Does Digital Marketing Work For Auto Dealers?

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Proving a return on investment spent on marketing can sometimes be difficult. However, if you’re one of the many dealerships investing more on digital ad spend, how can you translate that into positive outcomes in your digital marketing strategy?

GetResponse and Holistic Email Marketing embarked on a global industry benchmark survey for 2017 and found that email marketing delivers the highest return on investment (ROI) overall for marketers in all industries. Furthermore, almost 58 percent of those surveyed said they were seeing an increase in their marketing budget for 2017.

According to the survey, automotive marketers said social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) lead the pack when it comes to seeing a positive return. Coming in third is search pay-per-click (PPC). Unlike many other industries, automobile marketers rate email as their fourth best performing marketing channel. However, they’re also looking at email marketing as the area where they see the most promise in increasing their ROI.

Follow the Money
Around 60 percent of automotive marketers saw an increased budget this year. About 55 percent have funneled more money to SEO and display advertising budgets, but they’ve also increased their budget for social PPC by 53 percent, while search PCC has increased 50 percent. They’re also seeing an improvement in content marketing spend by an extra 48 percent.

Metrics and Marketing
To get an accurate picture of what’s performing best and what’s not, you need to look at the key metrics. The survey found that 31 percent of marketers are focusing on how many more subscribers they’re pulling in as their top metric. Next, they’re looking at opens and clicks as a measure of success, which would be considered a “high-funnel engagement.”

In the mid-funnel conversion metric area, marketers in the automobile industry are checking into form fills, which include lead generation as well as subscriptions and inquiries, which don’t necessarily have any metrics on which to focus.

Trends in Digital Marketing
Among the digital marketing trends hitting big this year are more responsive websites, Facebook advertising, an increased focus on video and online chat with prospective customers.

Video is increasingly more alluring to consumers and is a great way to help consumers decide which vehicle is best for them. There’s something about getting a good look at the vehicles to help them make the decision, and video is a great resource for that.

Because Facebook has close to 1.2 billion active viewers every day, it’s a missed opportunity to not focus some digital marketing effort to this channel. Facebook ads are highly successful because when you pull your resources together, you can really target the ads to the right target audience and see a great ROI.

What trends are you noticing in digital marketing today and how are you getting the word out about your dealership?

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