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Drive Success: 5 Proven Strategies for Auto Dealer Marketing

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auto dealer marketing

Drive Success: 5 Proven Strategies for Auto Dealer Marketing

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by edward jsmm

Imagine a social media auto dealer marketing campaign in which your dealership’s presence grows by more than 41,000% in impressions, spikes by 2,111% in engagement and sees a 363% increase in followers — that’s the level of success we’ve achieved.


The Jennings Social Media & MarTech (JSMM) team enhances digital presence and sets the gold standard for auto dealer marketing. Our team has crafted game-changing campaigns for automotive dealers that skyrocketed their interactions with high-end brands. Our strategies don’t just work; they exceed industry benchmarks.


We’ve used our powerhouse tactics in the automotive industry for more than two decades, working with dealerships and Tier 2 groups nationwide, including Ford, Honda, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche, Land Rover and more. Our long-standing partnerships and consistent success are a testament to the enduring effectiveness of our strategies. 


Strategy 1: Consider Auto Dealer Marketing Trends 

As the Digital Marketing Institute explains, “One thing you can always count on with the digital marketing landscape is that it constantly changes… and moves fast! There’s a lot to do to succeed in 2024, but if you know the trends coming down the line, it’s easier to plan, strategize and get ahead of the competition.” 


The automotive marketing industry is rapidly transforming, driven primarily by technological advancements and shifting consumer behaviors. Dealerships now showcase virtual reality showrooms, offering prospective buyers immersive, interactive experiences from the comfort of their own homes. 


Data analytics are also crucial in setting our marketing strategies for dealerships because they enable highly personalized outreach tailored to consumer preferences and behaviors. These analytics help us create more efficient targeted campaigns that engage customers with precision and relevance.

JSMM Case Study

For instance, our team helped Soave Automotive Group, which includes Aristocrat Motors, Aristocrat Motors Lee’s Summit, Aristocrat Motors Topeka and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City, relaunch its social media marketing program. They knew they had to adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape to maintain a competitive edge. 


By analyzing customer data, we identified key trends and preferences that guided redesigning their social media strategy. This involved tailoring content to highlight specific vehicle features that resonate with their target audience and leveraging platforms where their customers are most active. As a result, the campaign focused on dynamic, engaging content that showcased vehicle capabilities, customer testimonials and behind-the-scenes looks at dealership operations, significantly boosting online engagement and customer interaction.


From the start of 2023 through the end of July, JSMM amplified Facebook and Instagram channels across all four locations.

  • Impressions soared by an astonishing +41,242.43%.
  • Engagement rates skyrocketed +2,111.83%.
  • Follower growth rate rose an impressive +362.80%.
  • New followers grew by +7.73%.


The automotive industry has also seen a growing emphasis on sustainability, with eco-friendly vehicles becoming increasingly prominent in marketing campaigns. This shift is in response to a rising consumer demand for environmentally responsible options, reflecting broader societal changes. Dealerships highlighting these eco-friendly alternatives align with current market trends and position themselves as accountable and forward-thinking brands. 

automotive marketingStrategy 2: Set Smart Goals in Automotive Marketing


In automotive marketing, setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals is the key to driving success. This structured approach helps marketing initiatives to be well-defined, trackable and aligned with broader business objectives. 


Consider our client, Aristocrat Motors Lee’s Summit. The dealership faced the challenge of transforming its online presence amid issues like inconsistent branding and a lack of a cohesive content strategy. Our team set a clear, actionable objective — to significantly increase social media engagement by developing a strategic content plan with diversified content tailored to segmented markets. We highlighted its unique focus on preowned luxury and midsized vehicles. We also integrated sponsorships, charity events, staff spotlights and manufacturer campaigns.


The results of these efforts lead to a substantial increase in engagement rates. For instance, the average Instagram engagement rate soared from 8.3% to 44.50%, and the average Facebook engagement rate increased from 1.71% to 42.12%. 


These outcomes underscore the effectiveness of applying SMART goals within automotive marketing to achieve precise and significant improvements in digital engagement.

marketing a carStrategy 3: Utilize Proven Automotive Marketing Approaches for Your Dealership

Implementing precise, targeted marketing strategies enhances a dealership’s visibility and drives sales. Here are several key strategies that can significantly bolster auto marketing efforts:


Engaging Customers with Compelling Content

Crafting engaging content is crucial. Share success stories of customer satisfaction and detailed presentations of vehicle features to captivate potential buyers. This approach draws interest and builds a relational connection, turning casual viewers into potential leads.


Boosting and Maintaining Online Reputation with Social Media

Utilizing social media platforms such as Meta, Instagram and Twitter can help maintain an active and engaging presence. Regular updates, interactive posts and timely responses keep dealerships top of mind, helping to increase both online interactions and physical showroom visits.


JSMM understands the critical role of social media along with cohesive and compelling brand narratives in automotive marketing. When partnering with Aristocrat Motors Topeka, a proud member of the Soave Auto Group, we identified a pressing need to align their social media strategy with the overarching group identity. Moreover, we aimed to spotlight their unique emphasis on Volkswagen vehicles, a key differentiator within the group.


Starting from scratch with a new Instagram account, our efforts yielded impressive results. The account achieved an outstanding average engagement rate of 41.83%, demonstrating strong initial traction. Simultaneously, on Facebook, we witnessed a monumental surge in engagement, elevating the average rate from 2.07% to an extraordinary 48.45%, representing an exceptional 2,240.58% increase.


Our efforts not only bolstered Aristocrat Motors Topeka’s individual brand identity but also contributed to the cohesive storytelling of the Soave Auto Group. We successfully differentiated their social media presence by emphasizing their specialization in Volkswagen vehicles while aligning it seamlessly with the broader group narrative.


Email Marketing That Works

Craft compelling newsletters that customers look forward to receiving. Include valuable content, such as special deals, expert insights into car maintenance and the latest updates on new models and features. 


To enhance the impact of your email campaigns, segment your audience based on their preferences and purchasing history. This personalization ensures that the content is relevant to the recipient, which can significantly increase engagement rates and drive conversions.


SEO for Marketing a Car

Optimize your website to ensure it ranks well in search engine results. Use relevant keywords, streamline site navigation and regularly update content to improve dealership site visibility. Effective SEO strategies make it easier for potential customers to discover specific dealerships when searching for vehicles online. 


Additionally, consider incorporating local SEO practices, such as location-based keywords and Google My Business. This will help attract nearby customers and increase foot traffic to your showroom.


Cost-Effective Advertising

Leverage targeted digital advertising to reach potential buyers efficiently using platforms like Google Ads and Meta Ads. These ads can increase conversion rates by connecting with consumers looking to purchase or learn more about vehicles. 

auto dealer marketingStrategy 4: Choose the Right Auto Dealer Marketing Tools

Selecting the right automotive marketing tools is crucial for maximizing the impact of your dealership’s marketing efforts. Tools integration streamlines operations and boosts the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing strategies.


First, consider implementing robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A good CRM system will help you manage customer data, track interactions and automate sales follow-ups, ensuring no customer falls through the cracks. It also allows you to tailor communications based on specific customer preferences and previous interactions.


Next, utilize analytics tools to measure the performance of your marketing campaigns. These tools provide valuable insights into user behavior, campaign reach, engagement rates and conversion statistics. With this data, you can decide where to allocate resources and how to tweak your strategies for optimal performance.


In analyzing our marketing campaigns, we compare their performance with industry benchmarks. The performance of our Meta advertisement for Aristocrat Motors can speak for itself:

  • Impressions: 83,688 
  • Engagement Rate: +1.45 (Benchmark:0.05%)
  • Follower Growth: +13.72 (Benchmark:0.73%)
  • Video views 25%: 56,099


Incorporating a video into the marketing arsenal can also enhance engagement and visibility. As shown in the statistics of our ad above, videos demonstrate vehicles’ features dynamically, showcase customer testimonials and even offer virtual test drives. This tool enriches your content and caters to the increasing consumer preference for video-based information.


According to Think with Google, “Over 40% of shoppers who used online video for research said that it helped them discover a vehicle they weren’t previously aware of or considering.”


By carefully choosing and integrating these tools into your marketing strategy, you can enhance your dealership’s ability to attract and retain customers, ultimately driving more sales and improving overall business performance.


Strategy 5: Measure Your Automotive Marketing Success

Close monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) can give a clear picture of what’s working and where adjustments might be necessary.


Based on an Accenture customer survey report, “One of the most critical pieces of revolutionizing customer experience is redefining KPIs — from short-term financial KPIs to customer experience KPIs. This essentially translates to switching the perspective from traditional KPIs to those that are truly tied to attracting, engaging and retaining customers.”


Key metrics to track include:


Sales Conversions: Tracking how many leads convert into sales helps you understand the effectiveness of your sales funnel and marketing tactics. By analyzing conversion rates, you can identify which marketing channels are most effective at driving sales and adjust your spending accordingly.


Website Traffic: Monitoring the volume of visitors to your dealership’s website provides insights into the reach of your digital marketing efforts. You should not only look at the total traffic but also examine the sources of this traffic. 


Customer Engagement Levels: Engagement can be measured through various metrics such as time spent on your site, pages viewed per visit, social media interactions (likes, shares, comments) and email open and click-through rates. High engagement levels often correlate with customer interest and satisfaction, increasing loyalty and sales.


For Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City, we built a strategic social media plan and executed compelling content to engage with their target audience. Ultimately, through our efforts, their Instagram average engagement rate increased from 9.13% to 42.84% — a 369.22% total increase. In addition, their Facebook average engagement rate jumped from 0.81% to 40.59%, an admirable 4,911.11% increase.

Accelerate Your Growth: How Jennings Social Media &MarTech Can Drive Your Dealership Forward

With more than two decades of marketing experience, JSMM brings industry-specific expertise and proven strategies to boost sales. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities within the automotive sector and apply these insights to craft strategies directly aimed at increasing dealership visibility and driving vehicle sales.


Outsourcing your marketing efforts to JSMM can also significantly free up your time and resources. This allows you and your team to concentrate on what you do best — selling cars. We’ll handle everything from campaign planning to execution and monitoring, ensuring that every aspect of marketing is managed efficiently without diverting your focus from core business activities.

Shift Into High Gear with Our Automotive Marketing Expertise

Our remarkable success in auto dealer marketing is proof of the effectiveness of well-crafted digital strategies in the luxury automotive sector.


If you’re ready to enhance your dealership’s marketing approach and achieve similar results, our team at JSMM can help. Contact us today to learn how our social media marketing agency can help you drive your dealership’s marketing to new heights.

Written by

Valerie Jennings, founder and CEO of Jennings Social Media & MarTech (JSMM), is a trailblazing entrepreneur who established her agency in 2003 at just 24 years old. A pioneer in leveraging social media for marketing since 2005, Valerie has transformed JSMM from a niche PR firm into a globally recognized digital marketing powerhouse. Her strategic foresight and commitment to innovation earned her accolades such as the Top Women in Media Honoree and Marketing Executive of the Year by the Stevie Awards. An advocate for AI in marketing, Valerie holds an AI Certification from Coursera, led by Andrew Ng of Stanford University.

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