As we move into 2017, car dealerships have been working on and executing new strategies for their digital marketing campaigns to boost their Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Video Marketing, and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) efforts in order to attract potential car-buyers and become a leader in the industry. While most dealers have a sense of urgency in achieving a good number of followers and increased sales/conversions, some mistakes could end up costing them their reputation and result in failed effort, wasted time, and poor revenue targets. To prevent the same from happening to your car dealership, avoid these 10 costly mistakes.

1.      No Clear Plan – Lack of Effective Campaign Goals

One of the biggest mistake automotive digital marketers make is not having an established goal for analytics prior to the start of a campaign. Bear in mind that in order to create a successful campaign, you need to put great time and effort into the process. Most importantly, you need to track and monitor each step and phase of campaigns to identify loopholes and gaps that could result in your site getting tremendous amount of click-back rates. As an automotive business, you need to define clear goals for the sales, sign up, calls, and content, while ensuring proper analytics is set up. Without measurable objectives, it can be impossible to create a campaign that produces engagement and sales.

2.      Not Knowing Your Audience – Lack of Targeting Efforts

Even if your automotive business is posting fantastic content that engages, you can miss great opportunities of conversions, if you aren’t targeting the RIGHT audience. The main purpose of digital marketing is to figure out your target audience and market your car services and products to them. Otherwise, it can be nearly impossible for you to grow your automotive business. Therefore, take the time out by monitoring your traffic and figuring out your target audience by using Google Analytics. Thanks to its demographics-tracking feature, you can know the interest, age, and gender of your visitors. Use this data for creating targeted campaigns and influence visitor purchase intent.

3.      Overlooking Mobile – No Application or Website

Times have changed over the past five or six years. No longer do majority of individuals use their laptops and computers for visiting sites. Now, mobile is becoming the dominant digital platforms consumers use, primarily because it grants the ability to explore and browse while on the go. Therefore, overlooking mobile can result in your car dealership losing its chance to market products and services to a whole new target market. Subsequently, if you have not developed your mobile strategy yet, perhaps it’s time you do. Based on your business needs, determine whether an mobile app, optimized website, or both will be good for allowing you to speak to your customers and then deliver timely services.

4.      Not Employing a Customer-Centric Mindset

One of the biggest challenges for any business is to THINK like a consumer. However, this does not mean you forget about it completely. Digital marketing is entirely based on improving the customer experience. And if you don’t employ a customer-centric mindset, chances are you may never be able to make a sale. So, do not hesitate on performing in-depth research into the minds of consumers who may want to buy a car. By analyzing the customer-mind, you can help create digital marketing campaigns that prove more effective in enticing, converting, engaging, and retaining customers. The main aim of your strategy should be able to deliver a customized brand experience to your customers.

5.      Being Anti-Social – Not Using Social in an Effective Way

Just like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, your digital marketing strategy needs a trusty partner: one that goes the extra mile in engaging customers and promoting your automotive services and products to them. In this scenario, SMM proves to be incredibly important, if you want your dealership to gain success. Therefore, if you haven’t created sites on social media networks yet, perhaps it’s time you do. Know the strengths of each platform. For instance, LinkedIn is the best tool for sales prospecting, Facebook is best for consumer engagement, Instagram is best for humanizing your brand, and Twitter is best for spreading marketing messages.

6.      Hiring a Third-Party to Represent Your Brand on Social Media

Many car dealerships make the mistake of hiring a third party for representing their brand on social media. While it does seem like a clever option at first, very few third-party companies put in the effort and time to create highly engaging social campaigns. Nobody can know your brand better than its advocates and employees currently working there. So, forget about hiring third parties that use the same old marketing messages seen across tons of channels. Instead, let your employees take charge of spreading the good word.

7.      Buying Social Media Followers

The audience has got way clever than it was before. Therefore, never buy social media followers in an attempt to look well established, reputable, and popular. While it is imperative you have lots of followers and fans on your social media account, it is more essential for them to be GENUINE. Users can now easily differentiate between followers that are real and fake. Identifying a fake profile is the easiest thing to do.

8.      Not Measuring Results

Another huge mistake most car dealerships make nowadays is forgetting to monitor, analyze, and measure the results of their marketing campaigns. Without measuring your results, you will have no idea of what’s working with your prospects and what’s not. This could result in your business shutting down, especially if you don’t constantly modify your strategies. To ensure the same doesn’t happen to you, create an analytical plan for measuring your campaign results on a daily basis.

9.      Not Communicating With the Sales Team

Customer responses and feedbacks are crucial for figuring out what their needs are, what they dislike about your service, and what you can do to improve user-experiences. Your sales and customer service teams are crucial mediums of info. Not communicating with them could prevent you from ever finding out the cause of lapse in sales and conversions. Try Scheduling weekly meetings to improve business processes.

10. Not Staying Informed

The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving on a daily-basis. In order to gain an edge over the competition, it is important for your car dealership to stay informed on the best trends and practices. Figure out what the audiences are looking for. Never stop learning about how to leverage new ways, tools, and tips for growing your business.