Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
Give your auto dealership marketing a new look: here are seven ways to shake up your marketing and start attracting more customers
If there is one thing you can count on for marketing, it’s this: there is no one way to do it. It’s always changing. What worked yesterday may not work in a year from now.
Digital technology has sped up the process. Now dealerships have more possibilities to connect with customers.
If you feel as though your auto dealership marketing is beginning to flat line, it may be time to mix it up and try something new.
Shaken not stirred: 7 ways to mix up your auto dealership marketing
- Make your brand more exciting
Branding is the starting point for all your marketing efforts. Without a strong brand name, logo, and message, it’s difficult to catch the eyes and ears of customers. Even an excellent marketing campaign suffers if the brand doesn’t have that extra “oomph!”.
If you’ve had your dealership name for some time, it’s okay to keep it (in fact, that may be a better idea). You can make your brand more engaging and interesting without a complete overhaul.
- Create a byline for your brand. A short message that communicates your “promise” to customers. That message creates a common theme for the rest of your marketing efforts.
- Hire a professional designer to create a new logo.
- Optimize your blog content
Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a new trend. Most dealership GM’s and managers are familiar with PPC advertising, targeting keywords, and the goal of ranking higher in Google. But, there is another way to marketing your business using SEO techniques, and, believe it or not, it’s all about your blog.
You can target specific keywords within your blog content. Each piece of content you publish effectively turns into a landing page for your dealership, drawing more targeted traffic to your website.
- Hire a professional content writer to write SEO’d content for your blog each week.
- Make your blog content informative and helpful to your readers.
- Keep each post short, visually appealing (use pictures), and easy to read.
- Switch to a CRM for car dealers
If you are using a generic CRM tool, think about switching to one that offers features specifically tailored to dealerships. AutoRaptor is made by car sales professionals, for car sales professionals. Every feature is intuitively designed to help your salespeople work more efficiently.
- Lead assignments within the software tool.
- Send text messages and phone calls with no additional carrier charge.
- Complete mobile capability with unique features, such as license and VIN number scanning.
- Daily workflow reminders.
- Focus on mobile readers
Many of your customers view your website, emails, and inventory with mobile phones. If you haven’t already, it’s time to ensure that all of your digital content is responsive to mobile devices, including tablets. Content that is not easily readable on mobile screens is losing you conversion opportunities.
- Design all of your auto dealership marketing with mobile browsers in mind.
- Think about how your content is read: make your email messages short and to the point. Mobile readers will skim and scan before they decide to read.
- Modernize your website experience
Get your website up to snuff, in other words. In terms of digital marketing (or perhaps all of your auto dealership marketing), your website is the most important piece of the puzzle. It’s the virtual doorway to your dealership. Your leads will pass through to view your inventory, read your content, and get a feel for how you do business. What will they see?
- Create video content to post on your website. Dealership walk-throughs, salespeople spotlights, virtual car presentations, etc.
- Hire a web designer to give you a new, sleek look. Make your website look attractive, fun, and engaging.
- Make sure to build links to all your pages so Google can index them correctly.
- Include pictures of the salespeople with short bios and contact information.
- Build your opt-in lists
Converting your web visitors into qualified leads is a step-by-step process. Gaining an email address is easier if you offer something free in return, such as an e-book, white paper, redeemable coupon, etc. This is one of the main methods of inbound (or permission-based) marketing.
A simplified process would look like this:
- A person visits your website, views inventory, and researches your dealership.
- He watches your videos of vehicle presentations and reads your blog.
- At the bottom of your web page is an offer to download your entire library of video content.
- To download the content, he needs to provide an email address and/or phone number.
- He provides his information and is added to your opt-in marketing list.
- You sent out automated messages (email drip campaign) offering more useful content.
- After a few messages, you sent out a targeted promotion based on his vehicle search and behavior.
- He responds, comes into the dealership, and now your salespeople have a qualified lead.
- Segment and personalize
Finally, if you want your marketing to provide effective ROI, you need to target specific groups and personalize your efforts. The “spray and pray” techniques do not work like they used to. People want to have a personal connection to your dealership. They will not respond to vague, objective, or generic marketing material.
For better results, segment your marketing lists into specific groups and demographics. Use your research and tracking tools to see what they’ve viewed, what vehicles they’re interested in, and what promotion would best attract their attention.
- Break your email lists into specific groups. Create promotional material specifically for them.
- Make sure your emails and text messages are personal. One-to-one conversations are the messages people respond well to.
- Think small: brainstorm ways to target specific groups with engaging, useful, and relative promotions.
Give your auto dealership marketing a regular dose of new ideas and methods
Every dealership needs to mix up their marketing efforts on a regular basis. Of course, if something is working well, there is no reason to try and change it. But, if you see that your “go-to” tactics are starting to flat line, use these tips to diversify your marketing mix. Remember: your internet marketing is a critical aspect of your overall strategy. Give your website the attention it deserves and build up your inbound marketing sales funnel.
What’s your opinion? Do you have any marketing tips to add? Share your thoughts!