If you’ve been following the trends lately, you might have noticed that the importance of online marketing strategies, especially those that make use of social media platforms has been on the rise. It applies to virtually all sectors and all types of services, and the automotive industry is not an outlier.
The process of attracting potential customers to your business is not the same as it had been a few decades ago. The traditional automotive marketing strategies, e.g., the ones involving flyers, ads on local radio stations, can still be helpful to gain leads, but a large share of people interested in buying a car will check the internet first.
Because of that, your online presence, the reviews of your customers, and the quality of your website will have a tremendous impact on your ability to sell vehicles. In a moment, we’ll share our list of automotive marketing strategies that will help your dealership climb new heights and ensure that it stays competitive, even in such difficult times like these.
The Importance of Online Reviews for Your Automotive Marketing
In 2021, we can order a variety of products from the web; however, even in the case of purchases done in a traditional way, customers are likely to check the reviews first before they make a decision. It applies even to buying products such as vacuums or mixers that aren’t a significant investment. However, if we are talking about customers interested in new cars – well, they are going to be plenty more careful.
That’s because buying a car that, in the worst-case scenario, comes with a wide array of manufacturing defects, or in a slightly better case – just doesn’t feel right will lead to more serious regrets than in the case of less expensive purchase decisions. As a result, online reviews about cars, though also about dealerships, will have a significant impact on the final decision.
Okay, but how could actions on the dealer’s part influence the image that the online reviews paint of your brand? The most effective, though not necessarily the hardest-to-achieve element, is the exceptional customer service. The product matters, but if you want to make your clients remember your dealership, then the easiest way to achieve that is by showing a humane face of your business and treating potential customers as humans without being too aggressive or pressing.
However, it is just as, if not more important, to deal with the negative reviews. Try as you might, you won’t be able to prevent at least some negative reviews appearing on the internet. Though some of them might be rather emotional in nature, you should remain calm and polite while also trying to address the issues. Any potential customers who come across those reviews will see the professionalism of your car dealership.
SEO – an Essential Part of Your Automotive Marketing Strategy
If you want to sell more cars, you need to put effort into search engine optimization. The quality of your services needs to be great, but even if it’s virtually unmatched in your area, your customers still need to hear about your business first. Now, there are plenty of ways to do that, though given the fact that there are 4.66 billion active internet users, making your dealership more visible on the web seems like a good starting point.
This way, when the customer type queries related to the services of your company, your dealership will show up in top spots. Even if competing for keywords with the highest volume might be too expensive, you can always try targeting those that aren’t as sought after.
Don’t Forget To Use Paid Ads in Your Automotive Strategy
In the third decade of the 21st century, running a business without focusing on SEO would be a huge mistake. Unfortunately, for search engine optimization to start having the desired effect in the form of valuable leads, you’ll need to be patient.
That’s why you shouldn’t also completely ignore the use of paid ads when creating your digital marketing campaigns. This method might actually be a better choice if you are looking to attract car buyers quickly to your website, though it won’t be cheap. Still, you’ll be able to inform a larger audience about your services in a shorter amount of time. We recommend focusing both on SEO and paid ads at first, and with time, reducing the funds spent on the latter.
Consider Your Audience
When trying to convince customers to buy cars from your dealership instead of your competitors, you need to know their needs and expectations. In this case, one size does not fit all – some car buyers will prioritize the specs of the car, whereas others will be looking for a vehicle that will be a sign of their status. Sure, you need to provide some facts about those cars, but it’s the story that speaks to our imagination and ultimately sells a car.
Include Enticing Offers in Your Automotive Marketing Strategy
If you want to sell more cars, you might need to find a way to increase the value of the product. Sure, you are not a manufacturer of cars, but perhaps, apart from the car, you could also offer your customers additional products or services to go with it? Think of things like 10% off repairs for half a year, or maybe a jack stand to make regular maintenance easier. It doesn’t have to be anything costly, but just enough to make the offer more attractive.
Reach Out to Customers for Feedback to Improve Your Automotive Marketing Efforts
We have already mentioned that online reviews might be a valuable part of your automotive marketing strategy. However, it won’t be enough. If you want to make sure that you are not wasting any potential, you should consider reaching out to the customers and collecting their feedback. Is your website hard to navigate, is the buying process complicated, or perhaps the offer is a bit too limited?
Even if customers are coming to your dealership in droves, it doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvement. More feedback is never a bad thing. Although you’ll need to dedicate some of the resources to the analysis of the customers’ comments and the potential implementation of the changes, it will be worth it.
Your Website Needs to Be Fast…
The internet allows us to accomplish a lot in a short period of time, as we can access several websites and find useful information in a matter of seconds. It also means that people who will visit your website won’t be particularly patient. If you don’t want them to leave too soon, you need to make sure that it loads up quickly.
… And Mobile-Friendly
However, apart from being quick to load, the website of your dealership also needs to be mobile-friendly. In late 2020, mobile web visits comprised of around 44% of all web traffic. However, this figure is increasing each year. It means that if mobile users experience problems while visiting your site, you’ll lose a significant portion of your clients.
Use Influencers as a Part of the Automotive Marketing Strategy
We have already touched upon several methods to make your brand more recognizable among internet users. However, we should mention another one – influencer marketing. Suppose you are used to advertising your brand with traditional methods. In that case, even the use of social media might seem like a novelty and not a serious addition to your automotive marketing arsenal.
However, we must remember that the times have changed, and now influencers often have followers counted in millions, which means that with their help, you’ll be able to convey your message to a relatively large audience. Conduct research first to learn about the demographics that are most likely to buy your products, and on this basis, choose the most relevant influencer.
Social Media Can Boost Your Automotive Marketing Efficiency
Facebook Ads and Google Ads should definitely be a part of your automotive marketing strategy. However, even without paying a dime, you’ll be able to use the largest social media platforms to make your brand more recognizable among car buyers. It doesn’t cost anything to set up an account on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and it’s a great way to keep your customers informed about the latest developments, offers, or news from the automotive industry.
Enter an Auto Buying Program
Another increasingly common automotive marketing strategy involves making a profit thanks to the growth of the ridesharing industry. How? If you enter our program, we’ll connect you with the drivers who are eager to rent cars from your dealership. This way, you’ll be making money thanks to your fleet, of which a significant portion would otherwise gather dust. It doesn’t have to be this way!
With time, drivers will be able to earn funds toward a downpayment, which means that apart from creating a source of income, some of the drivers might end up buying cars from your dealership! If you want to learn more, click here.
Gaining the upper hand over your competition won’t be easy, but that’s probably not a surprise if you’ve been in the auto industry for quite some time. Running a successful dealership takes quite a skill, and even if you are offering excellent services, you need to make sure that potential customers have actually heard about your business.
That’s why we have prepared a list of automotive marketing strategies that will help you convey your message to a larger group of car buyers. Some of these automotive marketing methods involve using social media, whereas others are focused on making the experience of visitors on your website as smooth as possible. We hope that with this new knowledge you’ll be able to boost your leads and thrive in these uncertain times.