Times have changed. Outbound marketing tactics are no longer the most effective way for automotive businesses to connect with their audience. In the past, it was all about huge billboards, print ads, and commercials on TV. Although these still play a vital role in promoting automotive businesses, there’s a new methodology on the scene: inbound marketing.
In today’s digital world, consumers are more empowered than ever before to choose the brands they interact with and purchase from. For this reason, it’s essential for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies to align with shifts in consumer demands and behaviors. Instead of pushing a message out to consumers, inbound is about drawing them in and empowering buyers to make their own decisions.
So inbound marketing is assisting in the boom of the automotive industry all over the world. Find out why inbound is critical to running a successful dealership and how to get started.
Why is inbound marketing important for the automotive industry?
Customers don’t shop like they used to. Today, the majority of consumers head online to research and find products or services that interest them. Consumers are independent, trusting their judgment and turning to online recommendations to sort the good from the bad.
According to Hubspot, inbound marketing is “a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.” It’s about attracting buyers to your website with organic traffic and building lasting relationships with people not just customers.
Visibility is a challenge in today’s digital world. In a competitive automotive industry, it’s no longer sufficient to just put yourself in front of your audience and hope they choose you. You need to stand out from the crowd. That’s where inbound marketing makes all the difference.
To help you stand out, inbound marketing uses a number of tactics to attract, engage, and convert leads. These tactics include content marketing, SEO, social media, email marketing, pay-per-click marketing, and more. By sharing the right information at the right time, businesses in the automotive industry can help potential leads find solutions for their needs or answers to their problems.
So what are the main benefits of inbound marketing for an automotive business (or any business for that matter)?
1. It’s cheaper
Mass marketing techniques are costly and ineffective in today’s climate. Inbound marketing costs, on average, 61% less than outbound leads. Many inbound tactics (social media, content, email) require little to no upfront costs and yield higher ROI!
2. Improved trust and credibility
A whopping 85% of consumers conduct research online before deciding to invest in a product or service. Inbound is about building enough trust and credibility to ensure they choose you. By allowing customers to find you organically, you appear much more trustworthy than when you push messages that don’t give them the chance to choose whether or not to see them.
3. Attract quality traffic
With inbound, it’s all about knowing who your audience is. You must understand what they need and how your business can satisfy them as customers. The messages of your inbound campaigns should appeal directly to your audience, ensuring you attract only quality traffic rather than a mass audience who aren’t necessarily looking for what you’re offering.
4. It’s sustainable
Inbound campaigns don’t expire. Unlike outbound marketing campaigns, which have an expiry date, inbound is about building trust over time. Content, SEO, social media, and email marketing campaigns are all about creating lasting value to attract and nurture your brand and customers over time.
There are plenty more reasons why inbound is essential for the automotive industry, but unfortunately, we don’t have all day! So, now it’s time to examine some inbound marketing strategies and recommendations from the team here at YourTarget. Ready?
Inbound Marketing Strategies and Recommendations from YourTarget
1. Define and segment your audience
One of the first things you should do is define your audience. Think about who they are, what they’re looking for, and how you can best satisfy their needs.
To do this you should create buyer personas that answer specific questions about your customers’ needs. This includes their demographics, financial status, online behaviors, and more.
Tip: Use our buyer persona template to get started!
2. Draw customers in with content marketing and email campaigns
Instead of pushing messages out towards customers, automotive dealers across the world are drawing leads in with valuable, free content and nurturing email campaigns. Moreover, providing customers with free content is a great way to save on your marketing budget so you don’t overspend on large mass marketing campaigns.
We recommend building a content marketing strategy that focuses on providing customers with answers to their questions with your expertise and insight. Here are some tips for creating a content strategy that has your audience glued to their screens.
- Fill an editorial calendar with different types of educational or informative content including blog posts, white papers, webinars, podcasts, infographics, etc.
- Ensure your content is SEO optimized, including relevant keywords to boost search engine results visibility.
- Cover topics relevant to your industry and niche. For instance, you might talk about trends in the automotive industry, specific models and brands, or the environmental impacts of automobiles. The possibilities are endless!
- Send regular emails to customers. Think newsletters, new model updates, or any special offers.
3. Optimize your website
Having a website is critical for running a successful automotive business in the modern world. Moreover, most people don’t have time to spend trying to navigate websites that are slow and offer a terrible user experience.
An excellent website should be fully optimized with fast load times, SEO keywords, effective landing pages and CTAs, plenty of imagery, and easy usability. It should also offer a great mobile experience to ensure mobile customers aren’t dropping off due to poor design.
4. Build a social media presence to interact with your audience
Social media plays a vital role in connecting with your audience today. Most people around the world are active social media users. They use it to connect with friends, share photos, and even discover information about brands.
You’ll want to create profiles on most major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and YouTube. Use your socials to share content that you’ve created, promote new products or services, and engage with your audience.
Social media can even be a way to engage with your audience directly through messages or posts. The more responsive you are, the better reputation you’ll get!
5. Embrace the potential of video marketing
Video is one of the most important marketing tools today. Humans are visual beings, which is why video-based social media channels like TikTok and Instagram are becoming more popular. Video marketing works extremely well for automotive businesses.
Share videos on your website and social media channels. Create engaging videos that focus on specific models, share Q&A sessions with industry experts, or create how-to video guides that explain specific automotive concepts. Video allows your viewers to experience a car as they would in a store.
6. Ensure your inbound strategy reflects the values of your brand
Your inbound marketing strategy should always reflect the values of your automotive business. Consider what sets your automotive dealership apart from the rest, your core values, and what is going to convince your audience to choose you over someone else.
For instance, if you concern yourself about the environmental impact of automobiles, seek to educate your audience on how their choice will affect the environment. Whatever your core values, incorporating these into your inbound strategy will help you build authenticity, reliability, and trust with your audience.
7. Track and analyze your KPIs
Inbound marketing efforts are much easier to track than outbound strategies. It’s not so easy to understand exactly how a mass audience is interacting with a billboard or a print advertisement.
Instead, there are plenty of inbound marketing platforms (like Hubspot) that allow you to track important KPIs to analyze your online performance and how your audience interacts with your website. This way, you can find out which strategies are working and where there’s room for improvement, allowing you to better serve the needs of your customers.
Jump into inbound marketing for your automotive business with YourTarget
If you want to stand out from the crowd, inbound marketing for the automotive industry is essential. Incorporating these simple inbound techniques into your digital marketing strategy will help you to reach the right audience at the right time, drawing them to your business organically. Once you’ve drawn them in, it’s all about nurturing them with great content to encourage conversion.
Not sure where to start? If you’ve recently started an automotive dealership or you want to refresh your marketing strategies, following these simple steps is a great place to start. You’ll soon find your visibility improving, customer engagement increasing, and your automotive business succeeding.
Get in touch and book a free consultation today.