Many dealers are missing out on important tactics for utilizing their marketing spend effectively. HubSpot recently shared a video comparing earned and paid media and how to best combine the two for a profitable outcome.

Earned media is content created by you that can be shared to bring people back to your brand, such as blog posts and videos. Paid media is spending your dollars on using someone else’s media to bring in customers, like banner ads, Google AdWords, or Groupon deals.

In the video available on HubSpot, David Meerman Scott explains that combining earned and paid media is far better than the worst mistake of focusing on paid media alone. For example, press releases are a great way for earned and paid media to work together, using sites like PRWeb that charge to promote your content but it is still your content.

Since earned media should be the main focus, it stands to reason why social media has become so important, because that type of content is often free and easy to utilize.

Ralph Paglia of Automotive Digital Marketing shared an article about the apathetic view many dealers have about social media marketing. Most dealers admit that they do not consider social media a must within their marketing plan, despite saying that word-of-mouth is one of their most important marketing tools, and social media is really just another method of that same idea. Reputation management is also a fundamental reason to pay attention to social and other forms of earned media.

“While offline forms of word-of-mouth remain critical for all automotive franchise brands, and certainly for small or locally based independent car dealers and businesses of all kinds, social media also plays a valuable role by giving customers a wider voice for their dealership experience reviews, product and dealer recommendations and helping to amplify that voice beyond their immediate circle of friends, family and colleagues.”

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The best way to leverage your paid media is to see where you can incorporate earned media into those dollars spent. Use services like PRWeb to spread important news about your brand with press releases. Maintain your usual advertizing and paid media practices. But also make sure you are a part of the conversation happening online, because ignoring this new word of mouth may cost you more of those paid media dollars than you might anticipate.