It may only be the summer of 2019, but it seems like it got here faster than usual. 2020 will be here before we know it and it is never too late to plan for marketing success for the upcoming year for your equipment dealerships. We will never be able to control mother nature in the world of agriculture, but you can control the type of content you provide to equipment consumers in the world of digital. It is up to you how successful you want to be moving forward in 2020.
Before I decide if something is really a trend to stay, I like to back it up with data. For example, according to Think with Google, 83 percent of U.S. shoppers who visited a store in the last week said they used online search before going into a store. Let that sink in for a minute and determine what this means for you — the equipment dealer. RESEARCH. RESEARCH. RESEARCH. Are you providing the amount of research and tools for your consumers? Are you taking care of the simple things on your website for search engine optimization purposes, such as your H1 tags and meta descriptions? A tool I love to use is SEO Minion. It is a Google Chrome extension that helps you with your daily SEO tasks, on-page SEO analysis, broken link checking, SERP Preview and more.
Go do a little research on your equipment dealership’s website on a mobile device. Are you providing a seamless experience? Does your content provide value to the consumer? At Team SI, 72 percent of our equipment dealers’ leads came from a mobile device last year. Before you decide to add a certain feature on your website, decide whether or not this is really going to benefit the customer. Do you have data to back up why you need this feature? Equipment consumers demand instant gratification and want to find what they are looking for within seconds. Don’t believe me? Below is data provided to Team SI by Google on how consumers search for equipment during Q1. In 2020, providing valuable content and context will be more critical than ever.
Building a brand takes a long time. You want to build brand value that will last for years to come in your marketing strategy to ultimately grow sales. It is no question that people move through the consumer journey the way they want, on their own terms. Advertisers who run YouTube video ads in addition to Google Search ads see 3 percent higher search conversion rates and a 4 percent lower search cost per acquisition compared to advertisers who run Google Search ads alone.
What does this mean for your own equipment dealership‘s marketing plans? Since consumers don’t think of search and video in siloed terms, neither should you. By approaching them holistically, you’ll ensure you’re reaching people wherever they are in their buying journey, and you’ll get more out of both channels. Equipment consumers use search to understand the logistical and technical aspects of your products, whether it is zero-turn mower or a compact utility tractor. The top reasons people search after watching a video is to compare prices and brands, find out where to buy the product and to learn more about the product they are interested in.
Social media strategy is something we get asked a lot about. I love to “creep” on equipment dealerships’ social media, especially Facebook and Instagram. I often see dealers only post promotions about certain pieces of equipment, which is great, but I don’t see a lot of value in these type of posts. Think about why people are on social media in the first place. They are on social media to catch up with everything that is going on in their social world. Every single post, every comment you leave, and every video or image you share becomes a part of your brand. There is a difference between sales and your brand. Hard selling on social media doesn’t always work. People don’t like to be pushed to buy a product ASAP. Instead, take the time every week and do a Facebook Live to provide helpful content that your equipment consumers are wanting to know about. From that one video alone, you can turn that into a blog, an Instagram post or story, a tweet, etc. You will eventually build an organic following that craves your content and they will become loyal customers. Go look up Facebook Groups that are similar to your brand or equipment (see image below). There are thousands of people in these groups asking for people’s opinion about the equipment you carry! You can use this as a tool to provide context and develop content on your social media accounts. Being consistent and helpful is key.
Adapting to the change is key and planning your marketing strategy earlier in the game is the only way to stay ahead. Think about how fast your smartphone has evolved in the last 10 years. It isn’t going to slow down for anyone. It is up to you to have your dealership grow and evolve with technology. When you provide helpful and seamless experiences, sales will come. Remember, don’t get hung up on only executing a Google search campaign or display campaign. Think about the entire “circle of life” on how people consume information on their mobile devices. If you partner with a marketing agency, they should be providing an entire marketing plan based on real data to nurture the ENTIRE path to purchase. If you want to see how Team SI can formulate your 2020 equipment dealer marketing plan, get in touch with us! We would love to study your data and see how we can help you achieve your goals in 2020!