Like so many others, our industry has been upended by the Coronavirus. It happened fast, and now we need to work together just as quickly to adapt and promote how your dealership will serve consumers during this time of isolation and anxiety. We’re here to help.
It’s not business as usual for anyone right now, so it’s critical that your website and marketing channels are telling consumers the status of your operations: including what’s open and when, how they can do business with you from home, and why they should right now.
At Dealer Inspire we’ve pivoted all of our teams towards immediate dealer support and solutions to pull through this time together, including my team: B2B Marketing. We’ve postponed our next Office Space parodies showing how to use our products because our team is 100% focused on providing free creative to promote dealers.
Combining forces with our Connected Marketing team, we are providing the following templated assets at no charge right now to promote your dealership’s message.
- SRP Banner
- Facebook Ad
- Google My Business Updates
To support as many dealers as possible, as fast as possible, we are creating templates for the following common and strategic messages.
- We’re Open!
- Buy Online
- Home Delivery
- Virtual Appointments
- Open For Essential Service
- Service Pick-Up & Home Delivery
- Sell Your Car From Your Couch
- Showroom Deep Clean
To help you decide (as much as you’re able to decide) on your messaging for the coming weeks, I wanted to take you behind the scenes on our team’s thought process for developing our first set of COVID-19 campaigns.
CREATIVE CAN STILL BE FUN RIGHT NOW
While this is a deeply challenging time for all of us, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your advertising needs to remind consumers of that. Your brand can be a fun, hopeful distraction from the rest of the posts we have in our newsfeeds while still being perfectly relevant to the times and addressing your audience’s needs.
Watch how this template we made — which we can create for your dealership at no charge — is squarely set in the consumer’s current predicament without directly referencing this virus or its impact on our economy.
A little fun and positivity is being shared a long way on social right now, and it’s important to remember that you offer an uplifting experience — whether it’s the thrill of getting a new car or the satisfaction of completing an essential errand at your service bay.
FOCUS ON YOUR ESSENTIAL SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
Whether or not your showroom is still open, it’s a good time to focus on promoting your service bay. Over the last 14 days we have actually seen a 21.85% increase in service related search terms nationwide, which has led us to proactively optimize paid search budget and ad copy for our dealer partners.
Your creative messaging should support that, making sure that your community knows you’re open to help them. Remember, it’s a great time for them to get service since most people have more time and could use a reason to get out of the house and accomplish something.
Make sure anyone actively looking for you can easily figure out if and when you’re open by updating your Google My Business (GMB) profile and adding messaging to your homepage. Our SEO team can help you manage your profile at no charge so you don’t miss a single opportunity right now.
Learn more about updating your GMB and search strategies to save money and make the most of every opportunity during the Coronavirus.
SHOW SHOPPERS HOW THEY CAN BUY FROM YOU RIGHT NOW
On the sales side, we are currently seeing a ~50% decline in walk-in traffic nationwide as more and more shoppers practice social distancing. Assuring shoppers that you’re tripling your showroom cleaning efforts and sanitizing every sales desk can make a big difference for those itching to buy, but for many others, getting them to come on down is a tough sell right now.
The good news is there are MILLIONS of people still in the market, with steady shopping activity across DI websites and Cars.com nationwide. We just need to show them how they can do business with you outside of showroom floor handshakes. This is where we need to work together to promote a message that connects with the experience you can fulfill.
Virtual appointments, online car buying, and home delivery are ideal messages right now — and we can set you up with the technology to provide those customer experiences — but no matter what tools you have today or what you have the resources to reasonably fulfill with your team, we can help you promote the simple fact that you’re available. Digital retailing is just a conversation, and you can bring the entire buying process to email, chat, text, or the good old-fashioned telephone — you just need to let shoppers know that you’re willing to.
Check out my boss’s guide to closing sales by having conversations with customers at home.
AND WHY THEY SHOULD BUY FROM YOU RIGHT NOW
OEMs are already rolling out big offers to help shoppers get into a new car over the coming weeks and months. Most people may assume that it’s not smart to get a new car during a time of such economic uncertainty, but a little promotion and education around these offers can show that this is the best time to get a new payment plan that will alleviate their monthly budget and help them afford their other necessities.
Not everyone is in the market for a new car right now, but everyone could use a lower bill and a break for three months. By just talking through different payment options you and your dealership can be the solution, helping people in your community get to where they need to be to weather this storm.
And that’s the kinda thing people don’t forget. They tell their friends and family that you can help them too.
FUTURE-PROOF YOUR DEALERSHIP.
It was our vision and marketing mantra. Now it’s the immediate mission. We need to work together to adapt and execute every day to serve at-home customers during this time, and the actions we take now will set you up to thrive long-term with consumers online.
Not just because you’ll have the right digital strategy in place, but because your community won’t forget that you were there to help. By offering an experience that helps anxious consumers right now, you can create life-long loyal customers — and you can count on our team to be here to help you make that happen.
Additional COVID-19 Dealership Resources