TACKLING the challenges of digital marketing in today’s retail environment can be a daunting task. With marketing jargon flying at you increasingly rapidly, it can often be hard to judge how best to approach the digital world and come to terms with the fact that, today, a website is just one of a plethora of marketing approaches open to the modern dealer.
One of the aims of Spidersnet, a digital marketing agency that specialises in the automotive retail industry, is to help dealers navigate a path through the jargon to a rounded, well-balanced online presence that suits them. And the two things it finds dealers tend to need the most help with are social media and SEO.
The latter is an area in which Spidersnet is very proud of its track record.
‘Lots of companies like ourselves do similar things, but SEO’s one of those areas we have a really good, strong background in,’ says Laura Coleby, Spidersnet’s business manager. ‘Before we even send someone out to see a customer, we perform an audit on their website, and find areas which we believe we can improve on and what the dealer needs to do at their end to improve.
‘We give that information in a consultative way to start with – we’re not tying them into coming with us to get that information, just offering a nice little snippet of what we think we can do. If the dealer then takes us on, we use that as our brief moving forward, so we work with the dealer and make sure that’s performed and actioned thoughout the time they’re with us. We like to show what we can do, rather than just talk about it.’
Coleby tells us the other main area that dealerships seek Spidersnet’s help with is social media – and it’s an area in which some retailers are lagging behind.
‘Social media’s a massive part of day-to-day life now, but I don’t think people are buying into it quickly enough, and they’re going to get left behind,’ she says. ‘You tend to find that at the bigger groups there’s usually a marketing person who can assign time to it, which is great – but it’s the smaller independents and the single franchises that don’t have that who get left alone.
‘Fortunately, we’ve got a solution now that helps any size dealer – we can fully content-manage their social media platform for them, make regular posts, add testimonials, that sort of thing.’
For Spidersnet, though, offering that solution is only a part of the service. With it must come education in the principles of online marketing, to give a context in which those tools can be used. With that in mind, the company offers its customers free seminars to help them get to grips with the principles of the areas in which they’re working.
‘We hold monthly seminars at our head office in Sussex,’ Coleby explains. ‘All the seminars are on different subjects, including SEO, Google Analytics, social media and PPC. They normally take half a day, and up to nine dealers can attend. Usually we’ll have two people in there from our expert team, to give those dealers a rundown on how to set up campaigns, how to monitor them, how to track them, and good practice.’
Since they started, the seminars have been full, and around 119 dealers to date have had the benefit of the experience.
This approach proves that providing internet services to dealerships doesn’t just have to mean website design, and Spidersnet’s up-front and honest way of dealing with its clients ensures that even dealers who aren’t au fait with the latest digital marketing trends won’t get left behind.