3 Ephemeral Marketing Tips for Dealerships in 2017

3 Ephemeral Marketing Tips for Dealerships in 2017

When it comes to memorable digital marketing, evergreen isn’t everything. In fact, today’s most popular social content either happens in real time or expires within 24 hours.

Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live have all opened a new door for auto dealers to connect with more people online. We call it ephemeral marketing: a unique flavor of real-time content with a short shelf life.

Ephemeral content builds another unique layer of engagement and lead qualification; it’s the perfect fit for a dealership’s inbound marketing strategy. Who else other than your most relevant audience would care about what you’re doing right now?

The best dealership marketing plans for 2017 should involve video — especially live video.

If ephemeral marketing will give your dealership an edge, 2017 is the year to sharpen it. This post will show you how.

Why Ephemeral Marketing?

Here now. Gone later. Call it the “Snapchat effect.”

If we learned anything from 2016, it was that things happen fast, and that things won’t be around forever. While dealerships scoff at the need for their own Snapchat accounts, the need will only go up in 2017.

We could list off stats all day. Snapchat is for real. Ask your nearest millennial what their favorite social media app is, and there’s a good chance it’ll be Snapchat.

In fact, both Facebook and Instagram are borrowing Snapchat’s real-time features to appeal to a wider audience. Your dealership should do the same.

This is uncharted territory for auto dealers, and we’ve gathered three big tips for you to hit the ground running in 2017.

instagram marketing for auto dealers

3 Ways to Try Ephemeral Marketing for Auto

If you’re a car dealership looking to gain an edge online in 2017, try ephemeral marketing. We’re willing to bet that none of your competitors are bold enough to give it a shot.

In fact, only 10% of auto dealers are using Facebook ads — and we expect that a much smaller group is using Snapchat, Facebook Live, or Instagram Stories. Facebook ads will put your dealership ahead online in 2017, and ephemeral marketing will sharpen your edge.

Here are three ways for your dealership to dive into Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live in 2017:

  1. Plan ahead.
  2. Promote your accounts.
  3. Tinker and test.

These three strategies will help your dealership dive into ephemeral marketing with a great plan and some great meaningful engagement with potential customers.

1. Plan Ahead

The number-one thing that prevents people from using Snapchat, Instagram Stories, or Facebook Live for the first time is that they don’t feel comfortable with the vulnerability of going live.

However, you can yield tons of creative confidence with a few ounces of preparation. Here are some ideas to help your marketing team prepare for engaging ephemeral content:

  • Schedule out dates for new model arrivals, and be there when the truck is unloading.
  • Plan to “go live” at your store events.
  • Got a new employee? Ask them for an interview!
  • Have a trusty salesperson post some Snaps, Instagram Stories, or Facebook Live videos during a test drive.
  • Time for a flash service sale! Create an action plan to use Snapchat, Instagram Stories, or Facebook Live to promote your service department when it is unusually quiet.

Whatever sort of content you plan to post, the key is that you actually need to plan ahead to make sure it reaches people in a meaningful way. Communicate your plans with your sales team so that you can be mentally prepared and authorized to “go live” for your dealership.

2. Promote Your Accounts

Grow your following for your new ephemeral content by cross-promoting it on your other social accounts. For example, if you want to dive into Instagram Stories, make a “traditional” Instagram post announcing your intent, and also share it to Facebook.

Whenever you post a video or photo to an ephemeral account, save it to your phone. On Snapchat, for example, you can download your video by swiping to the left (on iOS), tapping the three-dot icon next to “My Story,” and then tapping the download button next to the Snap.

Similarly, you can also save your Facebook Live recordings to share them on YouTube, which is the best place to share videos longer than a minute.

3. Tinker and Test

If your ephemeral marketing plans aren’t working, try something new! Snapchat and Instagram Stories are packed with filters, drawing tools, and text tools to help you customize your content.

These platforms will give your dealership the ability to identify leads, too. For example, if you Snap a coupon or offer, you can include text that asks your audience to “screenshot this” to save the offer to their phones for future reference. Not only will they be able to preserve the information, but you can also see who is interested in it.

Not every Snap needs to win an Oscar, and not every Facebook Live video needs to be a blockbuster production. These are humble, humanizing moments that can help you expand your brand into your market.

Ephemeral marketing is timely and perishable. Once you get around the fear of “going live,” you’ll understand that these are great platforms for exercising your creativity and trying new things.

Dedicate some time to consume content in ephemeral marketing platforms to gain inspiration from other businesses and people. Take a look at how other brands have found success with these platforms, and steal those tactics for your dealership.

Now that you know how to plan, promote, and test your ephemeral marketing, allocate some time for your organization to focus on Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live. It feels good to be both “in the know” and “in the now.”

Gear Up for 2017 at Your Dealership

Join a group of other curious dealership marketing professionals for our next free webinar: Five Automotive Digital Marketing Trends in 2017. It’s taking place online on Thursday, December 8, at 11:00 a.m. CST.

Can’t make it live? Register anyway, and we’ll send you the recording later.