Car Dealership Digital Marketing Overview
The Ultimate [Car Dealership Digital Marketing] Guide
A detailed automotive digital marketing strategy is crucial for any car dealership wishing to succeed in a rapidly evolving automotive industry. But how can your car dealership achieve this? Have a quick look at our guide to find out!
Why Your Dealership Needs Digital Marketing
The automotive industry is evolving at a rapid pace – this is because technology’s role in your potential buyer’s decision-making process is becoming increasingly important.
Potential buyers no longer visit multiple car dealerships in order to find the right vehicle. Instead, they spend time doing research online, since the answers to their questions are available at the mere click of a button.
By the time potential buyers reach your car dealership, they are – more often than not – already well informed and know exactly what car they want to purchase.
This is why digital marketing plays such a crucial role in the potential success of your car dealership.
People might still buy their vehicles from your dealership, but the majority of their decision-making process – the most crucial and influential moments – take place online.
Digital marketing content acts as a source of information for 95% of potential car buyers. 65% of potential car buyers take a mere three weeks from the beginning to the end of the decision-making process –from doing their online research to making their final decision. Thus, digital marketing plays a crucial role in the buyer’s decision-making process.
6 /10 potential buyers are undecided when they begin doing their research. By the time they walk into your dealership, however, your potential buyer often already knows which car brand and model they want to purchase.
It is important that your car dealership has an online presence in order to reach potential buyers while they are still in the undecided stage of their decision-making process. This needs to happen before they are influenced by your competitors.
Where do potential buyers do their research?
Every potential buyer looking for information has to start somewhere, however, they are faced with an overwhelming amount of online resources. If and when they come across your dealership’s website, it has to make a lasting first impression. When a potential buyer begins their online car research, this is where they go:
The first type of website a potential buyer is likely to come across in their search is the third party website. This, however, will oftentimes ultimately direct them to a car dealer’s website.
That is why it is so crucial to have a strong presence on an influential third party website. It will allow you to remain the number one choice in potential buyers’ minds during their research process.
These statistics show that a car dealership needs to make a lasting impression on the potential buyer’s research stage. This can be achieved by making use of effective digital marketing strategies.
Automotive Digital Marketing Strategies to Optimise Leads
There is no doubt that investing in automotive digital marketing is important for your dealership’s livelihood. However, it has to be effective. There are various strategies which can be implemented to help ensure your car dealership’s success.
Establish an online presence
Potential buyers gain information almost exclusively from online resources. The first step is, naturally, to ensure that potential car buyers are reached. This can only be done effectively by establishing a strong online presence. There are various ways in which you can establish an online presence and use it to your dealership’s advantage
Implement SEO on Your Car Dealership Website
An important starting point for establishing your online presence is investing in a website.
Websites need to meet the high standards of search engine optimisation and mobile optimisation in order to ensure the success of your car dealership. The goal of your dealership is to ultimately sell as many cars as possible. Therefore your website needs to have an effective SEO strategy in place that will help boost your website to the very top of potential buyers’ search results.
Your website needs to make a great impression when a potential buyer comes across it for the first time. After all, you want the potential buyer to be interested in having a closer look at your content. Therefore, excellent user experience is key to ensure that a potential buyer’s first point of contact with your dealership is a positive one – first impressions count!
Websites are good digital marketing starting points because they can generate leads and direct potential buyers to other platforms, such as social media accounts.
How Your Car Dealership Can Use Social Media
Just as your website can lead potential buyers to your social media pages, your social media pages can lead them to your website as well. This has the ability to create a constant flow of traffic to all your digital marketing platforms.
There are various different social media platforms that can be used to extend your dealership’s online reach. The main benefit of using social media as a digital marketing strategy is that content reaches potential buyers fast – and sometimes even perchance.
A potential buyer might come across your dealership’s social media page while scrolling through their personal account, which could generate a lead to your website, which in turn could lead to a sale. Social media is an especially effective tool in the automotive industry, as it allows you to target specific buyers based on their search habits.
Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, will allow you to be creative with your car dealership’s digital marketing campaigns. Various forms of social media can be used to get a specific message across, in a variety of different ways.
The successful implementation of social media in your dealership’s digital marketing strategy will increase your reach exponentially.
Engage and build trust
After establishing an online presence and attracting potential buyers, you need to engage with your audience to make them want to stay. This will increase the chances of a potential buyer becoming a satisfied and happy customer.
Social media is an excellent platform to ensure engagement with your target audience and potential buyers. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to not only engage with potential buyers but also create a community where people can voice their concerns, ask questions and be part of a conversation.
By answering specific questions, your car dealership will be seen as a trustworthy and knowledgeable market leader. This will lead to potential buyers being more likely to purchase a vehicle from you, as a bond of trust has been formed – a bond that may be lacking between potential buyers and your competitors.
The fact that you can directly and immediately engage with your target audience allows for valuable feedback opportunities from potential buyers. This will allow you to continuously evolve your digital marketing strategy as your target audience evolves.
Automotive Digital Marketing Trends
Discover video marketing
Video research is a popular format choice for potential car buyers doing research.
Watching videos makes a potential buyer’s research process easier. In today’s fast-paced society, a potential buyer doing research would rather watch one detailed video than read through multiple articles. Video creates a more relevant and personalised experience for potential car buyers.
There are many different formats that a car dealership’s videos can take on. With regards to automotive digital marketing, virtual test drives, 360-degree interior and exterior views and full reviews are just some of the examples of video formats that can be used.
Many potential car buyers turn to YouTube to do their research. They watch a variety of videos, including test drives, features, and walk-throughs. Views on YouTube for these types of videos have increased dramatically, as 70% of car buyers’ final decision were influenced by YouTube videos.
Embrace the future with Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality is a relatively new concept in the digital marketing sphere, however, it can be very effective in the automotive industry.
Car manufacturers are starting to use virtual- and augmented reality technology to give potential buyers a futuristic and unique experience of their models on offer. Digi-Capital stated that augmented- and virtual reality technology is expected to reach a $120 billion revenue by 2020.
The reality is that potential buyers don’t visit car dealerships as frequently as in the past, however, potential buyers can now “visit” your car dealership through the wonder of VR. By using VR technology and specialised applications, any showroom in any car dealership can become a VR showroom.
VR has the ability to bridge the gap between online research and car dealership visits. This creates more and unique sales opportunities than in the past.
Car Dealership Web Design: Focus on mobile accessibility
Your website and any other digital media platforms should be optimised for all devices, including mobile devices.
People are using a variety of devices to access the content. Therefore you need to ensure that your content, videos, design and layout are compatible with the whole lot while remaining user-friendly. More than half of potential vehicle buyers make use of a mobile device to collect information during their research process.
According to research by Weve Automotive, the mobile journey starts with:
- Awareness – 57% browsed for car inspiration on their mobile
- Consideration – 59% researched and compared prices/specifications on their mobile
- Intent – 61% searched for nearby dealerships, requested brochures, and booked test drives on their mobile
- Purchase – 9% purchased a car on their mobile
- Loyalty – 9% explored aftersales on their mobile
Additionally, 58% of auto shoppers agree that their smartphone is likely to be the only device they will use for vehicle research in future.
Potential buyers are becoming less and less tolerant of websites that are incompatible with their mobile devices. This is why it is of the utmost importance to ensure that all your digital marketing content is compatible and user-friendly across a variety of devices.
Drive return traffic
It is important to ensure that your target audience has a constant desire to return to your various digital marketing platforms – they need to be that good.
Potential buyers won’t return if there is nothing new to return to, though. Therefore, there needs to be a constant production of quality and relevant content across all of your digital marketing platforms.
Through engagement with your target audience, you can monitor trends that will optimise the chances of return traffic. However, this will only be possible with a detailed content strategy, which is implemented across all your digital marketing platforms.
Attract Potential Buyers with PPC for Car Dealerships
There are various ways in which you can establish an online presence for your car dealership. The main goal, however, remains to attract potential buyers by optimising leads.
This is where the importance of visibility comes into play. Not only do you need to be visible online, but you also need to attract your intended audience – people who want to buy a car. In order to maximise your sales opportunities, you have to be visible to potential buyers when they are at their most receptive. This can be achieved by making use of paid advertisements which, again, will enable you to reach your target audience.
As previously mentioned, your website can attract and lead potential buyers to your social media pages, while your social media pages can attract and lead them to your website. This creates a constant flow of traffic to all your digital marketing platforms.
Lead Generation for Car Dealers
Digital marketing is essential to be successful in the automotive industry. It’s an industry is that’s rapidly evolving and your dealership needs to keep up with the changes or risk being left behind. You want your car dealership’s digital marketing platforms to experience consistent growth and generate leads.
Consistent growth and gaining more leads is possible by producing a steady stream of quality content, a superior website and engaging social media pages.
You need to ensure that your car dealership is referable. In the automotive industry, it is unlikely that you’ll have regular return customers. Therefore, it is especially important that buyers are able to and want to share your website and other digital marketing platforms. This can be achieved by placing social media sharing buttons on your website in order to make sharing your content and page easy and convenient.
By implementing and/or expanding your digital marketing platforms, you can ensure consistent growth, which will lead to an increase in the number of people your content reaches. This is an effective way of optimising the number of leads to your car dealership.
Ultimately, the goal of automotive digital marketing strategies is to ensure that potential buyers have an interactive, engaging and enjoyable experience on your various digital marketing platforms. This will create a relationship and build a sense of trust between you and your target audience, which is sure to benefit your car dealership in the long run. Through the use of effective automotive digital marketing strategies, your dealership will reach new heights as potential buyers transform into happy and satisfied car owners.