Sorry to break it to you, but auto sales are down — and they will continue to decline. There’s no need to panic, though. Car dealers can reverse this trend by creating strategies that resonate with potential customers. Focusing on the latest advertising trends is a great way to stay competitive. Here are nine trends that are making waves.
1. Mobile-First Advertising
Research shows that 78 percent of Americans now own a smartphone. As an auto dealer, you should capitalize on this trend with mobile-friendly advertising. This focuses on website optimization for smartphones rather than desktops.
Mobile marketing makes up a huge chunk of the digital ad space — around three-quarters, to be exact. According to Google, “60% of all automotive searches come from a mobile device and some of the top mobile searches are related to dealerships.” As such, creating a mobile-first website makes financial sense. And with more people searching for local dealerships on their mobile devices, you can target these prospects with personalized marketing that provides real value.
2. Video Marketing
Video marketing is still on the rise. Fifty-five percent of consumers watch videos every day. Meanwhile, more than 75 percent of car buyers say that online product videos influence their purchasing decisions and habits. The good news is that video marketing is an affordable option for your auto dealership.
Advertising your dealership on video streaming platforms like YouTube can increase visibility, generate leads, and improve engagement. Alternatively, you can use the latest technology to incorporate ads into the text line breaks or corner of third-party web pages.
Alternatively, combine content with videos for even more explosive results. Creating and posting explainer videos, product demos, how-to guides on your website and blog can increase SEO and encourage more customers to book a test drive. Additionally, per Google, more than 60% of car buyers visited a dealership or dealer website after viewing a video of a car they considered buying. You don’t need a huge marketing budget to deliver quality content, but thinking outside the box will help you engage with your customers.
3. Voice Search
Voice search is a relatively new technology that is taking over digital advertising. Almost a quarter of households in the United States now own a smart speaker. This technology can provide you with lucrative advertising opportunities.
Although you can’t advertise your services on Google Home or Amazon Echo, you can optimize your website to attract more customers. Most voice searches are location-based, so you can tailor your pages for local audiences, for example.
“Even the most hardened online searchers are starting to see the advantages of using voice searches throughout the day,” says SEMRush. “Not only is this method of online search quicker for many people compared to typing, but it is also less cumbersome in certain situations.”
4. Omni-Channel Marketing
When it comes to auto dealership advertising, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, you need to incorporate various marketing methods into your advertising strategies. This includes SEO, social media, email automation, and paid-for ads. Omni-channel marketing is a relatively slow process. But, get it right, and it will provide you with a significant return. Research suggests that omnichannel customers spend 50-300 percent more than traditional shoppers.
“With those numbers in mind, well-informed CEOs will act on that information in the coming years,” says the Digital Marketing Institute. “This inevitably requires strategies that employ the latest technologies to understand and leverage consumer information collected during multichannel interactions.”
5. Tell a Story
Good advertising is all about engagement, and nothing engages your customers more than a good story. Creating a personality will help you connect with prospects interested in your products and services.
- Tell your customers who you are and what you stand for.
- Reveal your objectives and values.
- Empathize with your customers’ concerns and queries. Find out what your customers want from your auto dealership.
“The important thing is to understand the target audience and which brand personality appeals to them,” says Brand Quarterly. “If we don’t get this right the first time, it can prove a real test of the brand or product, and we should always be looking to test and optimize to get it right.”
6. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will transform the way you advertise your vehicles to customers. Incorporating AI and ML into a mobile app, for example, will provide customers with unique experiences that increase sales. The latest technology, such as app-based virtual test drives, will increase engagement with prospects and encourage them to visit your dealership in person.
You can also use AI and ML at industry events to attract more customers. Virtual information booths, for example, include large display screens with details about the vehicle makes and models you sell in your dealership. Event attendees will be able to book a test drive with a swipe of a finger.
Experts think that the machine learning industry will reach $15.3 billion in 2019, with an average annual growth rate of 19.7 percent. This is just one of the reasons why more auto dealerships are investing in this technology.
7. Customized Landing Pages
No two customers are the same, so why should your landing pages be? Personalized pages tailored to individual customers will improve click-throughs and conversions. It’s as simple as that.
Customized landing pages are a crucial component of your advertising strategy. You can use them to move more prospects through your sales pipelines and encourage people to sign up for test drives and other services.
But how do you customize your pages? Use methods like geo-targeting and customer segmentation. It’s worked for other companies, who have increased conversions by as much as 750 percent after implementing customized landing pages.
Customer service is essential to remain competitive in the auto industry, and chatbots can help you achieve your goals. These bots automate conversations between you and your customers, so you can save money on customer service staff.
But that’s not all. As well as resolving complaints and providing useful advice, chatbots can improve advertising effectiveness. Chatbots upsell and cross-sell products and services during customer service conversations, for example. This is a great way to market your car dealership and resolve customer service issues at the same time. It’s no wonder, then, that experts predict the global chatbot market will grow 24.1 percent from 2018-2023.
9. Marketing Automation
All of the tips above will help you optimize your future ad campaigns. The problem is, marketing your auto dealership requires a lot of work. This is where marketing automation software comes in. These programs automate many of the tasks associated with marketing and advertising. This includes sending out emails to customers and updating your social media pages. The result? You can concentrate on other areas of your business.
Countless studies prove that marketing automation works. One piece of research, for example, suggests that marketing automation boosts sales productivity by 14.5 percent. Moreover, it reduces marketing overheads by 12.2 percent. Pretty impressive, right?
Revolutionize your marketing and advertising with these nine ad hacks.