5-Step Strategy to Convert the Automotive Nomadic Customer into Loyal Buyers

The automotive industry has always been fiercely competitive, with manufacturers and dealerships vying for the attention of customers in a crowded market.

However, in recent years, it’s only gotten more difficult, with car shoppers being “nomadic” with their digital usage, bouncing between an average of 8.4 social media accounts across 4.5 hours a day…

Which means, there’s no time to waste when it comes to reaching and converting these car shoppers; who are constantly moving from one brand to another, and looking to get the biggest bang for their buck.  🤑

Quick! Bookmark this brand-new resource: The Auto Marketer’s Ultimate Guide To Reaching Automotive Nomadic Customers

Whether you’re a dealership owner, a marketing manager, or a sales executive, you’re in the right place – let’s dive into the 5 social ad campaigns that have been tested and proven to drive success for dealerships!

Branding and Awareness: Introducing The Dealership

First, you need to begin with a Branding and Awareness campaign that keeps dealerships top-of-mind throughout their audiences’ car buyer journey. 

And one of the best ways to do that is to prove that your dealership is DIFFERENT…

Differentiate any dealership from the competition by running ads that promote brand-forward content, such as:

  • “Why Buy Here” copy
  • About us videos
  • Meet the team images
  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • Testimonials
  • Human-first content

In terms of targeting, use these top audiences:

  • All website visitors (180 days)
  • In-market car shoppers

Target within a 50-mile radius of your client’s dealership address. 

Recommended formats for branding and awareness campaigns include video, image, and story ads, across Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Specials & Events: Vehicle Acquisition

For dealerships struggling with low used vehicle inventory, take advantage of Vehicle Acquisition campaigns that both help dealers acquire used vehicles while also providing shoppers with the ability to get the exact vehicle they want. 

Vehicle Acquisition encompasses the following different messages:

  • Trade In messaging
  • Buy backs
  • Custom orders / Build your car

Try using verbiage along the lines of:

  • “Put cash in your pocket
  • “Get top-dollar for your car”
  • “Now is the time to sell”
  • “Upgrade your ride” 
  • “Build your dream car!”

The best audiences to target include:

  • Expiring leases
  • Shoppers who purchased their last vehicle more than 365 days ago, and who have high household income

Target within a 50-mile radius of the dealership’s address. 

Recommended formats for specials and events campaigns include video and image ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest as the recommended platforms.

Inform & Educate: Electric/Hybrid Vehicles

Today’s shoppers are extremely impressionable – that being said, encourage Automotive Nomadic Customers to go electric using ads that inform, educate, and excite them. 

Messaging around these new types of vehicles should include:

  • “The future is now”
  • “More range”
  • “No more stopping for gas”
  • “Feel the electric difference”
  • “Cheaper to maintain”
  • “Get to know electric”

To reach the right car shoppers, target users who:

  • Browsed the dealership’s Hybrid/EV SRPs/VDPs within a 50-mile radius of your client’s dealership address. 

Recommended formats include video, image, and carousel ads, with Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest as the recommended platforms.

Inventory Ads/Model Lines: Catalog Sales & Conversions

Reach any dealership’s active Nomadic car shoppers with the vehicles most relevant to them, in an effort to keep them engaged.

Include messaging that’s relevant and feels tailored to the user for greater success rate:

  • “Your new [Model Line] is waiting
  • “Looking for a pre-owned car? Here are some vehicles we know you’ll love”
  • “Still interested” 

Target the following audience:

  • All website visitors (30 days) and in-market shoppers
  • Exclude users who have filled out lead forms. 

For retargeting (warm audience), target within a 50-mile radius of your dealership…and for prospecting (cold audience), target within a 25-mile radius of your dealership.

If you’re wondering what types of ads are best, and what platforms will help you drive the most success: focus on video, image, and carousel ads across Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Customers For Life: Retargeting & A Revolving Funnel

Reconnect with any dealers audience even after they’ve purchased from them to increase customer loyalty through continued communication around:

  • Service maintenancepurchase
  • Follow-up
  • Specials
  • Model line accessories

Upload a custom audience of:

  • Previous customers (especially “sold-not-serviced”)
  • Target within a 50-mile radius of your client’s dealership address. 

And to reach any dealer’s existing customers and transform them into Customers for Life, utilize these additional target audiences within their Customer Loyalty campaign:

  • Upcoming lease expiration
  • Recall Lists

As for best platforms and recommended formats, you should leverage video, image, and carousel formats across Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest

Pro Tip: Upload your dealership-client’s sold list (180 days) and build an audience of recent vehicle buyers. Then, retarget. 

Key Takeaways

As we previously said, the automotive industry is highly competitive, and dealerships need a comprehensive social media marketing strategy to attract and retain nomadic customers. 

By implementing the 5 proven strategies discussed in this blog, dealerships can differentiate themselves from the competition, acquire new vehicles, encourage the adoption of electric/hybrid vehicles, sell relevant inventory, and create customers for life. 

With targeted advertising and creative messaging, dealerships can effectively engage with customers at every stage of the buyer journey, making social media a powerful tool in the automotive industry.

But let’s not forget that having an organic strategy to help optimize your paid strategy is important, too…

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered for paid AND organic: Click here to get instant access to The Auto Marketer’s Ultimate Guide To Reaching Automotive Nomadic Customers on social.

Get instant access to the Ultimate Guide For Auto Marketers

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Lauren Blackwell

Lauren Blackwell