5 Ad Campaigns Dealers Are Running To Defeat Traffic Decline During COVID-19

Company and Events, Social Media

Unless you’re a toilet paper salesperson, the past couple months have probably presented some serious challenges for your business.

Auto dealerships are experiencing extreme decreases in foot traffic, and in many cases. sales departments are being forced to close as stay-at-home orders continue throughout the US.

Online traffic is taking a hit too, with Dealer Inspire reporting industry web traffic decreasing by almost 10% and web leads decreasing by over 17% from February 2020 to March 2020.

But while industry web averages are still low, many of our dealer-partners are experiencing increasing in audiences sizes and decreases in cost per action.

Dealers United Facebook Customers Experiencing Lower Costs, Higher Performance

While there has been a decline in search, direct, and 3rd party site traffic, Facebook is experiencing tremendous growth in traffic, and is amassing new records in usage almost every single day.

Of our dealer-partners that are running one of our COVID-19 Playbooks, CPM (cost-per-thousand reached) has decreased over 40% month-over-month.

Additionally, all of our dealers are experiencing an almost $2 decrease in CPM month-over-month. What’s more, we’re seeing decreasing in cost per click, landing page view, AND leads.

So with almost all search volumes down, why is Facebook succeeding right now?


Facebook and Instagram are proactive platforms. You’re not waiting on shoppers to search for a dealership in your area, or to go on Cars.com and click on your inventory.

Using data driven audiences on Facebook and Instagram, advertisers can reach out to potential shoppers who are likely to be in-market.

Ad campaigns dealerships are running to increase traffic during COVID-19

1. D’ELLA Honda, Safe Service

D’ELLA Honda is in Queensbury, New York. With New York’s local ordinances, the dealership needed to prioritize messaging that their service lane was still open and they were taking all necessary precautions to keep customers safe.

Using Dealers United’s Coronavirus Service Playbook, they ran a campaign of 20+ ads, reaching over 20,000 local service shoppers and driving 570 landing page views at $0.91 each. 

To get our Coronavirus Service Playbook, consisting of over 10 ready-to-drop ads and strategies, click here.)

2. Cavalier Ford of Greenbrier, No Payments For 6 Months

Cavalier Ford of Greenbrier in Chesapeake, Virginia was looking for a playbook to show local shoppers that they can take advantage of never-before-seen Ford offers and defer their monthly payments.

Using the Coronavirus Sales Playbook and specific model line specials, Cavalier Ford reached over 98k shoppers in 31 days, driving more than 1,110 landing page views at only $0.81 each! 

To get our Coronavirus Sales Playbook, with 10+ ad plays to help combat COVID-19 sales decline, click here.

3. Middletown Honda, Service Sanitation

Middletown Honda, located in Middletown, New York, also needed to show potential customers that their service department was open and performing sanitizing procedures to keep customers and employees protected.

Using a brand awareness reach campaign, Middletown Honda reached over 22k people in 31 days, helping to provide the needed boost of service customers the dealership needed.

4. Greeley Subaru, Contactless Shopping Experience

Greeley Subaru in Greeley, Colorado is still able to provide customers with a new vehicle from the safety of their homes.

Using messaging around “Contactless” online shopping, the dealership was able to reach 5,549 shoppers, drive 108 landing page views, and 27 leads with just a $8/day retargeting budget over the last 2 months.

5. Garden City Mazda, We Are Here For You
Garden City Mazda is located in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Rochelle, New York.
They needed to let customers know the state of their business, as well as what they were doing to protect them if they needed a vehicle serviced.


Vice President of Leader In Cars, Michael Renaud, created a simple video in selfie format on his phone explaining the situation to customers, what they were doing to prevent the spread of the pandemic, and a message that “We are here for you.”

Things are trending upward

While website and search traffic for auto dealers is still low, proactive platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are thriving and receiving cheaper results than ever.

It’s important to stay in front of your market with a caring, community-first approach, positioning your dealership for the very near future when the economy begins to reopen.

Considering many factors, such as many state and local governments reducing restrictions on businesses, OEMs offering never seen before incentives, tax season being extended, and Americans receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus payments, auto shopper demand IS coming.

Click here get our “Unlock Shopper Demand” playbook and see how your dealership can be ready when the dust settles.

Looking for more COVID-19 Resources to help your dealership?

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Blog Author - Drew Detweiler

Written By Drew Detweiler
Drew manages inbound and outbound marketing for Dealers United. When he’s not at work, he’s probably enjoying the outdoors, fishing, or eating.

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