Whether you are categorized as a large or small dealership, a price of free always sounds good. It looks even better when you can take that price and apply it to marketing tools. Advertising your business can be expensive. From paying for Facebook ads to utilizing a graphic designer for dealership literature or web pages, these costs can add up fast. Well, today we are going to highlight marketing resources that are not only free but are also easy to use. Even if you do not have a marketing expert on your team, anyone can look like a marketing rockstar with these tools.
Social Media Content Calendar
Social media content calendars are essential to having a strategic and organized approach to social media. While they are helpful, they can be a little challenging to create as they encompass many elements. It can also take a while for marketing associates to develop an organize them. Well, what if you could cut time and money entirely by getting an already-made content calendar? Hubspot, an inbound marketing program, created a comprehensive social media calendar that is color-coded by potential campaigns, separated by day and social media platform.
Customer Relationship Management System
CRM is the bread and butter of generating leads. A good CRM system will help you stay up-to-date with customer information, and craft ways to reach out to them directly depending on their purchasing history. While an Excel spreadsheet is nice (and free), as you grow, this is not going to cut it. You need a system that can do the sorting for you. Here are two options to take a look at. The first is the Marketing 360 Auto CRM. While the total marketing package does come at a charge, they say their CRM is free forever. Another option is Hubspot’s free CRM system. Both likely accomplish the same thing, but Marketing 360’s is more tailored to auto dealers.
Do you need a snazzy flyer, brochure, slideshow, or social media and email banner? Instead of hiring an expensive graphic designer, you or someone else can take on this duty for free. Canva is an excellent and free graphic design program. There is no downloading needed as everything is stored online. What makes Canva so easy to use is the number of templates you have to work with, so you never feel like you are starting from scratch. Also, the program helps you to line up text, icons, and photos effortlessly with its built-in ruler. You can create professional looking material in moments. Canva does have images and templates you can pay for, but most options available are free.
Social Media Scheduling
Everyone knows how powerful social media is in making yourself visible to customers. Facebook has even made it easier to reach whom you need through their ads process. This is great, but what if you do not have the staff available to post during the day or monitor how well posts are doing? This is where programs like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and Buffer come into play. They allow users to schedule social media posts across most platforms for free. These free tools also record basic analytics so users can see which posts are catching on with followers. You can schedule posts for the next week on these tools, which is fantastic for those pressed for time. Again, someone should be monitoring social media at least once a day to catch any questions or dialogue from customers, but these tools are perfect for those who do not have the time.
You have to stay in touch with your customers, but you are probably dreading the cost of having an email tool to create templates and newsletters. Well, if your email list is 2,000 and under you can use MailChimp for free. MailChimp allows you to create email templates, send bulk messages to contact lists, segment contacts, and generate email automation. Even if you do need to shell out some money for a more extensive list, the costs start at $30 a month. It is crucial to stay in touch with your customers, so be sure to look into an email client that allows you to send bulk emails.
Having a robust marketing strategy does not have to break the bank. If you have a small staff, and low amounts of time and money, these options are excellent for you to get started. As you grow, you may have to start looking at paid options, but even then, do your research as you may find an affordable option that is less popular but effective for your business. You don’t always have to spend money to make money, so take advantage of these tools as much as possible.
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