I Don’t Understand How Social Media Can Sell RVs
I speak with a lot of RV Dealership owners and General Managers (GM) that tell me they haven’t taken social media marketing very serious cause they don’t understand it. They’re frustrated because they’re seeing diminishing returns on traditional marketing channels and they keep hearing about how effective Social Media is, but they don’t “get it”.
I have heard an equal amount of people that tell me they’re frustrated cause they’re already “doing” social media marketing, but aren’t getting a result. Let’s be clear, having a Facebook Page and having someone post once in awhile who doesn’t know how to convert on Facebook, won’t sell any RVs.
What’s Going On
Let’s look at some of the current trends and break down in simple terms what’s going on. First off, we need to understand that Marketing is simple (not easy, but simple):
Wherever the Eyes and Ears are of your prospects/customers, is where you need to be!
That is obviously over simplified and there are many nuances that need to be explored. For example, it’s usually different circumstances that makes someone interested in a Class A vs someone who would buy a Travel Trailer.
Demographics explain “Who” your customer is and Psychographics explain “Why” they buy.
Demographic information includes gender, age, income, marital status – the dry facts.
Psychographic information might be your buyer’s habits, hobbies, spending habits and values.
Let’s break down 2 real scenarios of potential RV Buyers:
The “Almost” Retiree
- Aged 48-64
- Married, getting close to retirement
- Dealing with some physical issues
- Household income $100K+
- Concerned with maintenance and ease of use as they age
- Wants to see the country (national parks, historical places, etc)
- Enjoys relaxing in comfort and willing to pay a little more for it
- May full time or become a snow bird
- Willing to invest in a separate vehicle to pull or tow
- Values time with a small group of friends
- Activities include going for walks, exploring small towns, enjoying good food, and fishing
The Weekend Warrior
- Aged 32-46
- Married, has children
- Active lifestyle
- Household income $80K
- Tends to favor an economy model over comfort, bells & whistles
- Plans on camping within a few hours of home or to a summer vacation trip
- Values time with family and exposing children to a variety of outdoor activities
- Towing with an existing vehicle may be a concern
- Activities include s’mores around the campfire, hiking, biking and swimming
- Connectivity is important and they may even work a little bit on a camping trip
Targeting the Right Audience
Traditional marketing channels are often a shotgun approach. You usually don’t have a lot of control over your audience so the message is often either broad OR it’s geared towards a specific group, which means you’re ALSO wasting money getting it in front of the wrong people.
You’ll notice if you happen to see or hear a Billboard Direct Mail, TV or Radio Commercial that they’re almost always broad.
Conversely, on Social Media the targeting IS INSANE! You can target your EXACT ideal audience with the EXACT ideal message. You can even target people at different stages of the sales funnel.
The Different Social Media Channels
Let’s break down the different marketing channels TODAY and how they’re being used to reach people with their message. I’ll even add specific, real life examples of people/companies who are utilizing these different social channels. To illustrate these channels so they may be able to be understood on a more personal level, I’m going to stay away from using RV Dealerships as examples.
Facebook = Letter, Face 2 Face Communication, News and Live TV
Facebook is the 800 pound Gorilla of marketing today. It’s extremely powerful, effective, and relatively inexpensive. It offers a variety of content being shared (Video, Pics, Web Links) and you are able to have a lot of control over the type of content that you consume on this channel.
We use our Facebook Page to share our travels with friends, family, to stay connected with other RVers, and to educate & inspire others to enjoy RVing. To see how we do that click HERE.
Instagram = Photo Album
Want to get inspired to see this beautiful country? Instagram is a place where you can enjoy a photo album of the lives or businesses that you find interesting. It’s also a great place for people to share their lives for friends and family.
Dometic has recently taken this very serious and are doing a fantastic job! It’s tough to scroll through their Instagram and not be inspired to take a trip. Watch their metrics increase significantly over the next year by clicking HERE.
Youtube = TV
Cable and Satellite are REALLY struggling right now. People are RUNNING from these and jumping onto Hulu, Netflix and YouTube for their TV Entertainment. Consumers today want to control their time. They want to watch what they want, when they want it and don’t want to have to “tune in at 10” for their favorite shows.
In the RV Industry there are fantastic YouTube channels where you can find and watch what it’s like to travel in an RV. Be careful though, it’s so good that you can easily get sucked in and you’ll end up spending hours and hours watching these reality TV shows.
Here are just a few of our favorite RV Travel Vloggers that we enjoy watching.
Blog = Newspaper
Go RVing has put a lot of resources into their Blog. They’ve recruited some of the top RV Travel Bloggers to write for them and compiled an incredible amount of quality content that’s meant to educate and entertain. To check out their RV Blog click HERE.
Podcast = Reading
Heath and Alyssa Padgett have put together a very impressive Podcast where they interview people who are mainly working while RVing. To check out their Podcast click HERE.
You can even listen to our episode of how we started our RV Social Media Marketing business by clicking HERE.
Pinterest = Craft Fair
Pinterest is a great platform to share and get creative ideas. It’s very visual and is often used to either inspire or to share project ideas. Corinth RV has a clean Pinterest account that is a good mix of inspiring and creative project ideas around RVing. To check it out click HERE.
Twitter = News & Gossip
Twitter is all about real time news and gossip updates. This is not an effective marketing channel for Dealerships and a waste of resources. It’s also really struggling to stay relevant as other social media channels are quickly replacing it.
Linkedin = Resource & Business Card
Linkedin is essentially an online business card and a place to connect with other business professionals and doesn’t have relevance for Dealerships.
Where Do We Start
Now that we have a basic understanding of how Social Media works and has replaced traditional marketing channels, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to make it work for your Dealership. The 3 biggest challenges an RV Dealership has when approaching Social Media are:
- If they do it in house, it’s expensive and tough to have an expert who will increase your bottom line.
- If they outsource to a Social Media company, that company isn’t going to understand our industry and can’t connect with your prospect/customer.
- Either way if they do it in house or outsource to a marketing agency, they don’t have content that consumers want to consume. So they’re stuck either using bland ineffective content that they found online, or they turn off the consumer by posting too many advertisement style posts.
Why People are on Social Media
I want to briefly touch on my last point because I think it’s extremely important to understand. Going back to today’s consumer and how they want to control what they consume, when they want to consume it. People ARE NOT logging onto Social Media because they want to see a post or an advertisement of your latest RV for sale. People are on Social Media for ONLY 1 of 2 reasons:
- They want to be entertained
- They want to be educated
Here’s the biggest strategy tip for an RV Dealership on Social Media Marketing, pay attention:
If you give people what they want to consume 80% of the time, they don’t mind being advertised to 20% of the time!
That’s where the magic is. When you entertain and educate people around RVing and camping, they see you as a local trusted resource and want to interact with your brand. Then, when they least expect it, you get to present an advertisement to them and they won’t be turned off and unfollow you. In fact, they will happily consume it.
Being Full Time RVers AND Social Media experts, we’re the best of both worlds to get REAL RESULTS for your dealership. We have the expertise, proven strategies, and content that Dealerships need.
Dealerships are often surprised at how affordable our services are compared to our competition. Most important is that they’re also blown away with the results compared to traditional marketing channels.
We have preset packages but also realize that one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why we have custom packages available from Ma & Pop Dealerships all the way up to some of the largest in the country. Message or call us today for a FREE consultation.
RV Case Study on the buying process.
HERE are some of the top ways RV Dealerships hurt their sales on Facebook Marketing.
HERE is a link to our packages and at the bottom you’ll find a variety of videos that explain different aspects of Social Media Marketing in the RV Industry.