In case you missed it, it’s a new world for digital advertising.
With consumer demand for improved data privacy reaching a fever pitch, Google and Apple have both recently announced key changes regarding the use of consumer information on their platforms, impacting both how user information is collected and how it can be used in targeting digital ads.
The truth is more nuanced: you can adapt your existing targeting strategies, and infuse them with new audiences, to maintain your campaign performance. If you want to learn more about those tactics, our Dealer Inspire team has a comprehensive guide and webinar from their digital advertising specialists on how to do just that.
We’ve got the Top 5 to get you started.
Let’s get this out of the way early: if it’s more difficult to to finding in-market shoppers through digital advertising, why not just let them come to you at the place you know has a 100% in-market audience?
3rd party marketplaces like Cars.com continue to be among the best and first places to engage a pure in-market audience, because after all, people aren’t browsing Cars.com to buy toasters — they go because they’re in the market for a new vehicle. Google and Facebook want to be used by everyone at all times, but our Cars.com search engine is for the 25.4 million monthly active car shoppers looking for their next vehicle, 84% of which are in the market to buy within the next six months1. It’s the best place to get your inventory, brand, and customer experience in front of local customers looking to buy soon.
1. Cars.com Consumer Metrics Study, Q4 2020
2. Dealer Inspire Roxanne™ Data Science, Q1 2021
With the roll out of iOS 14.5, Apple device users will have to explicitly opt-in to having their online activity tracked for each app they use on their iPhone or iPad before opening the app, and we expect the majority of consumers to opt-out. The ROI of out-of-the-box targeting options available on social platforms like Facebook are in serious jeopardy. So it’s a must to go outside the box and tap into exclusive audiences you can use to power your social, video, and display advertising.
The same 100% pure audience you gain access to by listing your inventory on Cars.com can be used to stay in front of those car shoppers wherever they go next, whether it’s scrolling on social or watching their favorite show on streaming apps. By injecting our exclusive first party data into these platforms through FUEL: In-Market Video (only one dealer per territory can use it), you can win mindshare and market share by having the dominant brand presence.
While paid search often gets all the attention, we can’t underscore the importance of using organic search to attract in-market shoppers. Nothing says “I’m in-market” like a Google search of Honda Leasing Offers Near Me, so optimizing your website and digital stragegy for organic search is critical to stay in front of high-intent audiences.
A robust SEO strategy and an optimized site architecture that answers consumers’ questions not only makes your dealer website a more powerful trust symbol to your visitors, but it’s a great way to capture high-intent, low-funnel Google searches — the same keywords you would’ve bid on anyway. And best of all, once those pages build momentum and start driving organic traffic, they never stop working for you. It’s hard to create better ROI than “free”.
We’ve got a whole deep dive on how you can create SEO value yourself, but if nothing else make sure you do these three things:
Dealer Inspire started out as a search engine optimization company and continue to be leading experts in all things automotive organic search, so schedule a strategy call if you want to take your SEO to the next level.
We all know the importance of protecting our reputation and building customer loyalty through positive reviews — but don’t forget that review platforms are also a prime destination for low-funnel, in-market shoppers. In fact, 97% of car shoppers now head over to review sites before buying3, so securing positive reviews across multiple sites allows you to stay in front of shoppers as they make the critical decision of where to buy.
Being present and looking good on every review platform that matters can mean much more than a first impression — it can be the last impression you get to make before an in-market shopper decides which dealership to choose. So it’s important to build a positive reputation everywhere, since you never know what review platform a customer might turn to first.
That’s easier said than done, so we created a solution to make it automatic for your team. DealerRater’s ReviewBuilder™ syncs with your DMS to solicit each day’s sold customers to share their story, and then distributes those reviews across Google, Facebook, DealerRater, and Cars.com to build your reputation on all the key platforms.
3. BrightLocal 2019 Local Consumer Review Survey, December 2019
ReviewBuilder™ makes building and managing your reputation simple and automatic
You can have the most sophisticated targeting in the world, but at the end of the day if your dealer website isn’t optimized to convert, you’re leaving great leads from in-market shoppers on the table. This is a big discussion in and of itself (and our dealer website experts at Dealer Inspire have a lot to say about it), but here’s a couple things to bear if you’re looking to turn your website into a digital showroom for online shoppers: