When marketing a business on a budget, it can be really important to take advantage of free advertising and marketing outlets.
Social media is a great way to draw customers into your business. You can advertise events, sales and promotions but the joy of Twitter is the conversations you can start. You could talk about cars, industry news and new releases. What you're doing by being active on Twitter is advertising your brand.
You don't need to advertise directly on Twitter to get the most out of it. Be subtle, be conversational and don't hard sell.
Facebook will give you great interaction if you use things like Facebook places. You can reward customers for checking into your dealership. It might be something a simple as a free air freshener but the act of checking in shares the location with that user's Facebook friends.
Get yourself listed in all local, niche and general online directories. You'll find plenty of free ones that allow you to upgrade to for a fee. This is good if you find yourself with more budget in the future.
You can share your expertise on car forums. The key here isn't to go in selling, simply join in the conversation. Perhaps with a link to your website in your profile and forum signature.
Show off your passion for cars and really connect with other car lovers.
Press release submission
Create press releases for any events, exciting stories or company updates and submit these to websites such as PRlog.com. There's the opportunity to pay for more coverage but it's not always necessary.
If you have the time, submit your press releases to local and motoring journalists too. This sort of marketing is the most cost effective but it can be time consuming.
Google Local Listings
Get your business listed on Google Local so you show up in local search results. Your dealership will also show up on Google Maps. To get the most out of this, you'll need a Google Plus page that's fully up-to-date.
Partner up with local, like-minded businesses. This might be a car valeting service — if that's not something your dealership provides, of course. Get them to advertise your business to their customers and vice versa. It's a great way to share a customer base.