Americans love their cars.

Indeed, 8.5 million of them were sold in the first half of 2018 alone.

You’d think selling them would be easy. Alas, that isn’t always the case. In difficult economic times, customers can be difficult to please, wary of being misled, and generally reluctant to part with their hard-earned cash.

Car dealerships must look for ever more effective ways to attract customers to the lot.

That’s where quality marketing comes into play. With the right strategy, highly targeted leads will walk through the door on the daily.

But first, you have to know how to do it.

Keep reading for 9 top car dealership marketing ideas to boost sales.

Car Dealership Marketing Ideas 101: 9 Top Suggestions

In competitive industries, effective marketing is essential to success. Car dealerships must stay on top of their marketing game. Here are some key ideas to make it happen.

In-Store Marketing Ideas

Let’s begin with what you can do at the dealership itself.

1. Give Out Free Gas

People love getting things for free.

Why not start boosting your marketing efforts by offering free gas to your existing customers?

Remember, good marketing is about nurturing existing customer relations as much as generating new business. Get into the community and find cars with your dealership’s name on it. Gift the owner a free gas card to fill up on you.

You might be unwilling to give away money like this. However, think long term. Free gifts ensure you’ll stay in a person’s mind for when they need a new car. They’ll come to you over the competition.

These steps help build your brand, grow a positive reputation, and develop trust in your community.

2. Throw Holiday Events

Holding events at your dealership is a sure-fire way to get potential customers through the door.

At particular times of year (such as public holidays), think of a themed event to hold and advertise it in the community. Create a buzz around proceedings. It doesn’t matter what you do. But be sure to go all out for it. Get the word out too.

Think of something relevant to the time of year. For instance, Christmas time might call for a Santa’s workshop set up in the lot. Get your employees to dress as Santa, elves and even reindeer. Have a grotto set up, market stalls in place, and, of course, lots of car promotions on offer.

You’ll be surprised how many people turn up and realize they needed a new car…

3. Do a Community Cookout

Cookouts are another type of event that’s sure to attract people to the lot.

Don’t charge any money for entry or make the event about selling cars. Simply host a cookout and invite the community to come along. Offer music, food and drink, and a friendly atmosphere for anyone who wants to come.

Again, it might seem like a lot of effort and expenditure for little reward. But the ROI will happen over time. The goal is to build rapport, brand identity and reputation. A positive standing will mean more in the long run than an immediate sale.

Equally, you’ll probably find people expressing interest in your cars too.

4. Send Thank You Notes

You should have a record of everyone who buys a car from your dealership.

At certain anniversaries after their purchase, make a habit of sending them a personalized thank you note. You could also include a voucher for a free tank of gas, or oil change, etc. A little goes a long way.

Past customers are sure to appreciate the effort and will be more likely to become a repeat customer in the future.

5. Provide Free Car Washes

Offering free car washes is another simple way to get people through the door, and to improve customer relations.

Provide a free car wash for anyone who brings their vehicle to get work done in your service department.

There’s nothing else to it! Whether it’s once a week, or once a month, you’re sure to gain new customers in the process.

Online Marketing Ideas

A modern world calls for modern marketing. Having an online presence is essential these days. Below you’ll find some top online ideas to increase sales.

6. Get a Website

Your car dealership can’t afford to not have a website these days.

Get one ASAP if you don’t. Most online marketing relies on having a website. People who find it online have the potential to become customers. In essence, online traffic can turn to physical traffic at your lot.

7. Start a Blog

Content marketing is the process of attracting leads to your website for the chance of converting them on an offer.

Blog content is a key way to do it. Essentially, you write an awesome post on a relevant topic that people are searching for on Google. They find your post online and come through to your website. Once there, they see how amazing your service is and have the chance to become a customer.

Here’s a full guide on how to get started.

8. Create Videos

Video content is immensely popular online.

Why not start a YouTube channel, or go live on Facebook, to post videos on car-related topics. It’s about providing value. Show customers how to look after their vehicles, stay safe on the roads, and so on.

People will learn about your dealership via the videos. Likewise, with enough eyes on them, you can post offers and promotions to increase sales directly.

9. Get on Social Media

We could write an entire post on social media marketing.

There’s a lot to it. But the first step is to get set up on each platform. People spend hours of their day scrolling social media. You need to show up on their feeds.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the top platforms on which to begin marketing your dealership. Advertise special offers, post your latest blog articles, showcase new cars in the lot, and so on.

Time to Get Marketing

There you have it: 9 clever and effective car dealership marketing ideas to ensure sales success all year round.

Millions of cars are sold each year. However, that doesn’t make running a car dealership an easy task. It’s essential that these businesses stay on top of their marketing to remain successful.

Hopefully, the ideas we’ve provided here have provided some inspiration on how to make that happen.

Need help with your digital marketing? Contact us today to see how we can be of service.

Digital Marketer

Will Peters Digital Marketer

A digital marketing innovator with a passion for building the most effective sales & marketing campaigns.