For years, YouTube, TikTok, and online social media in general have educated consumers on how to spot good marketing. But unfortunately, it has also made customers jaded, picky, hesitant and elusive. It doesn’t matter if you sell Fiats or Ferraris; well-researched marketing is essential to the success of your dealership. This is especially true in our low inventory environment, where dealers are constantly competing for customers.
Creating a successful marketing campaign can be difficult, but some proven strategies can help. Here are five steps to creating successful marketing campaigns for car dealerships.
1. Know your audience
The first step to creating a successful marketing campaign is understanding who your target audience is. Unfortunately, companies misunderstood this for years. Remember the Honda Element that was supposed to target younger buyers but sold to baby boomers? Or the Scion brand?
What are your buyer’s needs and wants? What makes them react? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you create posts and content that matches them. So start by creating a profile of your client with information such as:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- How big is their family?
- What are their needs ?
- What is the problem they need to solve?
- Why would they buy from you?
As the owner, you don’t need to like the campaign for it to be effective. You should only care if it works.
2. Set clear goals
Before you even start thinking about your marketing campaign, you need to know what you want to do with it. For example, would you like to:
- Drive more traffic to your site?
- Generate more leads?
- Increase service traffic?
- Increase engagement on social media?
Once you have set clear goals, you can develop a strategy to achieve them. It cannot be “increasing brand awareness” or similar hard-to-measure goals.
3. Create strong stories and visuals
Your marketing campaigns should include strong visuals that effectively capture attention and communicate your message. A strong visual can be anything from a catchy slogan to an eye-catching image or a short emotional video.
The marketing campaign should not be about you, your sales or your size; it’s about the customer and how they feel after buying from you. So, let’s repeat this: it’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for your target.
4. Use the right channels
Not all marketing channels are created equal. If you’re running all of your campaigns on local TV, you’re probably missing your target.
Instead, based on your data, you should choose the channels that reach your target audience and help you achieve your goals. This can include paid advertising, social media, SEO, blogging, email marketing, or even sponsorship of local events.
Each channel needs its own message and creativity. If you have the budget, use it to deliver the right message for the right channel. Unfortunately, TV ads don’t work on Instagram or TikTok. Likewise, print ads will not work on YouTube.
5. Measure and adjust
Once your marketing campaign is launched, it is crucial to measure its performance and adjust your message. This will help you refine your strategy and maximize your results. These three words will make you better: Measure, Refine, Repeat.
You can create marketing campaigns and success stories to help your target market get what they want. Telling your story in a unique way that meets the target audience’s needs and giving them a plan on how to meet that need will ultimately get you the sales and loyalty you want.
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