6 of the best automotive marketing strategies to drive more car sales

The digital landscape has changed the dealership world significantly over the last 15 years – and even more significantly over the last three. Being both available online as a “Digital Dealer” and looking good to a prospective client is more important than ever before to get customers in the door. We’ll discuss a few of the best things you can start working on right away to enhance the digital presence of your dealership.

Local SEO

SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. In the world of a car dealership, enhancing your local SEO can be as simple as taking ownership of your Google Business Profile and Bing Places for Business. Having up-to-date profiles with Google and Bing can increase your chances of being seen when vehicle and service shoppers ask Google for help finding a local dealership.

These profiles should have current pictures, a good working phone number, as well as information about hours and offers.

Google Analytics 4

While previous versions of Google Analytics will also be acceptable at least for a few months, Google Analytics is essential to know what’s happening on your dealership website. 

When set up correctly with the help of your website provider or advertising agency, Google Analytics can tell you which traffic courses are working the best and how well they are working. You can know how many phone calls, emails, and VDP views came as a result of specific advertising campaigns. 

Monitoring your Google Analytics can give you a fair and unbiased picture of how well your digital spending is really doing. You can then shift funds and vendors based on what increases leads and dealership sales.

Connected TV and Over the Top Advertising

Let’s instead use the acronyms CTV and OVT – which still don’t explain what this really means. How about “Streaming Ads” and “Video Ads.” This kind of video advertising is advantageous because they aren’t limited by the time of day and guessing which show or event your customers watch or when they watch.

You can instead target particular demographics within streaming advertising and catch your viewers while they are watching videos on YouTube and other services that offer streaming and on demand videos.

Vehicle Listing Ads

These are a Google specific product, and they are still in beta. I’ve personally built more than a few campaigns and have to say that they both look cool and they are efficient.

The visual impact of Vehicle Listings Ads or VLAs sets them apart. These ads show up first in a visual carousel on Google, much like a typical shopping ad. The especially cool part is that they show an image of your vehicle, the price, the number of miles, and the dealership where it’s located. 

These can be run alongside normal text-based search ads – the difference is that a VLA delivers the customer directly to the vehicle detail page for that particular vehicle.

Messaging Systems for Service

Earning service work that is already in your drive can be difficult. Many companies offer a messaging system that allows a technician or service advisor to text message a customer about various issues they see within the vehicle, complete with photo proof that a problem is there. 

This also saves time by reducing the need for a phone call or face to face contact in some cases. Service advisors can better use those in person moments to build rapport with the customer instead.

Reputation Management

For reference, reputation management often involves replying to people making positives and negative comments about your business.In a time when people tend to visit 2 dealerships or less – and often just one – having good reputation management is essential for having the best digital dealer presence.

Having someone in store or a vendor scour the Internet for comments about your dealership can help in the long run, in part by showing customers that you reply to negative and positive statements – and try to fix them!


A refined digital dealership uses many tools and advertising methods to increase car and service sales and manage the post sale process. We recommend taking a good look at your automotive marketing strategies, including your local SEO, and invest in programs like Vehicle Listing Ads. You’ll also want to ensure that reputation management is following up with customer testimonials – whether bad or good.

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Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart
Ben is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News with 10 years of dealership experience in automotive marketing. Ben loves all things cars and putting together strategies that help dealerships succeed.

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