2 min read

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Car Dealership Ads

Businessman showing computer screen to coworkers in creative office

When crafting ads for your dealership, there is more to consider than you might think. Below are eight of the most critical mistakes to avoid when advertising online as a car dealer.

1. Being too repetitive

Frequency is important, but what you say is just as important. Don’t send the same message to everyone. Make sure people see ads that meet them where they are in their buying journey. An easy way to do this is to use Dynamic Search Ads. With this ad type, Google uses information from your website and additional details you provide to generate relevant ads when a consumer searches for a related term. This can save you significant time and help you reach a broader audience of people who want to buy your cars.


2. Being too general

When running ads that are vehicle-based, you’ll also want to avoid being too generic. For example, avoid copy like “Hundreds of available cars at great prices” and create more specific ads showing specific cars along with their prices and deals. Inventory-based ads are a great way to do this, and they can be run on search, social media, or any digital channel.


3. Not utilizing social media

A great way to change up your advertising is to use social media. Social media ads are highly effective, with 68% of auto buyers saying they have purchased a car they found on social media. Your social media page is also a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and build rapport with potential customers. If you don’t have an online presence, it is much more difficult to connect with people and build trust. Social media is also where customers voice their opinions (whether good or bad), and you’ll want to be able to respond to their concerns.


4. Not taking advantage of video

Do not miss out on the potential leads you can bring in through video. You can film walk-arounds of vehicles, introduce your team, or provide a tutorial on changing oil or windshield wipers on one of your cars. You should also consider running OTT/CTV video ads that will reach potential buyers within their favorite streaming services. These ads will pop up while they are watching a show, and will display a vehicle you have available, the make, model, price, mileage, and all the information a customer will need to click-through to your website and make the purchase.


5. Using too much text in your ads 

Having too much text in an ad can deter potential customers from reading them and can come across as spammy. According to Facebook, ads with less than 20% text within the image perform the best, so save the text for the headline and description. Instead, use high quality, professional images that will capture your audience’s attention. Further, we’ve found that including prices in ads doesn’t yield better results. Instead, focus on promoting the make and model.


6. Misleading customers

While clickbait-y headings and images can bring in an influx of traffic, that traffic is highly unlikely to convert after they visit your site and find out that you were misleading them. Always be very clear about what you’re offering and avoid advertising vehicles that you don’t currently offer.


7. Not optimizing for mobile users

Your ads are useless if they aren’t accessible to the people seeing them. Before posting ads online or to social media, make sure you check the required dimensions to ensure your ads are viewable on mobile. When available, you’ll want to use ads that are responsive, meaning they adjust in size based on the device they are viewed on. Here are some of the most common advertising platforms, linked to their required specifications:

  1. Google Ads
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. LinkedIn


8. Not targeting efficiently

Nowadays, sending out bulk mailers and hoping for the best is simply not the way to go. Save time and effort by identifying the customers who are looking to buy the cars on your lot and targeting them effectively. Not sure how to do this? No problem. ZeroSum’s MarketAI allows you to reach a proprietary audience of active shoppers looking to buy within the next 15 days, and fully manages your paid advertising so you can attract the customers you want, hands-free. Book a demo today and see how ZeroSum can work for you.


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