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While car dealers in today’s high-paced, digital landscape possess multiple means for advertising and selling cars, using third-party car listings remains an essential marketing channel for moving inventory.
However, these sites provide unbiased auto-related content and vehicle listings for consumers to search for new and used vehicles. They do not advocate for or act in favor of any single brand. Therefore, dealerships must implement strategies that separate them from competitors.
5 Tips for Using Third-Party Car Listings Effectively
Dealers should consider the following tips when listing inventories on third-party auto sites:
1. List the Inventory Accurately
Every dealer’s first step should be listing their inventory on as many third-party sites as possible while:
- Ensuring that the inventory is accurate
- Updating the inventory frequently
- Highlighting any vehicle-specific promotions
Keeping up with inventory changes is critical when listing vehicles on third-party sites. Potential customers will quickly become frustrated if they arrive at the lot and discover that the car they want is no longer available. They might be similarly discouraged if they miss a discount for a comparable vehicle.
2. Represent the Dealership Correctly
Dealers should also confirm that these third-party sites list the dealer’s correct contact information, including:
- Website link
- Contact information
While many dealers might assume this is an automatic service, a surprising number of inventory listings on third-party sites do not include the dealership’s name, let alone a link to the dealership’s website.
Third parties might omit this information to persuade potential customers to complete contact forms on that site, not the dealer-specific sites. However, customers might hesitate to fill out these forms because they feel more comfortable contacting dealerships directly.
Consumers are busy and will not necessarily have the time (or even think) to do further research to locate the dealership offering a vehicle of interest. As a result, that dealer might lose out on that customer’s business simply because they did not provide the dealership’s name.
3. List the Options and Features Thoroughly
Vehicles are typically ranked on third-party sites using the following (or a similar) hierarchy:
- “Fair deal”
- “Good deal”
- “Great deal”
Those sites are more likely to move a given vehicle up or down that scale based on how thorough the dealers are when listing options and features.
For example, if a car has heated seats and the dealer neglects to include that feature in the listing, the third-party site might lower its value from a “great deal” to a “good deal.”
4. Include Detailed Vehicle Comments
A vehicle’s description is crucial to attracting potential purchasers. Third-party sites will rank listings with detailed comments higher because they give customers a more personalized experience.
However, many dealers generate comments based on searched, generic terms and phrases. While integrating specific keywords is essential, dealers should craft compelling descriptions that differentiate their vehicles and entice potential buyers.
5. Stress Value Alongside Price
Dealers must deliver value beyond pricing perks to boost sales – and communicating these benefits in listings is vital for creating awareness. These dealer-exclusive items might include:
- Lifetime Warranties
- Discounts on oil changes
- Free car washes at the time of service
Dealers should also stress the car’s quality, particularly a pre-owned vehicle that the service team reconditioned. A fully inspected, repaired, and serviced vehicle costs more than one given less attention, and customers should understand that the price difference comes with higher reliability.
Combine Third-Party Listings with the Best Tools
More dealers are using third-party car listings effectively as they learn more about how those sites operate, expand their digital marketing options, and apply the abovementioned strategies.
However, these strategies are only so effective without digital tools that augment third-party partnerships by retargeting customers whose vehicle searches match your inventory and landing them directly on your website.
Contact us today and learn how Affinitiv’s Audience Activator can help match you to potential customers using third-party sites to search for cars in your inventory.
All | September 19, 2023