Best PracticesJul 29th, 2014

How Dealerships Can Use PPC To Build Brand Awareness and Exposure


These days, more and more car buyers are heading online before making up their mind on where to buy their next car. As a dealership, building your brand and associating it with positive traits is key to both gaining new clients and retaining existing ones. No matter what advantages your dealership offers, if you can’t break out of the wallflower category, no one is going to know about how great you are.

AdWords can be an excellent tool for building brand awareness. Though it is often overlooked in favor of social and email marketing endeavors, it has its own unique advantages to bring to the table. You can render your audience down to the simplest metrics like age, gender and interest. If you’re a Hyundai dealer and want to focus primarily on people completing searches about Hyundai and specific models, you can do that!

The audience base is also absolutely massive. It’s a great way to get your message out there to every possible person interested at the lowest price imaginable. You don’t pay by the click, you pay by per thousand views - averaging less than fifty cents for 1,000 views!

You can use the following the four simple steps to create a dealership branding campaign on the Google Display Network.

1. What Do You Want?

Identifying your objectives is key.

  • Brand/dealership loyalty?
  • Increase your audience?
  • Improve image of your product/brand?

It is important to define your goals as definitively as possible, because every aspect of the campaign will be fixed towards achieving those goals; every dollar spent and every word used.

2. What Will You Focus On?

Everyone likes to talk buzzword metrics, but for Display, the metrics you’ll want to focus on are:


  • The number of people who were just exposed to the ad.


  • The number of people who were exposed to and consumed the ad.


  • The result of that exposure and consumption. Often times synonymous with “interactions”

3. Define Your Target Audience

Use tools like the Google Ad Planner and AdWords Placement AdWords Placement or the Google Ad Planner to pare down the multitudes. You’ll be able to hone in on your target audience with an incredible degree of precision. If you’re in automotive, you’ll be able to focus on specifics like gender, age and income along with targeting specifically to channels that focus on topics like automotive news and technology.

4. Create a Powerful Narrative

Display, as an ad platform, has far more flexibility than pure Paid Search. You can utilize image-based ads, both animated and static or fool around with pure text ads. There is also the opportunity to utilize video production in your ads. You’ll want to fool around with every option available to make sure you are grabbing your audience as best you can. There is always room for improvement. As a dealership, you probably utilize televised ads. You can convert one of your television ads into the correct format and upload it in no time!

In Summation

Display offers unique advantages and amazing flexibility when compared to other branding efforts, along with the amazing opportunity to access an audience pool that is both massive and diverse.

Are you getting the most out of your paid search campaigns? Download this complimentary checklist, 7 Things Your Dealership Should Expect From Your PPC Agency Each Month.

Andrew Cabrelli is a PPC Consultant at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.

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