How to Market Your Online Auto Dealership

The ongoing pandemic has sent all kinds of consumers online, from food to fashion to finance. The auto industry has responded in kind, and dealers across the country are using e-commerce to continue thriving in the current market downturn.

Creating social media campaigns, merchandising virtual showrooms, and interacting with customers via email are a few ways to simplify your marketing efforts.

If you’re having trouble reaching online consumers, take a look at some simple and effective ways to market your online auto dealership.

Use Videos

Video content is the most widely consumed media source on the internet today. This segment of the market continues to grow at a rapid rate, and it’s an exceptional marketing tool for niche and mass market auto brands.

Shooting a 30-second walk through of a vehicle is an inexpensive way to give customers a first-hand look at the exterior and interior of a car. Adding a quick demo video on every listing can eliminate the need for buyers to visit your brick-and-mortar dealership.

Additionally, videos are an easy-to-digest format for product advertising and informational content. Customers are more likely to stick around when they’re passively consuming content, as opposed to reading or asking questions directly.

Consider adding a quick intro video for your staff members to help customers get acquainted with the team. This is a fun way to increase your online dealership’s retention and turnover rates.

Source: MarTech Today

Leverage Social Media

Whether you have the budget for PPC advertising or you want to improve your Instagram feed to attract a specific demographic, social media continues to be one of the most useful marketing tools today.

Social media is an authentic and personal way to convey your brand’s message to your target audience. And, with the video being the most consumed form of content on the internet today, social media is a proven way to attract the right buyers to your brand.

Using your social media feed, appropriate hashtags, and eye-catching designs to attract customers is free to start and can be effectively completed with just a few hours per week.

There is a platform for nearly every audience and demographic, so it’s possible to build an online presence quickly – no matter who you’re trying to reach.

Build an Email List

Email marketing is still alive and well in 2024, and it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to cast a wide digital net and reach more people from home.

More than half of the world has internet access, and online commerce has turned your sales plan into a global operation. Email is the cheapest way to reach more people with your content and message, and nearly 4 billion people use email as a primary means of communication.

The most important thing to remember when building an email list is providing recipients with a way to opt out. Most email campaign builders keep a close eye on email bounce rates and spam complaints. To prevent downtime from slowing you down, ensure that your clients have an easy way to submit requests without flagging the system.

If you aren’t regularly marketing your offerings and services with an email drip campaign, you’re missing out on a huge segment of the car buying market.

Source: DePaula Chevrolet

Start a Blog

Did you know that all of the content on your website can have an impact on its search engine rating and visibility metrics? Blog writing is an effective way to answer consumer questions about common product details, while also making your online presence work in the background.

Blog writing can drive more traffic to your online marketplace, and writing for partner brands can increase your target audience substantially. If you aren’t the best writer and don’t want to hire someone on to your team, dealerships can easily outsource this task at an affordable cost.

All you need to build a blog is a customizable website, and a few hours a week to start. Factual, engaging blog posts that use SEO best practices are inexpensive, low-effort tools for online auto dealerships.

Create a Virtual Showroom

Since more consumers than ever are starting their car search online, why not give them an all-in-one online shopping experience? Using a virtual showroom is an easy way to reduce your overhead costs, improve customer satisfaction, and digitize your dealership.

Virtual showrooms allow dealers to showcase their entire product inventory without increasing operational costs related to:

  • Utilities
  • Lot size
  • Staffing costs
  • Insurance and incidentals

Customers can use online images and 360-degree virtual walk-throughs to experience the exact unit they want to take home. RelayCars offering a virtual showroom gives online shoppers a way to complete the entire transaction without ever leaving their home.

Source: Lead to Conversion

Start an Email Newsletter

Ideally, dealers would get all of their traffic directly from their respective websites. But, sending an email newsletter is an effective way to reach people who are on the fence about buying a new car.

This form of content marketing is a great way to:

  • Build brand interest
  • Gain the attention of people who aren’t currently shopping for a new car
  • Reach consumers from different niche markets
  • Convert casual window shoppers into active customers’

This is also an easy way to track and categorize your active and dormant sales pipelines.

Send Surveys to Gather Feedback

Improving your enterprise regularly based on audience feedback keeps your customers happy and gives new clients incentive to experience your brand. Using surveys to collect feedback is a free or low-cost way to interact with consumers and make their voices heard.

Sending out digital surveys can also improve brand recognition for your company since this method gives you the opportunity to speak with a diversified audience.

Many survey-building programs are free to inexpensive for growing companies, and they often offer free trials or sign-up bonuses to use the service. Surveys can be used to solicit referrals, collect valuable research data, improve internal operations, and much more.

Source: Property Portal Watch

Highlight Sales and Promotions

Everyone loves a good deal, and this is especially true for large milestone purchases like a new car.

Online marketing is one of the easiest ways to communicate current sales to your active audience, while attracting more people with hot deals and promotions.