Over the past decade, advertising budgets across the country have been increasing in the automotive industry. A new eMarketer report projects that the US automotive industry will spend $5.07 billion on paid digital advertising in 2013, with that total rising to $7.80 billion by 2017.
As budgets increase so does the number of channels in which those ad dollars can be spent, making decisions about where to spend your dollars extremely challenging. One important channel that should not be overlooked is mobile advertising on Google.
For the first time, smartphones are currently on pace to outsell standard feature phones. To say that the mobile car-shopping population is growing is an understatement. A J.D. Power & Associates study found that the percentage of US vehicle shoppers who have visited an automotive website via a smartphone grew from 17% in 2010 to 31% in 2012.
This increased access to smart mobile devices in the hands of potential car shoppers is a largely untapped opportunity. Especially when you consider that mobile shoppers are proven to convert better than desktop shoppers.
A recent study of Nissan's digital traffic found that mobile car shoppers are 30% more likely to submit a lead than their desktop brethren. These potential customers tend to be on the go, in more of a rush, and looking to gain information--- and sometimes take action--- as quickly as possible.
If you're not advertising and promoting your brand to roving car shoppers, that will help you build a strong mobile brand
Here are four mobile musts for your dealerships website and ad campaigns that will help you build a strong mobile brand.
1. Consider Your Mobile Shopper's Experience
Before even thinking about advertising to drive traffic to your mobile site, you first need to get the site ready for proper viewing. The goal should be to make a simplified version of the full website that is user friendly and intuitive for your mobile shoppers.
First, make sure graphics and all content load quickly. Mobile users have limited time and attention spans. Aresearch study conducted by user experience expertsAkamai shows that mobile website bounce rate increases drastically if a site takes longer than 6 seconds to load.
Your next step should be to consider the varying screen sizes of mobile devices. Verify that appropriate formatting is in place to make the content appealing and easy to navigate while viewing on phones and tablets.
2. Appeal to Mobile Search Traffic
Now that you've streamlined your mobile site, it’s time to put yourself in the mind of the mobile shopper. Ask yourself:
What searches would a mobile shopper perform, and how can I utilize that search information to drive relevant traffic?
The user experience when performing a dealership search is different on a phone or tablet than it is on a desktop. For one thing the potential buyer is using a touch-screen, and therefore is less likely to type a long search query. Shorter searches mean that the keywords you need to bid on need to be very precise. It would be wise to consider possible shortenings or abbreviations. And be sure to avoid using keywords that are overly broad that will end up attracting irrelevant clicks.
3. Enhance Your Campaigns
Enhanced Campaigns in Google Adwords is a powerful feature than can help you organize your different mobile campaigns and set your mobile bids to ensure your ads perform better. Think about the size of a mobile screen and how important it is for mobile ads to rank high. On a desktop there are ten ad positions that take up close to one third of the screen, while phones and mobile devices might only feature three ad positions that occupy 50% of the screen.
That's some valuable real estate right there! This monopoly on screen space is another reason why mobile ads tend to have higher click-through rates.
And in case you were wondering... Yes, Google has effectively monopolized the mobile search market. According to Global StatCounter, Google's mobile search market share was 96.9 percent as of May 2012. This alone is more than enough reason for dealers to embrace Enhanced Campaigns in their mobile strategy.
4. Optimize Your Landing Pages for Mobile
Potential phone and tablet customers deserve the same experience as desktop shoppers. Directing users to designated landing pages with strong, relevant content--- and not just dropping shoppers on the home page--- is a big part of providing that seamless experience. These landing pages should be mobile optimized, easy to navigate and in line with the site’s overall style and layout.
These steps may seem basic, but there are still brands out there that ignore the simplest things that make the biggest impact on their dealership advertising.
What steps have you taken to make sure your advertising is reaching the growing mobile shopping community?