One of the greatest challenges in opening a used car dealership is kickstarting your marketing efforts. When your dealership is brand new, it has no brand presence, no name recognition to fall back on—so you literally have to build all your marketing collateral from scratch.
The question is, what do you do first? How do you juggle your marketing priorities and lay the foundation for effective, ongoing branding?
Here are five things dealerships should do to start off on the right foot.
Marketing a Brand New Dealership
- Invest in a good website. You’ll doubtless have limitations on your marketing budget, and may have to cut corners and make sacrifices. One thing you shouldn’t skimp on is your website, which will serve as an online hub for your business and the central point of all your marketing efforts. A site that is designed for aesthetics, for conversions, and for local SEO is key.
- Create a Google My Business account. One of the most important things you can do to ensure strong local visibility is to get a Google My Business page—and lucky for you, this is completely free. Sign up for a page and spend some time ensuring that it is fully optimized, meaning all the appropriate fields are completed with relevant, keyword-enriched information.
- Start building an email list. As you start to get some customers in your showroom, encourage them to give you their email address. Email marketing is an invaluable tool for connecting with past customers, and you’ll want to start building out your list as early as you can.
- Get started on Craigslist. Craigslist is an excellent way to show off your inventory and get some buyers to come visit your used car lot. Create an account and start posting some cars, taking note of which listings seem to bring the best results. Download the Get My Auto Craigslist Wizard app to automate this process.
- Get set up on social media. You don’t necessarily need a dealership presence on every single social platform, but we’d recommend setting up shop on Facebook and Instagram. Organic reach is important, but you’ll also need to invest a little bit in paid ads. Start small, until you get the lay of the land, then work your way to more robust PPC campaigns.
There’s much more you can do to start marketing your used car business, of course—but these five steps represent a good starting point.
We’d love to talk with you more about these and any other automotive marketing solutions. Reach out to Get My Auto today to begin that conversation.