50+ Online Marketing Tactics for Auto Dealers
We're a team of website marketing specialists with deep knowledge of digital marketing needs for car dealerships.
Over the years, we've worked with a wide variety of auto dealers to help improve their digital marketing. The tactics discussed in this section can help with digital advertising for auto dealers and even:
- Car Dealerships
- Used Car Dealerships
- Luxury Car Dealerships
- Sports Car Dealerships
- Electric Car Dealerships
- Commercial Vehicle Dealerships
- RV Dealerships
- Farm Equipment Dealerships
- Online Car Dealerships
- Auto Auction Houses
- ...and more!
A Few of Our Digital Marketing Experts
1.) Lead Generation for Auto Dealers
Lead generation is a digital marketing strategy that can greatly benefit auto dealers. It focuses on attracting potential customers and capturing their contact information to nurture them into becoming car buyers. By implementing targeted lead generation tactics, you can effectively grow your customer base and increase vehicle sales. Here are 5-10 specific strategies tailored to auto dealers:
- Targeted Online Advertising for Car Enthusiasts: Run online advertising campaigns aimed at car enthusiasts or individuals actively researching and comparing vehicles. Highlight the unique features and benefits of your car models. By reaching out to individuals interested in purchasing a car, you can generate leads who are in the market for a vehicle.
- Personalized Email Campaigns for Previous Customers: Develop personalized email campaigns specifically tailored to your previous customers. Offer incentives such as exclusive discounts, service packages, or loyalty rewards. By nurturing your existing customer relationships, you can generate leads who are likely to make repeat purchases or refer others to your dealership.
- Virtual Test Drives: Utilize virtual reality or video technology to create immersive virtual test drive experiences of your car models. Share these experiences on your website and social media platforms. By providing a realistic preview of your vehicles, you can attract leads who are captivated by the experience and interested in scheduling an in-person test drive.
- Targeted SEO for Car Models and Local Area: Optimize your website and online presence for search engine optimization (SEO) by incorporating keywords specific to your car models and geographical area. Focus on terms like "[car make] dealership in [city name]" or "new car models in [neighborhood name]." This approach allows you to attract leads actively searching for specific car models in your area.
- Partnerships with Local Businesses: Collaborate with local businesses and offer joint promotions or discounts. For example, partner with insurance agencies or auto repair shops to provide exclusive offers to their customers. By leveraging partnerships, you can generate leads from their customer base who are interested in purchasing a new vehicle or upgrading their current one.
- Social Media Contests and Giveaways: Run social media contests or giveaways that require participants to enter their contact information in exchange for a chance to win a prize. Promote the contest on your social media platforms and website. By offering an incentive, you can generate leads who are interested in your dealership and are willing to provide their contact details.
- Localized Facebook Advertising: Utilize Facebook's advanced targeting features to run localized advertising campaigns. Reach out to individuals in your local area who have recently moved or are new to the area. Highlight your dealership's proximity, exceptional customer service, and competitive offers. By targeting individuals who may need a new vehicle after relocating, you can generate leads interested in your dealership.
- Referral Program for Existing Customers: Implement a referral program that rewards your existing customers for referring friends and family to your dealership. Offer incentives such as cash rewards, service discounts, or gift cards. By encouraging your satisfied customers to recommend your dealership, you can generate high-quality leads from their referrals.
- Live Video Walkthroughs: Conduct live video walkthroughs of your car inventory and stream them on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Showcase the features, performance, and condition of the vehicles. Allow viewers to ask questions and request specific details during the live stream. By engaging with potential customers in real-time, you can generate leads who are interested in specific vehicles and schedule appointments for further discussion.
- Participation in Local Car Shows or Events: Set up a booth at local car shows or events to showcase your dealership and vehicles. Provide interactive experiences, such as test drives or vehicle demonstrations. Collect contact information from attendees interested in your dealership or specific car models. This strategy allows you to generate leads who are actively seeking car options and are likely to be interested in your offerings.
2.) Social Advertising for Auto Dealers
Social advertising can be a highly effective digital marketing strategy for auto dealers to reach potential car buyers, generate leads, and increase sales. By leveraging social media platforms, you can showcase your inventory, target specific audiences, and build brand awareness. Here are five specific examples of how social advertising can benefit your auto dealership:
- Showcasing New Car Arrivals: Use social media ads to feature newly arrived car models in your dealership. Highlight the key features, specifications, and benefits of each vehicle. By creating excitement around the latest additions to your inventory, you can attract potential buyers who are interested in staying updated on the newest car options available.
- Targeting Local Car Enthusiasts: Utilize social advertising to target individuals in your local area who have shown interest in automobiles or automotive-related content. Tailor your ads to appeal to car enthusiasts and use engaging visuals to capture their attention. By reaching out to a targeted local audience, you can increase foot traffic to your dealership and attract potential buyers.
- Promoting Seasonal Deals: Create social media ads to promote seasonal deals and offers, such as end-of-year clearance sales or holiday specials. Highlight the discounts, financing options, or lease deals available on specific car models. By tapping into the buying mindset during seasonal events, you can encourage potential customers to take advantage of limited-time opportunities.
- Targeting First-Time Car Buyers: Craft social media ads specifically aimed at first-time car buyers, such as recent college graduates or young professionals. Focus on affordable, entry-level models and emphasize features that appeal to this demographic, such as fuel efficiency and advanced technology. By tailoring your ads to the needs of first-time buyers, you can establish your dealership as a suitable choice for their initial car purchase.
- Retargeting Website Visitors: Implement retargeting campaigns on social media to reach individuals who have previously visited your dealership website. By displaying relevant ads to these potential customers while they browse social media, you remind them of the cars they were interested in or encourage them to return for a test drive. Retargeting can significantly increase the chances of converting website visitors into actual buyers.
3.) Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for Auto Dealers
Conversion rate optimization is a crucial digital marketing strategy for auto dealers like you to maximize the efficiency of your website and paid advertising efforts. By making data-driven improvements, you can enhance user experience, build trust, and increase the likelihood of converting website visitors into valuable leads or customers.
- Personalized Vehicle Recommendations: Implement a vehicle recommender tool on your website. By asking visitors about their preferences and needs, the tool can suggest personalized car options, increasing the chances of converting potential customers into interested buyers.
- Live Chat Support: Integrate a live chat feature on your website to provide real-time assistance to potential customers. Quick responses to inquiries or questions can build rapport and guide visitors through the purchasing process, leading to more conversions.
- Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Showcase genuine customer reviews and testimonials on your website. Positive feedback from satisfied customers can enhance your dealership's reputation and credibility, encouraging more potential buyers to choose your dealership for their automotive needs.
- Transparent Pricing and Special Offers: Display transparent pricing for your vehicles and any available special offers or promotions. Providing clear information can eliminate uncertainty for potential customers, leading to increased inquiries and test drives.
- Interactive Virtual Test Drives: Offer interactive virtual test drives on your website. By allowing potential customers to experience the driving feel of different vehicles virtually, you can engage them and generate interest in scheduling an actual test drive at your dealership.
- Easy-to-Navigate Inventory Search: Ensure that your website's inventory search function is user-friendly and allows visitors to filter vehicles based on their preferences, such as make, model, price range, and features. An intuitive search experience can lead potential customers to find their desired vehicles more easily, increasing the likelihood of inquiries or purchases.
- Targeted Paid Advertising: Use targeted paid advertising campaigns on platforms like Google Ads and social media to reach potential customers interested in specific vehicle types or brands. By showing relevant ads to the right audience, you can drive more qualified traffic to your website and increase conversions.
- Responsive Mobile Experience: Ensure that your website is fully responsive and optimized for mobile devices. As many potential customers browse for cars on their smartphones or tablets, a seamless mobile experience can enhance engagement and lead to more inquiries and test drives.
- Finance and Lease Calculators: Provide online finance and lease calculators on your website. Allowing visitors to estimate monthly payments based on different terms and rates can help them make informed decisions, increasing the chances of converting potential buyers into customers.
- Customer Loyalty and Referral Programs: Offer loyalty and referral programs to your existing customers. Satisfied customers who are incentivized to refer friends and family can drive more leads to your dealership, increasing your chances of conversions through word-of-mouth marketing.
4.) Sales Funnels for Auto Dealers
As an auto dealer, you can leverage sales funnels as a digital marketing strategy to attract potential car buyers and guide them through the purchasing process. Sales funnels can help you establish a relationship with prospects, showcase your inventory, and ultimately lead them to make a purchase. Here are 5 examples of how sales funnels can benefit your auto dealership:
- New Car Model Launch Funnel: When launching a new car model, create a dedicated landing page showcasing its features, specifications, and benefits. Use online ads, social media, and email campaigns to drive traffic to this landing page. Offer an exclusive pre-order option for interested individuals who provide their contact information. Follow up with personalized content, such as videos, testimonials, and test drive invitations. This funnel generates excitement around the new car model and encourages potential buyers to take action.
- Used Car Inventory Funnel: Develop a sales funnel that highlights your used car inventory. Create separate landing pages for different car categories, such as SUVs, sedans, and trucks. Drive traffic to these landing pages through targeted online ads and social media campaigns. Offer an easy-to-use search feature that allows prospects to filter cars based on their preferences. After visitors view specific car listings, retarget them with dynamic ads featuring the cars they showed interest in. This funnel increases engagement with your used car inventory and helps potential buyers find their ideal vehicle.
- Financing Options Funnel: Many car buyers are interested in financing options when purchasing a vehicle. Design a sales funnel that provides information about different financing plans, low-interest rates, and pre-approval processes. Create a landing page dedicated to financing options and promote it through online ads and social media. Offer a free financing consultation for individuals who provide their contact information. Follow up with personalized financing offers and helpful resources to guide potential buyers through the financing process. This funnel builds trust and makes it easier for buyers to afford their desired car.
- Trade-In Value Assessment Funnel: Develop a sales funnel that allows individuals to assess the trade-in value of their current vehicle. Create a user-friendly online tool where prospects can input information about their car's make, model, and condition. After completing the assessment, offer an instant trade-in value estimate and encourage prospects to schedule an in-person appraisal. Follow up with reminder emails and incentives for scheduling an appraisal. This funnel attracts potential buyers looking to trade in their current car and guides them towards visiting your dealership.
- Test Drive Booking Funnel: Encourage potential buyers to experience your vehicles first-hand through a test drive booking funnel. Create a dedicated landing page that showcases popular car models and their features. Offer a simple and convenient test drive booking form, where prospects can select their preferred date and time. After booking a test drive, follow up with confirmation emails and reminders. Additionally, provide personalized content about the car models they selected for the test drive. This funnel fosters engagement and helps convert prospects into satisfied customers after experiencing the vehicles in person.
5.) Email Marketing for Auto Dealers
Email marketing is a powerful digital marketing strategy for auto dealers to connect with potential car buyers, nurture leads, and boost sales. It allows you to personalize your communications and stay top-of-mind with your audience. Here are six examples of how email marketing can help your auto dealership:
- New Vehicle Launch: When a new model is released, send targeted emails to customers who have expressed interest in similar vehicles or have purchased from your dealership before. Highlight the features and benefits of the new model and offer exclusive test drive opportunities or pre-order options. This strategy creates excitement and encourages potential buyers to visit your dealership.
- Special Financing Offers: Use email to promote limited-time financing offers or low-interest rates on selected vehicles. Segment your email list based on the preferences and budget of your subscribers. For example, send emails to customers who have shown interest in affordable cars with tailored financing options. This can drive traffic to your showroom and increase sales during promotional periods.
- Service Reminders: Send automated email reminders to customers when their vehicles are due for service or maintenance. Include personalized service recommendations based on each customer's vehicle make and model. By proactively reaching out to customers, you demonstrate that you value their business and help them stay on top of their vehicle maintenance needs.
- Customer Testimonials: Feature customer testimonials and reviews in your emails to build trust and credibility. Share stories of satisfied customers who have purchased vehicles from your dealership and had positive experiences. Testimonials can provide social proof and sway potential buyers to choose your dealership over competitors.
- Seasonal Promotions: Tailor your email marketing campaigns to seasonal events and holidays. Offer special deals on winter tires and maintenance packages before the winter season starts. During summer, promote deals on air conditioning services and vehicle check-ups for road trips. This approach helps you align your offerings with customer needs at specific times of the year.
- Referral Program: Implement a referral program and use email marketing to encourage existing customers to refer their friends and family to your dealership. Offer incentives such as discounts on future purchases or service appointments for successful referrals. By leveraging the power of word-of-mouth, you can attract new customers and reward loyal ones simultaneously.
6.) Search Advertising for Auto Dealers
Search advertising is a powerful digital marketing strategy for auto dealers like you, enabling you to connect with potential car buyers actively searching for vehicles. By leveraging search engines like Google, you can display targeted ads to individuals looking to purchase cars, increasing your online visibility and driving relevant traffic to your dealership. Here are five examples of how search advertising can benefit your auto dealership:
- Model-Specific Campaigns: Set up model-specific campaigns to appear in search results when users search for specific car models or brands. For instance, if you are a Toyota dealership, create ads targeting keywords like "Toyota Camry for sale" or "Toyota dealers near me." By focusing on model-specific keywords, you ensure that your ads are shown to users who have a clear intent to buy a particular vehicle, increasing the chances of attracting potential buyers.
- Local Targeting: Utilize location-based targeting to reach potential car buyers in your local area. By focusing your ads on a specific geographic region, such as your city or surrounding neighborhoods, you can effectively connect with individuals who are more likely to visit your dealership for test drives and purchases, as they are within close proximity.
- Deals and Promotions: Create ads that highlight special deals, discounts, or promotions you are offering. For example, if you have a limited-time discount on select car models or are offering special financing options, tailor your ads to attract price-conscious shoppers. Promoting exclusive offers in your ads can entice potential buyers to choose your dealership over competitors.
- Car Trade-In Offers: Incorporate car trade-in offers in your ads to attract individuals looking to sell their current vehicles. Promote hassle-free trade-in processes, competitive offers, and the convenience of trading in their old cars when purchasing from your dealership. This approach can attract potential buyers who are interested in both selling their existing vehicle and buying a new one from you.
- Customer Testimonials: Showcase positive customer testimonials and reviews in your ads. Genuine feedback from satisfied customers can instill trust in potential buyers, showing them the positive experiences of others who have purchased cars from your dealership. Testimonials that highlight exceptional customer service and a smooth buying process can significantly influence decision-making.
7.) Content Marketing for Auto Dealers
Content marketing is a highly effective digital strategy that can significantly benefit your auto dealership. By creating engaging and informative content, you can attract potential car buyers, establish your dealership as a trusted automotive resource, and drive more leads to your showroom.
- Car Comparison Guides: Develop comprehensive car comparison guides that highlight the features and benefits of different car models. These guides can help potential buyers make informed decisions and showcase your dealership's expertise in various vehicle options.
- Video Test Drives: Create high-quality video content that offers virtual test drives of popular car models available at your dealership. This video content provides an immersive experience for potential buyers and can influence their purchase decisions by giving them a closer look at the cars they are interested in.
- Car Care Tips and Maintenance Guides: Publish articles or videos that offer valuable car care tips and maintenance guides. Provide insights into how to keep vehicles in optimal condition and extend their lifespan. By positioning your dealership as a reliable source of automotive advice, you build trust with potential customers.
- Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Share authentic customer reviews and testimonials that highlight positive experiences from previous buyers. Display these reviews on your website and social media platforms to demonstrate the satisfaction and trust your dealership has earned from its customers.
- Special Offers and Promotions: Announce exclusive deals, discounts, and limited-time promotions through your content marketing channels. By creating a sense of urgency and providing added value, you can attract potential buyers who are actively seeking a good deal on their next vehicle purchase.
8.) Reputation Management for Auto Dealers
As an auto dealer, reputation management is a crucial digital marketing strategy that can significantly impact your business's success. Managing and enhancing your online reputation can build trust with potential customers and increase your dealership's credibility. Here are five examples of how reputation management can help your auto dealership:
- Online Reviews Management: Monitor and respond to online reviews from customers on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Promptly addressing both positive and negative reviews shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service. Potential car buyers are more likely to trust a dealership that actively engages with its customers.
- Testimonials and Success Stories: Collect and showcase customer testimonials and success stories on your website and social media channels. These firsthand accounts of positive experiences with your dealership serve as powerful social proof and can sway potential customers towards choosing your dealership over competitors.
- Online Branding and Content: Create high-quality and informative content on your website, blog, and social media that highlights your expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction. Share content related to car buying tips, maintenance advice, and updates about the automotive industry. This positions your dealership as a reliable and knowledgeable resource for car buyers.
- Transparency and Customer Engagement: Be transparent about your dealership's policies, pricing, and services. Encourage open communication with customers and promptly address any inquiries or concerns they may have. Building a reputation for transparency and excellent customer service can lead to increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.
- Community Involvement and CSR: Participate in community events and support local charities or causes. Sharing your involvement in community initiatives showcases your dealership's commitment to being a responsible and caring member of the community. Positive community engagement can enhance your dealership's reputation and attract socially conscious customers.
9.) Video Marketing for Auto Dealers
As an auto dealer, you can drive your business to new heights by showcasing your inventory and providing an immersive car-buying experience. Video content allows you to engage potential customers, demonstrate the features of your vehicles, and build trust in your dealership. Here are five dynamic examples of how video marketing can accelerate your auto dealership's success:
- Virtual Test Drives: Create captivating videos that offer virtual test drives of popular car models in your inventory. Show potential customers the interior and exterior of the vehicle while highlighting its performance on the road. These virtual experiences can entice viewers to visit your dealership for an in-person test drive.
- Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Film video testimonials from satisfied customers who have recently purchased cars from your dealership. These testimonials add authenticity to your marketing efforts, instilling confidence in potential buyers who are seeking positive feedback from others who have already done business with you.
- Car Comparison Videos: Develop videos comparing different car models based on features, specifications, and price points. Presenting side-by-side comparisons can help customers make informed decisions and choose the right vehicle that meets their specific needs and preferences.
- Behind-the-Scenes Dealership Tour: Offer a virtual tour of your dealership's facilities, including the showroom, service center, and customer waiting areas. This behind-the-scenes glimpse into your dealership showcases your professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction.
- Car Maintenance Tips and Guides: Provide informative videos that offer car maintenance tips and guides, such as changing oil, rotating tires, and checking engine fluids. By positioning yourself as a helpful resource for car owners, you can build a loyal following and attract potential customers who value your expertise.