Sometimes it can be tough to stand up to the OEMs. But franchise dealerships are facing more restrictions than ever from the manufacturer and are looking for new ways to connect with their customers, including via paid ads.
Demand for used cars has exploded as inventory issues plague the new-car market, and as a used car dealership, you have a serious opportunity to get ahead of the competition and smash your goals in 2023.
Below, you’ll find top tips that any dealership can apply to reach more customers and knock their ads out of the park.
1. Use More Video Content
Everyone’s been talking about the power of video content for years, but are you using video to its full potential? Video is powerful because of engagement, and paid media lives and dies by engagement. You don’t need to produce a cinematic experience for your customers, especially if the production time it takes to create high-quality “TV ad” style videos means you’re not consistently creating fresh video content. What matters is getting it out there.
If you’re talking about free car washes for life, don’t say it from the parking lot; have someone say it while washing a car! You can use anything from professional video equipment to your smartphone’s front-facing camera and a decent light source. It may be uncomfortable at first, but letting your staff's personalities shine through in your video will give vehicle shoppers a reason to choose you. Don’t tell customers why they should choose you - show them.
2. Get Familiar with Google Vehicle Ads
Google’s Vehicle Listing Ads (VLAs) are the new hot platform for ads and they undoubtedly live up to the hype. Google is the first place that most shoppers go for information, so having your inventory appear directly in search results means it takes less work for a shopper to become a customer. This program is still in Alpha, so you won’t be able to run VLAs without an approved agency (ahem, like Flex!). Trust us, it is well worth the investment.
Learn more about Google Vehicle Ads
3. Give Them a Reason to Buy
Friendly staff. Family-owned and operated. Transparency. Honestly, these aren’t strong enough reasons to buy anymore. Dealerships everywhere have stepped up their game to serve customers better, and there is likely a part of your sales process that other dealerships aren’t doing. This is your Unique Selling Proposition or USP.
So what makes you special?
Do you provide an extended warranty on all vehicles sold?
Can you get any sub-prime customers approved?
Does every customer get a pair of snow tires with a purchase?
Do you hand-deliver your vehicles wrapped in a bow?
Can a customer get in & out with a vehicle in less than 30 minutes?
Will you purchase literally any used car?
Dig deep and consider the unique or “above & beyond” ways that you serve your customers every day. Most importantly, be consistent in your service, and remember that people can always find your business reviews.
4. Concise Marketing Messaging
Shoppers are intuitive. They know you’re selling them your product. Adding fluff to your advertising to avoid the topic will only make potential customers scroll past. Give them the information they need in the most digestible way possible. If you have a powerful USP, then say it with your chest.
Instead of saying…
“We’re a family-owned & operated dealership serving Arlington and beyond. Our friendly, professional staff will go out of their way to make sure your experience is one-of-a-kind, plus you’ll get a 3-year comprehensive warranty on your vehicle. Come by 123 Dealership St. or visit our website to check out our huge selection of inventory and find the vehicle you want!”
Try a to-the-point statement…
“Every vehicle sold comes with a 3-year warranty. Get the best customer service in Northern Texas!”
5. Understand Your Reach
Geotargeting is a critical piece of dealership advertising, as targeting options have become limited due to anti-discrimination policies on platforms such as Google and Facebook.
If you’re looking to scoop up some new opportunities and give your current market a break from relentless lead generation (which isn’t a bad idea once in a while!), you should consider the boundaries you’ve placed and whether there are potential new markets to break into.
How far have customers been willing to travel to do business with you?
Which cities/towns do you see the most business from outside your own?
Are there towns with a similar demographic mix outside of your current targeting?
Studying how far your business can reach while still driving customer actions at a reasonable cost will teach you more about your customers and ultimately help you sell more vehicles.
Connect With an Expert About Your Ads
If you’re interested in pushing the boundaries of your advertising budget, why not start with a free consultation? Book a meeting with FlexDeaer’s Head of Paid Media to discuss your dealership’s ad options today!