A successful marketing plan is important and can have a big effect on your success. Creating a marketing strategy for your car dealership, however, can be a tricky thing to do. The automotive industry is competitive, and trends are constantly changing.
It is important to remember that the buying process for vehicles is a much longer and more in-depth process than most purchases because vehicles are so expensive. A “Think with Google” article showed one car buying journey which included 139 google searches, 14 YouTube videos, 89 images, and 69 dealer interactions over the course of three months.
To help you increase your visibility, gain new customers, and generate more sales, we have included five strategies for successful automotive marketing. Read more to learn what you should be incorporating in your marketing strategy.
1. Optimize your SEO efforts.
Increasing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will increase traffic to your dealership website and gain potential new customers. Today’s market and especially car buyers start their search online. You need to make sure your dealership is on the first page of results on Google. Selecting keywords carefully that have a high search volume but low competition is one way to do this.
Another way to increase your SEO rankings is to list online citations to multiple directories. Doing this will increase your chances of being found when consumers search for car dealerships in their area. For more tips on how to get the most from local citations, click here.
You can also start a blog for your website or add new pages that provide useful information for customers. Including content that is helpful to car owners will drive traffic to your website, which can increase the number of online leads you receive. Some topics to get you started can include:
- Pros and cons of purchasing a used car
- How to change your tires
- Sales tactics not to fall for
2. Develop a great website.
Most of today’s customers will visit your website before making an interaction with your dealership. Your website may be the first impression your lead gets of your business. Having a clean, professional, and responsive website that showcases your inventory is vital to effectively market your car dealership.
It is vital to have a website that is responsive. Consumers use an average of up to five different devices per person. Almost 40% of people will stop using a website if the layout is unattractive or unresponsive, according to Adobe. Google offers a mobile responsive test, so you can check if a visitor is able to view and use your website easily on a mobile device.
Some good features to include are an online chat, a showcase of your inventory, and high-quality images. Be sure to update your site regularly with pictures to show customers and search engines that you’re an active business. This will also help drive more organic traffic to your website.
AutoJini creates custom, responsive, and mobile-friendly websites tailored for car dealerships. To learn more about our dealer websites, click here.
3. Create YouTube videos.
Have you ever searched for a video about a product that you were considering purchasing? Your customers do too. Before coming to visit your lot, customers may be likely to search for videos about your dealership or their vehicle of interest. YouTube is one of the most influential tools for vehicle shoppers. The number of views for videos that show test drives, features, and walk-throughs have doubled in the past year, according to Think with Google. Users tend to watch videos on mobile devices more than computers, so be sure that your videos are mobile-friendly.
A dealership walk-around video is a great idea to get started. A short video under 5 minutes is all you need to engage your current and potential customers. You don’t need to purchase fancy equipment because most of today’s smartphones can record video in 1080p or 4K. Just be sure to have good lighting, record with clear sound, and shoot the video in landscape mode.
4. Start an email marketing campaign.
According to an infographic by Mailigen, 89% of marketers said that email was their primary channel for lead generation. Email is the preferred method of communication by most professionals and consumers. It is also easier and more cost-effective because you don’t have to pay for printing or postage fees.
People are more likely to open emails that are personalized or include discounts. A good strategy is to use subject lines that have the customer’s name or an offer in it. Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile devices too.
Email marketing has great benefits such as the ability to track your engagement and being able to segment your contacts for more customized messages. If you don’t already have an email marketing campaign, now is a great time to start one. You can also improve your social media reach by including links to your social media pages, which brings us to the next point.
5. Make the most out of your social media pages.
Social media is a major influencer when it comes to the purchase decisions of millennials. An active feed can notify followers of new stock, which is an incentive to visit, and it will help your dealership appear busy and active. It is also a good way to form relationships with current and potential customers.
Facebook, which is often the first choice of any business looking to use social media, is a great place to start. It has the most adult users who are often in the targeted age range of car dealers. Make sure to post a variety of content including videos, useful articles, testimonials, and more.
Twitter, which is made up of short posts under 280 characters, is the perfect place to advertise current offers and update followers on new inventory. Be sure to include engaging images to help draw more attention to your posts.
Instagram is a social media platform that not many auto dealerships are taking advantage of. Being one of the only car dealers in your area that is actively engaged on Instagram will help you beat your competition and stand out from the crowd.
For more social media tips for dealers, here is a guide to help you get started.
Coming up with a marketing strategy for your auto dealership takes a lot of time and research. However, incorporating ideas from these five strategies will help you get on the right track to a successful automotive marketing plan.
Interested in learning more? AutoJini has been offering marketing services tailored specifically for automotive dealers since 2001 including but not limited to: local SEO, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) management, Google AdWords, email marketing, and much more. To learn more about our marketing services, click here.