10 Secrets of the Best Car Dealership Websites
Inbound marketing can be essential to your efforts to sell more cars. Do not forget that the way users buy has changed radically in just a few years. The key is to stay up-to-date and keep connecting with potential customers on different channels. Here are 10 Secrets of the Best Car Dealership Websites.
For the past years, many new and remodeled cars are emerging; and car dealership services are not exempted from sprouting everywhere making it more challenging for an individual company to generate sales. At the beginning of the last millennium, it was common for a potential customer to approach dealerships of a certain brand to seek information about a vehicle that interested them. But, according to Google research, the customer journey is becoming less physical and more digital.
Today, doubts and questions about the suitability of the vehicle, its technical capabilities, its sustainability, and the prices and payment methods are consulted and resolved online. So, with potential customers spending much less time looking at cars at dealerships, digital marketing is taking on another relevance when it comes to car sales. In this post, we’ll see how digital marketing can help the automotive industry sell, by shaping car dealership marketing attentive to these new habits of potential customers.
10 Secrets of the Best Car Dealership Websites
1. Establishing a presence
In 2015, a study by Autotrader stated that the Internet is 20 times more influential on potential customers in the automotive industry than other media (especially considering Generation X and millennials). This influence can only have increased, especially if we consider that anyone who is interested in buying a car has an internet connection. As people increasingly rely on internet search engines to get to the cars they are interested in, dealerships can no longer rely on print media, road signs, and other traditional advertising as they used to.
Today, to be truly competitive, it is essential to have a website or landing page (website oriented to a specific objective, generally performance) optimized for search engines and cell phones. User experience is also key — since your site will be the potential customer’s first point of contact with your brand, or perhaps the only one.
2. Have a well-optimized landing page
A good example of a landing page is the KIA one for the test drive. While this landing page no longer runs (it was a campaign last year), it is a good example of how to put together an optimized landing page. On the page it is observed that there are no links that lead outside the landing, so to exit you have to click on the “close” button on the tab or complete the form for the test drive. The title is oriented towards the benefits that landing visitors can obtain (and in a different color than the CTA buttons and the rest of the text).
3. Create successful banner ads
According to a study carried out by Google, 69% of users were influenced by video content (YouTube, for example) when deciding to buy a car, widely surpassing traditional channels such as newspapers, magazines, or even TV. For its part, Toyota’s innovative campaign for its Camry (called “Sensations”) leaves us some lessons in creativity. In that campaign, Toyota used the audience segmentation tool to show videos according to the mood expressed by the tweets of a certain user: for example, if someone tweeted a happy emoji, the advertising showed them a video with a happy emoji.
4. Generate interest
The rise in car costs (not only in the product but also in maintenance – NAFTA, insurance, taxes) and the rise of carsharing (carpooling or ridesharing) are reducing interest in buying cars. At this point, it is already a confirmed fact that millennials are buying fewer cars than previous generations. So it is important to generate interest in the purchase. As we said above, the automotive industry customer spends more time online. And it is in this digital ecosystem where car dealership marketing can make its contributions, reaching out to potential customers with interesting content.
So how do we manage to generate interest among such a digitized audience? Only in the last year, the display of this type of content doubled. Here are the three types of content with the highest conversion rates.
- Test drives
- Feature Videos
- Walk videos
5. Manage leads
Car dealership marketing must pay attention to customers who do not complete their purchase in a short period of time but need more time to decide. To take advantage of this flow of customers, it is necessary to manage the leads and give rise to email marketing. The communications sequences that constitute lead nurturing are very common in digital marketing, and they have a lot to contribute to the automotive industry.
In effect, they can help sales teams capitalize on those potential customers who, without these efforts, may disperse and end up buying from the competition. A contact list can serve as a starting point for putting together campaigns or newsletters and sending them to potential customers. From there, and with the use of metrics (click-through rates and openings, for example), prospects can be segmented so that sales teams work on that base information, capitalizing on the entire flow of potential customers.
6. Generate more leads to real conversations
One of the most influential trends in digital marketing is marketing automation — the implementation of software to automate marketing actions that would otherwise have to be done manually in more time and energy. And at the height of this trend, we find chatbots. Chatbots are software that automates customer service, that is, software that streamlines conversational marketing — customer conversations.
This tool has a lot of potentials to streamline automotive industry conversations. You can make them happen at the time the customer wants and from the device that suits him best. Real conversations in real-time, without having to go through a tedious form that leaves them waiting and, in most cases, without response. These technologies reaffirm the need for users to converse with brands since it is proven that they multiply the conversion rates of landing pages. Although they are no longer a novelty in the European or American market as they were one or two years ago, they are in Latin America, allowing companies to be a benchmark for innovation with the use of this technology.
7. Keep your social media pages updated
Don’t try to be on all social media. Focus on serving quality content on a few of the most popular sites, like Twitter and Facebook. If your social networks are without movement, the potential clients will go to the pages of the competition. It’s like a showcase with clothes from two seasons ago. Car dealership social media marketing tools can help you keep pages up to date, without having to do it manually all the time. Create posts in advance and schedule them to be published in time, using a calendar for social networks.
It is likely that the automotive industry, for the most part, has points of the first contact from frequent users on different social networks. Here are ways to use social media platforms for car dealership social media marketing:
- Facebook – it is a hub for discussion, where people talk about the choices they have made, or are about to make when it comes to large purchases. You can leverage this by creating discussions where people can engage and find out their preferences.
- Twitter – contains discussions of the relative pros and cons of most vehicles. You can use hashtags to create more filtered topics. For example, BMW fans can be seen discussing the brand using a #BMW hashtag.
- Pinterest – is a good place to share images. Using Pinterest to endorse and let people see the cars can help generate more leads and traffic to your website.
- LinkedIn – although it is more known as a business network, it has certain topics about Automotives and you can create your company profile for professionals to find and discover.
The auto industry needs to catch up when it comes to social media. Being present and engaging with your audience or communities is very important.
8. Collect feedback with polls
One of the most important aspects of any type of marketing is continually analyzing your campaigns and seeing how they can be improved. Getting helpful feedback from customers with online surveys is a simple way to find out what they want. Your survey questions should be simple and straightforward so that customers can answer them clearly. A good idea is to send a survey after the prospect has visited the dealership to gauge their opinions of the service. Surveys distribution and information gathering are much easier and more efficient with an automated survey tool.
9. Video Marketing and virtual reality
In relation to the above, we find some trends that have to do with the development of virtual reality applications where the user experiences being inside the car and videos that show the car inside in detail. Therefore, the union of this technological trend with Video Marketing will produce great results. According to Google, test drive videos could replace the need to see the car in person. 64% of buyers who watch online videos to learn about the purchase say that new formats such as 360 video would convince them to buy a car without the need for a test drive. Therefore, we once again emphasize that the future of car sales is online.
The creation of video content for automotive marketing is undoubtedly going to continue to be a trend in 2021. Seat and Audi already use virtual reality applications where the user experiences being inside the car, and Renault opts for Google’s TrueView for Action formats, a video format with calls-to-action or personalized direct actions. In addition to showing videos of the car presentation on your website, bet on creating content on your YouTube channel where you show the car from the inside in a closer way.
10. Optimize your images with online background removers
A web page that is very slow to load will make the user leave and not return, so it is very important to optimize the images we use and, also, upload them in the correct format. As an online shop, what better way to display your merchandise but through images? Another reason to reduce the weight in the images of your website is the positioning: Google has time to crawl your website and, the lighter it is, the better it can read it; therefore, you will have a better chance of getting a higher ranking in search engines.
As we say, one of the keys to making your website not weigh too much is to choose the appropriate image format. Depending on whether you want to use a logo, an animated image, or a button for the web, we will use a jpg, a .gif, or a png file, also depending on whether you want a background or not. Thus, it is always optimized for your load. Using image background removal for cars is a great way to optimize your images. Its ability to process several images in just a few seconds makes it a favorite among professionals and amateurs alike!
In conclusion, with potential customers buying and searching for information on digital channels, the benefits that digital marketing can bring to the automotive industry are many. In effect, it can help car dealership marketers win new customers and capitalize on their marketing investment, traditional advertising media (radio spots, billboards, television) have lost profitability.
Therefore, it is much wiser to invest in a strategy where digital and traditional media complement each other, taking into account the profile of the potential customers of each dealership and knowing that digital marketing has a lot to contribute to the sales objectives of this industry. We hope that we’ve given you enough tips and “secrets” for you to start your own journey and create your own tips and secrets! Let us know!
Yen Pedrajas is an accomplished digital and social media marketer who expounds about eCommerce, tech innovation, and strategies for startups. Sharing her bits of knowledge, thoughts, and insights about advertising, you can find her writing at Medium.
She as of now functions as Lead Editor at Removal.AI, an AI-fueled technology used to consequently removes image backgrounds and image editing service for eCommerce, printing, publications, and photography.