The auto industry continues to rank among the top spenders when it comes to online and mobile advertising. According to a recent eMarketer report, “the US automotive industry will spend $5 billion in 2013 on paid digital advertising, and that total is expected to rise to $7.8 billion by 2017.” With advertising budgets projected to rise and an increasing focus placed on measurable return-on-investment (ROI), it’s important for auto marketers to stay up to date on the latest online channels and strategies.

Retargeting–the performance display channel in which an advertiser serves precisely-targeted ads on the web and Facebook to potential customers who previously browsed their site–is a marketing must-have growing in popularity in the auto industry. OEMs, parts and accessories providers, dealerships and aggregators all successfully use it to help close sales and keep their brand top-of-mind. Though many auto marketers have already adopted the channel, there are many easily-accessed advanced features that can take campaign performance to the next level. Today, I’m going to walk through three of these retargeting “must-haves”:

  1. Retargeting in Facebook’s News Feed: Re-engage prospective customers within their own News Feed on Facebook

    • Place highly-visible ad units directly where people spend most of their time on Facebook
    • Users can like, comment, and share your ads
    • News Feed ads get clicked nearly 50 times more than those on the Facebook right-hand side and more than 20 times as much as standard web ads
    • Average CTR on News Feed ads is orders of magnitude greater than standard web retargeting
  1. Dynamic Creatives: Target prospects with ads tailored to the relevant products that they viewed on your site helps increase engagement

    • Every click drives the user to a specific product landing page
    • Integrates your site’s product images and branding into a personalized ad
    • 102% avg. increase in CTR over standard FBX ads
    • 15% CTR increase vs standard web ads
  1. Segment and retarget users differently based on their level of intent: Understand your website and the different levels of intent a prospect can exhibit based on the pages they view – low funnel vs. high funnel.

    • Stay in front of your higher funnel users (home page, information gathering) for a longer period as you are most likely going to reach them in the beginning stages of their purchase.
    • For users who make it to your shopping cart or other low funnel areas of your site, focus on getting them back as soon as possible to complete the purchase.

Whether you’re just getting started with a retargeting campaign or want to take your current strategy to the next level, these three best practices are sure ways to drive a higher return on ad spend.  In our next Auto Marketer blog we will focus on providing tactical tips specific to Auto Parts and Accessories providers. Stay tuned and as always we welcome your ideas and input on what you’ve seen to be successful with your own campaigns!