Ads featuring local car dealerships are a dime a dozen during evening commercial breaks, and long gone are the days of decisions being made after spending a day on the lot.
Today’s savvy car buyers are skipping long afternoons of test-drives, opting to do their research online, and if your dealership isn’t thinking beyond the TV commercial, you could be missing out on smart shoppers.
The 2018 Car Buyer Journey, a study commissioned by Cox Automotive, found that car buyers spend more than half of their time doing research for their next purchase online. Not only that, an independent study commissioned by Cars.com found that “mobile showrooms” are more critical than ever, and that 81% of car shoppers use their mobile devices to research before they buy. The same study found that 63% of consumers continue their mobile research while standing at the dealership.
It’s clear that a digital presence is key to winning these savvy shoppers, so let’s look at a few fresh alternatives to TV commercials.
Display advertising refers to the banner ads found on websites. They’re very visual and can be built around a PPC (pay per click) advertising model. Display ads are an excellent source for driving traffic to your site, and can also be utilized on your dealership’s site to encourage form submissions and inventory inquiries. This form of digital advertising not only drives conversions, but also builds brand awareness for consumers who are earlier in their car buying journey.
Two types of video advertising worth exploring include YouTube and OTT.
YouTube boasts more than one billion users – more than one-third of total internet users. If the sheer volume of potential consumers isn’t enough to convince you, you should know that a recent study by Google found that 69% of people who used YouTube while car shopping were influenced by it – more than TV, newspapers or magazines.
There are multiple forms of YouTube ads, including bumper ads, in-display video ads, in-stream video ads and more.
OTT or “Over-The-Top” advertising delivers ads to viewers of streaming services through platforms such as Roku, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and more.
According to Digital Dealer:
Since 2010, 5 million people have dropped their cable subscriptions and 10.8 million more customers will cut the cord over the next five years. By 2020, the Connected TV-household universe will grow to 98 million, or 78% of US households, while over 6 million linear TV households will cut their paid subscriptions.
OTT also offers unique opportunities for audience targeting, and you can speak to shoppers in a specific zip code, with specific interests or prior research of a particular vehicle.
Paid Social Media
You already know that your dealership needs a social media presence, but that there’s much more to social media success than simply posting a photo of a shiny new car. Engaging with your potential customers and building relationships is the key to taking them from behind the screen to your dealership lot.
Paid social media and sponsored content takes the conversation to the next level and creates another opportunity to engage with customers and promote your dealership, while being trackable. A Social Media Trends study by Digital Air Strike found that 66% of car buyers or owners who have seen a Facebook ad say they have clicked on it.
By using Facebook’s audience tools, you can create custom audiences and speak directly to your ideal client and savvy automotive consumer. As a certified Facebook Marketing Partner, the team at Morgan & Co. can help you make the most of digital ads on the world’s largest social media platform.
If you’re ready to go beyond TV commercials and meet savvy car buyers where they are, reach out to the team at Morgan & Co. to learn more about digital advertising opportunities for your dealership.