Today, your customers are highly likely to find you online. According to Google, 95 percent of vehicle buyers use digital as a source of information. Google also revealed that twice as many consumers start their research online versus at a dealership. While customers still visit dealerships for test drives and to complete the purchasing process, they are beginning their search online. This means that your strategy for capturing their attention with the use of digital channels is crucial to your overall marketing plan.
To truly reach consumers online, you need a solid digital marketing strategy that allows you to reach and engage your target audience. However, it would help if you also had the right tools to pull off your strategy. The right digital marketing tools can provide you with better analytics and insights, free up the time of your marketing staff, or help you save time and money. So, what tools can help you level-up your dealership’s digital marketing strategy? We encourage you to give our picks a try.
Social Media Scheduler
Many dealerships probably already have this tool, but it is still worth mentioning. These days and times, it is almost expected for dealerships to be active on social media. Seventy-five percent of car buyers and 68 percent of service customers say internet research, including social media and review sites, were the most helpful mediums when selecting a car dealership. A social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer allows you to schedule content that guides your customers through the car buying process. Since being active on social media should be a regular goal, social media schedulers make posting to Twitter or Facebook a one-day event instead of a daily chore.
Social Listening Tool
Today, you always want to keep your ear to the “digital” ground as customers are using social media to interact with companies directly. For example, some may use Twitter to make a complaint, while others might comment on a dealership photo on Instagram. Regardless of the platform they choose, you want to be aware of these moments so you can participate in them. A social listening tool like BuzzSumo or Hubspot can notify you of any time your dealership is mentioned on a social media platform. A little more than one-third of new vehicle buyers that use social media for automotive information, post a picture of their new vehicle on a social site. It is crucial that you capitalize on moments like these, so invest in a social listening tool.
Simple Video Editor
We get it if you think this one doesn’t fit, but hear us out. Seventy-five percent of auto shoppers say that online video has influenced their shopping habits or purchases. Many are seeking information regarding features, model comparisons, and vehicle walkthroughs so they can make an informed decision about their next car. Video can do what pictures can’t, and this means it should be a part of your marketing strategy. Many computers already come with a built-in video editing app. However, you can also invest in other video editing software that makes the video creation process straightforward.
Basic Graphic Design Software
We know that video is crucial to your digital marketing strategy, but graphics and images are also significant. After three days, people retain 65 percent of the information they see if a relevant image is paired with that same information. You want people to remember who you are, what you stand for, and how your dealership can help them buy the best vehicle for their needs. So, invest in some user-friendly graphic design software. Tools like Canva or Snappa make it easy for even amateur designers to create eye-catching social media graphics or infographics. Pairing graphics with information is an excellent and engaging way of sharing relevant automotive data or information about your brand.
Easy-to-Use Project Management Software
When it comes to digital marketing, organization and forethought are critical. To put all the pieces in place, you need a tool that can help you and your dealership marketing team keep everything together. Project management apps allow you to assign tasks, set deadlines for projects, and ensure that daily digital marketing responsibilities do not fall through the cracks. For example, a tool like Trello or Asana enables you to assign someone on your team to the task of scheduling social media post for the week or producing a monthly analytics report. These tools are your organizational control panel, and it will be the foundation that holds your dealership digital marketing strategy together.
While phone calls and walk-ins are still important aspects of the car buying experience, they are typically the final steps in the process after consumers conduct online research. You want to ensure you are meeting your audience where they are online, and a robust digital marketing strategy allows you to do this. However, the tools you use provide you with a higher chance of reaching your desired outcome. So, check out various versions of the tools above. If used effectively, they can help you encourage that phone call or walk-in.