Car marketing is likely to follow developing tech trends such as AI, virtual reality, and big data as we move further into the 21st Century. Those efforts are already underway, but the typical dealer doesn’t need James Bond-like antics to build an innovative plan.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing seven fascinating strategies that are easily accessible without a lot of up-front investment. First, however, let’s examine why you need a plan in place to begin with.
Why Car Marketing Is Important From the Top Down
Effective marketing should be strategic and methodical. It should reach consumers at every level, and it should set car dealers up for success.
To accomplish these things, you’ll need to get buy-in from every staff member. Help them understand the importance by pointing out the whys.
Why do we put forth the effort? Four answers immediately come to mind.
Consumers Have More Options
The first reason you need to invest in a strategic automotive marketing plan is that consumers aren’t beholden to a single buying source. They have options, and those options often play to their advantage.
That means you have to build a strategy that will stand out in a sea of competing rivals. How will you do that? That’s something that we’ll dig into more as we move ahead.
Meeting People Where They Are
Marketing strategies also are important because they give you a way of dealing with all your customers no matter where they are in the buying cycle. You (should) approach customers who are just starting their search differently from those who’ve taken a few test drives.
Getting the messaging right is important. As we progress, we’ll be talking about ways to do that as well.
Doing More Effective Lead Nurturing
How will you get your leads to convert? You have to nurture them. That means staying with them through every step of the buying process.
What are you doing to segment your audience? How does the messaging differ? Have you identified the stages your customers go from prospect to buyer?
Helps You Stand out From the Competition
Your competitors will be striving to reach customers as well. What are you going to do to gain a competitive advantage over them?
Looking at your enhanced services can help get you there. As we move through the rest of the article, we’ll be discussing ways to pull this off.
7 Facts about Automotive Marketing
Now that we know why marketing is so important to an automotive dealership, let’s get busy. Here are the tactics you can use to your advantage.
1. Online Word of Mouth
For most automotive dealers, marketing efforts are going to rely on a good deal of word-of-mouth. Thirty years ago, that primarily happened by what people said about you after they drove off the lot.
While technology has changed this to some degree, word-of-mouth is still important. However, it works a little differently in the sense that it’s easier for you to control the release of word-of-mouth marketing through online reviews.
Online reviews can be dispersed throughout social media and sites like Google and Yelp as a way of broadening your appeal. While one person might be able to influence five or 10 in their circle, that same person could influence hundreds or even thousands with a well-written review.
Therefore, it’s important you have some system in place for generating reviews through your satisfied customers. Once you do, make sure those reviews get seen by as many people as possible.
2. Page One
Top marketing for automotive industry professionals means getting those coveted first three slots near the top of Google and other search engines for the keywords you’re trying to rank. The closer to the top you get, the better the results.
How do you get there? Generate compelling content that’s of interest to your customers, work to ensure the on-page and off-page SEO is working for the betterment of your site, and avoid black-hat marketers promising you the moon at all costs.
3. Keyword Mastery
Choosing the right keywords for your industry is important. Go for keywords that have moderate search volume and low competition. Google’s Keyword Planner and other paid solutions can help.
Furthermore, monitor your negative keywords. These are keywords you could be ranking for (yay) but are inadvertent and not targeted to your industry (frowny-face). This is bad because it costs you money every time a poorly targeted ad is clicked.
If you’re not sure of where to start, check out what your competitors are targeting. Then, see if you can wrestle some of those keywords away with competitive bids.
4. Make the Most of Car Buying Holidays
Another of the popular automotive marketing strategies is to target your deals around known buying trends. This often comes seasonally through events like Black Friday or Tax Season. Plan some of your most appealing deals for these time periods, and put your marketing muscles into them.
5. Create Additional Incentives
Automotive industry marketing also relies somewhat on the presence of additional incentives. This could be something like free oil changes for the first 30,000 miles, free tire rotations for the life of the vehicle, etc.
Additional incentives can help sell a car and create repeat customers. This especially is good for a dealer when you consider the average person owns 9.4 cars in their lifetime.
6. Be Mobile Minded
As you move ahead with an automotive marketing plan, design them around mobile. Many people use their mobile devices to influence their local buying decisions.
Making sure you’re reaching out and connecting in a mobile-friendly manner will ensure you place a little higher than the rest of your local and regional competition. As a result, you could be bringing a wider market to your lot.
7. Stay After Them
Remarketing is how dealerships generate much of their business. By continuing to tap existing streams of revenue or interest, it’s possible to nab the existing sale as well as future purchases from the individual and their families.
Tech has made this easier to do through retargeting ads, email follow-ups, and easier data collection. Make sure your systems are in place so you don’t miss out on the business that’ll propel you into the future.
Car Marketing Strategies Keep Business Moving Along
By enacting the car marketing strategies we’ve discussed here, you’ll be well on your way to generating business that can last for generations. Best of luck.
For more tips and information on the role tech plays in your business, check out some of our additional posts.