Auto dealerships are facing new challenges this decade. This includes competition from online car dealerships and the fact that car dealer loyalty has greatly diminished. Now, most dealerships require more than one automaker brand just to survive. Your competition is no longer the dealerships in the community, but it is also the internet.
Today, a prospect can search for a car online, check the car’s accident and maintenance report history, get the best deal in auto financing online, and then have the car delivered right to their driveway.
A digital marketing for auto dealership strategy is the only way to stay competitive in a market that has an increased consumer demand despite an ongoing inventory shortage. Continue reading to discover how the right digital marketing campaign can help you move the cars you already have in stock, and take more orders for new car deliveries.
Types of digital marketing for auto dealerships
Digital marketing includes a host of online techniques that will engage the consumer on whatever electronic device they have handy; a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. An auto dealership can leverage multiple digital channels using a digital marketing agency. Or for a smaller car dealership with an employee that is highly computer-savvy, many proprietary platforms exist as an all-in-one, do-it-yourself marketing campaign solution.
Traditional marketing was static. Once a campaign message was generated, it stayed that way for months or years in print, billboard, or television form. Today, a marketing campaign that leverages the power of the internet is dynamic, changing as your inventory fluctuates, and evolving as you see your customer base or economic developments change. Consider the following online avenues that are used to create auto dealership digital marketing campaigns:
- Geo-targeted websites
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Car industry knowledge and leadership content
- Company-specific information (sales, military discounts, etc.)
- An engaging social media presence
- Video content as the online auto showroom
- Outbound/inbound email campaigns
Most digital marketing campaigns will offer a two-way channel of communication. Once a prospective customer is led to your online content, they will always be presented with a way to reach out to your auto dealership for more information or other help.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Establishes an online presence
Your online presence is anywhere, and everywhere your car dealership can be found online. An easy-to-use website with lots of good information, along with an engaging social media presence and online video content, are the bare necessities.
Your website should be optimized by a digital marketing expert to increase your website’s visibility among search engines. The internet is the first place people go when they want to buy a product. If your website does not include the targeted keywords that your potential customers will be searching (such as “near me“, “on Main St.“, or “used cars under $20,000“), then you are missing lots of potential sales.
Social media should be a big part of your digital marketing for auto dealership campaigns. There are consumer demographics that demand interaction with a business before a major purchase. Before an interaction can occur on the showroom floor, entire populations with a lot of purchasing power will seek out what vibe your company is sending. Your social media posts will not only increase brand awareness, but will also humanize your brand, connect you with influencers, promote content that may go viral, and act as a way to manage your company’s reputation.
Builds authority with car buyers
Another critical benefit of digital marketing for auto dealerships is to supply the need most consumers now have for knowledge, data, and more information. This is where content marketing becomes necessary in the form of general blogs such as car travel safety tips, to a how-to or DIY car maintenance content, to more specific data like car specification comparisons or safety feature explanations.
When you add informative online content, you are building authority with car buyers. Expect to be seen as a car dealership that has a customer-first character. And, the type of online content you post on your website and on social media can actually add trust and dependability to your brand’s reputation, especially when your website points out all the community activities and local charities your business is associated with.
Make sure you listen to your buyer persona and post online content that connects most interest with your customers and your brand.
Generates new leads in new territories
Overcome competition from online car dealerships by running a lead generation campaign that combines a variety of automated marketing strategies to reach people who are interested in buying a new car, and leading them to your dealership. These campaigns will often leverage multimedia content, including blogs, emails, and videos to catch the eye of prospective car buyers.
Digital marketing for auto dealerships might also use paid advertising, such as Google Ads. This service will display your auto dealership ads at the top of relevant Google search results. This pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will use your targeted keywords placed in ads to not only generate leads but also drive conversions.
These benefits of digital marketing for auto dealership owners will automate multiple advertising campaigns at once, keeping the information current and relevant, while also targeting those ideal consumers in your community that have shown an interest in buying a new car. From email marketing to SEO-optimized websites, digital marketing videos, pay-per-click advertising, and social media campaigns, digital marketing for auto dealership campaigns are the best way to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced economy.