The shift in car dealership digital marketing has been making a major statement all the way in the industry. Why? Today’s automotive digital marketing is both breakneck, hard, and fierce. But there’s nothing to be disappointed about.
With the right automotive marketing strategies, you can acquire a major competitive edge to push through market dynamics and be in the top charts. And for that all you need do is to partner with a seasoned and credible digital marketing company out there.
But before we dig in detail about all the best car dealership digital marketing strategies, there’s something you need to know. It’s about the current user expectations that revolves around the car-buying-and-selling experience. Trust us, this walkthrough is essential for you, and you’ll thank us later.
So, shall we?
Car Dealership Digital Marketing: The Car Buyer’s Journey
The process of purchasing a car is almost comparable to the process of buying other retail products and services for consumers. So, there’s equal importance in implementing powerful automotive digital marketing strategies for lead generation and sales. Although, due to factors like inventory scarcity and the significant cost of the buy, the car-buying process may take longer and include more research by users. And just like the automobile sector, there’s severe competition among car buyers as well.
So, it’s vital that you take advantage of the same with the compellingly new age, automotive marketing strategies. Apart from the necessity of the basic car-buying process, there is a need to consider some pandemic-influenced factors as well.
· new customer preferences
· longer sales cycle
· competitor assessment while addressing all phases in the car buyer’s journey
The car buyer’s journey consists of the following phases:
- The Awareness Phase is where the customer experiences a problem or a need to buy a car to which they will start researching to address it.
And to do this, ensure developing content for your car dealership digital marketing in a specific manner. It should help those who are seeking answers, resources, knowledge, research materials, viewpoints, and insight.
- The Consideration Phase is where car buyers define their “problem” and actively look for a resolution through various options.
To attract automobile buyers at this point, consider generating automotive digital marketing content that compares similar car brands and models.
- The Decision Phase helps customers narrow down their options to make a final buying decision by either applying for finance or stopping by the dealership for a test drive.
Customers spend more time on financing activities to buy a car, making this one of the most crucial phases. Apart from your automotive marketing strategies, relationship management by the sales team usually begins at this point.
- The Delight Phase This stage is also known as the client retention and loyalty stage. Although the consumer has purchased a car, the cycle is not yet complete. Now is the time to keep the relationship continuing with follow-up messages and ongoing car dealership digital marketing efforts to promote service and repeat business.
Keeping your customers delighted can benefit you in the long run. They can act as your dealership’s ambassadors by favoring you with excellent word-of-mouth and reviews across various online mediums.
Top Car Dealership Digital Marketing Strategies
The retail automobile sector is evolving in more ways than one. Similarly, the way consumers think about and act on information they encounter online during the buyer’s journey is changing. Hence your automotive digital marketing tactics must also evolve to keep up with the same. Sticking to these proven strategies can gain you a major competitive edge.
1. Ensure Transparency Between Customers
Maintain open communication with customers and follow through on brand promises in your automotive marketing strategies. This can be specifically said regarding how you gather and handle customer data. When prospects start getting random calls from third-party organizations while you have assured them of not selling their information, their confidence will dwindle. This will make your brand’s value suffer because of such car dealership digital marketing plays.
Adopt a straightforward pricing policy and offer exact payment and financing information before requesting prospects to disclose detailed personal information. This is another automotive digital marketing strategy that creates confidence with customers through transparency. Customers feel more empowered and not controlled when presented with several loan options.
Automotive marketing strategies also integrate well with the single-point-of-contact sales model, which is a major new trend. A single person guides customers through the whole purchasing process, allowing dealers to provide a more personalized, transparent experience.
2. Make Yourself Available Everywhere
Online visibility is essential for driving dealership sales through your car dealership digital marketing tactics. And when there are more and more auto buyers doing their research online, it is more of a necessity these days. And you can ensure your presence is known in the following ways.
- Search Engines
Every dealership should claim and set up a Google Business Profile (GBP) as part of their automotive digital marketing strategies. GBP is free, and you can edit your profile using Google Search and Maps for improving your lead generation and customer base.
Among the useful automotive marketing strategies, there is one that can boost website traffic and, ultimately, foot traffic to physical showrooms. It is through proficient search engine marketing (SEM) services. By paying dealers can have their listings appear at the top of search results or develop site content that ranks organically. Also, several dealership SEO tactics can rank them better in organic search results.
Every dealership relies on online reviews — with a correct balance of both good and bad of the same. Google is the top priority, followed by social media and others for such car dealership digital marketing efforts. Google tends to favor companies with a high number of favorable ratings, placing them at the top of organic local search results in the coveted Map Pack positions. Most of the time, these Map Pack locations appear in search results, and their links receive more traffic from organic search.
- Social Media Platforms
Many auto buyers conduct online research before purchasing a car to discover what every dealer has to offer. Websites, company profiles on review sites, and social media are all examples of this. You can add video content to these platforms, which highly favors dealers in their automotive digital marketing strategies. Customers can be better connected to you through video content. You can showcase the features of a car better than an image enabling enhanced reach for you, while covering all your bases.
- Native Ads
It is one of the automotive marketing strategies where an ad content corresponds with an auto magazine’s editorial content. The content style will be that of an article, and it will be sponsored by an advertiser. Native ads in automobile enthusiast magazines can greatly benefit you in the form of increased sales.
Explore how we are helping a well-known Kia car dealer in Canada in achieving an impactful social media presence through well thought out branding and marketing strategies.
- Display Ads
Take advantage of all Google features, including the Google Display Network that potentially opens several opportunities. This car dealership digital marketing method helps you access millions of prospects when they explore websites, applications, and Google-owned assets like YouTube and Gmail. When configuring Google Ads, one option is to create a display campaign. Dealerships should look at Google Vehicle Ads and a new pilot programme for Google Vehicle Listings to enhance their automotive digital marketing efforts.
Another trend is the use of GPS or RFID technology to establish a virtual geographic boundary, known as geofencing. When a mobile device enters or exits a certain location, special software triggers a response. This could be extremely beneficial for your automotive marketing strategies as it can capture better leads in your immediate vicinity.
- OTT Ads
Viewing ads to watch free TV is becoming more acceptable among consumers. People have more options as more streaming choices become available online. This may be a positive thing, but when all these different solutions require a price, the costs can quickly pile up. So, OTT ads on various OTT platforms have become another effective car dealership digital marketing approach to reach car buyers.
Contact local podcasts about guest appearances or sponsorship possibilities to benefit your automotive digital marketing efforts. If you aren’t a local podcast listener, a fast search can reveal which ones are the most popular and how to sponsor an episode.
- Mobile Phones
Potential automobile buyers drive by your dealership with their phones, using mobile apps like Google Maps for better navigation and real-time updates about traffic, unsafe driving conditions, and other vital information. As a result, ads on such apps might be quite powerful in enhancing your automotive marketing strategies.
Including a chat option in your website allows consumers and sales teams to interact in real time, allowing them to gather leads. A dealer’s website, on the other hand, remains at the heart of any effective car dealership digital marketing strategy.
While the website serves as the digital hub, some dealers prefer guided chat or messaging sessions over website form completions for lead capture. This automotive digital marketing approach allows salesmen to immediately follow up. This is because no one likes filling out forms and waiting for a call. In today’s fast-paced, digital environment, that will not cut it like it did before.
Email exists – and it still works efficiently and cost-effectively. To discover success, you don’t always need a fancy new email campaign: the proper automotive marketing strategies always win in the end.
Always ensure to use first-party information from your dealership, otherwise you risk jeopardizing your email deliverability and IP reputation.
3. Always Follow Up
Keeping up with all the online business, its leads, and automotive digital marketing might be a full-time job. To execute these vital activities, every dealership needs a specialized staff, such as a robust Business Development Center (BDC) or salesforce who can speed the process.
4. Always Listen
Your consumers are information goldmines. Don’t be afraid to send out surveys and solicit testimonials as part of your automotive marketing strategies to help your business and learn how to develop.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Make Changes
Never refrain from bringing changes. Enable or experiment with new car dealership digital marketing strategies to find out what favors your business the best and what doesn’t.
What It Comes Down to…
Shortages and high expenses have created a new industry environment that all dealers must navigate to compete along with their automotive digital marketing. And if you are a dealer, equipping yourself with these vital car dealership digital marketing strategies can successfully help you ride its ups and down and raise your competitive edge. And for that make sure you partner with a credible and seasoned digital marketing company.