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Driving Customers Away: Bad Marketing Is Not Simply Ignored – Use Social Logins to Get Better Data

Driving Customers Away: Bad Marketing Is Not Simply Ignored 

Automotive Consumers Don’t Just Ignore Irrelevant Marketing Messages from Car Dealers… They Take Action!

Almost all car buying consumers and service customers claim to have received information or promotions from a car dealer that were not relevant to them. This includes offers that show the dealer doesn’t know who they are (71%). Dealers are also guilty of sending mixed, or inconsistent information across different methods of communication (51%). Many times, the dealer’s messaging includes basic errors about the consumers’ identities (41%).

A new Janrain and Blue Research report details out the data in newly-released survey results touting the benefits of social login. In response, more than 9 in 10 respondents have developed an unfavorable attitude to the dealership or taken some kind of action to limit the messaging.

Specifically, 94% of respondents reported taking at least one of these actions in response to a dealership that consistently mis-targeted them in their marketing efforts:

  • Automatically deleted the emails (68%);

  • Unsubscribed from emails (54%);

  • Categorized emails as “junk” or “spam” (45%);

  • Became less likely to buy products (29%);

  • Visited the website less frequently (13%); and

  • Never visited the website again (10%).

Apparently, it only takes a couple of missteps to turn off a sizable proportion of automotive consumers: almost half said they automatically delete emails or categorize them as “junk” after being mis-targeted twice; 38% unsubscribe after receiving two mis-targeted emails.

 

Use Social Media To Build A Better Database

By delivering data that can be used by auto industry marketers to personalize their communications, social account profile and login based campaigns can avoid these pitfalls, per the researchers, who indicate that 9 in 10 respondents have encountered social login at some point and half use it.

Among Social Login Users, 9 in 10 are Satisfied with the Experience

The primary reasons for consumers to use social logins being faster registration (65%) and one less password to remember (50%). That brings to mind a survey released early last year by Janrain and Harris Interactive, which found that 88% of online adults don’t like being asked to register on a website, with 51% of those turned off by the idea of having to remember another user name or password.

Interestingly, though, social login use is currently not driven by a desire for more personalization; only 12% said they chose social login to “ensure websites are more personalized.” That either implies a lack of awareness of the benefit among consumers, or that they simply are not as enamored by website personalization as they say they are.

Privacy Concerns Obviously Play a Role

Among those not using social login, half say a primary reason is a lack of trust in the company to use their data appropriately, with one-third concerned that the company will post to their feed, and 1 in 6 concerned that the company will spam them or their contacts.

Automotive Consumers May Not Be Convinced of the Value Exchange

In a study released late last year by Forbes Insights and Turn, only 2% of B2C customers said they believe they benefit more than companies when sharing their data, and a majority indicated that their privacy concerns outweigh benefits from sharing information.

Some reassurance would no doubt help: according to the Janrain study, respondents would be most likely to respond to reassurances that the dealership will not contact others in their social network… Sending advertising messages to a customer’s 300 Facebook Friends is not something that automotive consumers seem to warm up to. These same consumers also want to know that their information would only be used to personalize their experience. Sending free trials, gift cards or promotions won’t do the trick for many.

The survey finds that in general, “consumers see value in personalization enabled by social login.” However, the results require a slightly closer look. For example, the study indicates that “60% find suggested products/promotions based on profile info useful.” However, respondents were deemed to find this “useful” if they rated its utility anywhere from a 5 to a 10 on a 10-point scale. (One would imagine that those rating it a 5 would be quite neutral on the topic.)

Even with this rather broad view of “usefulness,” only a minority of respondents would allow mobile phone apps to offer special “Dealership Offers” (49%) or would like suggestions based on their social media account profile info (44%), among others.

About the Data: The data is based on a national survey of 594 adults, most of whom (55%) fell into the 35-64 age range.

Source 1: Marketingcharts.com/consumers-dont-just-ignore-irrelevant-messaging

Source 2: Janrain.com/increase-lead-conversion-social-login-your-site

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Facebook: What Days of the Week Work Best for Car Dealers? – Automotive Marketing

Facebook: What Days of the Week Work Best for Car Dealers?

Facebook Post Timing: Which Days of the Week Have the Best Engagement Rate Potential for Automotive Marketers?

Car Dealers and Automotive Marketing Professionals are less likely to post on Facebook on the weekend, and that seems like it might be a good decision, according to new study from Socialbakers…  
The research is based on an analysis of almost 2.9 million Facebook posts from 23,000 business and brand pages over a 2-month period. The researchers looked at the percentage of posts that were created on each day of the week, then looked at each day’s “engagement rate potential.”

Here’s how the researchers determined engagement rate potential (contrary to some press reports, the figures do not reflect actual engagement rates):

“Socialbakers first looked at the 4,000 most engaging posts from the analyzed sample. Then, to calculate Monday’s engagement rate potential, for example, they calculated the number of those top posts that were created on a Monday and then divided that number by the total number of posts published on Mondays. They repeated that calculation for each day of the week, and then made the resulting percentages relative to each other. (In so doing, they controlled for the variances in number of posts created on each day of the week.)”

Monday emerges as the best performer, with its relative percentage at 7.1%. What that means, then, is that posts created on Monday were 7.1% more likely to rank among the top posts than the average post created on any single day. (Alternatively: the share of posts created on Mondays making it into the top posts by engagement rate was 7.1% higher than the overall share.) By contrast, Saturday (-12.1%) and Sunday (-5.3%) were the worst performers.

 

So are automotive consumers less engaged on the weekend? Or is it that dealers and their social media marketing service providers are not only posting less on the weekends, but are also updating less engaging content?

While it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from the data, the study provides an interesting glimpse into potential opportunities. It also raises other questions, too: Are car dealers, businesses and brands not exploiting opportunities on the weekend, or are they right to be focusing more on posting during the week?

In an earlier study that looked at Twitter, Socialbakers found that Saturdays had the highest relative engagement rate (engagement rate relative to entire sample of tweets). Last year, research from Buddy Media indicated that brands’ tweets enjoyed higher engagement rates on the weekend.

It’s worth noting that the researchers do offer the requisite disclaimers: results likely differ by industry, market, nature of product or service, audience demographics, and season of the year. (The same caution needs to be applied to questions of email timing.)

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

  How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

MySpace was, in many people’s opinion, the social network to be on for many years. In fact, in 2006, MySpace surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. The decline of MySpace began in 2008 as Facebook rose in popularity and became the newest social network of preference for many. MySpace’s user base has since declined from a peak user base of 125 million to its present day membership (as of June 2013) of 25 million. In 2011, a group which included singer Justin Timberlake, purchased MySpace and they vowed to revive the network.

MySpace has been focusing on attracting business presence and musical talent in addition to revamping the look and feel of their site. It appears that in order to achieve their goal, they felt it was necessary to delete “user blogs which had been maintained for upwards of six or more years,” according to this recent article in SocialNewsDaily.

While many users abandoned MySpace in the mass exodus that occurred between 2008 until now, these users remained loyal and continued to visit and use the site to record and share their daily thoughts and activities. This of course angered those fans that remained loyal; not just because of the loss of six or more years of their digital life; (which some users maintain as sort of a digital diary) but because they felt as if they are unimportant to the site they remained loyal to.

As one user wrote, “You have stolen six years of blogs and something that is priceless to me and cannot be replaced.”

MySpace has a long way to go and a definite uphill battle in its attempt to gain back market share and attention away from other more popular sites. By alienating their most loyal customers and deleting their loyal user’s content, they may have taken a huge step backwards. Big business and music talent certainly want publicity but what good is a social network that has no audience?

While MySpace may yet have to acquiesce and restore the blogs of their customers, they did at least recognize the importance of their customer base, even if only in words, when they made the following statement:

“Change isn’t easy and there has been a lot going on lately. We understand that this information is very important to you. Please understand that your blogs have not been deleted. Your content is safe and we have been discussing the best ways possible to provide you your blogs.”

The point is that loyal customers are the foundation of any business. Building your business on a solid foundation is extremely important. By threatening the instability of that foundation, MySpace may find itself in a position whereby the companies they want to attract have no reason to be there. A social network is, after all, not social if nobody’s at the party. Similarly, no business can survive without customers.

Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

TrueCar Sponsors Ten Full Ride AutoCon 2013 Scholarships – AutoConnections Conference and Exposition

 

AutoCon 2013 Announces a Special Program Sponsored by TrueCar to Award Ten “Full Ride Scholarships” for Dealership Managers to Attend AutoCon 2013*

Automotive Media Partners, LLC is proud to announce the creation of a “Full Ride Scholarship*” program sponsored by TrueCar of Santa Monica, California.  TrueCar’s pioneering sponsorship of this program provides the funds to cover the costs of transportation to and from Las Vegas, lodging at the Aria Resort and full AutoCon conference registration. 

One of the most surprising aspects of TrueCar’s sponsorship is that the company has funded ten (10) AutoCon “Full Ride Scholarships*”.  Ten automotive professionals will receive the educational, networking, inspiration and innovation benefits from attending the 2013 AutoConnections Conference and Exposition at no out of pocket expense for travel, meals during the event or conference fees to themselves or their dealerships. 

  

The TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship Program is further evidence of the remarkable transformation that has taken place at TrueCar since the beginning of 2012. After receiving a remarkable level of criticism within the auto industry during the second half of 2011, TrueCar has evolved and revised their automotive purchasing programs for consumers and affiliated corporations to be far more dealer friendly.  TrueCar’s objectives supported by these changes have included raising dealer profit margins to levels that provide more room for dealers to cover facility costs and the staffing levels needed to properly service new vehicle buyers sent to them by TrueCar.   


TrueCar understands and recognizes the need for ongoing training and thought leadership within the ranks of the retail automotive industry. 

Their management team has decided that one of the best ways to demonstrate this commitment to betterment of the industry is to commit the funds necessary to support independent dealer focused educational events such as AutoCon 2013. 

 

TrueCar executives Bernie Brenner and Mike Timmons approached the founders of the Automotive Digital Marketing and dealerElite professional communities, Ralph Paglia, Chris Saraceno and Mike Myers because these online networks have served as “Ground Zero” for some of the industry’s harshest criticism of TrueCar in the recent past.  

Surprising for a company as large as TrueCar is, their management team has reviewed the criticism published by members of the ADM and DealerELITE networks and taken corrective actions, changed their business models and worked with State dealer associations to create vehicle purchase programs that make sense for participating dealers. 

How will the TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships be Awarded?

TrueCar has asked that the AutoConnections Conference Management Team take full control and responsibility for ensuring that the 10 Full Ride Scholarships be awarded based on merit and need.  Criteria will include a wide geographic representation by selecting automotive professionals from every region in North America.  Another consideration will be to award scholarships to professionals who represent a diverse range of vehicle brands and positions within the dealerships they serve.  

Written TrueCar Scholarship Application

The application process will be a simple online application that includes all the expected contact information, a description of the applicant’s role in the dealership where they work and space for them to describe in their own words why they should be awarded a TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship to attend the AutoConnections Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas from September 4th to the 6th

Video TrueCar Scholarship Application

If you are better at explaining your reasons why you should be selected for a scholarship in a verbal manner, the AutoCon 2013 TrueCar scholarship committee will also be pleased to accept your proposal in a video format. Simply explain why you should be selected in a YouTube video that is either uploaded or embedded to either AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com or dealerELITE.net.

Please be sure to include the link to that video in your scholarship application where you write out your explanation of why YOU should be selected to receive a “Full Ride Scholarship”.

The AutoCon Scholarship Selection Committee is comprised of Ralph Paglia, Chris Saraceno, Mike Myers, Carrie Hemphill and Brian Pasch.  As applicants are being considered they will be contacted by a committee member and interviewed via phone and email.  Final selections will be made by committee vote and the awardees notified by email and phone.

AutoCon 2013 Scholarship Selection Committee

  • Ralph Paglia
  • Chris Saraceno
  • Mike Myers
  • Carrie Hemphill
  • Brian Pasch 

                                                    

Applications for TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships will be accepted starting Monday July 1, 2013 and award selections will begin Monday August 5, 2013.

AutoCon 2013 Sponsored by TrueCar

AutoCon 2013 Sponsored by TrueCar

With 10 TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships being awarded, the odds of being selected are probably better than any other similar program in the auto industry… So, do not hesitate to apply and encourage other automotive professionals to do so!  All of us who are stakeholders in the AutoCon event are thrilled with the investment being made by TrueCar to support what we believe is the best event in the auto industry.  The TrueCar sponsorship of AutoCon 2013 and the Full Ride Scholarship Program is appreciated and respected. 

In the past, TrueCar was a company that received an enormous amount of criticism, much of which has been emotionally charged and at times, crossed the boundaries of decency and professional behavior.  Many other companies faced with similar criticism and public ridicule would have released a barrage of legal actions to defend themselves.  TrueCar has consistently taken the high road and responded to their critics with program changes and by sending their senior executives to major auto industry events and meetings. 

 

The TrueCar sponsorship of AutoCon is further proof that this company is led by professionals who want to be valuable contributors to the overall success of the auto industry.

 

On behalf of the AutoCon team and the 10 auto industry professionals who will receive the benefit of these scholarship awards, a sincere thank you to TrueCar is extended.

Apply for a TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship online at http://AutoCon2013.com

    

*PLEASE NOTE: “Full Ride Scholarship” is the brand name for this category of award and is owned by Automotive Media Partners, LLC.  All “Full Ride Scholarships” associated with an AMP promoted event with include a travel stipend that reimburses the scholarship recipient for airfare expense submitted up to a maximum dollar amount. Recipients will also receive lodging for the nights of the conference itself. Any room charges authorized by the scholarship recipient, or incidental expenses are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. Also included are the conference fees for registering and attending the event, which will usually include scheduled breakfasts and lunches that all event participants receive. It is important for scholarship recipients to understand that ANY expenses outside of airfare to and from the event, hotel lodging and conference registration fees are NOT INCLUDED in our version of a “Full Ride Scholarship”.  Furthermore, we strongly advise all scholarship recipients to travel with a valid major credit card and two forms of government issued ID. Adequate cash should be brought by scholarship recipients to cover meals outside of those scheduled on the conference agenda, local transportation and miscellaneous expenses… After all, you will be in Las Vegas and “Cash-In-Fist” is strongly advised!

   

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Vine Video Clips Generate High Engagement on Twitter

Vine Generates Surprisingly High Engagement Rates on Twitter

Marketing Research Report Shows That Tweets With Vine Uploads Create “Surprising” Engagement Rates

Socialbakers calls the results “surprising” and even “amazing” considering that Vine is so new – it was only just introduced to Android, having previously only been available to iPhone and iPad users.(The Socialbakers data is based only on iPhone and iPad engagement.) Now, Facebook isreportedly exploring video for Instagram.

In research released last month, Unruly Media shared some other findings about Vine (some of which may by now be obsolete given Vine’s growth trajectory, but interesting nonetheless). Based on data from more than 10 million Vines collected during a 1-month period, Unruly Media found that:

  • 5 tweets per second contained a Vine link;
  • Weekends were the most popular time to share Vines, by a sizable margin;
  • Most Vine activity occurred between 10-11AM EDT; and
  • Branded content accounted for 4% of the top 100 Vines tracked, compared to only 1% of content in the Unruly Viral Video Chart Top 100 Most Shared Videos that was branded.

About the Data: The Socialbakers data is based on an analysis of more than 30,000 tweets containing YouTube and Vine links posted over a 1-month period by selected brand profiles. The time period was May 5-June 5, 2013.

Socialbakers’ formula for Twitter engagement rate is based on replies, retweets, and favorites. The formula is listed below:

Twitter Average Tweet ER = ((Replies + Retweets + Favorites on a given day / # of tweets made by profile on a given day) / Total Followers on a given day) x 100

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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10 Reasons Why Car Dealers Need to Be In Vegas at AutoCon in September!

10 Reasons Why You Need to Be In Vegas at AutoCon in September!

10 Reasons Why Your Dealership Needs to Send its Management Team to Las Vegas for AutoCon 2013 in September!

As I speak with my dealer friends on a daily basis, I know that now is the time when they are evaluating and deciding which Fall Conferences to attend this year.
So, I wanted to make the decision easy and provide everyone with the top ten reasons why you need to be at AutoCon on September 4th, 5th and 6th.
The Reasons Are Simple:
1) Hosted a the five star and beautiful ARIA Resort & Casino and rooms are only $125 PER NIGHT!
2) WORKSHOPS THAT ARE CATEGORIZED FOR EACH ROLE AT THE DEALERSHIP, enabling your team to focus on strengthening their department’s strategies and processes
3) Actionable items to take back and implement at the dealership.  We don’t allow our attendees to leave asking themselves “Where do I begin with all this information?” WE MAKE ACTION PLANS!
4) Over 40 top industry thought leaders presenting educational workshops- NO SELLING!
5) OEM keynote presentation and series of Dealer Panel Discussions for YOU to Participate in!
6) FREE Wireless internet and access to all workshop recordings post show
7) DEALER PRINCIPALS ARE COMPLIMENTARY!
8) Intimate atmosphere and ideal networking setting. YOU MAKE RELATIONSHIPS NOT JUST BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS!
9) Highly engaging workshops with rich content that help you stay ahead of your local competition, and SELL MORE CARS!
10) DEALER NETWORKING ROUNDTABLES held each day, which allow you to have one-on-one time with industry professionals on particular topics of interest (Mobile, SEO, BDC, Reputation Management, and more).
Now is the time to act while the Early Bird rate is going on through July 4th.  Registration rates will only go up after that time, so don’t wait!
Make sure you share these ten reasons with your team, and use them to help convince your boss to give you the “stamp of approval” to book your trip!
See you in Vegas!

via 10 Reasons Why You Need to Be In Vegas at AutoCon in September! – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Erin Ryan Shows Simplified Version of Adding Google Author Rank to Your Blog

A Simplified Version of Adding Your Google Author Rank to Your Blog from Erin Ryan and the Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

A Simplified Version of Adding Your Google Author Rank to Your Blog

Anyone who is not SEO savvy or a coder may encounter difficulty when wanting to add your Google Author Rank to your blog.

There are tons, and I mean TONS of articles out there that try to tell you how to add it in a difficult way and after sorting through it myself, I thought a simplified version of how-to add your Google Author Rank to your blog was necessary.

Firstly, you must know that you need to have a Google+ account prior to claiming a Google Author Rank as it will verify your blog and help it get seen more and allow you to be recognized as an author by also putting a face to the name by adding your associated picture.

As your blog should be setup as a Google+ Business page and your blog’s URL is inputted, you will see a button that reads “link website”. This is when it gets a little complicated; a code will then appear and tell you to add it to the Head of your blog, which is great, if you knew where that was.

Let’s be honest, most of us bloggers, blog to blog. We are writers, artists and right-brained. Asking us to touch our Editor section within our theme is like asking us to do math without a calculator. Since each theme on WordPress varies it makes it even more difficult to locate. On this blog for example, I use the Intrepidity Theme which is not as straight-forward as to where everything is as perhaps Genesis does but is a great theme nonetheless.

After much hoping and wishing and copying and pasting without messing up the code. I finally found that it verified my website once I posted it within the home.php section of the WordPress editor for my theme prior to the end code.

What My Page Code Looked Like:

a href=”Your Page Generated URL” rel=”publisher”>Google+</a>

After jumping for joy and seeing the green checkmark appear on my G+ page (not profile). I then went and added the + sign before my name and hyperlinking it with the URL to my G+ profile (not page) with the ending including real=author…I know sounds foreign right?

Here is what it should look like when hyperlinking first you add +Your Name and then hyperlink it with

Google+ Profile URL HEREposts?rel=author

The Code needed:

<a href=”Google+ Profile URL HEREposts?rel=author“>+Your Name</a

Once it is clicked on you should be directed to your Google Plus Profile. You are now able to use that code in any author box or bio no matter the site you are writing on. You can see exactly what I mean by looking at my author bio below.

[NOTE: It will take a few days before you will begin seeing your image next to your writings]

You will need to preferably use an author box for the coding, since this works easiest. Secondly be sure to verify your Author Rank via e-mail and check through the Google Webmaster Tool. Make sure you follow the directions exactly.

Now Exhale.

[Google Author Rank image via 4mat]

via A Simplified Version of Adding Your Google Author Rank to Your Blog – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Car Dealers Must Respond To Millennials On Social Media – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Car Dealers Must Respond To Millennials On Social Media

Millennial Car Buyers to OEM’s and Dealers:
Respond When You’re Being Spoken… “About”

An example of this confusion and possibly a double standard when it comes to online monitoring is that roughly 6 in 10 respondents aged 18-54 want companies to listen to what they say about them online (4 in 10 of the 55+ crowd). While at the same time, about half of the survey’s respondents think that consumers should be able to talk about companies online without those companies listening in. This desire for privacy increases for the 55+ age group, of which 59% do not want companies seeing what they post about them online.

But wait… There’s more (confusion) in these survey results!

Between half and two-thirds of respondents want companies to respond when they’re being discussed online, while the same survey reports that more than 6 in 10 also say that companies should only respond to online comments made directly to them (i.e. on their Facebook page, tweeted to them, etc.) You should download the PDF file of the report and take a look… In my opinion, what we are seeing is the variance based on where and what types of social media these comments are being made that reference a car company, make or dealership by name.

In an attempt at trying to poke fun at their own report’s findings, the authors note that the takeaway for automotive marketers and others who handle social media strategy is that they should be “telepathic.” Perhaps “empathetic” would be a better choice of words and not so much in jest… The next-best advice given is for marketers to:

  • Automotive Social Marketers should go beyond listening
  • Try to understand what consumers are saying
  • Consider the conversation’s context  
  • Deliver mutual value when engaging  
  • Show how listening can be a relationship-building tool rather than an intrusion

 

Other Findings:

  • Despite holding all these varied opinions about social media privacy, less than three-quarters of respondents (ranging from 62% of 18-24-year olds to 72% of 45-54-year-olds) know that car companies  or dealership employees might be listening to what they’re saying online.
  • Roughly 4 in 10 respondents aged 18-54 feel that dealerships and car companies listening to online conversations are intruding. That rises to 54% among the 55 and over demographic.
  • Attitudes regarding whether companies should monitor online conversations to improve products and services vary significantly among age groups, ranging from 40% agreement for the 18-24 set, to 57% for the 45-54 group, and back down to 37% for the 55+ set.
  • Slightly more respondents believe that a company should respond to them if they make a negative remark about the company in an online post than if they make a positive remark about a company in an online post.

About the Data: J.D. Power and Associates, in association with NetBase, conducted a survey in December 2012 of 1,062 U.S. consumers ages 18–55+.

Data Source: Marketingcharts.com/millennials-to-brands-respond-when-youre-being-…

eBook Source: info.netbase.com/SocialListeningeBook.html

Download the Social Listening and Big Brother eBook by NetBase and J.D. Power and Associates:  NetBase JDPower Listening and Privacy eBook.pdf 

  

BONUS CONTENT:

How Does a Car Dealership Create a Structured Response Process? 

In regards to the process around a dealership monitoring and then responding to online blogs, comments, posts and discussions where the dealership is brought up or mentioned, I started developing a process and work flow while launching the ADP Social Media Reputation Management Team in 2009 and 2010.  The work flow process chart shown below is based on something I saw published by the US Military in regards to how the Air Force responds to online comments and blog posts. 

When I left ADP and went to work for Tier10 Marketing at the beginning of 2011, we revised and upgraded the work flow planning for better results and more production efficiency. The chart below reflects the Tier10 Marketing version of what we recommended:

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

How To Create Your Dealership’s First LinkedIn Advertising Campaign

How To Create Your Dealership’s First LinkedIn Advertising Campaign

Getting Started with LinkedIn Advertising for Your Dealership

Most people working in management position at dealerships and dealer groups have figured out that LinkedIn is a remarkably effective tool for networking with business owners and auto industry professionals that may be a good fit for open positions at your dealership. But what about using LinkedIn for marketing your dealership’s new and used vehicles, service department, parts and accessories? More and more automotive marketers are turning to LinkedIn to promote their dealership’s products, services, and published content.

You and your car dealership have more power at your disposal with LinkedIn than you might realize. LinkedIn has a powerful advertising campaign creation and management platform. If you’re using Google Adwords or any PPC advertising to power your dealership’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google Search, consider adding LinkedIn to that list, too. If you’re new to the LinkedIn advertising app, you can reference thisADM blog post, which walks you through each of the app’s required steps to set up your dealership’s own user targeted LinkedIn advertising campaign.

I also want to thank the great social marketing professionals at Hubspot for the primary substance of this post which was originally published on the Hubspot Blog by Amanda Sibley. Hubspot also offers a highly informative eBook which provides a great resource for the how’s and why’s of advertising on LinkedIn. I recommend that all ADM Professionals download this eBook, print it out and keep as a useful reference document.

How To Set Up Your Dealership’s LinkedIn Ad Campaign

Step 1: Create a New Ad Campaign

To start creating a LinkedIn ad campaign, go to https://www.linkedin.com/ads/. Once in the ads platform, select New Ad Campaign and Start New.

1

You will want to choose a name for your ad campaign that ‘s unique and relates to the campaign you’re running, for easier identification if you start running multiple ad campaigns. 

2

These are only visible internally, so the more informative the name is, the better.  For example, if I was doing a test to determine what demographic targeting was the best for a particular vehicle model line, I may call one campaign:

“Ford Edge Ad Test-North America -24 to 48-female”

When I look at this name, I know exactly who I am targeting, without having to click into this campaign. A bad name for this campaign, however, would be:

“Ford Edge test 1”

By calling it “Test 1” I have no way of knowing who I am targeting by just looking at the name of the campaigns.

Step 2: Select Your Language

You can now choose what language you want your ad to be in. LinkedIn will not translate your ad into other languages, but it can be written in any of the languages LinkedIn supports, including Spanish, French, and German.

3

Step 3: Choose Your Media Type

Next, choose between LinkedIn’s two media types, which include a basic text ad, and a video ad. Keep in mind videos must be 30 seconds or less.

4

Step 4: Write Your Ad Copy

Now you’re ready to start writing the copy for your ad! First, decide where you want people to be directed after clicking on your ad. You can send people to a specific external web page, such as a landing page for an offer on your dealership’s website, or you can send them to a page on LinkedIn about your dealership, such as your business page or a group discussion about your dealership, specific models or events.

 describe the image

Ad Headline: The headline of your ad cannot be more than 25 characters.

Ad Body: The body of a LinkedIn ad can be up to 75 characters long. The copy of your ad should be relevant both to the person viewing the ad, and the offer or page to which you’re sending them. For best results, create a different ad for each buyer persona you have, and tweak the copy accordingly. For example, when promoting a book to college professors, putting the words “College Professor’s Guide to …” may generate a higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than generic, untargeted copy. I mean, that copy certainly wouldn’t perform as well if it was viewed by elementary school teachers, right?

Call-to-Action (CTA): Having an actionable CTA within your ad copy will also help you improve your ad’s clickthrough rate. Tell people to “Download your ebook now!” or “Click now for free samples!” instead of writing compelling ad copy (great!) devoid of actionable copy that tells the reader what to do next (not so great).

Value: Incorporate your value proposition into your ad copy, making people more likely to click on your offer. If you tell them, “20% off your first purchase,” or “Clearance sale ends today, shop now!” you’re letting people know what specifically they can gain from clicking on your ad right now.

Don’t be afraid to test our your ad copy, either. You can create up to 15 variations of your ad in each campaign, and all variations of your ads within one campaign will be seen by the same people. These variations allow you to test different images and copy within your ads to find what works best for your audience.

Step 5: Target Your Ad

Targeting who sees your ad to a very specific and relevant group of LinkedIn users can help increase conversions — more relevant, more clicks. LinkedIn lets you target by location, company, job title, school, skills, group, gender, and age.

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Location: You must select as least one location for your ads. Depending on your dealership’s franchises, more specific targeting may be helpful. You can select a location as broad as North America, and as specific as the San Francisco Bay Area. So if you’re trying to grow used vehicle sales in Hartford Connecticut, showing your ad to people in Los Angeles, California would be a waste of money. You can also take advantage of this targeting option to conquest sales outside of your traditional markets close to the dealership. You can also tailor your ad copy to specific locations. For instance, Ford dealerships may do well advertising specialty vehicles such as a Shelby GT500 Cobra Mustang to the entire Northeastern part of the United States, but should create ads that seek to sell the more commonly available Fusion to LinkedIn users in their local metro market.

Company: If your target audience works at a specific company, you’re able to target them directly — even by name. You don’t need to have specific names in mind, though; LinkedIn allows you to also target companies based on categories, like Legal, Non-Profit, or Finance.

Job Title: If your model line being promoted or service department offers are best for Presidents, VP’s, General Managers and CFOs, targeting only people that have “CFO”, “President”, etc. in their title will increase your conversions, and ultimately save money for your advertising budget. You can choose specific job titles, or chose from job functions and seniority. From the CEO of manufacturing companies, to the entry level associates at an accounting firm, you can target a specific group of people for your LinkedIn ads.

School: If you are looking to target people who have a particular educational background, you can target your ads based on schools. If you know a lot of your prospects and customers come from a certain school, try reaching out to them through LinkedIn ads.

Skills: Your target audience may have a certain skill set — email marketing, financial planning, risk management — think about what your target audience is good at, and try targeting people on LinkedIn with similar skills.

Group: One of LinkedIn’s best attributes is the groups that like-minded professionals join to discuss industry trends and topics. If your audience is very vocal on a topic, or you’re trying to gain thought leadership in a certain area, this advertising type may be a good option for you.

Gender and Age: If your audience is heavily skewed toward one gender and/or age group, target your advertising toward them.

Step 6: Choose Your Payment Method

After selecting your targeting options, you can set up the payment method that works best for you. The two options you have for any pay-per-click advertising are 1) cost per click (CPC), or 2) pay per 1,000 impressions (CPM). If you pay per click, you will be charged each time someone clicks on your ad. LinkedIn will suggest a bid range depending on your budget and the competition for your ads; the more advertisers bidding on a similar campaign, the higher your bid will need to be. This bid is the maximum you will be charged. If the current rate is lower than your max bid, you will only be charged the current rate. If you choose to pay per thousand impressions, you will be charged a certain amount each time your ad is shown to one thousand people on LinkedIn.

Deciding what form of payment to use and the best maximum bid can be tricky. When deciding between CPC and CPM, think first about your end goal. Are you trying to get as many people as possible to see your ad to help with, say, a branding campaign? If so, CPM may be the way to go. If you’re trying to get more people to click on your ads to drive traffic to your website, or generate new leads, CPC may be better for you.

When thinking about an optimal maximum bid, some trial and error is needed. LinkedIn will give you a suggested bid, which is a good place to start. Then, think about when your audience is most likely online. You may want to bid higher during this time to be sure that your ads are the ones being seen. There are also certain times of day, and days of the week, that have a higher average bid based on usage and industry. Play around with your bids and see when you get the most return for your dollars spent.

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Step 7: Set a Daily Budget

Set a daily budget for what works best for your company’s marketing budget. Before putting a lot of money into one campaign, first test out the success of each campaign and ad variation — you don’t want to put $1,000 into an ad that ends up not resonating with your target audience.

Let’s say you’re the VP of Marketing at floral shop. You assume the majority of your target market is brides, so you direct your ads on LinkedIn to bridal groups. After spending thousands of dollars, you only generated 10% of the leads you were hoping for. After doing some research, you found that the people near your store and on LinkedIn are actually looking for flowers for corporate events. Wouldn’t it have been nice to know that before spending a large amount of your budget on LinkedIn ads?

LinkedIn ads can be really successful for targeting niche markets. Because of their extensive targeting opportunities, almost any industry can find success on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraird to test things out. If something is going well, put a larger budget toward it, and watch the leads come in!

Step 8: Decide on Lead Collection

LinkedIn now provides you with the option to collect leads on your behalf. This new feature allows people to ask for more information or to be contacted by your company via a checkbox at the end of your ad. You will be notified by email when someone has asked for more information, allowing you to promptly respond and hopefully turn those leads into customers. Keep in mind, however, that the only way you can contact them is via LinkedIn InMail; you will not receive an email address or phone number with which to contact this person.

linkedin ad

Finally, you can choose if you want your campaign to be shown continuously, or until a certain date.

LinkedIn Ad Reporting

Now you’re ready to start your first LinkedIn ad campaign! You can track your progress in the LinkedIn ads platform home screen. Here you will be able to see a graph mapping your clicks, spend, CTR, and more over set periods of time. You can also see statistics and average CPC for each campaign to make educated decisions as to how to optimize each campaign. For all PPC ads, the CTR will be a very small number. On LinkedIn, a good benchmark for a CTR is around .03% or higher.

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If you have campaigns that are under-performing, there are several things you can do to optimize them. First, click into the campaign you want to look at so you can drill down into data on only one campaign. All ad variations of this campaign will appear, with separate data. 

picture 11

Look at the CTR of each ad. Is one variation performing better than another? If so, you may want to pause the less successful campaign. LinkedIn will begin to show your less successful campaigns less frequently, so putting more resources into your most successful ad variations and campaigns will help you reach your marketing goals.

Post-Click Reporting

Now that you have LinkedIn ads running that people are clicking on, it’s time to determine whether they’re actually driving qualified traffic to your website. That isn’t something LinkedIn can tell you — you need to do some closed-loop reporting on these campaigns to see who this traffic really “is.” After someone clicks on your ad and lands on your site’s web page, put the content you are offering behind a form. On this form, ask people important questions that help you qualify them as a good lead or not. This lead capture form should be connected to your customer relationship management (CRM) software so that once the lead’s information is in your CRM, your sales team can act upon these leads, and hopefully turn them into customers!

After launching several ad campaigns on LinkedIn, look at the landing page form data in your CRM. Is the traffic to your website generated by LinkedIn ads qualified? Is it generating customers? If not, you may want to optimize your campaigns. For instance, if your LinkedIn ads are targeting people in companies sized 1-10, but you find that the majority of the closed deals in your company are from leads with company sized 100-200, stop targeting those smaller companies on LinkedIn! Because of awesome targeting capabilities on LinkedIn, you can target companies that have 100-200 employees, which may increase the number of closed sales from your LinkedIn ads campaign.

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by Ralph Paglia

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via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

LinkedIn Poll on 2013 Dealer Area Focus

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Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Car Dealers: Social Media Matters When Seeking Your Competitive Advantage in Local Markets

In 2012, more than 1.4 billion people around the world used social networks, up 19% from 2011. But although the worldwide social network audience is enormous, it is by no means unified. Within the North American automotive marketing landscape social media based advertising continues to mature and develop capabilities that are simply unavailable in other media channels. As social networking giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and others grow and develop increased business engagement models, their ability to attract marketing and advertising investments from the automotive industry grows.

The chart shown below shows five years of social media based advertising spend with fairly steady growth. I predict a faster rate of growth going into 2014 as the targeting, messaging and creative engagement models provided by social networks continue rapid development and increased effectiveness in achieving automotive marketing objectives.

 

US Online Social Network Advertising Spend from 2008 to 2013*:

  • $1.175 billion (2008)
  • $1.295 billion (2009)
  • $1.335 billion (2010)
  • $1.420 billion (2011)
  • $1.515 billion (2012)
  • $1.640 billion (2013)

Social Network Advertising Spend increases from another perspective*: 

*Data source: eMarketer

ADM Professional Community members have access to all the data and insights we publish about social media. You can learn more about social network usage around the world below, but you can learn a lot more by visiting the ADM Professional Community daily. Complete the “Sign Up” form on the upper right of every ADM page to submit a membership application and start the conversation with experienced automotive marketers and people selling more cars using strategies and their tactics within the social media universe.

Usage patterns are highly developed and predictable in some regions, and unstable and changing rapidly in others. And while many people use Facebook, not all social network users do. Facebook has shown many users how to get their most satisfying results from time spent online, this has driven an increased familiarity with online social media in general, and a cottage industry of social networks specializing in specific subject matters. Homegrown social networks, especially those seeking consumers, enthusiasts and influencers in automotive niches will play a larger role over time in most major markets in both the USA and Canada.

Countries such as India and Indonesia are rapidly becoming major usage centers for social networking, particularly via mobile phones, and will each see their user bases grow more than 50% in 2012. This phenomenon, combined with Facebook’s staggering growth in the region, mean that in 2012, the Asia-Pacific region will, for the first time, be home to more Facebook users than North America is. As North American automotive consumers have become more accustomed and skilled at using social networks via their introduction through Facebook, many of them have ventured outside of the social media behemoth to participate in User Generated Content (UGC) sites, specialized blogs and forums, as well as other networks.

In more mature markets like the USA and Canada, automotive marketers are looking to use the social media presences they have already established to deliver relevant content to fans. Social networks are making it easier for businesses, especially car dealers to broadcast changing incentives and promotional offers that create the deals which drive both sales and service recommendations across a wider network of users in real time with improved location and mobile targeting.

With Facebook’s New Ads Manager and the growing maturation of the platform comes an increasing effectiveness for their paid advertising models.  

This in turn enables car dealers to leverage user profile based targeting that delivers the right message to the right automotive consumer at the exact right time. More and more North American car dealers are using the growing platform maturity and advertiser responsiveness at Facebook for a competitive advantage over their neighboring dealership competition which has ignored Facebook’s emerging capabilities.

Data Sources: eMarketer, Facebook and MarketingCharts.com 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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