9 Ways for Auto Dealers to Start with Digital Marketing

Every auto dealer is on the Internet, but not every store is doing what it should online. If you want to have a solid foundation online to drive leads and sales, start with these nine steps.

9 Steps for Successful Digital Marketing for Auto Dealers

1. Share why your store is best with a website that works on a mobile phone.

Over half your customers will view your website on their phones by 2016. Plus, a mobile-friendly website shows up better on Google. 

2. Generate repeat customers with targeted email campaigns.

Different customers require different messages, as this case study proves. Don’t send your new truck promotion to someone who just bought a truck or to someone who owns a hybrid compact. Use your CRM to segment customers and send promotions based on their interests and timing.

3. Close sales and get reviews with email workflows.

Send a series of emails to potential customers based on their interests. If they request a quote on a vehicle, send four to six emails over 28 days providing content on features, competitor comparisons, introductions to your staff, and a clear reason why your store is the best.

4. Show up on search with optimized webpages, known as search engine optimization (SEO).

Be the first option potential customers find on Google. You can do this on your existing pages and by creating blog posts (see next tip). Choose keywords specific to your town and store and add them to your page titles, headlines, and page text. Don’t let your Web provider give you the same keywords as everyone else.

5. Educate your customers and build trust with blog content.

If a customer is looking at 10 pages before buying, make sure as many of those pages as possible are yours. Educate buyers with blog content based on the questions your sales team hears most frequently. Share these posts with potential buyers to build trust and speed up the buying process.

6. Position your vehicles versus the competition with comparison pages and landing pages.

Create specific pages that compare your vehicles versus the competition. These will show up on Google and provide valuable links that your sales team can share with customers. Preempt potential customers from going elsewhere by providing an honest comparison.

7. Conquest new customers with personalized social media ads and search ads.

Ads work best when they are specific to the person looking at them. Use social media and search engines like Google to show ads only to drivers who currently own vehicles from your competition. Offer them a discounted service or eye-catching offer to get them in the door. Then, you can conquest them into a new customer.

8. Measure digital ROI with analytics.

Don’t focus on impressions or traffic. Instead, analyze your spend for each marketing effort and the leads or customers those channels produce. These cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer metrics can be set up with Goals in Google Analytics and help your store make smart budget decisions.

9. Send sales reps warm leads before they fill out a form with real-time behavior tracking.

Few people click on emails or forms because they know they will be bombarded with calls and emails. That means customers are not telling dealerships when they are interested in purchasing. Learn who is interested by tracking the pages your Web visitors are looking at. Compare this information with your CRM. If they haven’t purchased recently and are looking at multiple vehicles, send their name and phone number to a sales rep for a personal follow-up with marketing automation.

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Photo: Christian Yves Ocampo

Posted on May 6th, 2015 in Community, Marketing