They’re doing it on the web. Buyers are shopping for cars, choosing models and specs, figuring out payments and then, looking for a dealership to buy from. So how do you ensure it’s your dealership with whom they do business? Furthermore, given the rise in online usage and the multitude of digital marketing channels and tools available, how do you know what works best for you?
Steven Arsenault, founder and CEO of One Big Broadcast, says it’s often easy for dealers to think that they need the latest widget, without realizing their needs. “Too often, we’ve seen dealers saying they want a Facebook page, they want a Twitter feed and they want this and that. The problem is that you can end up with all these ‘islands’ out there that aren’t really connected and nobody knows what do with them.”
Arsenault, who has been involved with online communities since 1999 and has developed web platforms for multiple industries, says that the key to knowing what works and what doesn’t is to really take a look and see where your web traffic is coming from. He says that for dealerships, the vast majority of web traffic is coming from search. In order to get that traffic, stores need to have a robust platform that can deliver high levels of content marketing to drive that search.
A NEED FOR INTEGRATION
One Big Broadcast has focused on creating a destination platform with social integration, something that for the longest time didn’t really exist in auto retailing. Arsenault says that over the last few years, changes in auto retailing practices and the needs and expectations of consumers, have really driven the need for social integration. Now, dealers are really starting to see the benefits.
Key West Ford, in New Westminster, B.C., is one store that has seen incredible growth through its partnership with One Big Broadcast. Since both parties began working together in 2011, the store has seen web traffic soar from 300 to around 700 hits per day. Additionally, it has zoomed from nowhere to become the largest volume Ford dealer in B.C. A lot of that is due to the relationships it has built with customers through online and actual communities.
Besides usual listings such as ‘Inventory,’ ‘Departments’ and ‘About Us,’ Key West’s interactive website includes specific Roush Racing (it is an authorized Roush Performance retailer) and Social categories where users can view all the latest news updates via multiple blogs, sign up to join the online community (enabling them to take part in discussions) and have a look at some of the activities the dealership is involved with, including photo galleries and videos.
Combined with event listings and testimonials, the social feed has been a major factor in building trust and business.
“Because our platform is integrated, we can run multiple blogs and those blog posts go through Facebook and Twitter. Everything we do links back to the dealership’s URL,” says Arsenault. He says that when a blog is posted and instantly sent through social media feeds, it stimulates users and provides a level of interactivity not often associated with dealer websites.
Other features include the ability for consumers to fill out a credit application online, expediting the actual in-store sales process, while new tools such as testimonial apps tied into each salesperson’s profile can allow staff to use their own tools for creating social content to build and strengthen their online profile and reputation.
Arsenault says that as a vendor partner, it’s important for One Big Broadcast to provide dealers with a platform that is not only interactive but also easy to use. He says that as consumer expectations continue to increase, web platforms need to be more sophisticated in order to handle data effectively. “It’s going to become more complex,” he says, but notes that this complexity is also providing consumers with new online and interactive experiences.
A good example revolves around newspaper ads. “Dealers like to run newspaper ads for promotions,” says Arsenault. “But if you were able to replicate the same ad on your website where shoppers can change colours and specs, plus have a URL listing and QR code on the print ad, the print ad can then serve as a link to the dealership’s website. The whole concept is to make it easy, and at the same time, add value for both the dealer and consumer.” Arsenault says, that moving forward, savvy dealers will continue to focus more of their efforts in building real communities online, via strategies such as membership benefits and special promotions. “The market is ready for innovation,” he says. “We’re excited about what lies ahead.”
For more information about One Big Broadcast visit them online at onebigbroadcast.com.
I am happy to announce the launch of a new website for our newest client – Silver Maple Ventures Inc. I’d like to hear what everyone thinks. http://www.silvermapleventures.ca/
Silver Maple Ventures Inc. is involved in the exciting and rapidly emerging Equity Crowd Funding space that is currently capturing global interest.
Silver Maple Ventures Inc., is an Exempt Market Dealer (EMD) registered in the provinces of BC, Alberta, and Ontario. As an EMD, Silver Maple is unique, in that it has received approval from the BC Securities Commission to develop an online Equity Crowdfunding Portal. Today British Columbia is the only Province (or State for that matter) that true equity crowd funding is legal. Equity Crowd Funding (ECF) has been going for years in the UK, several countries in continental Europe and Australia. This disruptive industry is expected to come on strong here in North America over the coming years.
Our creative team’s goal was to forge something ‘new and striking’ in an industry that has eyes on it from many different perspectives. Clean lines were used for the ‘silver maple leaf’ logo with muted colors to achieve the desired look. This treatment then became the foundation for the current impressively realistic SVM logo with a 3D look.
Along with the branding we knew the look and feel had to be responsive and cutting edge. We used a relatively new feature now used in high end web design called ‘parallax scrolling’ to achieve the dramatic image scroll technique of the home page. The feature allows a user to got forward and back with elements of the web site behaving as if one were ‘rolling back the video’. We carried this design to mobile and tablet devices with responsive programing that will ensure that Silver Maple Ventures looks spectacular no matter what device the user is viewing the website on. We carried the creative theme through to their social accounts like Facebook and Twitter.
The ‘engine’ that powers Silver Maple Ventures called for state of the art. We used our own OneBigBroadcast.com – an ‘all in one’ cloud powered content marketing platform that melds content, social, SEO, communities and commerce into and emanating one central spot. With the vast array of social marketing & SEO integration Silver Maple Ventures is empowered to take their marketing message to the next level using what we call Ground Zero Marketing principles.
What’s next? Content | Communities | Commerce. Our integrated communities provide companies with the horsepower to harness communities while broadcasting their content across social and the rest of the Internet to attract savvy investors. Stakeholders in the equity crowd funding space want to bet on more than a T-shirt or product when the invested company gets acquired for billions! That’s ultimately what equity crowd funding is all about while the companies attracting funding will have access to their own social and SEO marketing tools via their corporate profiles to further enhance their company’s online foot print.