‘Live On Location’ radio shows are still a staple in Saturday morning car sales. It’s been an effective way of capturing an audience’s attention and drumming up leads to move metal. Despite the growing enthusiasm behind music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, as well as SiriusXM satellite radio, AM/FM radio continues to be the more popular choice.
Radio doesn’t appear to be in decline just yet. But there are options for advertising locally that can double down on the effective strategies you already have in place. I’m talking about digital influencers in your area.
If you watch YouTube videos, you’re probably familiar with the group known as digital influencers. They are the ‘host of the show’ typically, whether it’s for car reviews, outdoor adventures, product reviews, or a day-in-the-life-of type videos.
Many digital influencers are multi-channel owners like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Their channels can have hundreds of thousands or even millions of subscribers. And when they post content, it’s immediately gobbled up.
It’s not uncommon for vendors to sponsor local influencers. Fishing videos are often sponsored by Mystery Tackle Box, for example. The message comes across loud and clear as an endorsement. And it’s all because these lay people have connected with a crowd better than almost anyone. Better than you.
There is an incredible sense of connection that followers have to influencers. If you read comments or follow their social media stories, you’ll come across opportunities for a meet-and-greet with these online stars. And suddenly, they have that voice that people take for gospel.
Use these to your advantage.
Online, marketing gurus are quick to offer ways to find influencers for your niche. Absolutely DON’T do that. Growing dealership business with an online influencer is going to take going outside your industry. You want someone that will tell their diverse audience why they should visit you, not a group of car nuts that they should visit a car dealership. The goal should be tapping into new demographics.
Put some time into your search for local online personalities. It honestly doesn’t matter what industry they’re from. You’re looking for someone with a positive voice and has tons of followers – over 1 million, preferably.
Here’s where you pony up. A solicited message has to be authentic for their audience. You could sponsor an episode of their show in exchange for a shout-out, but that’s not getting you anywhere. Put them in your metal. Give them a short-term lease or one of your most popular models for the week to review. That’ll give them something to talk about on their show. Make specific requirements in exchange such as at least 60 seconds in three video intros promoting your business.
You wouldn’t believe how many people want to shake hands with the influencers they follow on social media. When you host a meet-and-greet at your store, you can count on droves showing up. You’re putting local residents on your lot, which you know is a great way to showcase your products.
MediaKix research shows that 89 percent of marketers find that “ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other channels”. As well, 71 percent agree that the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other marketing sources.
In the digital age, you might want to explore additional marketing opportunities. Print is gone the way of the buffalo, but radio is still effective. But online influencers are a relatively untapped source in the automotive industry. Be an early adopter.