Dealer marketing has gotten a lot harder in the post-pandemic world. People have adjusted their spending priorities and changed where and how they shop. Unless you change your training and strategies to match, your brand will end up in the dust.
It’s all about digital platforms now, and the trend shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. More people who shop online use mobile instead of desktop computers, which isn’t too surprising when you consider that 85% of adult Americans own a smartphone of some kind. Dealer marketing campaigns must take all of this into consideration if they want their brands to stay competitive in the digital age of automotive marketing.
So, if you want to be one of the dealerships staying current with today’s fast-changing digital marketing landscape, keep reading.
7 Excellent Car Dealership Marketing Campaign Tips, Ideas & Strategies
To make the most of your car dealership marketing campaign efforts and turn more leads into sales, keep these seven digital marketing strategies in mind:
1. Develop an Awesome Website Design
Your website is your dealership’s digital storefront. If you don’t keep it as well-maintained as your physical showroom, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Your site may be the biggest single aspect of your dealer marketing efforts, and a customer ending up there is one of the hallmarks of a successful marketing campaign.
Timed offers and assistance
Strategically timed chat assistance and discount offers can make or break the dealership storefront experience for potential customers. Just as with your store location, greet visitors when they arrive. Ask them if they need assistance, but don’t overwhelm them with ads and offers before they have a chance to look around.
ActivEngage offers ActivTarget car dealership digital marketing campaigns to reach out to customers after timed intervals or when they leave or return to a page. The right call to action can make or break a dealership’s digital marketing campaign.
2. Use a Good CRM Program
Customer relationship management is an integral part of auto dealer marketing. Your policies, procedures, and training programs will play an important role in your marketing success. A standard approach will make your online interactions more efficient and effective for car shoppers. ActivEngage provides seamless cross-platform marketing and customer service, provided by people with automotive knowledge and experience.
3. Create a Video Commercial
Video advertising programs are more effective than still photos in any dealer marketing campaign. Video gets more likes, shares, and social media engagement, making them an excellent choice for your social media accounts and the digital campaigns you run on them.
When you’re selling something as big-ticket as a new vehicle, the shopper wants reassurance that they’re making the right choice in the car buying process. The more details, the better, and video is an easy way to provide them. Video commercials are a great way to increase ad engagement and generate sales for the cars on your lot. And, you can offer virtual test drives and vehicle overviews with ActivEngage's MyDrive Experience.
4. Manage Your Reputation
Your online reputation is just as important as your physical one. If you don’t address questions and concerns and respond to feedback in online reviews, you’re missing out. People expect dealers they interact with to respond when messaged on their website or through social media. ActivEngage gives you the dealer marketing tools you need to manage your web presence and stand out in the automotive industry.
Reviews, comments, and recommendations
Responding to comments and messages is vital to making likely customers feel heard and appreciated, and can serve to better retain customers. Dealers should follow up after sales completion to ensure that customers are satisfied with the experience.
If your customers are happy, ask if they’d like to leave online reviews. If they’re displeased, ask what you can do to rectify the situation. People buying cars from car dealerships want a stellar customer experience. What can you do to facilitate that?
People trust reviews and recommendations from friends, family, and other customers over advertising or celebrity endorsements. Integrating review data programs into your dealership website and your Facebook page will help visitors get a better sense of who you are. ActiveEngage has retention services to provide post-sales opportunities for your dealership and is a fantastic way to create a better reputation.
5. Master Search Marketing
Search marketing programs can include paid and unpaid search results on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Google is by far the biggest search engine,
with 86.6% of market share in 2021, compared to Bing at only 6.7%. Using a combination of the Google AdWords program, paid search advertising, and organic search results is the best way to get noticed in the industry and raise your sales rates.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices
If you want to get found online, you have to gear your ads, pages, and listings for better results. Search engines rank pages based on relevant keywords, length, readability, and backlinks all work together to help you remain relevant, boosting your dealership marketing effectiveness. Getting your pages in tip-top shape will get your results closer to the top of the first page of search results. ActivEngage works with SEO experts and certified partners to allow your dealership marketing strategies to boost you into the digital spotlight.
6. Target Your Audience with the Right Media
Walkthroughs / Virtual Tour
With virtual calls, online events, and remote meetings becoming more common during the lockdowns of 2020, it’s no surprise that video walkthroughs are rising in popularity. Any dealer marketing program can include virtual lot walkthroughs or detailed car walkarounds to help sales leads connect more closely to the buying experience, even if it’s 100% online.
Social media posts work better than popup ad marketing because it’s a two-way street. Sales leads can like, share, and respond by replying, making it more experiential than static ads that interrupt their browsing. Now, with the growing popularity of 360° photos and panoramic videos, you can provide detailed vehicle views that let potential customers know exactly what your dealership is selling.
7. Set Up Your Facebook Business Page
Vehicle purchases are still oriented around local car buyers. Even with the rise of home-delivery car buying, local sales leads and inventory remains king. People don’t want to wait days for their vehicles to be shipped across the country.
Shoppers prefer to drive their purchases from the lot as soon as they close the deal. That’s why vehicle searches so often focus on towns and cities. If your dealer marketing efforts and ad results don’t include references to local areas, they won’t be as effective.
Facebook allows you to target ads around location, giving you access to local sales leads. This is a great opportunity for your dealership marketing efforts to shine. Be sure to fill out your business profile and make sure your posts focus on the nearby community. Facebook’s Business Tools allow you to make the most of your listing, so be sure to check it out.
Bonus Dealer Marketing Tip: Get Some Professional Help
ActivEngage offers customer service and sales reps to chat with car buyers and assist them throughout the vehicle buying process. Our training practices ensure that every representative is qualified to help your customers. We tailor our services to match any dealer marketing or branding obligations you may have. Let our team turn more of your leads into sales and help your dealership grow!