Online marketing is an essential part of your automotive marketing, and the online world is constantly changing. You need to stay up to date, and connect with your customers over multiple modes of communication in order to be effective. We have some tips to help you out.
1. Connect Effectively with Online Leads
Many dealerships do not know how to reach out to online leads that visit their website or their social media pages. In order to draw in online visitors, place calls to action and signup forms on multiple pages of your website and on your Twitter and Facebook pages. Signup forms should allow visitors to subscribe to your marketing emails or text messages. Calls to action can encourage customers to download any inbound marketing resources that you offer, such as a car buying guide, or to click for a special promotional offer.
2. Keep your Social Media Pages Up to Date
Don't try to be on every social media site online. Instead, focus on distributing quality content on a few of the most popular sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. If your social media pages are stagnant, visitors will think your auto business is lazy or doesn't care about its customers. An automated marketing solution can help you keep your pages current, without you having to manually update it all the time. Create posts and tweets in advance and schedule them to post over time.
3. Provide Useful Auto Dealership Marketing Resources
In order to truly engage your online customers, you need to provide valuable, relevant resources. These can include informative emails, text message coupons, auto maintenance tips, industry news, whitepapers and so on. These resources help to establish your auto dealership marketing as an automotive authority and create ongoing interest in your customers.
4. Use Automated Marketing to Personalize Marketing Campaigns
An automated marketing solution can be used to make your marketing campaigns highly personalized for each of your customers. A customer profile is created which stores customer preferences, vehicle history, purchase and auto maintenance history and individual customer dates. This information is used to send personalized promotional messages and maintenance reminders at exactly the right time. Personalized campaigns help to drive business back to your dealership and boost customer satisfaction.
5. Respond to Online Feedback Promptly
Just as you would quickly follow up with an in-person customer complaint or other feedback, you must also follow up with any online feedback. If a customer posts a comment on your Facebook or Twitter page, reply in a friendly and professional manner. Don't ever start an argument with a customer on social media or it will come back to haunt you, and can even seriously damage your auto dealership reputation.
6. Gather Feedback Easily through Surveys
One of the most important aspects of any type of marketing, is to continually analyze your campaigns and see how they can be improved. Gaining useful customer feedback through online surveys is a simple way to learn what your customers want. Try to make survey questions simple and straightforward so your customers will be able to answer them clearly. Surveys can be sent out to customers after they visit the dealership in order to gauge their opinions about the service. Survey distribution and the gathering of information can be made much easier and more efficient with an automated survey tool.
7. Offer Special Marketing Promotions
Promotions and contests are very effective ways to engage customers. Many customers will go to your dealership over a competitor dealer if you have a special promotion going on. You can easily promote your contests, coupons and auto sales on your website and on your social media pages. Promotions are a great way to draw new and repeat business to your auto dealership.
8. Interact with Your Customers Online
This tactic is an excellent way of connecting with your customers, and works as a form of indirect marketing. Online communication, especially social media, is all about two way interaction between businesses and their customers. Pose questions, such as “What is your favorite song to listen to in the car?” Join conversations on Twitter by using hashtags (relevant keywords or phrases with the # sign in front of them) and contribute useful auto information. Communicating actively with your customers online shows that your auto dealership is active and engaged with its customers, and that you value your customers' opinions.
9. Integrate Your Marketing Efforts
Your online marketing campaigns should go hand in hand in order to make the most of your budget and your efforts. Post signup forms on your website and social media pages that encourage visitors to subscribe to your email marketing newsletters and text message campaigns. Your email marketing newsletters should have social sharing and social following buttons that allow subscribers to easily share your content with a wider audience. Whenever you send out marketing messages, think about how you can integrate that message in with your other marketing efforts.
10. Create Videos
Videos are some of the most engaging things you can put on your website and social media pages. They are engaging, informative and interesting to your auto customers. Your auto videos can advertise your newest vehicles or special sales you are having, or they can be all about automotive tips and can provide your customers with information they can really use. Videos can also be easily shared so more people see them and you will bring in new business for your dealership.
Download our free automotive whitepaper for more tips: Marketing Automation for Automotive: Building Customer Loyalty with 7 Touchpoints