Feb 13

Digital Marketing for Car Dealers

Lots of dealerships are perfectly capable of cobbling together a website and a Facebook page…. but the question is, are those websites and Facebook pages worth visiting? Do they even look presentable?

You may have heard it time and again, but if you aren’t using digital in your marketing plans, you are losing out. Simply put, traditional marketing no longer works like it used to for auto dealerships. According to research by DealerSocket, traditional advertising such as radio spots, TV ads, and billboards bring in an average total profit of $1,702 per vehicle, while digital marketing brings in $2,514 per sale. Consumers research and shop across digital channels and dealers must go digital to target and acquire new auto customers.

Responsive Dealer Websites

Most car buyers tend to visit dealerships only twice, mostly to sign and take delivery of their vehicles. The bulk of the decision-making – which car, which dealer, which package, and more – happens even before they stepped into a dealership. That’s because prospects rely on the web – mostly mobile web – to research cars and dealers, compare features and prices, and even to find deals.

For all practical purposes, what used to happen in dealer showrooms is now happening online, on auto dealer websites, and up to 94 percent of prospects visit these websites from their mobiles. That’s why responsive dealer websites which realign and deliver great user experiences on any device, including mobiles, are now a critical marketing requirement of any auto dealer.

If you are one of those dealers who still have an older generation adaptive website, make it a top marketing priority to switch to a responsive dealer website in 2018, or even earlier.

Social Advertising

Facebook has 214 million users in the U.S. alone, and upwards of 90% of your local prospects are likely to be on it. What is more interesting is, on average users spend 35 minutes on Facebook every single day, and more than 80% of them are on their mobiles.

Even more interesting is the fact that Auto dealer advertising on Facebook is yet to reach saturation. That makes Facebook advertising a god sent opportunity for dealers – while it lasts.

Online Reviews

According to a study by Digital Air Strike, a huge percentage of car buyers turn to online review sites before making a purchase. In fact, 70% of car buyers say that online dealership reviews influence where they choose to go. Additionally, 24% consider review sites to be the “most helpful” factor when it comes to making purchase decisions. Be sure to monitor your online reviews, quickly and constructively respond to negative reviews, and continuously encourage your customers to leave reviews about their purchase experience.

Online Video

Online video marketing is becoming a huge trend this year. Posting videos can boost engagement and interest in dealerships by displaying inventory and information where most consumers research first, making your dealership the go-to place for interested car shoppers. According to a study byGoogle, 64% of people who used YouTube while buying a car were influenced by it- more than TV, newspapers, or magazines and auto review videos on YouTube have been watched more than 3M hours in the first 9 months of 2015, of which more than 1.2M were on mobile, more than 2X as many as last year. When creating videos, keep them short. Videos between 30 seconds and 1 minute are shared 18% more often than videos longer than 1 minute. The top 3 types of content that shoppers are interested in are test drives, features and options, and walk throughs.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a new, extremely beneficial digital marketing trend that gives dealerships a more effective and innovative way to increase website visitors, conversions, and sales.

CRO allows you to learn more about your website visitors by using detailed tests that show how customers interact with your site. These tests can also help you improve your website so you can sell more cars.

For example, if a certain page isn’t performing as well as you’d like, you can test a few design changes to see if you can improve it. If the modifications increase visitor traffic or conversions, apply them to the permanent site to boost your chances of selling more cars.