Rev Up Your Instagram Campaigns: 6 Tips for Auto Advertisers

Maria Breaux
October 7, 2015

After several months of testing and refining, Instagram advertising is now open to businesses of all sizes around the world! To make the most of the opportunity, follow this spotlight blog series for helpful tips specific to your industry or vertical.

Automotive marketing has its roots in traditional media, and continues to thrive in print, TV, and direct mail. But it’s also been among the very first to adopt new methods, and for good reason – 38% of consumers say they’ll consult social media next time they purchase a car.

In many ways, the cars we drive are an extension of our lifestyle and a reflection of how we see ourselves. Instagram is very similar; it’s a place to highlight our passions and identities. Here are a few tips for auto advertisers to bring auto and Instagram together into top-notch campaigns.

1. Celebrate your unique point of view

Make sure your Instagram content – both organic and paid – celebrates your brand’s unique perspective. Whether your brand exudes luxury or radiates speed and sport, highlight what makes you stand out. Ideally, an Instagram user should be able to view your photos and know they represent your brand, without ever seeing your account name.

Can you guess the automaker without knowing the account name?


Answer: Jeep!

2. Target at the local or national (or global!) level

With over 75% of Instagrammers located outside the US, the sky’s the limit when it comes to targeting your campaigns. Local auto dealers can leverage geographic targeting to home in on relevant markets, while global entities can opt for wide scale brand awareness campaigns.

3. Up the ante with search intent data

Just like with Facebook, advertisers can also leverage Custom Audiences for Instagram. This means you can use your cross-channel data to target consumers who’ve already demonstrated interest in buying a new car. Use this tactic to keep your brand top of mind, encourage them to go for a test drive, or help them make a purchase decision.

4. Experiment with creative beyond cars

As a marketer in automotive, the obvious move is to post gorgeous images of your cars. Do that! But also consider creatives that go beyond the cars themselves. Showcase the people who build your cars and those who drive them, or all the incredible places your cars can take people. By focusing your creative around a strong and consistent concept, you’ll gain freedom to step outside of the box while still promoting your brand in an impactful way.


Thinking outside the box: Mercedes created a campaign to ask, “What would you pack in your GLA?” The items were displayed on GLA cargo mats.

5. Go wild with interactive content

If you have the budget and resources, take example from automakers like Hyundai and Mercedes, and create an interactive experience for users to enjoy. Hyundai created a quiz that matches users with an SUV, while Mercedes designed an experience that allowed users to build their own GLA.

6. Put Instagram to work for big launch events

Do you have a new make or model? Instagram is an excellent place to launch your product, spread awareness, and boost recall. Learn how Taco Bell debuted their new breakfast offering, or how Ben & Jerry’s introduced the Scotchy Scotch Scotch flavor.

Social media is a channel auto advertisers can’t afford to miss, and Instagram will only make your marketing mix stronger. If you’d like to learn how Marin Software can help advance your Instagram strategy, feel free to get in touch.

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