One of the many sales strategies that businesses used before the digital age was word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing – a tactic that encourages and influences consumers to engage with and spread the word about a company.
WOM marketing has been widely integrated into our tech-savvy world. However, marketers have swamped the internet, making consumers skeptical of online advertisements.
What does that mean for your car dealership?
Although people are hesitant about online advertisements, 92 percent believe in business recommendations from friends and family members. Taking this into consideration, car dealerships need to migrate towards consumer demands: honesty, loyalty, and creating online experiences that are worth talking about. Here are our four strategies for successful word-of-mouth online marketing:
1. Combine user-generated content into your online presence
Incorporating a way for consumers to engage with your dealership, whether it be for incentive or not, is a great way to build trust and create a sense of community around your business. Re-posting pictures that your dealership has been tagged in on Facebook or Instagram, or re-Tweeting something written by a consumer, shows people that you genuinely care.
At Canada Drives, we use the hashtag #LifeatCanadaDrives so that people who are interested in working for our company can see staff culture; for consumers who tag @CanadaDrives, we always ensure that we’re following up with a message to thank them for the tag!
2. Share customer testimonials onto your social media and website
Investing in your customers experience is one of the best things that a dealership can do, especially if you want to improve your online WOM. According to a recent study by Impact, WOM online marketing generates two times more sales than paid ads, and people are four times more likely to buy something if it’s been referred to by friends or family. Customer testimonials can take a variety of different forms – a video, quote, photograph of your customer and their new car, an e-mail campaign, etc.
Check out an example of one of our customer testimonials that we share on our social platforms:
3. Publicize your dealership’s reviews
Good or bad, allowing your customers to make reviews about your dealership will help reassure the performance, quality, and claims of your business. Customers will feel more comfortable doing business with your dealership with customer reviews – people are 12 times more trusting of a business that has personal customer reviews that are easily accessible on the internet.
A great way to receive, monitor, and engage with your consumers is through Google Reviews. If your dealership isn’t already listed on Google, we highly suggest setting up a Google My Business account so that your business appears in search engines for potential consumers who are interested in learning more.
4. Research Your Competition
Consider how your competition is using WOM online marketing to learn what is working for them and what isn’t – this will give you a ton of ideas for strategies that you might want to use.
Customers trust other customers, so if you want to see higher leads generated and more loyalty to your company, create awareness about your dealership among WOM online marketing and you’ll be sure to see higher sales and better customer retention.