Choosing the Right Advertising Strategy for Your Budget

These days, when it comes to marketing, the possibilities seem endless. Fortunately, with a few simple steps you can determine the marketing plan that is best suited for your company.

First steps

Determine your marketing goal

• This is the starting point

• What is the purpose of your marketing? Is it to build awareness of new inventory, improve lead generation, or boost direct sales? Is it to sell a specific model or models? 

Determine your target audience

• Who are you talking to and trying to attract?

• Determine the most effective ways to connect with your customers, which includes uncovering their preferred communication channels and purchasing paths. The marketing strategies that you choose should complement the when and where of your target audiences. 

Determine your budget

• Budgets can be as small or as large as you want – but the smaller the budget, the more limited your options.

• Keep in mind that with an effective marketing campaign you will see an ROI that nets you more revenue than the amount you put in.

Marketing tools and platforms

Google Analytics

• Even with a low budget you should still have a Google Analytics account set up.

• Not enough dealers pay attention to their Google Analytics account, and many are set up incorrectly.

• With a proper Google Analytics account set up, you can better see your consumers path to purchase.

– You can set up a Marketing funnel and know exactly what source is driving your leads.

– You can also see some demographic attributes and see what users do when they click on a certain page. (Do they leave immediately, or do they click to see more?)


• Search engine optimization (SEO) is the backbone of advertising in the digital age, and, like Google Analytics, should be considered with even the smallest budget.

• SEO provides an immediate advantage over the competition and makes it simple for your customers to find you.

– SEO increases the likelihood that your dealership will be found by consumers who are in the market by having your site show up higher in the organic Google Search rankings.

• In addition, Google has placed importance on Local SEO.

– Most of this work is on displaying quick, verified information about local businesses. This helps users quickly retrieve information they need, and allows verified, reputable local businesses to gain more customers.

• Your location, regular content updates, on-page optimization, Google My Business, citations, links (to and from your site), and reviews all contribute to your Local SEO. How well you manage each of these factors determines whether your dealership shows up in the coveted Map Pack. Move to the top of your local search rank by tending to each of these SEO best practice steps.

Google Ads

• Google Ads is the bread and butter of any digital marketing strategy, and, when paired with a solid SEO plan, can give your dealership a formidable online presence.

• Google Ads are broken down into a few different styles, but the primary are:

– Google Search Ads – This is the standard Google Ad, where paid ads are shown above organic search results. With a high enough budget, you can even conquer your competition’s organic search results by showing above their website.

– Google Display Ads – These are image ads that are shown on websites that are part of the Google Display Network. These ads allow you to target consumers in categories and show on websites that your target consumers frequent. You can also continue to market to users who have visited your site but not contacted your dealership

• With Google Ads, ARI recommends at least a $500 a month budget; however, Google Ads are extremely scalable – the more you put in, the more you can do. With some industries being very competitive, keywords can range from only $0.10 a click to over $50 a click. Having a professional set up your Google Ads account is the best way to go, ensuing you maximize your budget and efficiency

E-mail marketing

• E-mail marketing is a great and cost-efficient way to reach your prospects and customers and send them personalized information.

– Research e-mail marketing providers, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, and then start collecting e-mails from lead forms and in-store customers. Keep this list updated in your DMS/CRM, divide the list into groups (known as segmentation) based on what they’re interested in or what they’ve bought in the past, and send them e-mails based on these traits. Don’t exceed two to four e-mails per month, and keep the content fresh.

Facebook Ads

• Have a Facebook page for your dealership? Most of your potential customers do!

• Facebook has a powerful targeting system that helps you pinpoint your audience and deliver ads to them at the right time.

• Facebook is also very scalable, and you can see results whether you are spending $10 a day or $1,000 a day.

• Like Google Ads, having a professional set up the Facebook Campaign Manager for you is best practice; however, there is a way you can start promoting your content in a simple way.

– Facebook allows you to “boost” a post for a small price (under $20 can help you reach thousands of prospects!)

– Got a sale coming up and want your followers to know about it? Make a post and boost it! Got a dealership event or demonstration that people should hear about? Choose your target market and create an ad! Plus, Facebook offers free insights and analytics to help you see how your ad performed.

Whether your budget is big or small, there are a variety of ways you can use digital marketing to reach your target audience and help drive more leads. Starting with having Google Analytics set up properly and SEO implemented on your site are the foundations to having success in the digital landscape. From there you can use a variety of strategies, derived from the platforms mentioned above, to craft a marketing plan that takes your exposure to the next level.

Article provided by ARI Network Services. ARI’s suite of award-winning data-driven software tools and marketing services help dealers “Sell More Stuff!” online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in the outdoor power equipment, powersports, marine, RV, automotive tire and wheel, and white goods industries. More than 23,500 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website ( and eCatalog platforms to “Sell More Stuff!”


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