This blog is part of our Back to Basics refresher on automotive marketing best practices in 6 key dealership digital marketing areas: search marketing, social media advertising, email marketing, targeted display advertising, video advertising and branded content advertising.  

Targeted display advertising is all about getting it right. Targeting the right audience at the right time with the right message. And you’ve got to hit in-market customers at the right location – their home, your dealership or even your competition’s showroom. 

It’s a lot of moving parts to keep track of. But display advertising best practices can improve your digital advertising’s performance and your dealership’s metrics, which really just means bringing more customers in and moving more vehicles out.  


Think Beyond the Banner  

Banner blindness” is a thing – the phenomenon of people consciously or unconsciously ignoring advertising banners. It’s the reaction to years of irrelevant, intrusive and ill-conceived ads. Lucky for you, there are ways to fight it and make your message seen (and heard).  

Rich media display ads include video, audio and other elements to increase consumer engagement and interaction. They lead to more conversions, click-throughs and view rates. 

Geofencing can target consumers when they’re on their phones and searching for information about vehicles. Imagine buyers in your competitor’s showroom – and an ad for your dealership pops up with a special promotion. That’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss.  

Facebook automotive inventory ads automatically generate and deliver the right messages – highlighting specific makes, models and years – to the right consumers (in-market car buyers). Customers are directed to vehicle detail pages, lead submission forms, etc. There’s no guesswork: you load the inventory you want, and buyers see the cars they want. We can help with that. 


Borrow from the Best  

Automotive display ads aren’t the only place to look for inspiration. In fact, automotive marketing is most effective when it builds on ideas and best practices from across the auto industry – and other industries as well.   

Auto industry display ads best practices 

  • Advertise on sites that attract in-market shoppers. 

  • Track and compare metrics – number of return visits, unique visits, return visits and average time spent.  

  • Create compelling ads – high-quality ¾ angle vehicle photos, strong calls to action and 70 characters or less. 

Universal display ads best practices  

  • Keep it simple – messages, photos and calls to action. 

  • Target ads to specific audiences.  

  • Stick to one message and keep to your brand. 

Tips to optimize Google Ads display campaigns 

  • Eliminate display placements based on bounce rate and time spent on site – not conversions. High-quality traffic has lower bounce rates and more time on site. 

  • Connect AdWords and Analytics accounts so you can identify and remove placements that aren’t performing well. 

Creative jump starters for display ads 

  • Design ads so they don’t look like ads – but also make them stand out. Use contrasting colors, negative space and real photos taken by real people.  

  • Create multiple ads that speak to each segment of your target audience. 

  • Motivate customers by triggering emotions – happiness, sadness, surprise, etc.   

  • Be funny – it’s been proven to get attention, increase memorability and overcome resistance.  

  • Know your colors. What psychological association do customers have with red? Orange? Green? Blue? 

Keep on Top of Technology 

Technology is constantly changing, but it’s critical you keep up with it. Or partner with professionals who can handle the technical details for you, such as the experts at LOCALiQ AUTOMOTIVE. 

In the meantime, work to create effective display ads

  • Understand responsive ads offer efficiency and standard image ads provide more creative control.  

  • Highlight unique selling points, prices and promotions. 

  • Test, optimize and refresh ads.  

Auto-mobile takes on a whole new meaning when you consider 53% of internet car shoppers use a mobile device when searching for information about cars. When customers are on their phones, you want your ads to be there too.  

Bringing It All Together  

Automotive display ads are much more than static banner ads. Fight banner blindness with these automotive display ad best practices: 

  • Think beyond the standard banner 

  • Borrow from the internet’s best display marketing ideas  

  • Keep on top of technology and advertising trends 

But that’s just the basics. There are many other ways to drive your dealership’s business with automotive display ads.  


Contact us to learn more about targeted display advertising solutions for your dealership.  




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