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Looking for the best automotive marketing ideas? Start thinking like a marketer and pitch your GM on new strategies
Do you ever creep on another dealership’s website or Facebook page to check out all the wonderful marketing material they’re putting out? Or maybe notice that, for some odd reason, they are always the first dealer that pops up in Google’s local search results? It’s not a coincidence—they’re focusing their marketing with a thought-out plan. As as salesperson, you have every right to discuss with your GM ways to market the dealership. You need to pitch automotive marketing ideas that are new, fresh and drive more sales.
The good news is that not many dealerships are up-to-date with today’s marketing tactics. Of course, they’ve done a lot to create an online presence for themselves: build a website, advertise on third-party directories, manage social media accounts, maybe even PPC ads. If you research other dealers around the U.S., you’ll find a select few that really know how to innovate. These are the tips your GM wants to hear about, and the ones your marketing manager should jump on.
Salespeople need to think like marketers to gain trust with online audiences
If you’ve been thinking about pitching automotive marketing ideas to your GM, that’s perfect! You’re in touch with your marketer side, and that’s where many sales reps fall short. There’s much more to personal branding and self-promotion than starting a LinkedIn profile.
Today’s car buyers are looking for cars online, but they’re also looking for salespeople they can trust. For you, that means building relationships with customers before they reach the dealership. There are many ways to accomplish this goal.
Let’s start with marketing your skills, services and personality on the dealership’s website. How can you show the customer you’re a professional and win them over before they show up in person?
1. Develop a personal bio page on the website with customer testimonials. Use professional head shots and explain how you help customers solve problems. Give an example of your favorite client experience, and tell a story. Finally, provide a testimonial with a customer you’ve helped in the past.
2. Record monthly “spotlights” of the sales staff. Create a topic for the discussion, such as “10 ways to find the perfect vehicle for your family” and record the opinions and answers of each person on the team. Promote those videos on the website and over social media channels.
3. Create virtual vehicle presentations for new or discounted inventory. Work together with the marketing team to record a series of walk-throughs where salespeople present the vehicle as if in-person. Viewers will have a chance to actually experience the vehicle and get to know the salesperson.
Automotive marketing ideas that focus on measurable, targeted lead generation
A lead is a lead, as they say. And that’s what car sales is all about—converting qualified leads into paying customers. Since most of your leads start online, it’s time to build a sales funnel system that targets that audience.
The online sales funnel system can be broken down into four chronological sections:
- Drive traffic to the website
- Delight them with quality content
- Convert them with a call-to-action
- Follow-up to get them into the dealership
From that point on, you take over and start the sales process at the dealership. Chances are your customer already knows what vehicle she came to see, so now you’re giving test drives and negotiating terms.
The point is that your dealership should be working to streamline the paths of web visitors and direct them to a specific action. Qualify your leads before they arrive at the dealership.
Automotive marketing ideas for driving targeted web traffic
Here’s a smart idea your GM would love to hear: drive web traffic with a dealership blog. What? How can you possibly do that?
It’s called organic search marketing. You target keywords with your blog content that local audiences are searching for online. For instance, “used cars in Boston” or “used car dealerships in MA.”
You take those keywords and create a blog post around that idea. So your headline might read: “Why We’ve Been Selling Used Cars In Boston for Over Twenty Years.”
You don’t want your blog post to read like a sales letter—that will turn away readers. Instead, focus on educating them about your dealership’s history, your unique story, or how the used-car market in Boston works. Either way, make sure your offering valuable content to your readers. You want to show how you’re an expert in car sales, and then develop trust along the way.
There are several ways to properly write an optimized blog post, but here are a few tips to make the most out of your content:
- Write between 600-800 words for each article.
- Always include a call-to-action or promotion.
- Promote your blog posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Create an editorial calendar to publish on a consistent basis.
- Invite people to guest blog to build more links and a wider audience.
Turn your automotive marketing ideas into new strategies
You have a vested interest in how your dealership’s marketing efforts are performing. The better automotive marketing ideas they have, the stronger your lead traffic will become. Pitch your GM on building a well-oiled online sales funnel and different ways your team can create engaging content. Salespeople need to think like marketers if they want to connect with today’s audiences, so use these ideas to stay ahead of the game.