No-Cost Marketing Strategies for Car and Tire Dealerships

6 No-Cost Marketing Strategies You Can Implement Now

Thanks to Covid-19, most car and tire dealers are finding themselves with some extra time on their hands.

While countless articles & webinars have told dealers to keep marketing even if they’re in a downturn, that usually involves money.  And right now, most dealers want to preserve their cash as no one has any idea when we’ll get back to normal.

History always repeats itself.  And history proves that those who do continue to promote their dealership will come out on top.  That said, here are 6 things you can do right now that will help keep your name in front of potential customers.  And these won’t cost you a dime.

1): Google My Business

Google My Business is the best way to make it easy for consumers to see what you have to offer.  With Google My Business, you can post unlimited inventory and dealership photos, videos and special offers.

What we know is that automotive consumers are using this platform to decide if they’ll give you any consideration.  The vast majority will choose to visit your web site or dealership based on your Google My Business profile.

My recommendation?  Complete the page description, get inventory or product photos uploaded, get fresh video content posted and start using the special offers update.  And while you’re there, make sure to respond to any reviews you have.   Potential customers are watching to see if you’re even paying attention to what people are saying about you.

2):  Launch an Email Campaign

Most dealers have been collecting names from leads and customers for years.  Now’s the time to email all those contacts.   Let them know that you’re open and the steps you’re taking to keep them (and your staff) safe.  Remind them that you are always looking for trades.

And if your site or CRM system doesn’t have a built in email module, just export the names and use a 3rd party platform.  Places like MailChimp are free (usually up to 2,500 names).

3):  Complete Your Yelp Listing

Yelp has made great strides into the automotive sector.  Lots of “yelpers” are using the platform to look for automotive providers (cars, parts, tires and service).     Getting your page populated with fresh content and up-to-date information is great place to start.

Fair warning  –  be ready for the phone call from your friendly Yelp sales rep who wants to “help you” with you page.  This is code for spend money.

4):  Populate Your Specials Page

Everyone wants a bargain and is looking for a deal.  I’m amazed at how many dealer websites  proudly showcase the specials tab only to have the page blank.  If you’re not going to take the time to populate this page, have your web site provider take it off.

5):  Create and Publish Video Content

Not new information here but very few dealers create video.  Consumers (along with search engines) have been screaming for years “we want video.”  It’s time to give them what they want.

This doesn’t have to be the big-production video shoot.  Have fun with your videos.   Go on location.  Insert graphics.  Show your products & services in action.  Your customers don’t watch boring, stale TV shows.  They won’t do it online either.

Where should you publish this content?  Google My Business, YouTube, FaceBook, Instagram and your website would be a great place.

6):  Social Media Marketing 

Now’s the time to really ramp up your activity level with the social media platforms.  FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter (well maybe not for automotive but it’s free so why not).  SMM is great in that you communicate directly with consumers and customers in real time.  This is the platform where you can have a lot of fun and let your personality shine.