Advertising an automotive business car dealership has proven to be a challenge since the onset of the pandemic. Chances are, you’ve probably been impacted by more than one obstacle. The pandemic inspired more online selling options and less traffic to traditional showrooms. Additionally, chip shortages and delayed manufacturing have slashed the inventories nationwide.
Due to these factors, it's more important than ever to develop an agile marketing strategy. Here are five ways to move past challenges and get back on track.
Tune Up Your Message
Just like the auto industry, many auto customers are currently experiencing similar feelings of uncertainty. Millions of drivers found themselves at home more often, canceling important events and road trips. Customers in need of cars are having trouble finding ones in their price range. Dealerships also can't run as many promotions at this time while working with less inventory.
It's time to change your messaging to reflect the potential uncertainties of your audience. Emphasize the positives to your audience while remaining honest. If your inventory is down, focus on the quality of your current offerings. You can also draw attention to your accessibility options during the pandemic, such as virtual showrooms and flexible financing.
Your messaging from ads made two years ago likely doesn’t speak to the consumers of today. It’s important to tailor messaging with the times. Focus on the positives, leaning towards what you can provide, even if you are facing challenges. Be upfront and honest, and speak to what many consumers are feeling.
Drive Social Media Engagement
Despite the industry's current challenges, promoting your dealership on social media will keep your business top of mind. This is an excellent place for you to nurture your followers and provide them with quality content. Vehicle offerings may be limited, but you can still offer special service offers or deals on tires and oil.
You can also use videos as marketing tools for popular models at your dealership, with current and future inventory. You can also post videos with easy DIY tasks, such as cleaning your car or other routine maintenance activities. Take this slow time as an opportunity to post profiles of your sales team. This will showcase their expertise and put friendly faces to your brand.
Positive social proof is crucial to the success of your auto industry advertising strategy. Cars are hefty purchases, so customers want to be sure they can trust their local dealerships. More positive reviews or mentions on social media will naturally drive traffic, both online and in-person.
Fuel Your Brand With a Smart Partnership
Co-branding boasts mutual benefits for all parties involved. It gets your business in front of a captive audience that may not have heard of it before. It also gives more offerings and opportunities to your existing customers, increasing your brand value in their eyes. If your brand partner uses social media, it broadens the reach of both businesses even more.
A good match for an auto dealership partnership could be an auto accessories store, car wash, or gas station. While the partner should be complementary to your business, it should never be a direct competitor.
Put Old Marketing Tactics in the Rearview Mirror
Traditional marketing like print, radio, and billboard ads can still attract new customers to your dealership. However, you need to re-evaluate how well these tactics are working regularly. In today's age of increased digital consumption, consumers are more likely to research dealerships online first.
Having an easily accessible website should be your priority. According to HubSpot, 50% of customers think a well-designed website is crucial to their user experience. The website needs to be fast and mobile-friendly. Customers should also be able to easily locate your dealership's contact information and hours of operation.
If you don't have a lot of inventory to showcase, consider making regular blog posts. GoDaddy has some great ideas for blogs, such as the importance of routine service appointments. Your blogs can also inform your customers of current social distancing guidelines and the cleaning regimens of your dealership.
You can also include previews of these blog posts in your email marketing. In addition to written content, utilize TV and OTT services to keep your brand relevant.
Shift from Showroom to Online
Popularized by their convenience, new online car dealerships are popping up every day. To compete, your dealership's services should also be available online. Your website should showcase your entire inventory and allow the customer to finish most of the purchase process virtually.
Since many car dealerships use the same tactics, you may need to get creative with your advertising. Brainstorm an ad that will really stand out in the minds of your audience. More customers Googling your brand will push it to the top of the search algorithm.
Successful Automotive Branding With a Media Partner
Keep your customers happy with updated strategies, positive social media content, and shifting to digital marketing. Regardless of what's happening in the automotive world, working with a media partner can set your auto business up for lasting success.