How to Increase Your Automotive Marketing ROI 

If executed properly, automotive marketing campaigns have the potential to drive your dealership to the top of your automotive group. But, in order to ensure success, your marketing team must have a clear understanding of the latest digital marketing trends that are being used across the auto industry. 

As with most other industries, the internet has changed the way consumers discover, research, and make any purchase, and marketing has had to evolve to meet those needs. Let’s take a look at seven ways you can improve your automotive marketing strategy to keep up with the times and increase your return on investment. 

1. Use the Inbound Methodology for Automotive Marketing

Gone are the days when you simply picked up a call and tried to sell a consumer a new car. Car buyers now have the power to do the necessary research online, long before they even step foot in your showroom. This means that those hours spent walking the lot, talking with the consumer directly, and test driving various different vehicles is reduced significantly. 

In order to make up for this lost time and lack of human interaction at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, your new digital marketing strategy must revolve around building a trusting relationship with them. With automotive marketing, this can be achieved by attracting potential consumers to interact with your dealership when the time is right for them and providing them with the information and deals they are looking for. 

2. Revamp Your Website

In this new world of car sales, your website will play a fundamental role in ensuring your inbound automotive marketing campaign brings in new leads. Why? Because the first way consumers are going to interact with your dealership is most likely going to be on your website. If they have a difficult time navigating through your website to find what they are looking for, they may simply leave your website altogether. 

You should take the time to evaluate your website, focusing on the design and onsite user experience. Take a closer look at the copy, CTAs, and areas where users are left wondering what their next step should be. Check your website for site speed, any broken links or files, and page errors as well. 

When your dealership invests in a good website design, it will improve your brand image and increase your opportunity to capture leads. It is important to include lead generation tactics within your site that will help you collect a user’s information, such as a form asking them to subscribe to your newsletter. This way, you can contact them and begin to nurture them down the marketing funnel.

3.Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Whether you choose to renovate your current website or rebuild it completely, your website will need to implement search engine optimization (SEO) best practices in order to gain visibility in the industry. Ultimately, investing in SEO helps a website rank higher on search engines, so when someone searches for a particular vehicle make or model your website has a higher chance of appearing. 

A solid automotive SEO strategy is based on the keywords your website chooses. Conducting keyword research to find relevant terms that your target audience will be searching for can help your dealership obtain a higher ranking. Also, your dealership should set up a Google My Business page that will promote your business locally and boost your online presence.

In order to have successful SEO, you must consistently update and fix any website issues that arise and may be lowering your ranking. 

4. Run Paid Advertising Campaigns

With so much competition on the internet, investing in paid advertising campaigns can help ensure your dealership gets the visibility you need to increase sales. Think of this as paying for real estate on the first page of Google or ensuring that your message is delivered to the exact people you want it to be delivered to. An automotive marketing strategy that implements paid advertising, whether it be on search engines or on social media, will see an increase in website traffic, qualified leads and vehicles sold. 

One of the advantages of using paid advertising campaigns is that these platforms offer tools you can use to target a particular audience. This means you can choose exactly who sees your ads based on location, age, language and a number of other demographics of your choosing. Not only does this help improve your chances of finding leads who are actually interested in purchasing a vehicle, but it also helps your dealership manage your marketing budget. 

In addition to targeting a particular group of consumers, you will be able to determine the particular search terms your ads appear for. This is done through the keywords you choose to target in your automotive marketing campaign, similar to SEO. Take the time to conduct thorough keyword research for your paid search campaign in order to determine what your dealership should be targeting. For example, if your dealership sells Nissan vehicles, you will want to target exact models as your keywords. So, if someone searches for a 2020 Nissan Sentra and you have added that to your keyword list, your ad may show up.

It is important to note that you can also create a negative keyword list. This list lets Google know that you do not want your ads to appear for those terms, making sure you don’t spend through your budget on irrelevant search terms. For example, as a car dealership you may include the term “rent Nissan car” as a negative keyword so you don’t waste your time and money on people who aren’t actually looking to buy a car.

5. Use Email Automation 

Another way to improve your automotive marketing strategy and increase your return on investment is to use emails in your inbound strategy. Email marketing is an easy way to use automation and simplify your team’s job of nurturing leads. Once someone gives you their contact information via a form, you can enroll them in an automated email workflow. These emails can be monthly newsletters with information about vehicles they are interested in, financing deals to make the vehicle more affordable, and service deals that will keep them happy — long after the initial purchase.

6. Have a Clear Process for Qualifying Leads 

Once you start to bring in new leads, it is vital that you have a coherent process in place to qualify your leads to ensure they are able, ready, and willing to purchase a vehicle. This process guarantees that your marketing department doesn’t pass on a lead to your sales team before they are ready to convert. Not only will this create more efficiency within your own departments, but it prevents your sales team from wasting their time and resources with a lead who isn’t prepared to take the next step.

Your process to determine quality leads should be based on the information you have gathered about your target market, the lifecycle of your average customer, and their interactions with your marketing team.

7. Audit Your Automotive Marketing Campaigns 

As with any strategy you implement, you will want to audit your automotive marketing campaigns regularly. By taking a look at the results of your campaigns, you will have a better understanding of exactly what parts of your strategy worked well. Additionally, this data can also provide your team with the necessary insights to make changes and improve in the next campaigns. 

Pinckney Automotive Program

Our automotive marketing program unifies all of the necessary parts of inbound marketing in one cohesive strategy. From custom creative assets to the co-op claim submissions, we take care of it all under one roof, guaranteeing consistency for your brand and a smooth process. 

Once we start generating leads for your dealership, we can share them directly with your CRM system in ADF XML format, allowing for quick visibility for your sales team. This streamlined process has provided our clients with success in their automotive marketing efforts for over 11 years. 

Click the button below if you are interested in learning more about the proprietary Automotive Program at Pinckney Marketing.