Marketing is an important part of any industry, and the automotive industry is no exception. As the consumer world continues changing and becomes an increasingly online experience, the world of marketing is being revolutionized, and some companies are struggling to keep up. A good campaign helps you reach out to your target audience and bring in new buyers. Not only does it bring their attention to your brand, but if done properly, it can also make them want to learn more about you.
9 Automotive Marketing Strategies for Success
1. Build Trust with Customer Reviews
From the customer’s point of view, there’s nothing more suspicious than a business website with no legitimate customer reviews. If you’re not a widely known brand and they haven’t worked with you before, then chances are they’ll already be a bit suspicious.
It doesn’t help that car dealers have a long-held perception of being untrustworthy and pushy. If customers Google your dealership and the website that comes up is bare-bones and has little to no indication of customer satisfaction, they’re more likely to turn away and look for their new car elsewhere.
Consumer trust is vital to growing your business. Good reviews can help with more than your business’s website. Using them in marketing campaigns instantly makes you appear more trustworthy and valid in the eyes of the consumer. When potential buyers think you’re trustworthy, they’re more willing to look into your business and consider buying from you.
Not only that, but they’re more likely to have an enjoyable car buying experience and recommend you to a friend. Maybe they’ll even leave a complimentary review of their own. So not only does a good marketing campaign boost your potential sales, but it also leads to an increase in the number of potential customers that know about your brand and value.
2. Be at the Top of Google SERP
Google’s SERP (search engine results page) strongly dictates which brands a potential customer sees first. The more seemingly endless web results they must scroll through in order to reach your page, the less likely they are to see it. Being at the top of Google’s SERP is one of the main goals of marketers everywhere.
No shoppers want to sit and spend hours scrolling across the internet with dozens of dealership ads popping up and insisting they’re the best. No, they want to click through the first couple of results and settle for whichever dealership has the fanciest website with the best customer reviews.
Most consumers don’t look past the first page of Google results ― which is why the top position in Google results captures 33% of all search traffic for that term. You must have marketers that can get your dealership site on the top page or two of online car dealer results so that when shoppers go online looking to buy cars, your dealership will be one of the first car dealerships they’ll see.
3. Bid on Competitor Keywords
Dealerships are notoriously competitive because the industry has little room to share customers. Marketing to consumers who want to begin the car buying process requires things like good automotive marketers, research, digital marketing, ads, and a lot of experience in sales and the auto industry.
You can bid on certain words other dealers frequently use when trying to convince online shoppers to buy a car. Google used to have a rule against bidding on competitor keywords, but they lifted the rule across the entire platform and you can now buy them at will. There is still a restriction against buying competitor keywords with the name of another dealer to use in your ads.
4. Actively Manage your Negative Keyword List
In marketing, sometimes the current pay-per-click (PPC) rate is one that you’re not prepared to pay. Simply not using a word or phrase in your online automotive marketing campaigns won’t be enough. The absence of keywords won’t prevent ads and social media-based marketing strategies from appearing to car buyers who research vehicles based on that word.
Adding negative keywords helps you hone in on the terms you want to focus on without wasting your marketing efforts on irrelevant consumers. Choose your keywords list carefully and make sure your automotive marketing team turns them on and off at the right time.
Negative keywords are part of an online marketing strategy that your digital marketers can use to maximize your ad spend. Use negative keywords to prevent your business and related media from appearing across the web and social media to consumers who search using that word or phrase. This automotive marketing strategy can increase your chances of targeting the right shoppers and keeping your PPC costs low.
5. Adjust your Campaign Budgets Based on Car-Buying Trends
Traditional marketing strategies don’t work as well as they used to. The rise of the digital age means automotive marketing is becoming more digital, too. Car buyers rarely purchase a vehicle, or even test drive it, without searching for data on it via reputable auto review sites.
This new and digital automotive marketing channel means automotive marketers can boost sales by convincing customers to purchase a car through video marketing, mobile ads, and other forms of media that were previously unavailable.
These new digital marketing channels will need a different budget from traditional marketing techniques. Automotive marketers can use recent car buying data to predict future trends and drive a car buyer’s journey toward your company. These new marketing methods are highly effective at getting customers, but videos, mobile ads, and other forms of media can become expensive depending on the current keyword bids.
6. Target the Right People
Different types of marketing will draw in different types of consumers, but not all of them are right for you. For example, people who watch an advertisement before a YouTube video won’t all be potential buyers. Some of them won’t even be old enough to drive a car.
If your marketing is reaching the wrong customers, you’re wasting your money. Your marketing team must know what strategy to use to reach across automotive enthusiasts, hobby buyers, and customers in need of a car for daily use. Use demographic data to target ads toward eligible buyers to prevent your marketing budget from ballooning out of control.
7. Compel Shoppers to Come into Your Store with Unique Offers
The vehicle buyer journey is full of car companies saying the same old things. When shoppers see companies blasting old data or bragging about auto reviews, they start to care less about the vehicle and more about getting the purchase finished. When someone gets a new vehicle, they should be thrilled to drive off the lot, not relieved the ordeal is over.
If your dealership wants to stand out, you need fresh, exciting offers. Don’t use the same, stale sales strategy as everyone else. Working limited-time offers into your marketing is a great way to make people feel like they’d better act fast.
8. Use All Possible Call Features
When it comes to marketing, car dealerships often think they’re doing everything. However, there’s one marketing tool that dealers frequently forget: call features.
The marketing world has moved almost exclusively online, and many dealers forget about simpler sales marketing tactics, like phone calls. Newer marketing methods may have made tracking data easier, but dealers can use that data for marketing virtually and the old-fashioned way. Why wouldn’t you use every marketing tool at your disposal to make your auto dealership well known? ActivEngage integrates multiple methods of communication into one streamlined customer experience to not only boost leads, but quality follow-up opportunities to close deals.
9. How Can the Automotive Industry be Improved?
The auto world has, in some ways, kept up with the times and evolved to accommodate new technology. At the same time, it’s still monotonous and hard for people to navigate. Car advertisements and commercials are everywhere, and they all look pretty much the same. It’s about time that dealerships had some new, fresh ideas.
Consumers already tune out commercials unless they’re specifically searching for a product. The automotive industry needs to get creative to capture auto shopper attention and turn leads into sales. ActiveEngage can help with multiple ways to reach customers, seamless messaging, and live agents on call with automotive expertise.