As technology evolves and cars become smarter, the way we interact with our vehicles is changing. This means that the future of automotive digital marketing is about more than just selling cars. It's about creating an immersive experience for customers that allows them to learn about their cars before they even step foot on the lot.
So how does this change what dealerships need to do? Well, for starters, it means that dealerships need to make sure they're using every possible channel to reach their audience. That means developing an effective website, optimizing social media accounts, and creating an email marketing campaign that will keep your brand top of mind when people are shopping.
It also means creating a highly personalized experience for each customer on your website or within the app so they feel like they're getting the information they need in the format they want it—whether that's video or text or virtual reality.
What can car dealerships do to prepare?
Develop a comprehensive digital strategy that includes all the different ways you can reach your customers. This means taking a hard look at your current website and social media presence to determine if they’re as effective as they could be. If not, it’s time to make some changes. Here are some tips that will make your car dealership shine:
1. Ensure your website is easy to navigate and provides all the information customers need about your car dealership.
- Use your website to provide a personalized experience for customers, so they can learn more about the cars they're interested in (including specs and features), get test drive information and even apply for financing.
- Use your website as a way to drive traffic to your dealership, not just vice versa. Host events on your site that bring people into the store and offer incentives for them to buy once they're there.
- Create an online showroom that showcases your inventory in detail so customers can see all the features of each car before visiting the dealership.
2. Use social media to connect with your audience.
- Join local Facebook groups and participate in them regularly to stay on top of trends and answer customer questions.
- Run contests and giveaways on Twitter so that people have a reason to follow you there as well.
- Use the site as a place where you can answer questions about your cars, provide information about what makes them unique, and share other helpful content like how-to videos or customer testimonials.
- Include sections on your website that let customers book service appointments with you online, schedule test drives, and even apply for financing without leaving the comfort of their homes.
- Use videos to show customers what the car looks like and how it handles, as well as provide specific details about its features.
3. Create a blog on your website that allows customers to ask questions and get answers from staff members or other experts in the industry.
4. Consider hosting a meetup or Cars & Coffee at your dealership. This is a great way to get face time with potential customers who may not know about your business yet!
5. Create ad campaigns that target specific groups of people. You can find these groups by doing some research on your local community or industry, and then create ads that appeal to their interests. Here are some examples:
- If you have a car dealership in a city with many college students, try running an ad campaign that targets recent graduates.
- If you’re selling luxury cars, consider an ad campaign that promotes “drive of your life” offers or try promoting the fact that they have high safety ratings.
- If you’re selling eco-friendly cars, try promoting the fact that they have lower emissions and get better gas mileage than other vehicles.
- If you're selling electric cars, consider an ad campaign that promotes the fact that they have zero emissions.
In any case, make sure that your campaign is targeted at the right audience. You can do this by asking customers what they’re interested in and what makes them buy from you; this way, you won’t be wasting your money on advertising to customers who aren’t interested in buying from you!
6. Go Mobile. Mobile marketing is another important tool for any business looking to grow. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, people are spending more time online than ever before—but they’re also using their devices for car shopping.
- If you have a website with an online store, consider adding a mobile-friendly version so that customers can easily shop from their phones or tablets.
- Mobile users are more likely than desktop users to click on ads and make purchases, so if you want to make sure that your campaigns are effective, try promoting them on mobile devices.
- If your car dealership is offering a shuttle service, let customers request shuttles from their mobile phones—it's an easy way to improve the customer experience.
Whichever way you decide to implement first, the most important trend in automotive digital marketing is that it will be focused on customer experience. The goal of all good advertising should be to provide value to consumers—and that means being helpful instead of manipulative or intrusive. Consumers are becoming savvier about how they're being marketed to, and they're realizing that companies with good reputations are more likely to offer them value than ones that don't care about their customers' well-being (or even actively harm their health).
Quickride is a mobile-friendly car dealership software that allows you to automate and streamline your shuttle process. Contact us today, and we'll show you how our innovative technology can elevate your customer experience!