Digital Marketing For Auto Dealers: The Ins-and-Outs of Working With An Agency

Updated: May 01, 2023 | Nick Ainge Roy | 3 mins. read

Digital marketing is no longer just ‘nice to have’; it’s essential for modern business. While there is still room for traditional media, such as print, radio and billboard ads, the best ROI occurs online, and intelligent and effective digital marketing is often what separates successful businesses from those that are just limping along.

Working with an agency is one of the best ways to maximise your digital marketing efforts and get the results you need to take your business to the next level. But not all agencies are created equal, and many don’t understand the unique challenges of the automotive industry.

In this article, we’ll explore why auto dealers need to invest in their digital marketing and why you should consider working with an auto industry specialist when it comes time to choose an agency.

Why Dealers Need Digital Marketing

We’ve said time and again in our other articles that everyone needs digital marketing but auto dealers more so than most. According to research from LSA, 78% of automotive buyers use a search engine to research a potential purchase. Additional insights from Google show that 95% of vehicle buyers in a 2017 survey use the Internet as a source of information, with twice as many buyers starting their research online instead of at a dealer.

As younger, more digitally-savvy consumers age into your target market, it’s your job as a dealer to intercept them when they start their research – and that means getting online.

What Does Digital Marketing Involve?

Digital marketing is a broad term for several different marketing strategies that encompass pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, and search engine optimisation (SEO). An effective digital marketing campaign harmonises these three approaches to create brand awareness and generate leads across multiple channels, such as Facebook, Google, Instagram and more.

What Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising?

We’ve discussed PPC in greater detail in our other articles, but it is just another form of paid media, like radio or television ads. The crucial difference with PPC advertising, like Google or Facebook ads, is that you pay each time a user clicks on your ad instead of buying a block of airtime as you would with traditional paid media.

Not only is PPC advertising far more cost-effective than traditional paid media, but it also allows a far greater level of control over your target audience and an incredible amount of insight into how users engage with your ads.

For example, you’re a car dealer in Western Sydney who knows that the most likely buyers of your utes are local, single men between the ages of 25 and 45. Using this knowledge, you set up a Facebook ad campaign specifically targeting this demographic with ads promoting your stock of new and used utes.

When your campaign is running, you’re being fed data about who is being shown your ads, how they’re interacting with them (are they scrolling past or pausing on the ad), and what proportion of the audience is clicking through to your website. With this data, you can refine your strategy, assets and ad copy to deliver a greater ROI and more qualified leads to your dealership.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and refers to strategies to rank a website highly on search engines like Google. We often say that PPC advertising, such as Google Ads, is like renting the top spot on a search engine, whereas SEO lets you own it.

A few years ago, search engine ranking was heavily determined by keywords, allowing businesses to game the algorithm and claim the top position by keyword stuffing. But advancements in Google’s algorithm mean that search position is now determined by a website’s authority and relevance to the end user, with greater emphasis placed on site structure and content quality.

SEO is a more long-term investment than PPC that involves building your site’s authority and ranking position over time with a combination of on-page and off-page approaches, including publishing content, developing backlinks and optimising your site for end users.

Although it takes time to secure your ranking through SEO, the investment will quickly pay off: when potential buyers search for ‘Ford dealer near me’, it will be your name that appears at the top of Google.

The Role of Social Media

Social media marketing is the third element of digital marketing and the one that most businesses focus their efforts on. When people mention social media marketing, they think exclusively of Instagram and Facebook.

While these are the two most prominent social media platforms, social media marketing can incorporate many others, including YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok and more. The role social media plays in your digital marketing will depend heavily on the goals of your dealership.

For many dealers, social media is an additional form of advertising and lead generation that allows them to connect and engage directly with their audience to drive sales.

Why Should You Work With A Digital Agency?

Unless you’re a large business with extensive resources, the best way to get results from your marketing efforts is to partner with a digital agency. By partnering with an agency, you receive access to a team of dedicated experts, including ad managers, SEO managers, copywriters and more.

Additionally, agencies stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in digital marketing, ensuring that their efforts are current and capable of delivering the best results. This combination of knowledge and experience saves you both time and money that you can use to focus on growing your business.

Specialists vs. Generalists:
Why You Should Work With An Automotive Industry Specialist

Although there is no shortage of digital agencies, you will find that an overwhelming amount of them are ‘generalists’ who work with businesses across a wide range of industries. As a result, they will take a broad strokes approach that doesn’t reflect the unique challenges of the automotive industry and your unique needs as an auto dealer.

By partnering with an auto industry specialist, you not only gain access to the skills and knowledge of an agency but the experience of one that has delivered results for dozens of dealers just like you.

Auto specialists will have an innate understanding of the wider industry and your dealership and can adjust their digital marketing strategies to deliver the results that will make a difference to your bottom line.

If Your Digital Marketing Is Lacking, We Can Help

At Retain Media, we prefer to stick to what we know, and that’s the automotive market. As automotive specialists, we work with brands and businesses at every level of the industry and know how to deliver results for dealers, no matter what you sell or where you’re located.

With an experienced team offering everything from Google and Facebook ads to SEO and social media, our comprehensive, customised service connects your dealership with better, more qualified leads that will boost your bottom line. Don’t waste time and money paying an agency to learn your business: as auto industry specialists, we hit the ground running and deliver results from day one.

If you’re struggling to connect with leads online, get in touch with one of our team today to learn more about what we can do for your dealership.

You are in good company. We have helped industry leaders including:

& generate thousands of qualified leads every month for our clients.

    Send an enquiry

    Tired of working with generalist agencies who have experience in '345 niches'? We have a narrow focus - Digital media for vehicle and related industries. Talk to us today to discover how we can help your business. Call us on 1300 451 401

    *Required fields

    Read More