Blog Post

Automotive Digital Advertising: 7 Strategies to Drive Sales in 2021

04/22/2021 - Liz Cerrone

When it comes to selling cars in 2021, the highest quality automotive digital advertising strategies must be employed in order to reach monthly sales goals. Interested buyers are no longer driving to a car lot and beginning their search for their new vehicle there. Rather, individuals are on a new buyer journey when it comes to vehicles. These savvy shoppers are now completing most of their research online and only going to a dealership to get a sense of how the vehicle drives.

If you want to drive sales in 2021, follow these seven automotive digital advertising strategies. Strap in and get ready to take notes!

1. Have A Presence Everywhere

While word of mouth (WOM) is still a highly effective strategy for generating leads and sales at a dealership, it is not a guaranteed way to generate consistent interest in a particular dealership. Since so many customers are beginning their research online, dealerships must be in the same places these individuals are conducting research. Those who do not make an effort to have a wide-reaching presence will fall behind local competitors.

With this automotive digital advertising strategy, dealerships can increase their reach and generate more qualified leads. Once car shoppers believe they have a few solutions to their current car problem(s), they will begin to look for dealers that can fulfill their needs. If a dealer is not listed on the aggregate websites, search engines, or manufacturer websites the individual is on, that person will likely not know the dealership exists.

While dealerships cannot guarantee that every individual who is looking for a certain vehicle will visit their showroom or call a salesperson, it does ensure potential leads have the ability to learn more about the dealer.

2. Gather & Share Positive Feedback

Once an individual has learned about a dealership (either through their own research or through WOM), this person will want to know what type of experience they can expect. No one wants to go to a dealership that has consistent negative 1-star reviews. Furthermore, some individuals are not willing to roll the dice on a dealership that hasn’t had any recent feedback (even if the dealer has 5-stars).

Regularly gathering and sharing positive feedback serves two purposes. First, it makes sure the dealership is well known for the customer service it provides to its customers. This feedback can be used on a dealer’s website and social media, which is free content. Second, feedback can benefit SEO. When satisfied customers leave their review, they often include keywords that others are searching for when researching dealerships. This has a small, positive impact on a dealer’s SEO ranking.

This automotive advertising strategy must be managed, however. If a negative review is left by a dissatisfied customer, the dealership needs to respond immediately. This response shows the dealership is proactive and truly cares about customer satisfaction.

3. Create A Mobile-Friendly Website

In 2021, dealership websites should be designed mobile-first. While a small number of individuals will conduct their research on a desktop computer, most people are using their smartphones or tablets for their research.

If a webpage is not optimized for a mobile device, the information can be hard to read and/or the page does not display correctly. This is frustrating for someone who wants to learn more about a particular vehicle. They will likely bounce out and find another dealer.

Pages need to scale up and down to fit the device the individual is using. It is not unlikely for someone to start researching on their smartphone and move to a tablet to desktop to finish their research. Pages should look and function property, regardless of the device benign used.

4. Make It Easy To Shop Online

While individuals may not be on a showroom floor, they still want to shop around and find the car that best suits their taste, needs, and budget. Their online shopping experience should be easy (if not easier) than looking around a dealership. Information should be easy to find on each vehicle, and navigating through the website should be intuitive.

A dealership’s website should be convenient. When looking at a website, car shoppers want to easily compare different models. While they could open multiple tabs, this small feature improves their research experience and makes them more likely to visit the dealership.

Additionally, filtering should be standard. Some individuals have a strict budget. Others only want sedans or SUVs. A few will want optional upgrades. The ability to filter through all of the vehicles and look at cars that fit their exact needs will help nurture these car shoppers into paying customers.

Furthermore, high-quality pictures and detailed information is crucial. If the car is brand new, a virtual tour inside and out is a great option. For used cars, the car facts should be front and center. Regardless of the age of the vehicle, all specifics should be clearly outlined.

5. Create Quality Content Regularly

SEO is a long term automotive digital advertising strategy with high potential ROI. With the right original content, a dealer’s SEO strategy can drive organic leads to the website every day. In order to capitalize on SEO and earn a high SEO ranking, dealers must invest in good web development. The front-end and back-end of the website must be built with SEO in mind.

After the website is optimized, high-quality content needs to be added regularly. With so many vehicles, dealerships have plenty of ideas for creating engaging content. Various blogs about vehicle safety, maintenance tips, and the latest news can easily be written. However, it is important to write naturally and include appropriate keywords throughout the content.

6. Invest In Paid Automotive Advertising

While long-term strategies are important for nutrition, short term strategies can help garner more sales quickly. With PPC campaigns, dealerships can place ads directly in front of qualified buyers on social media, YouTube, search engines, and other platforms. Rather than hoping someone is looking for information included in a blog, buyers who are looking to buy a car today will receive a target ad.

PPC campaigns can have a high ROI when they are designed correctly. A range of keywords and marketing copy are needed to effectively convert leads into sales. Fortunately, a range of automotive ads can be created quickly and efficiently. There are even VIN-specific ads, which typically have higher conversion rates.

7. Use Smart Digital Advertising

Since some buyers will switch between their mobile devices and desktop computers, it is important to understand where they are in the research process. Typically, those conducting research on their smartphones are looking to quickly garner important information. On the other hand, those using desktop computers have more time and tend to conduct in-depth research.

With smart automotive digital advertising, the content is adjusted to fit the type of device being used. You can even further customize the content to the type of marketing channel. This allows dealerships to create the best buyer’s journey possible.

Rather than scrolling endlessly through large chunks of content on a mobile device, car shoppers will see bulleted information that is easy to read. Those using a desktop computer will gain access to greater detailed information, which is perfect for their in-depth research.

Drive Traffic & Sales Now

These seven automotive digital advertising strategies may take time to formulate for a specific dealership, but they are incredibly effective and help convert leads into customers. In order to meet monthly sales goals, dealerships must adjust their digital marketing strategy to match the new buyer’s journey in 2021.

Digilant’s Automotive Digital Advertising Expertise

With the ever-changing modern world we live in, it’s important to have a partner on your side who can support your efforts. Digilant is a top-rated omnichannel partner with over a decade of proven success. Learn about how we recently helped one of the top luxury automotive brands during their spring sales event here.  And, when you’re ready to take the leap and learn more about how our company can support your digital marketing efforts, we’re eager to talk. Contact us here

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