We, in the automotive marketing industry, toss around the phrase “customer base” a lot, but have you ever stopped to consider the power of knowing who you should market to — and then actually have the ability to market to them?
These customers are your lifeblood. Getting the right message in front of them — particularly potential customers who have yet to do business with you — is crucial. Fortunately, there are tools and services available that give dealers the unique ability to create an ideal customer base by building target audiences from the ground up.
Let’s focus on two in particular that offer highly targeted messaging capabilities — perfect for building the audience you want from scratch.
Google AdWords is an essential platform when it comes to reaching the people most receptive to your message, for one simple reason: unparalleled audience control.
While the types of ads you can run on AdWords range from display to YouTube videos to text-based search, what’s consistent is the ability to segment your audience, or break it out into targeted categories.
The ways in which these segmentation options break out — either by adjusting your bid for different audience types or selecting specific audiences while excluding all others — adds to your ability to target, ultimately helping you build the audience most receptive to your marketing.
There are three methods of AdWords audience segmentation:
• Specific Category Interests — These would be niche markets, and can help you drill down to a surprising level of specificity as you seek out potential customers to incorporate into your audience.
Imagine someone who has been browsing for SUVs who then goes on to read a separate news site or favorite blog, but is still served a relevant ad from you.
• Remarketing Lists — Use remarketing to target potential customers such as site visitors who have seen a specific page, have seen one page but not another, such as a landing page, but not a thank-you page, etc.
These first two segmentation options can work together since you have the ability to match certain interest categories to various remarketing lists with and/or/not functionality, enabling you to target based on specific behaviors.
That means you could advertise exclusively to people who had visited your site but not yet become a customer — or, on the other end of the spectrum, you could offer existing customers an incentive along the lines of “120 percent value for your trade” or something in that vein.
• Demographic Targeting — Demographic variations can play a key role in how you choose to segment your audiences. Think advertising your three-row mid-size crossovers to parents exclusively, or household income over $150,000 per year for your higher-end models, or isolating neighborhoods with higher rates of trades professionals for work trucks.
Taken in isolation, most of this isn’t necessarily new. Market research and demographic data have long been available for enterprising dealers looking to boost the ROI of their marketing efforts.
What is unique to the AdWords platform is the ability to segment an ideal audience at the intersection of three different targeting methods while also reaching that audience across all types of sites in the Google Display Network, in addition to contextually relevant sites — over 1 million sites in all.1
This is control plus reach, unified by one overarching goal: showing relevant ads to the people most likely to spend money at the dealership, be it on the sales floor or in the service drive. AdWords helps you to this end by helping you build your audience, your ideal customer base to market to, from scratch.
Video marketing is a booming business right now and YouTube is the premier online platform for it, with over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos watched per day2 and a monthly viewership equal to roughly 10 Super Bowl audiences.3
And yet, dealers and marketers alike often forget that YouTube is, first and foremost, a search engine. That means the right video placed in front of the right audience equals a great deal of valuable exposure.
Combine this with a huge (and growing) population that has disconnected from traditional media, including TV: An estimated 22 million adults cut the cable cord in 2017, up 33 percent from 2016.4 YouTube can help fill that void, reaching customers who are consuming media far differently than ever before.
These consumers aren’t just watching music videos, but doing actual research — including on the products and services you offer. Vehicle shoppers today are watching 78 videos a month on YouTube (nearly three per day) and 49 percent of car shoppers will visit a dealership’s lot immediately after watching a video.5
YouTube also offers two additional ways to build your targeted audience and base: boosting your SEO and linking to social media.
The first method is made possible simply because Google owns YouTube, meaning posting videos can help you with your rank on the only search engine larger and more powerful than YouTube itself. Using the right keywords in your video description can help you attract a wider audience and help consumers locate your content more easily.
The second method, leveraging your social media presence, is really a no-brainer since, in today’s digital age where the lines between the personal, professional and commercial have all blurred, building your ideal customer base will inevitably have a social aspect to it.
Posting links to your YouTube videos (and, conversely, pushing your social media presence in your video content) will both increase your overall traffic and help you consolidate a targeted audience — one that is predisposed to your offers and promotions.
Of course, always be sure to include a link to your website in the description of your videos.
There’s a power in knowing who you need to market to — and actually being able to market to them.
Thanks to the targeting capabilities offered by today’s digital marketing tools and services, of which Google AdWords and YouTube are but two premier examples, dealers are empowered to build their own means of success from scratch.
Leverage theses capabilities today and your bottom line will tell the story of your success.
3 See citation 1
5 Dealers United
Click here to view more solutions from Chris Walsh and Naked Lime Marketing.