Your Competitors are Doing THIS to Sell More Cars
Using Digital Marketing to Your Advantage
Consumers today are turning to the Internet to purchase cars at break-neck speed – and they want to be able to do everything from browsing your inventory and applying for an auto loan to holding a car with a deposit to arranging to pick up their newly purchased vehicle all online. Top-performing dealers use platforms like ID Drive to really amp up the speed of the process when customers are at the dealership’s location; they also must implement top-level digital marketing strategies if they are to stay in the game and keep up with their customers in the digital realm.
Digital marketing allows dealers the ability to follow consumers through each phase of the purchasing process. When done correctly, they can sell more vehicles, increase visits to the service center, gain customer loyalty, and benefit from word-of-mouth promotion. Digital marketing has taken off so quickly that 2017 was the first year that dealership spending on online marketing surpassed spending in all other types of advertising – combined.
Digital Platforms: Where to Focus
- Your Website
The first area on which dealers must concentrate efforts is their websites. The website of a business is its best marketing asset that should attract customers, provide good, relevant information, drive leads and sales, and build customer loyalty. However, even the best website does you no good if no one knows it’s there. This is where search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and other digital advertising methods come in.
- Social Media
In 2019, 70% of all consumers expect businesses to have social media presences on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, and the like. Almost 20% of consumers actively use social networks when they want information about a business. Good social media content is going to engage your audience and ensure that your dealership stays in their minds even when they aren’t physically present on your lot. Post articles, photos, links to your website, humorous cartoons, videos, tips, information on sales and incentives and more to stay in front of your customers. You’ll want to also use paid social media ads and campaigns to give your presence that extra important boost.
- Search Engine Optimization
If your website is stunning but no one visits it, that website isn’t going to help your business much. Appearing on search engine results pages isn’t enough – you need to ensure that your website ranks at the top for important keywords your customers are using to search for cars to purchase, especially for your geographic area. You can place top-of-the-page text ads and bid on keywords and enlist the help of an excellent SEO company to perform other tactics to get your website at the top of results pages and right in front of your customers.
- Pay-Per-Click Ads
This type of digital marketing, also known as PPC advertising, uses keywords that people use when searching online to place your ads using those keywords at the tops of search engine results pages. Basically, search engines like Bing, Yahoo! and Google sell ad listings that appear in search results. Dealerships only pay each time a person clicks on their ads; the clicks direct those potential customers to their websites. Facebook Advertising and Google AdWords are the two most effective PPC platforms, and they allow you to set a budget and see how your ads are performing. According to Google, businesses using PPC make an average of $2.00 in income for every dollar they spend in AdWords.
- Target Your Demographics
It’s vital that your efforts in digital marketing appeal to and attract the best relevant people in the best area; luxury dealerships in Los Angeles, for example, wouldn’t gain much benefit from attracting people who are interested in mid-range cars in Baton Rouge to purchase. Most digital platforms allow dealers to create highly targeted ads in order to reach the right people; specific demographics like gender, location, income, and age are included. Your target audience will see different ads according to how they can be grouped into categories, making your digital efforts powerfully effective.
Dealerships must be able to leverage the main platforms in digital marketing in order to meet consumer demand for speed, convenience, and efficiency. With most consumers expecting your dealership to have a website, it is also critical for your business to consistently present itself online in search engine results pages and social media sites in order to raise brand favorability and ultimately, your bottom line.
Author: Pete Maclnnis
Author Bio: Pete brings over 37 years of experience in automotive finance and technology as Founder and CEO of eLEND Solutions™. Founded in 2003 as DealerCentric, eLEND Solutions™ is an automotive FinTech company specializing in online and in-store digital credit, identity and finance solutions designed to create a more efficient and profitable vehicle purchase process for the retail automotive industry.