The automotive industry is extremely competitive, which means that you have to take your advertising campaign to the next level. Rory Angold, an expert in automotive finance and insurance, shares tips for boosting your ROI with cost-effective marketing strategies for the automotive industry below:
Establish Authority with Video
The buying cycle is comprised of four cycles: awareness, interest, intent, and purchase. Create videos that target each of the four stages to educate your customers. The videos capture the attention of those in the awareness stage and encourage them to move to the next step – interest. Use the videos to show how to buy a vehicle and, more importantly, to show the customer why he or she should buy from your dealership.
When you get to the intent stage, show videos of different vehicles. Highlight the best car features that motivate the customer’s decision. For the purchase stage, create videos that show how your service department works and how to order parts and accessories. You might want to create a video about the new vehicle that shows how to use some of the higher-end features.
Digital billboards are becoming more popular. However, don’t waste your money by putting your ad on a billboard located just anywhere. Put your ad on the billboard that is at a stoplight just before your business. As part of the ad, remind people they might be interested in trading in their old vehicle for a new one if they turn in at your dealership located at the next stop.
Be a Hub Spot
Whether you’re a dealership, repair shop or you sell parts, get more involved in the automotive community. Host car shows once a month or more often for the community. Use entry fees for trophies and prizes. Advertise that you’ll give a percentage of the entry fees to local charities. Invite automotive vendors and food trucks to the event.
Earn the Trust of the Community
Since many people turn to social media for referrals to repair shops, dealerships, or even the best place to get parts and accessories, create a page for your business. Hold photo contests and use hashtags to reach out to even more people. Make sure your social media page has the reference function enabled so prospective customers can find great reviews. Be sure to ask your customers to post a review on your page. You could even put your social media link on a digital copy of their receipt and email the receipt to them. This makes it easy to click the link and leave a glowing review.
Create an Excellent Customer Experience
It’s hard to compete with the price since most car dealerships have minimal leeway on the cost of the vehicles. Instead, give your customers the best experience they’ve ever had. Most people think that buying a car is stressful. Make the experience a fun one – or at least less stressful. Offer complimentary coffee, soft drinks, and snacks. Provide your customers with a free WiFi connection they could use while they are waiting for service or waiting for loan approvals. In short, make your customers feel at home while they are at your business. You’ll find that an excellent customer experience gets more word of mouth than anything else.
Go live on Facebook. Whether you’re test-driving a new vehicle, detailing a used vehicle for resale or even making repairs, go live. Don’t forget to narrate! While you are test driving a new vehicle, show how the latest technology works, such as blind-spot monitoring or connectivity features.
Share behind-the-scenes videos, too. And always post pictures and descriptions of new vehicles on the lot.
Dealerships do have to deal with some common stereotypes, and they hurt even those that have honest prices and non-pushy salespeople. Use that to your advantage – advertise low-pressure buying and defy other stereotypes.
Build Personal Relationships
Building relationships with your customers serve two purposes. It shows current customers that you weren’t just being friendly because they were interested in a vehicle. It also shows potential customers you care about building relationships. By hosting car care clinics, you draw potential customers into your business and show current customers that you care about making their vehicle last longer. Invite vendors such as body shops and those in the automotive industry to set up a booth. Give demonstrations on detailing a car, getting proper insurance, maintaining the vehicle, and even give tips about preventing serious breakdowns.
Create an Informative Atmosphere
Those who come in for service will eventually want to buy a new vehicle. Create a station with informative articles in the waiting room. Add several “how-to” articles on your dealership’s letterhead for those to read or take with them. This plays into the word-of-mouth part of marketing. A customer getting service might read one of your articles about buying a new vehicle and choose you when that time comes. A customer may also know someone who needs information on vehicle maintenance and may take a copy of the article on maintenance to that friend. In turn, that friend may come to your dealership for service.
Get ahead of the competition by taking your automotive dealership marketing to the next level by targeting individuals with specific wants and needs. Use micro-moments to reach out to people in the car-buying process several times. When seeing something more than once, it helps with the decision-making process.
About Rory Angold: Rory Angold has spent the past 20 years assuming leadership and executive positions within various companies. In his last position, Mr. Angold worked with Zurich North America, managing and more importantly developing field teams in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. His goal was to connect with automotive dealers and industry partners to help them increase their wealth while managing risks and protecting their assets.