How Car Dealerships Can Benefit from Influencer Marketing in 2023

Published 27/01/2022 - Updated 02/08/2023

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Written by

Gary Lewis Cheetham

Automotive marketing specialist from Manchester, UK

We partner with selected influencers to promote our client’s dealerships on Instagram and TikTok.

As social media becomes more and more popular, influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly important way to reach consumers. A study by influencer marketing platform Olapic found that influencer-generated content produces an average of 8x higher engagement than traditional brand advertising.

It’s no joke, And for marketing for car dealerships, this means that partnering with influencers can be a great way to create brand awareness and improve advertising results.

By working with influencers who have a large following on social media, dealers can reach a large number of potential customers quickly and easily.

Additionally, influencers can help create engaging content that will attract attention to the dealership’s products and services.

You might not even need to find celebrities with large followings to see benefits from influencer marketing. This article explains the strategies we use to ace influencer marketing for the car dealerships that we work with.

Content is king: Why influencers perform so well

As social media becomes more popular, consumers are increasingly looking for authentic content that reflects their interests and lifestyles. Influencer content is a great way to achieve this because it is typically created in an organic and unprompted manner.

Influencers in the car industry share their experiences and thoughts on the vehicles, products, and services they use, which allows buyers to get an honest perspective on what it’s like to use those products.

Additionally, influencer content is often highly engaging, as it often features creative visuals and interesting storylines. This makes it more likely that customers will stop to take a look at the content, which can ultimately lead to them becoming interested in the product or service being promoted.

Overall, influencer marketing is a great way for car dealerships to build an audience and elevate their local brand. It should form the central part of your car dealer content marketing strategy.

The secret to successful ads: Use influencer content

At GL Digital we use influencers for organic posts, but we also use influencer content in our paid advertising strategy.

Why? Because when we use influencer content in paid social ads for car dealers, engagement is much higher than with content we create by ourselves.

By using influencers’ images and videos in ads, dealers can create highly engaging content that is likely to grab customers’ attention. Additionally, this content can help to build trust with potential customers, as it is coming from someone who is considered an expert or influencer in the field.

Overall, using influencer content in paid ads such as on Facebook Ads can be a great way to improve advertising results. By creating engaging and trustworthy content, dealers can reach more potential customers and inspire them to take action.

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How to find influencers for your dealership

We already have a back catalogue with a large number of influencers that we’ve worked with before.

However, if you’re finding new influencers for your brand, we use a simple three-point test:

Lookalikes, locals, and likeable

Lookalikes: Does the influencer fit your target persona

You’ll already have a good idea of what your target customer looks like.

It will generally be based on your product, for example, if you sell prestige cars your customers are likely to be wealthier and middle-aged. If you sell mopeds you can expect more younger customers.

When looking for influencers to work with, it’s important to find those who fit your target persona. This means finding influencers who have a similar look and feel to your ideal customer.

One way to do this is by using social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram to find influencers who are similar to your target customer. You can use filters on these platforms to find influencers who live in your area, share similar interests, or have a similar aesthetic.

Another way to find influencers is by looking for those who are already popular on social media. By working with well-known influencers, you can reach a large number of potential customers quickly and easily. Additionally, these influencers are more likely to generate high levels of engagement.

Locals: Work with smaller local influencers even if they don’t have as many followers

Local, “micro” influencers are becoming increasingly popular because they offer businesses a lot of value for their money.

For a start, micro-influencers have a more engaged following than traditional celebrities. They also have a higher engagement rate, meaning that their followers are more likely to respond to their posts. This makes them a great choice for businesses that are looking to generate awareness for their products or services.

Additionally, micro-influencers are more affordable than traditional celebrities. This means that businesses can get more bang for their buck by working with micro-influencers. They also tend to be more authentic and relatable than celebrities, which helps to build trust with potential customers.

Overall, micro-influencers are a great option for dealerships who are looking for an authentic and affordable way to generate awareness for their products or services.

By working with influencers who live in your area or share similar interests, you can create content that is relevant to your target customer. Additionally, by working with micro-influencers you can reach more potential customers quickly and easily.

Likeables: Check engagement rate and comments before working with an influencer

Engagement rate is a metric used to measure the effectiveness of an influencer’s posts. It is calculated by dividing the total number of interactions (likes, comments, and shares) by the total number of followers. This gives you a percentage that shows how engaged the influencer’s followers are.

A high engagement rate means that the influencer can generate a lot of engagement with their followers. This indicates that the influencer can create content that is interesting and engaging. It can also suggest that the influencer has a loyal following who are likely to respond to their posts.

A low engagement rate, on the other hand, suggests that the influencer’s followers are not very engaged.

Why engagement rate is so important

When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s important to choose influencers who have a high engagement rate. This means that their followers are more likely to respond to their posts, which increases the chances of them taking action.

Additionally, it’s important to look at the comments that influencers receive on their posts. This can give you a good indication of the level of trust that their followers have in them.

If an influencer has a high engagement rate but few comments, it might be a sign that they’re not as trustworthy as you thought. On the other hand, if an influencer has a low engagement rate but lots of comments, it might be a sign that their followers are more engaged.

Should we use TikTok or Instagram for influencer content?

Ultimately the answer to this question is both.

However, when it comes to choosing influencers, it’s important to remember that not all platforms are created equal.

For example, Instagram is a great platform for working with influencers because it has a high number of users and allows businesses to target their audience more effectively.

TikTok, on the other hand, is a great platform for working with influencers because of its high engagement rate. Additionally, TikTok is perfect for businesses that want to create content that is fun and engaging.

If you’ve been shying away from TikTok so far because you’re worried it has a young audience, think again.

Its largest audience is those who are over the age of 30. It’s been reported that TikTok’s user traffic has now even surpassed that of Google.

What to do once you’ve found your influencers

Make a list of the influencers you’ve identified as being relevant to your dealership, and reach out to them one by one.

Send a message from your dealership’s official Instagram or TikTok account so they know it’s you.

Not all of them will reply, they may be busy or not interested.

A template to use when outreaching to influencers.


We are looking for influencers to help us generate awareness for our dealership and products. We have identified you as someone who might be a good fit and would like to ask if you would be interested in working with us.

We would love to hear your thoughts on influencer marketing, and how you think it could benefit our dealership. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Thank you for your time, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

Setting up a date for them to visit your dealership

By far, the best thing you can do is to invite them to visit your dealership and meet your sales staff.

You will need to ask them to create videos.

Some ideas for video content at a car dealership could include:

  • Introducing the sales staff
  • Showing how cars are serviced
  • Touring the lot and highlighting different models
  • Driving a car around town and showing its features
  • Interviews with customers about their experience buying a car
  • Test drives

How much will working with an influencer cost as a car dealership

When it comes to influencer marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The cost will vary depending on the influencer’s reach, demographics, and engagement rate.

That said, car dealerships can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $5,000 per post. The price will also depend on the type of partnership you enter into with the influencer.

If you’re looking for a long-term partnership with an influencer, you might be able to negotiate a lower price. However, if you’re only looking for a one-time collaboration, expect to pay more.

It’s important to try a few different influencers in your niche before settling on some regulars, so you can understand what kind of content works well.


If you’re a car dealership, influencer marketing is one of the best ways to generate awareness for your business and products. It’s certainly one that we find is successful for our clients at GL Digital.

However, not all influencers are created equal – they vary in their demographics and engagement rates. That’s why it’s important to find influencers who match closely with your target audience so that you can work together on content creation campaigns that will resonate most with them.

When looking at influencers, don’t forget to compare which platform they use (Instagram or TikTok), as well as how much cost influencer marketing may have for your company – this varies depending on whether you want long-term partnerships or short-term collaborations.

For help finding qualified influencers near you or creating an effective campaign strategy based around these, get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to help.

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About the author

A profile picture of Gary Lewis Cheetham, the founder of GL Digital Automotive Marketing, smiling outside a car dealership

Gary Lewis Cheetham is an automotive marketing specialist, born and raised in Oldham, Greater Manchester. Gary Lewis Cheetham is the founder of GL Digital Automotive Marketing. He spent his teenage years working at the family dealership after school, learning the ropes of the car trade from the inside out.

After moving on to working in marketing, Gary Lewis founded GL Digital in 2020 when he noticed a need for direct-to-consumer marketing platforms within the auto industry. He now strives every day to help independent dealers in the UK and US realise their potential. Gary also loves Formula 1 and motorsport.