The Importance Of A Thumbnail For Your Content
We all know that social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin use a wall on their home page to distribute information from pages and people you’re following. A wall is great if you want to quickly scroll through and catch up on today’s news and see what’s being talked about but it can be hard to stand out if you want your post to get noticed.
A quick way to stand out on a wall is by using thumbnails. Here are a few reasons thumbnails are important and how to use them to your advantage.
Entice Viewers To View And Click On Your Content
Youtube creators have been using thumbnails to their advantage for years. How many times have you seen a thumbnail on a video with someone making a crazy facial expression? You don’t have to go quite that far and venture into click bait territory but using a thumbnail to grab someone’s attention is a good idea. Think about thumbnails creatively and just ask yourself “what image can I create that will make someone stop and pay attention to me?”
It Makes You Easier For People To Find You When Scrolling
Often if you post something on social media a preview image will be generated. You can make a huge improvement to your post by replacing a preview image with a thumbnail that uses a custom image, custom font or anything bold to make people slow down and take a look at what you posted. During a scroll a user is more likely to stop and take a closer look at what you’ve posted if there’s an image popping out at them.
Organizes Your Different Content
Lets say you produce different types of content, like blogs or video, creating different thumbnails can be something visual people will recognize if they’re scrolling quickly through your page. Make your thumbnails use similar elements of branding but slightly change them so it sets off a visual cue for people before clicking on anything. Good thumbnails will let people know what’s a video, blog or promotion just by taking a glance.
Top 3 Benefits Of Social Media Calendars
Lets say you’re diving into the deep end and you’re going to do social media the right way with video, HD pics, posting across all platforms and most of all you’re going to be consistent. What’s the one thing that you can add that will make sure you reach your social media goals? Answer, a social media calendar!
These are the top 3 benefits to social media calendars and why you need one.
It Allows You To Schedule Posts Ahead Of Time
If you dread posting something everyday and have anxiety about what to post, making a calendar solves this problem. With a really thought out calendar you can post for the entire month in one day just by following your own steps. You can sit back for the month a know everything is going to post itself.
Allows You To A Deliver Variety Of Content
Posting a pic everyday or video everyday doesn’t make your page very exciting. If you know what content you’ve produced, then using a calendar allows you to see how you can space things out. Give viewers a surprise every time they visit your page.
Improves Social Media Performance
The more you plan your social media posts ahead of time, the better your posts will perform going forward. Looking at analytics of last month helps you perform better the next month by shifting your content towards what is working best. It’s still good to have variety when posting but calendars should favor higher performing content.
Success in online marketing depends not only on your ability to keep up with the latest trends and news but to also look back and review what has worked in the past to predict future success. Each year it’s important to take some time to reflect on some of the most surprising trends and think how you can expand an element of them into a longer term strategy.
So what were the most surprising online marketing trends of 2017?
Brands used memes to communicate with their audiences
Brands using memes were a response to how people use social media with their friends and in their personal lives. Using memes took the focus away from being so serious and instead toward being more relatable. Even big brands started using reaction images and gifs. Imagine how fun it would be introducing a cars new features using these tools!
It’s no longer enough to promote using just one channel. Posting on a company website is a good start but that should be where you’re driving people, not just where you’re posting info. That’s why 2017 saw brands working on pushing their brand everywhere. Although being everywhere is important you must still remember that you must use the right content for the right platform.
Live streaming took off
Brands are capitalizing on the opportunity to give their audience more of a real time experience. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook have done more to emphasize live streaming video options and brands are looking for any opportunity they have to take advantage of them. It’s a new entertaining resource where you can converse and give updates in real time and give responses.
Mobile experiences are now priority
In 2017 marketers saw a boost in the number of brands relying on mobile. Make your content tailored for mobile when your brainstorming what to create in the first place. Thinking about how your content is being consumed is going to be very important as you try to build your brand over social media or online.
Marketing + Social Media Management
Marketing management is getting bigger and bigger but also easier and easier. Let us explain. There’s so much sharing, posting and platforms it can get overwhelming remembering everything you want to communicate. All of this posting is also in addition to your full time job, who has the time? There’s good news though.
With the demand for marketing and social media there’s a vast resource of apps and companies that specialize in spreading your message across the web. It has become less of a luxury to have someone develop and manage you content, now it’s simply something that is mandatory for success.
How will these trends hold up? Are they long-term additions to marketing, or are they passing fads that will fade? We think these are here to stay and hope to be a part of the next wave of successful marketing ventures in 2018.
Make sure you are not making these 4 mistakes or you are missing out on sales. We keep seeing this over and over and hope this helps you avoid losing your customers to another dealership.
Top 4 Customer Retention Mistakes For Dealerships
Trying to market to a large part of your database
Try segmenting your list of customers and appealing to each one in a different way. With so many different customers and cars it just doesn’t make sense contacting customers in the same way.
Holding 1 or 2 sales a year and thinking that’s enough
This is not often enough for sales events. Also it puts too much of an emphasis on sales if you’re not reaching out in any other way. It’s important to reach out to people with something auto related or something happening in the community. It can be anything just as long as you have something other than only sales related news to talk about.
Calling the same customers repeatedly
Sometimes no means no. You might already be on good terms with a customer and they may be already checking back with you regularly to see what’s going on. So don’t spoil that relationship by being a nuisance.
Waiting for the last week of the month to push up sales
The idea has been that when you’re trying to bump up sales you should invite everyone in your database, have balloons everywhere, call all your customers repeatedly and do it all in a short window of time at the end of month.
This way of doing it, how it’s always been done is frankly not necessary. What happens in the in between period? Also, customers are more than savvy than ever before they know about how dealers have end of month coming up and know exactly what you’re trying to do.
Retaining customers that have already purchased or serviced with you should be an on-going marketing retention strategy. Why? because 1% of the customers in your database are back in market every single month. These are low hanging fruit.
Recently I went to the doctor with my kids and had the worst experience ever. Not only did we have to wait a long time with a room full of people but when it was finally our turn we got treated like as if the doctor was doing us some big favor. The service was awful, their attitude was awful and they did not care.
This reminded me of a few weeks ago when I was speaking to someone who recently visited a showroom. He had decided to go somewhere else because the dealership n his words “was a zoo over there”. He said there was so much happening, people were everywhere and it left a bad taste in his mouth.
If you were to interviewed the customers there that day I’m almost certain that there would be many who were disappointed in the lack of service.
Dealerships are very much aware that bad reviews online can hurt their business which directly derives from bad customer service. Why then are so many still conducting events that are not manageable?
The idea that a sales event has to be a zoo tells me you do not understand how your customers experience will directly effect your business. With so much competition out there, the way you treat your customer could be the difference.
The importance of Customer Service:
- Higher customer referral rates and customer satisfaction
- Easier customer acquisition
- Improves customer retention and increases customer satisfaction
- Reduces customers from buying elsewhere
- Creates a competitive advantage and differentiation.
James Allen, Frederick F. Reichheld, and Barney Hamilton wrote a piece for the Harvard Business School and looked at what sets the top 8% companies apart from the rest.
They found the leaders in customer experience where doing the following:
a) Designing the right experience-focused value propositions
The companies delivering a outstanding customer experience divide customers into segments and design experience-focused value propositions for each one. They tailor and design customer experiences for different customers.
b) Delivering value to the customer
The best companies deliver these value propositions by focusing the entire company on delivering them. For instance, the marketing team and sales team are in line across the whole customer experience; they know and deliver a consistent value proposition.
c) Developing the capabilities to deliver again and again
The 8% of companies have systems in place to deliver a consistent customer experience over and over again. When you can consistently deliver you will have customers consistently return.
The leaders also know how to keep innovating and improving the experience.
Customer experience strategy must start with knowing what your customer needs and wants.
If you have sales promotions going on and you need more showroom traffic, it’s time to get your sales staff more involved. Here’s a few tips on how to effectively do that.
Tip #1 – Get on the Phone
Calls are a numbers game. You gotta make enough calls to close on appointments. Print a list to call for each salesperson with 15 names per sheet. The goal is to call 2 sheets an hour. If you have 8 sales people you can make 240 calls in one hour. Suggestion; at the beginning of a shift sales staff have to make their calls before they can take any ups. If you need a template, let me know, I’ll send you one.
Tip #2 – How to Book Appointments
What a salesperson says while on the call makes all the difference. Often, salespeople give way too much information on the phone. We want to limit the reason we are calling and go straight to scheduling a time for them to come in. Don’t ask, give choices.
Script:Hi Bill, it’s James from xyz dealer. The owner asked me to give you a call to see if you still own (vehicle year) (vehicle model). Great! we currently have buyers for your (vehicle model). We’d love to take a look at your vehicle and see if we can get you into a newer model for similar payments ” I’m available on Wednesday at 2pm or Saturday at 11 am what day works best for you?
Tip#3 – Awareness of Promotions
Make sure that anyone answering the calls in the dealership including reception knows of the active Promotions and who to transfer calls to. Just knowing what to expect makes a huge difference. Nothing is worse then a customer calling in and saying about a sale you’re advertising and then having staff have no idea what they’re talking about.
Being in sales is not for everyone, some just seem to have the natural skills to be a top performer while others don’t. While this may be true, there are certain pillars that a professional salesperson needs to always be conscious of. It’s these 3 pillars that are going to give your career in sales it’s longevity.
Believe In Your Product
I’ve sold cars, cosmetics, accessories, shoes and coffee but I never knew or understood that if I wasn’t 100% sold on what I was selling, customers could see it on my face and in the tone of my voice. If you’re going to “sell” and convince someone else that they should invest their money into your product, you better believe in it first.
Help People Get What They Need
I always thought selling was about pushing a product. Turns out people hate that. In the sales world we often hear about “qualifying” a customer. That doesn’t mean sell them on what you think they need. It means listen and be honest, your product may or may not be suited to their needs. It’s okay if it’s not. Inform your customer, be sincere, answer their questions and you never know how it will impact your business in their decisions in the future.
Build Strong Relationships
No matter the industry you’re in, there are products similar to yours being offered. So what’s going to set you apart as a salesperson? It’s who you are. People will always remember the impression you make when you meet with them and how you make them feel. Build good relationships based on honesty, laughter, empathy and the “selling” part will be a lot easier when a customer trusts in who you are.
What pillars do you live by as a professional salesperson? Let me know in the comments section below.
When we’re deciding on major purchases or a big decision, like which car to buy, of course we consult friends and family. However, it’s also important to tap into the wealth of helpful information available on the internet. The bigger the decision the more research is put into making one.
It’s very important when marketing to understand what consumers are turning to the internet for and how to influence their decisions with your own brand of advice.
There Are No Small Decisions
Of course no one wants to buy a car that’s not right for them, only to find this out after purchase. Consumers also don’t want to visit a new place for lunch just to be disappointing by the food. What we can learn from this example is that no decision is too small to do research on first and giving your opinion on a new SUV is just as important to giving advice on what car chargers work best. Insert yourself into more conversations to grow your overall influence on consumers
Over the past two years, searches for the term “best” grew over 66% on mobile in Canada. People are looking for the best of everything and your valuable advice could sway there decisions.
Make Your Brand An Advisor
Research shows that people are turning to the web and actively searching for advice across categories, even for small stuff. By making your brand easy to discover and understanding when and where people are searching for guidance, you can ensure you’re there with the right advice whenever you’re needed. We as marketers can be allies in the learning process, bringing real information and tips to educate potential customers. It’s about communicating by putting an emphasis on advice, not sales.
There was a book written by Jonah Berger called Contagious – Why things catch on. In his book he talks about Social Transition, one of the parts of Social Transition is word of mouth, something every business knows can make or break you. Studies show that word of mouth is behind 20% to 50% of our purchasing decisions. It’s no wonder why online ratings are so valued.
So the question becomes, how to spread good word of mouth about your business. Besides having a good product and outstanding service, there is a way to reach thousands of people, through video.
Many industries have been talking about it for years and every year statistics are showing us that it’s not going away. With live streaming and a camera in every cell phone, there is no shortage of methods to produce video.
With everyone producing more and more video it’s important to spend money in this area because with video the best quality and content is going to stand out. You can try to skimp on video but run into problems like, no one being able to hear you because you don’t have a mic, the angle is off and you’re face is too close or way too far and without a plan you are just rambling on.
Video is no longer the future, it’s here now, it’s happening and those that get on board are profiting.
Don’t believe me? Here are recent stats on video:
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images
- Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users
- 62 % of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video.
- Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more
- Businesses using video grow company revenue 49% faster year over year than those that don’t
For these reasons there is no question that video is here to stay. Get on board now so you can grow your business using online resources as ASAP.