Auto Dealership Marketing: The Definitive Guide (2022)


When it comes to auto dealership marketing, many find the results of their efforts have been rocky at best. If they have expanded beyond traditional advertising methods of car or auto industry at all, many find they’ve wasted too much money with the wrong keywords, ran social ads to an audience that didn’t convert, or sent emails that didn’t deliver. If this is you, it can feel like digital marketing just isn’t worth the cost.

When we look at the data drive digital marketing efforts undertaken by many of the dealerships we partner with, there are two related areas that we attribute this lack of success to:

  1. Using tactics that reach the wrong audience (often too broad of an audience)
  2. Not utilizing data to reach the right audience.

With the right targeting and message, we’ve seen digital marketing dealerships succeed again and again. We work with a number of exotic and luxury car dealerships to manage email and multi-channel digital campaigns for lead generation. Despite the competitive nature of these markets, these campaigns have generated impressive sales by utilizing the right data.

Develop your message

What’s Your Goal?

If you manage an automotive dealership or are looking to break into the automotive industry, it’s important to partner with an experienced digital marketing agency that understands the unique challenges and opportunities of the automotive space. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to choose an automotive digital marketing agency that’s right for your business.

There are competitive automotive digital marketing agencies or automotive digital marketing companies out there, but not all of them are created equal. So make sure the car dealer marketing agency has experience working with automotive brands. Automotive digital marketing is a niche industry with its own set of challenges and opportunities. You want to partner with an agency that has a deep

Do you want to bring more visitors in for a test drive, increase the quality of your leads? Think about your goal to develop the right offer for your audience. A great, low-friction offer is the key to succeeding in the digital dealership marketing environment. Are you advertising a special event, new deal, offering test drives, or simply raising awareness? Craft a great offer that gives real value for your audience, to get them in the door, then prepare your sales team to take it from there.

Our Best Performing Offer

While we’ve worked with dealerships on a number of different campaigns, with a range of offers, our best performing campaigns have historically been test-drive campaigns. The best test drive campaigns create truly-qualified leads by focusing their budget on a narrowly-defined target market. One exotic car dealership that we’ve worked with told us that, of the leads we generated for them, more than half came in for their test drive, of those, nearly one in eight moved forward with the purchase process. When we implement data to back a test-drive offer, we see this type of success again and again. Keep in mind that an effective automotive digital marketing strategies can definitely drive more traffic and conversions. 

Reach the right audience

The Importance of Data

Many dealerships begin their journey into digital with far to large a target audience. This isn’t their fault. It’s a result of Facebook and other platforms removing more and more of their detailed targeting.

If you’re in the market for a new car, you may be wondering how to go about the right car dealership. After all, not all car buyers are created equal. Here are a tips to help you find a car dealership that’s right for you:

Do research. Not all car dealerships are created equal. Do some research on the dealership you’re considering to make sure they have a good reputation in automotive indutry.

Find a target audience. Not all car dealerships target the same audience. Some may focus on luxury cars, while others may target budget-minded buyers. Knowing your target audience will help you find a dealership that’s a good fit for you.

Consider the customer experience. How do you want to be treated when you’re buying a car? Do you want a pressure-free experience, or are you okay with a little haggling? Knowing what kind of customer experience you’re looking for will help you find a dealership that matches your needs. 

Check online reviews. Before you buy a car from any dealership, be sure to check out online reviews. This will give you an idea of what other customers have experienced at the dealership, and whether or not they would recommend it to others.

Did you know? Facebook doesn’t let you target by household income. The closest it gets is to target only high-earning zip codes. This doesn’t help if you’re targeting only your local area anyway.

   This isn’t all, certain Facebook ad types can no longer target by gender or zip code, and some demographic factors are further restricted. Worst yet for automotive dealers, you can no longer target by car ownership or interest. For many advertisers, the continued tightening of targeting capabilities on this and other platforms is a major cause for concern, as their cost-per-lead drives up, and their profit margins become increasingly slim.

How do you get around the ever-changing nature of social media targeting? Target your own list of prospects. Especially in high-cost product categories, our data outperforms Facebook’s targeting again and again, for the simple reason that we can narrow our list by those who actually have purchase-ability. Don’t waste your dealership marketing budget showing ads to those who don’t need, want, or have the ability to purchase a car from your dealership. Start with the right data, and reach the right audience.

Essential Platforms to Promote Your Dealership

The best-performing campaigns utilize consistent style and messaging to reach targets across the automotive digital marketing agency. Pay particular attention to making your car dealership marketing agency a recognizable content and personal across the following channels, then improve your efforts with automated follow-up and nurture flows as necessary.

  • Social: Start with Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube
  • Email Marketing
  • Google Retargeting

Quick tips for your digital marketing campaign

Are you looking for ways to improve your digital marketing dealerships through an automotive digital marketing strategy? If so, then you’re in the right place. One of the most important aspects of your digital marketing strategy is to keep your website up-to-date and informative. A well-designed website will help you attract and retain customers.

The best digital marketing for auto dealers simplifies the conversion process for consumers. Once you’ve established your messaging, and targeted the right audience, refine your marketing efforts with these best practice tips.

  • Pictures are worth 1,000 words. Videos are worth 1,000,000.
  • Give potential customers the option to call you. Make your Phone number clear in ad copy, landing pages, and anywhere else you market your offer or event.
  • Make your start-to-finish experience seamless and consistent
  • Stick to your style guide, to keep your ads feeling consistent
  • Not sure what to write? Check what your best performing competitors, or other dealerships are doing. If their tone is working, let it influence the way you speak to potential customers.




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