Time to see what’s trending in the world of automotive marketing. From Google algorithm updates (again) to chatbot chatter and video SEO to a voice search upsurge, the industry is abuzz with talk of tech – and its ability to support customer service excellence. 


We’ve narrowed the scope of discussion down to five of the top digital marketing trends:  

Google Your Website  

Anything could happen between now and when your eyes hit this post, but in March, Google upset the automotive industry with updates that changed how websites are ranked within results. Some dealers lost more than 20% of their organic traffic overnight.  

How do you know if you were one of them? Check your website analytics. Set the segment to “organic” and look at traffic before and after March 12, 2019. If there are big changes in organic traffic, chances are, you’ve been affected by Google’s update.  

What can you do about it? Google – and its algorithm – aim to reward websites with the best content. To avoid being negatively affected by future updates:  

It’s also a good idea to check keyword rankings before and after Google’s update. If there are huge swings, get with an SEO provider and get those numbers up. We can help

Video, SEO and Engagement 

Let’s start with some stats

  • 45% of adults overall – and 56% of Millennials – find video more engaging than other content 

  • 53% of adults overall – and 66% of Millennials – engage with a brand after watching a video (most often, by visiting its website)  

Plus, “Video is shared 1,200% more than both links and text combined,” according to a Forbes post. You can use video to reach substantially more car shoppers – and more car shoppers will engage with you because of it.  

On top of that, AI and closed captions are making video content more searchable. To improve SEO rankings, add keywords to your video title, description and URL. Include high-volume keywords in the script, too.  

Need ideas for “must-click” videos? Consumer favorites include:  

  • Customer testimonials 

  • Product walkthroughs 

  • How to tips 

  • Influencer interviews 

  • Live events  

  • Behind the scenes   

Voice Search Upsurge 

Sales of smart speakers will increase 50% this year, according to Think with Google. Not only that, 65% of owners wouldn’t return to life without a voice-controlled assistant, which they depend on for searching and shopping. And by 2020, 50% off all searches will be done via voice (compared to just 20% in 2017).    

This trend calls for a different kind of keyword strategy. Think about how people talk – instead of the way they type – and take a more conversational approach when choosing your keywords. And if your website answers a Google question well, it could be selected as a “featured snippet.”   

Chatbot Chatter 

 By 2020, chatbots will handle 85% of customer service interactions, according to an Inc. article. And the average person will have more conversations with chatbots than with their spouse! Unfortunately, only 34% of consumers prefer chatbots to traditional lines of communication. But this may change as artificial intelligence continues to improve.   

On the other hand, many people like chatbots because they provide accurate answers to common questions; access their customer information quickly; and remain patient (even if they, themselves, are difficult).    

By adding chatbots, your team can concentrate on tasks that make the most sense – financially and strategically – and focus on moving customers through the sales funnel. Advanced chatbots can help with lead qualification, shopping assistance, website browsing guidance, recruiting and more.   

Personalize Like It’s 2019  

When it comes to US consumers, 90% find personalized marketing content very or somewhat appealing. Good to know, right? But what, exactly, is “personalized marketing”?   

It’s not your father’s personalization. Auto-filling a customer’s name in an email isn’t enough in 2019. Customers expect more – and you’ll get more conversions with personalized: 

  • Product recommendations 

  • Social media messages 

  • Video messages 

  • Digital advertising 

  • Web content 

  • Targeted and triggered emails   

When developing a personalized email marketing campaign, create messaging based on different market segments and promote the products and services that interest those customers. Be sure to optimize emails for mobile devices. A recent survey found that, for nearly 85% of respondents, smartphones are the preferred method for accessing personal email.  

Getting personal pays – 44% of consumers are likely to buy from a business again, if that business provided a personalized shopping experience. Dealerships that personalize automotive marketing and the car buying process benefit from:  

  • Better customer experiences 

  • Increased brand loyalty 

  • More revenue 

  • Cross-channel selling opportunities 


More Trends, More Technology 

Google, video, voice search, chatbots and personalization – these are just some of the topics trending in dealership marketing conferences, webinars, articles and blogs. Other technologies, features and capabilities leading automotive marketing strategies and campaigns include:  

  • Augmented reality (AR) 

  The real reality (not the augmented one) is that, what you know today, could be out-of-date tomorrow. Technology continuously churns, creating new tools that force current automotive marketing strategies into obsolescence. Innovative dealerships remain relevant by partnering with experts in all areas of digital marketing, including emerging trends, techniques and technology.     

Contact us to learn more about how we can keep your automotive marketing “trending.”  


Related Content:  

How to Leverage Voice Search for Automotive Marketing 

3 Ways to Leverage Geofencing for Automotive 



Digital Dealer: How Google Shook the Auto Industry with Its Latest Update – And What Dealers Can Do About It 

85% of Millennials Say They’ve Made a Purchase After Viewing a Marketing Video 

Forbes: Five Digital Marketing Trends For 2019 

7 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch out for in 2019 

Think with Google: 10 Digital Marketing Predictions for 2019 

The Future of Voice from Smartphones to Smart Speakers to Smart Homes 

Inc.: By 2020, You’re More Likely to Have a Conversation with This than with Your Spouse 

Statista: Marketing Personalization – Statistics & Facts