For most car dealers, seasonal automotive marketing that isn’t aimed directly at car sales usually isn't a priority. However, tapping in to seasonal trends and needs is a great way to increase business for your service department. You can stay top-of-mind with your customers and encourage them to visit your service department by reminding them of changing service needs that match the seasons. In this 2-part series, we’ll outline the right solutions to share your message and then provide ideas to reach your customers with seasonal automotive maintenance promotions that's helpful to them — and profitable for you.
Crafting Your Marketing Strategy
As with any marketing campaign, the strategy is critical to success. We can break out your strategy in 3 parts: Educate, Share, Convert. First you must consider that not all car owners are aware of maintenance needs beyond the typical oil change and tire rotation. In fact, most believe additional maintenance isn’t necessary and is just a way for service departments to make more money. It’s important to help the customer understand why maintenance is necessary and how it can actually save them in the long run and prolong the life of their car.
- Educate. Native advertising is a great way to create content that is both useful and helpful for your service customer. An example might be “5 Ways to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter”. You can explain the need to choose the right tire for their climate, explain why they need to check their engines and ensure their battery is peak performance. You can also determine the items that are more important in your area. Native advertising positions you as the expert and doesn’t come across that you are trying to upsell services.
- Share. After you’ve developed this useful content, you’ll want to share it. Social media is the go-to platform. It can not only target your specific audience, but also gives the added benefit of social sharing. If you've provided quality content, consumers will be more likely to share it with their friends. This will not only expand the reach of your message, but can also send business your way through the implied endorsement social sharing creates.
- Convert. Now that you’ve educated the audience and shared it with the right people, you want to make sure they choose to do business with you. This is the time to incorporate paid search. When people search something on Google, it’s because they are looking for an answer right now. They are intending to do business, so make sure they do business with you.
Remember that consistency in your media campaign is key. You’ll want to make sure the keywords you are buying match the content you put together in your native campaign. In the upcoming Part 2, we’ll share ideas for each season giving you a way to drive business to your service department year-round.