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Automotive Marketing: 19 Powerful Ideas for Car and Auto Dealers

To buy a car (new or used) or any other vehicle, the new generation user doesn’t just rely on visiting each and every showroom or dealer. With growing internet usage, the first research platform is Google and social media. The brand image of an auto company is no longer the major determining factor. To get consistent sales, a dealer must adopt the right automotive marketing strategies for their car/auto sales.

Since the price of a car or any other vehicle is in a high range, an average user spends more time researching for the best deal and features. While a few decades ago, car and auto dealers relied on offline marketing primarily, the trend has just reversed and online marketing for car/auto sales is increasingly becoming the most dominant factor. This comprehensive post on car dealer marketing will list all the best possible methods that you can apply to increase your dealership sales.

1) Website

No matter how the customer comes to know about your dealership or showroom, if you don’t have a well-designed website, you are sure to lose many potential customers and sales. A well-designed website is essential for automotive marketing and it must have the following features

A) Different sections must be well organized and easy to navigate.
B) It must have a contact number clearly visible on the homepage itself.
C) It must load easily and with the right resolution on mobile phones i.e. must be mobile-friendly design. This is essential because a big portion of online searches are conducted using mobile phones.
D) It must have a fast loading time. Due to the short attention span of an average user, people usually leave away a website if it takes a long time to load.

Apart from the essential features of an automotive website listed above. You can implement a live chat widget to increase conversion rates as people landing on your car/automotive website can get their doubts instantly resolved using the live chat feature. You can also convey relevant offers on your website to make sure that footfalls to your car dealership increase. For example, you can announce free test drives or free car driving lessons to people who book appointments through your website.

2) Organic Ranking

The first page of Google is the goldmine for all businesses and is therefore relevant for automotive marketing too. 90% of people searching on Google don’t go beyond the first page of Google for their searches. So if your auto dealership business makes it to the first page of Google for desired keywords, you are sure to get visits and sales consistently. To get first page ranking for auto dealership business, you have to take care of the factors that Google considers to rank any website like backlinks, content, relevancy, etc. Technically, this mechanism of ranking is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You can get it handled through any SEO agency or if you want to learn and implement it yourself, you can find plenty of tutorials and videos online.

3) Ads on Google

To quicken the process of getting customers to your car/auto dealership, Google ads is an extremely powerful strategy. By using Google ads, you can enable your car dealership advertising to show on each relevant keyword (query) typed by a user on Google. Due to active and targeted leads, it is one of the most preferred platforms. This also means more competition and high cost per user click. If you don’t have a proper set of targeted ads and keywords, then you will lose your budget quickly. Also, you must have a rich set of negative keywords to avoid wastage of non-relevant clicks to your ads. There are many free tutorials that can be utilized to get a good grasp of Google ads. Alternatively, any digital marketing agency can be used for handling Google ads for your car dealership.

4) Ads on Facebook

Facebook is another giant platform that can drive a huge number of visits to your car dealership website. Ads on Facebook work slightly differently than Google ads. Facebook provides a lot of targeting options (age, gender, interests, location, custom audience, etc) that you can utilize for automotive marketing. It has comparatively lower advertising rates than Google Ads.

5) Retargeting

Buying a car or any other vehicle is not an instant process as the price involved is big. For things that have a big price tag, people spend more time in research and it, therefore, takes more time to convince a potential buyer. So it is essential to do retargeting ads if you are doing paid online advertising for a car dealership. This way the user will be shown your ads on many instances and on many websites where he/she will visit. This will improve the overall conversion rates for your business.

6) Press Release

By issuing a car dealership press release, you can not only spread your announcement quickly to thousands of people but can also get a valuable and diverse set of backlinks to your official website that would help your website to rank better in Google. This will in turn help to get more car sales through increased traffic on your website. It will also enhance the brand value of your car dealership as people will find your press release hosted on many news platforms whenever they will type the name of your business in Google or any other search engine. Most businesses who know the power of press releases use it regularly to announce new updates.

7) Social Media

Promoting car dealerships on social media has multidimensional benefits. It not only helps to harness the potential traffic of the social media platform but also helps to understand customer behavior better which is a very vital factor in marketing. Being active on social media also gives a good impression of your business. Many times small conversations initiated on social media turn into sales. Utilizing groups on Facebook helps to expand the marketing reach. By involving actively in your local groups on social media, your brand becomes close to people involved in the group which not only helps to drive direct sales but also helps to generate referrals. Similarly utilizing Instagram and Twitter for car dealerships has its own set of benefits.

8) Influencers

People from your local area who have a good following on social media can also be useful assets for marketing your car dealership. Called influencers from a marketing perspective, they can not only vouch for your business but can also help to generate traffic for your website. To explore influencers in your area, you can use any influencer listing site to search for the relevant ones.

9) Utilizing Competitors’ Brand

You can utilize competitors’ brand names to showcase the features and benefits of your car dealership. If you are doing paid advertising on Google ads, then you can bid on the brand name of your competitors to showcase your ads whenever anyone types your competing business name on Google. Similarly for organic ranking using content marketing, you can create blog posts related to them and can provide your dealership/business as an alternative. However, during this process don’t try to showcase your competitor in a negative light as it is both ethically and legally wrong.

10) Videos

Videos are much more influential than text in convincing a potential buyer. You can utilize videos in many ways. You can create a good presentation video of your automotive showroom/dealership along with portfolio and features and can then embed it on your website homepage and social media. You can also do keyword research to find low competition and long-tail keywords that people use to find car dealerships in your location. After finding such keywords, you can create videos around them and can post them on Youtube and other big video-sharing sites. Videos tend to rank faster and better in Google if you aim for low competition keywords. This would consistently generate leads for your car business.

11) Emails

It is essential that you try to capture the email addresses of as many visitors that land on your website. This is essential to establish a constant connection with interested customers. You don’t know what set of questions, preferences, or doubts the customer actually has when he/she lands on your website. Once you get the email address, you can initiate direct contact and can address their concerns better which is sure to add extra sales. However, note that people are not going to provide their email addresses unless they find a good reason to do so. To build a powerful email marketing link to your car dealership, you must give a good incentive like a free test drive or a free custom pen/T-shirt that they can collect from your showroom/office.

12) Reviews

Reviews have become a much more powerful factor than ever in marketing due to the big growth of internet usage. People search for reviews of a business before dealing with it. If you have more positive and 5-star reviews, you are sure to attract more car deals. One good way to build reviews for your auto dealership is to incentivize users to leave feedback and in exchange get a free test drive, free car wash, discount on servicing, free paperwork handling, etc. Apart from aiming for good reviews, it is also essential to become aware of negative reviews and to address them as soon as possible. For this, you can set up Google Alerts for your business name so that you can get notified every time whenever someone discusses your business online. Setting up Google alerts is very easy (5-minute job) and you can find many video tutorials for the same on YouTube.

13) Free Factor

Free things attract a big audience and you can utilize the attraction power of “free” to grow your car dealer business. Be it free car learning lesson, free test drive, free car wash or any other thing that you can think of, you can announce the “free something” through various means like Facebook, flyers, ads, website, etc to bring more people to your car showroom and in turn convert them into your customer.

14) Networking

Networking is a good way to build referrals for automotive branding and marketing. Non competing businesses that are more likely to have a relevant demographic can serve as the best partners for sending referrals. Car wash businesses, auto parts stores, auto insurance agents, etc are good potential partners for sending customers to your business.

15) Virtual Reality

New technologies attract people and if the new technology is entertaining too, then the power is multiplied. Virtual reality is one such thing that can be harnessed effectively to drive more people towards your business. You can set up virtual reality for a luxury car or your showroom or anything interesting that appeals to your desired audience. Using such things can also quickly generate word-of-mouth publicity for your car dealership.

16) Directories

Listing your automotive business on top authority directories like Manta, Crunchbase, etc has indirect benefits in terms of building brand value and backlinks that adds to increasing your website ranking in Google which means more visitors and sales. These directories can therefore be used to grow your auto/car dealership sales.

17) Installments

Come up with attractive installment plans for your cars or vehicle portfolio to boost sales. Not everyone is ready to afford full payment in one go. A customer can be made much more comfortable by giving different payment options. To prevent defaults on such payments, you can tie up with other insurance agencies.

18) Sponsor Local Events

Your business can remain in public perception if you are active in local events. You can either host or sponsor attractive events to create a brand name for your business locally. Active participation locally is a good strategy for promoting your auto dealership.

19) Offline Marketing

The traditional offline marketing methods for auto dealership like putting ads on newspapers, billboards, distributing flyers, radio station ads, etc are also good methods to build your business brand and to get clients. Traditional marketing is broader in scope and is often untargeted but is still a great way to get sales.

By making use of the above auto marketing strategies, you can consistently get more customers and can increase your business. Ideas, queries, feedback are welcome and you can use the comment block below for the same.

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