CRAFTING CONTENT TO BUYER STAGE TO INCREASE SOCIAL ROI

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1 CRAFTING CONTENT TO BUYER STAGE TO INCREASE SOCIAL ROI W hen it comes to social media, some businesses assume that posting content is the end goal, and having something posted every day, or multiple times a week, covers your marketing requirement on your social sites. Unfortunately, this misses the mark, as posting alone rarely will deliver the ROI you are looking for. The goal of social media content is to get prospects and customers engaged with your dealership starting conversations with them that ultimately evolve as they move through different stages of the sales funnel. To better facilitate this goal, content should be targeted to the specific needs and interests of your audience. One way to effectively target content to your community is by publishing content that is relevant to each stage of the buying process. The more relevant your content is, the more likely it will be remembered and acted upon. In this guide we will explain: The five stages of the buying process How buyers interests will change in each stage The type of content to publish to appeal to buyers in every stage of the buying process

2 Understanding what your customers want from social media might seem like an impossible task. However, by understanding the five stages of the buying process, your dealership can create a customizable experience every step of the way, so that your content pertains to their needs at any given stage. Admittedly, social media can influence buyers before a need even exists, but for our purpose here we will focus on lower sales funnel strategies. Stage #1: Need Recognition Buyers start the process by recognizing they have a Create content that offers specific problem and a desire to solve it. This can be solutions that meet the needs as obvious as getting in an accident and the car no longer works, to getting a new job or source of your customers and can of income and the desire to upgrade what they currently have. stimulate additional demand for your products. Your social content strategy can take a variety of approaches. Start with educational content that might include tips and tricks on when your vehicle needs service, repair or replacement. You could also promote features like a trade-in app, that lets buyers see what their current vehicle is worth. Finally, you can be proactive about creating the need for a new vehicle in the consumer s mind. Photos and videos of new models, especially that highlight new features, can create the desire to replace a vehicle where none existed before. Beyond the need for transportation, buyers have needs tied to their self esteem and security (vehicle safety, prestige, social recognition, accomplishment). Create content that offers solutions that meet those needs and can stimulate additional demand for your products. TIP: Find your target audience! Photos and videos of new models, especially that highlight new features, can create the desire to replace a vehicle where none existed before. 1

3 Stage #2: Information Search In stage two, buyers gather information about products that could potentially satisfy their need. In some cases, buyers will need to buy a replacement product immediately (i.e. driving to work the next day), so content that focuses on the ease and speed of the purchase process can get you included in the list of alternatives. For buyers that have time on their side, your content needs to provide as much information as possible around all available alternatives. Posting vehicle photos and videos work here, as do links to your inventory, so they can see the selection of products they have to choose from. Blog articles that compare vehicles across brands can be useful. These articles can be promoted on social networks and improve the SEO of your website as well. Other important content for a buyer to have available include incentives or financing options. Stage #3: Evaluate Alternatives During stage three, buyers evaluate alternative products, and narrow down the options they will consider for purchase. This is the stage where it is most critical for your social media content to differentiate your dealership and products from your competition. You can accomplish this in many different ways. Promote positive reviews and service awards, as reviews can be a final deciding factor in a car buyer s purchase decision. Create posts of other happy customers to help establish credibility. Help prospects get to know your staff, the people behind your products, or the people they could meet who might eventually be selling them a car. Car buyers 48% of buyers are spending 1-3 months shopping before making their purchase blog.lab42.com/driving-home-car-buyers-frustrations 95% of vehicle shoppers use digital channels to research ssl.gstatic.com/think/docs/digital-drives-auto-shopping_research-studies.pdf 78% of Americans age agree that online reviews help them decide whether or not to purchase from a specific business, including dealerships 72% automotivedigitalmarketing.com/ profiles/blogs/reputation-management- 8-of-10-car-buyers-influenced-by-reviews of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations automotivedigest.com/2013/03/auto-dealerreviews-are-important-lets-start-talking-numbers/ may have completely ignored your promotional posts in the past, even during the first two stages, but now is the time they will be noticed. Advertising to potential buyers at the right time is when it is most effective. Since you don t always know when that time is, advertising needs to be consistent. 2

4 Stage #4: Purchase This is where the purchase takes place. The final purchase decision can be disrupted by two factors: negative feedback from other customers and unanticipated information. These unexpected factors could include things such as a sudden job loss or new information being presented to the buyer before the purchase is completed. This is a stage where engaging with your audience (and not just posting content) is especially important. Monitor conversations and be prepared to answer questions and provide additional information that could sway a buyer. This is also a great time to steal customers from your competitors. Watch for posts (especially Tweets) from buyers announcing their imminent intent to purchase and reach out to get them to consider your dealership instead. Through diligent follow-up, Friendemic enticed a nearby user to buy from Seth Wadley Auto instead of another dealership. Stage #5: Post Purchase Evaluation An easy mistake to make is to focus your social content strategy on only the first four stages, assuming once you get to the Purchase Stage you are done. However, social media sites have proven to be extremely powerful acting as an extension of your customer service center. Customers LOVE to share feedback on purchases on their social media sites. That said, they are more inclined to share negative feedback than positive feedback. Your content strategy at this stage should focus on getting your satisfied customers to share their stories, both on review sites and social media sites. If there are any negative reviews, respond in a timely and professional manner. If negative reviews are dealt with quickly and the customer becomes satisfied, they could talk about how you fixed their problems. You can also post other customers positive experiences and reviews to reinforce your attention to customer service, but this can also inspire others to share their experience. An important activity is to have a solution in place to monitor what is being said about your dealership and having someone ready to quickly respond. of shoppers say they definitely will share vehicle information via social after an exceptional experience. 33%media jdpower.com/press-releases/2014-automotive-mobile-site-study 3

5 Relevancy & Frequency It is virtually impossible to know what percentage of your audience falls into any given stage at a specific time. So when you plan your content calendar for the month, use a healthy mix of content from the five stages above that will appeal to people regardless of which stage they are currently in. Don t worry if consumers ignore some posts because they are not relevant to them today. Every post is not meant for every person. However, they will read and remember the posts that do resonate with them. By frequently posting a variety of content types you will have the best chance to appeal to the largest audience. THE BUYING PROCESS NEED RECOGNITION INFORMATION SEARCH EVALUATE ALTERNATIVES PURCHASE POST PURCHASE EVALUATION 4

6 ABOUT US F riendemic provides social media and online reputation engagement services for hundreds of clients across the globe. While we serve clients in a wide variety of verticals, the automotive space has been a specialty since we began, and we are now an approved vendor for BMW, Chrysler, FIAT and Kia. Friendemic s elite social media solutions use targeted engagement to connect real customers with your business on an individual level, amplify your reach through advertising and social promotions, and deliver optimal ROI for your marketing budget. Daily Posting Social media never sleeps, which is why we post compelling content for clients 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And we aren t limited to the big networks. Instagram, Pinterest, Tapiture if you can name it, we can establish your presence on it. Friendemic will customize your strategy to get you on the social networks where your target prospects are spending their time. Social Promotions & Ads Friendemic s social packages include promotional and advertising campaigns in their pricing a necessity as the social landscape increasingly shifts to a pay-to-play model. We tactically execute creative promotion and highly targeted advertising to exponentially boost your engagement and drive sales. Advanced Targeting Friendemic sifts through the thousands of conversations happening each day on social media to identify and communicate with potential clients, and then convert those relationships into leads. Friendemic was founded in 2010 by award-winning creatives Brig White, Jason Barber and Brian Rezentkowski and is led by CEO Steve Pearson. 5

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