Automotive marketing services are in high demand. That’s because the future looks phenomenally bright for the automotive industry. With global automotive sales exceeding 72 million automobiles and growing, the market is exceeding its own expectations. According to Marketline, the industry enjoys a global growth of 5.5%. The same research also indicated the industry will have a 2015 global valuation of US$5.1 trillion.
With such impressive growth, it’s evident everyone wants a slice of the industry. However, if your automotive online marketing campaign is ineffective, then you won’t get the visibility needed to stand out from your competitors on the internet. Auto marketing is all about standing out and getting noticed. The tips below, provided by professionals experienced in providing automotive marketing services, should help you grow your presence, traffic and sales online.
Implement Rich Snippets
Where do you begin with automotive internet marketing? If you’re a car manufacturer, dealer or reseller, then your website is likely filled with an enormous amount of vehicle listings. We’ve seen websites with tens of thousands of vehicle listings, and the prospect of marketing each and every one of these can be very daunting. Still, Google certainly isn’t shy about crawling all of these pages and indexing them, which can bring in organic search engine traffic. However, while one might think this could translate to a torrent of traffic as more and more pages are indexed, these listings often contain cookie-cutter syndicated content and lack the sort of details and calls to action that entice search engine users to want to click through.
The remedy is — and please forgive us for this reference — to pimp your search engine results by implementing rich snippets. This is a markup language that is used to label various elements on a web page. They help search engines better identify the content they are crawling, and once clearly labeled, Google may or may not choose to enhance your search results with added features.
For example, let’s say your listings have customer reviews. These can be marked up in such a way that they show up in search results and will help make your search result stand out from all of your competitors who aren’t using rich snippets. Photos, pricing, and virtually anything that may be vital information to consumers can be marked up and incorporated into your search result. The good news about rich snippets is that while it is a very popular concept in automotive internet marketing, it is also a bit difficult to implement, which means few of your actual competitors will utilize it.
Learn more about rich snippets from Google. If you don’t have a coding background, be sure to get your web developer to help you implement rich snippets. Once finished, you can use the following testing tool to determine if it’s implement properly.
Quick Tip: We also recommend optimizing these listings for relevant keywords using proper SEO techniques that can help them appear much higher in Google rankings. Learn more about that here.
Share Interesting Content on Social Media
There’s a tendency for novices in social media and auto marketing to just talk about themselves. Telling the world how great you are twice a day for five days a week on Facebook is not an effective strategy. You’re just making noise that no one really cares to hear.
You’re a real person, right? That means you probably use some form of social media yourself. Think about what it is that YOU do when you’re on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Do you spend your days liking posts from companies patting themselves on the back with boilerplate slogans and sales pitches? You most definitely do not. So, let’s be real here, you like and share funny articles, weird videos and cool graphics. Your automotive online marketing strategy should reflect this.
Now, being in the automotive industry, you don’t necessarily want to post content that is too off the rails and ultimately counter-intuitive to your goals either. So there are two ways to go about this:
1) You invest a lot of time and money into creating your own AMAZING viral-worthy and industry-relevant content that others will want to like and share (which is probably not feasible for small or even medium-sized businesses)
2) Or you can share content of that kind of quality from others. Look up a leading auto magazine or manufacturers’ social media pages and SHARE it on your own pages.
Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with this, and shares are actually appreciated in the world of social media. Now, you suddenly have great content on your page, and all it took was five minutes of research and the click of a share button.
Quick Tip: Plunder the best content you can find from industry leaders as often as you can, and you will build a following. Try to keep posts visual (even articles should come with a nifty graphic to hook people). We also recommend tagging the content’s source in your shares, because you never know, you just may get a nod back from a big name in your industry, which will exponentially grow your social media following.
Cross-Promote on Social Media
Auto marketing isn’t easy to begin with, and it’s especially hard for small businesses to compete with big name brands. Large corporations have enormous marketing machines that allow them to build massive, loyal followings. Now, if you could somehow get big brands mention you to their audience, or even gently nudge them to check out your page, you would probably gain a lot of new visitors and potential customers. It would be a dream come true in automotive internet marketing, but how can we actually make that happen?
In addition to the sort of sharing activities described above, you should try and reach out to a big entity that you do business with in your industry and pitch a cross promotion. Perhaps you have a website that re-lists auctions from a big name in the salvage industry, or you sell a particular make car or specialized part from a prominent manufacturer — you can always send their marketing department an email asking if they would be willing to co-promote.
Of course, you need to offer something good in return. Perhaps you can run a contest in their name, make them your vendor of the month, or sponsor/coordinate a local event in their name. Anything you can come up with that would be of interest to them. Think long and hard about what you could offer to your prospective cross-promotional partner (or their audience) before you actually reach out. Should they reply favorably, then be sure to coordinate closely with their marketing department to make sure you don’t pitch something that doesn’t reflect their brand.
Quick Tip 1: You can also use Followerwonk to find the top Twitter influencers within your industry. This can help you decide who is truly worth reaching out to in your auto marketing efforts.
Quick Tip 2: Should you decide to run a cross-promotional contest, try Rafflecopter, a Facebook contest app. Even the free version gives a wide variety of options that allows you to create professional-looking social media contests at no cost.
Quick Tip 3: Whatever you do, don’t spam the Facebook page of a major company without their consent to advertise yourself. This is not an effective technique in automotive online marketing, because it is very easy for administrators to not only delete your post but also to ban you from the page, ruining any chances of future cross-promotion. Plus, you look desperate to the people who do see your post.
If you’d like to know more about our automotive marketing services, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.