Top Digital Marketing Strategies for Dealerships


Digital marketing and advertising are essential for car dealerships. A significant amount of time and money is spent on these efforts. In fact, Google has proven that 90% of consumers begin their car buying research online. With so much competition among car dealers, advertising on Facebook and Google can help to build brand awareness, generate more leads and maximize a return on investment (ROI). Online ads make a significant impact by reaching buyers wherever they are through custom messaging.


shopping car online

1. Dealership Facebook Ads

Dealerships use Facebook's dynamic and robust ads to capture car shoppers who are low in the buying funnel. Entire catalogs of vehicle inventory with essential details such as make, model and year can be uploaded to Facebook. And then, the most relevant inventory can be displayed to the right target audiences. This way potential buyers only see the vehicles they are interested in, allowing the dealership to focus on closing the sale.


Steps to launching a successful Facebook automotive ad campaign:

Step 1: Create a Product Catalog

A product catalog contains helpful information about the items you want to promote on Instagram and Facebook. You can display items, run ads and sell directly from your shop using a product catalog.
To create a product catalog, begin by selecting "get started," "create a catalog" and then the type of inventory your catalog will advertise. After completing the previous tasks, you will upload your product information from the Commerce Manager or connect to a partner platform that integrates with Meta. You must log in to the Facebook Business Manager and allow permission to edit the catalog. Once you are permitted to edit the catalog, enter a name for the catalog, click "create" and viola - you have created a product catalog!


Step 2: Select Ad Type

With many different ads available on Facebook, choosing the perfect ad type for your product can be overwhelming. Regarding automotive products, it's best to stick with the two automotive ad types - automotive inventory ads and automotive offer ads.
Automotive inventory ads allow you to automatically advertise your entire vehicle inventory to the most relevant audience. In contrast, automotive offer ads are catalog-based ads that utilize automotive-specific optimization to promote offers to users who may be in the market for a vehicle.


Step 3: Connect to The Meta Pixel

When using a product catalog to set up automotive ads, it is essential to use the Facebook Meta Pixel to improve website traffic. The Meta Pixel is a helpful analytics instrument that allows you to understand users' actions on your website.


Step 4: Create an Ad Template

Using the Facebook Meta Ads Manager, you will decide on the target audience, the creative display of the advertisements and more!

Benefits of Facebook Ads for Auto Dealers

  • Automotive inventory ads are very efficient. Set up of the automotive campaign is done once to promote all automobile inventory.
  • There is no need for an expert when you advertise on Facebook.
  • The automotive ads are available for both web and mobile.
  • With over 2 billion users on Facebook each month, your advertisements are sure to be seen by your target audience.
  • Vehicle campaigns are automatically set to display the proper inventory at the right time based on consumers' actions on your website or app.


2. Google Vehicle Ads

Google Vehicle Ads are available to all automotive advertisers throughout the United States. Auto dealers can utilize this tool to reach serious car buyers; like Facebook, Google Vehicle Ads are performance-based, bottom of the funnel ads for those customers closer to selecting a specific vehicle. The format appears on queries with a high car shopping intent. Google Vehicle Ads placed front and center have the capability to generate instant results. The same search considerations apply to Google as with Facebook when a customer investigates a specific vehicle type and uses the same searches. Clicking on a vehicle ad will take the customer to the vehicle description page on the dealership's website. From there, further actions can be performed such as contacting the dealer and filling out a lead all before visiting the dealership.


Benefits of Google Vehicle Ads for Auto Dealers

The primary goal of these vehicle ads is to get in front of auto shoppers online and at the right moment with relevant listings and information to move them closer to making a purchase.
Key benefits include:

  • Showing customers critical information and visuals about the car before they click helps provide more qualified leads
  • Optimization for both online leads and offline conversions (store visits)
  • Vehicle ads automatically show the most relevant listings for a related user query
  • Serve alongside text ads on Google

How Google Vehicle Ads Work

Car buyers rely heavily on digital information and online research when purchasing a vehicle. Vehicle ads support new and used vehicle inventory from dealer or retailer stock. Vehicle ads from private sellers, individuals, or auto brokers are excluded.
Advertisers require the upload of a vehicle data feed to a Merchant Center, and must contain details about their vehicles, including make, model, price, mileage, color and more. Google uses these details to match a customer's search to the most relevant cars. Google Ads are linked to both a Merchant Center and Google Business Profile account.


Creating online ad content can be intimidating. Last year, 30% of cars were sold online, and consumers who bought their vehicles this way liked the ease of the process. Is it proven that paid social media advertising helps sell more cars? Was this due to seeing ads for vehicles online? We know that targeted campaigns will generate more leads and dominate the market by increasing engagement and customer loyalty. This is something to think about. Advertising on Facebook and Google can be good for car sales. What are you waiting for?



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