Google, eBay Motors, Craigslist…Is Your
Internet Marketing Where it Needs to Be?
by: Tracy Roche
Every industry in today’s market knows one thing: the internet
is essential to being competitive. To succeed, your dealership needs an
effective internet marketing strategy. If you do not have one, then
it’s time to get in shape. The family shopping for an RV, living
five miles from your dealership, no longer just drives to your lot to
look at your inventory. As they boot up their computer, your potential
customers have the whole country at their fingertips to do their
research. A strong internet presence helps them find you, and just
having a website is not enough. “Google, eBay, Craigslist,”
make this your mantra.
Google is not just the No. 1 search engine on the internet; but
it’s the most visited worldwide. Alexa.com researches the top
sites in America, and you want to be on as many of them as possible.
eBay is No. 8,Craigslist is No. 11. The more sites your dealership is
on, the more you will show up in Google search results. Try searching
Google for a used RV by year, make, and model. Typically, the first page
of results will include Craigslist and eBay listings.
LET’S TALK eBAY
In recent years, the most popular search term entered on eBay was
“RV.” It’s perplexing to see that eBay Motors hides
the “RVs & Campers” category within the obscure title of
“Other Vehicles.” One would assume there aren’t enough
RVs to deserve their own category. Currently, however, “RVs and
Campers” contains more listings than “Boats,” which
has the privilege of its own category on the main page.With over 2,000
listings on eBay Motors, RVs have a strong presence. Look at the number
of bids on each listing; you’ll see numbers like 57, 48, 39, and
52. For those of you who dislike eBay for one reason or another, start
looking at it for what it really is…a HUGE lead generator. There
are software companies who provide listing tools for eBay Motors at
nominal fees.When using these tools, you can receive the contact
information for each unique bid, question, or offer, which can include
the name, telephone number, e-mail address, and location of your
bidders. How does this help? The salesperson who listed the RV with 57
bids, now has 57 potential buyers. That salesperson can call and offer
another RV on the lot. Generating multiple qualified leads on eBay with
one listing is a fraction of what it costs to purchase a single lead,
with most dealerships typically paying up to $25 per lead.
If you have an ‘08, ‘05, and ‘03 of the same
make/model RV, list the ‘08 on eBay, utilize a “reserve
price,” and don’t use “buy it now.” Here’s
the thought process, your ‘08 will generate bids, but not every
person you contact can afford the ‘08 RV. Now start selling. You
have an older model that might be more in their price range. Using this
strategy effectively can produce multiple sales from one listing.
Having an effective plan of action for handling these leads also is
important to success on eBay. Designate a sales rep, or if you are just
starting out, try it yourself. Call these leads as soon as they make a
bid and form relationships with the bidders. They may not buy from you
today, but what about next month? To stay in contact with them, use
e-mail campaigns promoting your monthly specials.
CRAIGSLIST ADDS EXPOSURE
Craigslist is now beginning to get a lot of RV action. Start listing RVs
in the category of “For Sale,” but don’t over do it.
Try listing three to five units per day. The same software companies who
help you list on eBay may have a Craigslist tool available. View
Craigslist for what it is, a free advertising medium, which provides
exposure on Google. Get into a routine where you list five different
makes and models each day. Your exposure will be huge! People across the
country using Google to search for that specific unit will see your ad.
If your dealership is in an area where competition is intense,
you’ll be getting the most exposure.
OTHER WAYS TO BOOST EXPOSURE
Take plenty of quality photos. If people are finding your ad,
but not seeing enough pictures, your shoppers will leave. Show as many
photos as possible in all of your advertising. RVs have many features
and if you’re not effectively representing them, you are losing a
sale. Even if there’s something wrong with the unit, show it in
the photos. Potential customers will respect that you’re honestly
depicting your inventory. If you’re already going out there to
take pictures, why not take some video as well? On eBay Motors, a quick
1-2 minute video will make your unit stand out from the rest. Put the
video on your website, or make your own YouTube library.
Although there are many ways to maximize internet exposure, these are
tried and true methods proven to return results. All these ideas are
small steps that create a huge impact, and best of all, they’re
easy to do! Taking control of your internet presence is a sure way to
increase your sales.