Ways to Improve your Online Presence in the Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is notoriously competitive. Because of that, it is more important than ever to gain and keep a competitive edge in an increasingly connected world. One method companies in the auto industry can do that is by maintaining an online presence that targets your audience pointedly. By staying on top of your company’s representation and reputation on the Internet and doing the work to improve that presence, you will be able to see notable increases in your site’s page views, consumer exposure, and, ultimately, revenues.
Furthermore, the auto industry is uniquely tied to the Internet in a way that other industries may not be. Many consumers use search engines, review blogs, and company websites to research information about buying a new car long before they actually do it and take a step onto the car lot. According to AutoTrader, car buyers spend nearly 60% of their time online researching. After all, a new car is a huge investment! This research can encompass not only what brand of car to get, comparisons of used versus new cars, what colors or interior designs are preferable, what additional packages to get, or even financing options and plans. Therefore, it is important to make sure your company’s online presence is accurate and consumer-targeted.
Make a Website
First, if you don’t already have a website, you need to make one! Like already mentioned, it is super important for consumers to have easy remote access to your products and services so they can make informed decisions long before they ever go to the car lot. But, it is also vital that your website is visually stunning. When people look to buy a new car, they want to have an experience, and a beautiful website can be the key to getting them to make the first connection with your company. Visually appealing websites can indirectly help translate page views into conversions and revenues. For the auto industry specifically, websites should feature high definition visuals and impactful phrases.
Second, it is also vital to utilize the power and influence of social media. By creating active accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even the popular Snapchat, your company can target specific users and demographics. More than that, you can continue to create a company brand which is vital to your success in such a competitive industry. However, using social media can also help you get feedback on what is working and what isn’t for your company. For instance, posting photos of new product or service offerings to gauge engagement through likes, shares, or comments, or using polls to directly connect with consumers can help your company get the information you need to continue to be successful.
You can use your social media presence to promote original content that your company creates. This can include YouTube “How To” videos for products or services, blogs about new or improved features in a car, promoted customer reviews, a look into a day in the life of a company worker, video advertisements or commercials for cars, and more! This can help build company branding. Just as importantly, however, promoting original content like this can help your company build authority in the auto industry, which is really important for consumers when they go to buy a car. Make sure that all content is engaging for the consumer!
Buying a new car or taking a car to the shop can be very expensive! Your company can show that you value your loyal customers by offering loyalty programs in the vein of “frequent flyer” cards, such as a discount after buying multiple cars through your company or a free or discounted service fix after paying for five of them. Finally, you can also use your social media presence to offer free giveaways and other promotions. Leveraging offers for your customers can really help engage consumers, and get them to look at other content on your page or website.
Finally, it is also important to make sure to always focus on the consumer. By providing quality customer service on site, you can adequately cover consumer needs when they get to the car lot. However, as we discussed earlier, most consumers do lengthy research online before ever getting to the car lot. So, offering something like online text messaging customer service can not only engage customers, but you can help meet them where they are and answer any easy questions. To help streamline this process, you can even offer chatbots for the easy questions and have online customer service representatives available to answer more nuanced or specific questions.
Ultimately, having a quality online presence and reputation is very important in any industry. However, in an industry like the auto industry where consumers do a ton of research before ever stepping foot on a car lot, it can make or break a car sale and directly impact conversions and revenue. By using these few tips, your company can improve your online presence and get those sales!