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Staying relevant to consumer expectations is key to driving results for your business. The digital landscape is constantly evolving due to innovations and advancements in technology and consumer behaviours. The automotive industry must keep pace and stay educated in the realm of digital marketing to be visible to consumers online.

That’s why in our recent webinars, The Convergence Series, sponsored by, we explored digital marketing campaign strategy, planning, and optimization by sharing current marketing techniques. The series was hosted by Automotive Digital Marketing Expert, Dave Winslow. For over 20 years Dave has worked as a marketing strategist across start-ups, boutique agencies, and large enterprises. In this three-part series Dave dove into Search, Social and Display Remarketing, providing dealers with key takeaways for their digital marketing strategy and initiatives.

Search Advertising

Capture consumers at their highest intent moment and drive them to your dealership

Search engines are used by consumers to search for local dealerships, vehicle makes and models, safety ratings and much more. Nearly 75% of users never go beyond the first page of their search1, that’s why it’s critical that your dealership appears at the top of search results pages. This is exactly what search advertising helps achieve. Paying to place ads that are shown to these consumers while they are researching or browsing will ensure your brand and inventory makes it into their consideration set. When measuring the success of search advertising keep an eye on improvements to click-through rate of keywords, impression share, quality score and goal conversion rate.

Don’t forget – aside from the main search engines, such as Google and Bing, search advertising optimization also needs to be considered in marketplaces that may be a component of your marketing mix.

Social Advertising

Promote your brand and products in a world where consumers spend their time

Building relationships at the dealership level is paramount. With six primary social media platforms consuming the majority of time spent on social networks, they command a large portion of social advertising revenue. Social advertising is all about impactful content that will attract the eye of consumers scrolling through social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter. Leveraging a variety of formats, such as photos and videos, will set you apart from the competition. Typically, a ten second video on Facebook has proven to perform best. You can also utilize audience data to power your social ads. Audience data can come from your own data or a third party to better target your ad campaigns to pre-defined segments.

When measuring the effectiveness of your social advertising, it’s crucial to focus on the ones that matter most to your dealership. That can range depending on whether you are looking for more audience reach, gaining impressions or referral traffic.

Display Remarketing

Showcase your brand and build awareness to increase market presence

Eighty nine percent of Canadian internet users go online every day2, which is why it’s imperative to invest in online display advertising. Display remarketing is driven by programmatic technologies that facilitate the buying and serving of advertisements and continues to shape the future of the industry. These ads are displayed on desktop, mobile and tablets, strategically placed to target a relevant audience. Similar to billboards, display ads attract the attention of consumers but are highly targeted, trackable and are presented where consumers are online. Your audience is comprised of people who have engaged with your website or online listings – those who have shown an interest in your dealership’s inventory. Once you master where you need to be online, it’s imperative that the content you share is compelling to your audience so they click-through!

Developing display ads has become a simplified process. It begins with outlining a goal, (i.e., increasing sales, generating more leads, driving awareness, etc.), then uploading the ad creative, selecting the target audience and finally measuring results. Understanding the frequency at which your ads appear online, the impressions they receive, and the click-through rate will all help determine how well your display ads perform.

Learn how to optimize your marketing with an assessment of your current strategy.

(1) 8 Seo Stats That Are Hard To Ignore, imFORZA. (2) Internet usage frequency in Canada as of January 2018, Statista.