How To Inspire Customers To Post Photos of Your Equipment & Promote Your Dealership
Why would you need more photos of the equipment your dealership sells? You already get plenty of beauty shots from the OEMs that you can use on your website, to accompany blog articles, display in your showroom, etc. They look great – professionally shot, perfectly lit, not a speck of mud or a scuff to be seen. But did you know that you can use photos to promote your dealership as well as your equipment? The key is your customers.
Pretty as that brand new equipment may be, customers are more interested in what it can do for them on the job. Is it rugged enough to withstand conditions that are far from “showroom,” day in and day out? Can it persevere with minimal downtime for service and other maintenance? How versatile is it? And what about total cost of ownership that will determine their ultimate return on investment?
You can use photos to visually answer each of these key customer questions. Not those OEM pictures, but photos taken by customers themselves. There they are, proudly sitting in the cab of that brand new loader. There they are again, digging and scooping, reaching and loading. Doing the work – in the snow and mud, if that’s what it takes. Turns out that machine looks as good in real life as it did in the advertising pose.
And there’s your customer again, standing next to the machine that won your dealership’s contest for Most Hours on the Job without a Breakdown.
Hey, wait. That contest sounds like a great idea to promote your dealership, doesn’t it? To be effective, today’s marketing has to be customer-centric – featuring content that is focused on what prospects and existing customers want, when and how they want to receive it. So it stands to reason that the most engaging marketing content of all is the material that comes from customers themselves. Study after study bears this out.
Ask and you will receive
If you ask people to submit pictures – or short videos – you can bet they will. It’s like asking to see photos of their new baby. Or their pets. Prospects considering a particular piece (or type) of construction equipment want to know what it can really do. Customers who already own that equipment love to show off their projects. It’s a perfect match. And every time you use or share a customer’s photo, you’re helping promote their construction business as well as your dealership. (Be sure to always credit their business.)
You may be surprised at the response you get. Once customers see you using other people’s visuals, they will be inspired to get in on the action, too.
Contests are a fun way to gather photos or videos. Think biggest, most, best or worst — dirtiest equipment, worst job site or weather, most pavers rolling at once, tightest urban squeeze, etc. You can offer small prizes – logoed dealership merchandise, for instance. Or you might want to offer something substantial – a new attachment, for example, if your marketing goal is to introduce that new product to customers.
People can upload photos to you via Facebook, or Instagram. Or you can create a group-access board (or several) on your Pinterest site. Email works, too. Each channel gives you a fresh opportunity to create targeted promotions for those users, or a segment of them. Encourage photo posting by displaying social sharing buttons with a “post your pix here” note.
Create and use hashtags
Using a hashtag for each campaign gives people an easy way to associate their photos with the right campaign. Hashtags facilitate finding, following and sharing your campaigns, too. Keep them simple, though, so they are easy to use and easy to remember, such as #WinABucket, or #YourDealership. Notice your name in that second one – branding is essential here.
The more ways you inspire customers to post photos of your equipment, the more ways you can engage with them, and the more great material you have to attract and engage with prospects.