In days gone by, if you wanted to buy a new car, it was standard practice to tour dealerships and showrooms, organising multiple test drives and comparing makes and models in the flesh. Today, the way in which people buy cars has changed in line with technological advances and the rise of social media. For dealers, personal connections and showroom visits remain crucial, but there are also significant benefits to having an online presence. In this article, we’ll examine the role of Instagram in automotive marketing, providing some tips to help dealers capitalise on the reach and popularity of this social platform.
A brief introduction to Instagram
Instagram is a social network, which allows users to follow hashtags and accounts to view photographs and watch video clips and live footage via the Stories feature. Instagram currently has over 1 billion active users per month, and it is growing month on month. Once a network for keeping in touch with friends and family, Instagram quickly followed in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, becoming an influential tool for businesses and brands. For car dealers, Instagram provides an incredible base for connecting with clients and prospective buyers, generating leads through sharing visual content and promotions and enhancing the impact of social media marketing campaigns using stories, images and videos and paid adverts.
How important is it for car dealers to use Instagram?
Instagram offers a wealth of benefits for car dealers looking to sell in 2020 and beyond. Times have changed, and people are utilising social media and search engines to explore different makes and models, learn more about specific vehicles and get a better insight into what kinds of cars are available to them. Having an Instagram following can help you boost your brand profile, as well as driving sales and expanding your reach. Video content is particularly effective, as it is shared more frequently than images and text, and users enjoy watching videos and stories. According to Medium.com, 84% of shoppers looking to buy a car will watch auto videos before they decide which vehicle to purchase. Statistics also show that auto is one of the most popular subject areas on Instagram, accounting for 10.5% of total interactions with brand profiles. With trends indicating that social media will continue to grow and diversify, using Instagram to sell and promote your dealership is vital for keeping up with the competition and attracting customers who would rather search for cars online. Over 85% of shoppers now research online before buying a car.
How Instagram has changed the buying experience
Instagram is a brilliant platform for sharing videos and images and encouraging potential customers to engage with you and enjoy a visual, interactive experience, but it’s also an effective way of providing customers with a more relaxing and enjoyable means of buying a new car. Clients can look at images online, they can read up on new makes and models and they can really get to know your business through social media before they call or send an email. For customers, Instagram puts faces to names and creates a sense of familiarity, which enables them to feel calmer and more confident when approaching a car dealer. Instagram search functions also make it easier for buyers to locate vendors and dealers through hashtags. Studies show that including a hashtag can increase engagement by over 12%.
What happens next?
Social media is a modern-day digital marketing phenomenon, which shows no signs of slowing down. For automotive dealers, using Instagram offers unrivalled opportunities to maximise the impact of images and stories, connect with more followers to generate leads and give your business personality.
Social media has changed the way people buy commodities. For car dealers, Instagram is an exceptional platform, which has the potential to expand reach, create a more enjoyable and relaxing buyer journey and increase conversion rates.
After being involved with digital marketing for over 25 years and holding several senior and directorial roles in digital marketing, it comes as no surprise that Dave is widely regarded as an authority on paid search and PPC in particular.