Throughout the decades, there have been industries that have stood the test of time despite the changing in technology that has closed many businesses over the years. One essential business sector, the automotive industry, shows absolutely no signs of going extinct as transportation is a major part of our lives in the 21st century. With that being well known, what isn’t so obvious is how marketing on the local level for cars hasn’t changed in decades. While websites like eBay Motors and CarFax have added a new dimension to sales, car dealerships are still operating as if it were the 1990’s.
We could sit here and speculate as to why the industry hasn’t changed over the years, but the lack of qualified millennials in key positions is a possible variable that shouldn’t be ignored. Yes, car salesman are beginning to get younger and car dealerships have made great strides in hiring experts on the brand of vehicles they sell. However, that’s still not enough to revolutionize the marketing behind car sales. Brand experts don’t market, in fact dealerships are using such a term because “car salesman” creates a bad perception that reflects poorly on dealerships that want to be friendlier with customers and not push a quick sale.
A revamped marketing strategy that hires committed employees or freelancers, depending on the size of the dealership’s franchise, is a must in the 21st century. It’s not enough to add someone who is familiar with marketing; you need enthusiasts who are passionate about vehicles, no matter what brand you sell. These enthusiasts will be your best marketers, and well worth the investment of time and money as their vision for content curation, along with their social media savviness will outperform the most experienced person on your staff.
You’re probably asking why should we hire car enthusiasts, and how will our marketing change in the hands of a millennial? To start, car enthusiasts who are also marketers know exactly what turns a potential buyer on. Digital media, through the forms of video and pictures is the future to car buying as YouTube has completely changed the game in terms of introducing vehicles and brands to customers of all demographics. Car and Driver magazines used to be relevant, but today, customers in the market for a new car, go straight to YouTube for reviews on the models they’re looking for. Why not get in on the action and create the content yourselves? That’s where the car enthusiast/marketer comes into play.
Millennials are well aware that social media is a powerful tool in generating interest, and enticing potential customers to walk through the door. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are the three major weapons that should be in car dealerships’ arsenals. Facebook provides a blog-like structure where updates in text or digital media form can be created. Instagram is where high quality pictures draws the interest of the viewer to follow your account and check out your website. YouTube is the flagship where your best content is created. Here car reviews, walk arounds, previews, and unveilings are all posted, and by tying the video producing platform with other social media channels, your marketing efforts have been fully upgraded where anyone, even those who reside in other states, are being reached by your content.
Most importantly you must stay consistent with posting, which is why hiring an enthusiast/marketer is the key to having a successful marketing strategy. Far too many dealerships post sporadically, while others who stay active see the most ROI and engagement.
In 2017, make sure your dealership(s) joins the 21st century and starts marketing in the year that we live in. Car sales happen every day due to the necessity that vehicles bring, but wouldn’t you like to increase those sales figures in the 1st quarter of the new year? Now is the time to take advantage of what millennials have to offer, especially those who are knowledgable in the business sector your dealership is in. Social media offers great opportunities to grow your franchise’s brand, and it would be foolish not to implement it into your marketing strategy.