How to Launch a Retargeting Campaign

Is your dealership using a retargeting strategy?  If not  –  It should be!  And here’s why:  Retargeting is one of the easiest & cheapest ways for you and your dealership to stay top of mind, and in front of consumers who have already shown an interest in you  by visiting your website or your social media page. 

Now before diving into building the campaign, it might be helpful to explain what it is – just in case you don’t know.  Retargeting is simply delivering ads to people who have already visited your website or social media page.  Some purchases are easily made with 1 or 2 visits to a website.  But we’re in the automotive space.   And most of our customers want to take several looks at what we sell.  This is why I recommend dealers employ a retargeting strategy.   It’s really competitive out there.  And it’s easy for consumers to forget all about you.

To launch a campaign – there’s only a few things you need to do.  First – you’ll need to make sure you have installed the tracking pixels on your website.   For FaceBook, they make this available inside your ads manager.   And once set up, you can target people on both FaceBook & InstaGram who have engaged with you.   For website retargeting, you’ll need to install different tracking pixels as well.   And all of the 3rd party providers will give you the code that you will need to get your webmaster to install on your website.   Once installed, you’ll see in your dashboard if it’s working or not.    Once you see that it’s working, The next thing you’ll need is a series of banner ads.   Your graphic designer will be able  to provide you with all of the ads you’ll need.  That’s it….

Retargeting is a powerful automotive marketing technique when campaigns are run correctly.   But it’s easy to overdo it or get it wrong.   I’d like to provide you with a few pointers to help you get it right.    

The first pointer is to use a Frequency Cap.   Simply put – this will limit how many times someone sees your ads.  Overexposure quickly results in decreased campaign performance.  If you deliver your ads too often, prospects may start ignoring your ads completely.  Worse yet  –  they may begin to have a negative association with your dealership as you follow them all over the web.  A frequency cap will limit the number of times someone will see your ads and will prevent them from feeling stalked. What I’ve seen as a good number for automotive campaigns is around 12 – 15 ads per month.  That’s it.

Pointer # 2. Exclude converted users.     Have you ever made a purchase online only to find you’re still being inundated with ads for that company or product? By continuing to serve ads to converted customers, you’ll quickly begin to annoy people. Don’t make that mistake.    Most of the platforms will allow you to exclude converted users. It’s that easy.

Pointer # 3:  Use a Single-Provider Retargeting platform.     Running retargeting campaigns with multiple providers has a number of drawbacks. If you run with multiple providers, each provider will be bidding for the same spots on the same websites, driving up your costs and decreasing the chances they have to serve ads to your users. If you’re new to retargeting and you want to test the waters with different providers, I recommend running tests over different months using one provider at a time. You’ll have a better sense of which campaign actually performed better without skewing your results.

Pointer #4:   Keep your ads & copy fresh.   After seeing the same ads again and again, a user’s interest is no longer piqued and the ads are more likely to blend into the background. By rotating your ad creative every few months, you can easily avoid experiencing these dips in performance.

And the final pointer:   color and images are good   –  lots of copy is bad.

The ads you use may do more to determine success than any other factor of your retargeting campaign.   So be sure to devote enough resources to making beautiful ads.  Automotive Marketers love to cram as much information as possible into the space allotted. I worked with a dealer who told me he wanted 10 gallons of info stuffed inside a 5 gallon bucket.  This method of designing ads  will distract your audience and will fail at winning their attention. 

You want to be memorable, so that even if your audience doesn’t click your ad and head back to your website, it stays with them. Creating memorable ads is best achieved by keeping copy minimal and the overall design simple.  All of your banner ads should be well-branded and recognizable.  Use bold colors, concise copy, and clear calls to action with big, clickable buttons.