Prior to the Internet, nearly all automotive marketing services were limited to radio, television, print and direct mail. If you wanted to sell cars, you had to take out large ad buys through one of these channels.
However, the rise of Internet marketing has leveled the playing field, allowing even the smallest players to compete. In addition, Internet marketing offers two critical advantages you won't find through traditional advertising platforms:
- You can reach a much larger audience, and it's quite easy to segment that audience however you choose (e.g., geography, income, age, car make and model).
- You receive real-time feedback and analytics. This allows you to adjust your marketing approach as you keep what works (and discard what doesn't).
Arguably most important, you're not limited to a single approach. That's because Internet marketing is an umbrella term that covers many different strategies for connecting with prospects.
Below are some of the most popular.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising shares many parallels with traditional marketing in that you show "ads" on different properties. But there are some crucial differences that make PPC a far more effective strategy:
- As the name suggests, you pay only if someone clicks on your ad. This is in sharp contrast to radio commercials where you pay a set price — whether folks are listening or not.
- PPC allows you to try countless iterations of the same offer — meaning you can A/B test messaging over time, and make the requisite adjustments.
The downside is that successful PPC campaigns require constant attention. Thus, you may be better off outsourcing this project to an automotive marketing company that specializes in digital advertising.
Buying a car isn't an impulse decision. Most people conduct a fair share of research before making a purchase. With the right approach, you can position your brand as the "go-to" resource for the countless questions from prospects.
This works only if users can find you when typing those questions into Google or Bing search engines. To increase the chances of ranking well for certain keywords, you'll need to invest in search engine optimization (SEO). Publishing great content and securing high-quality links from other sites are the two primary pillars of this strategy.
The bad news is that SEO takes time. Whether you do it yourself or hire an automotive marketing agency, you won't see measurable results right away. The good news is that SEO is unobtrusive. You're not reaching out to prospects; they're reaching out to you through organic searches. This makes "selling" much easier.
Although the ultimate goal of Internet marketing is to close sales, the short-term focus should be on capturing "leads." Once prospects are in your email list, you can "soft sell" those potential customers over the next several days, weeks or months.
The secret to successful email marketing is to provide value to your users. If you freely share useful tips, stunning infographics and amazing content with your readers, you'll build authority and trust. Moreover, you'll stay present in their minds — no matter where they are in the buying process.
Your website is the asset that ties all of the above together:
- Some prospects will start on your site.
- For others, it'll be the final destination.
Either way, you want a clean website that's aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. If you don't have the graphic or coding skills to accomplish this in-house, you'll definitely want to hire an automotive marketing firm that specializes in professional web design.
If you'd like to learn more about our marketing services for automotive firms, contact us today via phone 855-883-0011 or through our online form.