If you’re asking yourself how to get people to come to your dealership, your best bet starts with increasing your online traffic.
The best practices to generate more car sales starts with thinking about your automotive marketing strategies in the digital age of online shopping.
Car shoppers are now doing their own research online to find information on the best car dealers rather than taking a test drive in person, or service centers in their local area.
Car buyers are now using search engines like Google to find reviews to decide whether or not your dealership is worth the visit. In fact, 92% of shoppers online read reviews before they decide to buy.
This means that having a digital marketing plan is highly important for reaching potential customers browsing online.
How can I promote my car company?
Coming up with new car marketing ideas to generate more foot traffic might seem like a task too large to handle, so we’ve created 7 online car dealership marketing ideas to help boost your revenue online this year.
Whether you're an automotive marketer for used vehicles, branded, or a local partner for dealerships, you’ll be bringing more customers into your business and more cars off the lot in no time.
1. Generate a social media presence on your social media platforms.
Almost 60% of the world’s population has social media, and 79% of the population in the U.S. uses their social profiles daily - meaning that a great place to find customer opportunities for your target audience can be found on social media.
This is an easy way to create some brand awareness and community building for your auto dealership.
Engaging your audiences online using customized content based on the platform you are using allows you to target your audience and drive more traffic to your website.
The most popular social media channels include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and much more.
For example, Instagram is ideal to showcase your great photos of your cars or your staff with a short caption, and having a Facebook page for your dealership is a good place to post video reels and longer-form content.
The key to creating a good social media plan: telling a story that resonates with your audience. You can consider creating posts to highlight new vehicles that you have on the lot, promote new blog posts, post good news updates about your company, relevant TikTok trends, follow car search trends, and much more.
Use other car dealership accounts to find more inspiration and relevant hashtags to keep your socials flourishing and make your dealership more competitive.
2. Gather more positive customer reviews.
Reviews are probably the most effective marketing strategy any local business can use.
Not only do you need a good review profile to stand out in the car industry, positive reviews are one of the best ways to attract potential buyers to your business.
While this might not be a new idea for the automotive industry, going above and beyond to make the most of your reviews will ensure that you’re utilizing your customer’s testimonials.
76% of consumers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as a personal recommendation.
Managing your online reviews is critical for growing your business. Gathering more 5-star reviews is a great way to boost your online reputation and get your website ranking higher for searches like “dealerships near me”.
93% of people read online reviews before they decide to make a purchase, so keeping track of your reviews and responding to them will ensure you’re always putting your best foot forward for potential customers.
Boosting your online reputation will ultimately increase your revenue, as Businesses can see a 5-9% revenue increase by improving their online reputation.
With all this in mind, DemandHub is a reputation management and texting platform to help you respond, gather, and manage all your reviews in one place.
You can gather reviews on an all-in-one platform to gain valuable insights, respond to feedback, keep in touch with customers and ultimately, grow your business.
3. Add testimonials to your homepage
To further hammer in the point of using your positive reputation to attract new customers, a smart car dealership marketing strategy would also leverage them on your main site.
You can add positive feedback on your website to show evidence of your quality of service. This will keep customers on your webpage longer.
Some examples of ideas can include adding featured testimonials to your homepage right as viewers hop on, as you will have a better chance at engaging car buyers for longer.
You can also put your Google and Facebook reviews on your site. You can add a review badge that web browsers can click open to read all your 4-5 star reviews in one place.
Another way is to add specific testimonials related to your current car listings to really help convince car buyers to move forward with their choice as they’re looking for their dream car.
4. Promote deals via texting your customer databases.
Another way to market your business to potential car buyers is by sending promotional texts to your past or current customers straight to their mobile devices.
Texting is the most effective way to communicate with your customers as texting has a 99% open rate in comparison to 23% for emails.
Customers prefer online chat, texting and phone calls over email marketing as it allows for salespeople to develop a personal connection rather than an impersonal email blast that could potentially go into their junk mail.
You can send your loyal customers exclusive deals, or mass-text your customer database with your current seasonal promotions to keep your customers updated on the best deals possible.
With more opportunities to connect via text, you’ll be the first choice in mind when they purchase a new car.
Fortunately, DemandHub has messaging and texting capabilities that allows you to utilize this effective communication method to send promotional texts, ask for more reviews, check in on the progress of agreements, answer inventory questions and more.
5. Make the most of your referrals.
One of the most powerful methods of automotive marketing is utilizing word-of-mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing at its core is referral marketing, as happy customers spread the word about your fantastic service to their colleagues and connections.
Focusing on this type of marketing is the best thing for your dealership as people trust personal recommendations the most.
Even more so than reviews, a Nielsen report says that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising,
You can use your referrals to your advantage by using referral programs to incite your past customers to bring in new customers. Some examples of this would be giving discounts or perks to both the customer and their referrals in their next purchase, or having a points system for returning customers to redeem for a free oil change or a complimentary car wash for every referral they bring.
6. Create auto perk coupons customers won’t want to pass up.
Similar to sending promotional texts, incentivizing your customers to keep coming back with coupons will help you market your dealership online more effectively.
After all, your customers are looking for the best deal - so convenience, location, and reasonable pricing will all be factors in their decision to purchase at your dealership.
Giving them exclusive deals will make their choice easier. Some examples of coupons you can offer is a free oil change for all new car buyers, or a 15% discount for repeat buyers.
You can also offer discounts based on seasonal events, such as offering a 30% deal on winter tires with every oil change or service check-up, or a $1000 discount on their first car for college graduates during graduation season.
Incentives create a sense of urgency to get people to buy with you in fear of missing out on your limited-time offers.
7. Bid on your competitor’s keywords.
While the marketing techniques above include ways in which you can leverage your reviews and customer base for free, you can also make your dealership more competitive by allotting some budget to bid on your competitor’s keywords.
There are many dealerships with an online presence in the auto industry, so creating a brand identity can be difficult in such a competitive field.
Setting up an automotive marketing campaign on Google can allow your dealership to show up on search results for potential customers searching for your competitors.
You should bid on their brand names, and create captivating ads and deals to get leads to click through to your website over your competition.
Google is the main search engine you want to put your ads on, but another good option to consider is Bing.
Ready to Grow Your Dealership?
Implementing digital marketing strategies for your dealership is highly important for bringing in new customers online and growing your business.
While you might be questioning where to start with your dealership's marketing efforts, you can show with DemandHub’s all-in-one conversational platform, you’ll be able to start gathering and responding to your new 5-star reviews, manage your leads and sales team, and keep the conversation going with customers as you sell more cars off the lot in no time.