Digital marketing is very fast-paced and is continuously changing. However, if there is an industry that has experienced revolutionary advertising changes, it is the automotive industry. Gone are the days of spending the day at the dealership shopping around; most car shopping is almost entirely digital. In fact, a study by Luth Research revealed 900-plus digital interactions a vehicle shopper had before she made the decision to lease a vehicle.
This is just one example of how your online presence as a car dealership is beyond crucial to your success. Here are the top automotive digital marketing trends of 2018 that you should be on the lookout for.
Video and YouTube
One of the top 2017 trends is has continued to rise in popularity. It has officially moved from an up-and-coming trend and is here to stay. Research shows that YouTube is one of the most influential platforms for vehicle shoppers. It is so prominent that 69 percent of people who used YouTube while purchasing a vehicle were influenced – over newspapers and magazines.
According to Rebixit, the top types of videos that car buyers are watching include test drives, specs and features videos, and vehicle interior and exterior walkthroughs. Basically, it goes without saying that video needs to be a part of your marketing mix.
Also, no one is watching on his or her laptops. Expect to see users watching videos on all social media platforms, and make sure your video ads are mobile-friendly.
“Car dealerships near me.”
This is an example of a long-tail keyword phrase that you will want to rank for on a search engine. High ranking on search engines is very powerful for any brick-and-mortar business who obtain a majority of their profit from local customers. 43 percent of all searches from Google come with local intent.
The best part about that? Local searches lead to far more purchase conversions than a non-local query on a search engine. 78 percent of local-mobile searches will lead to an offline purchase, commonly within a few hours.
Just to put those percentages into perspective, there have been over 4 billion searches on Google today. This indicates over 1 billion people have had local intent included in the overall query. Local search is something you definitely must pay attention to in the automotive industry.
Much like Luther study mentioned above reveals, micro-moments before the sale are HUGE, especially for dealerships. Remember that though customers come to the store to buy, they research for dozens of hours online before the purchase. Reaching out to shoppers during their buying journey is critical to success in a sale conversion. If you do this well, your company will be head and shoulders over other dealerships in your area.
Investing in paid search and having an engaging customer-friendly site are two things you can focus on to make sure potential buyers are finding answers to their questions efficiently.
We highly encourage you to design your site to make it as easy as possible for the user, specifically from a mobile perspective. Smartphones haven’t only become a significant component of the buying journey; they are dominating it.
In a detailed study of a customer’s purchasing journey, they found that 71% of the digital interactions occurred on mobile. This includes Google, YouTube, manufacturer websites, and review websites.
However, having only a mobile-friendly website won’t be enough to secure a mobile-first user as a customer. Opportunities presented through video, engaging social media content, local search, and mobile apps will help you to see many more customers coming into your store ready to buy.
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