Try these four 21st century marketing tactics

In today’s always-on, wired world, having a digital marketing strategy has become practically essential. This strategy should focus on attracting new customers by showcasing your inventory to buyers who are shopping online, as well as building long-term relationships with existing customers so you remain top-of-mind when they search for their next vehicles.

Here are four tactics to consider, if you haven’t tried them already:

  1. Perform search engine optimization (SEO) on your website. Most dealerships today use websites like to generate online sales leads. But the cost of these leads can eat into your vehicle profit margins. By performing SEO on your website or social media platforms, you can potentially bypass and similar websites by attracting buyers directly to your website instead.

The goal is for your dealership’s website to appear at or near the top of online car shoppers’ keyword searches for vehicles. SEO has evolved into its own industry as competition for high search rankings has intensified. Thus, it might make sense to hire an expert to help with your SEO efforts.

  1. Publish an e-newsletter. Electronic newsletters are one of the best ways to stay in touch with your customers on a consistent basis. One of the keys to success is finding the right balance of sales vs. nonsales articles. If your e-newsletter only includes hard sales content, readers may ignore it or opt out.

So strive for a good mix of content promoting your dealership and your vehicles with articles that offer value-added information. These could include car maintenance and buying tips, travel articles, and coupons redeemable in your parts and service departments.

  1. Hook your dealership into a mobile app. It seems that there’s an app for almost everything. You can capitalize on the mobile app craze by tying your dealership into one. For example, The Mobile Dipstick reminds customers when their vehicles are due for routine maintenance, lets them view their vehicles’ service histories, and enables you to send special service offers that customers can redeem via their mobile devices.
  2. Give social media a go. Some dealerships use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to create an ongoing dialog with customers and prospects and strengthen relationships with them. For example, you could post pictures of customers and their new cars on your Facebook page, similar to how you might now be posting them on a bulletin board in your store. Then, customers can download them to their own Facebook pages to share with family and friends, and also “like” your dealership’s Facebook page while there.

© 2014