Dealership Marketing has changed rapidly in the last 10 years. After several decades of using the same media channels dealerships now have endless ways to drive shoppers to their showrooms. The key for dealers is refocusing their efforts on branding the business to appeal to broader audiences and on leveraging different types of innovative marketing tactics. Car shoppers are more interested in social media than ever before and they often times pay just as much attention to dealer social channels as they do to dealership websites. At DOM360 we are leveraging new and innovative tools to drive sales for our dealers.

Here are three approaches that can help your dealership thrive in the age of social media and today’s highly competitive market.

Consistent Branding

To this day most dealerships focus their marketing dollars towards promoting their price and selection. While price will always be an important factor to car shoppers, there is a “sea of sameness” any time you turn on the TV. It’s hard to tell any of the dealerships apart. At DOM360 we are stressing to our dealers the power in branding. Differentiating yourself from your competitors in new ways means that you can stand out from the crowd. You might have superior customer service, a young, modern look or only sell high-line cars. Whatever your edge is, that's what you have to use to brand yourself and give your business a leg up on the competition. The key is to find a brand voice and be consistent using it across all channels – video, social media, website, even your BDC or customer service department. Consistency will pay off as customers get to know you versus hearing the same thing every other dealer is doing.

The Instagram Opportunity

A lot of dealerships have gotten on board with Facebook and other social media channels, but Instagram is one of the most powerful tools you can use today and it’s being totally underutilized by most dealers. Thirty-eight percent of consumers report that they'll consult social media next time they purchase a car, and Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels. It's a perfect resource, because you can post clean, clear images of cars, your lot, employees, etc. in order to draw attention to your business and build your brand. Plus, Instagram is easy to use on mobile devices and easy to re-share posts -- which means you can share your brand's story and start growing your audience. Many Instagram users use hashtags for both posting and searching for content. It's important to develop posting strategies that align with these keywords. Instagram stories are also a great way to share new inventory and film vehicle walk-arounds. Dealers that commit to this channel will reap the benefits.

The Rise of Chatbots

So, what is a chat bot? It is a way to truly connect with your customers on social platforms, particularly Facebook. Using artificial intelligence businesses can utilize these platforms for sharing information as well as starting the conversations that drive customers further down the purchase funnel. Recent usage reports show that consumers are spending more time within messaging platforms than they are actual social media channels. Armed with this knowledge dealerships have a tremendous opportunity to build a customer experience that informs customers of dealership information, specials, and links to other data on the website or landing page. The creative and business opportunity is endless.

Contact DOM360 today to learn more about these tactics and more to help your dealership drive business in 2017!