If you don’t want your car dealership to go under, a feat that is especially challenging in those difficult times, you need to find efficient ways to attract customers to your business. The importance of investing in car dealership marketing strategies will largely depend on the strength of your competitors and the prestige of your company. If there aren’t many dealerships nearby that could steal some of your clients, then your marketing spendings won’t have to be particularly high.
On the other hand, if there are plenty of other dealerships in your area, and it’s been only several months that you’ve been in the business, then you might need to dedicate more resources to boost your brand recognition. Still, even if your situation is fairly comfortable, and you don’t face trouble finding new leads, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better way to advertise your car dealership. In a moment, we’ll share our car dealership marketing ideas that will help you cut back the expenses while maximizing profits.
How Do Dealerships Attract More Customers?
If you are running a car dealership, then it won’t come off as a surprise that the quality of your services has an extraordinary impact on the reputation of your company. This, in turn, affects the likelihood of the car buyers coming back to your dealership later on. However, word of mouth probably won’t be enough to provide a stream of potential customers to your business.
As you’ll find out in a moment, there are multiple ways to gain leads for your car dealership, and most of them will rely on the internet. Why? In 2021, customers make purchase decisions after spending more time reading about the products they intend to buy than was the case in the past.
It applies even to smaller purchases, though if we are talking about more costly investments – like buying a car, then the curiosity of the customers will be sated only after more thorough perusals. It so happens that the internet is an excellent source of information. Car buyers will first check the internet looking for technical details, with some of them prioritizing the design of the vehicle, whereas for others fuel economy or safety systems will bear more importance.
They might also want to read what other people have to say about their decision to buy a particular vehicle. Relying on the manufacturers’ claims is not something with which most car buyers are fully content. They also want to hear real stories that might not be as perfect as those that can be found on the carmakers’ websites.
As the internet is the first place that your potential customers are going to check when they want to buy a car, basing the advertising efforts of your car dealership on a digital marketing strategy would be a wise idea.
Yelp, Google Maps & Others
As we have just mentioned, people interested in buying a new car will start their search online, checking the specs of various vehicles, and reading reviews of people who bought them. However, they will be just as likely to get to know what others think about car dealerships. Have they encountered any issues, were their employees helpful or quite the contrary, rude and impolite?
Thanks to the internet, finding another dealership with customer service of better quality, or perhaps more competent employees would take less than a minute. Because of that, it is no wonder that companies, especially those in competitive markets, are so hell-bent on ensuring that their customers post proof online that their services are just excellent.
Given the weight that the online reviews carry, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to encourage people who have visited your car dealership to voice their opinions on the internet. It could be done either in the form of Google Maps reviews, or perhaps on websites such as Yelp or Facebook. However, that’s not by any means all.
Even if you strive for excellence, some of your customers are bound to end up being dissatisfied with your services, or at least have some complaints. Ignoring the negative reviews would be the worst course of action possible. You should reply to them in a polite tone, and try to resolve the issues that the customers might have encountered.
Unfortunately, some of such reviews might include rather rude comments, though getting emotional would be unprofessional. This way, new clients will see that you care about user satisfaction, instead of simply disappearing after you had received the money for a car.
Social Media – an Essential Part of Automotive Marketing Strategy
It doesn’t matter if you intend to spend a large sum on car dealership marketing, or rather just a little – social media accounts are a must. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest present an excellent opportunity for car dealerships to be in regular contact with their customers, inform them about discounts, share with them interesting news from the automotive industry, or just answer their questions.
Setting up an account of your car dealership doesn’t cost anything, though you might want to spend some time drafting the posts or preparing the photos to ensure their quality. You’ll be able to increase your brand’s recognition among the potential customers, and given the fact that in the third quarter of 2020, Facebook had around 1.82 billion daily active users, it’s the effort that’s absolutely worth it.
However, using just a single social media platform would be a waste of potential. Ideally, your car dealership would post content on both Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s not only about the length of the posts, but also their style and format. If we add to that the fact that different demographics are more active on different social media platforms, and the posts should be specifically tailored to a specific platform, it won’t come off as a surprise that managing all of those accounts and responding to the users will be pretty time-consuming. That’s why you might consider hiring an expert to do that job for you so that you would be able to focus on other key activities.
Boost Your Online Presence With SEO
As you see, there are plenty of ways to attract more clients to your car dealership, and now we’ll focus on SEO. When you use Google search, you are presented with a list of websites that are most relevant to your query. However, some of them will be higher, whereas to access others, you’ll have to go to page 2 of search results. Still, they might not be there, as most of the queries have results counted in millions.
Reaching top spots for keywords that are relevant to car dealerships would allow your website to gain a lot of organic visits. As you probably imagine, since doing so would be extremely profitable, it’s not an easy task. However, although there is a high chance that a significant portion of other car dealerships in your area is paying some attention to SEO, those efforts might not be particularly effective. That’s because SEO became a big thing relatively recently, and there are a lot of misconceptions floating around about this subject.
Now, you could either consider hiring a person to do that for you – and there is a high chance that such an individual would also be familiar with managing social media accounts, or you could start learning more about SEO on your own. You could spend some money on paid courses, or just read some guides on websites such as Moz or Search Engine Journal. We must also add that SEO is not the best option if you want to attract a large number of clients quickly – in this case, our next idea will be more helpful.
Use Paid Ads To Promote Your Car Dealership
Although your marketing strategy would be flawed if you skipped SEO altogether, your efforts won’t allow you to reap the efforts quickly. If you follow good practices, your website will gradually climb to higher positions, but it will require time. On the other hand, if you want to see the results without having to wait a long time, then buying Facebook Ads or Google Ads will be much more helpful. Both of these allow you to target certain demographics with a specific range of interests, as proved by their browsing history.
If you go with Google Ads, your website will show up in the top position for the queries that you choose, without having to worry about SEO. However, you’ll have to pay a hefty sum of money for the ads of your car dealership if you want this situation to continue. That’s one of the disadvantages of choosing this route instead of investing more in SEO. Still, since the latter takes time to start bringing large numbers of visitors to your website, it would be a decent idea to start with both and then gradually put more focus on SEO.
Partner up With Other Businesses To Attract Customers
Another way to gain more leads is by partnering up with other companies. Although you aren’t likely to do that with your competitors, your car dealership could benefit from cooperation with a ride-sharing company or a car service center by encouraging customers to try the services of products of the other one. You could rent your cars to drivers working for Uber or Lyft so that you would earn additional money. That’s not all – with time, some of the drivers could buy cars from your dealership, further increasing your profits. If any of these ideas seem interesting, then don’t hesitate to contact us and learn more about our services.
Attracting customers to choose your car dealership over your competitors is not an easy task. It’s not enough to provide excellent services – the reviews on various sites should attest to that. Although it will be impossible to ensure that all of them are positive, as some of your customers might have a worse day, and there are also trolls, it is important to not turn a blind eye on them.
However, online reviews should only be a part of automotive marketing strategies. It is essential to use social media to promote your car dealership, especially since the largest platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, have users counted in hundreds of millions or billions. It means that you should put some effort into running accounts on several such platforms, perhaps even hiring someone who would do that for you, as it can be pretty time-consuming.
We shouldn’t also forget about other ways to boost traffic on your website, such as search engine optimization, or paid ads. We hope that with the marketing ideas mentioned in this article, you’ll be able to gain more leads and help your business grow.