car dealership online marketing

Car Dealership Online Marketing Tips to Help You Step Up Your Game!

8 min read
Russ Chandler Administrator

Despite what lots of people assume, the automotive industry is stronger than ever; and dealerships are no exception. Dealership inventory constantly improves year after year, and much of that can be attributed to the fact that vehicles, in general, are getting better! Still, dealerships are businesses… so even if the inventory is amazing and the customer service is stellar, your dealership might still be behind the times.


For starters, what do your car dealership online marketing efforts look like? If your answer is something along the lines of “I made a Facebook page 5 years ago” or “Well, I have a website,” you might want to reevaluate the way you market your dealership online.


Stepping up your car dealership online marketing efforts can have a significant impact on dealer reputation, showroom traffic, lead generation, and of course, car sales.


With the number of dealerships adopting heavier online presences, it’s more important than ever for your dealership to do the same; lest you’re obscured by the competition. Here are some of our favorite car dealership online marketing tips.

Create And Maintain Social Media Pages

Okay, so – this isn’t so much a “tip” as much as it’s an outright demand. If you’re a business in the 21st century, you absolutely, positively MUST have at least 2 social media pages. Period. Of the 2 pages, I fervently recommend Facebook as one of them. I’ll explain why shortly.


Car dealership social media

If you don’t yet have a social media page, make one. If you don’t have the time to make a page, get one of your guys to do it for you. By not having a social media page, your dealership is missing out on valuable engagement and promotional opportunities.


Think about it! Almost everyone out there is on social media in some way, shape or form. By putting a page up, consumers can easily learn more about your inventory, upcoming event sales and special offers. And the best part of all is that it doesn’t cost you a dime.


If consumers are already familiar with your dealership, many will go out of their way to find you on social media so they can learn about upcoming deals or ask questions. If they aren’t familiar with you, you can put up a sign that says “Like Us on Facebook” or “Follow Us on Twitter,” to tell them they’re available online as well.


Now, going back to Facebook… The reason why I’m such a huge advocate for this social channel is because it feels like an extension of your dealership’s website. You can post your dealership’s hours of operation, location, your phone number, your website and a brief description of what your dealership sells.


Additionally, consumers can review your establishment as well as provide feedback that you can then respond to.


Create Targeted Ads

If you’re like most dealerships, you have advertising budget set aside for television, radio or print – perhaps even a mix of the three. One type of advertising you might consider throwing into the mix (if you already haven’t), is targeted advertising.


In case you aren’t familiar, Targeted Ads are ads published on search engines, social media and websites that reach consumers who possess certain behavioral and lifestyle traits that a business wants to target. Instead of reaching as many consumers as humanly possible via a “spray and pray” method, you’re only reaching consumers you feel would gain the most benefit and use from your dealership.

Following the previous steps, you’ll get to choose from a plethora of specific interests, income levels, occupations, locations – these will be the specific traits you’ll be targeting with your ad. Finally, you’ll set a max bid on each specific ad; which determines how much your dealership would be willing to pay per click, impression (when the ad shows in front of someone), like or share.

Make Use Of Interactive Lead Generation

Most dealerships have some sort of static lead capture form on their websites. Whether it’s to provide consumers with an e-price, a trade appraisal of their vehicle or additional information, consumers often have the opportunity to provide their contact information…. but it’s often only that: an opportunity.


Consumers are often weary of filling out their information into a static form as it can feel like it’s a “mousetrap” of sorts. Consumers fear that they’ll get an onslaught of irrelevant phone calls and e-mails often results in a lack of form-fills. Many dealerships throughout the U.S. have looked to interactive lead capture tools to combat this ever-progressing issue.

Interactive lead capture can provide consumers with a clear glimpse of what their experience will be like when they enter the dealership.

Unlike static forms, interactive lead capture tools do more than just ask for contact and make/model information. Sure, interactive lead capture platforms ask those types of questions; but they’ll also ask more specific questions like “What is the condition of your current vehicle?” or “What type of car are you looking for?” These types of questions provide consumers with a level of trust that they wouldn’t typically get from a static form.


When consumers fill out their information, they’re essentially creating a buyer profile that they know can be used by the dealership to provide them exactly what they’re looking for. The better and more detailed the questions are, the better the experience. Interactive lead capture can provide consumers with a clear glimpse of what their experience will be like when they enter the dealership.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re experienced with marketing, it never hurts to reevaluate your dealership’s marketing needs. With marketing practices and technology evolving by the second, you’d be doing your dealership a disservice but not allowing them to explore new options and improve processes in the digital age.


Want to learn about other ways your dealership can garner more leads? Check out PERQ’s automotive solution!