The Definitive Guide to Digital Marketing for The Automotive Industry

Mark MeyersonPaid SearchLeave a Comment

automotive digital marketing guide

Why Do I Need Digital Marketing?

With automotive buyers spending 60% of their purchase journey online and over half of them visiting a car dealer website in the process, digital marketing is more important than ever for the automotive industry.

Website content, landing pages, car dealer SEO, marketing automation and high-quality inbound links should all be an integral part of your marketing team’s go-to-market strategy.

Gone are the days of having a simple phone number listed on your website. Your dealership needs to show up in search results for the target keywords that your future customers are typing into their favourite search engine. You need to think about your customers’ search intent and how you can nurture them from the digital space all the way into your showroom.

Trends To Consider

Google has discovered five different types of “micro-moments” during an auto buyer’s purchase journey.

different types

These moments reveal the details of how buying decisions are determined in online search.

First off, are the “Which-car-is-best?” moments. In these moments, the buyer has a few general ideas in mind and they go online to find out which vehicle brands best matches their interests.

Next, the buyer enters the “Is-it-right-for-me?” stage, where their searches take them down a path of detailed feature-by-feature comparisons. In these moments, they may need additional imagery and accurate specs.

After this, comes the “Can-I-afford-it?” moments. Price points, payment options, and exchange programs determine search queries in this stage. The more access to information the buyer has, the more confident they feel in making a choice. Vehicle purchases are, of course, still made onsite.

This brings in the “Where-should-I-buy-it?” moments, where local SEO is mandatory for dealerships.

Finally, there is the “Am-I-getting-a-deal?” moments. Buyers are more informed than ever. If they don’t know you’re giving them a bad deal on the lot, they’ll find out later.

Today, auto buyers will have hundreds of digital touchpoints before making their decision. It’s imperative that dealerships are involved with as many of these touchpoints as possible.  

One Egg can assist by helping you form an acquisition and lead nurturing strategy. We help you become a trusted source of online knowledge throughout a buyer’s process. In this way, dealerships can win over customers before they even show up on the lot.  

Marketing Channels To Consider

Search Engine Optimisation

Local car dealership SEO is more important than ever. A study by Google has shown that 76% of people who search for something near them, visit a business within a day. When auto shoppers have done their online research and are ready to stop by a dealership, yours better be present in the results.

Don’t let your Google my business, Google reviews, and Google+ profile become an afterthought. By optimising your organic presence on Google, your address can be the go-to location when buyers search with intent.

Pay Per Click

Even in the competitive world of automotive pay-per-click advertising, the potential payoffs from a quality lead are immense. Businesses in the auto industry can achieve conversion rates as high as 7% and beyond. Location-based campaigns provide dealerships with hyper-targeted advertising that far surpasses any ad product in traditional advertising.

A smart SEM strategy integrates perfectly into an overall sales plan and brings in leads from people who are actively searching for information to inform their next vehicle purchase.

Website Conversion

The age of making your customers “figure out” your website is over. You’re leaving sales on the table with an ultra-corporate look and no clear call to action. Making sure your visitors convert into customers is primarily “behind the scenes” work.

Your CRM, marketing automation, and digital advertising must all be seamlessly integrated in order to maximize conversions. Your potential customers don’t want to visit your dealership to get their questions answered. Design your site to make it easy for them to find pricing, features, and photos. Always steer them towards a signup form so they can get in touch with a salesperson. Obstructing a modern shopper from pertinent information will only frustrate them. They can go somewhere else online and find what they need. Answer their questions quickly and win their trust.

Social Media

Except for social ad platforms, you shouldn’t be relying on sales content to fill your social feeds. Social media is designed for relationship and instant feedback. And, almost a quarter of online automotive shoppers go to social media during the buying process. Tune in to Twitter to listen to and respond to customer complaints and praise.

Go live on Facebook to give a face to your brand and create a raw connection with your fans. Craft a unique feel for your brand with distinct and consistent imagery on Instagram. Whatever you do on social, remember to remain audience-centric. As algorithms tighten up to show less and less organic content, you need to make sure you’re at your creative and communicative best for maximum impact on social media.

Content Marketing

You might be asking yourself how you’ll have enough content to fill these online feeds. More content isn’t always the answer. Your approach to content is the most important thing. Content marketing is the approach of going to market by providing relevant, valuable content to a specific audience consistently over time.

If you are dedicated to this, you’ll have the blog, photo, and video assets necessary to rank in search engines, convert visitors on your website, and connect on social. Car dealerships can still be the primary source of automotive knowledge for shoppers. You just need to meet them before they come to your lot. Provide them with the information they need via the channel they are already on and you’ll create a connection they’ll come to trust.  

Lead Nurturing

Certain pieces of content you create can act as lead magnets that initiate the lead nurturing process. This top of the funnel content will attract users to your channels and help you acquire leads. Once you’ve captured the attention of a potential buyer with information relevant to their search, you need to ensure that they stay with you throughout their purchase process.

By retargeting people who have visited your website, collecting contact information via forms, and tracking user behaviour across your channels, you can provide buyers with the content they need all the way through the sales funnel.

At OneEgg, we use the latest technology to nurture your leads and nudge potential buyers to your showroom. You know better than anyone about the timetable for customers’ buying decisions. We work closely with you to come up with custom campaigns that draw from your specific expertise and met the requirements of your sales cycle.  

TL;DR

  1. Automotive buyers spend 60% of their purchase journey online.
  2. There are five “micro-moments” that characterize customer search queries during their buying journey.
  3. Car dealership websites must be a part of as many digital touchpoints as possible during a buyer’s search.
  4. SEO and SEM are essential to winning buyers searching locally.
  5. Creating consistent content is the key to filling digital feeds.
  6. Nurturing leads through the marketing funnel is the key to connecting online and offline.

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