So You Want to Host an Event at Your Dealership
Car dealership events are a great way to showcase your business’ connection to your community. Leverage your digital marketing efforts to attract people to your event and keep your business top of mind afterward.
We’ve got seven best practices to help you shepherd your event from an idea to a smashing success.
1. Give Your Planning Team Plenty of Time
You want to put your best foot forward, so don’t try to shoehorn a huge to-do list into a few days. Taking the time to plan out event promotion ensures that critical tasks have owners and nothing gets overlooked.
Try to start your digital marketing planning 4-6 weeks (but no fewer than two weeks) in advance.
2. Take Inventory of Your Assets & Event Details
You should have an inventory of the logos, websites, and social media handles for your dealership, the organization(s) co-hosting the event, and any other organizations who will benefit.
You’ll also want to be sure you have:
- Event info (date, time, address)
- Event registration information
- A sharable calendar and/or management tool like Google Calendar or Trello
3. Create a Dedicated Landing Page
The landing page is the hub around which all of your digital marketing efforts will revolve. ALL of your promotional posts are going to push traffic to this page.
Having a dedicated promo page is beneficial for letting the community know about the event (and registering attendees).
What should your car dealership event landing page include? Start with the essentials:
- Optimized copy that communicates the What, When, Where, Who, and Why of the event.
- Names of all involved businesses and organizations, along with their logos
- A suite of graphics optimized for display on your website/landing page and social media sites.
- Post-event: Add a brief recap of the event with a photo gallery. Attendees enjoy seeing themselves at community events. Plus, images offer another opportunity to maximize SEO.
Get into recycling: Are you planning to hold the event annually? You’re all set! Just update the landing page with fresh content for the upcoming festivities and save yourself (and your team) a ton of time and money.
*SEO Bonus Points:
Regardless of whether you’re partnering with your local charity or hosting a food cart pop-up for your neighboring restaurants, if you’re promoting their business, there’s no harm in asking them to promote yours!
Boost your site’s dealership’s SEO by acquiring backlinks from your co-host business. Politely ask them to mention the event in a blog post on their website that includes a link pointing to your custom landing page. If they’re not big on blogging but have a partners page or something else of the sort, you can ask them to feature a link back to your event page there instead.
There’s always potential for your event to be shared on local news sites and community event listings as well, so don’t be bashful; get the word out!
4. Create an Event on Facebook
After you’ve published your event landing page, create an event on Facebook that links back to your landing page. To maintain continuity, repurpose the digital assets from your landing page (design, copy, images) to create the Facebook event page.
To ensure that your cover image displays correctly, you’ll want a version of your graphic that meets Facebook’s specifications. Currently, the recommended size for a Facebook banner is 1920 pixels wide by 1005 pixels tall. If you use an app like Canva, the “Magic Resize” tool can copy and resize your images to fit a wide range of sizes.
Put a pin in it. After you’ve created the event post, make sure you add the collaborating organizations as co-hosts and pin the event to the top of your Facebook pages.
5. Promote Across Your Other Social Media Channels
Facebook may be the focus of your social media marketing for your car dealership event, but you and your co-hosts should also include your other channels.
Since every social media channel has different specifications, you’ll need to adjust your images and copy to stay within image size and character limits. If you don’t want to have several different versions of your primary image, 1080×1080 displays well across most social media channels.
Check your social calendar. If the event is more than four weeks away, start with a teaser, then post the event every 10-14 days. As you get closer to the event, you’ll want to generate excitement for it by posting once or twice a week.
Just be sure to continue sharing that original custom landing page in your posts!
*Paid Social Bonus Points:
It’s important to diversify your dealership’s event types so that you can regularly capture the attention of new locals that may not have been exposed to your dealership before now.
As your event page continues to circulate through social media platforms and other online traffic sources, you’re unwittingly growing a whole new retargeting audience via the Meta (Facebook) Pixel that’s now ripe for remarketing!
Searching for fresh event ideas? Look no further: 15 Car Dealership Ideas to Connect with your Community
6. Hype the Event in Real Time
The day has come, and the festivities are about to get underway. Don’t stop promoting your event! You can—and should—keep the hype machine running even after you’ve opened the doors.
Pool forces with your event co-host, so you’ll have someone available to cover activities. Have one or two people who can keep promoting the event on social media by going live on Facebook, posting Stories, and gathering footage for later use. Fun event content can include:
- Interviews with sponsors and attendees
- Behind the scenes footage like set-up/clean-up, welcoming guests
- Featured activities including contests, drawings, or performances
Consider calling in the Pros: Depending on the car dealership event you’re hosting, you may want to bring in a professional videographer and photographer to add high-quality content to your landing page and video channels.
7. Post-Event: Sharing is Caring
Gather up all of the photo and video content you captured during your dealership’s event. Add the content to your event landing page and post videos to other channels, including YouTube.
Use social media (and your email list if you’ve collected registrations) to send people to the photo gallery on the landing page or Facebook, YouTube, or TikTok for fun videos from the event. Attendees will be reminded of the fun they had, and many will reshare your content, extending your name recognition throughout the community.
Have an attitude of gratitude. As you highlight the event afterward on your landing page and social media channels, thank your co-hosts plus event sponsors and any local media that attended the event. This offers another opportunity for you to earn backlinks from these people and organizations to help boost your site’s search ranking.
Promote Like a Pro
If you haven’t had much experience using digital marketing to promote your car dealership events, the process may seem daunting. It never hurts to call in digital marketing professionals to help you get up and running.
Our marketing and social media mavens can help you implement general best practices while helping you create content that resonates with the people throughout your community that you want to attend your event.
Even if you choose to do this on your own, these seven tips will not only make you look like a seasoned promoter, and you’ll have built a library of digital assets to replicate when planning future events.