From the days of hanging posters around town to the modern world of posting on the internet, getting the name of your dealership into the local community has always been important to its success. Without proper promotion, how would drivers know what it is that you have to offer? As technology continues to improve, though, doing so is only becoming more complex. To keep up with the times, you need modern automotive marketing solutions.
You cannot repeat the same actions over and over, hoping for sales growth. Remember, doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. When marketing your car dealership, you need to be dynamic and hit the target from all different directions. Today’s world requires a bit of everything: search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and even reputation management. There are plenty of ways to outperform your competition. You just need a professional partner to help you make the most of every marketing opportunity.
Modern Marketing: Keeping Up with the Times
The world is constantly evolving, and the automotive industry is not immune to said changes. Whether you are in a crowded market with tons of same-brand competition or are in a more remote area where the competition is inevitably more diverse and further apart, you need some sort of marketing strategy in place. Either way, it is essential to have a unique strategy, one that is crafted specifically for your dealership. But that’s not to say there aren’t some commonalities between strategies; they all should include the following modern practices.
Search Engine Optimization
When looking for automotive marketing solutions that actually drive traffic to your website and encourage conversions, you want to look at SEO. Without a doubt, SEO is one of the most important pieces of a successful marketing strategy. It is the set of actions taken to help make a website rank well in search. This is anything from internal linking structures to a robust content marketing strategy––that’s up next.
The first step of automotive SEO is to get an understanding of what keywords you want to rank for and which ones will help build your business. These could be anything from “used car dealership” to “Ford Explorer for sale.” You can get these ideas from questions your customers ask, your offerings, and even what you want to offer to potential customers. Then, once you know what you should and have the potential to rank for, you can start optimizing your site to do so with content that focuses on those keywords along with technical SEO like meta optimizations, alt text rewrites, and internal linking.
By ranking well for keywords that your potential customers are searching, you will get more traffic to your website. With more traffic on your site and fully optimized pages with high-quality content, linking, and funneling, you will encourage users to buy a vehicle from you, service their car at your dealership’s repair shop, and more. SEO has the ability to bring people to your website and convert those visitors into customers, potentially more than any other facet of marketing, making it extremely important.
Content marketing is a large part of SEO; to rank well for a keyword, you must have quality content surrounding the topic. You always want to have the best answer for a searcher. That said, it is also important from a user experience standpoint. Aside from its ties to SEO, writing and publishing useful content on your site is easily one of the best ways to market your business.
By offering an abundance of meaningful, accurate information to people online, you have the capacity to become a valuable resource; possibly one that people feel inclined to revisit the next time they have a question. The more these users return to your site, the more likely they are to purchase a vehicle from your lot. The more these visitors trust you, again, the more likely they are to buy a car from you in the future.
Most of the time, when you perform a Google search, the top couple of results on the page will have the word “Sponsored” next to them. This means that the company paid money to be on the top of the page; this is called pay-per-click advertising (PPC). In a way, this type of advertising is similar to SEO, as you are putting forth effort to hold a spot on the SERP for a specific search term. That said, the act of getting the spot is quite different.
While SEO is done by proving to Google that your page or website has the best answer for a user’s search, PPC is more money motivated. Your dealership can create an ad and bid on a keyword such as “Chevy Silverado 1500 for sale.” The amount of money you are willing to put toward this increases your spot on the SERP, and you will be charged your chosen amount per ad click.
With that said, everything with PPC is not centered around money. You still have to offer something useful to the searcher. Google has a quality score for ads. If you create the most relevant, helpful ad, you can actually end up ranking higher than those who outbid you. When it comes to PPC, you are paying for the clicks you get; you can earn more clicks if you are in the first position, but you do also have something useful to offer users.
Overall, PPC is an important part of dealership marketing because it is another way to hold space on the SERP for important keywords. It is important to understand the mix of SEO and PPC, though, as you never want to drown efforts from one or the other. This is why having a knowledgeable professional by your side can be extremely helpful; they will help make sure your strategies come together and work as one rather than fighting against one another.
Social Media & Managing Your Reputation
Social media plays a significant role in our lives, both professionally and personally. People are on some form of social media for hours every single day. This makes social media marketing crucial. Posting unique, interesting, and informative content on your Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other profiles could catch the eye of someone new or help to build a relationship with locals over time, growing trust like content marketing tends to do.
Similarly, you need good reputation management for your dealership. This means responding to reviews, both good and bad, from past customers. Interacting with those who have left reviews proves that you value your relationships, just as social media interaction does. There is no denying the fact that potential customers take a look at reviews and testimonials before deciding to shop at a dealership. So reply to your reviews, thank those who left a compliment, and address those with complaints in a professional manner. You care about your customers, so show that outwardly.
Marketing Your Dealership: It’s Not Pick & Choose
Each of these components—SEO, content marketing, social media, and reputation management—are essential to making the most of your online marketing efforts. They all tie in together, too. Technical SEO finds the keywords of focus for content marketing. Social media takes the content marketing and posts it on a public, algorithm-based platform. And, of course, reviews can be found in various places, including social media platforms. The way these pieces tie in together and the way they stand alone makes it impossible to pick and choose. To be successful, you should really be doing it all.
Finding an Automotive Marketing Partner
Keeping up with each pertinent area of automotive marketing can be challenging all on your own. That is why it is typically a good idea to partner with professionals to handle it for and with you. But finding the right automotive marketing company for your dealership can actually be a bit challenging. How do you pick one that will best serve your needs?
First, know what it is that you need. Do you have a social media savvy team that is already managing an engaging online presence? Maybe you only need someone to specialize in the other areas. Are you missing an on-site marketing team altogether? You should probably find a partner that can help with each aspect of your marketing. Once you know what you need, you should do research on the various agencies out there and find one that will focus on what you value most. In most cases, that could be us here at Wikimotive.
Dominate Your Market with Wikimotive Today
Whether you only need an agency to cover some of the pieces of your marketing strategy or one to handle it all, we are the right choice. At Wikimotive, we value transparency and hard work, the two most important factors in building a meaningful relationship with our dealers.
More than anything, we want you to be successful. For that reason, we offer dealerships a free website audit to show you the opportunities you have to grow your online presence. And when we say free, we mean free. Absolutely no payment or obligation necessary. So, what are you waiting for?
Contact us to get started today. We cannot wait to help you with all of your marketing needs.