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Successful dealerships know the value of a powerful marketing strategy. Revive your efforts with proven car sales marketing ideas.
The auto industry is diving headfirst into a new age of marketing. Digital technology is changing how used car dealers connect with buyers at every step. You’ve seen the difference in recent years, but have you fully adopted a marketing strategy that meets your customer’s needs?
If not, it’s time to make use of car sales marketing ideas that improve your bottom line. Take a step back and analyze all of your current marketing strategies: traditional, digital, interpersonal, outreach, and retention.
Bring all of your digital tools up to standard and hit all your bases. Take a look at every avenue and ask yourself: how are these marketing efforts leading to sales?
1. Make your website a lead generation machine
In today’s world, a dealership’s website is its strongest digital tool. Web leads should be arriving at your website in several ways (more on this topic below) and be driven through a well-oiled conversion funnel.
What is the main goal of your website? To take the prospect to the next step: schedule an appointment, call a salesperson, or request information.
- Responsive design: your website needs to be viewable and user-friendly on all devices.
- Video content: when a web visitor arrives at your virtual door, capture his attention with video content—dealership walk-throughs, customer testimonials, vehicle presentations, and more.
- Easy paths to conversion: make it easy for visitors to take the next step by making sure all your web pages point towards a call to action.
2. Utilize traditional and digital marketing together
TV, radio, and print advertising is not dead. You can still use a well-placed, incentive-based TV or radio ad to bring local audiences into the market.
As a standalone strategy, traditional methods may not be as effective as they used to be. The argument was stemming from their lack of “targeting.” But, if combined with a strong digital strategy, conventional advertising can be an effective way to spread awareness and attract a large audience.
3. Engage the community
Giving support to local causes and charities will benefit your marketing in two ways:
1. People will see your sponsorship as good business acumen.
2. It promotes the dealership as an integral part of the community.
If you’re looking to add more community outreach to your car sales marketing ideas, here are a few strategies to get started:
- Partner up: double-team a promotional event with other local businesses. Utilize your inventory as shuttle transportation to and from the event.
- Be known in community events: is there a 4th of July parade in the surrounding area? Advertise your inventory by sponsoring groups or individuals.
4. Get creative with referral incentives
Brainstorm ways to make your referral and loyalty programs more desirable. What can you offer customers that will be valuable and cost-effective?
Remember that receiving free gifts and money will not always motivate customers to refer you. Instill creativity and offer more than personal gain.
- Pay it forward: market your referral program as a way to help a friend.
- Surprise and delight: instead of giving money or discounts as an incentive, make it a surprise.
- The car finish: give your referrers a wax and buff. Come up with a funny, yet intriguing name for the reward to drive interest.
5. Create a strong brand message
If you want to separate yourself from competition, transform your dealership into a brand and unify your services. What’s the brand message, and how can it inform your marketing? Branding can be a powerful way to communicate with customers. It keeps your dealership on the top of their minds.
- Create video content that aligns with your brand message: promote a video that shows potential customers your brand vision, and how it informs every level of customer service.
- Create a stylized, meaningful logo: hire a professional to create a logo and byline that communicates the promise you’re going to keep with your clients.
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6. Drive traffic to your website
Once you have a high-functioning, visually-appealing website, you need to attract the right customers to it. SEO marketing is a strategy worth investing in.
If you want to drive targeted web traffic and convert them into leads, it’s time to consider two digital marketing methods: pay per click (PPC) and organic search.
PPC: pay for targeted ads to be listed alongside search results in Google, Bing, and Yahoo! for keywords you can’t rank on easily in search.
Organic search: optimize content and implement targeted keywords into blog content and web pages for less competitive phrases that will drive search traffic for the long term.
Turn your car sales marketing ideas into executable plans
Before you begin implementing different marketing strategies, it’s best to draft a foolproof plan. Take time to research your audience and budget properly. Invest in CRM software that will help you track your sales and identify strong lead sources. Then, you will know where to allocate funds and reinforce strategies that are working.
Jump in the conversation! What’s your favorite marketing strategy? Is there a tip you would like to add? Let us know and share your thoughts!