There’s an exciting world of selling cars online when you’re willing to get creative and look beyond Craigslist ads
When it became apparent that a website for your dealership was no longer a nice option, but a critical “must have,” you surrendered to the future of selling cars online and invested in a top-of-the-line website. High-quality images, plenty of calls to action, snazzy copy—you have it all.
Building an online presence for your auto dealership, however, isn’t an “if you build it, they will come” scenario. You need to think of your website as your digital storefront and your dealership as your brick-and-mortar storefront. You wouldn’t just build a dealership and then never market your business, right?
The great part about selling cars online is that there’s plenty of room for relatively inexpensive experimentation. There are so many different channels and platforms that can help you get your dealership’s name out there, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
10 ideas for selling cars online (that you haven’t thought of yet)
Not sure where to begin with online marketing and advertising ideas for your dealership? Don’t sweat it—here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
1. Post on niche classified boards
You already know about Craigslist because every other dealer in town is already posting their inventory on there. Classified boards can be a great place to find interested buyers, but consider casting a smaller net and looking for niche groups of super fans. For example, if you have a Toyota Tundra that you’re hoping to sell, do a Google search to find websites or Facebook pages dedicated to the make and model. You’re much more likely to find an interested party that way than doing a general Craigslist ad.
2. Recycle bloopers from commercial shoots
You know those television commercials that you spend a pretty penny on? Get even more mileage from your investment and post bloopers to your dealership’s YouTube channel, and then share on social media. It’s an effective, easy way to give your dealership a little personality and stand out from everyone else.
3. Take Facebook fans on a test drive
If you haven’t used Facebook’s new(ish) Facebook Live feature, it’s time to start making it work for your business. Choose one person from your dealership to host and one to video the live stream on his or her phone. Introduce the viewers to a vehicle on your lot, show them all the cool features, and then take them out on an actual test drive with you.
4. Use Snapchat to share your top cars
Every Monday, post videos on Snapchat of your top 10 favorite cars on the lot. You only have a few precious seconds to talk on each Snapchat clip, so plan out what you’re going to say ahead of time and don’t get long winded! The key is to spark the viewers’ interest and entice them to come into the dealership.
5. Announce new vehicles on Twitter
Create a private Twitter account that is separate from your normal dealership’s account that only announces new cars the second they come in–even before they’re up on the website. Make this the first place you announce new vehicles, so it’s a VIP thing for interested buyers who request to follow you.
6. Do a “No Filter Friday” on Instagram
Post a picture or two of vehicles on your lot that are so good looking that they don’t require any Instagram filter.
7. Boost Facebook posts for tough sells
Have a car that’s been sitting on your lot a little too long? Post it on Facebook and put some money behind it to “boost” the post so you can reach a larger, but extremely targeted audience beyond your fan base.
8. Share your knowledge by guest blogging
You already know your dealership should have a blog, but there are benefits to blogging or writing articles for other websites or publications outside of your business. By sharing your knowledge, you position yourself as a trustworthy industry insider (and hopefully get a link back to your dealership’s website on your post).
9. Try a Groupon
Groupon’s mailing list has a wide reach in your area, so make it work for you. Offer a deeply discounted oil change for whoever purchases your Groupon—it builds brand recognition (even if the person doesn’t buy) and gets new faces in your dealership. They may not be buying now, but they’ll remember you when they’re ready.
10. Create Spotify playlists
Spotify is a popular music streaming service the boasts upwards of 100 million users, and it gives you the ability to create playlists you can share with the public. Get your staff together to have fun and brainstorm playlist ideas and corresponding songs to include. For example, you could create a “Cross Country Road Trip” playlist, or one called “Morning Commute.”
Selling cars online should be fun, so don’t let yourself get too hung up on coming up with the “right” idea. The goal is to be where your potential customers are, get your name out there, build brand recognition, and hopefully, sell a few cars in the process.