The Buyer’s Journey should be a key focus for marketing any business, including your RV dealership. At its heart, the Buyer’s Journey is the sales funnel from your buyer’s perspective. Understanding how buyers process their purchase decisions and how you can support them as they shop is important. So, what are those steps, and what’s the best way to engage them along the way? In part one of a three-part series on the buying journey, RVT shares some tips for engaging buyers in the research phase.
The Steps in the Buyer’s Journey
- Awareness/Interest – Interest in RVing
- Research/Consideration – Examine the lifestyle, makes, models, dealerships, finance options, vehicle reviews etc.
- Decision/Purchase – Made decision on what and where to buy
- Post Sale – After sales support, products, services
- Advocacy – Testimonials & Word of Mouth
Many experts agree that over 60% of buyers already have some idea of what they’re looking for before they ever connect with a sales rep. Why? Because much of their research is done online using social media, Youtube, and sites like RVT and RVInsider.com. Your dealership should be building digital connections before buyers enter your lot.
How Do You Engage Buyers During the Research Phase?
During the research phase, buyers are looking for information without the sales pitch. Typically, they are exploring RV types, brands, features etc., and examining the RV lifestyle. At this stage, you want to build brand awareness without being pushy. What are some ways you can do that?
When buyers start researching the RV lifestyle, prior RV/camping experience or a desire to experience the great outdoors often fuels their interest. Perhaps they have fond memories of camping with their parents or grandparents. Or maybe they love the idea of traveling cross-country or boondocking deep in the backcountry. Connecting with buyers on a casual level can help build connections without making buyers feel pressure to buy.
- Blog Posts: Consider creating blog posts that share the joys of camping, best practices for traveling, or what buyers should look for in an RV. Make sure your posts have strong SEO-optimized content so buyers can easily find your articles when they search. Share your posts on all your social media channels as well. A helpful online presence can help make your dealership a trusted and familiar source of information.
- Videos: Utilize short-form video on your website or Youtube channel. Share valuable tips and tricks that potential buyers can use—for instance, how to set up a campsite or hook up their towable, hacks to expand storage space, or share the best way to empty the gray and blackwater tanks. Video can be especially beneficial for first-time RVers and may help establish your dealership as an expert authority. Want to express a quick tip? Facebook and Instagram reels and Tik Tok videos are another venue for very short videos.
- Social media: Most buyers will use social media as a resource at some point during the research phase. Whether you’re sharing links to blog posts or offering quick tips and ideas, social media posts are a simple way to share information and build familiarity. Social media is also a great place to display some of the inventory you have in stock. Don’t limit yourself to words. Use images and video to make your posts stand out.
Show Buyers Who You Are
Your website is a great way to showcase your dealership. Here, you have the space to highlight all the best attributes of your business and your inventory.
In your About Us section, take the time to let people know how your company started and what the benefits are to finding their dream RV with you vs the dealership down the street. Be honest and helpful. People want to work with people they feel are trustworthy and genuinely interested in their needs. Testimonials on your website, social media, and through sources like Google reviews and TrustPilot are helpful for establishing credibility and trust.
Consider interviewing past customers about their experience with your dealership, or interview them about RVing in general, and add those testimonials to your website for shoppers to review during the research/consideration phase.
Familiarity Breeds Trust
The more familiarity buyers have with your brand, the more likely they are to think of you when they are choosing a dealership. RVT is a trusted resource for shoppers during the research process. They can search and compare a variety of RV types, styles, and brands without ever having to enter a dealership.
Having your inventory listed on RVT means that buyers can find your units easily when using RVT’s search functions to search for particular RVs. RVT’s retargeting and display ads can also help raise your dealership’s recognition factor. Buyers can be targeted multiple ways, including geographically, by RV type, or even RV Brand. Retargeting ads have the added benefit of being able to follow buyers into their social media feeds or across the Google network.
Providing relevant resources and having a solid online presence helps keep you top of mind as buyers enter the decision stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
Next month, RVT will examine how to engage buyers when they are actively making a purchase decision.
In September, we’ll look at post-sale connections.