Top 5 Digital Advertising Strategies for Car Dealers
Top 5 Sales Strategies For Car Dealerships
Consumer behavior is evolving to embrace the digital economy, and car dealerships must evolve as well to meet customer needs. Today’s car buyers have enormous power to research all aspects of their car buying decision online. Dealerships must be willing to compete in this new digital ecosystem and offer car buyers a modern digital experience.
Many dealerships have been slow to embrace online trends in general, since even today most new car sales still occur in the retail dealership environment. However, major changes are coming as digital disruptors aim to compete directly with dealerships. For your dealership to remain modern, effective, and competitive, you must have a robust digital advertising strategy to reach consumers online. Below are 5 important steps all dealerships should take to create an effective digital presence.
#1) Include Digital in Your Media Mix. Despite the enormous opportunity available in digital marketing, many dealerships are still relying on advertising mediums like print, TV and radio. While these channels are still valuable, your dealership must modernize to include digital media as part of your advertising strategy. This includes investing in search advertising through Google AdWords, social media advertising through platforms like Facebook Ads, and more.
#2) Standing Out from the Competition. The automotive retail industry is increasingly competitive and dealerships must work hard to distinguish themselves from the competition. Importantly, you must stand out even before the customer visits your dealership. In the past, the average customer would visit 5 dealerships before buying a car. Today, they often visit just one. This is because they are better informed than ever and are making decisions based on dealerships’ online presence. Your website and overall online marketing efforts must be strong enough to express your value proposition before the customer ever walks through your doors. For example, one effective strategy is to have a video of the owner explaining why people should buy from this particular dealership right on the home page.
#3) Effective Video Marketing. Consumers’ online attention is rapidly moving away from text to video content. YouTube and Facebook videos are some of the most popular forms of internet content and a very powerful way for dealerships to express a message to prospective customers. An important first step for any dealership is creating a unique YouTube channel with effective branding and interesting video content such as vehicle information and walkarounds, how-to videos, and more. Keep in mind that these are not commercials - users have to find the content legitimately interesting to keep their attention.
#4) LinkedIn for Commercial Sales. If your dealership is targeting fleet sales or commercial vehicle sales, LinkedIn can be a very effective channel to reach decision makers at relevant target companies or industries. LinkedIn’s advertising platform allows you to target people based on their job title, employer, industry, and more, making it very powerful for reaching the right people with a compelling commercial vehicle offer.
#5) Advertise Your Parts and Service Department. An important challenge dealerships face today is losing profitability through competition to Quick Lube companies such as Jiffy Lube and aftermarket parts store such as NAPA. To combat these losses, dealerships should consider it mission-critical for digital advertising strategies to include a focus on parts and services, not just car sales. For example, your dealership’s website should allow customers to buy parts online at competitive rates, and digital advertising efforts should include messaging around services including oil changes and repair work.
These 5 strategies should help you begin to plan your dealership’s digital advertising strategy. Keep in mind they are just a starting point, and your overall digital plan must include many other factors including a strong mobile experience, effective digital analytics, and more. To learn more about leveraging the power of digital marketing to grow your car dealership, contact Max Zanan for a free consultation today.