Everywhere the automotive industry turns, one thing remains true: there is a remarkable transformation going on, and dealerships are having to adapt. So, what are the trends in automotive digital marketing that will shape the rest of 2021?
- Mobile Optimization
51% of users look for their favorite vehicle models, locate dealers, compare prices, and read reviews on their mobile devices. 72% of car buyers using their smartphones are also likely to visit more than one dealership. With Google providing a dedicated platform for the automotive industry, mobile ads can result in a 30% decrease in cost-per-action (CPA) and a 45% increase in conversions. Suppose your dealership isn’t already using Google for paid advertisements and focusing on mobile optimization. In that case, it’s time to find a digital partner to get you online and in front of the right car buyers.
- Improving Customer Service
With inventory being less than abundant right now, the customer experience is more important than ever. There is little brand loyalty currently, so ensuring your dealership experience is at the concierge level of a 5-star hotel is critical. A few things to consider, 54% of customers are ready to purchase from a dealership with the highest price if they have the best customer experience. Simplifying the process is another critical component for improving the experience and can increase car sales by as much as 25%! Provide much of the search and buying process online, offer at-home test drives and delivery of vehicles, allow virtual trade-in appraisals, and show customers that your dealership is listening to what they want and how they wish to purchase. If you don’t know how to up your automotive digital marketing and digital retailing game, check out our virtual retailing page.
- Map the Customer Journey
Vehicle sales are moving quicker than average, but it can still take a few weeks for a customer to decide and buy. Train your sales team to follow up and communicate! Use text messaging to provide updates easily and quickly, answer questions or send 360 video tours of vehicles buyers are interested in. Customers will check email when they have time but will read (and respond) to a text almost immediately. Be that quick notification that keeps the deal moving forward.
- Personalize the Customers Journey with Video
Video is interactive and fun to watch. Sending customers personalized videos of vehicles they are interested in, tours of your dealership or additional buying options can set your sales team apart from the competition. 70% of car buyers watch YouTube videos before making their final purchase; if they watch a video about cars they like, it should be about one they can purchase too. Encourage your team to send videos by making the process as easy as possible.
- Artificial Intelligence
We all know that AI Chat and lead response automation are nothing new for 2021. However, customers are getting savvier in their desire of how and when they want to communicate. Implementing chat on your website and Facebook keeps your business open 24/7 to answer questions and make appointments. Be careful; however, make sure that your AI chat makes the experience as human as possible; many customers will move on to the next dealer if they are chatting with a robot and not getting the answers they need. Creating automated follow-up campaigns once you do have their contact information is also a fundamental way to keep the communication going without costing your team time.
- Social Media Marketing
Pivot your social media plan from promoting your once large inventory to your trade-in offers, service specials, online and at-home options. Look to social media to help solve your staffing challenges and advertise open positions at your dealership and all the benefits you offer that most job seekers aren’t aware of. Too busy making all those sales and running daily operations to manage your social media? Finding the right partner for social media management will make all the difference in keeping all operations running smoothly and your social media active.
- Deliver the Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time
The time has come to get clever with geotargeting. Everyone is on their phone and with internet-connected devices everywhere; make sure your advertisements are in front of them wherever they are, on whatever device they are using, whether they’re surfing the web or streaming top shows and live sports. Using data from your CRM, from Facebook, and insights from Amazon to target in-market buyers with your inventory could be the difference between them coming to your dealership or the one down the street. Retarget them across their favorite social media platforms and websites to make sure that they don’t forget about you and that gorgeous new car they’ve been searching for. New to streaming advertising? Learn more about the low-cost, highly targeted way to reach car buyers on streaming devices and channels.
These are just a handful of automotive digital marketing trends that will continue to shape the industry beyond 2021. If you incorporate a healthy mix of new digital marketing strategies now, the effect on your dealership’s bottom line can continue to be game-changing. With the right partner in automotive digital marketing, your business will stay on the path to success. And when the trends shift again, as they always do, Digital Air Strike will continue to be your digital watchtower.