Are Banner Ads Right for Your Tire Business?
There is a lot of debate in the marketplace about whether banner ads work for businesses or are a waste of money. Before I get into whether they work for auto repair and tire shops, I want to first share what a banner ad is (in case you’re unfamiliar with this type of marketing). Here’s an example:
So what exactly is banner advertising?
It’s when you take a banner like the one above and place it on websites that allow auto businesses like yours to purchase advertising space to promote their services. The great thing about this form of online advertising is you have several options to target the audience you want to reach. They include:
How it works: This includes allowing you to target specific genders, age groups, and even parental status.
Benefit: This works well if you are familiar with what your “average” customer looks like. For instance, if it’s a soccer mom in her late thirties, you could put measures in place to target females between the ages of 35 and 44 who have indicated they are a parent. Pretty cool, huh?
How it works: This allows you to target potential customers based on what they are interested in (e.g., cars and trucks, sports teams, home and garden, etc.). You can even sometimes layer these interests with “in-the-market” targeting (i.e., single out people who are interested in cars and trucks who have also indicated that they are likely in the market for an oil change or new tires).
Benefit: Similar to demographic targeting, if you know your customers tend to share similar interests, you can focus all of your marketing dollars on users who look most like your “average” customer. Plus, by layering “in-the-market” targeting, you are more likely to attract users who will convert quickly.
How it works: This involves targeting users who have shown interest in your business or services before, but haven’t converted yet. For you more technical folks out there wondering how this is even possible, for standard remarketing, there is a snippet of code known as a remarketing pixel that gets placed on your site so you can “cookie” (tag) website visitors, allowing you to follow those users around with a banner ad. For another type of remarketing, called search retargeting, agencies like Conceptual Minds actually employ an intuitive platform that automatically installs a cookie on users’ computers when they conduct a search related to your business.
Benefit: It’s estimated that about 98 percent of website visitors don’t convert and, in fact, an average user needs to interact with a brand up to seven times before they are ready to take action. With remarketing, you can constantly remind non-converters that you’re a great choice for their auto services, and even do so when it is most important —when those potential customers are considering your competitors.
Is banner advertising right for every tire business?
In short — no. Display banner ads are indeed more cost-effective than traditional advertising. Studies have proven it costs much less to convert a user who is familiar with your brand than one who has never heard of your company before. But businesses expecting to make a sale from every banner click, or even a majority of clicks, would fare better with other forms of advertising, like paid search ads.
The point of banner ads is to grow awareness about your business and/or try to reach users who have indicated interest in your business (or a similar service) before. The primary goal is to get eyeballs on your logo — your brand identity — not necessarily to drive tons of traffic and sales. In fact, banner ads typically have a lower click-through-rate (total number of times users interact with your ad versus how many total times they actually see your ad) than other forms of marketing. Where banner ads out-perform other marketing channels, though, is with their ability to keep you top-of-mind in potential customers’ minds while they are cycling through all the stages of the sales funnel — awareness, research, and then decision-making.
It’s a strategy we know for a fact works. We have had several clients in the auto industry who have seen great success with this kind of display advertising. Not only has running banners helped them increase traffic through other marketing channels like Google but, over time, they have seen increases in revenue.
Banner advertising leads to word-of-mouth recommendations
Aside from all of the benefits we’ve discussed thus far, the best one still remains: Most business owners are aware word-of-mouth referrals are the best type of customers to get because they automatically trust you when you have their friend or relative’s “seal of approval”. So just think, if you were to use banner advertising to increase the number of people who currently know about your brand/services, that will automatically increase potential referrals, too.
If you think banner advertising might be a great marketing solution for your auto shop, and you would like help in coming up with an effective strategy and/or ensuring you get the best results, please reach out to Conceptual Minds’ team through the Conceptual Minds’ website or by calling 877-524-7696.
About the author
Taran Sodhi is the chief executive of Conceptual Minds — a marketing firm that caters to the tire and auto industry.