In 2019 the automotive industry in the US grossed $752 billion in output. The market is also incredibly competitive, with many car dealers jostling for the increasingly selective market. In essence, to succeed in this competitive market, it takes stellar marketing and advertisements to establish a brand identity and authority. While car dealerships can use traditional advertising mediums such as TV and radio, they should also be conscious of the changing times. Today, a good number of prospective car buyers will turn to the internet to research vehicles before making a purchase decision. Part of the information they will look for includes which car is the best, whether it is right for them, if they can afford it, where they should buy it and whether they are getting a deal. As such, car dealerships should not only have an online presence but also adopt digital marketing strategies to help them reach a wider target market.
6 Ways Auto Dealers Dominate Their Markets
If your current marketing strategies are not effective in increasing sales and revenue, here are some great marketing ideas to get you inspired.
#1 Paid Ads
Different car businesses, ranging from startups to multi-showroom auto dealers, are using the latest online marketing techniques to stay ahead of the competition and attract more customers. One of the online marketing options you can consider for your car dealership business is pay-per-click advertising, also known as PPC. This model of internet marketing will help you get more short-term leads by ensuring a steady flow of traffic to your online site. This way, you will be in a better position to increase your brand recognition and improve your search engine ranking. However, you will first need to understand what PPC is and why you should run a PPC campaign.
Being competitive in the automotive industry will require more than just word of mouth. As much as you will have a brick and mortar location, it is important to thrive online. With more and more customers purchasing products differently, having an online presence will help to boost your sales performance. By paying for only the clicked ads, you will be able to maximize your return on investment and set your budget according to your needs. PPC allows you to choose where you want your ads to be displayed, delivering immediate and consistent traffic.
To create a successful PPC marketing campaign for your car dealership, there are a few things you need to be mindful of. Take time to conduct intense research so you can identify and use keywords that are in demand. Organize your keywords based on the audience and search intent. You should also consider spying on your competitors’ campaigns to create better ads. Lastly, focus on a clear and strong call to action to help you increase both online and in-store traffic.
#2 Social Media Marketing
Today, social media is a powerful way for businesses to reach their prospects and customers. One of the advantages of social media is that it will not cost you anything to set up an account on the major social platforms, which means businesses of all sizes can compete on a level playing field. However, success in social media marketing will depend on an effective marketing strategy. The first step would be to understand where your target customers are most concentrated, the platform on which they are most accessible, and where they most actively engage with ads.
There are different types of social marketing techniques you can use to promote your brand and products. While you have the option of organic and paid social media marketing, you should consider using the two simultaneously to maximize your efforts. The social network you choose will depend on whether you are interested in social networking, microblogging, photo sharing, or video sharing. Take time to find out whether the social media outlet you intend to use will help you achieve your marketing objectives.
Advertising your car dealership on social media will offer you many benefits. You will not only be able to grow a strong following on the various platforms but also use customer-generated content for your ads. Social media is also a great way to target new and returning customers, allowing you to use platform analytics to determine whether your campaign is effective. Apart from marketing, social channels can also help you communicate better with customers and provide better customer service. Your car dealership can also rely on social media to build trust among prospects and increase brand awareness. By engaging with customers regularly, you will be able to obtain real customer insights that will benefit your decision-making process.
#3 Review Growth
Even as you work on marketing your business, you should always stand back from the normal activities in your plan and review your growth over a given time. Once things are running well, it can be tempting to let things continue running as they are. This is particularly true for well-established car dealerships that enjoy a sizable market share. However, there will always be changes in the market, changes in customers’ needs, changes in competitive activity, the emergence of new technology as well as new and emerging services. If you do not take these factors into account, you run the risk of losing your customers to the competition.
One area where you need to review growth continually relates to your reputation. The modern consumer is not only discerning but also has high expectations and demands a lot from the brands they do business with. In this age of information technology, any comments or reviews about your business can affect your brand and reputation. Keeping an eye on what customers are saying about your business will help you to stay on top of your reputation. With the amount of time, effort, and resources it takes to build a brand, you should always work on protecting your brand image. As such, knowing how to respond to both positive and negative reviews and comments.
In addition, measuring performance and set targets periodically has many benefits. Reviewing growth gives you time to implement changes, effectively allowing you to act while your competitors are procrastinating. By giving you a better understanding of your business situation, you will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that exist before they disappear. It is also a great way to re-energize your employees and boost their morale as you celebrate every small win that you have made along the way.
#4 Events & Community Engagement
Today, it has become important for all businesses to build and maintain strong relationships with their customers. A good relationship allows the business to understand its target market better, leading to increased customer satisfaction and improved customer retention levels. However, to do this, your car dealership has to express a unique personality that customers can connect with. Rather than just engaging with customers online, you should consider organizing events and activities that will give you a chance to interact with them one-on-one. In the end, you will create brand awareness and consolidate your customer base.
As a car dealership, there are many activities that you can organize to help you market your business. Depending on your specific target market, you can choose the best activities that will drive traffic, increase visibility, and generate more repeat business. Whenever you organize events or engage with the community, you should take advantage of the opportunity to distribute branded merchandise. In case there will be media presence, the activities will ensure you get the visibility you need. You may also want to post pictures and videos of the event on your social media pages to boost your marketing efforts.
If you are finding it difficult to get started, there are several ideas you may want to try. You can run a free car wash, sponsor and host local events, run a tax return promotion, offer a test-drive incentive, referral incentives, provide free gas, or offer a free car safety clinic. Depending on your target market, you can host a beach party, have a car contest, give away freebies, or take part in charitable activities. These events and community engagement activities will play a critical role in projecting your business as one that values and cares for its customers. This way, you will expand your customer base and make more sales.
#5 Solid Website Design
If you do not have a professional, optimized, and mobile responsive website, you will essentially be turning away customers who are interested in buying your products. A website makes it easy for customers to access your business and learn more about the services that you offer. With a good number of consumers relying on the internet for information to help them make smart purchase decisions, you will miss out on many opportunities if you do not have an online presence. An awesome website will generate plenty of leads for your business and contribute to the growth of your car dealership.
So what exactly is a good website? For your online site to play its rightful role in your online marketing campaign, it is vital to work with a professional web designer and developer. Your website should feature an attractive design, should be easy to find and navigate, be user-friendly, and contain informative content. An excellent website will not only help you make a good first impression when customers visit the site but will also encourage users to keep coming back. Your website should also be able to adapt to different screen sizes so you can reach customers who access the internet using their mobile devices.
Apart from optimizing your website for SEO, you should also optimize it for social media. Optimization will go a long way in increasing the visibility of your website, driving online traffic, and improving conversion rates. You should also use paid ads to reach more customers and create a content marketing strategy to ensure your website features engaging and interesting content. By doing this, you will set yourself apart from the competition and make your customers content.
#6 Proper Search Engine Optimization
It will be an exercise in futility if you have a professional website that customers cannot find or see. Once you have a website, you should use the right techniques to ensure it is searchable and visible. Search Engine Optimization will help you to manage your online presence regardless of the size of your car dealership business. Today, local SEO will increase your chances of showing up among the top search results when people are looking for a company that offers the products they need close by. Making it easy for customers to find you when they do not want to go far for their needs will increase your credibility and help you improve your sales performance.
Before investing in a local SEO campaign, you should establish whether this is the right strategy for your business. Generally, local SEO will benefit car dealerships that target clients within a given geographical area. In case your business has a broader scope and sights, you may want to go for organic SEO. Setting the right foundation for a successful SEO campaign will ensure you achieve your marketing objectives. As such, you need to have a fully-optimized website, citation, listing management, and a good reputation and maintain an active social media presence. You should also create quality content that will help to give you brand authority.
Although SEO best practices are always being updated, you should keep up with them if you are to have a successful SEO campaign. Continually improving and monitoring content on your website will help to get you on top. However, you should also build location pages for your car dealership business, have parts of the internet linking back to your content, optimize your page copy continually, and improve the structure of internal links. You should also keep your business information consistent across top business listings and platforms. As you run the campaign, measure local SEO success to determine whether you are on track.
Get Started Today with a Professional Campaign!
As much as you may be aware of different car dealership marketing ideas to explore, you should still consider working with experts. Digital marketing experts will suggest more ways to strengthen your online marketing campaign so you can reach more customers and increase your sales. They will also advise you on how to avoid costly mistakes that could hurt your brand. At BizIQ, we help businesses such as car dealerships to fine-tune their marketing campaigns for amazing results. Contact us today to find out how we can help you grow your business.