With the current pandemic situation, car dealership marketing is more important than ever. Discover the best strategies for success here.

Roughly 17 million vehicles are sold in the United States every year. Even in towns and cities with several dealerships, there are still plenty of opportunities for your dealership to be successful. However, your success is directly related to the amount of effort you put into car dealership marketing.

You must let your community know you exist. Just as importantly, you have to give consumers a reason to shop at your dealership, whether online or in-person.

We live in the digital age, which means there’s a lot of information out there available to everyone by everyone. This can make it difficult to discern good information from bad information.

Let us help. Keep reading for the top eight marketing ideas for small car dealerships that actually work.

  1. Providing a User-Friendly Website

First, understand that the vast majority of consumers are educated and well researched. Nearly 88% of shoppers research products and services online before buying. That means you need to have a digital storefront where consumers can shop around and peruse your inventory.

Your website needs to be user-friendly, however, or you’ll push potential customers away. A user-friendly website:

  • Is intuitive
  • Is easy to navigate
  • Loads quickly
  • Is searchable
  • Is visually appealing
  • Is simple

Make it easy for consumers to look through your inventory, search for specific cars, find information, and identify your services.

  1. Perfecting Your Search Engine Optimization

A great website is incomplete without search engine optimization. SEO is the coding embedded in websites used by search engines to find relevant data based on keyword searches. For example, if someone types in “used cars near me,” the SEO on your website will lead them to your page (ideally).

The quality of your SEO determines where you rank on search engine results pages. The higher you rank, the more visible your website will be. You can boost your SEO by:

  • Creating a blog full of relevant articles
  • Using effective keywords and keyword phrases
  • Using internal and external links throughout your site
  • Getting backlinks from other websites (such as affiliate sites)
  • Incorporating multiple forms of media embedded with SEO coding
  • Ensuring you have fast load times
  • Reducing your bounce rate
  • And more

SEO is the staple of car dealership digital marketing for organic website traffic. If you want users to find you before your competitors, you must perfect your SEO.

  1. Using Content Marketing

Content marketing is a great car dealership marketing tool to help build trust and credibility within your community. We’ve all seen the in-your-face car dealership commercials with the message of “buy, buy, buy!”

Unfortunately, these ads tend to push customers away, rather than draw them in. Content marketing presents a way to connect with your target audience in a more intimidate and less-aggressive demeanor. By posting valuable, helpful, and useful content, you can develop a stronger relationship with consumers.

Use blog articles, emails, and social media posts to share engaging content with your readers. You’ll establish yourself as an authority in your field and give consumers a reason to trust your brand.

  1. Staying Active on Social Media

Social media presence is vital to car dealership marketing strategies. Most of the U.S. population is on social media, which makes it the ideal platform for building brand recognition.

You can build your following organically by posting content your audience wants to see and encouraging them to like, share, and comment. You can also pay to expand your influence.

Using paid social media ads allows you to target a specific audience, based on location, age, gender, and more. You can also run A and B ads simultaneously to see which style of advertising is most effective.

Finally, social media gives you plenty of advertising mediums to choose from. If your competitors do well with video advertising, you can use their ads for inspiration. Learn how to download video from facebook and show the video to the head of your marketing department or a hired outside marketer.

  1. Building an Email List

Your car dealership marketing ideas should include creating an email campaign. An email campaign is comprised of automated emails designed to keep your brand on the minds of consumers. They need to provide value (discounts, exclusive offers, etc.) and subtly push for sales.

You can gain email subscribers using your social media, website, and other ads. Most people will need an incentive to subscribe. You can offer discounts on vehicle purchases and/or services, free maintenance plans, etc.

  1. Creating a Referral Program With Big Rewards

Some of your greatest marketing assets are the people who’ve already bought vehicles from your dealership. Encourage them to promote your dealership to their friends, families, neighbors, and coworkers.

Getting a new car is always a topic of conversation. Offer cashback rewards to customers who send people your way. As an added incentive, you can offer new customers from referrals a generous discount.

  1. Investing in PPC Marketing

Developing a strong online presence takes time and a lot of focused effort. However, there are steps you can take to expedite the process. Pay per click advertising presents a way to get your brand in front of new audiences.

You can post your ad on a host website for a measurable fee. Each time your ad gets a click, you pay the host website a predetermined amount.

You can use SEM advertising similarly on search engine sites. You pay a certain amount per website click for the privilege of your website coming up at the top of results pages.

  1. Publishing Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Finally, remember that most customers will need validation for making a big investment like a new car. You can help push them in the right direction by publishing customer reviews and testimonials online. Post them on your website, social media, and by using listing services like Google My Business.

When prospective customers see positive reviews from your past customers, they’ll develop a sense of trust in your dealership and will more likely be swayed to buy from you.

Looking to Improve Your Car Dealership Marketing?

Car dealership marketing is very similar to marketing in other industries. We’re becoming more and more reliant on digital marketing as the world advances technologically. If you want more advice about how to keep up with the modern auto sales industry, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go.

Our website is dedicated to keeping people like you in the loop about everything going on in the industry.