Future of marketing is online

Lucas Deal

February 10, 2013

Remember when marketing was just fliers and billboards on the highway?

Those days are long gone.

Justin Seibert, founder and president at Direct Online Marketing (www.directom.com), says there are now endless marketing opportunities available through the Internet. From Google to Bing, and Facebook to YouTube, customers have never been more accessible.

Seibert says dealers now have a lot of options. One of the most profitable options is search engine keyword marketing. An option through Google, and Bing and Yahoo, search engine marketing allows you to advertise your business through keywords.

Seibert says this a great option for dealers because of the traffic search engines receive when it comes to new and used truck sales. Customers pay per click for these programs. They also push fleet customers directly to dealer sites, which Seibert says is an absolute necessity.

Once customers reach a dealer site, he says they need to do everything possible to keep them there.

“Have every truck in your inventory on your website,” he says. “Let [customers] see everything you have.”

He says there are multiple ways to do that. Photos and information are obvious, but Seibert says those aren’t the only options. YouTube is a great tool, he says.

“Use YouTube and embed videos on your website. You are already taking pictures and adding information to your site, just add this to the checklist,” he says.

Dana Nevins, who owns web developer Web Shop Manager, said that some smaller businesses can even use eBay.

“Ebay is a good way for someone to test the waters before they jump in too deep,” Nevins says.

Seibert also stresses retargeting, which allows dealers to track customer searches and market their interests across the web. This can be done anywhere, he says, and subtle installation of the strategy can provide customers just enough information to lead to sales. Constant retargeting can be annoying; but occasional advertisements will motivate customers, he says.

When marketing online, Seibert also says its important for dealers to monitor their businesses’ presence on online review sites, such as Yelp and Google+. He advises dealers to expect bad reviews, they are inevitable, but to have a plan to quickly neutralize them online.

“Within Google results, you really can’t get a bad result removed,” he says. “You can try to push it off the first page by creating your own positive content.”

He says that content can be created through social media or with positive reviews, but he says there is a strategy there as well.

“Always ask for review, but never ask for positive reviews,” he says. “Don’t try to incentivize people to give you a good review.”

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