Local digital marketing for automotive businesses

Like many industries, the automotive industry has been going through dramatic transformations in recent years. Aside from the normal challenges that automotive companies face, such as customer service issues and minimizing team turnover, their biggest issue is adapting to customer behavior and getting them through the doors.

Whether your local business is a car dealership, rental, or repair shop, consumers are now taking more active roles in the vehicle buying process. Potential buyers are no longer letting your sales team do all the talking because according to Google, 95% of vehicle buyers are getting the facts through their own online research. By the time a potential buyer visits your business, they are already well informed and know exactly what type of vehicle they want to purchase.

The message is clear for marketing and sales teams in the automotive industry – since customers are spending less time exploring dealerships firsthand, digital marketing is needed to capture their attention and business.

How automotive businesses benefit from digital marketing

Digital marketing plays an essential role for companies in the automotive industry. There are many reasons why the automobile industry is looking at digital marketing more seriously than ever. However, a huge motivating factor is that while digital marketing brings in more revenue it also costs much less. Automotive companies could end up spending up to 10 times more than required when they stick to traditional marketing strategies.

Therefore, using and implementing a digital marketing strategy is vital for your company if you want to succeed in bringing more visitors, leads, and customers to your website.

There are many benefits to using digital marketing, here are some results that your company will get:

  • Attract quality leads to your website
  • Increase brand awareness and credibility
  • Easy to track and measure your marketing efforts
  • Acquire customers at a lower acquisition cost

6 digital marketing strategies for automotive businesses

1. Search engine optimization (SEO)

While some people may find you directly because they want to purchase a certain car brand, such as Volvo, other people in your target audience will only find you when searching car-related terms in Google. This is where SEO is needed to help your business be visible online, build credibility, and deliver quality web traffic. SEO includes a variety of best practices to help you get free traffic to your website by ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs), using keyword analysis, on-page SEO, and creating quality content.

Keep in mind that even though customers buy their vehicles from a dealer, their decision making has already been made online. According to statistics from Google, twice as many start their research online versus at a dealer. Additional statistics also show that 6 out of 10 are indecisive at the beginning of the customer journey, once they have taken the step to visit a car dealer, they have already decided which car they want. Therefore, make sure you have a strong SEO to get more visitors and conversions for your business.

2. Web design

Your website is often the first impression a potential client gets of your business because it serves as a digital brochure of what customers can expect from your business. To increase your web traffic and generate quality leads from search engines, it’s important to have an optimized website that is clean and easy to navigate with quality content that guides your visitors through the customer’s journey.

For companies in the car industry, statistics show that more than half of all those who search for car-related content online do so on a mobile device. Among other things, more than 60% search for a dealer, access a brochure or book a test drive via their mobile phone. Therefore, remember to have a website that is adapted to mobile devices so that you can get more conversions.

3. Content marketing & Video marketing

Since customers want to be more informed before making a purchase, your company should work to create trust between your target audience. Building trust helps your company create a positive brand and be considered a thought leader in your industry. Content marketing helps you achieve this because it allows you to connect with and help your leads and customers make a decision.

Through content marketing, your company helps to educate your visitors so that they can more easily make a decision. For example, a first-time buyer may not have a good idea of fuel efficiency or which car is best suited for longer distances. This is where your business can come in and inform them about the type of car that might suit their needs.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video is priceless. In the automotive industry, video marketing offers you a great way to connect with customers and show them exactly what you have to offer. Creating videos of some of your new arrivals or showcasing your showroom as a whole is a great way to build interest and bring new customers to your business.

4. Social media

Social media can be an effective marketing channel for your automotive company. In addition to just “likes” and “clicks”, there are significant benefits to using social media to help you reach your business goals.

If you use, for example, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, you can get valuable information and purchase indicators in real-time, which allows you to build brand loyalty, increase the customer experience, and influence purchasing decisions effectively. With your social media strategy, it’s also always best to use and focus your time on the platforms on which your target group is active.

5. Search engine marketing (SEM) & Retargeting

You are probably familiar with the text ads that appear at the top of the SERPs on Google and Bing. This highly visible area continues to be some of the best rankings on the SERPs. By using a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy with the right keyword analysis and audience targeting, you can be sure that you are attracting quality leads to your website.

Less than 2% of your web traffic converts on their first visit but with the help of retargeting you can reach out to the remaining 98% of the traffic that left your website. Since many people choose to make price comparisons and visit different websites to see what suits them best, it’s important not to lose potential customers. Thanks to retargeting ads, you can remind them of your brand and increase your chances of them choosing to buy from you.

6. Email marketing automation

When it comes to nurturing leads, and maintaining and strengthening relationships with current customers – email marketing is the strategy to use. Your target audience is more likely to check their email frequently and it’s easy to personalize your email campaigns to segment your audience so that you can increase conversions and engagement.

To effectively get the most out of your email marketing, it’s recommended to utilize marketing automation in order to simplify processes to guide leads through the sales funnel, book meetings with your sales or service team, and keep current customers engaged with your brand. From the information you have about your audience in your CRM, marketing automation allows you to segment and engage the right customers and personalize communications in real-time to help you reach your goals.