14 Successful Automotive Marketing Strategies

Christy Walters


March 24, 2022 (Updated: October 19, 2023)

black interior of a mercedes car looking out the windshield at a blue sky to represent automotive marketing strategies

A good marketing campaign helps you connect with your current customers and attract new leads. In this industry, where there’s so much competition, having a solid automotive marketing strategy can help you better connect with that audience and show what’s different about your brand versus your top rivals. In this article, we discuss:

What Is Automotive Marketing?

Automotive marketing is simply marketing for the vehicle industry. It applies to all companies and businesses that deal in the automotive field, such as:

  • Manufacturers
  • Dealerships
  • Resale companies
  • Parts manufacturers
  • Parts retailers
  • Mechanics, inspectors, detailers, and technicians

Using automotive marketing can help customers learn about your business and think of your company when it’s time for them to purchase a product or service.

Why Do I Need a Strategy for Automotive Marketing?

Developing a strategy for your automotive marketing can help you plan for your long-term advertising and engagement efforts. It lets you choose which pieces of content and which messages to display at the right times. Doing so can help you better target your audience to capture their attention when they’re willing and able to make decisions and sales. Planning an automotive marketing strategy can also help you make better use of your budget by learning exactly when and where you’ll get the most notice and engagement with each marketing material.

14 Strategies To Use for Automotive Marketing

Use these strategies within your automotive marketing plan:

1. Use Customer Reviews

From social media to Google, there are plenty of ways for businesses to collect legitimate customer reviews. You can use these in your automotive marketing strategies. According to Semrush90% of people are more likely to trust a brand recommendation from another person rather than advertising from a business. Even if the person recommending it is a stranger.

Because cars and automotive supplies and services are often expensive purchases, people may want more information about a company before they commit to a sale. Seeing trust from other customers can help grow your audience and encourage new leads to give your business a chance. If your new customers have a pleasant experience with your brand, they may be the next to leave a positive review you can use in a marketing campaign.

2. Engage in SEO Best Practices

According to a Search Engine Land study, 90% of people said they were most likely to click on a search engine result from the first page when looking for information online. That means even if your marketing messages are perfect and your visuals are engaging, if your content isn’t on page one, people may never see it. Working on your search engine optimization (SEO) tactics can help your content rank as high as possible in the results.

Related: 5 SEO Tips for Beginners

3. Focus on Local SEO

For dealerships, small business auto parts stores, and mechanics or technicians, focusing on your local online marketing can help make people in your area aware of your business. The top three organic search results on Google Maps, called the three-pack or map pack, work like the first search engine results page (SERP) on regular Google search. People are most likely to take suggestions for businesses in their area from that top collection.

You can optimize your presence with Google to appear there by claiming and filling out your Google My Business profile. It allows you to share your contact information, monitor reviews, and optimize your profile for localized keywords.

Related: Local Online Marketing: What It Is and How To Use It

4. Reach More People with Bing

At CopyPress and other content and search marketing agencies, we often focus a lot on Google search and how to optimize pieces for it. That’s natural because Google is the largest search engine in the world with 92% of the market share. But it’s not the only search engine out there. In fact, if you’re not using Google, there’s a chance you’re using a search engine powered by or partnered with Microsoft’s Bing. This search engine has its own set of business profiles to claim and optimize to provide your most up-to-date information to searchers.

5. Put Money Where It Matters

Organic traffic is great, but if the competition is engaging in paid advertising methods and you’re not, then you’re missing out on a segment of the market. Paid advertising can help boost your content, share your ads to a larger audience, or get your name featured on channels where it doesn’t normally come up. You can engage in paid advertising for search engines, social media, and website banner ads.

Choose the right options for your company based on budget and audience behavior. It’s best to pay for advertising space in locations where you’re sure your target audience will see it. This may require research about their browsing and buying habits before you create a paid advertising campaign.

6. Choose Keywords Wisely

In your content marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, focus heavily on keyword research. Be strategic about the keywords you choose for PPC ads. Consider if bidding on competitor keywords is right for you. You may also manage a negative keyword list, which helps you refine your target search terms and eliminate irrelevant leads.

If you’re looking to choose the best keywords for any kind of marketing strategy, request your free content analysis report from CopyPress. This program scans all your online content and tells you how you stack up against your top three competitors. It also points out gaps in your keyword strategy and suggests new search terms to cover with your content for your best return on investment (ROI). Once you receive your report, schedule a call with CopyPress so we can share how we’re able to save you time in your content production process.

“CopyPress gives us the ability to work with more dealership groups. We are able to provide unique and fresh content for an ever growing customer base. We know that when we need an influx of content to keep our clients ahead of the game in the automotive landscape, CopyPress can handle these requests with ease.”

Kevin Doory

Director of SEO at Auto Revo

7. Adjust Campaigns for Trends

You can scale up your automotive marketing content campaigns for trends in the car-buying industry, advertising, and SEO. Get information and data about all three areas by subscribing to relevant newsletters and blogs or following the right social media accounts or podcasts. For example, a trend in car-buying today is that more people search information online before they ever make a call or visit a dealership. You can capitalize on this kind of trend by putting more time and effort into your content marketing and PPC campaigns to snag leads online during those initial searches.

To get the content help you need, contact CopyPress. Our writing and design teams create everything you need to capture the audience’s attention. Our strategy group works in content promotion to get those pieces in front of the right audience. Call us today to learn more about this partnership opportunity.

8. Know Your Audience

Learning everything you can about your audience can help you create the most targeted marketing campaigns to get better leads and more sales. You can start by learning things about your audience, like their geographic location, age, gender, and other basic factors. It’s also important to know what your audience likes to do in their free time, where they work, and where they spend time online.

For example, if your dealership sells mostly pickup trucks, your target audience may not be working mothers who like to go to the spa on the weekends. And you might not find any leads advertising before YouTube videos for kids’ programming because that audience isn’t even old enough to drive. Doing a thorough analysis of your target audience can help you make sure you’re creating the right materials and putting them in the right places. This can help you use your marketing budget more wisely.

Related: 6 Ways To Analyze Your Audience’s Needs

9. Offer Something Unique

black interior of a mercedes car looking out the windshield at a blue sky to represent automotive marketing strategies

Image via Unsplash by @arteum

To the average customer, all automotive marketing seems the same. And maybe that’s because it is. Most dealerships hold the same kinds of sales for the same holidays. They offer the same perks packages as nearby competitors. If you’re really trying to stand out, think about what you can do that’s unique to your brand. Developing these ideas may come from deep research into your target audience, your geographic location, and your company values. What can you offer people that’s going to get them looking at your company different from the rest?

For example, you may offer some kind of contest or limited-time offer to customers. You may also work in partnerships with other organizations. Look for collaborators within your community, such as partnering with local athletes to hold autograph signing sessions at your dealership to get potential customers through your doors and see your inventory.

10. Don’t Ditch Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing is popular, and it can benefit your business to be online and focus on web and social channels. But that doesn’t mean traditional marketing is dead. Print advertising is still content marketing, even if it’s not digital. Television commercials are still forms of multimedia advertising, whether or not you also put them on YouTube.

In an industry as big as automotive, not all your audience members are online, and not all of them are browsing social media for reviews and advice. That’s okay. It’s why it’s important to learn about your target audience so you can find the right balance of digital and traditional marketing for your business.

11. Get Listed in Directories

Before the internet, if you wanted your service business listed somewhere people could find it, you put it in the Yellow Pages. You can still do that today. The platform has just moved online. Getting listed in online directories can help your SEO. They also provide information about your hours, location, and business offerings. Again, if your competition is here, you should be too. And if they’re not, then that gives you another avenue where you can pull the largest share of the market.

There are many online directories like Yellow PagesYahoo, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It’s important not just to have these listings, but to keep them updated and accurate with the right information. It makes your company look competent, which builds trust with your audience. Depending on the service, there are both free and paid directory listings.

12. Take Advantage of Social Media

We talked about how some of your audience may not be online, but there’s a good chance that many of them are. And if they’re there, you should be too. Create social media profiles for your business on channels that make sense. For example, most automotive companies can benefit from having a Facebook profile. This is because Facebook caters to a wide demographic, has an emphasis on local advertising, and allows you to share both text and multimedia content.

Dealerships may benefit from an Instagram account because they can use the visual platform to share photos of their new inventory. If you have a small marketing team, you don’t have to be on every platform. But you should be where your audience spends time. You should also engage on the platforms where you have a presence. That means posting consistently and interacting with customers and leads on each one.

13. Engage in Email and Text Marketing

Email and text marketing are a great way to keep in touch with previous customers to keep them coming back when they need new vehicles or more parts. These are also helpful tactics for collecting lead contact information and keeping your business top of mind when those people need you. There are plenty of email and text marketing strategies to use for the automotive industry, such as sending a newsletter, updating people about new models or products, or offering sales or discount incentives.

You can collect emails and phone numbers from your current customers at your point of sale by asking them to submit the information as part of checkout. You can also use lead magnets to entice people to share the information with you in exchange for a valuable offer.

14. Use Remarketing

Remarketing or retargeting lets you serve certain web visitors with ads to remind them to take a specific action. This strategy helps you get a second chance of converting your visitors into leads. Remarketing can lower your bounce and abandonment rate and keep your company or brand on shoppers’ minds while they’re working through the upper levels of the marketing and sales funnel.

Google found that 95% of car buyers use digital sources of information before making a purchase. Learning how to get your business noticed online, and combining that with traditional marketing efforts, you can meet people where they’re looking. This can increase brand recognition and trust with your company, making them want to take the next step and become a customer.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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