Approximately 92% of car buyers will search online prior to visiting your car dealership to purchase a vehicle. That’s a staggering statistic that shows how important the right digital marketing strategy can be for your dealership.
However, the power of traditional media should not be underrated. When you combine an optimized digital marketing strategy with the right tailored traditional media, you can maximize the profit potential for your dealership.
Understanding Traditional Media
Before delving into digital marketing, let’s review examples of traditional media. This form of advertising has been used by marketers during the last 50 – 100 years. Traditional media includes the following:
Print media includes direct mail, professional journals, magazines, newspapers, and outdoor signage.
Some dealers have chosen not to embrace a digital marketing strategy and have opted for traditional media only. Auto News featured Woody Folsom, owner of a dealership in southern Georgia.
Mr. Folsom was not interested in using digital marketing. He focused on traditional media like radio advertising to the local area of Baxley, GA.
Through this advertising venue, he was able to continue to increase profits by selling approximately 1,500 Chevrolets, 1,200 Fords, and 1,000 Chryslers.
Utilizing Traditional Media
You may want to branch out and use digital marketing, but still intend to use traditional media as well.
According to the IAB’s Internet Advertising Report completed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), advertisers spent approximately $57.9 billion on digital advertising in the US. That number of advertising dollars increased by 17% from 2018.
Traditional media advertising spending decreased from 51.4% in 2018 to 45.8% in 2019. Digital marketing is expected to top traditional media ad spending.
However, that does not mean that your dealership needs to completely stop using this form of advertising. With help from a professional team of marketers, you can still implement traditional media strategies to drive traffic to your dealership.
You do not have to focus 100% on digital marketing.
Consider the following ways that your dealership can use traditional media in the new year.
TV and Radio Ads
An important factor in continually driving traffic to your dealership is to cultivate a brand image that is front and center in the consumer’s mind—both current customers and prospective leads.
- Television – For many decades, dealerships have relied on television ads as a major source to drive customers to the showroom. Utilizing innovative narratives—and advertising to the right audience—you can create a story that draws the viewer in and converts leads.
- Radio – Appeal to consumers with radio ad content that engages and generates awareness of your dealership brand with targeted offers.
Out of the various print advertising like direct mail, professional journals, magazines, newspapers, and outdoor signage—your best bet for improved profits is to focus on direct mail.
- Direct Mail – Highly targeted direct mail campaigns can be effective in driving foot traffic to your showroom. Campaigns should be optimized to create personalized content that makes an impact on the consumer.
When using direct mail, it’s important that your marketing team or professional data analyst effectively tracks each marketing element so you get an accurate assessment of each component's effectiveness such as: target list, headlines, offers, hooks and your conversion rate.
This response analysis can improve future direct mail campaigns by understanding what content and offers were relevant to your target market—and which ones did not convert.
Utilizing Digital Marketing
Blending the right traditional media and digital marketing strategy can be instrumental in boosting sales.
Performance and meeting relevant consumer needs in real-time are two major factors in excelling in your digital marketing strategy.
Create a digital marketing campaign for the new year, with a cross-channel approach featuring a singular message that incorporates the following digital media:
- Paid Search Ads
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Content and Blogging
- Video Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Digital Billboards
- Email Marketing
Paid Search Ads
Your paid search ad strategy likely already focused on highly targeting your audience. However, for this new year make sure you are reaching that audience with relevant offers at the right time.
Another trend in paid search ads is to use a portion of your advertising budget for awareness campaigns—where consumers can learn about your dealership without a push to buy.
Sure, that may sound counterintuitive. However, you should pinpoint higher level funnel keywords to target leads in the early stages of their customer lifecycle where they are just finding out about your brand.
You’ll have to get creative since you’re trying to sell vehicles and not actually teach people anything.
Consider adding these keywords to ad campaigns that would attract customers who want to learn about cars and special features before they’ve arrived at the decision purchase point.
Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing your website or blog can improve your search engine ranking and increase your online visibility. Some key factors to focus on for the new year are:
- Maintaining a site that offers a mobile-friendly user experience
- Utilize educational videos as a relevant information source
- Optimize for snippets which are expected to dominate search results
- Enable an HTTPS protocol on your site to lower the bounce rate
- Provide a user-friendly site with great content to decrease bounce rate
Website Content and Blogging
If you want your website and blog content to reach more people in 2020, make sure you focus on creating content that meets Google’s E-A-T Search Quality Rating Guidelines.
- Expertise – The main content (MC) creator for the website or blog should exhibit expertise on the topic. Google makes an exception for “everyday experience expertise” except when it pertains to Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) content.
- Authoritativeness – Again this refers to the MC creator and means content should be recognizable as having authority on the topic to build trust with readers.
- Trustworthiness – The MC creator should always provide content that cultivates trust with readers by meeting search needs that deliver timely educational content.
If you want to make videos for your dealership that convert, you need to have a clear focus regarding the message you want to get across to the consumer. Consider the following top places for video advertising:
Identify consumer pain points so that your message is relevant and meets their needs. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. This will improve the chances of your video content converting to sales.
Make sure that every facet of your video content looks professional and embodies consistent quality.
Consider showcasing more customer testimonials in 2020, but make sure to meet with the customers prior to filming.
You don’t want to give them a script, but you should vet their testimony first to ascertain what they’re going to say in the video. For maximum efficiency, schedule online vetting meetings with customers through Skype.
Social Media Marketing
According to a Pew Research Study, 73% of US adults use YouTube, 69% use Facebook, 37% are on Instagram, 28% are on Pinterest, and 22% are on Twitter. If you aren’t yet actively marketing your dealership on these social media platforms, you need to start.
Consider implementing the following tips into your social media marketing strategy:
- Again, having a singular focus on your brand message is important.
- Post several times a day since users are on at different times daily.
- Measure metrics to identify post impressions and click-through-rates (CTR).
- Make sure to follow the 80/20 Rule—engage more than you promote.
Visit Social Media Week to review the 11th edition of their Social Media Week New York City event #SMWNYC. This three-day event hosts various sessions, speakers, and summits.
You can complete the form on their website to have this social media recap sent directly to your email inbox.
According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), use of billboards can be traced back to “the earliest civilizations like the Egyptians employing tall stone obelisks to publicize laws and treatise.”
Outdoor advertising on billboards is a traditional media format. However, a Nielsen study showed that “3 out of 4 participants remembered seeing a digital billboard during the past month”.
Your dealership could be reaching customers through such digital billboards. Consider the following tips when advertising this way.
- Attention – You only have a few seconds to catch the attention of drivers.
- Message – Make your message count so it is memorable to the consumer.
- Simple – A shorter message will resonate with people due to visibility time.
- Location – Use Street View on Google to help you identify better locations.
- Targeting – Check area demographics when choosing the billboard location.
- Agency – Work with a professional agency to help create a better billboard.
There are over 205.6 billion emails sent and received globally. Has your dealership been creating emails that convert?
If not, you can make positive changes to your strategy and improve your email marketing conversion rate.
- Audience – Knowing your target market is an important first step.
- Content – Create clear and concise content with a focused message.
- Subject – Write short subject lines for easy viewing on mobile devices.
- Personalized – Use customer segmentation to deliver personalized content.
- A/B Testing – Improve conversion rates by using two content options.
- CTA – Make sure your call-to-action is clearly defined and accessible.
- Metrics – Carefully monitor metrics to ascertain if you’ve met KPIs.
Maximize Profit Potential by Combining Digital Marketing and Traditional Media
A smart promotional strategy for your dealership should include a balance of digital marketing and traditional media. Use the tips shared here to find the perfect blend of these two marketing strategies.
When you work with the professional J&L Marketing team, they can help you implement the ideal combination of digital marketing and traditional media to maximize profit potential for your dealership.