How to Market Your Dealership – Not Just Your Inventory
Remember when your biggest challenge was completing levels in a video game or finishing a homework assignment on time? Those were the days, right?
One constant challenge automotive dealerships face is how to distinguish themselves from other dealerships in the area. How do you make sure customers in your area will buy a car or get service by you – instead of the guy down the street?
Start by focusing your marketing efforts on the unique values of your dealership.
Get Good at Google
Potential buyers go through roughly 23 actions, or touchpoints, before buying a vehicle. Of those, 18 are digital – including the very first action. For seventy six percent of car buyers, that first action is an online search.
When that search happens, your dealership can be at the top of the page in a couple of ways. The cheapest route is making sure you have good search engine optimization (SEO). There’s nothing better than free traffic, right?
We’ve seen a lot of scenarios where website providers use boilerplate content and some even have the wrong city listed on their dealership websites. 🤦♀️ Set your store apart by making sure the content is unique to your dealership, provides the right information for customers, and doesn’t look exactly like your direct competitors’ sites.
Another way to rise to the top of the search rankings is with search engine marketing (SEM). Google and Bing prioritize the ads of websites that have good SEO rankings, so it doesn’t hurt to start with the content on your site before turning on any paid ads.
These ads should be designed to show the aspects of your store that are unlike others. Do you have a great express oil change service? Or included service for new car buyers? Make sure your ads tell the story of why to buy from your store above anyone else.
Put the Pixel to Work
Anyone can make a Facebook ad. The stores that really stand out make Facebook ads with very intentional targeting. And they do this, in part, with the Facebook Pixel. This allows you to target buyers based on their intent to purchase, which you learn by the activities they take on your website.
If you don’t have a Pixel set-up, now is the time. We’ve got instructions right here ⬇️
Right now, Facebook allows you to target ads by geographic location, interests, and recent site visits. Don’t be afraid to use these spaces to introduce your team or show how your dealership does business.
Try different formats to reach buyers at different stages, like a lead ad to schedule a test drive or trade in at the bottom of the funnel or a Messenger ad where leads can ask questions at the top of the funnel.
Use the People You Know
The contacts in your CRM are the most unique advantage you have over any other dealership. First step, is to take the time to figure out how and where your customer information is organized and use those lists to make targeted efforts – meeting the customer when they’re ready to buy.
Lead tracking gives you the information you need to provide more personalized marketing to your customers across all of your marketing channels. This means you will waste less money and time guessing who might buy a car, and instead, market directly to serious customers at the right points of their car-buying process.
⬇️ For an overview on lead qualification, and how it worked for one of our clients, read this case study.
Lead tracking works hand-in-hand with email.
Yes, email marketing is still very much worth the effort. It’s a personal, low-cost, and direct way to inform recent leads or known purchasers of any deals or events.
Other dealerships might send email, but to set yourself apart from the pack, send targeted and personalized emails – not an email blast. We’ve said it once and we will say it again: use your CRM data!
You can use this information to build small, specific audiences for your emails to make sure the right messages are being sent to the right people. These messages are your direct “in” to your customers’ inboxes.
Here’s our advice for what not to do with your email marketing ⬇️
Let 9 Clouds Help
Marketing a dealership isn’t just about inventory. You have to personalize each touchpoint for the buyer’s specific stage of shopping.
And we get it. That can be a lot of work!
If you don’t have the staff or the time to make your store stand out, let us help out. Get started by requesting a custom proposal for your store so we can help set you apart from the competition down the street and online.get your custom proposal