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The early bird catches the car buyer!

June 28, 2019

Join the conversation with car buyers even when decisions and research are being done online and away from your dealership.

On average car-buyers are only visiting one or two dealerships, and that’s at the sharp end of the purchasing journey. It’s understood that retailers need to do everything possible to make sure they are on the short list of dealership visit. With this in mind, it stands to reason that if a retailer can get onto the radar of a potential buyer at the online research phase of the buying decision, it allows them to start building a relationship – and trust – with buyers, therefore increasing the likelihood of them turning into customers.

Smart dealerships are getting in on the action early by becoming part of the research that buyers carry out. This conversation with the car buyer – followed up with a well-constructed strategy of nurturing and retargeting sequences – assure a continued conversation with the buyer right until a purchase is made. It can also result in getting the dealership noticed well before a competitor advertises their weekend sale, and from a digital perspective it can help you avoid the fiercely competitive (and often expensive) fight for Google ad clicks later on down the line.

So what’s the secret ingredient? The answer is social media – specifically Facebook. Facebook is the largest media platform available in the UK with over 43million regular users, plus they own Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. As people on average use Facebook up to twelve times a day, it’s the perfect opportunity to engage with buyers on a one-to-one basis away from the noise and competition of traditional media outlets.

Advertisers beware, however – boosting posts, promoting the latest model or offering finance deals won’t cut the mustard. Offering good value to your potential customer is – in the first instance – about helping them achieve their goal of researching which car is right for them. Dealers need to work hard here to get the buyers attention, but the rewards are evident.

By focusing on the most effective style of ad, on the most relevant platform and, of course, getting the right tone of voice that attracts buyers during their research phase, you can get some great buyer engagement. Once a buyer has engaged (even a small amount), Facebook delivers with targeting and retargeting features that help retain a one-to-one dialogue from the very start of their customer journey through to dealership visits and purchases – all the while tracking the exact return for every pound spent.

Shed Social recently ran a campaign for a retailer, offering opinions on the pros and cons of driving an automatic versus a manual. As expected, the article received a lot of attention and heated debate online. The article itself didn’t try and sell the consumer anything, but the subsequent nurturing and re-targeting sequences to potential buyers resulted in a significant spike in automatic car sales for our client. The media spend for the campaign was approximately £1200, which means they not only enjoyed a huge return on investment on one level, but the campaign contributed to keeping the vehicle days in stock low and avoided any costly write-downs at the end of the quarter. Happy retailer, happy Shed!

Shed Social is a specialist Facebook marketing agency, helping retailers get into the conversation with car buyers early on in their buying cycle. If you’d like to discuss an effective strategy for how Facebook could help you get into these early car-buyer conversations, then please get in touch.

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