Businesses in every industry must adhere to certain universal best practices when building a digital presence, but there are differences in how specific companies can effectively deliver certain products online.
For instance, in the automotive industry, consumers often use the Internet to research cars, browse dealership inventories and get more information before making a purchase. To target consumers shopping for cars online, advertisers are refining their strategies and monitoring certain metrics that have a strong correlation to digital advertising success among dealerships and automotive brands.
When building digital campaigns, focus on these automotive advertising trends to uncover the true value of your automotive ad strategy.
Traffic on Vehicle Detail Pages
Metrics from vehicle detail pages show that customers are considering a purchase. Even if they aren't interested in that particular vehicle, online visitors who view detail pages are likely looking at potential vehicles and hoping to make a purchase. Traffic to these pages is indicative that the right consumers — shoppers with an interest in buying — are reaching your website.
This is a clear indication that your automotive marketing strategy is effectively reaching your target consumers.
Time Spent on Website
While this metric is useful in most retail and selling industries, time spent on a website is especially relevant to the automotive industry because of the time that goes into researching vehicles. The longer customers stay on your site, the more engaged they are with your inventory and brand — not just a specific vehicle listing. Long visit duration indicates that your advertisements are correctly representing the landing pages on your site and that consumers are happy with the experience they're getting from your company.
Relevant consumers don't merely have a casual interest in cars — they're active shoppers hoping to take action. This is why website referrals are particularly important to auto dealerships. As Automotive Digital Marketing points out, lead-to-show ratios demonstrate your ability — or inability — to drive business through your advertising.
Keep in mind that closing a sale generally requires strong in-person selling, so conversions don't necessarily reflect the success of digital advertising. Instead, lead-to-show ratios can tell you what percentage of online referrals are coming to see cars in person.
Keeping Mobile in Mind
Mobile devices play a huge role in car sales today. As Google recently noted, one-third of shoppers use their mobile devices as part of the purchase process, and weekends are particularly ripe for mobile targeting, with 56 percent of all automotive searches happening on smartphones and tablets. Auto brands should be mindful of this mobile activity and make sure their websites incorporate responsive design. The use of sleek, consumer-friendly mobile apps could also be invaluable in capturing this consumer activity.
Automotive brands are Cox Media Group's largest business category, and our experience in the industry led us to place second for the 2015 Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Award for Highest Customer Satisfaction. Understanding and implementing automotive advertising trends is both a science and an art form, and as your business moves forward in the auto industry, you'll quickly realize the value of advertising experience for delivering results.