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As a generation, Millenials have traditionally been standoffish about buying new automobiles. A new marketing study released by Dealertrack shows that this trend is rapidly changing and that Millenials are now starting to enter the retail automotive market in force.

The study shows that in the period between 2012 and 2016, 35% of all loans for new automobiles were taken out by Millenials. There was also a massive 49% growth in the number of Millenials who have signed a lease for a new car in this same period.

There have been some in the auto industry who have said that Millenials would rebel against car ownership as we know it, instead opting to rely on services like Uber and Lyft. These numbers refute that pretty handily. They may not have sped their way into car ownership as quickly as past generations, but Millenials are known for moving at their own pace.

So, how can you build a relationship and get them into the doors of your dealership ready to buy a car? Of course, you probably know most Millenials spend a lot of time on the Internet, so that is the best place to find them and earn their trust. Of course, that’s easier said than done, most car dealerships have a website, but is that enough?

Millennials: The Original “Digital Natives”

Millennials are generally defined as individuals born between 1981 and 1996. This is the first generation who grew up with access to the internet. True to form, the average Millenial visits an average of 18 different websites to research before they even consider getting themselves to a dealership.

You want your dealership to be part of the process as early as possible. How do you make sure that your site is one of the many they visit? More importantly, how do you make such an impression during their visit that they choose to come to your dealership in person?

The first key decision you will need to make is which social media channels you want to use to approach your potential customers. Facebook is still the largest social media site around, but in recent years, Millenials have tended to leave their Facebook accounts in greater numbers, preferring sites like Instagram and YouTube for finding information and filling idle time.

Why is Facebook losing so may Millenials compared to other generations? The answer is Trust. Because of their unique “Digital Native” status, Millenials have shown to be much more skeptical of who they allow accessing their data and personal information. Several public scandals involving Facebook and personal data has lead to that trust being eroded.

Initially, that may seem more of a hassle than it actually is. While Facebook has spent several years as the gold standard in social media advertising, the recent spat of privacy concerns has caused them to tighten up the access to many of its ad targeting features, removing many tools for advertisers such as the ability to target customers intending to make a car purchase in the next 6 months.

The loss of these features provides an additional incentive to look elsewhere online to court Millenial car buyers. Of course, Facebook is still a giant and should probably play a part in your online promotional plan, but it’s also worth buying ads on YouTube and Instagram as well for a more complete strategy.

These platforms are particularly powerful for auto sales because they allow you to present still image or video ads in a much more dynamic way than Facebook ads that have a much higher text to image ratio. This lets you play up the visual elements of the cars you are selling. Your online ads should feature exciting videos and vibrant colors.

These platforms are particularly powerful for auto sales because they allow you to present still image or video ads in a much more dynamic way than Facebook ads that have a much higher text to image ratio. This lets you play up the visual elements of the cars you are selling. Your online ads should feature exciting videos and vibrant colors.

Lastly, the way your message is presented is just as important as the content of the messages themselves. The way your page or online profiles look has a big effect on whether or not your message will be taken seriously by the average millennial. A web page that looks like it was made in 2005 will not cut it.

In many ways, growing up with the internet has made Millenials the most cynical generation. It’s worth earning their trust though because you will be rewarded with fierce loyalty. It will only be a matter of time before they are singing your praises on social media!

Sources:
https://www.cbtnews.com/automotive-marketing-to-millennials-important-lessons-from-a-survey-of-over-1000-americans