How To Do Digital Marketing For A Car Dealership

Car dealership can make traditional marketing methodologies work like they used to in the past. If they’re not using digital marketing, they’re losing out.

According to DealerSocket, digital marketing brings in an average total profit of $2,514 per vehicle, while traditional advertising (billboards, TV ads, and radio spots) bring in $1,702 per sale. We live in a digital age, buyers being more digitally savvy, using digital channels to research and shop. Thus, they expect to be catered via digital channels. In order to target and acquire new customers, car dealers must go digital. If you’re a car dealer and are considering to expand your marketing efforts, these tips will help you to create a successful digital marketing strategy.

How To Do Digital Marketing For A Car Dealership

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Consumers use search engines to find the best car dealership and start their car-buying process, which is why online presence of a dealership is one of the key factors of success in the initial point of the purchase process. With a solid SEO strategy, you’ll ensure that car-buyers can find your dealership in their search results. A good SEO strategy includes your website, PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns, keyword optimization, online reputation management, link building, and publishing quality content.

2. Mobile

An average adult spends about 2 and a half hours a day using various mobile apps, according to eMarketer. As the amount of mobile search traffic has long superseded computer search traffic, your content, website, and marketing messages need to be optimized for mobile. Otherwise, if potential buyers visit your website that’s not mobile-friendly, they’ll leave quickly and search for another dealership that delivers a better mobile experience. Many research results also show that mobile apps enhance buyers in-store experience, as 61% of car buyers examine vehicles online via mobile while shopping at a car lot. Mobile has never been more important than now.

3. Social media

People talk on social media, and about 25% of car buyers talk about buying a new car on their social media profiles. The majority of car buyers are present on Facebook, and use it as a resource for making their purchase decisions. Social media is full of real-time buying indicators, and car dealers can use them to influence purchase decisions, improve customer experience, and build brand loyalty. Leverage the power of social media by engaging content on different social media platforms – engage in conversations, monitor social reviews, post pictures of inventory, and publish your contact information (website, phone, email, working hours, and location).

4. Social media ads

Besides social media presence and interaction, you can target your consumers through social media advertising, and do it with extreme precision. Start with Facebook paid ads, as it has the largest user base (1.9 billion users), and it allows you to target consumers by a wide range of demographics – age, geographic location, income, gender, and more. You can also use specialty auto data to target your audience, such as vehicle type, make, model, year, and other segments like garage and history data.

5. Video marketing

Content is king. However, there are different types of content, and video has beaten written content some time ago. Videos are simply much more engaging and faster to consume, which has made them the latest trend in digital marketing. They can boost interest in dealerships and engagement by displaying information and inventory where most buyers research first. YouTube influences car buyers more than magazines, newspapers, and TV. Make sure to create short videos, because videos between 30 seconds and 1 minute are shared more often than longer videos. Shoppers are mostly interested in content such as walk throughs, features and options, and test drives.

6. Email

Even though email marketing has been used for decades, and considered to be a traditional marketing technique by some marketers, it’s still going strong. Car dealerships find it effective, and determined that personalization is essential for creating emails that increase conversion. Car buyers want to receive emails tailored according to their interest, and would gladly click on an email from a car dealership if it includes various information about a model, color, or style they’re interested in. They are less likely to visit a dealer’s website if they are sent an impersonal email (and even feel resentful towards that dealership). Emails can be targeted by a range of selects – exact model, make, and blackbook value of current car being driven, as well as demographic selections such as ethnicity, income, children, hobbies, and more.

7. Website trust badges

You can increase your conversion rates in many ways, like tweaking coupon codes and price points, adding testimonials to the website, and even changing the colors of call-to-action buttons. Putting a “trust badge” on your checkout page is another opportunity to increase conversions and build trust (which is one of the biggest factors in digital marketing today).

Trust badges are there to convince potential buyers that their purchase process is safe and secure, which is highly valued due to the rise of online fraud and cybercrime. Add an SSL badge (Secure Sockets Layer), which creates a secure connection for transmitting sensitive information (e.g. credit card info), and the BBB (Better Business Bureau) seal to indicate that your business is deemed as trustworthy by an official third party. Also, make sure you clearly display the fact that your auto dealer bond is valid, so potential buyers know that you are bona fide and that they’re protected from fraud and other wrongful actions.

Employing digital marketing strategies is key for reaching car buyers, as more mobile users are researching vehicles on the go, right on their smartphones. Spend some time to learn about digital marketing tools for car marketers and inbound marketing, if you’re just starting to think about digital plans for your car dealership. Overall, traditional and digital marketing should complement each other by blending different elements and channels based on your dealership’ unique audience.