As a digital marketing agency, we at Dealer Authority believe that it is our responsibility to stay ahead of current trends and make sure our clients and online audience are aware of any and all digital marketing avenues that are available to them. Today, we want to talk about Pinterest advertising for dealerships. Okay, before you click the ‘back’ button, hear us out.
Facebook is a car dealership’s social media bread and butter, Instagram is the new kid on the block that dealers are experimenting with ads and increasing their brand awareness, and Pinterest is the complete unknown. Does it really help support sales, is it truly worth the ROI, and what are the stats? We are ready to dig in. Let’s take a look at the potential benefits of Pinterest to car dealerships.
Newsflash — the OEMs are already participating on Pinterest.
Brands like Toyota, Chevrolet, Acura, Kia, and over 20 more are already advertising on the platform. For the purpose of this blog, let’s take a look at Toyota. Pinterest created a case study analyzing Toyota’s goals using video to bring brand awareness to the redesign of the Avalon in 2018. This social media campaign resulted in a 53% video view rate, outperforming the view rate that Toyota had set internally to analyze the campaign’s success. The goal of this campaign was to showcase the Avalon as an “upscale vehicle” to the 6.3 million Pinterest users that actively engage with auto-related content. The key to having a successful campaign on this platform is making sure that your creative is on-point. This means including high-quality video and images to get the attention of the end-user and keep them from scrolling by. Toyota did just that! They highlighted multiple aspects of the interior and exterior, plus added technology features of the newly designed Avalon, piquing the interest of its users to learn more.
“The strategic mix of various ad types and visually impactful creative made this the strongest performing Pinterest campaign to date. We were also thrilled with the higher than benchmark results across our video and static campaigns.”Nancy Inouye, National Media Manager | Toyota Motor North America
What does all of this mean for the dealer?
If your dealership is considering adding Pinterest to their digital marketing mix, your focus for this marketing campaign should be for shoppers that are in the research phase of their car buying search. These ads should highlight the breadth of your inventory, the unique customer service benefits that your dealership offers, and your current incentives. It wouldn’t be our recommendation to create ads highlighting specific inventory. The OEM is already doing that for you so take this opportunity to let your dealership shine!
What advertising options are available?
There are four ad types that are available on Pinterest: promoted pins, promoted video, promoted carousels (like the Toyota ad shown to the left), and promoted app pins. For our dealer audience, the app pins really don’t apply, so let’s focus on promoted pins, video and carousels, and what content would be appropriate for each ad type.
Promoted pins include a single eye-catching image and direct traffic to a specific landing page. Here is where your social media strategy and your dealership’s SEO strategy unite! Let’s use this Acura RDX pin as an example. The 2019 RDX has this gorgeous moonroof feature that Acura wanted shoppers to pay special attention too. By asking the viewer to “Tap to #LookUp” they are engaging the end-user to interact with the ad to see more. The mobile ad allows the user to literally feel like they are in the vehicle looking at the view through the moonroof. The ad then lands the user on the OEM’s VDP for the Acura RDX.
By including a UTM code from this ad to the dealer’s website, a dealer can qualify the clicks that are coming from Pinterest and the cost of promoted pins. If you want to take your ads to the next level, consider building custom landing pages that support the Pinterest ads that you are building, rather than leading them to a VDP.
Promoted Video is where a dealer should be sharing his or her brand story. Remember, your audience is in the research phase of their shopping experience, so they may know very little or nothing about your dealership. Introduce yourself and your staff, give your audience a behind the scenes look at your showroom and service bays, take this opportunity to educate the shoppers on why your dealership is the best option for their next car purchase.
If your dealership doesn’t have access to video but you do have several high-quality images that you use for marketing purposes, then a promoted carousel option could be right for you. Much like carousel ads on Facebook, these ads allow the shopper to slide or click to view multiple images without clicking into the ad.
There is still so much more to be learned about Pinterest for the automotive industry and Dealer Authority will continue to keep this platform on our radar. We do believe that there are opportunities for dealerships from a brand awareness standpoint. Do we think you need to reallocate your marketing budget from Facebook to Pinterest? No, however; it does make sense to begin taking a look at how your specific OEM is participating with the platform and take note of their ads that are currently running.