Four Must-Do Online Marketing Techniques for your Car Dealership

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The internet is the biggest and the most important resource for buying used or new cars, according to a 2013 research by online dealership solutions provider Auto Trader. It showed that end users spend 10 to 12 hours browsing through online sources in 2013.

The statistics speak for themselves: the use of multiple online tools and channels is a must to showcase what an auto dealership has to offer and, ultimately to engage their prospects. Here are four online marketing techniques for your car dealership which you can use to boost your sales:

1. Add a live chat system to your site.

A live chat system may be viewed more as a customer support tool, but coming from a sales and marketing perspective, it is also a great tool for engagement as real-time conversations are made possible through text.

This works very well for dealerships who sell through an online store. Purchasing a car is always risky for the buyers since there is always a significant amount of money involved. A live chat system then solves the problem as it provides the assurance a buyer needs during selection through interaction, a service that a website’s static content (ex. FAQ section) cannot satisfy.

Live chat brings a lot of benefits, and one of them is free market research. Through your representative’s conversations with your prospects, you will get ideas on which among your efforts actually add to your customers’ experience, like a shorter sign up process on your website or a bigger font on your price catalogs.

Ultimately, live chat sends the message to your audience that you actually care for them, simply because efforts aimed at trying to reach out and listen are always perceived as good.

2. Provide quality content.

Conversion rates are a lot higher when you keep your audience engaged. Providing them valuable content from either your website or social media account is a great way of engaging them, because it doesn’t only get them to talk with you—it also gets them to talk with each other.

Think like your customer and opt for something useful for them when coming up with ideas for your content, such as: an instructional video of how to do repairs; product reviews of different parts, tools, and other autos; or an infographic displaying some of the most iconic cars in history. The trick is learning to find the balance between informative and entertaining.

This tactic is good for branding since being the center of your audiences’ discussions builds you authority over time, making your site or social media accounts the go-to hub of your niche. This gets better when word about you spread via word-of-mouth, since people in general love telling their peers about their experiences with a brand. The third party referral then makes your perceived credibility higher, and your audience more receptive to your messages.

3. Use social media.

The use of social media is almost always a must for all businesses in any industry, either operating online or offline, since it’s become a big part of people’s lives.

In the case of Cavender Toyota’s campaign, the team realized that they had huge potential of standing out online since none of their competitors were active in social networking giant Facebook. They then developed a content strategy that was centered on providing useful vehicle tips and community information. The campaign resulted in a 113% increase in total unique site visits, 143% increase in total leads, and a staggering 337% increase in total page views.

For dealers, it’s always good to maintain a Facebook page to get people on-the-know about upcoming events, promos, and new launches. Twitter works well too for sharing text-based content like automotive industry news to your audience.

Social media, though, do not only revolve on the social networking sites; it involves a variety of web applications that allow creation and sharing of user-made content. There are other useful tools that could be utilized like third-party blogs for your product reviews, as well as video sites like Youtube and Vimeo for your product demos and tutorials.

Social media in general is also one of the best tools for engagement. You can interact with your audience since most of these sites have a dedicated section for placing comments, in which you could take part too.

4. Zoom in on your market.

There’s a very high chance that your prospects already planned beforehand how far they’re willing to travel to buy a new car. Normally, they’d choose a dealership that’s close to their residence since they could save on travel time and expenses, not to mention that bringing home a car isn’t exactly as simple as bringing home groceries inside a paper bag. Most of your prospects then would surely turn to the internet to find the nearest dealerships, and this is where you should be visible.

Geotargeting optimizes a website to be more visible in search results concerning queries on selected locations. To illustrate, the search terms “Nissan dealership in Los Angeles, California” would most likely be used by your prospect living in Los Angeles, California, than “Nissan dealership” simply because he already knows beforehand where he wants to look for a dealership.

Going online sure has its perks for both you and your prospects. In the end, you’re not just selling cars. You’re selling transportation, accessibility, and convenience to your hardworking prospects. Let them know what you have for them by employing these strategies.

Michael Bowen


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