Marketing is constantly changing. In the auto sales industry, digital marketing can be important to you and your dealership. A bit of radio and print advertising would have been enough of a marketing strategy to get customers through the door a few years ago. However, today, customers are influenced by lots of other forms of media. If you’re not using the tools to reach potential buyers online and on mobile, you’re losing business to your competitors.
Digital marketing in the auto industry has changed a lot. This guide will show you what trends are important for you to get on board with and how they can work together to help you attract and retain car buyers.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay per click, or PPC, advertising is a tool that should be in your digital marketing strategy. With PPC, you can get your company’s links to show at the top of search engine results pages (also known as SERPs). PPC advertising is sponsored listings on the search engines and can appear as banner or other types of ads on websites, apps, social media, and videos. These ads could be images, logos, videos, or all text-based.
You’re essentially paying for advertising space when you use PPC, and there is a lot to think about if you’re going to get the best results from your ads. Good PPC marketing can’t just be set up and forgotten about. Instead, you will need to spend some time researching what your competitors are doing, learning what your potential customers are searching for, and start to understand how you can create adverts that will resonate with your target audience. There are lots of different options available with PPC now too, such as retargeting, which can be very effective if you use them properly. Putting together a strong PPC strategy is one of the most effective ways to drive customers to your website and then to your dealership.
It is also very important to properly structure your PPC campaigns if you’re using it as online advertising for auto dealers. You should be running separate campaigns for new cars, used cars, and the services you offer. You should also make use of dynamic search ads so that if a customer runs a search for a particular make and model of car, they will see very targeted, highly relevant ads for that model. When the customer clicks on this advert, they can be taken to the right inventory at the dealership for the make and model they were looking for.
Car buyers spend a lot of time every week on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you aren’t taking advantage of how easy and affordable it can be to market your business through these social media platforms, then you’re really missing out on a great way to connect with your target audience.
First, set up a business page or account for your business on all the major social media networks. This is quick to do and just needs you to have some basic information business information and a profile photo to upload. After you have an account, you can share your new profiles with your current customers and link to them from your website.
Gaining followers can take a little bit of time, but it will happen once your current customers and any interested consumers see that you’re active. Make sure that you post on a regular basis, and provide content that is useful and interesting. If you only use social media to advertise, you won’t get the results you get. Instead, share content that is useful to your audience, and watch your accounts grow. For example, as well as advertising your business, provide relevant content, such as tips for buying a used car, car care information, or news about new models. Share any special deals, sales, or events that your dealership has too.
You can also run adverts on social media for new or used cars. One of the best ways to capture new leads is with lead form ads. Lead form ads have inquiry forms and let users complete this form directly on Facebook. Their information can even be pre-populated from the profile, making it very easy for them to make their inquiry, and then carry on scrolling. Other ads will allow your customer to message the dealership’s page, connecting them directly with a salesperson. Make sure someone replies promptly to these messages. Ads can also be shown on Facebook Marketplace.
Custome lists can also be uploaded onto Facebook to create audiences. Your ads can then be targeted to those specific customers. If you don’t yet have a well-established audience, you can buy lists. A data provider will rent email addresses to identify people who are in the market for new cars.
For car dealerships, it’s a good idea to target your advertising in your local area. There’s often a lot of competition for auto dealers, so target your Facebook ads to an audience within 10 – 15 miles around the dealership, and don’t worry too much about targeting customers from outside of that area.
To help you manage your reputation, reviews are important. After you’ve completed a sale, you can send your customers a link via text or email inviting them to leave you a review on Facebook or Google. Make sure you respond to any reviews, both positive and negative, post and promote offers and service specials on your Google My Business profile. Update these about once a week.
It’s often said that a picture is worth 1000 words. This should give you an idea of how valuable video can be. In the auto industry, video offers you a really effective way to connect with customers and show them what you have to offer. Creating videos of things like new arrivals into the dealership, or showing off your showrooms as a whole can be a good way to build some interest and bring in some new customers. Pair your video marketing with special media to let your videos be spread a long way, getting you more recognition.
Thanks to today’s powerful smartphones and tablets, you don’t need much equipment to make simple videos and make them available for consumers to watch. When you’ve created a video ad, you can integrate them into YouTube videos as 6-second bumper ads.
When you’re thinking of ways to reach as many potential customers or leads as quickly and simply as you can, don’t discount email. Email marketing for auto dealerships might not seem as modern as some of the other digital marketing strategies in this guide, but you shouldn’t underestimate its potential reach. Building an email marketing list isn’t very difficult. Set up your website to collect the email addresses of interested people or reference the details of people who have recently visited your showroom. With a highly targeted email list, your message is most likely to reach those who are actually interested in receiving it and who are the most likely to follow up with you afterward.
When you have an email list, you need to start creating short, concise emails that are designed to generate interesting without seeming too intrusive to the recipient. There’s a lot of good advice out there on how to create good marketing emails. Through experience, you can learn which messages get read, which encourage your customers to click through and ask you for more information, and which get deleted without being opened.