It might sound like you’re trying to sell a car online, but only part of it holds. Driving home a car is still the traditional way to do it. While you might weigh the pros and cons of several cars online, test driving it to eventually buying it remains the same.
Unlike previously, when you went to the showroom after showroom to find the best-suited car for you, today’s car-buying technique has taken a different turn. You will find car enthusiasts or the regular buyer searching for the newest car models, comparing them, and finally settling for one that leads the way home.
Today, technology has taken the front seat, and you get to experience the essence of driving a car by sitting in your chair all day. Isn’t that something? After all, it’s not every day that you get to drive a car or experience driving it in the comfort of your home.
Advancements in technology, coupled with digital marketing strategies, help you gauge consumer behavior. They help create an advertising formula that places you and your car dealership company ahead in the race. Visibility plays a pivotal role in how well you perform in the automotive market. This point is where digital marketing gives you an upper hand and helps you make your presence felt online and also reach the right audience. You can fine-tune your messages to make sure the right people hear you and find you for their next car purchase.
Since automotive digital marketing is the way forward, it’s only fair that you get the most out of its strategies, set your priorities straight, and achieve your end goal by bringing it all online. With 500 million+ internet users today, you can spread your message online at any time. It would broadly encompass responsive websites, Google AdWords campaigns, SEO tactics, unique landing pages, mobile apps, email marketing programs, social media content, and so much more.
Here, you will learn the benefits of digital marketing, its several strategies, and how and why it has gained importance in the automotive sales space.
Different influences and situational occurrences drive the buy-sell market of the automotive industry. With most car sales happening at the dealership level, an online search is where it all begins today.
However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Automotive marketing has its challenges carved out, but gaining the trust of your leads is the first step you can take to open the doors to climbing sales. An extensive number of people sitting online gives you a head start into winning them over with well-planned and executed digital marketing campaigns, so you reach them at the right time, every time.
Here are five essential pointers that show you why digital marketing has gained a strong foothold in the automotive industry.
In India, 52% of people cited ‘improvement in the financial situation’ as the trigger to purchase a new car, while 49% stated the same reason to buy a used car. Given the current situation worldwide, the market has opened its doors to multiple opportunities in the automotive industry, from electric vehicles to used cars, thus giving you a chance to drive up your sales.
Digital marketing has carved a space for itself, with most businesses finding their niche audience online. It’s no different for the automotive industry. With internet users multiplying by the day, the emphasis on online marketing strategies has gained momentum. It has reached a point where it has become crucial for every company to make their presence felt online to understand the consumers’ needs and wants.
Even in the automotive industry, a significant portion of the customer’s purchasing journey gets completed through digital channels. Therefore, the need for new and innovative online marketing techniques becomes prominent.
Here are some more benefits of digital marketing for the automotive industry and car dealership:
Online surveys and feedback from the existing customer base will help you to know what the customers want and manufacture and produce cars and other services that fit the bill. Also, these surveys will help you gain the trust of your customers by taking relevant action, thus creating a positive reputation in the automotive market.
One of the most significant advantages of digital marketing is that you get to direct your product to the right audience. Access to demographic and geographic information will help you make informed digital marketing strategies. By monitoring the latest trends and consumer behavior, it gets easier to reach out to the existing as well as the potential consumer market.
In the online world, big and small businesses can compete with each other virtually by following the most effective marketing and advertising strategies. It will help you rank on top and drive online traffic to your website, thus making yourself known.
Coming up with special discounts and deals on four-wheelers and attracting the customers through digital marketing will work in your favor.
You can access large databases of records and reach an extensive amount of potential customers through various channels via digital marketing. It will also help you narrow down your target audience depending on their search.
The best way to achieve your sales via digital marketing is to access and utilize the following strategies for the automotive industry.
With 95% of new car buyers and 94% of used car buyers researching online before heading to the dealership, your automotive marketing strategies must work to set sail in the right direction. While it might get hard for you to implement all these strategies in one go, taking that first step will help you increase your leads and sales exponentially.
You will come across several digital marketing processes and techniques such as SEO, SMO, SMM, PPC, Google Ads, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, PPC, Affiliate Marketing, SEM, YouTube Marketing, and many more. Here, you will get to understand each service in detail.
Here are 9 actionable digital marketing ideas and strategies for your car dealership to get more customers and drive sales:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help you drive traffic to your website organically, which means without any paid methods. Automotive Local SEO is a platform that will allow you to interact and reach your local market using SEO practices and boost the visibility of your website.
With online research becoming an integral part of the auto-buying process for most customers, the criticality of automotive local SEO strategies for your car dealership to achieve success and profitability gets magnified.
The several SEO practices that allow you to target a local automotive market come under the purview of automotive local SEO. Therefore, if you implement any of these techniques, there’s a probability of your sales and visibility increasing.
Example: See below example, how Mercedes-Benz’s Local dealer website is ranking on 2nd position with proper automotive SEO strategy.
Automotive local SEO consists of a series of strategies and ideas that help improve the visibility of your car dealership on Google and other search engines when people in proximity to your location perform a search.
The five main benefits of automotive local SEO are:
In fact, according to some studies conducted in 2020, it’s been seen that 92% of new car buyers rely heavily on online resources like search engines. On the other hand, 63% rely on brand websites, thus making it a mandate for most dealerships to work these techniques into their digital marketing practices.
Considering the plethora of SEO techniques at your disposal, you need to narrow down those that work for you specifically. In the case of the automotive industry, some definite SEO processes work better, and you can see why right below.
1. Technical SEO:
Any and every process works better when you make sure it is technically sound. Not unlike its name, technical SEO refers to the process of ensuring that your website adheres to the technical requirements of search engines like Google. The goal is to improve the organic ranking of your website and increase visibility. Optimizing your site through crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture comes under the purview of technical SEO.
2. On-Page SEO:
This SEO practice will optimize your web pages to rank higher and get relevant traffic in the different search engines. You can optimize both the content of the website and the HTML source code of the page to meet the requirements.
3. Link Building:
It is one of the most implemented SEO techniques where you can get other websites to link back to your website. The benefit of this tactic is that it sends a signal to Google and other search engines that your website shares quality content worthy of citation.
4. Local Brand Citation Building:
If you want to increase your local visibility online, you need to add specific parameters against your dealership, such as name, phone number, address, etc. The local brand citation building process can appear on websites, apps, and online social platforms.
5. Engage with Local Audience through Local Events:
Local workshops or exhibitions form an excellent source for you to engage with the local audiences and get instant access to new customer bases.
Automotive digital marketing through local SEO can prove beneficial if used and implemented well. You will find other useful online marketing techniques further on in the article as well.
Social media marketing has proven to be a useful marketing tool over the years for various businesses across different verticals. Digital marketing for the automotive industry through social media platforms isn’t unusual either. You can join the conversation by entering the social media world with innovative marketing techniques, either organically or through paid promotion. Read on further to understand the impact of social media marketing in the automotive industry.
The purpose of automotive social media marketing is to enhance your car dealership visibility and reach on various social media platforms. Why social media? The ever-changing consumer base and their varying demands call for innovative and adaptable strategies, which involve the use of social media.
You need to understand the changing trends and navigate the patterns and competition to boost your car dealership’s presence, both online and offline. After all, your prospective car buyers are on social media, and you need to be too.
When businesses, brands, or individuals use free content, such as posts, photos, videos, stories, etc., with each other through their feed, it gets termed as organic social media marketing.
When you, as a brand or business, post to your account, you can expect to reach:
In simple terms, you can use organic social media to build relationships with your customers and engage them in every stage of their car-buying journey.
Advertising. Yes, that’s correct!
You must have seen advertisements on TV and heard of other online ad platforms. So, when you decide to pay money to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc., you allow them to advertise to new audiences or engage the existing audience by boosting your organic content.
Currently, paid social media marketing has paved the way for you to target new audiences and convert them into customers.
Social media marketing, whether organic or paid, has plenty of benefits that can drive your sales to an all-time high. You can take a look at the top five benefits that social media brings to the automotive industry.
1. Brand Awareness: Social media can help your car dealership reach new heights by promoting quality content to the right audience, thus building your online presence and creating a name for your brand.
2. Relationship Building: Once you get new leads and a bigger audience, social media can help you build relationships with new and existing customers via attractive offers and relevant content.
3. Customer Service: The surge in social media users has also brought in more accountability and responsibility from the brands’ end. Therefore, if someone reaches out to you via Facebook or Twitter, you can immediately address the concern and offer real-time customer service.
4. Relevant Reach: If you opt for paid promotions or even through organic content, you can reach a wider audience but a relevant one. The power of social media marketing is such that it filters your audience and brings you the most relevant data for you to work.
5. Turning Leads Into Customers: If you have people reaching out to you via social media, you can turn these leads into customers by addressing their questions and offering them an ideal solution, making it a win-win situation for both of you.
The social media channels or platforms currently riding high in the charts are the ones known to every social media user today – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. These channels will help you promote your dealership in a more constructive and useful manner, as the reach is higher.
1. Facebook – You will find numerous tools available on Facebook that you can use in your digital marketing strategy. You can make use of Facebook Business Pages, Messenger, images, videos, GIFs, and more to attract users with your content and access analytics to see how you’re doing with each of these posts.
2. Twitter – Depending on your audience, you can use Twitter to your advantage as well. Similar to Facebook, you can access analytics to understand the performance of your tweets and other posts concerning your brand or dealership.
3. LinkedIn – The LinkedIn audience looks for specifics when it comes to posts and videos or any other shareable content. Therefore, a more focused approach towards your target group can bring you success. A simple ad on LinkedIn can reach 12% of the world’s population. Moreover, the engagement has increased 50% year over year.
4. Instagram – Visual marketing can come in handy when it comes to Instagram. You will find 60% of Instagram users open the app to discover products. Therefore, get a business account for your page, and see how well you fare with the help of analytics.
Other platforms like YouTube and Pinterest might also help in your digital marketing strategy for the automotive industry.
Google ads have shown that they can reach a wider audience and help you convert leads to customers regularly. However, doing it right holds the key to a lucrative automotive Google ads campaign. Below you will learn more about Google ads and how they can expand your dealership business.
When it comes to the automotive industry, you will have to create several campaigns to advertise each car model under your dealership. These advertisements will get showcased either through search or display ads on Google with a targeted focus on geographical location, demographics, competitors, etc.
You can reach your audience through Google search ads as they specifically appear in the search bars. Therefore, when someone puts in a search keyword, these ads will show up at the top of the search page.
If you’ve heard of Google AdWords, you have taken the right step to make sure that your car dealership reaches as many people as it can who wish to buy a car.
Websites that enable Google ads have this feature where display ads can show up. These ads usually appear on the side of different websites. They allow you to influence buyers at every stage of the purchase cycle – whether they are at the beginning of their research or if already on a competitor’s radar.
While the use of display ads is plentiful, they are an excellent source to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, boost the performance of your paid search campaign, or lead buyers straight into your car dealership.
Maximizing reach is one of the significant benefits of Google advertising for car dealerships. Nurturing visitors over time and retargeting them now and then also proves efficient. This Search Engine Advertising can prove to be beneficial for you in several aspects, such as:
1. Improved Range of Targeting:
Broad keyword search terms like “car dealerships” will show your ad at the earlier stages of product research. You can even broaden your base by bidding on long-tail keyword search terms like “car dealerships in Mumbai.” The latter shows more intent on the part of the customer, thus enabling you to engage with them at the right time.
2. Get Quicker Results:
You can start running ads and boost the odds of potential customers seeing your dealership first. It’s possible on a page where organic results don’t appear until below the fold.
3. Build Brand Awareness:
Earning the trust of your visitors becomes paramount in the automotive industry. Therefore, through the Ads search network, you can reach out to the potential customers with your brand, its tagline, your offerings, and the kind of copy and extensions you showcase. With the Google display ads, you can increase brand awareness by showing your ad to more people. Both of these strategies will allow you to strengthen your brand.
4. Earn More Conversions:
To earn more conversions on your Google ads, you will have to come up with a post-click landing page that adds value to the advertisement. This way, you will maximize your ad spend due to two things in particular – message match and focused design.
5. Maximize ROI:
Different bidding strategies like Cost-per-click (CPC), Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM), and Cost-per-action (CPA) will help you maximize your ROI, drive traffic to your website, build brand awareness, and focus on conversions.
The reach of YouTube is unparalleled, and using that to your advantage, especially for the automotive industry, should not be an afterthought. According to several reports, 69% of people who used YouTube while buying a car were influenced by it – more than TV, newspapers, or magazines.
Whether it’s real-time experiences or reviews, video marketing has paved its way into the marketing scene with much gusto. However, capturing the attention of your viewers from the get-go becomes essential. So, to make every video you upload on YouTube more appealing, you can make use of these different types of videos:
Getting a virtual experience of what your car would look like in the comfort of your home or on-the-go can transform the buyers’ journey and your dealership and sales experience. From YouTube Live to 360-degree videos, to tutorials and product launches, this platform has revolutionized the car-buying experience for everyone.
Using YouTube videos as research to understand the make and features of the car, to watch them gain more knowledge of the vehicle allows your customers to make an informed decision, thus helping you with dealership branding and sales.
You can learn more about YouTube Video Marketing Trends for Auto Industry in India right here Why The Automobile Industry Must Use YouTube Video Marketing In 2020 In India.
Reviews can make-or-break your car dealership or brand. The increase in digital buyers has led to a dependency on what others have to say about you. In such a scenario, you should emphasize online reputation management and maximize the opportunities to enhance your image.
You should consider the use of technology, the ability to create consistent branding, the bridge between SEO rankings and reviews, and timely responses to all the reviews and comments as a solution to online reputation management.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) in the automotive industry forms a bridge between tangible products and intangible services. The need for ORM comes as a consequence of the dependency of car buyers on online reviews before making a purchase.
Since today’s buyers are more informed than ever, there’s a wealth of information available to them before you even engage with them. You cannot deny the power of online reviews. Therefore, use it as a means to build your brand with potential customers and work towards addressing every feedback.
Managing both marketing and sales together can get cumbersome, especially if you have to take care of ORM at the same time. Availing of marketing services from a reputable digital marketing agency can help you deal with one aspect of your car dealership service.
Remember, letting online reviews go unanswered can become detrimental to your overall reputation and could also push away potential customers. Therefore, you may need to spend on both inbound marketing and ORM to build an online presence and a positive one.
Apart from copy, website design in terms of the look needs special attention to attract customers and also keep them engaged. You can create a user-friendly website that does not take away from the feel of it but one which the visitors can easily access.
Add some elements and techniques to make your automotive website that much better will help you with your sales as well. A clutter-free website with easy-to-read content and also mobile-friendly can help you get the engagement you need with your potential customers.
You should keep the following points in mind:
You should create a website with a goal in mind. While business reach is one of the goals, you should not ignore conversions either. Therefore, use a clean website layout to make that brilliant first impression.
Other crucial points you should remember are:
You can enhance your website and drive sales with an AI chatbot for your car dealership. Most chatbots will allow you to optimize service and support, improve the car buyer’s journey, address breakdown queries, and boost new car sales as well.
Automotive AI chatbot is a computer program developed to assist users with various queries related to the four-wheeler. It helps them learn about newly launched cars, book a service slot, and get an on-road price quotation.
AI chatbots in the automotive industry will help you market your products to a large audience at a very cost-effective price. You can use an automobile chatbot to generate leads, book a test drive, market vehicles, access user analytics, and answer multiple queries of the customer.
If you need to boost your car sales, chatbots will help you more than you can imagine. The technology used in chatbots gives the customers or visitors 24*7 sales query support, which in turn assists you in keeping them engaged.
You can also make use of the chatbots to run drip promotions on WhatsApp, qualify leads in real-time, and prioritize them as hot, warm, or cold to proceed mindfully in the marketing process.
You will find plenty of benefits of integrating a chatbot on your website. For car dealers like yourself, chatbots can prove to be an essential component of the marketing and sales process.
Another digital marketing strategy to drive more sales is Google My Business (GMB). It is an easy-to-use tool that will help you manage your online presence across Google. Your customers can locate you effortlessly, and you can verify and edit your business information in the section.
What is Google My Business?
Once you created your Google My Business account, you can connect with your potential customers, post updates to your Business Profile, and get an insight into how buyers are interacting with your business on Google.
You can optimize your GMB profile by adopting the following measures:
Another way you can optimize your GMB profile is through Google reviews. It can work wonders for your business and drive more sales and increase revenue.
You can attract customers with a well-appointed business profile on Google. If you add photos and unique offers to it, it will also give your customers another reason to choose your car dealership.
If you choose to create a GMB profile for your car dealership, you can benefit in multiple ways:
With the growth of several automobile portals, the recognition you can get is unparalleled. If you feature in the top automobile portals, you’ve made a mark in the automotive industry with your car dealership.
You will see that many factors can push your rankings on different search engines, and the most comprehensive reviews can get you featured on the top automobile portals in the world, let alone India.
Here are some of the top automobile portals –
Digital marketing trends in the automotive industry may or may not differ from other sectors. However, they do have a lot to say about the functioning of the quarter and its future.
Reflecting on these aspects of the automotive industry, the current digital marketing trends that have impacted this sector are B2B marketing, mobile optimization, mapping the customer journey, customer service, big data to personalization, and video marketing. You can reach your customer base by capitalizing on these trends and make the most of the digital platform with the use of various channels.
Digital marketing has captured the world by a storm. You will find the best of everything online and marketable. Therefore, before you jump on the bandwagon, understanding the intricacies of this form of marketing and its benefits can help you achieve your goal in the long run.
Whether it’s social media channels like Facebook and YouTube or direct digital marketing, the end goal remains the same – increased revenue and better business opportunities. So, you can make use of this feature and reach your desired target.
As a car dealership company, you need to handle both marketing and sales. However, when it comes to digital marketing, finding someone that understands its nuances and help you climb up the charts can prove useful.
Do you already have a strategy in place? Would you like to see more car sales in the future? Have you thought about your presence online? If not, you need to approach a credible digital marketing agency that can help you through the entire process.
InnoServ Digital is an experienced digital marketing agency in India. We work with you to develop both a consumer-centric and business-centric strategy for your car dealership. Once you implement it, be prepared to receive better engagement, higher customer satisfaction, more car sales, and lower marketing costs.
Ready to drive your sales up the digital marketing ladder? Connect with us today!