instantly more impactful and offers a clear solution to a problem (overpriced ad agencies) with a direct benefit to the audience (saving money & increasing click-through rate) that piques their interest and makes them more likely to ‘Learn more’.

If You're Ever Worried, Remember the MIC

There aren’t 20 things that go into making a bad CTA. If your CTAs aren’t converting or you feel that they’re not as good as they should be, ask yourself if they meet the MIC points we mentioned earlier.

A good CTA will be motivating, informative, and concise. If yours are lacking any of these three components, go back and fix what is missing. As time goes on, writing clear, effective, and engaging CTAs will become second nature, but until then, always make sure they’re hitting these three points.

If You Need Help Getting Customers to Click, We Can Help

Sometimes it’s easier to leave the marketing to the experts so that you can focus on growing your business. At Retain Media, we specialise in lead generation across the digital landscape and are experienced in designing and implementing SEO, social and PPC campaigns that convert.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing partner that knows your industry and understands how to get customers to click, get in touch with one of our team today to find out how we can help.

Categories
Best practice

Digital Marketing For Auto Dealers: The Ins-and-Outs of Working With An Agency

Digital marketing is no longer just ‘nice to have’; it’s essential for modern business. While there is still room for traditional media, such as print, radio and billboard ads, the best ROI occurs online, and intelligent and effective digital marketing is often what separates successful businesses from those that are just limping along.

Working with an agency is one of the best ways to maximise your digital marketing efforts and get the results you need to take your business to the next level. But not all agencies are created equal, and many don’t understand the unique challenges of the automotive industry.

In this article, we’ll explore why auto dealers need to invest in their digital marketing and why you should consider working with an auto industry specialist when it comes time to choose an agency.

Why Dealers Need Digital Marketing

We’ve said time and again in our other articles that everyone needs digital marketing but auto dealers more so than most. According to research from LSA, 78% of automotive buyers use a search engine to research a potential purchase. Additional insights from Google show that 95% of vehicle buyers in a 2017 survey use the Internet as a source of information, with twice as many buyers starting their research online instead of at a dealer.

As younger, more digitally-savvy consumers age into your target market, it’s your job as a dealer to intercept them when they start their research – and that means getting online.

What Does Digital Marketing Involve?

Digital marketing is a broad term for several different marketing strategies that encompass pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, and search engine optimisation (SEO). An effective digital marketing campaign harmonises these three approaches to create brand awareness and generate leads across multiple channels, such as Facebook, Google, Instagram and more.

What Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising?

We’ve discussed PPC in greater detail in our other articles, but it is just another form of paid media, like radio or television ads. The crucial difference with PPC advertising, like Google or Facebook ads, is that you pay each time a user clicks on your ad instead of buying a block of airtime as you would with traditional paid media.

Not only is PPC advertising far more cost-effective than traditional paid media, but it also allows a far greater level of control over your target audience and an incredible amount of insight into how users engage with your ads.

For example, you’re a car dealer in Western Sydney who knows that the most likely buyers of your utes are local, single men between the ages of 25 and 45. Using this knowledge, you set up a Facebook ad campaign specifically targeting this demographic with ads promoting your stock of new and used utes.

When your campaign is running, you’re being fed data about who is being shown your ads, how they’re interacting with them (are they scrolling past or pausing on the ad), and what proportion of the audience is clicking through to your website. With this data, you can refine your strategy, assets and ad copy to deliver a greater ROI and more qualified leads to your dealership.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and refers to strategies to rank a website highly on search engines like Google. We often say that PPC advertising, such as Google Ads, is like renting the top spot on a search engine, whereas SEO lets you own it.

A few years ago, search engine ranking was heavily determined by keywords, allowing businesses to game the algorithm and claim the top position by keyword stuffing. But advancements in Google’s algorithm mean that search position is now determined by a website’s authority and relevance to the end user, with greater emphasis placed on site structure and content quality.

SEO is a more long-term investment than PPC that involves building your site’s authority and ranking position over time with a combination of on-page and off-page approaches, including publishing content, developing backlinks and optimising your site for end users.

Although it takes time to secure your ranking through SEO, the investment will quickly pay off: when potential buyers search for ‘Ford dealer near me’, it will be your name that appears at the top of Google.

The Role of Social Media

Social media marketing is the third element of digital marketing and the one that most businesses focus their efforts on. When people mention social media marketing, they think exclusively of Instagram and Facebook.

While these are the two most prominent social media platforms, social media marketing can incorporate many others, including YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok and more. The role social media plays in your digital marketing will depend heavily on the goals of your dealership.

For many dealers, social media is an additional form of advertising and lead generation that allows them to connect and engage directly with their audience to drive sales.

Why Should You Work With A Digital Agency?

Unless you’re a large business with extensive resources, the best way to get results from your marketing efforts is to partner with a digital agency. By partnering with an agency, you receive access to a team of dedicated experts, including ad managers, SEO managers, copywriters and more.

Additionally, agencies stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in digital marketing, ensuring that their efforts are current and capable of delivering the best results. This combination of knowledge and experience saves you both time and money that you can use to focus on growing your business.

Specialists vs. Generalists:
Why You Should Work With An Automotive Industry Specialist

Although there is no shortage of digital agencies, you will find that an overwhelming amount of them are ‘generalists’ who work with businesses across a wide range of industries. As a result, they will take a broad strokes approach that doesn’t reflect the unique challenges of the automotive industry and your unique needs as an auto dealer.

By partnering with an auto industry specialist, you not only gain access to the skills and knowledge of an agency but the experience of one that has delivered results for dozens of dealers just like you.

Auto specialists will have an innate understanding of the wider industry and your dealership and can adjust their digital marketing strategies to deliver the results that will make a difference to your bottom line.

If Your Digital Marketing Is Lacking, We Can Help

At Retain Media, we prefer to stick to what we know, and that’s the automotive market. As automotive specialists, we work with brands and businesses at every level of the industry and know how to deliver results for dealers, no matter what you sell or where you’re located.

With an experienced team offering everything from Google and Facebook ads to SEO and social media, our comprehensive, customised service connects your dealership with better, more qualified leads that will boost your bottom line. Don’t waste time and money paying an agency to learn your business: as auto industry specialists, we hit the ground running and deliver results from day one.

If you’re struggling to connect with leads online, get in touch with one of our team today to learn more about what we can do for your dealership.

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Facebook Advertising Best practice

Facebook Advertising For Dealers

Facebook advertising is one of the most accessible and cost-effective methods available to dealers, yet it continues to be under-utilised by many of the dealers we work with. By partnering with an Ads Manager specialising in dealership marketing, you can unlock the power of Facebook ads and generate leads more cheaply and easily than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore what Facebook advertising is, why you need it as a dealer, and why you should be working with a dealership marketing specialist from day one.

What Is Facebook Advertising & How Does It Work?

Facebook advertising is a form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising that appears on users’ Facebook timelines and news feeds.

Just like Google ads, Facebook ads are available in a number of different forms, including static ads, video ads, carousel ads, and some which are unique to Facebook, such as Instant Experience. Ads managers will use different ad types depending on what they are advertising and the campaign’s goals.

What Is Pay-Per-Click?

Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a form of digital advertising where the advertiser (that’s you) pays a business (in this case, Facebook/Meta) every time a user clicks on an ad on their platform. PPC ads allow you to selectively target audiences based on their demographic features (age, gender, location etc.), interests, or by search terms (i.e. keywords).

The cost of a PPC ad is determined by an algorithm that factors in your budget, audience, and competition from other advertisers. If lots of other advertisers are running ads similar to yours, your cost-per-click (CPC) will be higher as your ads face stiffer competition.

Why Do Dealers Need Facebook Advertising?

There are two main reasons you should be running Facebook ads as a dealer. Firstly, Facebook ads effectively form one-half of modern PPC advertising, with Google forming the other half – if you aren’t using Facebook ads, you are missing out on a huge swathe of your target audience.

Secondly, how Facebook ads are structured allows for much tighter targeting of your audience. Whereas Google’s ads are mostly built around targeting keywords, Facebook ads target users based on their interests and demographic information, all of which is contained on their Facebook profile.

This allows you, as a dealer, to hone in on specific audiences to generate more qualified leads. If you’re a Ford dealer, for instance, you can choose to target single males aged 18-39 with ads for the new Ford Ranger, as this demographic is the most likely to buy that model. This audience specificity means that your ads are being targeted towards the people that are most likely to engage with them, increasing your chances of success and giving you the best possible ROI.

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Facebook Ads Manager Who Specialises In Dealership Marketing?

As we mentioned earlier, many dealers struggle with Facebook advertising because they work with Facebook Ads Managers that do not know the auto industry or understand its challenges.

Most clients that digital agencies and Ads Managers work with are e-commerce businesses for which the platform is well-suited. It is very easy for a clothing or jewellery brand, for instance, to run some ads with product images that link to an online store, but it is not possible to do the same for a dealership. After all, how many people buy their car through a Facebook ad?

In fact, most dealers aren’t looking for online sales – they want customers to come into the dealership, where they can upsell different vehicles, services and packages. A regular agency or Ads Manager won’t understand this, but an auto industry specialist will.

Moreover, a specialist will have worked on campaigns with dozens of dealers just like you and can draw on this experience to optimise their approach for your dealership, your target market, and your goals. Instead of wasting money on campaigns that go nowhere, an automotive specialist will deliver results that make a difference to your dealership.

What Do Dealers Stand To Lose If They Don't Advertise On Facebook?

There are almost 3 billion active monthly users on Facebook, all looking to spend money with local businesses. If you aren’t advertising on Facebook, you can bet that your competitors are, and by failing to do so yourself, you may as well be handing those sales to the competition.

As a dealer, you know what your customers look like – what their lives, interests and needs are – but not everyone that fits that profile knows who you are. With Facebook ads, you can promote your business to your ideal customer right when they need to see it most; without them, you rely on potential customers to find you in a sea of similar businesses.

Don't Get Left Behind - Our Ads Managers Are Auto Industry Specialists

You already know that your time is better spent on building your business – it’s why you went to an agency in the first place — now it’s time to make your money work for you as well. Stop throwing cash away on Facebook ad campaigns that don’t work with agencies that don’t know what they’re doing.

As automotive marketing specialists, we have worked with dealers at all levels of the industry to design Facebook ad campaigns that deliver qualified leads that have a real impact on your bottom line.

If you’re not getting the results you want with Facebook ads, get in touch with one of our team for a no-obligation consultation and find out how we can connect you with motivated customers. For more digital marketing tips and advice, read our industry Insights today.

Categories
Best practice SEO

How To Choose An SEO Agency

SEO is one of the main pillars of digital marketing and a service that every business should invest in. Effective SEO lets you improve your digital presence, connect with more customers and ultimately grow your business. A complex and ever-evolving discipline, most businesses turn to a digital or specialist SEO agency to carry out the work for them, but choosing the right agency is a major challenge that can hinder rather than help you if you make the wrong choice.

In this article, we’ll explore what SEO entails and how to choose an SEO agency to ensure that your business is getting the help it needs to succeed.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the practice of implementing strategies on the back-end and front-end of your website, as well as off-site to grow a relationship between your website and Google. The more Google likes your website, the more likely it is to rank organically on page one of Google search results, and the more visitors your site will get.

Who Needs SEO?

If you own a business and have a website, you need SEO. It used to be that companies could get by with just having a website or placing an ad in their local paper or radio stations, but that is no longer enough. Marketing strategies such as SEO and Google Ads have massively increased the number of businesses promoting themselves online and have made it nearly impossible for businesses to survive without them.   

Why Use SEO?

People often feel they don’t need to bother with SEO if they’re already investing in Google Ads. Unfortunately, online marketing is like real estate and Google Ads is like renting a house: if you stop paying, you’ll lose your house, and no matter how much you pay and how long you rent, you’ll never own that house.

But SEO is like buying a house. Although you have to invest money early on to improve your SEO ranking, you eventually own that spot. Importantly, SEO becomes easier over time, and the longer you invest, the better you’re likely to perform. Equally, the sooner you start, the faster you’ll be competing for the top ranking and those who start SEO today will always have an advantage over those who start tomorrow.

SEO Is A Necessity Nowadays

You might think that you can get by without SEO, but as SEO services become more popular and widely used, so too does their necessity, especially in more saturated industries. The reality is that SEO helps businesses stand out from the competition and make more money. If your competitors are using SEO and you aren’t, you simply won’t survive.

Why Use an SEO Agency?

Alright, so you’ve accepted that you need SEO, but can’t you do it yourself? You certainly could but that doesn’t mean you should – besides, there are many advantages to working with an SEO agency.

  • The heavy lifting gets done for you. SEO specialists have the knowledge and experience to save you both time and money and the headache of trying to do the work yourself.

  • Many hands make light work. Working with an agency means you’ll often have several SEO experts reviewing your campaign at once, resulting in a collaboration of knowledge and expertise that gives you a better chance at success.

  • Staying on top of trends. Agency SEOs are trained to stay on top of Google and other online trends to keep you ahead of the curve. And if something does go wrong, you’ve got a team of experts working around the clock to resolve any issues.

  • Brand and industry experience. Agencies deal with many businesses across various industries, so you can be confident that the SEOs working on your campaign have experience in your field and know how to deliver results.

  • Access to content creation. A huge part of SEO is the incorporation of onsite content, whether that be in the form of on-page text, blogs, or product descriptions. Joining an agency means you’ll have access to content creators who can take care of this without having to look elsewhere for additional help.

  • Access to resources. Agencies have access to top resources to help create and run your campaigns, research your industry and provide comprehensive and analytical data to show your results.

How Much Do SEO Agencies Charge?

In Australia, SEO agencies generally charge anywhere from $1,400 to $10,000+ per month, depending on the individual requirements of the business, their goals and the scope of their industry.

There are exceptions, of course, with some agencies offering SEO at as little as $899 a month – however, these are, more often than not, agencies with many clients. At the end of the day, SEO is like getting a tattoo: you get what you pay for.

What Should You Ask a
Potential SEO Agency?

If you’re considering an SEO agency, there are several questions you should ask them before you commit to a contract.

  • Do you cater your campaigns to the individual? Many agencies will offer their services as either a standard package or on a retainer. Package campaigns will generally have a list of specific services that you will receive for a monthly payment, and the more you pay, the more you get.However, what works best with SEO is a customised approach. Look for an agency that puts together a package FOR YOU and YOUR business based on an analysis of your website and the goals you want to achieve. Not only will this give you more room to move compared to a package service, but it also means your campaign has a much better chance of succeeding.

  • How many other clients do you have? At the end of the day, the more clients an agency has, the less time the employees have to work on your campaign. You should feel secure in knowing you are a priority for an agency and that they are applying the time your campaign needs and that you are paying for!

  • Who owns the content? Do you have full ownership of any content created for your campaign if you decide to leave the agency? This is crucial, as it would be a shame to lose time, effort and work put into your campaign, which will end up costing you in the long term.

  • How do you structure your fees? Some agencies charge a standard monthly fee instead of an hourly rate for the work done, meaning you need to fork out the same amount, regardless of how much work gets done. This can create problems if your SEO goes on holiday or you’re unable to have your usual meetings with them that month.

  • How much experience does my SEO have? Look for an SEO who has at least three years of experience. SEO is a massive field that is constantly changing due to Google algorithm updates and technological improvements, so the experience is crucial when choosing who to go with. Search your SEO on LinkedIn for a better understanding of their experience and capabilities.

  • What are the limitations of my campaign? Some agencies charge based on a keyword allocation of a set number of terms you can target. Look for an agency that allows unlimited keyword targeting. This ensures you can target as many terms as possible without having to minimise your chances of success by limiting your target terms.

  • Do you offer fixed-term contracts, or can I cancel at any time? Choose an agency that allows you to terminate your payments on the spot. Being locked into something you end up unhappy with is the last thing anyone wants to get involved with.

  • How long until I start seeing results? If an agency tells you you’ll start seeing ROI before (at a minimum) the 6-month mark of your campaign, they’re being dishonest. It’s a common practice for sales teams to lead people into thinking they can start seeing results around the three-month mark, and this isn’t true.Companies often use this tactic due to their commission KPIs being at three months. Sure, you might start seeing keyword movement, but the likelihood of seeing a return on your investment prior to this point is highly unlikely.

  • How often will I receive reporting and one-on-one meetings with the company? Transparency is key, especially regarding SEO, given that it’s such a complex industry where results are often not seen for up to six months. Ensure you can have a meeting with your SEO or account manager at least once a month and that there will be open and honest communication throughout your campaign.Ensure you will receive reporting on your keyword rankings, organic analytical stats and conversions, Google My Business stats and information regarding work implemented over the past month and work to commence moving forward. This information is important for keeping on top of your campaign’s progress and helping to educate you along the way.

Stop Falling Behind The Competition - Speak To One Of Our SEO Specialists Today

The reality of modern marketing is that you need to play the game to succeed, and SEO is one of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle. Without effective SEO behind you, your business will remain uncompetitive in an increasingly digital age.

If you’ve been struggling to generate leads online, we can help. With dedicated, experienced SEO experts and in-house copywriters, our team can develop and implement a strategy customised to your business, industry, and goals.

Get in touch with one of our team to arrange a no-obligation consultation and find out how we can help grow your business.