While print, radio, and television ads are still a key part of advertising campaigns, if you haven’t started it yet, your dealership should work on a digital marketing strategy. Last year, 49% of organizations lacked a clear strategy for utilizing online content, SEO, and social media, so by harnessing the power of these digital tools, your dealership will really set itself apart from the rest. Here are the key areas on which you should focus.
The 4 Keys to a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Content Marketing
People don’t like feeling as though they’re the subject of constant advertising, but they do enjoy getting insider knowledge. That’s what makes content marketing so useful; it’s a way to sell to the public without giving them a sales pitch.
Consider the kinds of automobile-related topics your customers would be interested in learning about. Then create infographics, videos, and blog posts that contain valuable information that will guide your target demographic in terms of auto maintenance or choosing their next vehicle. You can also create interesting behind-the-scenes content that helps customers learn more about your dealership and staff. Employee of the month blog posts on social media can help to deepen the connection between your customers and employees and it humanizes your brand in an authentic way. Content marketing is a wonderful tool to keep your business at the forefront of customer’s minds without barraging them with overt advertising.
An important part of your digital marketing strategy in 2018, SEO (or search engine optimization) will help ensure that when customers go online to search for topics relevant to your dealership, your website appears high in the search engine rankings. This will help give your business greater authority and increase the likelihood that people call or visit you over a competitor.
The first step to successful SEO is doing keyword research to find out what phrases your target customer base frequently searches for. They might look for “Toyota dealership Phoenix Arizona” or “best family SUV,” for instance. Once you know what phrases to target, include them in a natural manner in your website content. Speaking of content, it should be relevant, high-quality content that people will actually want to read – not nonsense posted for the sole purpose of stuffing in keywords. Search engines will notice and penalize you for that. By working with marketers or web designers experienced with SEO, you’ll be able to optimize every aspect of your website — from the photos to your title tags and URLs.
3. Social Media
Look around you the next time you’re out in public. You’ll note that when the majority of people have a spare minute or two, they’re looking at their phones. Sometimes they’re checking email or texting, but quite often, they’re checking social media. This means that if your dealership isn’t utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’re missing a prime opportunity to put your brand in front of people’s faces on a daily basis.
Your social media strategy can include sharing some of that interesting and educational content you’ve created, posting photos, or telling customers about an exciting giveaway you’re hosting. Whether your posts are laid-back and fun or straightforward and serious, make sure the tone is consistent with your overall brand.
4. Updates to Your Website
Finally, make sure to keep your website fresh and up-to-date. It looks unprofessional and sends the wrong message to customers if they visit your site and still see an advertisement for a special that ended two months ago. As part of your digital marketing strategy, commit to giving website visitors something new and interesting every time they end up on your homepage — whether it’s information about a current sale or an upcoming giveaway or event.
A digital marketing strategy needs to have a multi-faceted approach, but by covering all the bases, your dealership will successfully reach customers that traditional advertising campaigns might miss.