Ranking the Best Free Tools to Advertise Your Car Dealership
For many automotive dealerships, marketing is viewed as a necessary evil. Serving customers and selling a great product are the primary concerns with marketing being little more than an afterthought. Providing excellent customer service as well as a great selection of inventory should be at the top of your priority list. It is important to remember, however, that your level of customer service and selection of inventory will not matter unless you have a way to bring in customers and make sales. One of the most effective ways to bring in those customers is with a quality marketing plan. Marketing can get expensive – especially in the automotive industry – but there are a number of free resources that can help you with the process of marketing while allowing you to stay on budget.
Best free tool for creating online marketing materials: Canva
If you are looking for a way to make eye-catching and professional looking marketing materials to advertise your car dealership, then consider using Canva. Canva allows you to create professional-looking designs for free. The platform includes thousands of templates that you can customize using the colors and images that represent your dealership. Examples of marketing graphics you can design using the free Canva platform include social media posts, flyers, brochures, online ad banners, newsletters, business cards, and much more.
Looking for more options to help you create professional marketing materials? Take a look at GIMP and PicMonkey.
Best free tool for creating a visual presence online: Pinterest
Many people think of Pinterest as just another social media platform. The reality is, however, that pinterest is a visual search engine. And, since so much of the selling of vehicles depends on visual presentation, Pinterest is a great place to market your automotive dealership. You can create a Pinterest account for your business for no cost. Regularly updating your page with your latest inventory is a great way to improve your visibility online. You can employ keywords on Pinterest in the same way that you use keywords in your other online marketing efforts. Adding a Pinterest can help strengthen your online presence and give you the opportunity to reach more potential customers without spending more on marketing costs.
Best free tool for staying consistent with social media posts: Facebook Publishing Tool
In order to effectively market your car dealership you need to have a presence on social media, there is no way around it. Your current and potential customers are most likely on social media and many times they will search a site like Facebook for information about a dealership before they go to your website or visit your physical location. Because of this, you need to make posting regularly on social media a part of your overall marketing strategy. But many owners and general managers find the process of posting regularly difficult to maintain. It is easy to let this part of your marketing plan fall by the wayside when you have what seem like more pressing matters to deal with day in and day out. Fortunately, Facebook has a free tool designed to make the process of posting regularly easier for business owners. The Facebook publishing tool allows you to schedule posts ahead of time. This means you can schedule posts to happen every day without spending time on those posts day in and day out. This tool is free and can save you time and frustration while making it possible for you to stay consistent with the Facebook posts for your dealership.
Best free tool for creating trusted connections: LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to connect with potential customers for your dealership. LinkedIn is a site where people create profiles to showcase their professional experience, establish professional connections, and in some situations find employment. Showing people that they already have some type of connection to your dealership is a great way to establish trust and bring in new customers. One of the ways that people choose an automotive dealership to work with is by looking for one that other people they know have used. If someone they know trusts your dealership and is connected with you through LinkedIn, then it can automatically put your dealership at the top of their list. Setting up a profile on LinkedIn for your business is free and you can manage it in the same way you manage your other social media profiles. This process is all about establishing connections so customers will know where to go once they are ready to purchase their next vehicle.
Each of the tools outlined above will help you with a different aspect of your marketing plan. By using the free tools outlined above, you can drastically improve the quality of your marketing materials, increase the online visibility of your dealership, improve your consistency on social media, and make valuable connections with potential customers. All of these things can happen without you spending any money on marketing. If you are willing to put some time into learning these free tools you can develop an effective marketing plan without having a large marketing budget.