Using automotive Facebook ads makes selling cars as easy as selling water at a marathon.
But you must target the right customers for your ads to be truly effective. Here’s how to find your targeting sweet spot for any Facebook ad.
Top 6 Strategies for Targeting Facebook Ads
Targeting is arguably the most important part of your Facebook ad. Unless you are using a custom audience, you’ll need to select your audience via Facebook targeting.
You can learn how to make Facebook ads, which are a big part of any automotive inbound marketing strategy, here.
Once you know how to create an ad, get familiar with our six most effective strategies for targeting automotive Facebook ads. (For even more, check out these top eight targeting tips!)
1. Test, Test, Test
Before we go any further, your biggest takeaway from this post should be the importance of testing. Don’t limit your campaign to a single ad set unless you have an extremely small budget.
The best way to lower your cost per click (CPC) and find the right audience is to split your budget between at least two ad sets to see which performs better.
2. Start with General Targeting
Once you start your ad set, create your new audience under the “Targeting” section.
First, set your audience near the location of your dealership (+25 miles of your city is usually a good bet, unless you are in a densely populated city with many dealerships — then you might want to set it a bit lower). If there are any cities you want to exclude from your ad, set those parameters here as well.
For age and gender, unless you are an expert on your dealership’s demographic, use the default setting of all genders ages 18–65. Otherwise, you could be missing out on potential buyers.
You can also select languages in this section. If you are in an area of the U.S. with a high population of people who speak a foreign language, adjust this section accordingly.
3. Get Specific with Detailed Targeting
Detailed targeting will make or break your ad — and your ad budget. When you find the right targeting, you’ll get better results from your ad: a higher reach, more clicks, and a lower CPC.
In this section, you can also add a “Connection,” which allows you to choose “People who like your page,” “Friends of people who like your page,” or “Exclude people who like your page.” This can be a good option if you’re looking for another way to narrow your audience and/or want to add an element of social proof.
Facebook will give you “Suggestions” for detailed targeting options, but we don’t trust those. Your best bet is to go to “Behaviors > Automotive” and then select what fits your ad best. Don’t let the multitude of options intimidate you.
Where does Facebook get this automotive behavior data? The social network uses “multi-sourced, US consumer household information from IHS Automotive (Polk) that draws from geographic, demographic, and area-level vehicle characteristics validated using actual vehicle registration.”
Since the data is based on actual vehicle registrations, you can bet it’s accurate.
4. Learn the Nuances of Targeting New vs. Used
Choose different behavior sections depending on whether you are selling new or used vehicles. We’ll start with new.
You can choose “New Vehicle Shoppers (In market)” or “New Vehicle Shoppers (Max in market).” While it may not seem like it, there’s a big difference between the two.
“Max in market” shoppers are hotter leads. They want to buy a vehicle within 90 days. “In market” shoppers are looking to buy within 180 days.
Each option has a trade-off. If you select “Max in market” shoppers, you can narrow the options down to the type of vehicle the shopper is looking for (mid-size SUV, full-size sedan, etc.). That’s it. When you choose “In market” shoppers, you can select the particular brand of car you are selling.
So which one is better?
5. Adjust Your Strategy Based on Results
This is why testing is so important. Here’s what we found from comparing the two types of new vehicle shoppers.
For one of our clients, we focused an ad set for a new car carousel ad on “Max in market” new vehicle shoppers. For the other set, we chose “In market” and selected our dealer’s make.
So basically, one ad set targeted people looking to buy any make within 90 days, while the other catered to people looking to buy the make advertised in our carousel within 180 days.
Despite one of the ads being targeted specifically to people interested in the brand we were selling, the “Max in market” ad performed much better, with more clicks and a lower CPC.
Why? Well, Facebook doesn’t explain these things, but we can hypothesize that people who are in the 90-day market are more antsy to click on a car ad, regardless of the brand they are seeking. They are hotter leads.
This is just one test out of many we have conducted at 9 Clouds. Results can and will vary by market and brand. We can’t guarantee you’ll get the same results.
However, we can guarantee that if you test your audience, you’ll find the right targeting for your store.
You can run similar tests with used car shoppers as well. Play around with the options provided in Facebook to find the right targeting for your store — and remember to review the data and adjust your strategy often!
6. Try Other Targeting Options
There are many Facebook targeting options for automotive in addition to what we mentioned. You can target potential customers by:
- Owner: Find someone who purchased a car four years ago and who may be looking to upgrade.
- Income: Selling a luxury car, like BMW or Lexus? Target people who make more than $100,000 per year.
- Make: If you are selling Chevrolet, target people who are looking for a Chevy.
- And much more!
Facebook has many options. Find the targeting that is getting you the highest reach and lowest CPC. And test, test, test!
Watch Our Video Series on Facebook Ads for Car Dealers
Think you’ve got a good grasp on Facebook targeting? Take the next step and learn our top eight targeting tips.
If you’re ready to achieve real results with a trusted digital marketing partner, contact us for a custom digital marketing proposal for your dealership. We guarantee that our services will increase your internet conversion rate by at least 25% in the first six months.
Jaden Miller Chambers
As an account manager at 9 Clouds, Jaden oversees performance-based campaigns for clients throughout North America. She approaches challenges with an open mind and is always willing to lend a hand. In her free time, she’s planning her next camping or international trip. Learn more about Jaden.
Facebook Live is a hot new social media trend which lets car dealers share real-time videos with their fans, friends and followers, right from the dealership – vehicle videos, service videos, customer reviews, videos of dealership operations, and more.
Here are some powerful Facebook Live video marketing ideas for your dealership.
Facebook Live Idea 1: Showcase Your Car Dealership
Go on a live tour of your car dealership and showcase your awards, appreciation certificates, happy employees, in-showroom customers, and more. This will improve your dealership brand recall, and drive more web traffic and showroom footfalls.
Facebook Live Idea 2: Present Your Unique Advantages
If your car dealership offers something unique and different, then prospective customers will take notice. Show them a compelling feature that sets you apart from the others.
Facebook Live Idea 3: Create Frequent Videos
Don’t just stop at one video and disappoint your Facebook followers. Create frequent videos at a particular time of the day and engage with them regularly.
This will boost your brand recall as well as result in yet more likes and shares.
Facebook Live Idea 4: Announce Your New Releases
Your Facebook Live videos can showcase new car launches at your dealership in real-time, building anticipation and excitement.
The launch event can be used to promote the new vehicle with Facebook Live special offers.
Facebook Live Idea 5: Explain New Car Features
The key features and specifications of the newly launched car can be demoed through Facebook Live.
This is a great way to attract car enthusiasts who are planning to buy a new ride.
Facebook Live Idea 6: Surprise Customers with Exciting Offers
Who wouldn’t like exciting offers?Just about everyone would be hoping to receive one. These offers can be announced via Facebook Live for your loyal customers and followers.
Facebook Live Idea 7: Go for a Live Test Drive Video
There are millions of car-lovers who are viewing recorded car test drive videos every day, including thousands of prospects from your local area. If your dealership provides them with a live test drive video, then you can expect more web traffic, test drive requests, and showroom visits.
Also, your followers will be waiting in anticipation of the next video test-drive.
Facebook Live Idea 8: Host a Q&A Session
One of the best Facebook Live ideas is to shoot a Q&A session, which will answer questions from showroom visitors as well as Facebook followers in the video comments.
This will result in more customer engagement, give you valuable feedback, and also help you come up with new content ideas for your car dealer website and blog.
Facebook Live Idea 9: Shoot a ‘How To’ Video
There are several new features in cars that the customers are seldom aware of. Plan for a few ‘How to’ videos which demonstrate these features.
This will result in a lot of new Facebook likes and shares, and will also drive more traffic to your car dealer website.
Facebook Live Idea 10: Invite Special Guests
You are already aware of the effectiveness of Influencer Marketing. Invite special guests related to the automotive industry to your Facebook live video and attract their fan followers as well. This is one of the best ways to build your dealership brand awareness and recall.
Potential scams aside, Craigslist is still a solid choice for selling your car. But it’s only one choice among several dedicated car sales websites. Sellers and potential buyers also have sites like Carvana and Vroom to choose from. And just like Craigslist, people can list cars for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
But while selling your car on Facebook Marketplace is possible, is it worth your time and energy? And are there potential downsides to doing so? To find out, I tried using it to sell my 1999 Mazda Miata 10 th Anniversary Edition.
How do you sell and buy cars on Facebook Marketplace?
Since it launched in 2017, Facebook Marketplace has seen several updates, including on its cars and vehicles section. Originally, potential buyers were limited to searching within 100 miles of a given ZIP code, Road & Track explains. But these days, that radius extends to 500 miles.
Listing cars on Facebook Marketplace is fairly similar to listing them on an auction site or Craigslist. First, take as many clear, informative photos of your car as possible. And if you’re including additional items with the sale, such as spare parts or service records, take photos of them, too. Then, upload the photos to Facebook Marketplace, and start writing the listing itself.
Having failed to sell my Miata on several auction sites, I wanted to give Facebook Marketplace a try. And I was admittedly somewhat wary, given the potential for spam, scanners, or other social-media-related dangers. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a shot—and I had a plan.
When I was trying to sell my Mazda Miata through online auctions, I specifically targeted enthusiast-friendly websites. Hence why I started with Cars & Bids and progressed through Bring a Trailer and Rad for Sale. And in an attempt to maximize how much I could get for my NB, I did something similar on Facebook Marketplace. More specifically, I listed it for sale on the private Windy City Miata Facebook Marketplace page.
That’s one of the biggest differences between Facebook Marketplace and a site like Craigslist, CNET explains. Although sellers can list their cars publicly, private group listings are an option. This limits who has access to your ad and thus your information. And because private groups have moderators, it limits the potential for scammers. Plus, because it’s Facebook, buyers and sellers can easily communicate via Messenger.
Also, I was offering my Mazda Miata up for sale through a dedicated car club. That meant a genuinely interested and knowledgeable audience that would understand the unique aspects of my limited-edition Miata. And I was selling a convertible at the beginning of summer at a time of high used car prices.
As a result, I had several potential buyers messaging me the day after I placed the Facebook Marketplace ad. And a few days later, the Miata was sold—for the list price, too.
Would I sell another car this way?
Need to sell your car? Here are three tips for safely selling your car during the coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/hlu5hyBPc3
— Cars.com (@carsdotcom) May 16, 2020
To be sure, for every great Facebook Marketplace experience, there are undoubtedly some horror stories. And if I was to do this again, I’d probably have the buyer meet me in a public area, rather than at my house. Although I sent my address to them via private email, rather than Messenger, public meeting places are generally the safer bet, Edmunds notes.
But that being said, I wouldn’t hesitate to sell my car via a club’s private Facebook Marketplace again. It was easy to list my car and communicate with interested parties, and I had more confidence in their integrity. For me, it was a great idea.
Penny Williams-Ware, a 59-year-old business management major at Wilmington University in Delaware, has a lot of school spirit. So when the university sent out a mass email looking for students willing to slap a big “WilmU works” logo on the side of their car, she didn’t hesitate.
Williams-Ware works part-time as an Instacart driver, and is now making an extra $100 a month to drive her SUV around to all the places she normally would — a nice little financial cushion she’s padding her savings account with.
“I just put it in the bank, and if I need it for school, I’ll use it,” she says.
Car wraps, as they’re called, come in the form of large vinyl decals that partially or completely cover a vehicle’s exterior. Advertisers use them to reach people as they go about their daily lives; kind of like a mobile billboard, says Mac Macleod, CEO of the fleet advertising company Carvertise. (If you’ve ever seen a car driving around covered in a logo for Red Bull or your local bank, you’ve seen one of these in the wild).
It’s a marketing method that attracts a lot of eyeballs: In a 2019 Nielsen survey, 64% percent of respondents said they had noticed a wrapped vehicle within the past month, compared to 44% who said they’d noticed a stationary billboard. And amid news of another less-than-stellar U.S. jobs report, more people are willing to participate. When Carvertise first launched in 2015, the company got about 20 new drivers a day, according to Macleod. Now, the company’s network totals more than 500,000 drivers, and more than 200 new drivers sign up every day, he says.
Thinking of turning your car into a drivable Netflix ad? Here’s what you need to know.
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We have seen a substantial increase in the number of online car sales’ ads in the last few years as more people chose to sell their car privately rather than trading them in. This guide is similar to our Top Tips for Selling a Car Online guide but we are going to focus a bit more on the written content of the adhere. The trick is to write an ad that is informative, trustworthy, engaging and appealing.
No matter how good your car is, it just won’t sell itself. Unless you’re selling a Ferrari Enzo
1. *Cliche alert* A picture is worth a thousand words. I already spoke about the importance of photographs in the other guide but they’re so important they warrant a second mention. Include plenty of photographs of the car from inside and outside (at least 6). Good quality photographs make it easy for the potential buyer to imagine themselves inside the car and a photograph from the driver’s point of view is always a good one. If for some reason, you don’t have any photograph or you plan on taking them later it’s best to upload a placeholder until you do so to let viewers know that you plan on uploading images soon. Ads that don’t have any photographs immediately look suspicious.
2. Include the Basic Information Car Ad Without Proper Title While getting several enquiries about your car is great, you would probably want to avoid people having to call you to ask whether the car is petrol or diesel. Including the make and model in the title is always a good idea instead of just having the word car in it. Other information to include would be:
- Make, model and spec e.g. Ford Focus Zetec
- Engine Size
- Fuel Type
- Transmission i.e. manual or automatic
- Tax & NCT/MOT
Even though the colour can be seen from the photographs, it’s good to have these words in the content of your ad. So when people search for red ford mondeo for sale, chances are they will find your ad.
3. Honesty Describing the car as it is will you save you time and hassle. If you oversell it or describe it as perfect then that is what your potential buyer will be expecting when they come to see. If it has any scratches or dents it’s best to mention it here before someone comes to see it. If it becomes apparent that you lied, then chances are they will begin to doubt other things you’ve said about the car.
4. Good spelling & Grammar Spelling mistakes and grammar are a huge turn-off and it makes you look lazy. Copy and paste what you have written into Microsoft Word and let it do a spell check. Bullet points and short sentences are a lot easier to read too. Top Tip: Cars have brakes and not breaks and tyres have tread, not thread! Abbreviations are also to be avoided if you want to keep your ad looking professional.
5. Why are you selling the car? This is one of the topmost asked questions when people enquire about a car for sale. It makes sense too, especially when you’ve written an ad saying how great the car is – if it’s so great, then why are you selling it? Acceptable answers would be: I need a bigger car for the children or you simply want to upgrade.
6. Service history & maintenance Tell them how often you got the car serviced or when the tyres were changed. Don’t lie because you could be asked for proof. Many people will ask for receipts of all the work that has been done on the car.
7. The controversial one – Don’t hide your reg When I see a car for sale online and the person has hidden the reg with some black plastic or with some crude editing in Microsoft Paint I scroll past the ad. Even though some people hide their reg only to prevent their car from being cloned, the first thing that comes to my mind is that they’re trying to hide something and prevent someone from doing a history check on the car from the likes of Cartell.ie
8. List the selling price While many car sales websites encourage you to put in a price, it’s good to know that the ads without prices generally receive fewer enquiries. Possibly, because they think your price is so high and people wouldn’t even look at your ad. Other things you might want to include in the ad:
As a small business you will recognise the need to promote your business.
With a bit of creativity and some work on your part there are a number of ways to advertise your business for free.
1. Write a press release
Writing a press release is the best way to generate some free publicity. Basically, most journalists do not have much time to write stories, so if you can provide them with easily written text it becomes quite easy for them to publish it.
But be careful and don’t presume that your story will be interesting. The fact that you sell a product is not very interesting. Interesting stories are more likely to be human interest, or about a new business opening. Look inside a publication to see what sorts of stories that they publish and write your press release like one of these.
2. Build a page on Facebook
Facebook, at least for the time being offers the ability to build a free page. Then you fans can “Like” your page and any updates that you make will appear in the timeline. It seems likely that over time Facebook will offer less free stuff for businesses and start charging for it.
We have written an article on how to build a following on Facebook.
3. Use your car window
Make a poster and put it in the back window of your car. This could be just a simple web address for your business.
4. Add comments at the bottom of web postings
If you do a reasonable job of an answer then many sites will be quite happy to include a link back to your website.
5. Build a following on Twitter
Twitter is a great way to promote your business. It is quick and simple to do. You can put up a page and start following people. You can search for people in the search box.
You also can schedule Tweets in advance so that you can plan a steady stream of marketing ideas.
6. Shop windows
If you are holding a local event, many shops will be quite happy to put up a small A4 poster in their window. Many websites have events pages that do not charge to promote an event.
This is just one of a number of ways that you can advertise a local business. We have built a range of different ways into the following article
7. Free directory websites
There are a number of websites that offer a free directory. These include
8. Link swapping
Link swapping has gone a bit out of fashion of late, but it can present a very useful way to get traffic to your website. The free willy-nilly swapping of links was very popular a few years ago, but in the right circumstances it can prove very popular. The best way to go about doing this is to find out who is linking in to your competitors’ websites and ask if they will link back to you.
To find out who is linking, go to Google and type in “link:competitor.com” (changing competitor.com for the website you want to check out).
9. Start blogging
It can be a bit time consuming, but if you start a blog on your website, using software like WordPress or Typepad you can generate more traffic.
10. Generate reference material for your website
Another useful way to bring people to your website is to write useful reference material such as free how to guides.
One company that is using this to great effect is the hospital company BUPA. They wrote a number of health factsheets that they claim now have one million people a month visiting. While this has taken them quite a bit of effort to generate it is one of the best examples of free advertising that I can think about. And much cheaper than advertising on TV.
Other ideas include
– Send in articles to magazines.
– Speak at conferences.
Facebook’s experimental new Promoted Posts feature lets users pay to bump posts up in their friends’ newsfeeds.
Is that cat photo you posted on Facebook not resonating? A new feature the company is testing out lets you push Fluffy to the top of your friends’ newsfeeds by shelling out cash.
Facebook’s experimental “Promote” feature, released on Wednesday to a small group of U.S. users, allows you to pay Facebook ( FB ) to promote important pictures or announcements. Those who have access to the feature say a promoted post typically costs around $7.
That price tag is part of the experiment: A company spokeswoman said that Facebook is “considering a variety of prices.”
A Facebook blog post explaining the new offering features a picture of a recently engaged couple with a new option — “Promote” — sitting alongside Facebook’s familiar Like, Comment and Share links. The feature was first tested out in New Zealand in May, then expanded to a limited number of users in 20 countries.
Facebook won’t say how many U.S. users are now seeing the Promote option, saying only that it’s a “limited subset” of the site’s 166 million American users. The feature is also restricted right now to those with less than 5,000 friends and subscribers.
Facebook has long given businesses the option of paying to promote their posts to a broader audience, but the new Promoted Posts feature is a foray into generating revenue directly from everyday users. Facebook has run a few experiments along those lines, most recently with a new gift-giving feature that lets users send their virtual friends real-world gifts on special occasions.
Will you soon be seeing “Promote” all over your posts? That’s unclear. Facebook calls the experiment a “test,” and the company isn’t shy about killing off money-making trials that fail. The company recently scrapped its virtual currency, Facebook Credits, and its Groupon-like Facebook Deals died after a four-month test period.
User reaction to Facebook’s latest experiment seemed mixed. I asked friends and subscribers on my Facebook timeline how they feel about it.
“It would probably be useful for politicians, business owners, and narcissists, but useless for everyone else,” Facebook user Matthew Cole quipped.
“I can’t imagine why I would pay to promote my personal posts, most of which are about my cats or some.. pop punk band no one cares about,” user Jonathan E. Seely wrote.
But some are intrigued by the idea.
“It depends on two factors: 1) how honestly they implement it and 2) its effect on my newsfeed,” said Seth Bannon, the founder of tech startup Amicus. “If ‘promoted post’ or something similar is clearly displayed, and I’m still seeing relevant and interesting posts I care about in my newsfeed, then more power to them.”
Whether you’re looking for a particular new vehicle or looking to unload your old ride, there are now lots of great sites for buyers and sellers.
There are so many car buying and selling websites nowadays that it can seem like a maze, and with the 2021 used car market being what it’s been this year, you’ll want a gameplan before you start looking to sell or buy your next vehicle. So we’ll walk you through some of the best used car sites for shopping right now, based on your needs.
To See Past Sales of Similar Cars: eBay Motors
I bought my 1998 BMW M3 convertible on eBay. Lesson learned: Make sure it’s such a good deal that you’re okay with any foibles undisclosed by the seller. So how do you know you’re getting a nice price? Do an advanced search and look at the completed listings. You’ll see what sold. Maybe even more important, you’ll see what didn’t.
For Rare Cars and Classics: Bring-A-Trailer
Say you have a rare classic or awesome sports car, but it’s time to sell. This might be the places. Bring-A-Trailer vets all the cars it puts up on its website before listing them, so this site is rife with enthusiast traffic. Cars tend to sell for high dollar amounts because of the site’s clientele. It’s auction-based like eBay Motors and the site takes $99 if you sell with its most basic package.
If You Want To Vet Your Buyer or Seller: Facebook Marketplace
The Facebook Marketplace is one of the newest popular places to sell a car. All you need is a Facebook account and you’re ready to start listing for free. Your big advantage here is the ability to vet someone before they even come to look at your car. The potential buyer’s Facebook profile will be visible to you once they send a message, so it’s much more personal than the anonymous world of Craigslist.
If You Want a Lot of Eyeballs To See Your Listing: CarGurus
CarGurus is said to be the most visited online car marketplace in the U.S. Listing on this site is $5. CarGurus has been around for a while now and their site looks a lot like the other big players. It’ll let buyers know about where cars stand compared to others on price, though, so be careful about your list price.
To See What Other People Paid: TrueCar
TrueCar is a great tool for removing the mystery of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Say you want a new Chevrolet Silverado 1500. For that truck, TrueCar shows the most recent transactions on record that help you see what you should pay. Some savvy buyers paid much less than MSRP. You can also quickly ascertain that if you found a leftover model from the previous year, the average savings is much greater.
If You Want To List for Free: Craigslist
We all know the horror stories that come with Craigslist, where scams and suspicious schemes are all around. Still, the website can help you out big time if you know how to avoid the bad stuff.
The biggest advantage here is the price of entry: $0. You can make the post look however you’d like and include a ton of photos without paying extra. Selling a car locally is always easier, but that can also be a downside with Craigslist, since you’re missing out on most of the national audience unless someone searches outside of their area.
(You could also try AutoTempest, a great aggregator site that pulls together Craigslist car ads from beyond your area. I used it to locate and buy a truck that ended up being 800 miles away.)
The Old Standby: Autotrader
A long-running standby in the online car selling industry, Autotrader is one of the most popular places to list a car. There’s no free option available for sellers, but the number of eyeballs your listing will get here should ease the pain of paying a small fee to sell. Autotrader has an easy-to-use interface that a huge number of buyers rely on, and that’s a reason to put it at the top of your list.
If You Want To Pick Up a Car From a Futuristic Vending Machine: Carvana
360-degree views reveal features and flaws. Most cars are delivered the next day, with a seven-day test drive. Not bad if you’re looking to make a quick purchase.
For Virtual Test Drives: RelayCars
Want to climb inside a Mustang and see what the red leather interior looks like without going to a dealership? Download the RelayCars app and strap on your favorite VR headset and have a look around. You can do virtual test drives, too.
The Way It Should Be: Vroom
This is how manufacturers would love to sell new cars, if dealer franchise laws allowed it. Vroom escapes those restrictions by exclusively selling used cars (albeit some with only a few hundred miles on the odometer), conducting the whole transaction online. You buy the car through their site, they handle the paperwork and deliver it anywhere in the lower 48. They’ll even give you a quote on your trade-in and pick up your old car when they drop off the one you bought. But what about the test drive? You’ve got a week, or 250 miles, to make sure everything you hoped it would be.
When it comes to advertising, it can be hard to consistently come up with something that is both fresh and compelling, so you see a lot of the same thing from dealership to dealership. But when sales are sluggish, it becomes a bit more difficult to go with the same old campaigns and procedures. That’s why we’ve put together a list of car dealership advertising ideas that will break you out of the same-olds and drive up your sales just when you need it.
Car Dealership Advertising Idea #1: Partner Up
One of the best ways you can advertise your business is to partner up with a non-competing business that is closely connected to the people you want to reach. Having another company promote your dealership to their customers is a simple way to reach an audience via a company they are already doing business with. What is the benefit of their already doing business with this other company? Well, it means they probably trust that business, they are most likely good customers, and they have been somewhat pre-qualified by their interaction with your partner business. We all know that word of mouth is extremely powerful, but also impossible to force and hard to encourage. Partnering with another business can help you cultivate, if not totally informal word of mouth, then at least something that is equally useful. A minor caveat to this car dealership advertising idea: This strategy, if implemented, should be carefully measured to make sure that your dealership is getting a reasonable amount of business for what you provide to the partner business.
Car Dealership Advertising Idea #2: Be Unconventional
Shoppers expect certain things from dealerships, and not everything they expect is good. Whether we like it or not, dealerships have a few negative stereotypes that are hard to shake. Dishonest prices, pushy salespeople, high-pressure decisions, etc. Now, we’re sorry for bringing up those hurtful stereotypes, but there is a reason. Almost all dealerships suffer from these shameful stereotypes, regardless of the truth. That is the nature of stereotypes. The solution? Advertise yourself as a dealership that defies those stereotypes. Promote your dealership as honest, straightforward, and low-pressure. The minor catch? If you pick this car dealership advertising idea, you have to make sure that your dealership isn’t accidentally fitting a stereotype. With that taken care of, you can launch your new advertising campaign and watch the relieved and excited shoppers roll in.
Car Dealership Advertising Idea #3: Testimonial Gathering
We’ve already remarked on the power of word of mouth, so we won’t waste any time getting to our point. Customer testimonials are a major source of credibility, and they aren’t hard to get. All you have to do is ask. A happy customer is a resource in and of themselves, and getting their comments on the buying process can be done in a couple of different ways. You can ask the customer to fill out a CSI survey or to write a review online at the end of the sales process. Before they leave the lot, you can ask for their impressions of the dealership, salespeople, website, etc. You can also add QR codes to parts and service department counters that mobile customers can scan to leave a review. Training staff to mention to customers that they take great pride in their work and would appreciate any feedback can encourage these happy testimonials. Dealers can also ask for these opinions in a follow-up call, during which you can inquire if everything remains satisfactory, and inform the happy customer of your referral program and the benefits they can reap. Once you have these testimonials, you can post them on social media, your website, or use them in your dealership marketing materials. Customers love to buy from establishments with positive reviews, so positive CSI scores, testimonials, and reviews are a great way to encourage car shoppers to choose your dealership over your competitors’.
Car Dealership Advertising Idea #4: Social Media Refreshment
Dealers aren’t great at social media. At least, the majority could certainly use some help. There is a tendency towards tackiness and spamming that turns off social-media goers. The vast majority of shoppers who pay attention to dealership social media don’t want to see every car the dealer has available 10 times a day with links to their dealership website. Nor do they want information about an upcoming sale thrown into their newsfeed every 15 posts. On the other hand, social media that is too social can be awkward too. People don’t follow a dealership to get posts like: “DID ANYONE ELSE SEE THE COWBOYS GAME THIS WEEKEND?!” We’re not saying you have to keep your social media posts strictly formal, but at least keep it dealership related (and not in all-caps). Posting about things other than sales isn’t a bad idea, but try to combine it with some community engagement. Example: “Congrats to the Smalltown Stringrays Baseball Team in their match against neighboring Littleville! Post-game champagne courtesy of Smalltown Motors!” Posts like this offer more than the typical sad attempts at conversation with an uninterested audience. Funny yet tactful videos can also gain the attention of social media shoppers. A good post shows the strength of the dealer-community connection while still posting about something other than your new cars.
Car Dealership Advertising Idea #5: Bringing In the Trade-Ins
The classic idea is to host a free car wash and get people to bring their cars in, at which point you can offer a trade-in. This is a great idea. Community engagement, help, and the opportunity to bring in sales at the same time. Unfortunately, it is also October, and October is not an ideal car-wash month. But there are other ways to bring cars to your lot. Try free winter-weather inspections, post disaster safety checks, charity drives such as drive-thru Christmas carols, drive-thru cookies and hot chocolate, and sponsorship of community events such as a free concert in the parking lot. Bringing people to your dealership with a no-stakes invitation means you are bringing dozens of potential trade-in sales to your lot. A heads up with this idea: If you are going to pitch trade-ins to people you have lured to your dealership, the pitch needs to be as no-pressure as possible.
So there you have it. These are some of the best car dealership advertising ideas we can recommend to you. As much as we all wish everything to do with advertising was like Mad Men (big, awesome ideas followed by alcohol), we, and dealers, know that on the ground those big, awesome ideas are followed by hard work, not necessarily hard alcohol. But thankfully we’re in the car business, and we know that big, awesome ideas + hard work = lots of profit.