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  • Writer's pictureSean Cassy

10 Digital Marketing Strategies for Generating Internet Leads in Car Sales for 2024


Getting ahead in the ever-competitive automotive industry in 2024 requires smarter, sharper, and far more sophisticated marketing strategies. Is your dealership struggling to drive qualified internet leads? Well, a shift in tactics might just be what you need! Dive into the top 10 digital marketing strategies your car dealership should leverage right now to rev up those sales, accelerate performance and steer effortlessly towards an explosion of internet leads. Buckle up and take on the thrilling ride that is modern day auto dealership marketing!


In 2024, car dealerships can rely on inbound marketing tactics to effectively generate and capture internet leads. Three top strategies include local marketing, content marketing, and website optimization. By creating a Google Business Profile, building relationships with local businesses, producing engaging content such as blog posts and videos, and optimizing their website with strong calls to action and contact forms, dealerships can attract and convert quality leads online.

Effective Internet Lead Generation Strategies for 2024

Effective Internet Lead Generation Strategies for 2024

In the fast-moving digital age, effective lead generation strategies are crucial for any industry, but particularly for automotive dealerships. With customers spending more time than ever researching, browsing, and purchasing vehicles online, it’s vital to boost your online presence to capture leads efficiently.


To that end, here are ten effective internet lead generation strategies that have proven to be successful for car sales:

  • Use data-driven lead generation services like WebFX to create and implement a robust inbound marketing strategy customized specifically to the automotive industry.

  • Optimize your website by focusing on user experience and developing an intuitive design while also providing essential information regarding pricing, dealership hours of operation, and contact information.

  • Utilize calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your website to engage with visitors and encourage them to submit their contact information.

  • Develop high-quality content that provides value to your target audience through informative blog posts, infographics, videos, and compelling images.

  • Leverage social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Tik Tok to share engaging content and connect with potential customers.

  • Host live streaming events showcasing new vehicles or introducing new promotions.

  • Create email campaigns featuring targeted sales messages and follow-up offers based on specific customer behavior.

  • Dedicate resources to local advertising campaigns targeted to the geographic region where your dealership is located,

  • Use paid search ads effectively through Google Ads and Bing Ads to target specific keywords relevant to your business model continually

  • Virtual reality (VR) technology offers real opportunities for innovation in the automotive industry by allowing potential customers to experience virtual test-drives without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.


It's critical to note that not all of these strategies will prove effective for every dealership given different marketing budgets and team capabilities. That's why each dealership should tailor their unique strategy based on the needs of their customers and goals.


Social Media Tactics

Social media tactics for automotive dealerships are all about creating engaging content that captures the interest and attention of potential buyers throughout the different stages of the buying cycle, from awareness to purchase decision. Some social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tik Tok are particularly useful for car dealerships.


For instance, YouTube is a popular platform for sharing videos featuring product walkthroughs, new vehicle launches, and reviews from reputable automotive experts.


Facebook provides features such as Automotive Inventory Ads for targeting in-market buyers while Instagram is ideal for the younger demographic with striking visuals. LinkedIn is perfect for luxury vehicles while TikTok offers unique opportunities to create creative content and drive discovery and consideration.


Other social media platforms offer lead generation forms to capture first-party data from prospects facilitating follow-ups offline. These forms are designed explicitly to generate and capture leads on social media platforms efficiently.


Automotive Website Advertisement Strategies

The internet has revolutionized the way potential customers search for automotive dealerships. With an overwhelming amount of options available online, it's essential to have an effective automotive website advertisement strategy. First and foremost, your website needs to be easy to navigate and provide a user-friendly interface. Consider using interactive features like chatbots, providing detailed vehicle descriptions, and high-quality images and videos.


Imagine you're a potential car buyer researching for a new car on several dealership websites. As a customer, which site would you find more appealing? A site with high-quality images clearly displaying details about the vehicle or one with low-quality image skills and minimal information?


Next, it's important to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and make sure your website ranks higher on Google search results than your competitors. By optimizing content with the right keywords, meta-titles, descriptions, tags, URLs and backlinks, you increase the visibility of your website to potential customers.


Don't overlook the importance of social media platforms either. Advertising through platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand's presence and give potential buyers a peek into what they can expect from you.


Finally, analytics data can help track visitors' behavior on your website and tailor targeted campaigns accordingly. By leveraging data insights from Google Analytics or CRM platforms such as Salesforce, you can gain valuable insights into consumer behavior patterns that guide future marketing decisions.


Now that we've established effective automobile website advertising strategies let's address how optimizing lead generation is equally vital for success.


Streamlining the 2024 Lead Generation Process

Efficient lead generation can differentiate between successful and struggling auto dealerships. The ability to generate new leads continually can sustainably grow your business regardless of fluctuations in consumer demand. However, generating quality leads isn't easy; ensuring that every lead passed through from your marketing department to sales is a potential customer requires a streamlined process.


Think of lead generation like assembling a puzzle. Every individual piece – whether it's a Facebook ad, website traffic, or outbound calls – forms an essential part of the bigger picture. However, without an organized and systematic approach to piecing together the puzzle, you may end up in frustration.


To simplify and streamline the lead generation process in 2024, consider using automation tools that integrate with multiple channels to centralize data and allow efficient follow-up activities.


Streamlining the 2024 Lead Generation Process

Also, make sure all touchpoints from your prospects are tracked by integrating your CRM system with other sales tracking tools like call tracking or live chat software. Provide instant feedback through automated email responders or chatbots to potential leads that fill out forms on your website.


A prospect fills out a contact form after visiting your website; if left unattended for days without any response from the dealership, they may have already moved onto another dealer. On the flip side, imagine receiving an immediate response from the auto dealership within minutes of completing a contact form? In most cases, there’s a higher chance of forming a connection.


Following up on warm leads regularly ensures that no opportunity goes to waste while keeping consumers engaged throughout their decision-making process. Hastening consumer decision-making will keep them engaged with positive emotions, creating a feeling of trust towards the dealership.


In-Dealership Solutions

In the automotive industry, in-dealership solutions play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining customers. With the increase in online competition, dealerships need to enhance their in-dealership customer experience to drive sales and customer satisfaction.


One way to achieve this is through the use of interactive technology such as virtual reality showrooms. Virtual Reality (VR) technology allows car buyers to interact with cars as if they were there physically, thru VR headsets. This means that customers from anywhere can experience the latest models without leaving home, providing an enriching and immersive experience.


Consider a shopper looking at purchasing an electric vehicle but does not have access to them locally or Price points of electric vehicles are too high.  They can experience these vehicles through the VR showrooms provided by local dealerships. This strategy improves conversions since prospective clients can visualize their investment better.


Another avenue may be utilizing Augmented Reality (AR) technology where buyers can test-drive different cars within a simulated environment using AR components such as smart glasses. This would enhance customer experiences when visiting dealerships and provide immense value regardless of shoppers’ location.


In addition to technology upgrades, dealerships may cater to their target audience via their ambiance; unique lighting like Kown Lights after-sales programs, and dedicated service centers foster more personalized experiences that build valuable relationships between dealership and customers.


Therefore, in-dealership solutions need careful consideration as they present both an opportunity to gain traction from competitors while bolstering client satisfaction levels.


Navigating Customer Targeting in 2024

Effective customer targeting requires a strategic approach based on granular demographic data and feedback loops designed from split-testing campaigns across multiple channels.

Since targeting methods change dynamically with market trends, those best positioned to navigate these shifts will remain competitive while increasing conversion rates through effective positioning.


One tool for navigating customer targeting could be ad personalization. With the vast amounts of data provided by social media activity, preferences, and online engagement metrics, ad personalization helps dealerships provide bespoke communications to their target audiences. It's pertinent to create ad content and graphic design that resonates with consumer's purchase interests: think vivid photography and concise copy.


Another important consideration is to incorporate Ads strategies that have passed multiple split tests designed to capture leads across various demographics while targeting the right audience through granular segmentation.


Think of it like picking a travel destination--you can’t just jump into it without proper research beforehand; you'll need answers to questions like “who’s traveling?”, “what are their likes?” & “what is the best time to travel?”.


Navigating Customer Targeting in 2024

While advertising efforts remain critical, dealerships can also use MR (Market Research) insights from industry leaders such as McKinsey & Co. who point towards emotional bonding as a central factor in customer satisfaction. Therefore incorporating hands-on demos, test drives, loaner vehicles, after-sale customer support is vital when engaging with customers both off-line and online.


In 2024, dealerships must understand their target market's psyche and purchasing habits if they are going to stand out against stiff competition: What do they value? Would generational focusing resonate better than location-based targeting?


  • According to 2023 data, it is predicted that close to 90% of car buyers will research online before making a purchase in 2024, underlining the critical importance of online lead generation.

  • Surveys reveal that implementing quality content marketing strategies meant businesses were potentially 3 times more likely to see higher ROI in terms of capturing leads and conversion in the automotive industry.

  • In a report from Google & Kantar TNS, it was found that over 70% of auto consumers were influenced by dealerships they located through local search results, which emphasize the potential power of local digital marketing for lead generation.

Following-Up on Internet Leads for Car Sales

The advent of online car shopping and digital marketing strategies have made it increasingly challenging for car dealerships to close the sale. According to recent studies, 95% of potential customers who show interest in purchasing a vehicle will visit your website first before setting foot in your dealership. That's why following up on internet leads is essential in converting those interested buyers into clients.


The fundamental problem that most car dealerships face when it comes to following up with internet leads is a lack of process or systematic approach. They're just winging it, which means they're leaving money on the table that their competition is likely picking up.


For instance, let's say a potential customer visited your website and filled out a form requesting more information about a specific model and its features. Suppose the dealership takes too long to respond (more than five minutes), uses a generic CRM email template, fails to engage through SMS text, fails to address questions in lead comments or even involve managers in communication. In that case, chances are high that the customer will move on to another dealership capable of providing better customer service.


But what are some of the best practices for following up with internet leads?


Following-Up on Internet Leads for Car Sales

As mentioned earlier, having a structured approach is crucial. A recommended workflow process includes sending an immediate phone call (with voicemail) upon receiving the lead. Followed by personalized email (with video), SMS text (follow TCPA regulations) with video, second phone call (after 5 p.m.), morning call and voicemail (before 9 a.m.), personalized email, evening call - no voicemail (after 5 p.m.), automatic CRM emails every two weeks from week 2 to 6 months, and phone calls twice a week up until month 2.


High-quality follow-up on day one is crucial for capturing the deal as its effectiveness diminishes significantly after. The goal should be to establish a connection and build a relationship before asking for an appointment. Remember, the customer wants to know that you value their business; make them feel special by providing personalized responses and going the extra mile.


For instance, If a potential buyer inquires about specific features or packages, include detailed information answering their questions in your response email instead of requesting them to visit your dealership. This approach changes the customers' view of dealership from salesmanship to partnership, which is more conducive in building trust and closing deals.

Also, the "4 X 60 rule," which suggests that 100 internet leads should produce 60 two-way conversations, 36 appointments, 22 shown appointments, and 13 sales, emphasizes the importance of persistence in follow-up.


As industry professionals adapt to increasingly sophisticated digital technology and strategies, it's crucial for dealerships to implement best practices for following up with internet leads to maximize sales. By having a structured process in place, providing personalized responses that highlight why your dealership is unique and valuable can prove effective in generating loyal customers to drive sustainable growth.


 

About the author:


Sean Cassy is a seasoned marketing professional with a passion for transforming businesses through powerful marketing strategies. With over 35 years immersed in the world of marketing, and as the co-founder and owner of Turbo Marketing Solutions for the past 17 years, Sean has a rich history in delivering results. He has personally crafted over 2,500 marketing funnels, edited 5,000 videos, and generated leads that have culminated in over $2 billion in sales for clients.


Sean's deep involvement with AI marketing tools from companies worldwide, coupled with his vast experience in the automotive marketing industry, has uniquely positioned him as a thought-leader in the AI marketing space. He is now committed to leveraging his expertise to help businesses across all verticals seize the AI opportunity early, and gain a competitive edge.


Sean's wealth of experience, continuous learning, and proven track record in delivering results, underscore his Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness in the field of AI marketing.


You can follow Sean on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seancassy/ 

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