Are You Implementing These Strategies at Your Car Dealership?
Marketing strategies for car dealerships are constantly changing to reflect local markets and buying patterns. Dealerships must plan their budgets carefully to take full advantage of the money available, but there are some strategies that car dealerships can use to maximize their ad dollars.
If many of your customers deal with you online it may not seem logical to plan events, but they are an effective way to gain new customers by publicizing your dealership in places where you may not currently have market penetration. Recognizing that some events may have to wait until COVID restrictions are lifted, here are some events to consider when looking for sponsorship opportunities:
- Sponsor a little league baseball team
- Co-sponsor a festival or other public event
- Offer support to a local charity or non-profit event
- Offer a free car wash
- Have a customer appreciation day with food and beverages — don’t hard sell them that day, but rather show your appreciation for their business
- Hold seminars providing information on vehicle safety or how to operate features on your new cars
This relates to your online presence and involves creating content beyond simply selling cars. One way to look at it is to think of the process a prospective customer uses when searching for a new car. So your content might take the form of:
- Blog posts to show the advantages of your cars by comparing them to competitors’ equivalent models
- A video doing a virtual tour of each model you offer
- Expanding your social media presence — take the time to be responsive to customer inquiries
- Emails offering personalized messages to current or prospective customers who have reached out to you, or offering an exclusive
- Other content that will draw customers to your dealership
The key to good content marketing is to create a digital message that drives customers to make a purchase decision at your dealership.
Building trust is a key component of your customer engagement. Testimonials have repeatedly been found to be an excellent way for existing customers to show others how they feel about your dealership. If customers are pleased with your service, always encourage them to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, or even directly with the dealership so you can post them on your website.
Most customers have already reviewed your dealership before they even come in, and rest assured they are looking for reviews and testimonials to support their decision to come to you. Be honest and include less than favorable reviews, but always take the time to respond and try to correct whatever concerns a customer has with your dealership.
Personalize Your Marketing
Your dealership sells a range of models in features and price. You do this because your customers come from a wide range of backgrounds and financial means. This means you should be personalizing your marketing messages to meet the needs of an individual or at least small groups of customers. If you only push one model onto your local market, you are disconnecting from a much larger group of prospective customers.
It takes effort, but you need to understand the personalities of your buyers and use that information to target email, campaigns, and other digital marketing messages. Don’t get trapped by making your marketing message too narrow — cover your customer base by personalizing your ads and content.
Marketing Through Search Engines
You have a website and do some social media engagement, so you think you have covered getting placed high on search engines, right? Actually, there is a lot more you need to think about. There are three types of search marketing you need to focus on:
Local search marketing — This occurs when a customer searches for “car dealership near me” or “make or model car in my area”. These are local searches and you need to make an effort to end up at the top of the search results. To accomplish this your dealership needs to be registered and profiled on search engines including:
- Google Maps
- Local business listing pages
The information you provide must include your name, vehicles you sell, location information, contact information, photos, videos, and any other content that will bring a customer to your website or door. Then, make sure your website has the same information without any conflicting info.
Organic search marketing — Organic search marketing is also referred to as Search Engine Optimization or SEO and refers to the process of using your website, keywords, and content such as blogs to make your site appear at the top of search listings. Keywords are important because choosing the right ones will cause your site to flow to the top of search listings. Therefore SEO is an ongoing program of testing and refining keywords to keep your listing at the top. There are other factors to SEO including:
- Having an adaptive website design that is friendly on mobile devices
- Using backlinks to link to other pages and sometimes other websites
- Links to social media from your website
- Website accessibility for disabled viewers
- Website security to protect viewer information and privacy
Paid search marketing — This is the process of using pay-per-click or pay-per-advertisement to bring customers to your website. Most PPC advertising works by having you bid on specific keywords that cause your ad to show up on web search results.
Another opportunity for dealerships is VIN-specific advertising. This process links your vehicle inventory to paid ads targeting customers looking for specific vehicles and can be very effective in getting customer attention.
How Do You Implement the Right Marketing Strategies?
Unless you have a talented in-house digital marketing group, you need DigiSphere Marketing because all the marketing we just discussed is complex and needs expert attention. We handle digital marketing for automotive dealers and a wide range of other customers every day. We understand SEO, PPC advertising, social media marketing, and all the other strategies to make your dealership successful. We live and breathe digital marketing, so come to DigiSphere Marketing and let us show you how to take your dealership far above your competition. Call us today at 800-807-4079.