With the Internet, consumers are able to quickly and easily tell who is offering the best prices at the moment and the feedback your brand provides (through stories others tell of their experience with your brand) rockets through social and review sites very quickly.
Your brand, which is your story, needs to be out there where people talk offering a new way to express itself. Your Facebook conversations, Twitter comments, and other social interactions are all very good digital ways that keep your brand’s voice relevant and timely and needs to stay active.
However; people, your people, need to sleep. Your story needs to resonate at a level that allows your brand to elevate awareness above other competitors and I’m going to examine one way a client is making this happen.
My client is in Santa Ana, California. A MINI Cooper dealership located in Orange County. As a very populous and wealthy area of California, OC has a very competitive auto market. Not only is competition across brands challenging, but MINI Cooper has 5 core competitors in the LA / OC area and an additional 3 if you go a little North of LA. While there are specific marketing areas, your consumers know how easy it is to just Google MINI Cooper and get all of the dealer websites.
With the Major Auto Brands implementing content management systems (CMS) as a way to keep the brand look consistent across dealers, it often stifles the ability for a dealer to express their website individuality reducing a very big competitive advantage.
So, what is a dealer to do? Many are already (as I mentioned previously) using Facebook, Twitter et. al. to provide a conversation that hopefully connects with potential consumers, however; most of those are speaking ‘to the choir’. Your dealer Facebook page pretty much only speaks to those who friended you. Same with Twitter. So you aren’t getting your message out to new connections when you post to Facebook or Tweet, unless your content is social, and not advertising based. However; with the need for accountability, spending money to promote a generic post can be difficult to quantify value.
Creating your own content to share
One of the ways my client promotes their brand, their story, is by supporting a local Jazz Festival. Each year, we make up a specific advertisement and promote the Jazz Festival AS THE MAIN HOOK. You can watch the latest advertising commercial here: Brea Downtown Jazz Festival
Crevier MINI receives immediate brand recognition in the beginning of the commercial, however; the main part of the commercial talks about the festival itself. Further, we then use Google’s YouTube market to focus on promoting this commercial to people in our geo-demographic area who have in interest in Jazz and Music. By reviewing the analytics, we see that this video had the following statistics:
- Impressions: 7,445
- Paid Views (30sec or more) 2,063
- % Who watched through first brand reveal: 84%
- Number who saw first Crevier MINI brand reveal: 6,253
- Average Price paid for each ad view (30 seconds minimum) $0.12
- Average Price paid for each brand review (06 seconds) $0.029
Now, these are not the same statistics we have seen when we create ads and drive interested leads to the website using edgy, YouTube and Facebook friendly commercials (See 2015 ads here).
Viral Social Ads
Your brand has a voice, it has a personality. People buy from those they like, and this includes businesses (or brands) they like. Use your dealerships unique personality to create fun and unique videos to share on your social accounts, and give them a push by placing a little funding (even as little as $200 is a good minimum each month) to get the message out there.
Not only will you be producing activity that has a social value on their own, but you are continually showing how your brand is DIFFERENT from everyone else.
You are showing up where your competitors fear to go. Whether because they believe it is expensive (it doesn’t have to be, our minimum monthly work starts at $1,000 which includes $200 in advertising), is difficult (outsource it) , is time consuming (outsource it), or you don’t know what to say (outsource it or ask your sales people, they are probably already huge Facebook users).
When we started with Crevier MINI back at the end of 2013 / beginning of 2014, we didn’t know exactly what was going on. However; Crevier knew they wanted to be doing something cutting edge (compared to their competitors) and felt comfortable just ‘trying something’. Almost 2 years later we have been around the block and know how things have changed in this arena. After hundreds of thousands of impressions and tens of thousands of views, we have learned a little something!
One change? We are working to use Facebook more than YouTube. Our first effort, this month, is a completely social effort to produce a ‘virtual’ haunted house campaign. Here, we have produced a complete story, with voice over artists, singers, and a French Violinist providing haunting strings for this production.
Crevier MINI loves to be ‘Not Normal’, and we have pushed into another area by creating a campaign that is a virtual haunted house out to the people this month.
For this campaign, we used YouTube to quickly get some feedback results, then we have started promoting the video on Facebook (our original target). However; we are always testing. Recently, Google announced the ability to target based on emails. We will be looking into any new features either of the advertising giants provide to see what will work best
I hope this gets your creative juices going on how to make your dealership unique and your brand a competitive advantage in your area. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to text me @ 909-705-6362 and I’ll be happy to talk!