How auto dealers are driving traffic and engaging customers on Pinterest

Car in auto dealership
Road map to more sales

The Mercedes-Benz and Kia dealerships were both looking to reach car shoppers in and around their local markets—especially people experiencing the kind of life events that drive auto purchases.

Both advertisers wanted to connect with potential customers, bring them to dealer websites and increase sales with efficiency.

Automotive brands are increasingly turning to Pinterest to show off vehicle features to a large and engaged audience. Among automotive Pinners, 75% use the platform for inspiration on their next auto purchase.1 We also know that 87% of people on Pinterest are open to hearing from local businesses,2 and over half (54%) discover and connect with local businesses online.3

Denie Harris, Director of Marketing
Mercedes Benz of Coral Gables
We wanted to try advertising on Pinterest because we knew our audience was on there. Our first campaign also drove significant lifts in website traffic.
Under the hood

Working with Pinterest, the dealerships developed a creative strategy to highlight key vehicle features, as well as current lease offers or pricing information.

Each standard ad focused on one feature, such as the Mercedes-Benz COMAND navigation. The team tried both interior and exterior shots of the vehicles, and also included model names and numbers, clear branding and dealership address. The ads all linked to the dealers’ websites, and were refreshed monthly to reflect the latest offers.

To reach the right audience, they combined several targeting tactics. They targeted keywords including brand names, model names and numbers and vehicle class segments, as well as people experiencing certain “life events,” such as the recent purchase of a new home and getting married. 

Additionally, the dealerships retargeted website visitors and people who previously engaged with their Pins.

Beating benchmarks

The Mercedes-Benz dealer campaigns drove efficient site traffic with costs per click (CPCs) outperforming the average of all dealers on Pinterest by 27%.4 They found that creative highlighting interior vehicle imagery drove the highest click-through rates (CTRs).

Among all Mercedes-Benz dealers, ads that highlighted interior vehicle images outperformed those with exterior imagery, delivering:

  • 2x higher CTR

  • 17% lower CPC5

Kia leveraged Pinterest creative best practices, leading to even better performance. The Kia campaigns turned in a CPC 34% below, and a CTR 16% above the average of all dealers on Pinterest.6

John Gray, Global Automotive Strategy Lead
We knew from our research that Pinners are interested in auto content and connecting with local businesses. While these campaigns are just first steps, we’re encouraged by the positive response we’ve seen from people engaging with local auto dealers on Pinterest.
Awareness acceleration

The Pinterest automotive team is looking forward to working with more brands and dealerships in the coming year, and sharing all that we learn with advertisers to help shift sales into overdrive.


1GfK, US, Pinterest Path to Purchase Study among Weekly Pinners who use Pinterest in the Category, Nov 2018

2Pinterest-Vision Critical Community, US, Local Survey, [Month, Year]

3GfK, US, Pinterest Path to Purchase Study among Weekly Pinners who use Pinterest in the Category, Nov 2018

4Advertiser data, 2019

5Advertiser data, 2019

6Advertiser data, 2019