Winning over today’s consumers is no easy task for auto dealerships. Marketing and sales strategies that worked for you five years ago won’t get you far today, as many people in the industry are discovering the hard way.

auto dealership marketing - header

 

For some sales reps, it can be downright stressful, as one consumer recently shared in a Reddit post: “I had a car salesman start crying on me when I told him I was still looking and not going to buy the car that day. He excused himself, went to see his manager, came back, and cried some more. He said he thought we connected and was sure I was going to buy the car.”

 

OK, has it really come to this? It doesn’t have to be that traumatic.

 

Auto dealerships that are adapting to consumers’ changing shopping habits are the ones that are winning. Take a look at our top 7 auto dealership marketing tips for winning over prospective buyers.

 

7 great auto dealership marketing tips:

 

1. Carefully Monitor your Website.

 

auto dealership marketing - image 1Your website is the No. 1 destination for about 90 percent of the people who eventually end up at your dealership.

 

A significant number will be in search of used cars. That’s why it’s essential that one of your No. 1 marketing plans should be a strategy for keeping your site consistently updated with the vehicles on your lot. Make it comprehensive — including as much information as possible upfront about mileage, CARFAX history, and other details.

 

2. Make a Visit to your Website Memorable.

 

Back to the website. It’s that important. You’ve heard it before from numerous sources: Car buyers are spending 8 to 12 hours researching online before they head to a dealership or a private seller to make a purchase.

 

The longer a prospective car buyer spends on your site — gathering the information they need, the more likely they will think of you when it’s time to finalize the purchase.

 

You should strive to grab as much of that time as possible. The longer a prospective car buyer spends on your site — gathering the information they need, the more likely they will think of you when it’s time to finalize the purchase.

 

That means engaging prospective buyers with valuable content — including financing options, trade-in appraisals, and interactive forms that are entertaining and informative.

 

Be critical in your appraisal of your website: Is there any compelling reason why a person would give you their personal contact information? If not, consider an upgrade.

 

3. Implement Targeted Advertising.

 

According to Google, six out of every 10 people who are shopping for cars have yet to decide which car they want to purchase. As previously noted, those searches span numerous hours. Use targeted advertising using consumer data — keeping your site in front of them as they navigate various sites for information.

 

Make sure the ads are designed around their interests, whether it’s a luxury vehicle, a family van, an SUV or a sports car. Being positioned in the right place when they’re close to making a decision could be a key factor in them showing up at your dealership

 

4. Invest in Video.

 

auto dealership marketing - image 2Driving is an experience. Purchasing a new vehicle takes it a step further as an exciting experience. Tap into that excitement with videos that further engage your buyers — whether they’re in the market for a new vehicle or a used vehicle.

 

According to a recent study, consumers are steadily spending more time consuming videos online, especially younger users who spend an average of 1,504 minutes consuming content on videos each month.

 

Videos, from car manufacturer videos to financing tutorials, can give your dealership an edge in the industry. Also, don’t forget that vehicles can seem more realistic with the benefit of video instead of still photography

 

5. Optimize for Mobile.

 

auto dealership marketing - image 3According to Search Engine Land, consumers are now conducting nearly 60% of their searches on mobile devices. IOt’s essential that all aspects of your online experience should be highly optimized for mobile.

 

With so many components of the car buying experience involving calculators and detailed financing options, it’s important that you test these to ensure that consumers will be able to easily navigate them on your website.

 

 

It’s worth noting that some car buyers — 14% percent — used a mobile device only when researching, according to IHS Automotive.



6. Maintain an Active Social Media Presence.

 

Any modern auto dealership marketing strategy should be the same as those in any other industry — maintain a presence where your prospects are hanging out.

Build some community engagement by posting images of new car buyers on the site, as well as new car updates, helpful tips on purchasing vehicles, and updates on discounts and events.

 

Of course, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are among the top places where people are consuming content. According to Facebook, for example, it now has more than 1.2 billion people active on its social platform on a daily basis. Instagram’s numbers aren’t shabby either. It has 600 million active users.

 

 

Build some community engagement by posting images of new car buyers on the site, as well as new car updates, helpful tips on purchasing vehicles, and updates on discounts and events.

7. Change your Perception About your Role.

 

auto dealership marketing - image 4One of the most significant changes you can make involves your mindset about your role in the car-buying process.

 

Think back to consumer habits. They’re not necessarily looking to you for your opinion. Most already have an idea of what they want; they just need to test drive vehicles to move closer to a decision. Also, 30% say they know “exactly” what they want, according to an IHS Automotive study.

 

Don’t apply the pressure tactics, which can be a turnoff. Car and Driver dedicated a full article to giving consumers advice on how to deal with aggressive car sales reps.

 

Be prepared to genuinely assist prospects in finding what they want — not trying to influence them to get into a vehicle that they’re not necessarily trying to purchase.

 

Stay Top of Mind

 

After a person has purchased a car, your relationship should not stop there. Try to keep them in a relationship with your dealership by offering discounts on services and free courses on maintenance and other helpful information.

 

Reinforcing your brand can prove beneficial. A consumer will be more likely to refer friends and relatives to contact your auto dealership when they’re ready to get their own new set of wheels. Converting satisfied car buyers into brand advocates can have benefits for years to come.


Want to learn more about automotive website solutions that can help you capture more leads through your dealership’s website? Download our FREE Automotive Website Optimization e-guide now!