As the RV Industry feels the crunch of the slowing economy, everyone with a company related to this industry feels the pinch as well and are looking for other less expensive, cost effective ways to get advertising for their company and products or services. Even though sales are slow, you still have to keep your company name out there where RVers will see it and remember to contact you when they are ready to buy.
When I started working for RVUSA.com almost 10 years ago I had no idea how much it cost to advertise in a magazine, paper, radio or TV. Well I had an idea that TV ads had to cost an arm and a leg. I started contacting RV magazines to see about advertising RVUSA.com in them. The first advertising kit I received my jaw dropped to the floor – $3,000+ for a 1-page color ad in one issue of a magazine??? Are you kidding me? I thought maybe it was just that particular magazine so I contacted a few others and asked them to send me their pricing. What a learning experience. Then I found out that our local paper charges us $600+ to run a Help Wanted ad for a weekend, nothing fancy, just a few lines of text. I was floored.
Think about it. Most individuals who buy a magazine will read the articles that attracted them to buy it in the first place, which won’t be about you, look at the pictures and that’s it. It eventually ends up filed, in the trash.
Newspapers are not any better. According to the Newspaper Association of America, in 1964, over 80% of adults read their local newspaper at least once a week. By 2007, that number had dropped to about 48% of adults.
As the internet grows, so does the amount of online shoppers. I found an article that indicated as much as 86% of consumers in 2007 enjoyed shopping online daily with 70% of those consumers going to a familiar website to shop or by going to a search engine and typing in keywords. There are several reasons why consumers like to shop / buy online:
- To comparison shop – finding the right RV with the features and options they want and then they can email to negotiate the price in their PJ’s if they want… that’s priceless.
- It costs less – they don’t have to drive around wasting gas stopping at dealership after dealership, dealing with pushy salespeople, out in the elements… gives them more money to spend on their RV.
- It saves time – most people have 2-4 RV dealers close to their house, that if they hurried through each lot, they may be able to see some of what each of them have in a day, but not really. Just imagine how many dealers they can visit from home on their PC… now that’s powerful!!
On RVUSA.com, the entire year of advertising costs about the same as a 1-page color ad in a magazine for 1-month. Plus, you can list your entire inventory with unlimited pictures, even video clips on RVUSA.com. You can’t do that in a magazine.
There are a few things you should look for when you’re ready to advertise online:
- Advertise on websites that specialize in your industry.
- Look for websites that don’t lock you into a contract.
- Do a search on Google and/or Yahoo and see how the website listings come up. Are they in there frequently? Are the companies that already advertise on them come up in searches?
- Contact some of the companies listed on their website and get their feedback on the customer service provided, how quick they are to respond to their needs and the results they get.
- Ask for traffic stats. You want to see the number of visitors they’ve had each month for the past 12 months (not hits), how long the website has been online, average stats for some of the other advertisers on their site and average user session time per month.
- When you call them are you greeted by a “live” person or do you have to deal with a computerized phone tree? I don’t know about you but when I need to speak to someone about my account I don’t want to be forced to figure out how to get to past the computer to do so. If it’s during business hours there’s no excuse or reason for a computer to answer the phone.
More to come.