May is traditionally one of the most active car shopping periods of the year, and even though this year is far from typical, our data as well as Google’s is indicating there’ll be a surge in consumers looking to buy during Memorial Day Sales Events.
While consumers are certainly looking to be more careful about how they spend their money during this time, Google just released promising data that indicates a surge in car shopping activity due to the annual lift around Memorial Day, aggressive OEM incentives, and the pent-up demand from the last two months.
According to Google’s data, 52% of auto intenders1 say that COVID-19 has not changed their timeline to purchase a new vehicle. In addition, there’s been a 900% MoM increase in “is it a good time to buy a car?” type search queries2 thanks to aggressive manufacturer incentives meant to spur sales.
So we’re going to do what we do best, and help you make the most of your budget with recommendations to effectively reach the in-market shoppers in your area who are searching to buy a car right now.
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING FOR MEMORIAL DAY
In order to make the most out of the expected increase in online search activity, you need to make sure your dealership is getting in front of all these shoppers searching for the best Memorial Day deals.
Please note, if you’re a Dealer Inspire client, all you need to do is talk to your Performance Manager about implementing these Memorial Day strategies and our Digital Advertising Team is prepared to get you up and running in no time at all.
1. Cover Memorial Day Sales Event Searches
While car shoppers will be looking to take advantage of OEM incentives in general during the month of May, they’ll also be searching specifically for Memorial Day Sales Events. We recommend that you create a new Memorial Day campaign with related keyword groups to ensure that you’re able to make an impression with shoppers who are searching this way.
2. Optimize Your Ads For Sales Events & Online Car Buying
It’s critical that you update your ad copy to reflect your Memorial Day savings to reassure shoppers that your dealership has the incentives that truly make it the best time to buy a car.
3. Use Sitelinks to Highlight Your New USPs
You’ve likely adapted the way you do business dramatically the past two months, so be sure to use sitelink extensions in your ads to land shoppers on pages dedicated to your online car buying experience, your home delivery service, or virtual appointment capabilities.
4. Add Price Extensions To Convert Shoppers Looking For Deals
Leverage Price Extensions in your ads to draw attention to your Memorial Day deals which shoppers can then click or tap on to be taken directly to the appropriate vehicle results page.
MAXIMIZE ROI ON SOCIAL
It makes sense that social media usage has skyrocketed during this time when we’re all being told to stay at home. Because of that increased activity, advertising on Facebook is going to be one of your most cost-efficient spends right now.
Dealer Inspire clients are getting more eyes on ads for less with CPMs 35% lower than the last week in February on Facebook.
We recommend you run dynamic inventory ads with Memorial Day messaging that uses Facebook’s Broad In-Market Audience targeting to reach local in-market shoppers in your backyard that you haven’t already interacted with. This audience is created by Facebook and combines many online signals from a consumer’s activity to determine the user is in-market — even if they’ve never visited your website.
CAPITALIZE ON INCREASED STREAMING VIDEO USAGE
People are stuck at home and they’re streaming twice as much video3 than they were pre-quarantine. That means now is the perfect time to capitalize on video advertising by running ads that drive more shoppers to your website and digital retailing tool.
With FUEL: In-Market Video you can target local in-market shoppers on the streaming platforms and social networks that they’re spending more time on than ever to keep your brand top of mind.
This is a huge opportunity because unlike the “spray and pray” approach to traditional tv advertising where 95% of the audience isn’t able to act on your message — we’re able to target relevant ads only to local shoppers actively looking for a vehicle right now across multiple platforms and devices.
You can even own your territory and claim exclusive rights to the local zip codes that matter most to you. Don’t miss out on this chance to gain an unprecedented digital advantage over your competitors today!
GET IN FRONT OF ACTIVE SHOPPERS ON CARS.COM
There’s no better audience to efficiently advertise to than shoppers on Cars.com because with Cars.com Display you can ensure 100% of your ad impressions are spent on people actively shopping for a car.
Cars.com shoppers who click on your ads have a 5% lead rate on Dealer Inspire websites compared to 0.03% from normal display ads4.
Millions of shoppers will be on Cars.com leading up to the holiday weekend looking for the best deals possible. We recommend you run Cars Display ads featuring your Memorial Day Sales Event incentives to capture the attention of these deal seekers as they navigate the vehicle search results. This will allow you to show local shoppers the quickest way to take advantage of the available Memorial Day Sale offers and incentives is through your dealership.
CRAFT THE PERFECT EMAIL MESSAGE
Email is still a critical communication platform and is one of the best ways to reach your most engaged audience at the right time, with the right message.
But make no mistake, just because people are still highly engaged with their inbox,that doesn’t mean you’re not competing to capture your customer’s attention. Just about every business out there has increased their email marketing activity since COVID-19 started unfolding across the country.
So while you might be tempted to “blast” your customer database with an email from your CRM, you’ll want to take care to make sure you’re respecting your customer’s time and attention. So when you’re creating your email campaign, make sure to follow these best practices to increase engagement and conversion:
- Write a descriptive and enticing headline that makes people want to open your email.
- Use an engaging header image to reflect the subject of the email.
- Draft paragraph copy that’s straightforward and highlights your most competitive incentives and offers.
- Specifically mention how your dealership is operating during this time (Online Buying, Home Delivery, etc.)
- Create CTAs inside the email that take readers to both your Memorial Day Offers & Incentives landing page and your Online Car Buying landing page
- Before sending, check your email on multiple devices and clients to ensure that it’s looking good — especially on mobile where the majority of email opens occur.
WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER!
The past couple of months have been tough, and you still might be unsure how and when to ramp your digital advertising efforts back up. The data from our platform and Google’s is promising, and we’re here to help you make the most of this expected uptick in sales by strategically allocating your budget in the most efficient places.
If you’re a Dealer Inspire client, connect with your Performance Manager today to go over these and any additional digital advertising recommendations specific to your dealership.
If you’re not a Dealer Inspire client and would like to learn more about how we can help your dealership grow your business during this time and into the future, drop us a line — we’d love to hear from you!
1Google, Global Auto Pulse Insights, April 1 2020
2Google Internal data, March 2020
3Neilsen Data reported by FierceVideo.com, April 2020
4Average form submission, chat lead, & digital retailing lead rate for Cars Display + Dealer Inspire Website customers (June – July 2019)