The leaves have started to fall, the air is crisp, and pumpkin spice has been added to everything (literally). Add all those signals together, and it can only mean one thing….It’s almost BLACK FRIDAY! And that means we have work to do.
Once a holiday reserved for traditional brick and mortar retailers, Black Friday has also turned into a prime car shopping day where we see a dramatic increase in sales volume the weeks prior and through that weekend.
In a recent survey by Google, they found that 51%1 of in-market car shoppers plan to purchase around a sales event. Of those, 22%1 say they’re waiting for a Black Friday or other related sales events to make their purchase.
All this pent-up shopping intent means you need to upgrade your Black Friday marketing strategy, TODAY! Tossing up a couple of homepage sliders and SRP banners on your website isn’t going to cut it. You need some advanced strategy ideas to capture the attention of Black Friday car shoppers long before they actually visit your dealership.
Here are some things that you can do to take advantage of both the online and offline traffic that’ll be out there shopping the day after Thanksgiving.
GET IN FRONT, AND STAY IN FRONT, OF CAR SHOPPERS EARLY
On a day like Black Friday, it’s fairly common for consumers to make a spontaneous trip to their local big box retail outlet to snag that 80″ 4k HDTV for a ridiculously low price. But when it comes to Black Friday car shopping, consumers are actually doing their research one to two weeks in advance of the big day.
One easy way to ensure that you’re capturing the attention of shoppers right from the start is to use paid search ads to get your offers in front of people as they use Google to search for Black Friday specials and deals.
It’s imperative to tailor the messaging in your campaigns to match the intent of searchers (i.e Black Friday SUV Deals). The best way to do this is to add a new campaign targeting these keywords, with ads showing off your Black Friday vehicle offers.
You also want to piggyback some remarketing on top of that to follow your website visitors around online as they get on with their busy lives. The more quality impressions you can make with a consumer while they’re in-market, the more likely you are to be a part of their final consideration set.
If you’re a Dealer Inspire client, all you need to do is talk to your Performance Manager about implementing Black Friday Day paid search and social campaigns, and our Digital Advertising Team is prepared to get them up and running in no time at all.
LET THEM FIND YOU ORGANICALLY
There’ll be over 40 Million automotive searches2 surrounding Deals, Offers and Sales Events in November & December. In addition to setting up your Black Friday SEM campaigns like we discussed above, you’ll also want to create new — or optimize current — pages on your website so you’ll have the chance to rank organically for local Black Friday related searches. Here are a few recommendations from our SEO Best Practices playbook:
- Create a custom inventory page containing all of your in-stock Black Friday deals.
- Optimize the Title, Meta Description, H1 Tag and Paragraph text of your current finance and lease specials pages with Black Friday messaging.
- Use the DI Special Offers plugin to create individual Black Friday offers for each of your vehicles.
- Create a Google Post linking to your touting your Black Friday Specials with a link to the appropriate page on your website.
The goal here is to have the keywords and content on these pages match up with a searcher’s intent. But remember, it can take a couple of days or even a week for Google’s crawlers to recognize the changes that you made, so be sure to get these optimizations done now.
Also set yourself a reminder that after Black Friday is over, to go back and re-optimize your pages for your next holiday related sales event.
PULL SHOPPERS FROM CARS.COM
So here’s a not-so secret weapon that you can deploy to reach car shoppers leading up to Black Friday. It’s a little something we call Cars Display™.
With Cars Display you can place display ads directly on Cars.com to reach their 22 million monthly in-market shoppers. Normally this ad inventory is reserved for OEM’s and the largest national automotive groups. However, because Dealer Inspire is a Cars.com company, we have the exclusive capability to buy ad space directly on Cars.com for you — whether you list inventory there or not — to get your brand and offers in front of an audience that is exponentially more likely to take action.
The best part is that Cars Display ads convert at a rate of 5%3 compared to traditional display ads that convert at .03%. That’s kind of a big deal, and you don’t want to pass this opportunity up.
In the spirit of Black Friday, we’re running a limited time offer just for you. For every $500 of budget you allocate to Cars Display, we’ll throw in an additional $250 on top. We’ll even throw in a set of free creative to make getting up and running that much easier. You need to hurry to take advantage of this offer as it will expire on November 20, 2019. Click here to get started!
EXTEND YOUR REACH WITH YOUTUBE
Let’s face it: as a society we just aren’t watching regular TV like we used to. But you know what practically everyone is watching? The YouTube! If you haven’t yet begun to take your broadcast or cable TV advertising dollars online, the holiday shopping period is a good time to test the waters.
The reality is that 55%4 of the 25-54 audience reached by YouTube Automotive Ads were never exposed to the ad on TV. That means you ‘re able to target your video advertising to local, in-market shoppers and introduce them to your brand and offers in numbers that just aren’t possible over the air.
The bottom line is YouTube drives car shoppers to action. 43%5 of car shopper’s YouTube sessions resulted in a relevant action — such as visiting a dealer’s website — within 24 hours.
MAKE YOUR WEBSITE MORE SHOPPABLE
I’d be remiss if I shared all these wonderful ways to market your dealership for Black Friday, but didn’t mention what you can do with your website to make it more shoppable for your newly acquired Black Friday car shoppers.
Help Shoppers Decide What They Can Afford
Regardless of the season, 75%6 of car shoppers won’t call or visit a dealership if they can’t figure out if they can afford the vehicle they’re interested in, in a real and meaningful way. Online Shopper: Electric™ extends the capabilities of your Dealer Inspire website by allowing your visitors to shop and compare lease & finance payment scenarios on multiple vehicles, from any device.
Be Available 24/7 to Answer Questions
Not only is Black Friday an exciting day for scoring some sweet deals, but it’s also the unofficial start of the holiday season in general. Our crazy lives get even crazier, and sometimes we find ourselves trying to get stuff done late into the night, or during the wee hours of the morning.
With Conversations™, our advanced messaging platform with A.I., you can utilize our managed chat team to stay open for business 24/7. So when a shopper is up at 4am the day after Thanksgiving wondering when you’re going to open up for business, they can ask you and someone will be there to answer.
The Power of the Platform
On average, Dealer Inspire website clients who use Online Shopper™ and Conversations™ experience a 174% increase in lead volume compared to clients who just use our web platform (based on Q2 2019 conversion tracking in Google Analytics).
Annnnd there you have it folks, our best tips for maximizing your dealership’s presence leading up to, and on, Black Friday. If you need a hand getting set up with anything we talked about here, just tap that little button right down there, and we’ll take care of everything for ya. Happy Holidays and Happy Selling!
1 Google Consumer Surveys. 1H 2019 upcoming purchasers. Mintel, Car Purchasing Reports, June 2018
2 Google Internal Data, 2019
3 *Average form submission, chat lead, & digital retailing lead rate for Cars Display + Dealer Inspire Website customers (June – July 2019)
4 Google Consumer Surveys, 2018
5 Google/Ipsos, “Digital’s Influence on In-Market Auto Consideration” Study, US, August 2018.
6 Cars.com “Drivers Seat” Consumer Survey, October 2018.