Did you know that 95% of car sales today are made at the dealership, but the search is the first place people go to begin their buyer’s journey? At least this is how it goes here in Bangladesh.
It is clear to most automotive marketers that online advertising is key to bring new leads into the dealership. Yet, this automotive marketing strategy comes with many challenges (and costs).
One of the biggest challenges automotive marketers face is gaining the trust of their leads. After all, the job of a marketer is to help bring leads in the door so the sales team has people to sell to. But in such a competitive industry—one where the consumer is making a rather large financial decision that will affect their everyday life—automotive marketers do not have it made in the shade.
So how can automotive marketers deal with these challenges? By being smarter about their online advertising. 97% of people looking to purchase, repair, or customize a car start their journey online.
5 automotive marketing strategies that you can’t miss
As daunting as it is to advertise in the auto industry, there are some tried-and-true ways to achieve sustained success. Here are five automotive marketing strategies that you can use to drive more sales this year for your business in Bangladesh.
1. Build trust with customer reviews and authentic consultation
I will never forget leasing my first car. I went for the reliable, affordable, and decent-looking (in my opinion) Honda Accord, but I was terrified at making this decision. I spent months doing research, calling local dealerships, considering whether leasing or buying a used car was the better route to go. At the end of the day, I decided where to look in person by reading customer reviews on Yelp and Google.
The point of this anecdote is this: Reviews are probably the most effective automotive marketing strategy there is. As an automotive marketer, you need to not only ensure you have GOOD reviews, but you need to go above and beyond to ensure these glowing reviews are everywhere they can possibly be. Yelp, Google, social networks, your own website—ensure you are covering all your bases! You can also take things a step further by creating customer success stories and videos with your most valued customers, and use these in various places, like paid social ads, your website, or your newsletter.
When it comes to automotive marketing, there is no better way to instill trust than to let your customers speak for you!
Authentic consultation is what automotive and car buying customers look for in Bangladesh. While there’s no abundance of unethical car dealers and showrooms. Customers will also look upon dealers or car sellers who can consult customers based on their need for the car. They need to be transparent and knowledgeable about their opinions of cars and the process of purchase.
Be it an imported reconditioned one or a brand new one. Post-purchase customer service is where they can excel. It helps dealers to get an upsell from the existing customers, helps retain the relationship, and gets customer referral easily.]
As a car dealer if you do these 3 things right, you may not need the rest of the 4 points, which are online growth techniques to drive your car sell. You can always use them to take your car sales to a next level in Bangladesh. But, keep these 3 aforementioned points right: Do authentic pre-purchase consultation, provide excellent customer service after post-purchase, make sure to get customer reviews.
2. Be at the top of the Google SERP
As mentioned above, when I first started searching for my new car where did I turn to? Google, of course! I am not alone in this. According to a study from Kenshoo, 70% of consumers researching cars turn to search engines first.
Since Google is the first line of defense you need to be at the very top! Especially considering how often people scroll to the bottom of the SERP (HINT: it is not often). The first few listings always get the most clicks, so ensuring you’re in the top positions is critical to your automotive marketing success. To do this your Google Ads strategy needs to be extremely effective. So how can you get to the top of the page without completely breaking the bank? There are certain strategies that Google tends to favor and will help you get in higher positions without spending more. Follow these tips to get started:
- Ensure your Google Ads account is structured properly with tight-knit ad groups (aim to have 15-20 keywords per ad group).
- Keep keywords tightly related to your ad text, and include 2-3 ads per ad group/keyword list.
- Use ad extensions! Google loves them, and they will help you get more ad real estate and chances of lead interaction.
- Add negative keywords to block out irrelevant searches (and keep a close eye on your search query report).
- Allocate your budget properly between campaigns. What are your highest sellers? What is your target audience most likely to search for? Bid higher on these items to capitalize on what is popular among your audience
3. Bid on competitor keywords
While we’re talking about search engine marketing, it’s important to not only be bidding on the obvious keywords like “new Honda Accord.” You should also set up an automotive marketing campaign to tackle your competition.
It is a fierce and competitive world in automotive marketing, so being able to show up every time your competition does with compelling ad copy is key. While I would not recommend saying anything negative or using your competitor’s name in your ad copy (which Google could put you in time out for), you should bid on your top competitors’ brand names and create highly persuasive ads to get leads to visit your website over your competition.
I love this ad from Toyota for instance:
While I can’t see if they’re bidding on competitor keywords or not, I love how they are appealing directly to a specific demographic, and adding value for that individual right in the headline of their ad.
4. Actively manage your negative keyword list
Did you know that your ads can show up for searches that are not relevant to your business? And if anyone clicks on them, do you still have to pay? Whenever you are bidding on broad or phrase match keywords the potential to show up for irrelevant searches is present.
While just bidding on an exact match might seem like a nice solution, this will greatly limit your reach potential, which makes the process of identifying negative keywords critical to your automotive marketing strategy. While searching your search query report might feel like a time-consuming task it is an absolute necessity, especially in the automotive industry. If your ads are appearing for irrelevant search terms your business instantly loses credibility. This is why being cognizant about setting up negatives to avoid irrelevant search queries is not only going to save your face but also going to save you money.
For instance, imagine if you’re bidding on the keyword “affordable cars” and your ad appears for the search “toy cars,” and then a busy parent accidentally clicks. This is not only a waste of time for the parent, but it’s a waste of money for you!
WordStream Advisor makes it quite easy for you to manage your negative keyword list through tools like the 20-Minute Work Week, which helps weed out irrelevant searches, and our search query report to find and configure your negative keyword lists.
5. Compel shoppers to come into your store with unique offers
Why should I buy a car with you versus the automotive dealership down the street—or one that’s more conveniently located or better priced? A crucial part of your automotive marketing strategy is convincing your prospects to choose you over your competition.
If there are not any obvious reasons, like having the lowest prices or the best reviews, brainstorm some unique incentives and offers you can provide to prospects. For example, you could offer all new car buyers a 5% discount or perhaps free oil changes for the first two years. Incentives are also great for creating a sense of urgency to spur people to buy with you before they miss out on a special limited-time offer.
Check out the deal below for $1,000 for college graduates. What a great incentive to bring new car buyers in at a time when they are likely searching for their post-college vehicle.
With the help of these automotive marketing strategies, your campaigns should take off at a lightning pace. You’ll be delivering new leads to your sales team in no time!
3 Most Effective Car Advertising Campaigns Of All Time
Let’s take a look at some of the best and most effective car advertising campaigns of all time to see what we can learn from them:
1. Volvo Trucks
You can picture the scene now when this ad was first pitched…
“Here’s an idea,” says the ad exec. “Let’s get Jean Claude van Damme to star in our ad. Then let’s get him to do his famous splits.”
“Yes,” comes the reply. “And let’s get him to do the splits between two trucks. While they are reversing.”
It’s an ad as completely bonkers as it sounds and a stunt that really happened. But it worked. Not only did the ad itself win multiple awards it was viewed by 40 million people in just 9 days after it launched and generated $170 million in revenue globally for Volvo. With the cost estimated at $4 million to produce, the ROI from this was huge.
While not everyone can roll out JCVD, it’s a perfect demonstration of what can be achieved through creativity and thinking outside of the box.
In 2021, Volvo still has its fingers on the pulse. Volvo knows its customers have grown accustomed to doing much more through their smartphones since the pandemic hit and their latest banner ads – encouraging people to book a service directly through their phone – is perfectly in tune with this.
2. The Ford Mustang Mach-E
Norwegian publisher, Amedia Kreativ, took interactive display advertising to the next level with its inventive and localised campaign for its customer Solberg Bil. Promoting the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford’s flagship electric vehicle, the ads allow the viewer to personalise their new car for themselves.
As Technical Manager at Amedia Kreativ, Hanne-Mari Rustad Odden, says: “It’s fun to daydream and personalize a new car for yourself. That was the idea with the campaign. For Solberg Bil, it was important to be visible, to be local, and to display its local identity, that’s why I made different versions – each with a local dealership featured in the background of the ad.
“What’s more because you don’t buy a car every day, and it’s a long buying process; you have to work harder in the long run, meaning the attention part of the campaign is very important. You need to make sure people remember both the car and the car dealer.”
3. #BestDayEver by Chevrolet
In a bid to shake up their image and appeal to a younger demographic, Chevrolet launched their #BestDayEver campaign in 2015. Not only did they engage a host of celebrities and influencers to promote the campaign, but they also hosted an 8-hour live stream of the day on YouTube where they gave out surprises to more than 12,000 random people across the US.
The campaign saw more than 3 million people tune into the live stream and the hashtag got more than 1.5 billion impressions on social media with 75% of the engagement coming from under 35s.
In a single day, that truly was the #BestDayEver, Chevrolet saw preconceived notions broken, resetting how millennial consumers view the brand:
- With 98 percent positive sentiment
- 75% of the engagement with the campaign came from people younger than 35
- 80% of campaign activity was on mobile devices
- #BestDayEver generated 1.5 billion social media impressions
- 3 million people viewed the live stream content
- At peak times, the live stream broadcast received 600 comments per minute
- 43% of #bestdayever engagements were branded @Chevy – highest engagement of any US auto in history
- 9.7MM views of Chevy content across channels in one day
In April, Chevrolet saw a massive increase in net momentum from 17 (March) to 23(April) (up 35% increase in brand opinion and consideration). The measure is a reflection of consumer sentiment and the direction they feel the brand is going.
This multi-channel campaign had a very specific purpose of doing something different to the status quo. By delivering the unexpected to the audience, Chevrolet made sure they had a lasting impact and stayed long in the memory.
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