31 Oct 9 Automotive Marketing Ideas That Sell More Cars
If you think that your customers are going to be waiting at your door, ready to buy a new car, you are sadly mistaken. There has never been a time when dealerships sold vehicles without marketing. Sure, the tactics have changed with the times, but automotive marketing is the key to finding new customers.
In fact, sales revenue in any dealership is mainly a reflection of the creative marketing strategies. Automotive digital marketing needs to be at the top of your to-do list. With technology, you can appeal to multiple audiences across a variety of outlets. It’s time to think outside the box for true success.
In this post, we examine ten automotive marketing ideas that you can implement today. These won’t just drive more leads, but will also convert potential buyers. It’s time to take your automotive internet marketing to new heights.
1. Video is Number One
In just two years, online videos are expected to make up more than 80% of internet traffic. That’s 15 times higher than in 2017. With the right video marketing strategy, you will hit your target audience and make a maximum impact.
Posting videos that no one wants to see is simply a waste of money. To get started, we recommend creating informational and instructive videos. You can add these videos directly to your site as well as your social media pages.
If you don’t have a YouTube channel, now is the time. Your audience will enjoy having an outlet to find useful and reliable information. To figure out what to make videos about, consider the questions that your customers are asking.
- What do they ask your sales staff?
- Are they confused about the car-buying process?
- Do they know how to service their vehicles?
Make sure your entire team helps to brainstorm. You want the sales staff involved as well as the Finance department, customer support plus Parts and Service. Each division is likely to come up with a list of ideas that will be helpful.
Think about the benefit of watching videos on smartphones. Attempting to read small text is difficult. Your audience would rather view a video that answers their questions.
Take your videos beyond the instructional format. You can create video testimonials, test drives and OEM style video ads.
2. Maximize the Post-Sale Connections
Once you have a happy customer, it becomes simple to build further connections. You want a targeted email strategy that makes further connections through referrals and reviews.
Start your email marketing strategy by asking for reviews. The right plan helps promoters make it simple to leave a review, but also works to intercept any customers that are unhappy. When someone suggests they are unsatisfied, allow the site to shepherd them away from the reviews to submit a complaint instead. This will enable you to increase your customer satisfaction score.
Then, you want to promote your referral program. Once the sale is complete, reach out to your customer and offer them rewards for any referral. It can be in the form of a car accessory or free oil change.
Don’t forget about the power of email for promotions. You can send emails that remind your customers about major service milestones, car-buying anniversaries, seasonal maintenance and dealership events.
It also helps if you can send the email from the salesperson that sold the car. It creates further personalization, which is what the consumer wants.
3. Allow User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a tool that’s often underused in the dealership. First of all, the fact that it is user-generated means free to you. What could be better than free advertising?
This form of advertising is powerful because of the authenticity and transparency. Your target audience sees that the person creating the content doesn’t have anything at stake. This allows them to provide their honest opinion.
Don’t do this the wrong way, or it could backfire. Just look at the Chevy “real people” commercials. Even though they were actual Chevy owners, the commercial was heavily scripted to create a buzz. There was nothing neutral or negative said about any of the vehicles, which further proved that it wasn’t real.
What resulted was a phony display that angered consumers rather than impressed.
If you want to create user-generated content, there are plenty of ideas to get you started. Consider these options:
- Contests – when there is a natural competition occurring, UGC creation spikes in an effort to win the prize.
- Influencers – if you can form a good relationship with a local influencer, you can gain user-generated content from them — more about that in a few minutes.
- Hashtags – start your next user-generated campaign with the help of a fun hashtag.
- Quizzes – when you ask quizzes, you get to gather honest responses. You might even incentivize them with a raffle.
4. Utilize Omnichannel Strategies
If you don’t implement a strong, omnichannel marketing plan, you won’t succeed. Omnichannel automotive marketing helps to provide consistency. In the end, it communicates commitment, professionalism and trustworthiness.
Your consumers expect to receive a consistent experience, whether they are in the dealership or visiting your website. If you don’t meet their expectations, they will go elsewhere.
To dominate this, you want to pick your most active marketing channel to start with. Make sure your content is solid on that channel and then let it overflow to your other outlets. You must ensure that everything remains coordinated so you can accomplish your sales goals.
5. Showcase the Employee Pick of the Week
When it is time to sell your vehicles, you have to first sell the benefits. Your salespeople can showcase the features or specs of a car on social media, your specials page or through a blog post. When you add these to your site, you create additional value for your customers.
One industry that does this well is the animal shelter. If you go on your local animal shelter site, you will likely see a dog or cat highlighted as a featured pet. The site will tell you about the background, personality, likes and dislikes.
Take this same strategy and apply it to cars. Post a featured picture with your sales rep inside the vehicle. Ask them what makes it the choice of the week. Not only does this highlight the vehicle, but it also helps create character for the salesperson. Your customers will receive a connection to them and the car.
The optimal goal is to have them call in and ask you to hold the vehicle for them.
6. Use Contests
When you run a contest, you have to put out very little money in order to receive a huge benefit. For something as simple as a $250 gas card, you can get people to tweet about you, subscribe to your email newsletter and follow your Instagram.
Then, you get to load their information into your database and reach out to them consistently. By staying in front of them, you increase the chances of selling more vehicles. In return, your customers are thrilled for the opportunity to win a small token of your appreciation.
7. Utilize Local Auto Vloggers
We’ve already discussed the benefit of reviewing vehicles and showcasing what makes them unique. While this information is great coming from you, it is even better when a local auto vlogger presents it. Create partnerships with these local influencers and let them use the YouTube channel to promote you.
They can record their experience test driving one of your vehicles and showcasing the features. You can create a relationship with them that benefits them in some way, as long as they promote your dealerships and your vehicles.
Trust us; if you don’t offer this opportunity to your local vloggers, someone else will. Make sure you get their viewership by getting to them first.
8. Curate a Road Trip Guide
Partner with some local businesses and create a series of road trips in the area. You can take a highlighted vehicle for the trip and take photos or video of the experience. Then, post this content to your blog and social media channels.
Obviously you don’t want to put a ton of miles on your car, but a short local trip can create a lot of buzz. It’s also possible for you to create the road trip as an ebook and offer it as a free download anytime a client signs up for the email list.
9. Don’t Forget to Use a Customer Relationship Manager
Dealership sales aren’t closed easily. You must set up the proper autoresponders for those on your newsletter to ensure a solid relationship. With a qualified CRM, you have the tools needed to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Use CRM to organize the leads, keep track of what’s being viewed and receive a report on the response to your marketing strategy. This helps you to tailor the content for the highest ROI possible.
AimLogic for Your Automotive Marketing
When it comes to automotive marketing, you need a professional by your side. At AimLogic, we consistently increase the bottom line of dealerships just like yours. We utilize innovative technologies to help you stand apart from the competition.