Digital marketing can be a sore spot for a lot of local businesses. Some of them skate by without thinking about digital marketing. But the majority of them who do that are failing as online marketing becomes less-and-less optional. You don’t want to fall into that same trap.
As a motorcycle dealership, you have even more reason to invest in digital marketing. Most local businesses do all of their business locally. The same is true for motorcycle dealers. However, more and more dealers are selling to motorcycle enthusiasts outside of their local area and they are doing this using digital marketing.
Even if you aren’t selling to buyers outside of your local area, other distant dealers are competing in your local market using digital marketing. They may be virtually encroaching on your marketing and “stealing” leads. You need to make sure you’re using digital marketing techniques to both increase local sales and defend against out-of-market dealerships.
1. Have a Website with Up-to-date Motorcycle Inventory
Every motorcycle dealership must have a website at this point. The days when you could slide by without a website are gone for almost every industry. The motorcycle industry is no different. Bikers expect you to have a website and to be able to browse your inventory.
Why Your Motorcycle Dealership Needs a Website
One study actually found that if you don’t have a website 30% of customers won’t even consider doing business with you. They also found that 46% of customers believe a website is the top factor in determining how much to trust a business.
If that study is correct, you could be losing almost as many as half of your potential customers, if you don’t have a website that communicates trust. You are losing them before you even know they are interested in buying a motorcycle. And since you don’t know who they are, you have absolutely no way to reach them.
That is why it’s critical to have a website that is optimized to ensure you don’t lose potential customers. To do this, you need a well-designed website that is easy to navigate and has all of the pertinent information about your motorcycle dealership.
What Information Your Dealership’s Website Must Have
This, of course, means you need the right name, phone number, email address, and physical address. But it also means you need your dealership’s motorcycle inventory listed on your website. People want to see the exact bikes you have available, and they want to see real pictures and prices.
Nothing discourages a potential buyer faster than a stock photo with call for pricing. Buyers think these listings are fake or just some sort of trick to get them on the phone or into the dealership. They will leave your website to research on other websites to find real photos and prices. You may lose the buyers while they look for actual information elsewhere.
2. Be on Social Media and in Online Business Directories
Having a website is a great start, but you also need to be in other places on the Internet. This is especially important if you expect to attract new customers. If someone has never heard of your dealership or visited your website, they will not even know you exist.
Social Media for Motorcycle Dealerships
You want to create accounts for your dealership on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It also doesn’t have to be those exact three. You can also do a fewer or greater number of platforms. Think about which social media platforms your target audience uses the most and how much time or money you can allocate in total to updating the accounts.
Once you make an educated decision on platforms, fully fill out all the information on each site. Always include your dealership’s contact information like email, phone, and physical address. Try to post regularly. You need to be consistent over a long period. Don’t post so much that you get worn out and give up. More is not always better.
Online Directories for Motorcycle Dealerships
In addition to social media, you want to create or claim your motorcycle dealership on as many business directories as possible. Start with Google My Business and Yelp, as they are the most crucial. After those, you can move to less popular sites like Bing Places, Yellow Pages, and countless others.
Each profile on a business directory is called a citation in the digital marketing world. Each citation improves your dealership’s local search engine optimization (SEO). It also makes it easier for customers to find your motorcycle dealership. However, it is also important that your dealership’s information is entered correctly and matches on every site.
3. Monitor the Motorcycle Dealership’s Online Reputation
Bikers, like all people, are turning more and more to reviews and other feedback that can be found on the Internet. There is an ever-increasing amount of user-generated content on many online sites. You want to make sure someone is monitoring all of those websites for both positive and negative reviews.
Platforms to Monitor Your Dealership’s Reputation
The most popular sites for online reviews are Google, Facebook, and Yelp. But that is also not the entire list of places you should be looking for reviews or other mentions. Ideally, you want to be monitoring the entire Internet for anyone talking about your dealership.
This may seem like a herculean task, but there are a few ways to streamline the process. One tool that is very effective for finding mentions beyond the review sites is Google Alerts. Any mentions on third-party websites or in the press will usually get picked up by Google Alerts, and you’ll receive an email notification.
How to Respond to Reviews and Comments
You can assign this task to a specific employee or hire a freelancer or marketing agency to assist with the process. You want the person or people in charge of this task to have an understanding of customer service and even crisis management. The last thing you want is to turn a bad situation into a nightmare scenario.
It’s best to respond politely to negative reviews or comments, and try to move the conversation to a less public venue. The ideal method is an email message or a phone call. Never argue with the other person in a public forum. It might feel great to tell off a rude customer, but other potential customers might see it differently. It’s not worth losing future business over.
4. Use Your Email List Wisely
You probably have at least one list of email addresses, but are you getting the most out of the email addresses that your dealership has gathered? Whether it’s leads, motorcycle buyers, or people who’ve attended your events, you should keep in touch with your email list subscribers. Just make sure you have their permission to send them email messages.
Send Relevant Emails
It is also important to send relevant emails. If someone just bought a motorcycle from your dealership, you may not want to send them information about another motorcycle for sale. You may be better off emailing that person about events or specials on apparel or accessories.
For your lead emails, you may want to put those people in a drip campaign until they purchase the motorcycle. You could send them educational emails about the buying process. Another option is to keep it simple and just keep asking them if they’re still interested in the bike. You may even want to send them a limited time deal like a discount on apparel, if they buy this week.
Don’t Spam People
When it comes to email, you can easily damage your reputation by sending unsolicited emails that people don’t want. And like in real life, it can be difficult to restore a tarnished reputation. That’s why it’s best to keep things on the up-and-up.
Google and other email providers want the users of their products to be happy. This gives these email providers a huge incentive to weed out unwanted emails. Almost all email providers have a spam or junk folder where they send emails they are fairly confident the end user doesn’t want.
Some providers like Google take this one step further and have a “Priority Inbox,” where the most important emails go. You should strive to keep your emails in the category that would land in a priority inbox.
Two ways these providers are able to filter these emails is by content and by domain. You want to make all of your emails of the highest quality to avoid having email providers tag your entire domain as being unwanted and spammy. Once your domain is marked as suspect, you’ll have to work hard to restore your email reputation.
5. Boost Your Online Advertising with Dynamic Ads
Many online advertising platforms offer a type of ad that is super powerful for dealerships. This type of ad is commonly called a dynamic ad. It lets you show dynamic content, usually motorcycles, within the ad. You just need to set up an inventory feed with your advertising provider.
Dynamic Ads for Motorcycle Inventory
Having individual motorcycles in your ads has a number of benefits. Potential buyers viewing your ads on websites like Facebook will see exact bikes you have for sale at your dealership. This is powerful because people see actual motorcycles that are available for sale.
Plus, when you sync your motorcycle inventory to your advertising platform, the inventory is constantly up-to-date. If you sell a bike at your dealership, the advertising platform will automatically stop advertising it. The viewers of the ads will instead see a motorcycle you do have to offer.
If you wanted this level of consistency without dynamic ads, you’d have to constantly be paying a designer to add and remove bikes from banner ads. You then have to swap those ads out in the advertising platform. It would be a huge time suck.
Remarketing (or Retargeting) with Dynamic Ads
You can take dynamic ads even further! You can target the dynamic ads to specific groups of people using remarketing. In this scenario, only people on your email marketing lists or who have visited your website will see your dynamic ads.
These dynamic ads can be displayed on social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram, and on other sites that have display ads, like local newspapers and blogs. But the ads will still only be shown to the people you are remarketing to that are visiting those sites.
By doing this, you can show these people the exact motorcycles they saw earlier on your website. You could also target similar motorcycles in the same category. Or you could target only website visitors who filled out a lead form on your dealership’s website.
There are many possibilities with remarketing. The results are often only limited by the imagination and ingenuity of the marketers and developers who create your online advertising campaigns.
Digital Marketing Things Every Motorcycle Dealerships Needs to Do
When you do digital marketing right, it can be a huge boost to your motorcycle dealership. Many motorcycle dealerships are just starting to take advantage of many digital marketing strategies. That makes it a perfect time to get started and ahead of your competition.
The trap that some dealerships run into is when they do certain techniques wrong or when someone they hire does it wrong. The dealership then thinks the technique doesn’t work for motorcycle dealerships.
However, the truth is almost all digital marketing can work for dealerships. It just needs to be done correctly. It’s not the technique, it’s the execution. That’s why it’s critical to have a marketing team that knows digital marketing just as well as they know the motorcycle industry.
Have a story about digital marketing success or failure in the motorcycle industry? Leave us a comment about it below. We’d love to hear about it and share it with other motorcycle dealers.