If you’re still relying on paper leaflets and cheesy commercials to get people to come to your car dealership, then you’re doing it wrong. The future of business is digital, and you need to make the transition soon if you don’t want to be left behind. A social media presence allows you to reach a larger audience and connect with customers instantaneously. Some businesses have even shifted to a fully online model.
Going digital doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Here are a few automotive digital marketing strategies that you can use to boost your brand, expand your market reach, and generate more sales.
1. Create a plan
You’re not going anywhere without a plan. Just because anyone can sign up for a social media account for free doesn’t mean you can start posting or tweeting. Remember that you’re running a business, and you need to have a proper social media plan in place. Without one, there’s no way for you to create goals or measure the results. Think about what you want to achieve and start from there.
For starters, you need to set a SMART goal. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, relevant, and timely. Data is everything in the digital age, and make sure your business goals can be measured by a relevant metric. It also helps to check what your competitors are doing. Since you’re starting from scratch, you can reduce some of your work by using your competitors as a template.
Finally, you need to create a schedule for your posts. It may not seem like it, but there are a proper rhythm and flow to social media. People don’t want to be inundated with ads, so make sure your content should include both informational and entertaining material.
2. Choose the right platform
The platform you choose can make or break your social media strategy. But don’t be deceived by trends or appearances. You need to let data guide your decision-making. For instance, someone might tell you that Instagram is the best platform to show off your vehicles. But according to the Pew Research Center, most people use Facebook regularly.
It pays to do some research on the demographic profile of each social media platform. This will help you identify the best place to reach your target audience. For instance, if you want to target Millennial and Gen Z buyers, then go where they congregate.
3. Build an audience profile
One of the reasons why social media is more effective than a television or print marketing campaign is you can target a specific segment of your audience. But to do that, you need to sketch a picture of what your target audience looks like. You can adjust your strategy once you understand better the people you want to reach out to.
Use your social media analytics to collect data about your customers. This will provide a solid profile of the people who visit your social media pages regularly. For instance, if your target audience is also interested in vacations, you can create social media content that talks about road trips to vacation spots.
4. Go beyond your core audience
Once you’ve successfully penetrated your target market, it doesn’t hurt to expand your scope towards bigger markets. If you’re serious about growing your business, you also have to think about appealing to a different type of customer. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, and a diverse customer base can help stabilize sales during slow periods.
5. Engage with your customers
A social media presence allows you to talk directly with your target market and vice versa. If you take the time to engage and build a relationship with your community, you can improve goodwill toward your business. Trust is an important resource, and no amount of ad buy or clever marketing tactics can buy that.
It’s always a good idea to reply when your customers engage with your social media content. If they have comments or questions, make sure to say something back. You want your customers to see that a human is behind the cold corporate persona. The more you engage with your customers, the more loyal they will be to your brand.
Once your social media marketing is up and running, the next thing you do is to improve. Check for areas where you’re lagging, and adjust your strategy to see if something changes. Always remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Start small, and if it works, ramp up your campaign in increments.