Successful online marketing for car dealers

Using the marketing potential of the Internet as efficiently as possible is a major challenge for most people and companies. Every company tries to put itself in the limelight and thus gain an edge over the competition. This blog post shows possible uses of online marketing using the example of car dealers and and gives tips on how successful internet sales could work for managing directors or marketing managers in car dealerships.

In times of pandemic, activity on the internet has skyrocketed dramatically, leading to a revolution in online retailing. As face-to-face contact has been reduced to a minimum, people are looking for ways to procure things online or drive their own business on the internet. Car dealers are also taking advantage of this opportunity through the internet and trying to do online marketing. As a rule, a distinction is made between "pull marketing" and "push marketing". While "pull marketing" aims to offer vehicles and content that the customer searches for himself and accordingly finds, "push marketing" tries to persuade the customer to buy his own product by offering incentives to buy. In other words, vehicles are actively offered to the target group, even if they are not looking for them themselves. In contrast, the former is passive, i.e. attempts are made, e.g. through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) customers who are actively looking for offers themselves. In this context, offers the opportunity to use more than 1.5 million advertised cars, commercial vehicles and motorbikes (source according to the CAR Institute) as an offer for buying and selling vehicles in Germany. There are various ways of drawing users' attention to the corresponding offer on the internet. These will now be described in the next sections of this article.

Three steps to successful internet sales

Essentially, there are three steps to follow on the internet on the way to making money:

  • Step 1: Bring potential buyers to offers
  • Step 2: Turn prospects into customers
  • Step 3: Engage customers and turn them into multipliers

The first step essentially involves the tactic of "pull marketing", where an attempt is made to lure the customer to one's own site through adapted SEO. This means generating traffic on the page or increasing the number of page impress ions to one's own offer or advertisement.

Step two is then to sell the vehicle to the prospective customer through a personal exchange, preferably at the car dealership. The conversation should help to convince the customer personally of the car and thus finalise a purchase.

The final step is to use satisfied customers as multipliers to further increase one's own customer base. Good service is a prerequisite for meeting customers' expectations and, in the best case, even exceeding them.

Auto-leasing-through-online auto market

Pull marketing versus push marketing

Depending on the goal that the dealer or managing director of the car dealership is pursuing, he adapts his sales strategy on the Internet. The advantages and possibilities of the two strategies shown are different. Pull marketing, as already mentioned, relies on a rather passive strategy and search engine optimisation to lure the interested customer to one's own sales page. This is why it is so important to be visible on the net with attractive, informative and relevant content.

There are two ways to achieve or implement this goal. Either a retailer relies on Content marketing and tries to develop relevant and useful content for his own target group (e.g. a blog) so that they are drawn to the corresponding website, or the trader relies on so-called platform marketing. The latter includes all activities on platforms and bundles them. This strategy is relatively simple and offers highly interested "leads", but in return the competition is very high. With the former, a high reach is achieved through relevance, but this variant is more time-consuming. The reach is increased by high findability and relevance of the content, whereby good SEO is of decisive importance.

In this context, a distinction can be made between SEO (search engine optimisation), SEA (search engine advertising) and affiliate marketing. SEO includes all measures that improve the "natural" findability in search engines, which is why a high reach can also be achieved through good findability. The goal must therefore be to appear at the top of the search engine rankings (e.g. of Google) on page 1, which takes a relatively long time. The reach simply depends on how often the brand or the corresponding products are searched for by users.

SEA, on the other hand, represents all paid measures that are used to stand out in search engine rankings and thus achieve the highest possible reach. Here, advertising placements on search results are used and paid for according to the reach. The disadvantage of this variant is that many users do not click on ads, but only on natural content.

Affiliate marketing means something like partner marketing. These so-called partners advertise the corresponding offers on their respective websites and, in the best case, receive a commission if they are successful. The reach is therefore bought through advertisements on the partner websites and is usually paid depending on the results (number of leads or views). The positive aspect of this is certainly the latter point, namely that payment is made according to the result. A disadvantage, however, is that no influence can be exerted on the advertising environment on the partner site.

In contrast, push marketing, as mentioned above, focuses on encouraging the customer to buy one's own product by means of purchase incentives. In platform marketing, on the other hand, the reach is increased through the purchase of platform fees.

In this context, four possibilities of implementation can be distinguished:

  • Viral marketing refers to advertising measures with content that is shared en masse by users. In extreme cases, users only have production costs for their advertising material, whereas a simple text post can develop reach.
  • Newsletters that can be subscribed to if interested. Costs may be incurred for the dispatch and production of the newsletter.
  • Paid Social: this involves placing ads in the newsfeed for users on social media. Costs are incurred for ad production and possibly switching costs.
  • Display Ad (banner advertising), which is displayed as an advertising medium on third-party pages, similar to classic ads.

The latter two perform best in a cost-benefit comparison. The production costs are manageable and yet considerable attention can be generated, thus increasing visibility and the number of followers.

The reach is purchased by generating a click or a view. In the case of newsletters, the reach simply corresponds to the number of newsletter subscribers. In viral marketing, which is mostly spread via WhatsApp groups or e.g. by e-mail, the reach is generated, for example, by a sparkling idea that is then launched as an advertising medium.

Final tip

Be clear about the right measures and their possible applications and constantly use newly developed technologies to bring your own company, or in this specific case your own car dealership, forward. In this way, one's own customer base can be expanded, one's image enhanced and sales maximised. The way of selling cars is thus changed, with the aim of increasing revenue and productivity.

Any more questions? Would you like more information? We look forward to hearing from you.

Feel free to contact us today to discuss your challenges and to learn more about whether Automanager is the right tool for you.
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