Marketing ideas for automotive dealerships have changed from previous years. Despite rising interest rates, U.S. new vehicle prices continue to set record highs, with average transaction prices surpassing $48,000. However, while prices are up, automotive dealers continue to face inventory shortages for new and used cars. As a result, retail sales of new vehicles were down over 20% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the second quarter of 2021.
Dealers need to change how they market to consumers to stay competitive. For most auto shoppers, the buying experience starts with online research. In addition, the average automobile shopper will only visit two dealerships in person when shopping for a new vehicle. Auto dealerships need to be agile, responsive, and customer-centered. With these innovative marketing ideas for automotive dealerships, safeguard’s marketing experts can help you boost your showroom traffic and sell more cars.
What are new marketing ideas for automotive dealers this year?
Marketing ideas for automotive dealers include website SEO, customer reviews, online directory listings, social media, direct mail marketing, and customized corporate apparel.
Marketing Idea #1: Make Sure Your Website is SEO-friendly
The shift to online car shopping represents a tremendous opportunity for auto dealerships. Eighty percent of car shoppers now say they are open to buying a vehicle online. To see the greatest benefit, auto dealers need to focus on search engine optimization for their websites. Dealerships can boost online awareness, traffic, and sales by choosing relevant keywords, ensuring your links are all working properly, and checking for any incorrect or outdated information.
Marketing Idea #2: Build Trust With Customer Reviews
Online reviews are an essential component for building trust with consumers. Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. The acquisition of a car is a significant purchase for most consumers, making them even more motivated to leave a review after their experience. That means that responding to online reviews and comments is important in managing your reputation and persuading potential customers to visit your auto dealership.
Consumers may use a wide variety of sites to go and read reviews, including your website, social media channels, review sites, and automotive-specific sites. When a review is positive, take the time to thank the writer and express your appreciation. Of course, there will occasionally be negative reviews as well. When those happen, follow these three steps:
- Respond to the reviewer promptly
- Acknowledge the issue
- Offer to find a solution
Marketing Idea #3: Use Online Directory Listing
Online directories allow potential customers to find your company’s website, phone number, physical location, and hours of operation. Showing up accurately in directory listings places you higher in search engines, enabling local searchers to find dealerships nearby. There are several online directories where businesses can list their information, including Google, Yelp, Yahoo!, and Bing.
Safeguard’s OneList Plus directory listing management service lists and monitors your company across top online directories, locking your listings and scanning them daily to ensure accurate, consistent information. To see how your business is showing up online, use Safeguard’s free scan tool to check the accuracy and consistency of your online presence.
Marketing Idea #4: Use Direct Mail Marketing
A well-executed direct mail campaign is an excellent way to drive customers to dealer showrooms, service centers, and websites. Use direct mail to promote upcoming events or offer special discounts. You can use direct mail marketing to reach new markets or re-engage with former contacts. The tactile nature of print mail leaves a lasting impact on consumers, which improves brand recall, and the physical document provides a long shelf life. Increase response rates by personalizing your direct mail piece with the recipient’s name.
Marketing Idea #5: Make Social Media a Priority
If you’re not active on social media, you’re missing out on a powerful tool for promoting your auto dealership. Social media platforms allow you to communicate with your audience in various ways, from showcasing new inventory to reacting quickly to customer needs and answering customer questions.
Auto dealerships can use social media clips to share new car arrivals, raise awareness of limited-time offers, allow potential customers to ask questions via direct messages, and nurture leads to convert them into buyers. Social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are an effective way to engage with customers, provide information, and develop your brand.
Marketing Idea #6: Build Your Brand Through Your Sales Staff
A big part of marketing and branding is the in-person experience for your customers. The employees at your auto dealership have an incredible impact on the customer’s experience. Include employees in your marketing efforts, creating social media posts with them and their favorite cars or posing with happy customers. This is an opportunity to strengthen relationships with customers and can help your staff feel recognized. Ensure that your employees deliver a great first impression with customized corporate apparel from Safeguard that reinforces your brand and builds team unity on the sales floor and in the shop.
At Safeguard, we know many ways to promote your business. Our automotive marketing experts can provide traffic-driving solutions that bring customers to your showroom or shop. Count on Safeguard to provide specialized automotive marketing solutions for your business. Visit our site to get started.
- Dealers need to change how they market to consumers to stay competitive.
- Marketing ideas for automotive dealers include website SEO, customer reviews, online directory listings, social media, and direct mail marketing.
- Auto dealerships need to be agile, responsive, and customer-centered.
- With these innovative marketing ideas for automotive dealerships, safeguard’s marketing experts can help you boost your showroom traffic and sell more cars.