It’s no secret that the car buying experience is different than what it used to be. For most automobile shoppers, the buying experience starts with online research. The average shopper will only visit two dealerships in person when shopping for a new vehicle. That makes polishing up your automotive marketing strategy a top priority for your business. Auto dealerships need to be agile, responsive, and customer-centered. Your website needs to stand out from the competition in your local area, enticing shoppers to make your dealership a destination. Once you get consumers to your dealership, it’s essential to make their visit a positive experience. Follow these 4 automotive marketing hacks to boost your showroom traffic and sell more cars.
Share Your Location
Shoppers can’t come visit in person if they don’t know where your dealership is located. Make sure your dealership details, including location, hours, and contact information, are up to date across the web. These details need to be kept up to date across digital platforms, including your website, social media channels, and various online directories. Customers will be doing traditional web searches as well as voice searches. No matter how they are looking, it’s important that customers are able to find you across all of their devices.
Don’t bury your dealership address on your website; make sure all of your location information is highlighted and easy to find. The same goes for all of your digital channels. Customers aren’t likely to hunt for an address on your website, if they can’t find it, chances are they will move on down the road.
Set Up Your Social Media Channels
Social media is a powerful way to develop your brand and engage with auto shoppers. Along with your website, social media should be another cornerstone for automotive marketing hacks. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can all be used as both outbound and inbound marketing tools. Find what outlet works best for you and your target market. Outbound marketing would be your dealership posting about new models in stock or special offers happening now. A simple example would be Instagram stories, where you can post both still images as well as short video clips. Create excitement by sharing clips of new car arrivals or create the “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) effect in your followers by posting limited-time offers. Instagram stories can link through to product pages, driving customers to your website for more information. Inbound marketing is when you are answering questions via direct message and nurturing leads to convert them into dealership visits.
On all of your social media channels, be sure to include all pertinent information about your location as well as contact information. It’s also important that you set up messaging for your social channels and have your sales team handle responses. These are hot leads and need to be answered quickly.
Manage Your Reputation
Sleazy car salesmen are a cliche that you want to avoid, and that often means managing your online reputation. All a consumer has to do is a web search of your name to see your Google listing and your business reviews. Over 90% of local consumers use reviews to determine if a local business is one they want to work with, which makes your online reputation matter, maybe more than you realized.
Use a local listings tool to monitor your dealership reviews regularly and respond quickly to any negative feedback. Be ready to explain your side of the situation and offer to rectify any issues or concerns. Your shopper might even change their review when they see that you value their opinion. Consumers use a variety of review sites, including Google, Yelp, and BBB, as well as dealership specific sites like Dealer Rater and Cars.com. Customers can also leave reviews on your Facebook page if you activate that option.
A car is a major purchase for most people, which makes consumers more motivated to leave a review after their experience. Positive reviews and feedback will boost your business, which makes them a highly sought-after commodity. The opposite side of the coin is that if the consumer finds the salesman “pushy,” that bad review will hurt your marketing. Keep your star rating looking healthy by managing your online reputation.
Communicate With Customers
If you want customers to continue their purchasing journey with you, they have to be able to contact you easily. Prominently displayed contact phone numbers and email addresses are a great start. You might also have a live chat or a chatbot on your website. Chatbots, in particular, are an extremely effective way to answer simple questions around the clock. Be engaged and responsive on your social media platforms and through direct messaging. Consider adding a live inventory so shoppers who are looking for a certain model can see if you have one available at your dealership. If they are certain you have what they are looking for, it might be the hook that gets them to come visit.
Today’s auto shopper is different from customers of the past. Shoppers are no longer heading to dealerships to get their information directly from a car salesman. Instead, they are spending their time searching for vehicles online and already making decisions before setting foot on a car lot. Safeguard knows that many small dealerships might not have the time or resources to manage all the tactics involved with automotive marketing. Safeguard is here for you with solutions to manage and market your automotive business. Contact us today to experience that Safeguard Advantage for yourself.