9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
Shopping for vehicles today is a far different experience than what it once was.
We are in what is being referred to as the Information Age by many. Consumers have the ability to research a variety of online resources before the point of purchase. And today, we are inundated with too many choices, making the decision even more difficult.
Let’s consider the present day car buying experience.
Most car shoppers are not going to put up with a four-hour ordeal while purchasing a vehicle at a dealership. Shoppers do their research before stepping onto the lot. They know about the models. They know about financing. They know about the variety of vehicle safety features and amenities out there. They are informed.
And, they want to be able to comparison shop (sometimes on their phones while at your dealership).
“People used to visit seven dealers. Now it’s 1.2. They do all the shopping research ahead of time,” said Lee Nadler, marketing communications manager for Mini USA.
The sales funnel is complicated today — it’s not a long, linear experience. There are many ways to build trust with customers today and nurture them along the path to purchase.
Content Marketing Is Reigning, and Auto Marketers Need to Obey
Content marketing is all over the Internet. It’s nearly impossible to have an online experience without being exposed to native or editorial advertising. Brands are sending many messages, and they’re battling to get noticed by consumers.
Online content marketing has incredible SEO benefits, and digital marketers know just how important search engine ranking is. Blog posts, social media, and articles will improve search engine ranking and drive organic website traffic to websites. This will always be a vital part of a content strategy. However, this is merely the top of the funnel.
After you drive leads to your website, provide the resources to keep them there. If they’ve visited more than five pages or more on your website, they’re a qualified lead. Once leads are qualified, they’re open and ready to hear your sales pitch.
Integrate content within your sales process. Is the customer stuck between two SUV models? Create a comparison page and send it to them. They’ll appreciate your content that is tailored to them, and they won’t forget it.
Also, mobile content is a growing within automotive marketing strategies. Mobile and responsive websites are a must, but mobile content marketing is still a bit cumbersome. For now, optimize content for mobile, and make it engaging for both mobile and desktop users.
Content Marketing Gets Personal
The most prevalent content marketing strategy for automotive dealerships is to use highly personalized content. With the unique buyer’s interests in mind, dynamic content based on the behavior of the digital buyer will be far more successful than generic content. Give your contacts options, and allow them to follow the path to purchase their own way.
Highly-personalized content is likely to dominate the digital competitive landscape for automotive marketers. Targeting a customer segment instead of all customers will bring greater results.
For example, specific email marketing messages perform better than broad messages. Segment your sending list with characteristics of your ideal buyer persona, or better yet, with actions contacts have already taken on your website. Maybe send the email to only those who have visited a specific vehicle page? Or, send the email to those who only buy used vehicles? The options are endless. It’s up to you to decide.
Accelerate Your Vehicle Sales With Content Marketing
Content marketing is fundamental to the car buying experience. There’s no denying it. At 9 Clouds, we encourage automotive dealerships to embrace content marketing.
How's your dealership's website? We can do a free digital audit, point out where there's room to grow, and show you how you stack up online.
Photo Credit: Dealer Authority