There’s a lot of debate in the marketplace on whether banner ads work for businesses or are they 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 some of you are unfamiliar with this type of marketing).
What is a banner ad?
Banner ad is a form of advertising on the Internet that is delivered by an ad server. The ad is shown on websites where space has been allocated for advertising.
Purpose of banner advertising
Banner ads are intended to build brand awareness and direct traffic to the advertisers website.
Here’s an example of a Banner ad:
I’m sure that you are aware that according to research conducted by many reputable organizations, a consumer needs to see or hear about an unfamiliar company at least 7 times before they will remember them.
If someone moves to the area and searches for “Tire Shop in your city and state” they may visit your tire shop’s website but they are also likely to compare other local tire shop website’s as well. So how can you remind a potential customer about your tire shop after they leave your website?
The short answer is Banner Ads!
Why Consider Banner Ads?
There are many reasons to consider banner advertising as opposed to other channels of marketing:
- They can be highly targeted (You can target users by geography and even only advertise to those who have already visited your website at least once)
- Frequency – banner ads allow you to reach a user at a much greater frequency than other marketing channels (you could show your ad as many as 10-15 times a day to a user. We don’t recommend that high a frequency but you do have that ability)
- They are MUCH cheaper than traditional forms of marketing such as Direct Mail, TV, etc. Banner ads are normally priced by CPM (cost per thousand) and you may pay about $5-$10 per CPM. So, let’s say you limit your frequency of showing your ad to each user at 5 per day. Basically, that means that for about $5-$10 per day, you could show your ad to as many as 200 users each day! What’d it cost you to do the same through a channel like direct mail?
How Does Banner Advertising Work?
For those of you technical folks who might be wondering how banner ads work. Well, here’s the skinny on it.
In order to effectively target banners, the site owner adds a small snippet of code, otherwise known as a “remarketing pixel” on their website. This code drops an anonymous cookie into the visitor’s browser. The cookie allows the advertiser to track the user across the internet and serves a banner ad through various sites when an opportunity presents itself.
Read on to see if banner ads work for auto shops
Different Ways To Target Banner Ads
Advertisers have various ways by which they can target their banner ads.
- Site Retargeting: This is where the ad is only shown to users who have visited a specific page of your website. This strategy allows you to remind those who have become aware of you that you still exist.
- Search Retargeting: This type of advertising is used to target users who may be in the market for a product or service that you sell but they have not visited your website yet. For example, a user searches for “tire shops that sell Goodyear tires near me” on Google. They may be shown several shops in their local area. This person has shown intent that they are looking to buy Goodyear tires. So, you may target them through search retargeting and show them a banner that mentions Goodyear tire and that your shop carries them. Since your banner is very topic relevant, there’s a higher chance that the user will notice your banner and may even click it to learn more about what your shop has to offer.
- Behavior Retargeting: This type of banner advertising is a bit more complex and strategic in nature. Let me give you another example. Consider a user that keeps visiting dealer sites, blogs and forums for Chevrolet, Ford and Mazda. This behavior indicates that this user may be in the market for a new car and is researching the best options for him/her. Based on this assumption, a dealer can target this user with their banners in hopes to catching their eye and swaying them towards their business.
Does Banner Advertising Actually Work For Auto/Tire Shops?
If you have read this far then I’m sure you are ready to know if banner-marketing strategy works for aftermarket retail and repair shops. Well, the short answer is that it depends on your goal.
If your goal is to generate immediate revenue from every ad dollar you spend then I’d say that banner advertising is probably not for you.
However, if your goal is to generate awareness for your shop in your local area and become part of the “evoked set” for auto repair in the long term then it’s a great, cost effective avenue.
Evoked set is defined as a group of relevant brands that a prospective consumer is favorably familiar with when they are thinking about making a purchase.
Banner advertising is also a great way to introduce and/or influence a user.
The data that I (and my team) have collected and evaluated over the years confirms that if you present your business to the users in a timely manner and have a targeted message in the ad then you will see a lift in business over time.
In fact, we have seen measurable traffic drop in traffic generated from web searches for clients (in some cases) when they have turned off their banner advertising.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Banner Advertising?
As with most advertising, a solid strategy is key to strong results. When creating a banner ad, we recommend consider the following:
1) Branding: Make sure that when a user looks at your ad, they can easily notice the name of your shop. A logo and/or a slogan are best in this situation.
2) Clear Message: A user should be able to easily tell what you are promoting
3) Call to Action: Your goal is to get viewers to react to your ad. Give them a reason to click. Are you offering a coupon? Sale? Be sure to make the offer time sensitive so viewers respond immediately. Consumers are influenced by FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. Promoting a “Limited Time Offer” will entice potential customers to engage with your ad so they don’t miss out on a good deal.
With the right technique, Banner Marketing can assist your tire shop with brand awareness and increased business.