I’m Going To Push Your Digital Limits Just In Time For Memorial Day

Apr 28, 2017 | Digital Marketing, Industry News

It is nearly May, the “unofficial” beginning of summer. Is your dealership prepared to drive Memorial Day auto sales and for the influx of floor traffic the weekend kicks off? It’s time to push your dealership and your inventory to the top of customers’ minds as we approach the start of “Spending Season.” And I’ve got two ideas to help you do it.

VDP Engagement The Role Touch Plays in Buying Decisions

The phrase “new-vehicle sales plateau” has infiltrated my inbox and every automotive forum lately, and your store might even be seeing it first hand.

With March’s sudden slowdown in vehicle sales and Memorial Day traffic generally being an indicator of summer numbers, the pressure is on.

This is the first holiday of the year where you know your customers are going to be out and about. But since today’s consumer does almost ALL of their decision making before even visiting a dealership, I recommend getting your inventory WHERE IT MATTERS MOST.

So I challenge you:

What will you do differently to drive more Memorial Day foot traffic through your dealership’s doors?

Our best practices for dealerships this Memorial Day: push your digital limits with a 1-2 punch consisting of Facebook Advertising and automated Craigslist postings.

Together, the two forceful platforms will literally kick your competitor’s a**es—and your dealership will dominate the holiday and beyond.

First, The Jab: Put Your Ads Where Memorial Day Car Shoppers Will Actually See Them

In boxing, the jab is what creates a fighter’s competitive angles and sets up future damaging blows.

But how can your dealership be competitive when every local business is advertising their specials this month?

While all other advertisers fight for their 5 seconds of fame on TV and in the mailbox to convince shoppers to spend $ at their store, we suggest taking the smarter route:

Placing your offers directly in their palm.

There are 1.15 BILLION mobile daily active users on Facebook. That means your customers are signing into Facebook. Every. Single. Day.

With so many shoppers on the social media network, you better believe your dealership needs to be there, too.

Dealers who are advertising on Facebook are moving more metal and increasing brand loyalty through their Facebook ads.

Our teams, with [Dealers United’s] guidance, put a great campaign together and drove an insane amount of traffic in just a short period of time. We have the most appointments ever for a Saturday in June and one of the highest tallies ever going into a Saturday!”

— Michael Renaud, Director of Business Development at Leader Automotive Group

But beware: NOT all ads are created equally and NOT all dealers are seeing the same results.

“Cookie-cutter” solutions won’t help you win this fight.

If you’re using solutions that only focus on your new model lines and builds your OEMs brand—instead of your dealership’s—you’re doing more damage than good.

(See how we “DU” it differently.)

How To Design Creatively Engaging Facebook Ads That Demand Attention and Attract Memorial Day Car Shoppers

SPOILER ALERT: There will be no shortage of sales events during the holiday weekend.

So to get noticed, I suggest using these 3 Facebook Ad tips to help your dealership drive sales for Memorial Day 2017:

Be creative

Incorporate the red, white, and blue into your ad design, but use it in an original way to differentiate it from the other ads your prospects are seeing. I also recommend getting creative with your offers, such as including an exclusive Facebook incentive like a coupon graphic that promises buyers a $9.98 oil change.

Think beyond the flag and combine a subtle thank you with a photo of your team, your community, or your red, white, and blue inventory.
Image: Budweiser
Be compassionate.

As you know, Memorial Day is about honoring those who have given their life to secure our freedom and protect our country. Don’t let your sales events overpower that message! Include a few words in remembrance and gratitude, or link to a donation site that will help support local military families.

Image: Jeep
Be community-centric.

Seek to benefit your community and position your dealership as an altruistic force in the neighborhood. Develop events and create campaigns about your dealership wanting to make sure every veteran memorial has a flag or flower on it, hosting a cookout, or sponsoring a Memorial Statue or plaque in your hometown.

Target Your Dealership’s Memorial Ad According To Its Message

Keep in mind Facebook allows your dealership to target specific audiences.

If your goal is to attract Memorial Day 2017 car shoppers and drive foot traffic before the weekend, I recommend only showing your holiday sales to those individuals deemed “In-Market” to purchase a vehicle.

However, if you’re posting military-related promos, or even non-promotional messages solely dedicated to thanking veterans for their service, switch up the audience and target only veteran and military-related groups.

And—most importantly—the sooner you start getting your offers in front of In-Market Auto Shoppers, the better.

Start your Memorial Day ads ASAP and have them running continuously throughout the entire month of May to bubble up more opportunities around your sales events.

Use the weeks before the holiday to tell shoppers why they should buy at your dealership and exactly what they will get when they choose you to finalize their purchase decision.

PRO-TIP: Use targeted video on top of your paid ads to help enhance the customer experience. According to Shopifyplus, these interactions can embed positive sentiments into your consumers’ minds—giving shoppers another reason to buy from you.

Second, The Cross: Flood The Craigslist Search Engine With Your Pre-Owned

If Facebook sets up your most advantageous angles, what’s your cross that sends your opponent to the floor?

Craigslist is an incredibly powerful tool that can help you turn leads into hundreds of sales conversations every month—and you can fire it up just in time to help you increase Memorial Day auto sales.

Although Craigslist doesn’t boast the same insane number of daily users as Facebook, they’re still putting most 3rd party sites to shame: Craigslist attracts 52 million unique visitors each month, more traffic than Autotrader and Cars.com combined.

And, those shoppers are extremely low-funnel and ready-to-buy.

(Think about it: Have you ever looked up a piece of furniture or a bike on Craigslist, and not been ready to buy that same week?)

They notoriously close faster in the buying cycle (13 days faster to be exact), and at a higher rate. Keep that in mind as the holiday draws near.

If vehicle shoppers are typing in the exact pre-owned vehicle they want to buy on Craigslist this weekend, make sure your inventory is there to meet them.

Quick Craigslist Checklist to Drive Memorial Day Car Shopper Traffic:

What to post—which vehicles are moving in your market
When to post—what days & times are best in your area
Where to post—which markets are moving more vehicles
List monthly payment
Specific Memorial Day messaging
Always use real photos
Include MULTIPLE ways to reach your dealership
Delete sold vehicles

Wrap-Up: Push Your Digital Limits To Drive Memorial Day Auto Sales

There you have it: our 1-2 punch for attracting more Memorial Day car shoppers in 2017.

Developing a targeted digital strategy (for both your new AND used inventory) is essential to getting in front of shoppers before your competition does this Memorial Day weekend.

You May Also Like: “Dealers, Stop Trying To Bring Customers To Your Dealerships.” Love, Digital Dealer 22

Want more insight into how our dealers are dominating Facebook and Craigslist? Schedule a 1:1 demo today by calling us at 941-366-6760 and we’ll show you exactly how it works.

Blog Author - Cara Lane

Written By Cara Lane
Cara's hybrid love for marketing and sales has made her our beloved Inbound Marketing Manager here at Dealers United. Outside the office, she's busy doing mom things, like chasing her kids around the playground and sipping lots (and lots) of wine!

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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