Making the move to online marketing for your dealership is a wise business move. In fact, many dealers have already taken this step and are incorporating online marketing into their plans. If you’re new to the idea or you’ve hesitantly experimented with a few tactics, you may still feel overwhelmed by this newer marketing strategy.

Download "8 Best Practices in Automotive Digital Marketing" e-book

If this sounds like you, take a look through this guide to get some helpful tips. Having a solid foundation is the best way to ensure your car dealership online marketing ventures are a success.


The Mobile Revolution

Marketing began migrating online in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It’s continued to evolve since then. As technology continues to evolve and change, how people use it also evolves. Today, mobile represents the latest revolution.

More and more buyers are using their smartphones and tablets to do things they would have used their desktops for ten years ago. Now, potential buyers are searching for information on their phones and interacting with potential dealers through social media.

Your website and social media need to be mobile friendly, designed to garner interaction with potential buyers this way.

Provide Value and Build Relationships

Consider what you want to achieve with car dealership online marketing.

Most people would say they want to increase sales, which is a fair statement. Your marketing initiatives, however, should focus on more than just “more sales.” Today’s car buyer wants value in their interactions with your dealership. What can you provide them to increase value?

In most cases, car dealership online marketing is about delivering reasons for people to purchase from your dealership, not another dealership. Perhaps you provide more information or more convenient hours. Maybe your website has a chat function that helps people get answers to questions quickly. In short, you can be of service to the customer and provide them with a better experience.

If your aim in marketing is to increase sales, you should also focus on adding value and building relationships with your current customers and your future customers to meet that goal.

Increase Visibility

Why else should you engage in car dealership online marketing? No one can buy a car from you if they don’t know you exist. Unless someone drives by your lot, they may not know about your dealership. Marketing of any kind helps you increase visibility.

In the past, you may have had to invest in pricey TV and radio spots or flashy billboard ads to gain potential customers’ attention. Online marketing provides options to fit every budget. Social media is important and can be low-cost, but it shouldn’t be the only tactic you adopt.

Think about investing in search engine marketing, lead generation and management, and your website. You want to make yourself known to your potential customers, and all of these methods increase the likelihood they’ll find you through their research.

What Trends Should You Pay Attention To?

Like all things, there are trends in car dealership online marketing. Some tactics that once worked are no longer effective, and new tactics are emerging.

One big trend to pay attention to right now is the use of videos. You may be incorporating them into your social media strategy, but you’ll also want to adopt them for your website. Images and infographics also remain popular.

More focus is being placed on personalization, as well, especially on auto dealer websites. Your potential customers want to have an experience with your dealership, and the website may be the entry point.

These tips will help get you started with car dealership online marketing. There’s still a lot to learn, however, and a car dealership marketing expert could give you the helping hand you need to really succeed.