In recent years, more and more marketers are taking up digital marketing as their primary revenue-generating channel because it's more efficient and yields better results than traditional marketing like radio and newspaper.
However, digital marketing is not a marketing arm that you can use and expect that all the money will start flowing into your business magically. Just like how you can’t build a dealership and expect people to come to it without advertising! It’s crucial to take the right steps and use the right channels, to ensure that your digital marketing is a success.
In this article, we list some simple reasons why auto dealers need to adopt digital marketing into their mix with open arms.
#1 - Buyers Always Turn To the Internet to Search
The internet is a haven for buyers nowadays; almost all purchase decisions begin online. Car shoppers look up everything they need on the internet because they are more comfortable doing so, and this eliminates the dealership from the process slightly - that’s okay! This means they want all the information they need to buy a car, before they come visit your dealership.
According to a recent study, 92% of car buyers turn to the internet to search for information about vehicles. The emergence of digital marketing means that more and more auto dealers are incorporating digital marketing in their primary marketing mix and seeing the benefits in terms of their leads quantity, quality, and more.
2023 update: car buyers are more willing to shop online than ever before, with more than 43% of buyers wanting to complete as much of the process online as possible.
#2 - Buyers Look at Online Reviews
When shoppers are online, they are already looking up information about the car from a multitude of services. Among the information buyers look for online is information about the vehicle and what others think about it!
This brings us to the importance of online reviews. After all, it is not just the information on a car that people read, but also the information they read on other users' experiences with a particular car compared to others.
When customers read positive reviews about your inventory and your dealership, they will not hesitate to visit your showroom or reach out to you. Therefore, you need to ensure that your dealership has good online reviews. We suggest focusing on reviews with the following channels in the order listed:
Google (and Google Ads)
#3 - Mobile Devices Matter in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing has been rapidly evolving, and the trend in recent years is the rise of mobile devices. We see, on average, over 70% of a dealership’s website users are on mobile devices. After all, when customers are on the go, they are more likely to use their mobile devices to search for information.
I’m sure we can all relate to checking in on products we’re interested in even while at home watching TV or while waiting for an appointment!
This is why you must consider mobile use in your digital marketing campaign. It is also vital that you have a mobile-first website. Your website needs to function even better on mobile than it does on desktop to serve customers and search engines. Fun fact: Google now uses mobile-first ranking in their algorithms, meaning that your mobile site is “scored” first. Luckily for our dealer partners, Flex creates all of our web content with a mobile-first experience in mind!
#4 - Email Marketing Is Effective for Any Business
No matter how you look at it, email marketing can be effective for any business type. The way campaigns and messages are structured should be authentic to you and your dealership, while also being engaging and strategic in how they’re approaching which customer types.
Email is one of the most common ways companies reach out to their customers. According to a study, 46% of customers prefer to receive emails from brands. Compared to what?
You can use this to your advantage if you regularly send email offers to your customers. We suggest placing friendly + valuable content alongside sales initiatives and promotions so that your customers see your offers without feeling pressure.
#5 - SEO Can Support a Digital Marketing Campaign
SEO (search engine optimization) can help your dealership tremendously, and on an ongoing basis. You can leverage SEO to make your website visible in search engines when people are searching organically; ideally being the first unique website they see.
If you have a high ranking and more people visit your website, it only makes sense that you’ll be more likely to receive leads from these efforts. Better yet, organic ranking doesn’t stop when the budget does (compared to paid advertising) - organic ranking has a snowball effect that compounds over time as you produce more content.
#6 - Social Media Advertising Increases Exposure
Aside from SEO, you can take advantage of social media to help boost your exposure and make more people visit your website. Social media advertising is effective, primarily if you use a reputable social media platform with a secure user base.
It's also crucial that you use a social media platform your customers are familiar with. For instance, you can use Facebook ads to meet many customers where they’re already shopping and spending time. Facebook is a great lead-generation and branding tool for local dealerships. Consider the value of paid and organic content on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and beyond to become part of your shopper’s everyday life. The more familiar they are with you, the more likely they are to buy from you in the future.
#7 - Videos are the Best Marketing Tool
In marketing, videos are the best marketing tool because they can tell a story and convey information more excitingly. People are becoming accustomed to quick, snappy content that gives them value quickly.
If you're planning to advertise your products and services through digital marketing, it’s ideal to incorporate videos that share your message. Videos break up content, improve readability, and engage users more than text or images alone.
Consider using video content on your website, inventory pages + third-party listing services, social platforms, YouTube and beyond to promote your products and services in a personable and authentic way.
Digital marketing is not only the present, but also future of marketing because it's more efficient and cost-effective than traditional media types. We are seeing digital efforts driving more sales than ever before over the course of the last few years.
While you have to put in the effort, you'd do well to integrate it into your operations if you want only the best for your business. Allowing for content creation to become a natural part of your process will help your brand’s frequency, proximity, and affinity within your local market.
FlexDealer provides top-quality services for auto digital marketing, and we answer the phone each and every time. We understand the modern dealership and car buyers, so our solutions are tailored to help you meet your goals in a way that’s true to your dealership’s unique value.
Contact us today to learn more!