Whether your car dealership is large or small, you’ve likely set aside at least a small sum for the purposes of marketing and advertising. This may be rolled together with your sales budget, or you may have set it apart for marketing measures alone. You may have a budget allocated solely for advertising efforts.

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One question advertisers often ask themselves is whether or not they’re making the most of their budgets. It’s an excellent question, one most auto dealers should ask themselves on a regular basis.

So, are you making the most of your dealership’s advertising budget? Here’s how to tell.


Multi-Channel, Mixed Media Campaigns

How do you advertise your car dealership? In the past, you may have bought spots on local TV or radio. If you were a large dealership or part of a cross-country chain of dealerships, you may have widened the net a little.

While TV ads and radio spots can still be useful for dealerships, it’s important to recognize that the way people buy cars and seek out automotive maintenance has changed. A large portion of your audience has moved away from radio and even from TV. How can you reach these people?

The answer is by using a multi-channel, mixed media campaign. A radio ad might be useful, particularly if you can also use the audio to advertise on podcasts or online radio streaming. A TV ad might double as an online video campaign delivered through YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.

Your audience has more choice than ever before about how they consume entertainment and media, so your advertising campaign should be just as diverse. Your dealership advertising campaign is being used effectively if it’s being split to support a multi-channel campaign.

Seeking Value

The next question to consider when you review how you spend your auto dealership advertising budget is how much value any channel is delivering to you. Advertising on social media can be quite economical, but the ROI can be quite low if the campaign doesn’t drive the results you want.

A good choice isn’t always the lowest-priced alternative. Social media is the instructive case here. Paid search ads can become expensive, especially compared to the next-to-nothing marketing organic social media can give a business. Paid search, however, often has a much higher ROI than organic social media, which makes it more valuable to your business.

Consider the ROI of any method you utilize in your campaign. If the method isn’t driving results, your dealership advertising budget could likely be used more effectively.

You Have a Strategy

Marketing today has become something of a frenzy. There are many different options, and you may feel compelled to be present on every single social media platform. As much as paid search options are often superior to unpaid advertising efforts, choosing your platforms strategically will ensure you make the most of your dealership’s advertising budget.

Consider the following example. A dealership wishes to target older adults looking for luxury cars. These people are hoping to buy new or gently used. At this point in their lives, they have the budget to afford something a little bit nicer, and they want comfort and style.

If the dealership allocates their budget to Instagram, they’re unlikely to find their audience. The target demographic is much more likely to be on Facebook, which now trends older. Instagram’s audience, by contrast, skews young and female.

Making the most of your dealership budget entails strategizing. What do you want to accomplish with your advertising budget? Make your selections strategically, choosing the right channels and messaging, and you’ll see your budget go further.