2023 Automotive Digital Advertising Holiday Playbook - Adpearance

2023 Automotive Digital Advertising Holiday Playbook

Is your dealership prepared to maximize sales this holiday season? Car sales peak in December each year. Accelerate sales for your dealership by capitalizing on high consumer demand with a seasonal advertising strategy that fits your dealership’s goals.

It can be difficult or time-consuming to assess exactly what campaigns to prioritize and where to increase your budget to see the highest return on your investment. Check out Adpearance’s simple, advanced, and aggressive recommendations (along with insights on the latest new tactics) to make your dealership’s seasonal digital advertising campaigns a success.

Simple

A strong foundation is critical. Don’t miss an opportunity to capture consumer demand. Lay the key groundwork for your holiday season strategy with Simple recommendations.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
  • Update your ad text with seasonal language and keywords.
  • Add holiday-specific keywords to your campaigns. 
  • Make sure your ad copy features current pricing, availability, and incentives.
  • Ensure you’re using a Smart Bidding strategy to generate the maximum number of conversions at the lowest cost per conversion.
  • Add Google Vehicle Ads to your marketing mix to promote your live inventory with prominent, photo-based, top-of-the-SERP visibility.
Display
  • Update your ad creative and campaigns to run holiday or sales event-themed display ads. If you’re running a highly attractive incentive, ensure your creative is featuring it.
  • Prioritize users who have shown interest before. Use remarketing campaigns to target and re-engage low-funnel customers.
YouTube
  • Create a holiday or sales-event-themed YouTube video. Prominently feature any highly attractive events you’re running during this time.
  • Hone in on your remarketing audiences to re-engage low-funnel customers.
Connected TV
  • Create a holiday or sales-event-themed Connected TV video. Make sure your video prominently features events you’re running during this time.
  • Hone in on your remarketing audiences to re-engage low-funnel customers.
  • Ensure adequate coverage for key geographic targets including coverage of your dealership’s backyard, areas you know perform well, and areas where you could be performing better.
Social
  • Update your ad creative and campaigns to run holiday or sales event-themed social ads. Feature any incentives you are running in your social assets.
  • Use remarketing campaigns to target and re-engage low-funnel customers.
  • Build brand awareness and lay the groundwork for in-platform ads with an organic, active, TikTok presence. Create a profile, post videos including seasonal content, and gain followers.

Advanced

Ready to take your digital advertising to the next level? Mix in some Advanced recommendations to cast a wider net and see greater results.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
  • Consider geo-expansion for your seasonal campaigns to reach farther out into new markets.
  • Use additional ad spend to run a full campaign suite during November and December, and ensure you have enough budget to account for the increase in searches and clicks.
  • Make sure you’re also capturing in-market searches across Bing.
Display
  • Capitalize on increased seasonal demand and effortlessly place current in-stock vehicles and pricing in front of ready-to-buy shoppers with VIN-specific dynamic display remarketing.
  • Supplement your targeting with custom-intent audiences, serving ads to users who have performed high-quality, low-funnel, in-market searches that demonstrate purchase intent.
YouTube
  • Create and run dynamic video ads with real-time pricing, availability, and incentives for your top focus vehicles. We recommend starting with your top four most popular vehicles.
  • Target Custom-Intent audiences and serve ads to users who have previously performed high-quality, low-funnel, in-market searches that demonstrate genuine purchase intent.
  • YouTube campaigns are not the only Google campaign type that supports YouTube ads. Leverage Performance Max campaigns to prioritize conversions.
Connected TV
  • Additional audience targeting coverage. Capture users in-market to purchase the vehicle you are promoting, in-market to purchase a vehicle in general, and lookalike audiences.
  • Create and run dynamic video ads with real-time pricing, availability, and incentives for your top focus vehicles. We recommend starting with your top four most popular vehicles.
Social
  • Maximize the impact of your seasonal campaigns with VIN-specific, dynamic inventory creative to feature in-stock vehicles and pricing for all applicable audiences. 
  • Be more specific with who sees your ads. Utilize customer match lists or third-party in-market data to target specific, low-funnel audiences.
  • Use TikTok’s advertising reach and high engagement to boost holiday sales and incentives. Concise videos with timely information and a personal touch generate the best results.

Aggressive

Looking to dominate your market? Take your seasonal advertising to the max with our Aggressive recommendations.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
  • Expand your geographic reach beyond the area you currently dominate by targeting neighboring cities. Conquest tactics, while expensive, can be fruitful when done correctly. 
  • Focus on a specific model during the holidays by dedicating ad spend to each nameplate. Use your most popular model for a conquest campaign in addition to standard coverage.
  • New to Vehicle Ads: Leverage Performance Max to segment which vehicles you promote in your Vehicle Ads.
Display
  • Leverage net-new placements across Google properties by developing Discovery campaigns featuring holiday or sales event-specific content.
  • Place your ads on high-value websites such as auto blogs or local news sites, or run dynamic prospecting campaigns to keep your dealership top-of-mind.
  • Use a customer-match audience list to re-engage past customers. Retargeting old vehicle purchasers or expiring leases are prime options.
YouTube
  • Create and run dynamic video ads with real-time pricing, availability, and incentives for your entire vehicle lineup. 
  • Use a customer-match audience list to re-engage past customers. Retargeting old vehicle purchasers or expiring leases are powerful options. 
  • Target users with similar demographics to your highest-performing audiences.
Connected TV
  • Layer in advanced conversion tracking utilizing Foureyes premium tracking and impression pixels.
  • Leverage footfall attribution tracking to connect your digital advertising efforts with customers who visit your dealership.
  • Utilize Conquest on demand for competitive OEMs and dealerships.
  • Leverage premium placements on major streaming platforms like Hulu or Disney+.
Social
  • Create and run lead form ads with CRM integrations to convert leads from Facebook and add them to your sales process.
  • Create and run Collection ads featuring video and inventory assets in the creative. Expand your reach to general demographics in your market.
  • Historically, Adpearance exclusively utilized In-Market audiences for targeting. However, pending privacy updates and the removal of browser cookies will significantly reduce the future of In-Market audience sizes and quality. Leveraging simplistic targeting tactics such as geo-prospecting will help you stay ahead of the curve when cookies are no longer available.

New Tactic Spotlight

Short-Form Vertical Videos

Increase your brand awareness and maximize the ROI of your TikTok videos by also publishing them with YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels that leverage the same vertical, short-form videos. We recommend establishing your business’ presence on TikTok before advertising by creating a profile, publishing videos, and gaining an initial followership.

Don’t stress about producing the sleekest videos. We see the most success with videos that convey the personality of your dealership. Dynamic inventory solutions should be available soon for these new placement types, making it easier for dealerships to efficiently leverage the new video format.

Programmatic Audio

Programmatic audio like podcasts, music streaming, and digital radio are powerful and underutilized placements to also drive more awareness for your dealership. More than 72% of Americans listen to digital audio every month

Target high-value users through in-market audiences, remarketing, and brand affinity. You can leverage the same advanced conversion tracking as Connected TV to optimize the impact of your ads.

Finish 2023 Out Strong to Start 2024 on the Right Foot

Maximize your digital advertising opportunities this holiday season to drive more sales in Q4. Focusing your efforts now can put your dealership in a stronger position to convert your existing leads in January when new leads may feel few and far between. Request a free digital analysis to learn how your dealership can drive more sales this holiday season and beyond.

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About the Author

Jason Rosen

Jason oversees Google program adoption and beta testing of new strategies. He's been testing the Google Dealer Playbook strategies for hundreds of dealers and brings informed real-world experience to any conversation.

Adpearance is the digital marketing company obsessed with generating quality leads. Our solutions combine cutting-edge technology, premium tracking, and an expert team to transform business results.

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