The modern economy is built upon all-things digital. However, there is one industry that is still in the fledgling stage: automotive sales. While consumers can use services like Prime Now to deliver groceries, alcohol, and even diapers straight to their home, they still have to trudge into a dealership and spend hours talking with dealers before they can drive away in a new car.

Automotive digital marketing needs to catch up with the modern, digital economy. However, many marketing firms are struggling just as much as dealers to adjust to the new realities of car dealership advertising. So, what are some of the ways dealers and auto advertising agencies can create a modern car-buying experience customers want?

Align Your CTAs with Actual Dealer Actions

Most dealers have moved into the digital realm only in so much as they have a website with inventory listings and contact information for salespeople. Far too many dealers have a bland website that uses bland, and even downright boring, call-to-action’s. If you’re still using CTAs like “request information” or “speak to a salesperson,” it’s time to upgrade.

Making these changes doesn’t have to involve world-altering efforts either. The best approach is to determine what salespeople are doing to close deals in reality with customers in the showroom. Then better align your CTAs with those efforts. For example, if you offer virtual walkarounds on cars, it’s time to emphasize those CTAs on your website. Doing so enables your consumers learn more about a vehicle before sitting down to talk about a deal. This gives them greater comfort when they enter a dealership.

Don’t be Shy Promoting Your Uniqueness

Every dealership has something that makes them unique. Whether it’s the fact that they’re a “no hassle” dealer or a dealership that “matches the lowest price on comparable cars.” Dealer digital marketing should focus more intently on promoting what sets one dealership apart from the competition.

Consumers care less about what’s in your inventory or what special deals you offer to new car buyers after the purchase. They want to know why they should come into your dealership in the first place. According to a study in 2016, 80% of consumers will visit 10 dealer websites before coming into a physical location to shop. 

There’s a lot on the line when consumers come view your website. You need to put your best foot forward first. Your website is a 24/7, on-duty employee acting as your frontline interaction with customers. Make sure your consumers know ASAP what makes your dealership and brand better. Examples include using solid visuals for your site and inventory lists. You need to also be spreading content across multiple digital channels from websites to social media for car dealerships. At Engauge, we’ve seen this approach improve many client conversion rates by as much as 200%.

Work Smarter, Not Just Harder

Digital automation is an amazing tool in marketing for car dealerships. Email autoresponders, for example, give your dealership the power to promote your brand and establish consumer confidence in your selling culture before they set foot through the doors or reach out to you on the phone or online.

Autoresponder efforts don’t have to be overwhelming in number to be effective in messaging. You can work smarter by setting up rule-based campaigns that send relevant content to consumers when they make inquiries. If a consumer views and/or saves sedans, send them educational information on comparable models available, including differences between certain styles, powertrains, and cargo capacities. 

Similarly, a consumer researching trucks should receive related content. They should receive promotion information on new powertrains, the value of 4-wheel drive, and towing capacity.

Modern consumers are looking for more digital content when it comes to any shopping. Auto dealers are behind on adopting these tactics to give consumers what they want in the buying process. Using the above steps, auto dealers can take the first steps toward auto dealer marketing that better aligns with digital consumer buying habits.

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