Recent research from McKinsey shows that nearly 90% of millennials use online sources for vehicle research. That’s a staggering amount of potential within one target market that can be, with a few simple steps, tapped into and utilised.
As an automotive dealer, there’s no question that it’s a competitive marketplace. Attracting the right kind of interest for a sustained period of time is not without its challenges. This has extended itself from a personal sales environment and into the online space.
With such a high volume of dealerships available online, how do you go about increasing your own engagement? But, more than that, how can you turn this online engagement into a tangible, converted sale?
Know Your Audience
The automotive market is beginning to change. Millennials, while dominating in the labor market, appear to place less importance on car ownership than previous generations do. They are more open to sharing cars and to the rapidly growing number of “mobility services,” such as Uber and Lyft.
But, this doesn’t mean that car sales are going to decrease. Instead, marketers need to develop new strategies to engage these audiences in ways and places that are significant to them.
The market needs to be aware of the evolutions in consumer behaviour and be mindful not to fall back on traditional means of marketing. In the broad strokes, this means being online and delivering exciting, personalised digital experiences.
Take On-Site Action
Your website is the end-point for search traffic. It’s absolutely crucial that users who reach your site can take action when they’re there. Then, depending on the action they take, you can establish the value of the lead. For example, a customer who downloads a brochure should not be disqualified, but someone who completes an enquiry form is an active lead.
When designing your site, pay particular attention to the call-to-actions. Think strategically about where on the page to place them and where you want to take your user next in their journey.
Having well thought out CTAs will help you to create purposeful, tailored pages on-site, with content that drives users to the conversion points.
Create Great Content
Consumers are much smarter than they have been historically. 81% of shoppers now do research before committing to a purchase. Many of them stay high in the sales funnel for longer, weighing up their options before converting.
If users to your website choose not to complete an action, give them a reason to come back. This is where engaging content creation comes into play. By designing a useful tool or informative, digestible piece of content, users are more likely to make a return visit to your site.
Interactive, on-site tools such as a mileage calculator or a market comparison tool, are valuable to consumers high in the sales funnel and can help draw them closer to converting.
One other platform that’s designed to improve engagement online are social networks. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all giants when it comes to online traffic. Setting up your businesses with a social presence is a great way to start building engagement and an online audience. From there, you can drive them to your website and into your conversion journey.
When it comes to social, content creation is vital. Establish a tone, look and feel that’s consistent across all your social platforms. Then post content regularly, keeping a constant feed coming from your brand, right into your users own online social space. This gently reminds them of your brands’ presence and takes a softer approach to conversion.
Use Ad Extensions To Boost PPC Ad Clicks
For dealerships, PPC advertising can be a powerful tool, especially when you’re competing against local competition. AdWords and Bing allow you to extend your ads across the First Page real estate and showcase your offerings.
This is ideal for dealerships that have a variety of models on the lot. You can build your ads to show off the Miatas and Fords you have for sale, for example. This also saves the searcher a step and makes it easier and faster for them to find the car they want.
How To Measure Your Online Engagement
Google Analytics is an ever-growing and evolving tool that has the ability to unlock potential and insight when it comes to measuring the success of your various digital marketing activities. Track every conversion point so you can attribute the sales you get to your various marketing channels, such as social media, PPC and SEO.
This will give you the data points you need to create a road-map for future marketing efforts. You may find that most of your engagement is coming from PPC. If so, you know to reallocate some of your social budget in favour of your more successful channel.
There are many ways to engage your audience online these days, but the key is to discover which way works best for your business and your audience and channel your efforts in that direction. Don’t succumb to fads, use your data. Test, refine and succeed.
About the Author
Adam Blackford-Mills is Sales & Marketing Director at MRS Digital, with more than 10 years of experience digital marketing. Adam works tirelessly to develop digital solutions that expand online marketing potential for businesses and delivers results. Using innovative and actionable thinking, Adam crafts a unique digital experience for every business.
Author: Contributing Writer
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