Car dealerships are a lucrative industry, especially those that market themselves well. These days when we talk about marketing, we talk about the internet. Many buyers are now online. However, from the point of view of your ideal customer, buying a car online can be a daunting process. That’s where you come in.
You have to find clever ways to target your online audience through smart marketing, focused targeting, and, above all, quality incentives. This article seeks to give tips on how to increase online car sales for both new and established car dealerships.
Know your Marketing Audience
Many dealers often overlook the ‘target audience’ factor, but this shouldn’t be the case. When you know your audience, it’s easier to create and manage campaigns that bring in leads. Since car dealerships are localized businesses, the idea of having specific buyer personas you can reach out to is important.
A buyer persona is a human profile of your ideal customer. It comes with information like occupation, age, and specific needs. Most car dealerships have a variety of buyer personas in their audience. While this may seem like a lot of work, the power of identifying this profile shouldn’t be underestimated. They are a resourceful point of reference for your marketing efforts.
Manage your Brand
Having an online car dealership brand and managing it properly is a critical aspect that will drive your sales up. Your brand should be a collection of your company’s attitudes, core values, ethos, imagery, and messaging all in one package.
Expressing these aspects in your online promotions is what draws the line between an amateur and professional marketer.
When managing your brand, be consistent. Don’t use different messaging on different platforms.
It’s a no-no for your website, Facebook, and email marketing to contradict each other. This will confuse your audience.
Also, to increase your customer base, you have to establish trust with your audience. Does your audience understand your company values? If not, building trust will be difficult, and your sales will be affected. Creating a strong brand your buyers can relate to, will build you a group of loyal customers.
So how do you go about evaluating your brand? It’s quite simple. Establish what your company stands for. Work out the way you want to make people feel and, most importantly, the values you want to be associated with. Again, consistency in messaging is crucial.
Use Social Media Platforms
In this digital age, there is power in social media, especially when it comes to purchasing a car online. All you have to do is upload a picture of your latest release and a few promotional words, and the next thing you see is a flood of messages from potential buyers.
The decision to use social media, however, shouldn’t be a rushed one. You should establish the profile of the buyer looking to purchase online. This will make it easier to know the most effective social media network to use.
As much as maintaining an online presence is good, there are mistakes that some car dealerships make when it comes to social media. Building an online presence alone isn’t enough. You have to manage it well, and if you can’t do that, it’s better for your business to stay offline.
Some of the mistakes include constant updates of the newest vehicles, events, and specials on the social media feed. This is annoying and maybe a turn-off for many people. Moderation should be applied if you want your business to stay competitive.
Here are tips to keep your online audience interested:
- Share content from industry influencers.
- Post articles that give your audience information about recalls, new vehicles, and news in other industries.
- To establish authority and trust, share positive reviews, and other user-generated content.
- Stand out with high-quality videos and images of new vehicles.
- Give a vivid description of how your product will suit your customers’ needs.
Consider these social media platforms to increase your car sales:
- Facebook: Research indicates that 84 percent of buyers are on Facebook. You should take full advantage and place ads targeting your audience.
- Twitter: According to statistics, Twitter drove over $716 million in car sales in 2017. The platform is a popular choice for auto consumers.
- Instagram: Targeting millennials? Instagram is the way to go, given that most of them are ditching Facebook for this social network.
- YouTube: This video platform is all the rage. Your car shop should have its own channel and focus on building up subscribers. Video is highly engaging and is proven to increase sales.
- Pinterest: This visual platform is most popular with females. However, there is a rising number who are car enthusiasts anyway. Women also heavily influence the buying decision in a family.
- Email Marketing: This marketing tool has been in existence for a very long time. It helps dealerships nurture leads, stay connected to their customers, and stay relevant.
- Website: Customers will go to your website to get details about you, and their judgment is based on your site’s performance. Invest in high-quality; high-functioning websites and this will translate to sales.
Create Valuable Content
Before creating content, think of your ideal customer profile. Who exactly is looking to buy a car online and what are their online shopping behaviors? Online marketing is all about finding out what your buyers want, what they are lacking, and filling that void. As much as possible, use infographics, guides, and lists to provide value.
Consistent tracking helps you know if your auto dealer internet campaign is a hit or miss. By tracking KPIs, you may find that a strategy you thought might work isn’t exactly doing that and vice versa. This is the only way you can identify loopholes and make changes where necessary.
In the wake of technology, buying a car online will become common-place. While the internet has made it easier to get customers, it’s upon you to make good use of it. The end result will be an increase in car sales, and that’s what any car dealership wants. If you keep this article on hand, you won’t fall short of strategies for marketing online.