Automotive Digital Marketing: What Every Car Dealership Should Know

The digital marketing industry will grow to $77.056 billion by 2023. This is to say that all sectors and businesses should take advantage of digital marketing. Specifically, automotive digital marketing should be an area of interest for car dealerships.

Today’s customers are widely different from those that were there a few years back. The processes and techniques of marketing are changing. As a car dealer, how can you make use of automotive digital marketing to grow your business?

It all begins by understanding the concepts that make digital marketing successful. In automotive digital marketing, here’s what you need to know.

1. The Five Micro-Moments of the Car Buyer

Five significant questions run in the mind of a car buyer before they make the final decision.

I). Which Car is The Best?

Most of the car shoppers who enter a market do so without knowing the type of car to buy. However, they’ll consider factors like safety, family-friendliness, and fuel consumption.

II). Which is the Right Car for Me?

While making considerations for the best car, buyers will go deeper into weighing practical options. They’ll develop a checklist for vital features that’ll best suit their needs. They’ll check if there are adjustments they can make to make the car more suitable.

III). Is it Affordable?

As the shoppers begin to narrow down their options, the next most crucial consideration will come into play. This is the cost factor. They’ll explore payment options that are right for them.

Options like leasing vs. buying will come into play, as well as the trade in value of their current cars.

IV). Where to Buy

Much of the car buying experience has transitioned from the physical to an online experience. This is where automotive digital marketing comes into play. However, the actual visit to the dealership shop remains of great interest to most buyers.

An online search for "car dealerships near me" has been on the increase for the past few months. Most of them will consider local inventory and deals when exploring dealerships nearby.

V). How Good is the Deal?

Most buyers will only consider this question once they’re at the dealership. It’ll be after negotiating discounts that they’ll try to see what sort of a deal they’re getting. They’ll compare different dealerships in search of a deal they’ll be proud of later.

What Should You Focus On as a Car Dealer?

From the five micro-moments that affect a car buyer, the dealership should choose their point of focus. For most dealerships, these points are where to buy and whether the buyer is getting a good deal.

These define the most crucial moments for the consumer. The automotive digital marketing strategy the dealership chooses to use should capitalize on these two micro-moments. The marketing messages should firmly be based on the cost and value advantages.

By establishing a sense of goodwill and trust, the consumers will feel safe establishing a sales relationship. If you understand the buying journey and how it applies to your target audience, your marketing efforts will pay off. Besides, knowing how to nurture your audience from one moment to the next will be to your advantage.

2. Understanding Your Audience

It’s essential to monitor the kind of consumers visiting your site to determine their persona. In most cases, you’ll be able to capture what they want. This is one factor you shouldn’t underestimate.

Remember that you’ll not achieve your business objectives until your clients reach theirs. If you’re unable to interpret your visitors’ intentions, make use of online surveys. You can also make an analysis of your site to identify the behaviour of your customers.

Google Analytic is an excellent place to start. Remember that it's also imperative to get feedback from your site's visitors while they browse. While at it, don’t ignore the experience of your mobile visitors.

3. Get Your Site Up to Speed and Optimize It

How you set up your website determines your success in automotive digital marketing. You must be able to provide an optimal website experience by ensuring the site loads quickly. A majority of website visitors will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load.

Include page speed as one of your website optimization objectives. If your site takes long to load, it’ll get negative reviews. Eventually, these will negatively affect your Google rating.

Here are other things you need to do to your site to enhance your online presence. By making your site easier to find, you’ll have more traffic, which you can convert into sales.

I). Search Engine Optimization

This refers to the strategies you use to make your website stand out from the competition. It helps your website rank among the top unpaid results in Google search. SEO falls into two main categories, namely on-page and off-page SEO.

On-Page SEO

This entails the use of relevant keywords and Meta descriptions to make your sire ran higher. It’s upon you to find out the keywords that visitors to your and competitors’ site use as they search for car dealerships.

Keyword placements help the visitors find what they’re looking for easier and faster. If the keywords you use contribute to the click-through rate of your webpage, your ranking will increase. Google will move the content of your site up higher the search results page if you’ve got a higher click-through rate.

There are online tools like Google AdWords, that you can use to help with keyword research. You'll be able to find both long and short-tail keywords which are to your site's advantage. Long tail keywords are generally more than five words long.

The short-tail ones are one or two words long. Ideally, it’s wise to have a mix of both since each has its share of benefits.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO encompasses the other aspects of optimization that can be done off-site. One of these is link-building. The more links that are linked back to your site, the stronger your authority on Google will be.

The process of creating backlinks is demanding but not impossible. It all begins by creating riveting and engaging content, which you’ll then link back to your site. It would serve your site well to mention other influencers within your niche to add value to your content.

Social sharing is also a great approach to off-page SEO. This refers to sharing you’re your content on social media platforms to increase your brand awareness. This way, it’ll reach diverse markets and possibly increase your customer base.

One great way to increase your off-page SEO is to use LinkedIn. It’s ideal because it puts a notification to all followers when there’s a new article. This will let everyone interested in your business get to know when you’ve posted something new.

II). Content Marketing

As earlier mentioned in link building, having relevant content is a powerful approach to automotive digital marketing. In fact, having a website without content will work against you. This is because content marketing is a large part of SEO.

According to Google, relevant content is one of the two most ranked factors. What are those things that consumers want to know about cars? Do your thorough research and create content around this.

According to HubSpot, websites that post more than sixteen pieces every month end up with a lot of traffic. When you develop a habit of content marketing, your costs per lead will drop by almost 80%. However, the results will be gradual, not instant.

III). Social Media Marketing

If you want to take your automotive digital marketing to the next level, you need to take advantage of social media platforms. They're numerous in the online sphere, and they can help your business grow beyond limits.

However, to succeed in social media marketing, you must respect the context of each social platform. For example, you can post long blog posts on a platform like Facebook. Long content is meant for platforms like blogs.

You can enhance your social media marketing by using the paid advertising approach. The adverts will differ from each other on the social platforms, but the results will be the same. On Facebook, for example, the ads will appear in a display format.

They’ll be displayed directly on the news feed of the audiences you’re targeting. Twitter, LinkedIn, Snap Chat, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook are social media platforms you need to utilize well.


Facebook is a great platform to start since many dealers are already on the platform. To increase your chances of success on the platform, approach it like you would other platforms. This means that you should identify your objectives, test execution, and measure your progress.

If you’d like to use Facebook as an acquisition platform, be prepared to create an advertising budget. If you have the right targeting options, this strategy can be highly effective. Remember that advertising on Facebook is nothing like the traditional forms of advertising.

As a tip, steer clear of a sales-oriented message and keep the content engaging.


LinkedIn is more like the professional version of Facebook. It has fewer members, but they’re there for a more specific purpose. For you to succeed in automotive digital marketing on LinkedIn start by creating a company profile for your dealership. Work on keeping it up to date with promotional content.

Use the listing in a professional setting to create an excellent opportunity to enhance publicity for your business services.


Twitter may not look relevant to a car dealership, but it’s a popular social media platform. Opportunities for customer service are in plenty on Twitter. For example, someone may tweet looking for a particular vehicle. You can reply to this by sharing the information they’re looking for and other important details.

IV). Email Marketing

Direct communication with your customers is very crucial. One of the most reliable and simplest ways to maintain direct contact is through sending emails. Email marketing provides better engagement in comparison to social media platforms.

Some studies show that you’re 40 times more likely to get customers through email than Facebook and Twitter. Besides, email marketing yields the highest ROI compared to other online marketing strategies. The way you personalize and segment your emails can make or break your email marketing approach.

Personalization is about referring your customers by their names, interests, history, and all other factors relevant to your marketing. It creates a higher conversion rate than template emails.

Segmentation allows you to cluster your user base into categories that let you send them specifically targeted content.  This can also increase sales by approximately 760%.

4. Nurture Leads

Once you optimize your website through the above approaches, you'll start getting leads to your site. How you manage the visits determines whether you’ll make sales or not.  For example, do you make follow-ups on customers who abandon their cart?

Sales teams focused on the short term hard do. A little more effort and follows ups will go a long way in making these customers come back when they’re ready to buy.

You can quickly generate a contact list that you’ll use to nurture leads. From here, you can set up an email newsletter targeting your pool of prospects. Ensure you monitor the open and click-through rates to establish strong opportunities and segments.

Have your sales team make follow-ups on these, without overlapping the functions of the sales and marketing teams.

These are just some of the few strategies you can incorporate to enhance automotive digital marketing. If you capitalize on them well, your car dealership will soar to greater heights.

Automotive Digital Marketing - Final Thoughts

Online digital marketing means a lot to online businesses. If you're in a car dealership, you may not thrive without automotive digital marketing. A lot of aspects come with digital marketing, but they're all well worth the effort it demands.

Aspects like website optimization and nurturing of leads are tools to make you stand out from the competition. All you should do is invest in time and the necessary strategy to achieve excellence in digital marketing.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today to book a Free 30-minute strategy session to review your automotive digital marketing strategy.

gmb checklist small 175
Ready to Give Your Company a Serious Boost?
Instantly download our in-house checklist to discover how we setup, optimize, and maintain top-performing Google Business Profiles every day!
Yes, I Want My Free Google Checklist Now
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram