In the second installment of the “Marketers’ Underestimation Of The Car Buying Process” series, used cars, specifically certified used cars, get the spotlight. In my last article, I discussed marketers’ belief that Facebook ads alone can get potential car buyers into dealership’s showrooms. Unfortunately, the automotive industry doesn’t see results that easily. There are many avenues car buyers can decide to travel when it comes to buying or leasing their new car, and marketers need to be prepared to use an array of strategies that cater to their specific needs.

Used and certified used require much more time and deliberation in the car buying process for consumers. Instead of choosing new models from different brands, car buyers can expect to see a multitude of options, especially in the $25,000 price range. An Infiniti G37 and Mercedes Benz C300 can be found at or around $25,000, and best of all, they’re still under warranty, with most models having 20,000 – 30,000 miles on the odometer. These options can alter a consumer’s decision as luxury cars now play a factor, making an Infiniti or Mercedes Benz much more attractive than a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.

However, despite luxury options within these car buyer’s budgets, they’re still going to need convincing to actually go through with it and choose luxury over an average mid-size sedan. This is where a steady stream of content and marketing genius come into play. Because both the Honda and Infiniti dealership have to sell a consumer on the idea of buying one of their cars, discussing the benefits of ownership must be the first priority, and that starts on Facebook.

Marketers believe a Facebook ad that promotes these models is enough, however there’s much more to it than spending money for sponsored advertising. You must present the car to the best of your abilities. Post native content, such as photos of the car, with interior and exterior shots. Discuss the benefits, such as luxury, performance, and reliability of you’re Infiniti; lower cost of ownership, better fuel economy, and reliability for Honda. You have to list the benefits, while also presenting the car with great photos posted to your Facebook page and Instagram account.

Facebook ads can only go so far. While they will generate likes, they won’t generate a sale. Going one step further with detailed photos can effect a car buyers decision because consumers do buy cars based off appearance. Because the used section of the automotive industry can have many options to choose from, consumers will need more convincing to actually buy used rather than new, and luxury over practicality. That’s why Facebook ads aren’t enough.

If you think about it, marketers deal with selling primarily new products. There aren’t many industries where a marketer would try promoting and selling used products, or lease offers. They only know how to sell and market what is new, which is why the automotive industry is lacking, offering no value to the consumer, and the dealerships can’t persuade that potential car buyer to choose used over new. There’s a disconnect between marketers and the automotive industry, which is why social media marketing strategies that are currently in place fail to work.

Do you want to influence a car buyer’s decision? Then you have to market the car in every way, shape, and form. Native content, pictures, and strong copy that tugs at the heart of consumers is how you can effect that consumer. Advertising is as good as dead when promoting a car. You have to sell them on the idea of owning your certified used car instead of buying a rival brand’s new model. That only happens when you fully inform consumers on the vehicles on your lots, and you show them that buying a luxury car will offer more value in the long term than buying an average mid-size sedan.

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