The world has gone digital, even for car dealerships. While prospects may still pop in to test drive before they buy, you must first win them over digitally. Through your website, social media, video wall displays, local area marketing, and other digital channels. With online car dealerships that allow customers to buy and sell vehicles online and provide concierge vehicle delivery and pick-up services, traditional dealers must rethink the way they win over both new and existing clients. The digital marketing strategies below will help you better engage local buyers.
#1 SEO Optimize Your Website
A digital marketing expert will ensure that your website is modern, user-friendly, fast, and search engine optimized. SEO is not a one-and-done process. It is ongoing and keywords and strategies must be analyzed and updated at least once per quarter.
Search engine optimization isn’t something you should go alone. All the other car dealers in town have websites and you want yours to populate on the first page of Google when someone searches for “car dealerships near me” or by categories such as used vehicles, leased vehicles, or by brand, make, or model.
#2 Local Area Search Marketing
In addition to an optimized website, you must invest in local area search marketing. This includes paid Google ads and social media marketing. Just like optimizing your website, this isn’t something to go alone.
For paid digital ads to be effective, you must utilize competitive keywords. The top-ranking keywords are expensive, so you need a local area marketer who will identify keywords that are both budget-friendly and have a high conversion rate. This requires a secondary set of keyword research beyond the keywords on your website and performing A/B split tests to test different keywords, ad titles, images, and landing pages.
#3 Social Media
Over 20% of shoppers utilize social media to search for their next vehicle. While this number is low, it is high enough that you must take notice. Facebook is the most common site, but Instagram is on the rise—as well as YouTube.
Your inventory is already online, so share images and videos of your inventory to your social profiles. Also, be sure to add links or URLs of your top-performing social media platforms to your website, email marketing, video wall displays, and print marketing.
In addition to posting your current inventory to your social platforms, invest in paid ads—including retargeting ads. Retargeting ads allow you to drop sponsored ads in the feed of prospects who have recently visited your website, which keeps your car dealership top of mind.
#4 Update Your Online Inventory
Approximately 86% of buyers will search online before they head to a car lot, and 59% of their time spent shopping for a new car will be performed online. This time is split between vehicle brand websites, online car dealerships, and local car dealerships.
An online search that leads to your dealership might look something like this:
A local consumer watches a TV commercial for the latest hybrid or electric car. They head online to the brand’s website to learn more. They like the vehicle and decide they want to do a test drive, so they search for a local car dealership.
Local area search marketing ensures that your business populates, but you must have an up-to-date online inventory to entice prospects to come in for a test drive.
#5 Video Marketing
Television commercials are still highly effective for local car dealerships, but they are far from your only option. Short videos and virtual tours of vehicle interiors and exteriors can be posted on your video wall displays, digital billboards, website, and social media. This placement is far less expensive than a televised commercial spot.
Invest in a drone or hire a photographer and videographer to shoot images and videos of your inventory to post online and on your digital signage. Some videos can be shot in-house by your digital marketer or one of your tech-savvy employees.
Once your images and videos are shot and edited, have your local area marketer optimize them before strategically placing them online.
#6 Online Reviews
Your dealership is sure to be listed on a variety of local and nationwide review sites. If your reviews aren’t overwhelmingly positive, those searching online will head to a competitor. To ethically optimize your online reviews, work with a marketer who specializes in review optimization and generation.
This is the process of engaging and enticing your past and recent customers to increase the percentage of customers who leave a review. Ethically optimizing your online reviews doesn’t just entice more prospects to come in for a test drive but can boost your page rank.
#7 Video Wall Displays
There is still a time and place for printed billboards and signage, but digital Video Wall Displays empowers you to:
- Pre-schedule your daily and weekly marketing displays.
- Increase visibility up to several blocks away from your dealership.
- Rotate through a wider range of your current inventory.
- Update inventory and add or remove videos and images in real-time.
This should include a mix of interior or exterior video wall displays and billboards that can post cars in near-real-size with HD clarity. You can also utilize interior signs to highlight vehicle specs and as wall and floor-mounted digital posters.
#8 Networking and Events
Identify ways to network and partner with other businesses that serve drivers. This includes mechanics, auto parts stores, insurance companies, gas stations, and car washes. Your partnerships can range from referral benefits to leaving printed business cards or flyers in each other’s business, lead generation, and partnering with one another for local area marketing. For example, creating vehicle maintenance video tutorials. A mechanic can discuss the importance of oil changes using a new or used vehicle from your lot.
Showrooms are large, making them an ideal place to host after-hours special events. Strategically place the vehicles in the display room and event parking area to target the audience of each event. This empowers you to earn event revenue, build brand awareness, and maybe even sell a vehicle after the event.
Ready Upgrade Your Digital Signage?
If you are ready to add new LED signs or video wall displays to your dealership, we invite you to reach out to Mega LED Technology. We custom build your sign and frame to your precise specs and offer a pressure-free FREE quote. View our car dealership gallery for inspiration!