With the exception of major holiday events such as Labor Day and Fourth of July, the Super Bowl has long been one of the biggest moments for the automotive industry.
The big game is the broadcast king of viewership, and the Academy Awards are a distant but firm second just a few weeks down the calendar.
In the past decade, spending on Super Bowl advertisements has surged 35%, with about one in five Super Bowl ads paid for by automotive brands. The car business and the game of football were made for each other.
But while automakers are grabbing all the attention, what really drives car sales on a local level? What can dealerships do to win business and harness some post-Super Bowl-powered awareness?
What can be learned to utilize the Oscars to continue driving momentum?
With so much of the country tuned in, taking advantage of these key TV extravaganzas should be at the forefront of every dealer’s strategy. These are massive opportunities to hone digital-marketing playbooks and seize on people’s added focus and attention.
Here are a few ways dealers can increase their box-office earnings and strike while the (grid)iron’s hot.
Run Relevant Local Ads
While many local dealers depend on these big-budget ad campaigns to showcase their new line of products and ultimately fuel sales leads, the reality is many don’t have a large ad spend. They need to tactically spend to enhance position when it matters most.
With so many new ways to engage prospects at the lot-level, these brands and retailers must be prepared to make the most of an automaker’s massive TV ad spend to drive new leads into their sales funnels.
One good way to do this is to run ads targeted to geographic bases, spots that include search terms aligned with the Oscars and Super Bowl ad content and the vehicle model being featured.
Many dealers will include brands’ Super Bowl spots on their website, giving their sites an increased organic presence and leveraging the added traffic during and following the game.
However, it’s also not uncommon for the same ad content from the Super Bowl to appear on Academy Awards. So dealers looking to benefit from the “echo bump” just need to carry these efforts forward 30 days until the Oscars take the stage on March 4.
Leverage and Social Media
Local dealerships, if they aren’t already, should take advantage of new digital destinations sites to drive traffic to their websites.
You don’t need to be a social media influencer to leverage platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to boost online presence.
These days there are so many channels to take advantage of, and there are a few easy things dealers can do to be successful in the short term.
Before the Hollywood spectacle begins, run 15 and 30 second ads on YouTube, right as people’s interest starts heating up.
While Twitter may allow you to start an argument over who really deserves to win Best Actor, Facebook will ultimately help drive online dealership traffic post-Super Bowl and up to the Oscars. Before and after, dealers should increase their spend and link directly to automakers’ Facebook pages.
Don’t Forget Automotive Listing Sites
Automotive websites usually see a large spike resulting from Super Bowl ads.
Make sure your dealership is well represented on these listing sites. Automotive brands that aired commercials last year on average saw a 7% lift to their pages, proving the Super Bowl-related television advertising can affect site traffic and overall online activity.
The spike likely won’t be as pronounced around the Oscars, but it is still an event worth planning for.
The Super Bowl and Oscars are the two best events that marketer can play off to spur automotive exuberance, lift dealership traffic and increase leads.
So take a few critical steps to ensure your dealership is aligned with and present in as many digital-buying moments as possible.
Mark Conner is senior vice president-channel strategy for LotLinx, a provider of digital advertising technology to car dealerships.