6 Channels to Advertise on for Auto Parts and Dealerships

  • 14 min read

According to a study by Cox Automotive, "76% of car shoppers are more likely to visit a dealership’s website than to visit the physical dealership, making it more important than ever for dealers to have a strong digital presence." 

Automotive advertising in 2023 has shifted to a more digital approach, which means that car dealerships and parts stores need to have a clear understanding of the channels that can help them reach their target audience effectively. In this article, we will explore six channels that are suitable for car dealerships and auto parts advertising and how to optimize them to achieve the best ROI for your business.

Facebook: Automotive inventory ads

Facebook Automotive Ads, also known as Automotive Inventory Ads (AIAs) or Dynamic Ads to Automotive Inventory, are a type of car dealership ad format offered by Facebook that focuses exclusively on car sales. With the help of pixel or SDK, Facebook Automotive Ads show ads to potential customers who are looking for vehicles on your website or app.

The primary difference between Facebook Automotive Ads and Facebook dynamic ads is that the former focuses only on car sales. Using this format, you can advertise both new and used car inventory. Potential customers can find their ideal vehicle by typing in make, model or trim, and Facebook will display matching vehicles in your ad. Additionally, you can include location details in your Facebook Automotive Ads to focus on buyers living nearby. Location targeting is a critical aspect of Facebook Automotive Advertising, as it allows advertisers to reach potential buyers living in close proximity to their dealership. By specifying the location details in your ads, you can focus your advertising efforts on buyers who are most likely to visit your dealership and make a purchase.


Example of a Facebook automotive ad|Facebook

Facebook's location targeting options are quite robust, allowing advertisers to target specific cities, zip/postal codes, or even a radius around their dealership. This feature is particularly useful for local businesses that want to reach potential customers within a certain distance.

To ensure that your Facebook Automotive Ads are effective, it's important to choose the right location targeting settings based on your dealership's location and the demographics of your target audience. By focusing on buyers living nearby, you can increase the chances of generating traffic and sales for your dealership.

The best choice for retargeting customers: Facebook Automotive Ads are dynamic car dealership ads, making them particularly useful for car dealerships to retarget car shoppers. You can create tailored campaigns for your website visitors, showing the cars they've engaged with on your website, and other similar vehicles. Overall, Facebook Automotive Ads provide an excellent opportunity for car dealerships to showcase their inventory and target potential customers who are actively looking for cars.

Facebook auto ad formats

Facebook offers various ad formats for automotive advertisers to choose from to effectively reach their target audience. These formats include single image ads, image carousel ads, video ads, video carousel ads, and stories. Each format has its own unique benefits and can be used to showcase different aspects of a dealership or auto parts retailer's offerings.

  • Single image ads are a great way to showcase a newly arrived vehicle with a high-quality image and a caption that highlights its key features and benefits. 


  • Image carousel ads allow auto parts retailers to showcase a range of products that are relevant to a specific vehicle make or model, with each image linking to a corresponding product page on their website.


Source: Advertisemint

  • Video ads can be used to showcase a virtual tour of their showroom or service center, highlighting the quality of their facilities and the expertise of their staff. Video carousel ads, on the other hand, allow advertisers to showcase multiple videos in a single ad – they’re perfect for install overviews and showing product usage.


Source: Dealers United 

  • Facebook Story ads are an ad format that is becoming increasingly popular for automotive advertisers. Stories are full-screen, immersive ads that can include a combination of images, videos, text, and stickers. They are a great way to create a sense of urgency in limited-time promotions or events and encourage users to take immediate action.


Source: Zero Light 

Why should dealerships use Facebook automotive inventory ads?

There are several reasons why car dealerships should consider using Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads to advertise their inventory as part of their car dealership ad strategy. Here are some of the key benefits of using this type of ad format:

  1. Reach new audiences with advanced targeting: With Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads, you can target potential customers who are actively searching for cars. Facebook allows you to target customers based on their location, age, interests, and behaviors. This means that you can show your ads to people who are most likely to be interested in your inventory.

  2. Increased visibility: By using Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads, you can increase the visibility of your inventory to potential customers. Facebook has a massive user base, with over 2.8 billion active users worldwide. By advertising on Facebook, you can reach a wider audience and increase the chances of finding potential buyers.

  3. Dynamic retargeting: Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads are dynamic, which means that you can show potential customers the cars they've previously engaged with on your website, as well as similar vehicles. This type of retargeting can be highly effective in converting potential customers into buyers. Read more about managing your Facebook Dynamic Product Ads.

  4. Measurable results: Facebook provides detailed analytics for its ads, which allows you to track the performance of your ads in real-time. You can see how many people are seeing your ads, how many are clicking on them, and how many are converting into buyers. This information can help you optimize your ads and improve their effectiveness over time. In addition to the standard metrics, vehicle advertisers may want to track specific metrics that are especially relevant to their industry. For example, tracking how many people are decoding VINs on your website can be a valuable metric for vehicle advertisers. Setting up an event to track VIN decodes can provide insights into how many people are interested in specific vehicle models and can help you retarget those interested individuals with optimized ads.

Google: Search Ads

Google search ads can be a powerful tool for the automotive industry to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales. With more and more consumers turning to search engines to research and purchase vehicles, it's essential to have a strong online presence.

When it comes to Google search ads, the key is to target the right keywords and create compelling ad copy that speaks to your target audience. For the automotive industry, this means targeting keywords related to specific vehicle models, features, and benefits, as well as location-based keywords that target consumers in your area.


The best choice for reaching new customers: An effective strategy for automotive companies’ car dealership ads is to create separate ad campaigns for different vehicle models or types. This allows you to target consumers who are actively searching for a specific type of vehicle and provide them with targeted ad copy and landing pages that speak to their needs.

Another important aspect of Google search ads for the automotive industry is the use of ad extensions. Ad extensions provide additional information about your dealership, such as location, phone number, and links to your website. This information can be particularly useful for consumers who are looking to research and compare different dealerships.

In a recent case study, DataFeedWatch demonstrated how automated text ads helped Norte Digital increase their conversions by 620%. By leveraging automated text ads, Norte Digital LATAM was able to create and update thousands of unique ads based on their product feed, targeting specific keywords and ad copy to different audience segments. This approach allowed them to stay ahead of the competition, while also reducing their ad spend and increasing their ROI. By using a similar strategy for your own Google search ads, you can ensure that your ads are reaching the right audience and driving maximum results.

Why should auto parts and dealerships use Google search ads?

Auto parts and dealerships should use Google search ads because it can be an effective way to reach potential customers who are actively searching for their products or services online. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Targeted Advertising: With Google search ads, auto parts and dealerships can target specific keywords related to their products or services, as well as location-based keywords that target consumers in their area. This means that their ads are only shown to people who are actively searching for what they offer, making it more likely that they will convert into customers.

  2. Increased Brand Awareness: By using Google search ads, auto parts and dealerships can increase their visibility and brand awareness. Even if potential customers don't click on their ads, simply seeing their brand name and ad copy can help to build familiarity and trust.

  3. Cost-Effective: Google search ads can be a cost-effective way for auto parts and dealerships to reach potential customers. Advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad, so they can control their advertising costs and ensure they are getting a good return on investment.

  4. Measurable Results: With Google search ads, auto parts and dealerships can track and measure their advertising results in real-time. They can see how many clicks their ads are getting, how much they are paying per click, and what their conversion rates are. This allows them to continually optimize their ads for better performance.

  5. Compete with Competitors: By using Google search ads, auto parts and dealerships can compete with their competitors who are also advertising online. They can bid on the same keywords and target the same audience, making it more likely that potential customers will choose them over their competitors. DataFeedWatch offers a powerful tool called Price Watch that enables businesses to monitor their competitor's pricesand adjust their own prices accordingly to stay competitive in the market. 

Google: Vehicle Listing Ads

Google Vehicle Listing Ads, also known as Vehicle Display Ads, are image ads that appear on Google search results pages. These ads are designed specifically for the automotive industry and allow businesses to showcase their inventory, promotions, and deals to potential customers. With Google Vehicle Ads, auto dealerships and auto parts retailers can reach a highly targeted audience of individuals who are actively searching for vehicles or auto-related products and services.


Example of a Google Vehicle ad|Google

The best choice for driving sales conversions: One of the primary benefits of Google Vehicle Ads is that they allow businesses to showcase their products and services in a highly visual way. These ads appear at the top of Google search results pages, giving businesses a prime opportunity to catch the attention of potential customers. Additionally, Google Vehicle Ads are highly targeted, meaning businesses can ensure their ads are seen by individuals who are most likely to engage with them and make a purchase.


Example of a Google Vehicle  ad|Google Merchant Center

To get started with Google Vehicle Ads, businesses need to have a Merchant Center account and create a product feed that includes information about their inventory, including make, model, and year. Once the product feed is set up, businesses can create campaigns and ads that are targeted to specific audiences based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics.

YouTube: Video Ads

YouTube ads can be an effective way for automotive businesses to advertise their products and services to a broad audience. As with other channels such as Facebook and Google, YouTube offers a range of ad formats that can be tailored to fit the needs of a specific campaign. For automotive businesses, video ads can be particularly beneficial, as they allow for the showcasing of products and services in action, as well as the opportunity to attach a story behind it. 

In the B2C space, it's often the story that sells and attaches the buyers to the products, and this is especially true with auto advertising. Additionally, with YouTube's extensive reach, automotive businesses can expand their brand awareness and reach a wider audience, including those who may not actively be searching for automotive products or services. 

Utilizing YouTube ads alongside other channels can help create a comprehensive advertising strategy that increases brand awareness, drives traffic, and ultimately leads to conversions for automotive businesses.

YouTube Video Vehicle Ads formats

YouTube offers a few video ad formats for ​​car dealership ads.

  • Non-skippable ads: Non-skippable ads on YouTube are a highly impactful ad format that can be used by automotive businesses to deliver their message to a captive audience. These ads cannot be skipped and typically last for 15-20 seconds, allowing businesses to deliver their key messaging and brand story in a concise and compelling manner. An example of non-skippable ads for the automotive industry could be a new car model launch, where the ad showcases the key features and benefits of the car in a concise and compelling manner.
  • Bumper ads Bumper ads are a non-skippable ad format offered by YouTube, which is particularly useful for the automotive industry. These ads are only 6 seconds long and are designed to capture the viewer's attention quickly. By using engaging visuals and concise messaging, bumper ads can communicate key brand messaging in a short amount of time, making them ideal for automotive businesses looking to promote new product launches or limited-time offers. Additionally, because these ads cannot be skipped, advertisers can be sure that their message is seen by the viewer, which can lead to increased brand recognition and engagement. For example, a bumper ad for an automotive business could be a quick six-second ad that highlights a limited-time offer on a specific car model. The ad could showcase the car and its features in a visually engaging way while also communicating the promotion's urgency.
  • TrueView in-stream and in-feed video ads: TrueView in-stream and in-feed video ads are skippable video ads that appear before or during a YouTube video. You get charged for it only when a viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the ad or clicks on it.  An automotive brand could use a TrueView in-stream ad to showcase a new car model in action. The ad could tell a story about the car's design, features, and performance, while also highlighting the car's unique selling points. An in-feed ad, on the other hand, could be used to promote a limited-time offer or a sale on car accessories. The ad could showcase the products in use and highlight the benefits of buying from that particular automotive business.

Why should auto parts and dealerships use YouTube video ads?

Auto parts and dealerships could benefit from YouTube video ads in a 3ways. 

  1. In-depth storytelling: Video ads go beyond just showcasing the features of a product or service. They have the power to create a story and convey an emotional connection with the audience. Unlike any other ad format, video ads can bring out a climate of how a customer will feel when they purchase an item. Through creative storytelling, automotive businesses can use video ads to showcase the experience of driving a particular vehicle or the feeling of owning a luxury car. These emotional connections can drive customer engagement and increase brand loyalty, leading to more sales and a stronger market position.

  2. Speaking to your audience’s needs: The engagement stage of the buyer's journey is a crucial opportunity for automotive companies to catch the attention of potential customers. When people come to YouTube, they are often in search of solutions to their problems, such as comparing cars or learning more about the pros and cons of specific models. This presents a unique opportunity for automotive companies to create engaging content that speaks to the needs of their target audience.

    In addition to traditional sales messages, automotive companies can use video ads to promote auto shows, test drive events, or other interactive experiences that allow potential customers to engage with the brand and its representatives. 

  3. Retargeting your website visitors: Retargeting is an important aspect of YouTube video ads as it helps to push users deeper into the sales funnel. For the automotive industry, this means that auto parts and dealerships can effectively retarget users who have previously searched for specific models or accessories on their website, increasing the likelihood of a purchase and improving the overall effectiveness of their advertising efforts.

Amazon Vehicle Dynamic Display Ads

Amazon Vehicle Display Ads is a type of advertising format offered by Amazon that allows automotive businesses to promote their products and services to a highly targeted audience on Amazon. With this ad format, businesses can showcase their inventory and target consumers who are in the market for a vehicle, auto parts, or related services.

Car dealers can leverage Amazon's first-party automotive garage data to match specific vehicles with consumers based on their life stages and purchasing motivations. By filtering for year, make, and model audiences, dealerships can deploy 1-1 conquest campaigns, making dynamic display ads one of the most effective strategies to use on Amazon DSP.


Source: Amazon Ads

The best choice for reaching customers already in the purchase process: Amazon Vehicle Display Ads allows businesses to display their ads on the product detail pages of relevant products and in search results. This means that businesses can target consumers who are already looking for automotive products and services on Amazon.com, increasing the likelihood of a conversion.

Other Amazon Vehicle Ad formats

Amazon also offers other ad formats that auto parts and dealerships can use to promote their products and services on the platform:

  • Over-the-Top (OTT) Video Ads: OTT Video Ads are video ads that are served on Amazon Fire TV and other connected TV devices. These ads can be used to promote automotive products and services to a highly engaged audience that is watching video content on Amazon.
  • Sponsored Brands: Sponsored Brands are keyword-targeted ads that appear at the top of Amazon search results pages. These ads can include a custom headline, logo, and multiple products, and can be designed to drive traffic to an advertiser's Amazon Store or product detail pages.

Why should auto parts and dealerships use Amazon Vehicle ads?

Auto parts and dealerships should consider using Amazon Vehicle ads for several reasons:

  1. Wide range: Auto parts and dealerships can benefit from Amazon Vehicle ads due to the e-commerce giant's massive customer base. There are  millions of potential customers on the platform, including car owners, enthusiasts, and DIYers.
  2. High intent traffic: Amazon Vehicle ads enable auto parts and dealership businesses to reach customers who are actively looking to buy parts and vehicles on Amazon. This translates to high-intent traffic, which is more likely to convert into a sale.
  3. Highly targeted advertising: Amazon Vehicle ads allow businesses to target specific audiences based on the make, model, and year of their vehicle. This ensures that their ads are seen by customers who are most likely to be interested in their products and services.
  4. Easy to Use: Amazon Vehicle ads are easy to set up and manage, even for businesses that are new to advertising. Amazon provides detailed instructions and support to help businesses create effective ads and track their performance.

Email marketing

Email marketing can be a highly effective tool for the automotive industry, as it provides a direct line of communication with customers and potential customers. By collecting email addresses through website sign-ups, in-store visits, or other channels, automotive businesses can build an email list to use for targeted email campaigns.


Source: Sendx.io

The best choice for effective customer retention and loyalty: By staying in touch with their customers, automotive brands can increase the likelihood of building stronger relationships. For auto parts retailers, this could mean offering promotions and discounts in regular newsletters, while dealerships could provide updates on new models, promotions, and service offerings. In addition to retaining customers, email marketing also presents opportunities for cross-selling, such as offering tire exchanges for upcoming seasons or suggesting additional parts that complement previously purchased products. 

However, it's important to note that email marketing can be challenging in the automotive industry due to the large number of spam filters and regulations around email communication. It's important to ensure that emails comply with relevant laws and regulations, and that they provide value to the recipient in order to avoid being marked as spam.

Automotive Email Marketing examples

Here are some examples of how businesses in the industry can leverage email marketing to drive engagement and sales:

  • Car Maintenance Reminders: An auto dealership can send email reminders to their customers for regular vehicle maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations. This not only keeps the customer informed about when their vehicle needs servicing but also helps the dealership build customer loyalty by showing they care about the customer's vehicle safety and longevity.


Source: Auto Vitals 

  • New Vehicle Model Announcements: When a new car model is launched, dealerships can send out email announcements to their customers who have shown interest in similar models. This not only informs the customer of the new offering but also presents a potential opportunity to make a sale.


Source: Audi - audi.com

  • Seasonal Promotions: Offering seasonal promotions, such as winter tire sales in the fall or discounts on air conditioning services in the summer, can be a great way for auto parts retailers and dealerships to increase sales and customer engagement.


Source: https://beefree.io/

Why should auto parts and dealerships use email marketing?

  1. Customer retention: One of the most effective uses of email marketing in the automotive industry is for customer retention and loyalty. By sending regular newsletters, updates, and promotions to existing customers, businesses can build stronger relationships and encourage repeat business. For example, an auto parts retailer may send out a regular newsletter with tips for vehicle maintenance or special offers on products that are relevant to the customer's vehicle.

  2. Regular Cross-selling opportunities: Email marketing can also be an effective tool for cross-selling related products or services. For example, an auto parts retailer may offer a promotion for tire exchange ahead of an upcoming season or suggest buying extra parts that would fit previously purchased products. By targeting customers who have already made a purchase, businesses can increase their revenue per customer and build a stronger relationship with their audience. Personalized recommendations can also be made based on the customer's browsing or purchase history, improving the chances of a successful cross-sell.

  3. Cost-effective channel: Another advantage of email marketing is that it can be highly cost-effective compared to other advertising channels. With the ability to segment email lists and target specific audiences, businesses can ensure that their emails are reaching the right people at the right time.

How to optimize the automotive channels to work well together

To optimize the channels and ensure they work well together, it's important to have a well-planned roadmap for automotive advertising. 

With DataFeedWatch, you’ll configure, optimize and manage all your automotive product feeds for the most popular ad channels, such as Google Shopping or Facebook Ads, in one platform. 

You’ll also receive automatic suggestions of the optimal price for each product to fine-tune your pricing strategy against the competition.

Search Ads

Video Ads

Email marketing

Facebook Vehicle Ads

Google Vehicle Listing Ads

Amazon Vehicle Ads

Helps you to get products or services in front of people actively searching for them.

Gives you a very visually appealing way to present products or services to a targeted audience.

Allows you to build and maintain relationships with customers.

Helps you to trigger impulsive purchases and promote automotive products to people in the consideration phase.

Helps you to reach the largest audience from all the available automotive ad formats. 

Helps you to reach a big and high-intent  audience with highly targeted ads.

Each of these channels, including Google Search Ads, Google Vehicle Listing Ads, Facebook Vehicle Ads, Amazon Vehicle Ads, YouTube Vehicle Ads, retargeting ads and email marketing, can work together in a cohesive strategy to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to a website or online store, and ultimately convert potential customers into actual buyers. To achieve this in an automotive advertising campaign, it's important to ensure that each channel complements the other, with consistent branding, messaging, and tone across all platforms. Utilizing multiple channels allows for a diverse range of targeting options, creative strategies, and ad formats to be used, ensuring that the advertising strategy is comprehensive and effective.


By leveraging a combination of advertising channels, the automotive industry can effectively target potential customers across multiple touchpoints, increasing the likelihood of conversion and driving sales. It's important to note that while each channel can be effective on its own, the true power of an automotive advertising campaign lies in the synergy of a cohesive strategy that utilizes multiple channels in a coordinated and strategic manner. 

With a well-planned roadmap and a cohesive strategy in place, car dealerships can effectively promote their products and services through an effective automotive advertising campaign, ensuring maximum reach and impact.

About DataFeedWatch

DataFeedWatch by Cart.com is the top-rated global product feed management platform that enables eCommerce brands, retailers, and digital agencies to drive multichannel growth. Merchants on both custom solutions and popular shopping carts, like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento (among others), can choose from 2000+ integrated shopping channels, affiliate networks, and marketplaces in 60 countries (such as Google, Facebook, Criteo, Amazon, and more). Major global brands like adidas, Decathlon, and KENZO have used DataFeedWatch to improve product performance across channels and expand to new markets. Sign up for a free trial today and receive guided onboarding to get started.

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