Advertising has always been an effective way to inform customers and promote your dealership’s brand. But your customers’ attention span never stays put for too long. You must consistently evolve with new trends and customer preferences to reach your customers.

In recent years, those preferences have moved away from consuming television and radio content toward online content and streaming services. As a dealership, you pay attention to these trends and you know that digital advertising can be impactful, but how can you be sure your digital advertising is actually doing its job?

Luckily, the most successful digital marketing strategies — the ones that drive business to your dealership — tend to have a few things in common. They involve a multichannel approach and experienced marketing partners, and they’re personalized to speak to the right customers at the right time in the buying process.

Go Multichannel

Most customers research a lot of online sources (more than 18, by one dealer’s estimate). This means dealers have to do more than simply record a 60-second television or radio spot and broadcast it to the masses. You have to think about content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, web analytics, paid search, display ads, retargeting, Facebook advertising, video advertising, and the list goes on.

Instead of simply turning on the TV or radio, your customers are watching videos, reading articles, browsing customer reviews, and finding reliability ratings, as they look for the right vehicle to purchase. The good news is these online customers are highly engaged in the subject matter you’re trying to deliver. They want the information your dealership is advertising, and if the same messages keep coming up throughout their research journey, you can drive traffic to your dealership.

According to Cox Automotive data, dealers that implement this kind of multichannel approach to marketing saw 264 percent more site visits, 242 percent more quality visits, 311 percent more VDP views and secured 164 percent more leads than dealers with a more limited digital marketing scope. That’s a significant difference in the amount of traffic, amount of quality traffic, and number of leads, just by broadening the scope of digital marketing strategy.

Get Personal

Given the vastness of the internet (and with so many digital marketing channels to consider) how can you possibly get your customers’ attention? At first glance, it might seem that digital marketing adds even more noise to an already loud customer shopping experience, but digital marketing allows your dealership to personalize messaging easily and much more effectively than mass marketing.

With digital marketing, you’re not just shouting your dealership’s name for everyone to hear (and hopefully remember). You’re not just telling everyone why you’re the best and how you’re different than your competition. You are communicating with each individual consumer, showing them exactly how they can benefit from your dealership in their own unique way.

By leveraging customer data, based on previous shopping behaviors, digital marketing lets you deliver one-to-one inventory and fixed ops content to your customers — information you already know will pique their interests. In fact, website visits where shoppers were exposed to personalized content show a 216 percent increase on form submission rate and a 175 percent increase in VDP views, and were 4 times more likely to pencil a deal.

Go with the Pros

As you might have guessed, experience matters when it comes to digital marketing. You have to know what you’re doing and how to deliver the right messages at the right time to your customers. That’s where the experts can help. By teaming up with an experienced digital marketing partner, your dealership can leave the technical know-how of digital marketing to the pros and start focusing on the customers that visit your dealership’s website.

A digital marketing partner can work with you to create a digital marketing strategy that performs. Ideally, your partner will have a wealth of industry knowledge and industry data to help you personalize campaigns and recognize winning strategies. Your partner can help you measure the effectiveness of your current strategy, including, providing and analyzing metrics to identify opportunities and make recommendations that take your strategy to another level.

Get the Timing Right

You can deliver all the right information to all the right customers, but if you don’t do it at a time when they’re serious about buying, it all might be for naught. The point is, the best digital marketing strategies take timing into account. By incorporating technology and data that analyzes customers’ buying signals, you can get accurate insight into your customers’ intent. When you know when your customers are getting serious about buying, you can prioritize the leads most likely to result in actual sales.

These three key aspects of smart digital marketing strategy (right message, right customer, right time) can help you hone your marketing efforts and maximize your advertising spend. Together, they can deliver higher performing digital advertising that results in profits for your dealership. On top of that, it allows you to give your customers the kind of shopping and buying experience they expect, leading to increased customer loyalty and goodwill for your dealership.

Get Going on the Right Digital Marketing Strategy

Advertising has changed, but it’s arguably better than ever before—for both you and your customers. Digital advertising gives your customers a personalized, one-to-one shopping experience that’s uniquely tailored to their individual interests, without all the extra noise that just gets ignored. And, with the right data, the right partner, and the right strategy, digital advertising can drive more traffic to your dealership, so you can reap the rewards of a successful strategy.

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