Deep Linking Customizes Search For Vehicle Shoppers On Facebook

LotLinx announced Tuesday an advertising feature that lets automotive dealerships advertise on Facebook and, with a click on a hot link or ad, connect the consumer directly from the social site to the vehicle detail page on the dealer's Web site.

Search marketers know this technique as deep-linking. The strategy puts the consumer on the dealer's site to shop for the car.

"If you're looking for a blue Honda Accord we will serve an ad in your Facebook feed only because we know you just searched for one," said Len Short, founder and chairman at LotLinx. "The ad sends the consumer directly to the page on the local dealership's site."

The ads are charged on a pay-per-performance metric. Car dealerships pay, per shopper, $3.99 for the click that delivers the unique shopper to their Web site.

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Google used to report search volumes by type -- nearly 20 million monthly searches by VIN numbers. People searched for a car on sites like AutoTrader and then went to search engines to try and find the dealer site. So LotLinx initially built an ad-serving platform and now developed a model to connect Facebook ads to the dealership's Web site page for a specific automobile based on the VIN and data.

The deep-linking technology combines pixel-tracking shopper data with data from dealer-owned sites and Facebook-provided Polk data to build custom audience segments for each automotive dealer. Ads with specific vehicle identification numbers are created to serve up on Facebook.

"People are reading reviews before they buy a car, they search for information, and we're just directly connecting those consumers from the information to the car on the dealer's site," Short said.

Short said the car manufacturers spend about 80 cents on the dollar to support advertising for dealerships, and were looking for a better return on their investment.

LotLinx supports about 30 brands from automakers such as Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, GMC, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover CPO, Ram, and Subaru.

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