Did you know 70% of a buyer’s journey is complete before the buyer even reaches out to your dealership’s sales department? In order to follow your buyers along their journey, it’s important to make sure you’re offering the correct outlets and content for them so they are able to find what they need before they even reach out to you.
It’s crucial for your dealership to invest in potential customers and focus on the buyer journey because that will elevate your chances of selling cars and gaining consumers’ attention and, in turn, earning their business.
As discussed in “From Content Mapping to Content Marketing: Part I—Defining Your Target Audience,” there are three primary stages or “customer lifecycles,” as referred to by Digital Marketing Strategist Ryan Edwards, called blissful ignorance, straddling the line, and deciding. This means knowing a specific buyer’s journey and making it your own will help you gain customers and sales. Because you’re able to notice which part of the journey your consumers are in, you can pinpoint content and marketing techniques to help them successfully complete their individual journeys.
In this stage, a potential customer recognizes the need for something but is unaware that need can be met by your business. In stage one, 72% of buyers will turn to Google, and the average consumer doesn’t look far past the first couple of Google results in a search. For example, even if a consumer is specifically searching for an economically friendly car, he or she may not realize your dealership sells the Nissan Leaf if you don’t show up on the initial search. Although you are aware the potential customer could benefit from a car with 84 miles of electric range, the shopper may not yet know you exist.
During this stage of the buyer journey, your job is to create awareness of your business and your brand. Buyers will then see what you do, how it pertains to them, and how you can help.
At first, the buyer will explore general search terms, and it’s likely he or she is on the lookout for customer reviews and testimonials or educational material. As a dealership, it benefits you to provide that information and gather insights as to what the potential customer prefers when selling cars.
At this stage, potential customers are aware your business can fulfill what they’re searching for because you were able to target them in the first leg of their journeys. Your potential customers may have filled out a survey, contact form, or requested information directly from you. This is a great opportunity when selling cars to tweak content to target specific stages in individual buyer journeys.
In stage two, the buyer has likely eliminated businesses that aren’t a good fit and is focusing on a select few competitors. Providing educational content and reports is crucial during this stage. Focus your content and have some simple marketing campaigns to continue delivering content to potential customers who’ve shown interest, but don’t come on too strong. You want to gain consumers’ trust by being available and having correct and beneficial information, not by pushing potential customers.
Nurtured leads produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities on average versus non-nurtured leads, according to the DemandGen Report. Once buyers begin doing their in-depth comparison of each prospect, they’ll generally reach out to representatives for personalized information. Use the information gathered throughout each buyer’s journey to personalize your conversations with each buyer at this stage.
This stage is the final part of the buyer journey. The potential customer is generally reviewing information and making crucial purchasing decisions.
It’s best to focus on subjects that justify the buyer’s bottom line: the investment and gain involved in a purchase. When creating content for the third stage, hone in on the buyer’s return on investment and focus on why this purchase is beneficial. Give real incentives and include competitive edges and comparisons in your business’s favor.
According to Tony Zambito, founder and leading authority in buyer personas, there are five elements to keep in mind during your buyer journey that will help you define your buyer persona and target content correctly:
Use these stages and elements to ensure your dealership is taking the buyer journey alongside every client—to help them along the way and to specifically target content that will adhere to every stage of the buyer journey. By taking the buyer journey alongside your consumers, you’ll be showing them who you are, what you have to offer, and all the reasons they should choose you—all this often before they even set foot in the dealership. It’s more critical now than ever when selling cars to create awareness of your brand and educate consumers about how you can meet their needs, starting in the digital marketplace.