Today just about every business you can name has a website, at the very least. In fact, it is hard to take any kind of business seriously these days if it doesn’t have a web presence on the internet. But to really succeed in business you need more than just a website, you need an effective one and you need other internet marketing such as social media to help that website gain more traffic. The automotive trade, in particular the business of automotive dealerships, are no exception to this trend.
For a successful dealership marketing program, certain key elements must be in place to support the online marketing efforts. They start with that website we mentioned above and of course include a well-rounded Facebook page and a Twitter account that is both very active and relevant for those who follow you. But internet marketing is much more than just this. To succeed at it, you have to know what works, what doesn’t and have a plan in place. Here are a few tips to get your started.
Who is Your Market?
If you don’t define who you are selling to, it is hard to know how to create a marketing campaign that will work for that audience. With an auto dealership, you may think your audience is anyone who wants a car, but you would be wrong. The high school kid looking for a used car as their first vehicle is a very different market then a young couple with a baby looking for a safe dependable car they can grow with their family. Each needs a car, they just need them for different reasons.
Define your market by looking at your past sales and future prospects. Think about where those buyers go on the internet to learn about new cars and find keywords to define their search. See, you are already thinking like an online marketing expert! Now here is your next tip.
What is Your Goal?
Yes, we know that your goal is to sell as many cars this quarter as you can, and hopefully more then you did last quarter. But beyond that basic goal, there is more. Are you looking to make the dealership more of a destination location for young car buyers? Do you want to make your place the first place they go when they think of your particular brand? If you define how you want to increase your sales, it will give you a guideline for how to achieve that goal. And don’t be afraid to set real numbers and revisit them from time to time.
Now that you have a goal in mind, set your budget to achieve it. This can be a mix of many things, including advertising budgets, time spent on redesigning a website or maybe hiring a social media maven to really help you connect online with that new market segment you have been pursuing all year. Whatever it is, define it now and check it against reality every quarter.
You are the Brand
Now that you have a few basics in place, it is time to create your brand that will define everything else. Remember that you are the brand, your place of business. Define this and you have sent yourself down the path to a true marketing plan for the online world.