Automotive Marketing: 5 Things You Must Do to Succeed in Today’s Sales Climate
The automotive industry is changing and selling cars isn’t quite what it used to be. If you’ve been in the business long enough, you know this is true—the tactics that used to work great just aren’t cutting it anymore. Long gone are the days of traditional media like a simple direct mail campaign or local radio campaigns to sell a service. When people shop for cars now, they don’t just read a leaflet and then walk into a dealership. According to a 2016 AutoTrader study, Canadian consumers actually spend an average of more than 8 hours doing online research before they buy a car. If you aren’t setting yourself up to capture attention during those 8 hours, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business as a car dealer. To keep ahead of the competition, you need to drive into the automotive digital world. Here’s what you need to do to make sure you don’t fall behind.
First and foremost: Do you have any resistance to the idea that you need to change the way you do business? You need to get rid of that. A lot of hesitation in this area is the result of fear. We often aren’t sure that we’ll be able to succeed in a new environment, especially when that new environment was essentially foisted on us rather than coming about due to our own decision-making.
Even so, digital automotive marketing is an exciting new frontier that can expose you to a lot of new customers. You will be shocked by how effective online automotive marketing can be and you’ll wish you’d done it sooner. This is our new reality, so you may as well get on board. It’s easy to learn what to do and I’ll teach you all the right techniques for success. Sign up for my class and get my Lead Finder software to get on track with your new automotive content marketing strategies.
2. Use Social Media the Right Way
You may already be doing some things here and there to promote your automotive sales business online and chances are that this includes some sort of social media presence. This is a good first step, but simply having a business Facebook page or Instagram account isn’t enough. The content you post has to be worth following. There’s a right way and a wrong way to use social media and if your accounts are boring, inconsistent, or inappropriate, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
What would it take for a prospective customer to look at your dealership’s Twitter account and think “I should follow them”—do you provide last-minute deal information on social media? Do you have a particularly humorous point of view?
3. Create Sales Funnels
The sales funnel concept is a representation of the process of guiding your prospective customers toward a purchase. The progression from considering shopper to paying customer can be enhanced and shortened if you provide the right marketing content. It’s all about taking an organized approach to your content and making sure that you’re addressing each step in the funnel.
Firstly, you’ve got to get your audience’s attention, letting them know you’re around. Then you pique their interest in the vehicles you sell. Follow that up with consideration for a specific vehicle so you can guide the customer to a purchase. Each step in the funnel process gets more specific and more targeted to an individual with particular needs. If you aren’t using a funnel strategy for your content, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to make your marketing efforts more organized and effective.
Points two and three above need to be guided by specific action in order to succeed. Part of this is knowing exactly who you’re targeting. Sure, you’re trying to reach car shoppers, but what kind? If you specialize in luxury cars, you should make sure your content reflects that. But tone and presentation are just part of the audience targeting puzzle. You can also use demographic advertising to market to the people who are most likely to buy from you.
There are two ways to approach this from a strategy standpoint. You can try to
market to the people who already reliably buy from you or you can try to capture a new segment of the market with your digital marketing efforts. If you’re satisfied with the amount of business you get in one area, why not expand to another? Of course, if you aren’t certain that you’re getting as much business as possible from your current target demo, you could redouble your efforts there before trying to move on. When you know how to market properly,
you have the freedom to make these decisions and act on them.
5. Analyze Results
One great thing about digital marketing is that you have a lot more tools at your disposal than you used to. Sales figures aren’t the only metric you can use to analyze your success. Yes, your bottom line is important, but from a marketing perspective, there are other data points in play. Paying attention to other data such as email conversion rates will let you know whether you’re actually missing out on potential business. If you are, in fact, missing out on some golden marketing opportunities, you could be letting money slip through your fingers without realizing it. Using analytics programs to ensure your marketing efforts are actually working out is the key to spending your time wisely in a digital marketing context. Data will tell you whether or not your strategy is working out and whether you’re moving leads through the marketing funnel in an effective manner.
Though a lot about the auto industry has changed in recent years, some things stay the same. In particular, leads are still as important as ever. Finding them is a little different and leads can come in many forms. There’s opportunity out there for you to make use of your existing skills while finding room to grow as a savvy digital content marketer. Don’t wait to get started. You’ll be glad you took the necessary steps to shore up your business and find more success than ever before.
Sean Cassy is the Digital Marketing Specialist and Co-Owner of Turbo Marketing Solutions. You can contact him by email here or reach him by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office.