Almost all consumers today shop for cars online before visiting a dealership. To convert those online shoppers into buyers, smart auto dealers employ digital marketing strategies. Here we'll share the most effective strategies auto dealers.
You must first prepare your company for success before developing your digital marketing strategy. This entails conducting research on your target audience, evaluating your competitors, and establishing appropriate objectives. Having this information will give your digital marketing campaigns the best chance of succeeding.
Digital marketing is the practice of marketing online via websites, emails, and social media. Other than where it appears, digital marketing differs from traditional marketing. The practice is more interactive and customer-focused. A car dealership cannot target a television commercial to a specific age or other characteristic. That potential customer is unable to interact with the TV commercial. And the dealer may be unaware of how effective the commercial was in attracting potential customers to the dealership. Demographics and other types of potential buyers can be targeted using digital marketing. Dealers can easily see how well their marketing performed and how many people are interested in learning more.
Your prospective customers can and should find you without the use of paid search engine advertising. SEO, which is optimized content on your website that helps search engines and searchers find you.
According to the research, 70% of consumers who start researching cars start with a search engine. A high ranking on a search engine results page has an advantage that consumers regard them as more trustworthy than a PPC ad. As a result, strive to be near the top of non-PPC, or organic, search results. You'll also want a well-designed website with the content car buyers want detailed information on individual vehicles. Online car shoppers today expect to find all of the information they need to make a vehicle purchase online. Many car dealership websites have an excessive number of calls-to-action (CTAs) — interactive elements that request a viewer's name and contact information. That being said, a few CTAs should be strategically placed on your website.
Voice search is becoming more popular. Customers can use Alexa on their smart speaker or Siri on their smartphone to find the best auto dealerships. Make sure your content is optimized to answer simple and conversational questions.
Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, can be a valuable tool for effective digital marketing. A dealership will pay a search engine (usually Google) to place your link at the top of a search result for specific keywords. Every time someone clicks on that ad to learn more, they pay Google a small fee. PPC is becoming increasingly popular in the automotive industry.
Another aspect of paid online advertising is "programmatic display," which allows you to show your ad to a highly targeted audience based on what they are reading on another website. For example, they could be reading an article about car buying or small SUVs.
Including a blog on your site that provides basic consumer information about cars and car purchasing can also help your search engine rankings.
When customers start looking for a car, they will not only look for a specific model. They will also want to learn general information about cars and car purchasing. Many consumers, for example, will ask search engines about the advantages and disadvantages of leasing versus purchasing a car. If you've written a blog on the subject, your dealership is likely to be a top result for that query. You can conduct online research to find out what questions consumers have about cars and car buying.
Your blog will also assist customers in viewing your dealership as a reliable source of information and advice.
You cannot solely concentrate on optimizing your website for SEO. You should also optimize it for local SEO, so that people looking for cars in your area can find you. As more people use their phones to access information online, local SEO has become even more important. Approximately half of all mobile searches now yield local results. People are on the go and want to know where they can get a pizza or a Ford Car. When they search for a vehicle, you want to be among the results. Create an account in Google My Business and include your address and other geographic information. You should also include local information on your website.
social media is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy. According to the research, 38% of car buyers consult social media sites before purchasing a vehicle. Create an account on every social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Then assign staff to keep those accounts active by posting regularly about your dealership, car buying, and vehicles.
Viewership of online automotive videos is increasing, and these videos have a significant influence on potential car buyers.
According to a Google study, YouTube influenced 64% of people who used it to buy a car. That is more consumers influenced than by television, newspapers, magazines, or automobile reviews. You could make short videos that demonstrate:
A vehicle on a test drive
Testimonials from satisfied customers
New vehicles with distinctive features
Tips for Car Repair and Maintenance
The videos can increase the number of clicks on your social media and online ads, as well as draw people deeper into your website. They can also help drive more traffic to your website by having search engines rank your videos. When uploading a video to YouTube, remember to include a written transcript of the video. The transcript is generally not visible to viewers, but it will help Google rank the video higher in search results.
Customers who have opted in to receive messages from your dealership can also be texted. This method is faster and more efficient than sending messages to customers. Mobile phones are increasingly being used to access business websites, including car dealerships. Customers who receive a text message from you can visit your website right away.
Your dealership's online reviews are critical to its success. As previously stated, seven out of ten car buyers say that online dealer reviews influence where they buy a vehicle.
Allow customers to leave reviews on your website or other platforms such as Google and social media. Keep an eye on those reviews and respond to them (both positive and negative) constructively. This strategy is only a small part of what you should be doing to manage your dealership's online reputation. You should also keep an eye on how your dealership ranks in general search engine results. Remember to include a link to your website on external review sites.
Dealers will want to list all of their new and used vehicle, with all vehicle details on leading third-party websites, where consumers frequently visit first when looking for a vehicle. The popular third-party car websites are Autotrader.com, Cars.com, Edmunds.com, and CarGurus.com are among the sites. Not listing your vehicle on these sites is equivalent to parking your cars behind your dealership rather than in front.
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