Car Dealership Marketing
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DISCLAIMER: This article was written in 2020 and has not been updated. For more up to date information about small business funding products and options, please browse our recent articles.

Top Strategies for Car Dealership Marketing in 2020

Digital marketing is a must for any 21st century business, however, it may not seem like it’s as useful when it comes to car buying. One area in particular where digital marketing is sometimes overlooked is the car dealership business. With an emphasis on trust and expertise during the buying process, it is important to build this awareness before the potential buyer has even walked through the doors. This can be done through engaging with prospects via digital marketing campaigns; utilizing tactics like blogs, email marketing, and other social channels.

Content Marketing

Although blogging may not seem like a necessary mode of communication with the public, it can attract new customers, retain current ones, or even persuade skeptical ones. Blogging is a great way for a dealership to establish credibility by offering information and advice on all things car-buying-related.

Blogging for Authority

In this context, a blog can help establish your employees as knowledgeable in the vehicles and related services that they are selling. This helps establish a sense of confidence in your brand and team along with increasing the number of website conversions, such as a call for more information. Additionally, the added original content will help drive web traffic when written with relevant keywords and SEO in mind.

Is Blogging Worth It?

There can be push back because of the price of creating and running a blog, however, there are many free CMS platforms available for you to manage your digital content. One great example is WordPress, which has a huge user and developer-support base. After that, the only expense is your time, unless you decide to hire someone to write for you. There is a common misconception that blogging is an irrelevant business practice that takes effort away from selling and generating revenue. Blogs, when properly setup, can generate a large amount of high-quality inbound leads, traffic, and website conversions.

Blogging for Events

Blogs can also be utilized for broadcasting company-wide events, like promotions, a new line of cars, and more. You can even engage with current and future customers in the comments by answering questions or responding to concerns. When other potential customers see someone else’s issues being resolved, it greatly increases their confidence in your business. This shows a great example of how you treat your customers. Connecting your blog to your other marketing channels like social media and email marketing can help retain current customers and attract new ones. A blog makes your dealership website more outstanding and searchable. Additionally, it can help differentiate you from other competitive dealerships. After all, it will look like you know what you’re talking about before a potential customer even comes through your doors!

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Blog

    1. Create a blog on any of the various platforms out there
    2. Decide how many pieces of content you want to create a month
    3. Use a keyword tool that has a free version, like KWFinder, to identify potential search terms you should include in your content
    4. Publish your blog
    5. Share your blog on all of your social media channels and leverage it as a newsletter to your email database

Car Dealership Marketing and Social Media

Although many car dealerships may not associate social media traffic to sales, there are many tangible connections. Social media can allow businesses to improve their reputation, expand outreach to new customers, and bolster digital marketing efforts.

40% of Auto Sales Influenced by Social Media

Since social media is used by such a wide audience, and for significant amounts of time, it makes sense to capitalize on that two-way flow of information. A study by Bain shows that by 2020, 40% of auto sales will be influenced by social media. If car dealership marketing staff leverages this by providing relevant information on their social media profiles, it could help draw new customers and convert prospective ones. Not only can it help diffuse information in a more efficient way, but it can also help personalize the user experience. Social media channels are a more personal way for advertising to take place, with personalized targeting options and much more. These aspects will increase consumer confidence in your brand and establish your authority in the space.

One-to-one Social Media Support

Timely and personal responses to inquiries on your social media channels is very important for establishing that sense of personalization and trust. This is not limited to direct messages only. It can also be done through responding to comments. It shows that you care about more than just your current customers and that you are willing to help! People will know they can expect to be treated well when doing business with your dealership. Additionally, frequent high-quality content helps your brand stay relevant and in front of future customer’s eyes. Establishing yourself as a credible source for vehicle related information draws even more web traffic as future customers may rely on your content while making their decisions. This may look like posting info-graphics about general automotive industry trends or specific information about models and pricing. Even utilizing social media influencers can greatly increase your reputation and brand awareness.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Blog

    1. Establish a weekly cadence of posting (i.e. 5 times a week)
    2. Pick a few themes you can continually post about each week (i.e. Customer Review)
    3. Publish your posts across all your social channels!
    4. Monitor comments and direct messages
    5. Decide if you want to spend money on advertising

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another facet of your digital marketing strategy that needs to be utilized. Inbound marketing campaigns can be a great lead-generator when used effectively. For email marketing to be used in the best way possible, it’s important that you have email collection happening on other ends of your digital footprint. Your site, at a minimum, needs to have a pop-up and an email form to collect emails from your site visitors. While future customers are doing research on their car needs, it is important that you collect their email and other basic information in order to capitalize when they are thinking about buying a car. A great example of this is having some kind of downloadable content, “6 Things to Keep In Mind While Looking For Your Perfect Car.” You could offer free downloads to this relevant content in exchange for their name and email address. With this information, you or your sales team can reach out to them via email and introduce your dealership. During this process you can help advise the customer while they are still deciding, or get key information like they won’t be in the marketplace for another 6 months so you should reach out then! Another important aspect of email marketing is maintaining the relationships of past customers through periodic updates and event reminders. An example of this could be showing previous customers how you’re giving back to the community, explaining a special event that is happening at your dealership, or letting them know about any big changes. This helps keep them in the loop and feel like they are a part of the community and valued individuals.

Wrapping It Up- The Bottom Line for Car Dealership Marketing

Car shoppers have changed over the years and now the millennial generation has taken over a large portion of buying power, but their individual income is lower than previous generations. There’s much more scrutiny and research done before making such a large decision like purchasing a car. In fact, many millennials are deferring to leasing before investing in a new car. However, this generation is most influenced by content marketing. Extensive research has been done showing the benefits, especially channels like blogging and social media. According to a study conducted by Facebook, 74% of a buyers’ digital research is done via their smartphone or tablet. As such, you need to be where the buyers’ are doing their research! Gone are the days of simply going to your local car dealership in person with no information. You need to expect that anyone who comes through your doors has already done extensive research. Creating and executing a content marketing strategy is the best way to coordinate efforts across all your platforms and start driving traffic to your site, capturing leads, and converting new customers.

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