Three research-driven PPC tips for the automotive industry
If you’re an automaker or car dealer, 2016 should be a good year for sales.
Intensive research conducted by my data scientist colleagues at Bing Ads shows that digital media, especially search, will be the perfect place to capture the attention of prospective petrol-heads as they venture out on their car-buying journey.
Well, interest rates as well as fuel rates are low while the consumer index, according to an IBISWorld industry report, remains high. As a result – additional disposable income and improved credit scores – demand for cars is also likely to increase. In fact, auto sales are forecast to grow through 2020, with growth peaking in 2018.
So what can car manufacturers and dealers do to ensure they make the most of this opportune time?
Here are three solid tips, to help you accelerate towards some meaningful digital connections with potential auto-shoppers:
If you’re a green car manufacturer, make sure you’re appealing to the millennials. “The Harris Poll” from Harris Interactive revealed that 57% of US millennials (18-37) would consider a traditional hybrid for their next lease or purchase. Compare that with just 43% of Baby Boomers willing to do the same.
There is one drawback – the higher price points is seen as a deterrent. Research from J.D. Power revealed that almost one in four buyers of gas-powered vehicles avoided the hybrid model due to cost.
According to a Facebook study, only two in five shoppers have an early brand preference – in fact very few shoppers are exposed to digital ads early in the purchase process. This means there is a ripe opportunity to build brand and model awareness.
Microsoft’s internal data shows that consumers considered an average of 9.8 makes and 11.4 models prior to making their purchase decision.
PPC can be vital in this process since most shoppers will conduct their research online before visiting a dealership, according to Accenture.
Digital ads are the most influential type of ad during the car-shopping process – more so than TV or print according to a study of U.S. car shoppers by G/O Digital. Yet the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reports that only 36% of auto marketers in the U.S. use paid search advertising.
With a quarter of car buyers reporting via a study by Nationwide that they find shopping for a car to be as stressful as preparing taxes or buying a home, effective ad copy can make a big difference.
When we think of ad copy, don’t limit yourself just to words. Car-buying is a visual process, with four in 10 searches being for images of cars. Microsoft’s internal data shows that 45% of consumers viewed more than 36.7 car images on a search engine.
Mobile devices mustn’t be ignored either. According to research by SessionM, seven in 10 smartphone users use their mobile device when shopping for a vehicle.
Here’s how the usage breaks down:
These data-driven tips PPC tips for the auto industry compiled by data scientists from Bing Ads are sure to help you on your road to an extra-profitable 2016. Digital media, especially search, is the perfect place to insert your brand right at the start of the car-buyer research phase.
By the smart use of visual cues, demographic targeting and by paying attention to what ad copy resonates best, you’ll be well on the way to an empty car lot by the end of the year!
Feeling inspired? Share your favorite tips and ideas in the comments below.
Purna Virji is Senior Bing Ads Client Development and Training Manager at Microsoft and a contributor to Search Engine Watch.