As a dealership owner or marketer, you should always ask yourself if a tactic or strategy is worth your time. Even if it seems like a no-brainer, it is still necessary to explore the reason why something may be a good idea. Unfortunately, when it comes to digital marketing, many marketing professionals jump in head first.
While this may seem like a good move, starting a digital marketing initiative without fully understanding the landscape could cause you to spend money on tools or tactics that may not be beneficial. One of the best things you could do is look at data and information specific to your industry to see where you should be putting your resources. So, to help with this, read on for five stats that can assist you in deciding how to begin to approach digital marketing in the automotive industry.
Out of the 24 times customer interact with dealerships, 19 of those are digital.
This statistic alone makes the case that having a digital marketing strategy is essential to attracting new customers. Consumers still ask for referrals from family and friends and browse newspaper ads. However, 80 percent of the car buying process is digital. While there are six major digital touch points, the one that every dealership should start with is the dealership website. It is crucial to ensure the site is easy to move through, has straightforward wording, and includes features that make it possible for consumers to contact you quickly.
Search is the number one source for car buyers to begin their research.
Thirty-four percent of consumers start their car buying process with a Google search. Why is this significant to your digital marketing strategy? Well, one of the best ways to ensure that your website is seen is through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a collection of methods used to increase your online search traffic. These tactics could include the utilization of significant keywords, the creation of backlinks, an improvement on the entire user experience, and many other strategies. The goal is to ensure that your website is one of the first things consumers see when they look for dealerships in their area.
Sixty-three percent of car buyers examine merchandise on their phones while on the dealer lot.
This statistic from cars.com shows the influence smartphones have on the car buying process. It is imperative that your dealership website be easily viewable on other devices. Customers should be able to search through your car listings efficiently. Many times, they are checking the price and inventory information while they are working with a salesperson. All of this data brings them to a final decision of whether to buy or keep searching. So, make sure that it is easy to access your dealership website via mobile search.
Eighty-four percent of automotive shoppers are on Facebook.
If you have limited resources, Facebook is where you want to put your social media efforts. Facebook has many features in place for dealerships to connect with consumers. Other the past few years, Facebook has ramped up their Facebook for Auto initiative and made it easier for dealerships to drive traffic from the platform to their dealership website. Dealers can use data matching to identify prospects, connect their CMS or DMS system to create custom messaging, list vehicles on the platform’s marketplace, and generate dynamic ads that drive leads. If used correctly, Facebook can be an excellent social media tool for lead generation and conversions.
Forty-two percent of car buyers search inventory on a dealership website as a result of watching online video.
Video marketing has risen in prominence over the past five years. It has greatly influenced the landscape of marketing in many industries, and the automotive sector is no exception according to this statistic from Automotive News. In addition to this data, V12 highlighted information that revealed that consumers search for videos toward the beginning of the car buying process. Many times, what they see sets the tone for how they proceed in their research. Typically, there are three types of content that consumers spend the most time watching:
- Test drives of a specific make and model
- Videos that highlight car features
- Interior and exterior car walkthroughs
Consumers want to get a feel for a car before they call to set up a test drive. So, making a point to include detailed videos that give consumers a feel for what they may be getting is a smart move.
Digital marketing is not a process that always yields immediate results. It requires patience and an experimental approach. However, there are ways to ensure you are putting your efforts in the right place from the start. Data can help you decide whether to encourage your marketing team to focus on a particular social media platform or invest in a specific method of content creation. While these statistics are in no way an exhaustive list, they can get you started with developing a digital marketing strategy to drive as many consumers to your website as possible.