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Key ways to bring your automotive business to the next level

According to a recent report on the European automotive industry, all segments in the automotive industry are predicted to increase in volume.   This all suggests a very positive outlook for 2020 for several reasons. First, the EU is the world’s second largest producer of motor vehicles. Moreover, carmakers have increased sales since 2015, with smaller manufacturers gaining more than larger brands. Finally, european automobile manufacturers are expanding -  they operate some 296 vehicle assembly and production plants in 26 countries across Europe. What does this mean for your automotive business? Opportunity! That is the case whether you are an equipment maker or own a smaller size car business. But how best to stand out amongst the competition and maximize the market potential Europe offers? 

Here are a few key ways to bring your automotive business to the next level:  

Recognize and use the power of social media

A recent review of data on how social media has changed the automobile industry suggests that the days of expensive, flashy television ads as the only means to attract consumers are dwindling. Replacing this standard marketing modus operandi, the automotive industry has recognized the power of social media platforms. For instance, Facebook has been pivotal in automobile sales and purchases. Around 66% of car owners and buyers that have a registered Facebook account have seen a Facebook ad about a car and have clicked on it.  This is proof that marketing campaigns must include social media (to include Instagram, Twitter, YouTube..etc.) in order to be successful. The study goes so far as to suggest that “any car manufacturer or dealership not incorporating social media into their sales strategy is doing significant damage to their business’ objectives.” While there are many social media strategies, focusing on media, memes and promoting your brand through ads is a quick and easy way to spread awareness about your business. Time to get on the social media bandwagon and grow your profits! 

Organize product-related events

While the internet is powerful, people still get excited by being in the actual store and interacting with the actual product so make that a goal. You want to think about ways to make it exciting to get customers, new and old into your store. Use your knowledge of your products and consider organizing product related events, such as a training session on basic automobile care with a special promotion thrown in, or showcasing how best to use one of your products and then sell it at a discount. Such events are a simple and effective way to raise awareness and guarantee sales, but also to get foot traffic in the door. It goes without saying that whatever product-related event you organize should be promoted on social media along with other standard methods.  

Spread the word and educate

Having ads to promote your automotive business is important, but just as critical is educating a potential buyer. Increasingly, this is done digitally and it comes in the form of educational posts, videos and 360 tours of your products. This is because buyers do not necessarily rely on just paper brochures anymore and the internet serves as their guide. Think about it this way: if you offer a digital platform to learn about products (and push the ones your are selling), you become a source of information. This gives your credibility and instills trust, while it also increases the chances that you will sell your product and amps up your online profile in the process. If you need proof that digital education is critical in the automotive industry, the data increasingly supports this idea. According to research by Weve Automotive and related studies, the mobile journey starts with how buyers browse, consider (price and specifications), and search stores in this industry. As if that is not enough of an indication, digital education remains key: “most automotive shoppers use a mobile device in their quest for automotive information... and 58% of auto shoppers agree that in the future their smartphone is likely to be the only device they will use for vehicle research.” So, now is the time, spread the word and educate -  digitally, that is to boost your sales. 

The power of a blog

Blogging is not simply a teenager’s past-time anymore. Now, it holds major marketing potential in major industries as well. An obvious way to promote your online content is to create a snazzy, new blog featuring your automotive business. It could include anything from car advice, to new products, to the newest car interior cleaner on the market. The idea here is more than simply opinion or speculation. Indeed, as noted in Forbes , the very best car blogs let consumers compare specs and prices, get up to the second news, and offer photos and videos in a fast and easy way that larger media simply does not. Also, make it personal and look authoritative. It is yet another tool in your toolbag to create buzz and elevate your brand. While you do not need to have the prose of Shakespeare to create a useful and intelligent blog, all it takes is a little creative savvy and consumers will be referring to you instead of Autocar magazine in no time. 

Go local

Consumers still live and work locally. While the internet might be the portal of information in the present and future, it is important to not neglect local sponsorship and raising your brand awareness through opportunities in your community. Whether it be nearby sports teams, linking up with other related businesses (i.e. a carwash down the street), charities, or school events, these are all fantastic venues to raise your brand’s profile. In the unknown and often anonymous digital space, having a face and a name to your business and being familiar is important. It suggests you are a part of your local community, invested in it, and someone they can know and therefore trust. A great example of this was undertaken by Carmax when they partnered with a local non-profit during the holiday season. The end result: by making a difference in their community, they raised brand awareness during a peak season in a noteworthy manner and stood out from their competitors in the local market. 

With these straightforward tips, we hope bringing your automotive business to the next level has never been easier.

Jessica Brown
Jessica is a globally renowned writer specializing in International Relations, Economics and Political Affairs. A graduate from Brown and Cambridge Universities she now focuses on helping small to medium businesses grow their bottom line.
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