Buying a car is a serious thing to do, and that is perhaps why the automotive industry has been a little slower than most others to pick up the digital trends. When you buy something this expensive, most people probably thought, it is better to see things with your own eyes and resolve possible issues personally.
However, the situation changes. More and more people prefer to find out online if this or that car is affordable, suitable for their purposes and possesses the necessary functionality. Fewer and fewer people believe it to be required to go around car dealerships and discuss things in person – their customer’s journey is gradually moving into the digital sphere. For businesses, this means that they have to pay greater attention to their online marketing, probably for the first time. In this article, we will cover some of the ways it can be done.
1.Building up an online presence
As we’ve already said, the importance of online marketing in the automotive industry is growing rapidly – especially taking into account that millennials and members of Generation X constitute a large and growing portion of dealerships’ clients, and these demographics rely heavily on doing things online. This means that if you don’t have a website now, you are hopelessly behind those of your competitors who do possess some kind of online presence.
The sooner you start following suit, the better. If you do have a website, you should make sure it meets all the latest requirements of search engine and mobile optimization. High-quality user experience is another thing to pay attention to because for many customers your website is going to be the first interaction between themselves and your company. If you don’t make an effort, this interaction is also going to be the last.
2.Publishing valuable content to build up authority
Information received from you has to be a complete replacement and even an improvement upon what a client can find out from direct interaction with a professional car dealer. Model, make, year, price and similar factors are important, but it is just the beginning of what you should give your customers. They should also learn less obvious things that will let them decide how well this or that purchase is going to fit in their lives.
The best way to do so is by publishing valuable content in the form of blog posts, videos, white papers, reviews, product comparisons, and articles.
Make your website a go-to place for everyone who wants to know about what happens in the automotive industry, turn it into a constant source of reliable and current information on the subject. A good idea would be to publish articles that don’t directly deal with the characteristics of cars but provide valuable information for car owners – for example, how to replace a key fob battery.
Buying a car is a serious business that isn’t concluded in one go. Even if you are absolutely sure you have the best deals in town, it is highly unlikely that somebody is going to make such a big spending decision without comparing your offer to at least some others. Leading the customer from the first exposure to your brand to the purchase is a long-term effort, and you should make sure to apply yourself to every stage of it.
4.Building up community
You may think of car owners as about a fairly insular bunch when it comes to forming a community, but this needn’t be true. Setting up social media accounts is a must for every marketing effort these days, and the automotive industry is no exception, especially if you tie them in with your website or blog, turning it into an effective network for spreading your content.
In addition to that, many people prefer buying from dealerships they can message directly through social media – this means that doing something as simple as creating a Facebook page already gives you bonus points in the eyes of many clients.
5.Publishing new, high-quality content regularly
Just like in any other industry, content plays a significant role in your promotional efforts. Any content strategy is built on two foundations: high quality and regular updates, one without the other just doesn’t work. This means that you should build an expectation in your audience that they are going to receive more of a specific type of content in a pre-defined period of time, and this content is going to be top-notch. This is especially true of car reviews – people who read them are likely to return for more if you publish such content regularly and across all your channels.
6.Not neglecting email marketing
Email marketing may not be the most technologically advanced marketing method out there, but it is still an important part of any solid marketing effort, as in many situations it is the only possible way of nurturing your leads in the long term. Many people in automotive business believe that if a prospect doesn’t make a purchase right away, this means that they are likely to buy somewhere else very soon, after which there is no point in pursuing them.
This, however, is not always so – many people take their time buying a new car or aren’t going to buy right now and just investigate for some future prospects. Either way, this means that with a little effort and ingenuity they can be reminded of your offer and persuaded to consider it once again – after which it isn’t that far from actually convincing them of making a purchase.
At a glance, it may seem that automotive industry is too different from the majority of other businesses to benefit from online marketing – however, if you follow these tips you will see that it is far from the truth!
Article By Kristian Krisyk