Blogs, website content, online ads and social media content are all part of digital marketing. While the budget could impact the ad spend for online advertising opportunities, other marketing outreach could be virtually free for businesses.
Marketing is unique to each car dealership, and what works for one dealership might not be ideal for another. However, effective content is crucial to reaching the right audience and moving consumers to the buying phase. Content also needs to be consistent across all channels; use these five tips to create the most impactful car dealership digital marketing content that complements the culture and elevates the brand:
- Check the voice.
- Incorporate key players into messaging.
- Optimize content for local audiences.
- Update regularly.
- Utilize visuals to enhance the messaging.
The Voice Tells the Story
Marketing content needs to be consistent in the written voice used to convey the message and a story. This voice needs to reflect the dealership’s culture and general personality.
If the vibe of the dealership is fun and ads via television or online reflect this laid-back vibe, then the content should feel fresh and laid-back, too. When marketing professionals are focused on writing blog articles or social media posts, keep the tone light.
Are there catchphrases that are associated with the dealership? Maybe these are branded slogans. The voice can lean into the slogan or what the slogan conveys.
Some dealerships take a more serious demeanor. Maybe the culture is upscale sophistication. Keep messaging professional and in line with the expectations of customers.
Who Represents the Dealership?
Some dealerships have a mascot or the owner(s) are known to appear in advertising. When writing blog content, consider having the owner write a weekly update or an article focused on what’s new at the dealership.
Create messaging that pulls in a mascot, too. Some dealerships use the pets of the owner as a mascot; maybe create articles focused on the mascot’s ‘recommendations.’ In addition, marketing pros can use the mascot in photos of new models or to accompany articles. Maybe the ‘mascot’ hijacks the social media account. Could the mascot offer sales?
Think outside the standard basic content and tie in key figures related to the dealership.
Focus on Local Angles When Optimizing Content
SEO typically brings to mind keywords and phrases that help an article or website rank higher on a Google search. These phrases might be tied to the auto industry, new vehicle models, or popular car buying questions. One SEO strategy that some dealerships might forget to utilize, though, is localized SEO keywords.
These keywords focus on a nearby area and can cover general (and fun) topics. Dealerships that aren’t sure how to find these keywords can reference Neil Patel’s guide for localized SEO keywords research. Examples of localized SEO topics include:
- Best Burgers in ________
- 10 Must-See Museums Near _______
- The Best Parks in ________ with Splash Pads
Localized SEO topics are effective because they can allow the dealership’s blog and website to appear in search results related to these topics. An individual might not be looking for a local car dealership, but the article could encourage them to visit other pages on the website beyond the blog.
Don’t go dark on social media. Not updating social media accounts and blogs could result in ‘unfollows’ or in followers just losing interest.
Ideally, dealerships should try to update their social media accounts daily. For blogs, a few updates per week could be fine. However, new content can attract readers.
In addition, dealerships can invite customers to sign up to a mailing list to receive blog updates. Some dealerships offer a weekly newsletter instead of a blog. Newsletters also can be an effective way to keep customers updated on the events and promotions at the dealership.
Don’t forget to name the newsletter. The newsletter’s unique name also should complement the dealership and the culture.
Utilize Visuals to Enhance the Messaging
Photos in marketing messaging like blogs and online content help break up text and provide visual interest. Photos are crucial to automotive marketing, because the design and details of a car are best understood with visuals.
Buyers want to see the vehicles that interest them, and some buyers want as much information as possible. Professional stock photos can help provide visual data to consumers while also complementing the written messaging of marketing content.
While car stock photos from EVOX Images can help car shoppers see the interior and exterior of a vehicle, stock photos aren’t the only images that dealerships should include online, via social media or within blog content.
Again, visuals need to complement and remain consistent with the dealership’s culture. Buyers want photo slideshows to explore new or used models. They also might like interacting with 3D spin photos to see inside the car.
However, buyers also want to know about the dealership. Show them the sales team, the owner, the staff. If the culture is laid-back, the photos should be, too. Maybe everyone takes a photo with their pet if the dealership is pet-friendly.
Show the team and try to include a biography of each team member, too. Maybe marketing pros interview everyone and include some basic or unique information to help site visitors learn more about everyone. Find ways to incorporate the vibe of the dealership into the content.
Another Tip? Incorporate Video Content
Videos can be the best resource for capturing the culture of a business. While pictures can show a face or a product, videos let customers hear the voices of the owner and the staff. Videos show mannerisms and let viewers understand inflection. Videos can help the buyer feel as though they met the owner or a sales team member.
A video also can show buyers the dealership before they visit. Dealerships can take viewers on a tour of their showroom. Videos can introduce the finance team, the sales team and customer support team members, too.
Dealerships can post video content on social media platforms like YouTube or Facebook. TikTok lets dealerships create short-form videos, and TikTok could be a great platform for reaching younger audiences.
YouTube videos can be longer in duration. Dealerships can create their own YouTube channel and link to the channel on the dealership website.
YouTube videos for dealerships could focus on introducing new models via a walkaround video, or dealerships can make videos focused on car care tips or routine car maintenance needs. Dealerships also could create a video series focused on how-to topics like “how to check the oil,” “how to change a tire,” or “how to check tire pressure.”
If the dealership has a mascot, include the mascot in videos. Create a video telling viewers the history of the dealership’s mascot or create a video focused on the mascot’s favorite cars. It’s ok and even encouraged to focus on unique topics and silly content, too.
If the dealership has a fun vibe, maybe the team members participate in a TikTok dance challenge. Embracing some internet trends also could lead to a viral video.
When dealerships create marketing content on their website, social media accounts or blog, they should focus on messaging that is conducive and consistent with the dealership’s culture. Stay true to the vibe and personality of the dealership, and use messaging, imagery and videos to help customers better understand what makes your dealership stand out from the competition.