It’s not easy being a business owner. You’re held at the mercy of the economy and must constantly strive to bring in new customers. For that reason, nearly 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years of business.
The question is, what can you do to ensure your car dealership doesn’t fall into this category? While there are no guarantees in life, and certainly none in business, there are things you can do to improve your odds.
The answer lies in effective car dealership marketing. This means putting your time, money, and resources into marketing strategies that will actually pay off.
Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. Keep reading for our top ideas for marketing for auto dealerships.
1. Perfect Your Website and SEO
First, and perhaps most importantly, you need to realize the significance and role of your online presence. Your online presence refers to your visibility on the internet.
To get started, create a user-friendly website. This will serve as your digital storefront, and in a way, the face of your company.
Your website needs to be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and fast. Consumers are likely to abandon a slow-loading page. Finally, make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices, such as smartphones, iPods, and tablets.
A killer website is useless if consumers can’t find it online. That’s why you must perfect your search engine optimization. SEO is the coding used by search engines to find relevant content based on keyword searches.
For example, if someone in your community searches for “used cars near me,” your used car dealership SEO will dictate how quickly they find you.
You can improve your car dealership SEO by:
- Added a blog to your website full of effective keywords
- Using multiple forms of media (headers, titles, images, videos) embedded with SEO coding
- Obtaining backlinks from credible websites
- Using internal and external links throughout your website
- Focusing on local keywords
SEO is absolutely essential for driving online traffic to your website. If necessary, hire a professional SEO service to ensure you’re visible online.
2. Make an Effort on Social Media
Social media is an important platform for car dealership marketing. Over 72% of Americans have at least one social media account. We check them multiple times a day for news, emails, friends, shopping, and more.
Social media provides a convenient location for businesses to build brand awareness, create and distribute affordable ads, and communicate with consumers.
Free Social Media Marketing
You can use organic social media marketing to expand your influence without cost. Though this takes time, you can gain more followers by posting engaging and valuable content. The more people comment, like, and share your posts, the more influence you’ll gain.
We recommend running small competitions or raffles to get people excited about your dealership. If it’s worth it to your dealership, running a contest for a free car giveaway could help you build thousands of followers in a very short period of time.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Alternatively, you can opt for paid social media advertising. This form of car dealership marketing allows you to extend your reach to new audiences.
You can choose specific demographics of people to target with your ads based on age, gender, location, and more. You can also choose exactly how much money you want to spend per day, which determines how many people see your ad.
Just as importantly, paid social media ads track user engagement. You’ll be able to see how many people liked, commented, and shared your post. This can help business owners perfect their marketing designs and strategies.
3. Providing Virtual Test Drives and References
Effective marketing for car dealerships focuses on showing consumers that they can trust you. People want to know they’re investing in quality products from credible companies. That’s why nearly 88% of consumers research products online.
Use this to your advantage and publish positive reviews and testimonials from previous customers. Future customers will use these references to decide if they should buy from you. High reviews can help push people in the right direction.
Additionally, more than ever, consumers are becoming reliant on online shopping. Initially, this was because technology made it convenient (and sometimes cheaper) to shop online. However, our current health pandemic has made online shopping a safer and healthier choice.
Therefore we highly recommend creating virtual tours and test drives for your customers. Give them high-quality photos and videos of the vehicles in your inventory to showcase what you’ve got.
4. Use Email Marketing
Next, your car dealership marketing strategy should including creating an email list and building an email campaign. Your email campaign should consist of weekly or monthly automated emails.
These should provide value to the subscriber, such as discounts, special offers, and valuable content. Overall, however, the purpose of these emails is to remind people of your services. You can remind people that their new car needs a maintenance check or highlight special deals on your lot.
To gain subscribers, run special promotions offering exclusive deals to people who sign up. This can include major discounts on future maintenance, waived dealership fees, zero percent financing for the first 12 months, and so on.
5. Experiment With Various Paid Marketing Strategies
Finally, understand that marketing for selling cars works differently depending on your location, your dealership, and your target market. We recommend experimenting with various options to see what works best for your circumstances. Give each method at least three months to determine its validity.
Aside from paid social media ads, you can also try radio commercials, TV commercials, OTT advertising (using streaming services), and more.
We also suggest looking into pay per click marketing and search engine marketing.
Looking for More Car Dealership Marketing Tips and Other Business Advice?
If you have a local dealership, you know how imperative it is to attract new customers. Fortunately, people will always need cars and you’ll always have in-demand products. The key is making sure people know you exist.
If you’re looking for more car dealership marketing ideas, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. Find out what other businesses are doing to improve brand awareness. Our blog is full of valuable business and marketing advice for people like you.