Category Archives: Economy

jaguar f-type svr

Digital Media Marketing – Enhancing Your Social Media Presence

When we think of car dealerships on social media, non-native content, links to articles related to the car brand the dealership is selling, and copy and pasted reviews from DealerRater dominate their Facebook pages. On Instagram, most car dealerships stay away from the platform, post sporadically, and if they are posting throughout the week the photos are usually from the brand itself. The blame cannot be pinned on the dealerships, but in fact the marketers. There’s a marketing disconnect and hopefully this article helps bridge the gap by providing a different way of thinking to help enhance the social media presence that car dealerships have.

In the 21st century the automotive industry relies heavily upon visual content, whether that be television commercials, photos, or videos by car magazines on YouTube. Car dealerships get a small piece of the digital media marketing pie, as companies rely upon the brand to supply them with commercials in their local areas. Rarely do dealerships create their own videos, photos and online commercials, and the ones who do are experiencing more engagement, reach, leads and sales.

For the automotive industry, digital media marketing is a separate entity from social media marketing. While car dealerships occasionally create Facebook ad campaigns, they’re not implementing 1-4 minute videos that can inform, educate, and alter consumers’ car buying decisions. Facebook ads alone are ineffective, as they don’t provide any value or reasons for consumers to purchase the cars the dealership is selling. Through digital media however, the results companies desire can certainly be achieved if they’re committed and dedicated to the long term success of social media marketing.

It is important to note that social media marketing isn’t an overnight solution or a free one. Money has to be spent to reach large groups of car buyers in the local area, as Facebook and Instagram algorithms have made it difficult to grow a following or customer base organically. On the flip side, Facebook does provide us with Polk Data that targets and pinpoints ideal car buyers who are in the market to purchase a new or used vehicle. Not only that, but we can also target people who are in the market to purchase a specific brand (i.e. Toyota) and type of vehicle (sedan, SUV, pickup etc).

Where digital media marketing comes into play is when you want to sell 2017 Toyota Camry’s to make room for the 2018s. You create one minute videos that briefly go over features, specifications, and price. The reason you want one minute videos is because they can also be posted to Instagram and Twitter, which maximizes the content’s effectiveness and reach. I’d do this for every trim of the Camry to be informative and educate car buyers on the differences between them and their prices. Add social media marketing ad campaigns and now you have a dealership that’s on every social media platform, posts high quality content daily, and informs and persuades car buyers to purchase not only the brand their selling, but buy a car from their dealership. Besides the creation of high quality digital media content, social media marketing becomes effortless, and at the end of the day you just go the competitive advantage on all the dealerships in your area.

Car dealerships need help on their social media pages, and marketers just want to run ad campaigns. The gap needs to be bridged, and I don’t see that happening any time soon unless marketers start providing digital media content. The automotive industry is very competitive, and right now a relatively strong economy is making it harder for dealerships to differentiate themselves from their competition. Digital media marketing can provide that, and with effective social media ad campaigns, you’ll begin to see the ROI, the growth in leads and sales, and the impact your dealership is having on car buyers through the content you’re posting.

Volvo S60 at Volvo Village Danvers

“Why Should I Buy Or Lease A Volvo Instead Of A Jaguar?”

It’s an interesting question, one in which many Volvo dealerships would never ask themselves. The same question can be asked if the roles were reversed. Why should I or anyone buy or lease a Volvo, Audi, Mercedes Benz, or BMW instead of a Jaguar? Car dealerships across the country are great at trying to sell you a car, but they’re not so great at convincing you to buy the cars they have on their lots. Instead of being the primary source of information and answering consumers’ questions through great content on their social media accounts, car dealerships let car magazines and independent automotive journalists shape and influence consumers’ buying decisions. That’s a mistake.

Depending on what your personal buying preference is, leasing is becoming an option for car buyers who want to drive luxury cars rather than getting stuck with a Toyota or Honda that they may not like. Thanks to leasing prices, Volvo and Jaguar can actually be cross shopped which was unthinkable a year ago. The Volvo S60 T5 and the Jaguar XE 25t and XE 35t are within the same monthly payment range, giving consumers yet another choice to make in the compact sedan luxury car market.

What are car dealerships doing to attract consumers to the brand they sell? Nothing. If I’m the social media marketer for either a Volvo or Jaguar dealership, I’m creating videos and high quality photos that can be shared on all social media platforms. Through this content, I’d provide information on features, specifications, fuel consumption, lease prices, and MSRP for the consumers who’d prefer to buy. Instead of mentioning the rival brand and what they offer, the goal of the content being created is to sell car buyers on the S60 or XE before they walk through the dealership’s doors.

By using effective advertising campaigns, with a little help of polk data provided by Facebook, I can target potential Jaguar and or Volvo car buyers who are in the market to purchase a vehicle. With the one minute high quality videos that I produced, I’d get peoples’ attentions which will ultimately lead them to the dealership’s inventory page. More importantly, those one minute videos can be shared to Instagram and Twitter as well to maximize the reach and effectiveness of the content.

Not only is having an advertising budget important, but finding ways to reach as many people as possible organically is a must. Which is why posting content that fits on all platforms, guarantees its success rate.

Car dealerships don’t spend time creating content or try attempting to play a role in consumers’ buying decisions. One piece of content that answers car buyers questions could be the difference between them buying a Volvo or Jaguar. Another aspect of using high quality content and effectively advertising it on social media is that you gain the upper hand on the dealership who sells the exact same brand 30 miles away. That advantage is crucial, not only because you’re going to be the Volvo or Jaguar dealership car buyers flock to, but that video you shared could determine what brand the car buyer chooses.

As a car enthusiast, on paper the Jaguar XE appears to be the better lease offer. I get into a much more prestigious brand, if I choose the XE 35t I also get more horsepower, and the exterior and interior styling would certainly garner attention and get looks. With that said, there’s the chance many consumers who would lease their next car feel the same way. That’s why it would be in the Volvo dealership’s best interest to create content the sways and alters a purchase decision. No matter which side of the brand spectrum you are on in this particular case, the answer is clear. Produce great content that informs and persuades car buyers to purchase to lease from your dealership, and not the rival brand down the street.

Social media marketing is crucial to increasing sales. By not having a presence on Facebook, Instagram, etc, you’re letting car magazines and YouTubers determine what consumers buy. Be the primary source of information and take advantage of the tools social media has to offer. When it comes to car sales, you can’t afford to be the second or third option.

Email: mikecerrasmm@gmail.com
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social-media-marketing

The Days Of A Generalized Approach to Social Media Marketing Are Over

A week into the new year, many marketers have written articles, posted tweets, and have created videos talking as if social media is cheating them out of reaching consumers. Non business related YouTubers have even taken a break to “reassess” how they can navigate the new algorithms that YouTube has implemented. Unfortunately for these YouTubers and social media marketers, they’ve become the first victims of a new era in social media. The days of being a generalist, promoting generic content, and not differentiating themselves from the competition are over, and what new algorithms have effectively done is weed out the weak marketers and content creators.

To succeed in 2017 on social media platforms, you’ll have to think differently, communicate with your customers, provide valuable content in digital form, and go further than anyone else in your industry. What we’re witnessing is the localization of marketing, along with social media marketers’ waning dependency on holistic advertising strategies. There was once a time where marketing and advertising was very straightforward and could be applied to all industries. The creation of slogans, television commercials, radio and newspaper ads were the blueprints to old school marketing. Today in 2017, what works for a marketer whose clients provide services, may not work for someone in retail.

As a result of the changes that social media platforms made in 2016, there’s now older marketers who jumped on the social media bandwagon, made money, and are now facing adversity. They didn’t innovate or pay attention to the direction the market was heading and instead of fixing the problem, they’re now trying to influence and promote the idea that social media marketing doesn’t work. In fact, an article came up on my newsfeed advocating for email marketing. I witnessed the downfall of email marketing gurus in 2012-2013, and because they failed to change they’re now irrelevant and no longer posting content.

Traditional advertising was great prior to technology, and now that social media platforms are growing, there now has to be new approaches to tackle those changes. There’s no need to look back when the answers to the problems are right in front of us. The truth is that social media marketers all have to choose a niche market and become experts in that field, as opposed to being experts at social media. So if Sarah is an expert at automotive social media marketing, and John is a master of marketing for the house/remodeling industry, they’ll see better results than a generalist who tries taking on both industries.

Social media and the internet has altered our entire lives. From how we communicate, to where we shop, our daily lives and what businesses thrive are now coming down to localization. The small stores down the street have a chance to compete with corporations, and people can talk with others who have the same interests that live in their area and from there, build a community. Social media platforms are just a small part of what changed in 2016, and now that we’re beginning to see it with our own eyes, there are old school thinkers who can’t handle the direction the business world, and even socialization itself has gone in.

Whether you’re a social media marketer, a business owner, or manager, specialized exerts in social media marketing is the future. Colleges still teach generalized marketing, and as a result, there’s a lack of professionals who’ve become experts in a niche market. If you want to see results and sales in 2017, you need to find talent that knows your market. Generalized marketing is slowly beginning to die, and the rise of marketers who understand the target consumer audience they’re selling to are becoming more successful on all platforms.

Are you going to be remembered as social media’s casualties in 2017, or you going to follow the direction the market is heading in, and separate yourself from the old school way of thinking?

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The Auto Industry Is Old, But The Marketing Strategy Shouldn’t Be

Throughout the decades, there have been industries that have stood the test of time despite the changing in technology that has closed many businesses over the years. One essential business sector, the automotive industry, shows absolutely no signs of going extinct as transportation is a major part of our lives in the 21st century. With that being well known, what isn’t so obvious is how marketing on the local level for cars hasn’t changed in decades. While websites like eBay Motors and CarFax have added a new dimension to sales, car dealerships are still operating as if it were the 1990’s.

We could sit here and speculate as to why the industry hasn’t changed over the years, but the lack of qualified millennials in key positions is a possible variable that shouldn’t be ignored. Yes, car salesman are beginning to get younger and car dealerships have made great strides in hiring experts on the brand of vehicles they sell. However, that’s still not enough to revolutionize the marketing behind car sales. Brand experts don’t market, in fact dealerships are using such a term because “car salesman” creates a bad perception that reflects poorly on dealerships that want to be friendlier with customers and not push a quick sale.

A revamped marketing strategy that hires committed employees or freelancers, depending on the size of the dealership’s franchise, is a must in the 21st century. It’s not enough to add someone who is familiar with marketing; you need enthusiasts who are passionate about vehicles, no matter what brand you sell. These enthusiasts will be your best marketers, and well worth the investment of time and money as their vision for content curation, along with their social media savviness will outperform the most experienced person on your staff.

You’re probably asking why should we hire car enthusiasts, and how will our marketing change in the hands of a millennial? To start, car enthusiasts who are also marketers know exactly what turns a potential buyer on. Digital media, through the forms of video and pictures is the future to car buying as YouTube has completely changed the game in terms of introducing vehicles and brands to customers of all demographics. Car and Driver magazines used to be relevant, but today, customers in the market for a new car, go straight to YouTube for reviews on the models they’re looking for. Why not get in on the action and create the content yourselves? That’s where the car enthusiast/marketer comes into play.

Millennials are well aware that social media is a powerful tool in generating interest, and enticing potential customers to walk through the door. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are the three major weapons that should be in car dealerships’ arsenals. Facebook provides a blog-like structure where updates in text or digital media form can be created. Instagram is where high quality pictures draws the interest of the viewer to follow your account and check out your website. YouTube is the flagship where your best content is created. Here car reviews, walk arounds, previews, and unveilings are all posted, and by tying the video producing platform with other social media channels, your marketing efforts have been fully upgraded where anyone, even those who reside in other states, are being reached by your content.

Most importantly you must stay consistent with posting, which is why hiring an enthusiast/marketer is the key to having a successful marketing strategy. Far too many dealerships post sporadically, while others who stay active see the most ROI and engagement.

In 2017, make sure your dealership(s) joins the 21st century and starts marketing in the year that we live in. Car sales happen every day due to the necessity that vehicles bring, but wouldn’t you like to increase those sales figures in the 1st quarter of the new year? Now is the time to take advantage of what millennials have to offer, especially those who are knowledgable in the business sector your dealership is in. Social media offers great opportunities to grow your franchise’s brand, and it would be foolish not to implement it into your marketing strategy.

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How Realtors Sell Houses Will Change With Social Media

In the last six years, social media has changed how we conduct business, acquire customers, and advertise on both a local and national scale. The ability to reach anyone, even those who reside outside the country, has given small businesses the chance to compete on a global scale. But for business segments that thrive off domestic and local markets, you have to go to new depths to sell anything, whether products, cars, and even property. The real estate market has slowly begun to implement social media marketing elements, but realtors could take their marketing strategies to a whole new level with the power of live streaming and video.

When we think of buying real estate, open houses are probably one of the first things that come to mind in the buying process. Perfect for the new home buyer to get an idea of what they’re looking for, open houses gives people who are in the market for a home the opportunity to get a look inside and try picturing their futures living there. With social media, a new element can be added that is both convenient for the potential buyers and beneficial to the realtor; Facebook live or promoted video post.

Live streaming is on the rise, and one market that could certainly use it is real estate. By going live, a realtor could have a virtual open house the day before and walk through the rooms to showcase the house’s greatest features. This adds a layer on convenience for those who can’t make it, and for the realtor, live streaming or any form of video helps build their own personal brand. By posting any form of video with you presenting the property you’re selling, your brand takes center stage, and if you present yourself as a professional and friendly, it’s very likely you’ll start seeing more referrals as sales increase.

Paired with Facebook advertising, your videos whether live or previously recorded, can be shared to people’s timelines who are looking to buy a home. While websites like Zillow and Redfin have made finding new property easier, there’s no argument that going the extra mile by having a virtual open house or tour could be the deciding factor for interested prospects. Realtors are no longer at the mercy of interested buyers, and can now go directly to them to draw them into new properties in the desired areas they want to reside in.

Facebook isn’t the only platform where video can be beneficial, but is still a crucial part of a successful marketing strategy to selling homes. YouTube allows realtors to go much more in-depth than going live by producing eye catching video. These edited videos with music and clear shots of the exterior, interior, and backyard could be the realtor’s version of HGTV, whether the property is being presented by the realtor or a tastefully done video that grabs the attentions of viewers where they can dream of living in that house. Much like walk around shots of an exotic car, the same rules apply to real estate as they’re both sought after, and if presented right, could move someone to buy. Since video is multi-platform friendly, Facebook then becomes more important as your YouTube video can be shared to your timeline, or can be uploaded directly from your computer to your Facebook page.

Real estate is in need of going through a transformation. HGTV has become popular due to consumers’ desire to buy homes. By having that mentality with the real estate you’re selling, you can be the HGTV on a local scale, where you’re not only presenting beautiful homes, but also enticing local house buyers to show up to open houses and take a look for themselves. Social media is adding a new dimension to how we consume everything, and real estate should be no exception.

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Facebook Live – Signaling The End Of QVC

When you think of QVC, Shark Tank’s Lori Grenier is probably the first person you’ll associate the channel with. Dubbed “The Queen of QVC”, Lori made a living from selling her products by using the platform to promote her products on television. Her success catapulted the channel’s household name recognition, and for the past 5 years or so they’ve been the king of infomercials, and arguably so as many businesses have reaped the benefits of using QVC as a marketing channel. However, all good things must come to an end, and sometimes even kings and queens get dethroned. Ladies and gentlemen, the new kid in the block, Facebook Live, is ready to change how you shop and how businesses advertise to you.

Live streaming is slowly becoming a part of hour daily lives. Whether it’s Periscope, YouTube, or Facebook, you’ve either watched a live event, tuned into your favorite vlogger’s live Q and A, or perhaps even you have picked up your phone and went live. Needless to say our phone, laptop, and tablets are just an arm’s reach away, and tech savvy businesses are well aware that your attention is no longer focused on the television, but on social media.

On my Facebook news feed, a childhood friend had commented on a live stream from a small business that was selling women’s clothing targeted towards women in their 20’s. Of course being a guy, I wasn’t interested in what these women were selling, but the marketer in me couldn’t help but notice the effectiveness of having a live infomercial where viewers’ questions were being answered immediately. The ability to interact live through the use of Facebook will eventually bring many businesses in television marketing, like QVC, to their knees. How can you draw businesses to use your platform if there’s a cheaper, more effective and direct solution to a problem that up until now, has been a brick wall that has stopped many small businesses from getting to the next level?

To get a spot on QVC, you’re looking at paying $10,000 if not more. On Facebook it’s free to live stream, and your only costs will be ad campaigns and boosted posts. What live streaming has essentially done is break down the barriers that have held small businesses back and now give them the chance at national, and possibly global expansion to new markets through the use of social media channels. The power is no longer in the hands of a selective few, and now women in their 20’s can pave their own way to success by utilizing Facebook live.

QVC may not be the only potential casualty as social media and live streaming become more common and mainstream. Many old technologies could become obsolete, and much like MTV’s emergence killed the radio star, social media could very well be the death of television as we know it, and along with its funeral, many businesses related to TV could very well go under if they don’t transition over to platforms such as Facebook.

Despite the many businesses that could be affected by live streaming replacing a large portion of television shows, infomercials, and sporting events, new companies will arise, ushering in a new era. We could be living through a technological revolution, bigger than many have anticipated, that along with it brings a wave of small businesses popping up across the country that will no longer be regionally based, but could conduct business throughout the county and internationally. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, and with each passing day, it just continues to get better and better.

While QVC’s days might be numbered, we are now entering the Golden Age for small businesses who effectively use social media to the fullest. Instead of throwing thousands of dollars away on television advertising that will continue to be less influential in the buying process for consumers as the years pass, social media will be the platform that yields a high reward because of it’s unlimited potential and ability to reach virtually everyone.

January 1st is right around the corner, and the perfect time for a new start and new direction for your business’ advertising strategies. Incorporating Facebook Live into your weekly activity on social media, could be the deciding factor between having a great year, or being left behind by those who were willing to innovate.

Skyline Boston

Is Boston Becoming A Center For Wealth?

Since the economic recession in 2008, Boston and Eastern Massachusetts as a whole has come out stronger and better than most parts of the United States. Boston has recently experienced a building boom in multiple sections of the city, including the Financial and Seaport districts that’s not only attracting corporations, but individuals with wealth. General Electric recently announced that they’re moving their headquarters to Boston, for reasons including the growing market of technology companies in the northeast and the number of certified tech talent. GE no longer wants to be recognized as a industrial company of the last century, but wants to be known as a leader in tech.

Another indicator of a wealth shift is the type of stores that are popping up in the area, especially those in the automotive sector. McLaren of Boston, located in Norwell, Massachusetts, recently opened their dealership near the end of 2015. Prior to their arrival, the closest McLaren dealership was in Greenwich, Connecticut. In a 30 mile radius of Boston, there’s three Maserati dealerships, one Lamborghini dealership, one Ferrari dealership, and now McLaren. These places aren’t just here to attract window shoppers, but are tailoring to a growing market of wealthy individuals.

Economists are always fear mongering on the economy and constantly spreading the awareness of another recession, starting with retail. On any given weekend, malls such as Burlington, Natick, and Framingham are packed with shoppers. Parking lots are full as if it’s still the holiday season, and even during the height of the recession, local malls really didn’t seem to be affected. Furthermore, retail stores continue to pop up in many cities and towns throughout the commonwealth, signifying a strong local economy.

As a resident of Eastern Massachusetts all my life, I’ve never seen Boston and the surrounding suburbs thrive like they have over the past 3-5 years. Sure, the strong economic climate in the early 2000’s was prominent, but not at the level we’re experiencing today. Million dollar homes are being built and people are moving in almost immediately, older two and three family houses are being renovated into condos and being re-sold for more than $500,000 and consumers are buying them, and Boston has had multiple luxury high rise apartment buildings with waiting lists for tenants to move in.

In terms of vehicles most local residents own, Mercedes Benz, Audis, and BMWs are becoming all too common. It’s almost become desensitizing seeing Bentley’s, Maserati’s, and Porsche’s everywhere you go, and cars exceeding $100,000 are certainly not rare to find roaming the streets. Fifteen to twenty years ago, this wasn’t the norm, in fact, it was a treat to catch a glimpse of a new BMW, now it requires a bit more to get notoriety.

No one really knows where the economic climate is heading, whether positive or negative. One thing is for sure, Boston is becoming a new center for wealth for corporations, consumers, and entrepreneurs. Because people from outside the region are moving into Boston, the city has attracted some big name events, such as the Olympics which plans ultimately fell through, and a IndyCar race which is still scheduled to take place in the Seaport district during Labor Day weekend.

It’s safe to say that we’ve been very blessed as of late to not really be impacted by any economic adversity. Now of course, there’s always cities that will be affected, and some being very close to the city of Boston, primarily because they were former industrial hubs. When the factories closed, the middle class moved out and haven’t returned since. These cities aren’t attracting technology companies or businesses in sectors that are very strong and likely won’t anytime soon. The opportunities are certainly there, but the wrong stores are moving in with low paying wages, which won’t accelerate the local economy or put money in residents’ pockets.

So far all signs are pointing up for the city of Boston and surrounding suburbs in 2016, and we can only hope that this continues. With the strong local economy, the city’s skyline is beginning to change and evolve, showcasing the progress and economic environment the city is currently in. It’s going to be exciting to see the further transformation of this great city as some new high rises and skyscrapers are in the works, with some already breaking ground.