Consumers are spending more time on the Internet than ever before. In fact, 95% of car buyers use digital sources to get their information according to Google. As consumers shift towards online research and buying, they will expect to be accommodated through those digital channels. As a dealership, you need to adapt to the marketing landscape and follow the channel that consumers are moving towards. That’s where digital marketing comes in.
#1 Digital marketing is more profitable than traditional marketing
On average, digital marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing because a lot of the tactics are simple things you can do online. When you consider traditional marketing that involves radio, TV ads, billboards, etc. this typically yields an average total profit of $1,702 per vehicle. Whereas digital marketing on average brings in $2,514 per sale according to research done by DealerSocket. Additionally, traditional marketing can cost about 10 times more than digital. Studies show that selling one car through digital marketing costs about $150 while traditional marketing takes about $1,581 on average. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small independent dealership or a large franchise, focusing on digital marketing at this point in time just makes more financial sense.
#2 Buyers research online now more than ever
Google has found that 92% of car buyers conduct research online before purchasing a vehicle. This means that the person walking into your dealership to purchase a vehicle likely saw your dealership online. However, that also means that the consumers walking onto your competitor’s lot saw more of their dealership than yours when researching. Gone are the days of looking through the classifieds or walking around dealership lots for hours looking for the right car. Consumers know that the Internet has pretty much all of the information they could possibly need and they don’t even have to leave the comfort of their home. When stepping foot on your lot, 83% of car buyers have already spent three months at home doing research on their vehicle and know exactly which vehicle they intend to purchase. That’s three months of not only deciding which car to buy but also which dealership to go to. This means if your dealership’s online advertisements aren’t the ones the buyer is seeing every time they’re researching, they probably won’t come to your lot.
#3 Facebook makes it easy
You can set up advertising campaigns directly on Facebook. You can decide between traditional pay-per-click ads, automotive inventory ads, Marketplace advertising or just advertising directly on user news feeds. Facebook makes advertising simple with its auction system and caps on spending. Even if you don’t want to spend money on advertising, you can still focus on simply actively posting on your Facebook page. The more you post, the more likely it is that your audience will engage with your content. You should also consider posting content that shows off your lot or your staff. When you create authentic content that makes your audience feel connected to your brand, they will gravitate towards you more than your competitors. And, if you do give a little bit of an introduction of your staff for your audience to see before even stepping onto your lot, they’ll know exactly who they want to talk to and will feel more comfortable doing so.
#4 Video content will be your best friend
YouTube is a great place to find information about vehicles because you can see exactly what the car looks like up close, which is why consumers are gravitating more towards the video platform. Over the last two years, “test drive” video watch times have increased over 65% in the last two years. According to Google, more than 60% of automotive consumers visited a dealership website after watching a video of a car they were considering buying. If you’re simply creating video content for your Instagram or Facebook, it’s best to keep them on the shorter side. When videos are between 30 seconds to a minute, they are shared 18% more than videos that go over one minute. If you’re creating a YouTube video, it all depends on the amount of content you are trying to share with your audience. We recommend keeping the video under ten minutes so it doesn’t feel like you’re dragging out your content. Feel free to explore the kind of content you want to create. A lot of people are looking for test drives and vehicle “tours” so start with that and then get creative and have some fun with it!
#5 You can customize your SEO to fit your needs
Your search engine optimization strategy doesn’t need to be super intricate and you can tailor it to achieve the specific goals you’re striving for. You can decide whether you want to maximize clicks to your website, nurture more leads, or keep previous customers coming back. For a well-rounded strategy, you want to focus on six key components. Focus on a nicely designed website, keyword optimization, pay-per-click campaigns, link building, online reputation management, and quality content. All of these things can be done in-house but if you don’t feel cut out for it, we’ve got you covered.
Digital marketing is incredibly easy to keep up with once you have a good strategy laid out. Since you’re already on our website, take a look at the websites we’ve created for other dealerships or learn more about our Facebook and Google Ads. We have experts in the automotive field just waiting to create the perfect plan for your dealership. If you have any questions, send us a message or give us a call at 515-232-2024.