Some of what you did in 2021 will continue to work well for you in 2022. It’s good to look back at automotive digital marketing.
Not only should you see what worked for your dealership, but for the automotive industry as a whole. Were other dealers employing strategies you wish you could have adopted? Are you looking for the secret sauce to bring your website to the top of search engines? Let’s take a look at some of the best trends in the online space from last year.
Bringing Positive Feedback to the Masses
One of the most important steps that many of us now employ when we want to shop for products, eat at restaurants, or enjoy experiences at different locations around town is to check the reviews. We want to see positive feedback, lots of reviews, and a rating of 4.5 stars or better. Google has made this much easier with Google reviews that can be submitted by your customers. More dealers than ever are asking for this feedback and working with shoppers to bring the best reviews to the search engine results so that new customers will want to visit the dealership website.
Mobile Has Grown; Has Your Dealership?
We were already working on mobile-first marketing and websites in 2020, but the growth of mobile devices has caused this to be a necessary part of automotive digital marketing. In the landscape we enjoy today, it’s more important for the mobile version of your website to be useful than for the one designed for laptop and desktop computers. Think about how you search for products and services, and you’ll understand why your website needs to already use a mobile-first approach.
We Know Where Customers Have Been
It might sound a little creepy or like we’re stalking customers, but that’s not what’s going on. The use of various marketing features allows digital teams to map the journey of a customer from your ad to the website. We now know which pages are the ones that end up being the last ones visited and can adjust the message or usefulness of these pages to aid shoppers in moving forward to create a lead that can be sent to the dealership sales team. Mapping the customer journey allows us to gauge whether or not an advertising campaign is working or not.
Online Car Shopping Became a Reality
At first, this activity became a necessity in 2020 when the pandemic struck, and we were all forced to stay home for several weeks. Dealers and their marketing teams were scrambling to find ways to sell cars without any physical contact with customers. Now, this activity has grown, and many shoppers are able to buy their next ride from the comfort of their homes. Many dealers employed delivery services to bring these cars right to the driveway of customers, making it extremely easy to handle everything online. This is one of the automotive digital marketing trends you can expect to continue for a long time.
Personalization of Advertising on Social Media
Unlike advertising of the past, more dealerships and digital teams are working to create personalized advertising that’s more engaging for the target audience. This could mean using data from your lifestyle profile, preferences, and habits to offer you products and services that make sense for you but might not make sense for your neighbors and friends. This has been done using advanced analytics to ensure you’re presented with offers that should fit right into what you need and will want to take advantage of.
Messaging Apps are On the Rise
Our smartphones are fewer phones and more messaging services today. The IM craze that began with dial-up internet services has exploded to be right in your pocket and give you direct contact to the dealership sales team. Customers want a personal approach, but they might not want to spend time with the phone up to their ear. This has made the use of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat more useful for customers and dealers. These apps are more effective than email, with a higher response rate and the personal touch that shoppers are looking for.
Paid Automotive Advertising Has Grown
We see more PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns being used than ever before. These campaigns allow dealers to control the amount they spend on advertising, get the most benefit from the advertising, and ensure they have paid ads that are working well. With the use of a PPC campaign, dealers can pay for the clicks, and the keywords and the ads will show up with relevant searches or content that is related to the advertising. This means customers interested in what you’re offering through your automotive digital marketing will see your ads, making them more impactful.
Digital Spending is Outpacing Traditional Advertising
Car dealers are now spending more money on digital advertising than they are on traditional methods of marketing. While most of us still enjoy the fun of the Super Bowl commercials, many people are using streaming services that cut out the commercials for their viewing needs. This has led to the shift toward digital marketing, which is much more impactful and direct than traditional marketing efforts. With digital advertising, dealers know who is looking at and clicking on their ads, unlike television commercials that were seen by many but rarely created action.
Voice Search is one the Rise
One of the most important automotive digital marketing trends of 2021 is the increased use of voice search. Today, customers can use voice search with mobile devices, home assistance devices, and with their computers to receive the desired results. For this reason, the Google algorithm has improved, and the use of dynamic content has become more important than ever. Digital teams are focused on creating content that will be easy to search for using voice commands, making it much easier for users to locate the dealership website that will help customers find what they want.
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