Why Dealerships Advertise on Facebook

Advertising through Facebook is an excellent way to reach specific interest groups and is used by many car dealerships as part of their overall digital marketing strategy to produce high-quality leads at a reasonable cost.

Over six million businesses use Facebook to promote their products and services, making Facebook ads the most important digital marketing channel for 67 percent of marketers around the world. This means Facebook ads are no longer just another option for auto dealerships; they are an essential component of a well rounded marketing strategy.

Car dealers can use dynamic ads and targeted marketing campaigns to reach low-funnel car buyers through social media. The Facebook ad tips and best practices for auto dealerships in this article can help you increase your ROI and generate more sales leads.

Facebook Ad Strategy for Dealers

About 75% of American adults spend at least 50 minutes per day on Facebook, making it an essential advertising platform that your dealership cannot afford to overlook.

Let’s dive in and review some best practices for creating Facebook ads for car dealers and how to get the most out of your ads.

The Best Facebook Ads for Car Dealerships

One of the many benefits of using Facebook ads is the variety of ad formats from which to choose. You can experiment with different ad formats to see which one works best for your marketing objectives. Facebook has an inventory-based ad system that is especially beneficial for car dealerships seeking high-quality leads.

The best Facebook ads for car dealers include:

  • Dynamic inventory ads
  • Lead form ads
  • Video ads
  • Image/text ads

Dynamic Inventory Ads
Dynamic inventory ads are essential for competitive dealerships. Statistically, dynamic Facebook ads have double the click-through rate, a 47% lower cost per click, and 3.4 times more conversions than static ad copy.
You can easily create carousel ads with the Facebook catalog integration to promote your inventory with up-to-date vehicle descriptions and prices.

Lead Form Ads 
Facebook lead ads can help you generate leads from within the various app platforms. Lead ads help to gather information from potential customers including their name and phone number, allowing you to follow up directly. Instead of clicking through the VDP, users will be prompted to fill out an online form with their contact information.
Lead form ads work well because they allow users to fill out forms quickly without leaving the Facebook interface. You can customize the ad and form to your liking, and sync them directly to your CRM so that every lead generated by the campaign is routed directly into your sales funnel.

Video Ads
Video ads can help you increase brand awareness or reach by increasing traffic to your website. We don;t typically recommend prioritizing brand heavy campaigns as they can be expensive, but video ads can help you promote a specific aspect or service offered by your dealership.

Image/Text Ads
Image/text ads are the most common type of advertising for car dealerships as they are capable of providing a high ROI! A simple, captivating image and attention-grabbing text can entice a potential customer to take action.

Choosing a Target Audience for Facebook Dealership Advertising

Facebook has a variety of options for finding your target audience, but these options are among the best for car dealerships.

Remarketing
In our experience, remarketing campaigns tend to have the highest results for car dealerships. Remarketing essentially ensures that your advertisements reach people who are already familiar with your dealership or brand and have previously expressed interest in buying a car.

By integrating Facebook Pixel into your website, you can easily track and target previous visitors. You can then divide this audience into different campaigns based on the pages they visit, the time since their last visit, the total number of visits, and other relevant activities.

Lookalikes
When creating a new ad campaign, Facebook can create a profile to target based on demographic criteria and specific interests that proved to be successful on your previous ad campaigns to create a “lookalike ” audience for your ads. While not as effective as remarketing, targeting a similar audience that previously produced results can generate intermediate results for dealerships at a lower cost.

Tips and Tricks for Getting Started on Facebook Ads

Before you jump in and begin creating your Facebook ads, here are some additional pointers and strategies you can try to help ensure you reach high-quality leads.

Understand Your Marketing Funnel
Before you begin putting money into Facebook ads, it is critical to decide which stage of your sales funnel you are looking to target. Try to envision how this campaign will aid your potential buyer journeys. Determining which part of your funnel you hope to target will help you frame your ad content and improve your ROI.

Match Your Inventory to the Right Demographics
You already know everything there is to know about your product; now learn about the people who use it. Taking into consideration the age, location, and interests of your potential buyers will help make your ads more effective.

Facebook provides numerous targeting tools to help you reach the right people at the right time. When you input specific demographic information, you significantly increase the likelihood of presenting the right cars to the right customers at the right time resulting in an increase in relevant traffic.

Consult Your CRM Data
Facebook ads aren’t just used to bring in new customers; they can be used to retarget active or recent leads. Recent leads and previous purchasers are more likely to understand your dealership’s message than someone who has never expressed an interest before.

AutoLeadStar, automotive’s first customer data and experience platform (CDXP), can help your dealership leverage your CRM to generate viable leads. The CDXP focuses on sorting, cleaning, and storing all your first party data in one place so that your dealership can create targeted marketing campaigns to reach your customers. This technology can help you harness the data you already have to execute advertising campaigns with a higher ROI.

Give Hyper-Targeting a Try
While you’re targeting custom and special ad audiences, you might want to consider going a step further and hyper-targeting specific ads to people in specific or special demographics.
Creating hyper targeted ads based on relevant content can help you reach very specific audiences or interest groups. For example, if you recently published a review of cars with the best safety features for children, consider creating a Facebook ad that links to the landing page and then set the target audience for the ad as parents and caregivers. This will bring relevant, specific traffic to your site by providing value to a hyper-targeted audience.

Hyper-targeting is an excellent strategy for increasing the relevance score of your advertisements, which can result in a lower cost per click (CPC).

Utilize Exclusions
Exclusions are exactly what they sound like – excluding a specific group from your targeted ad campaigns. For example, a customer who purchased a car from your dealership last week is unlikely to buy another for a while. You can exclude this customer from your ad audience by adding your most recent sales lists to Facebook offline events. You can now opt out of using this audience in your Facebook advertising.

Mind Your Placements
Facebook ad placements are the networks and platforms where your advertising appears. The cost of advertising on Facebook is heavily influenced by the location of your ad.

Facebook will automatically display your ad on its Audience Network, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and desktop and mobile Facebook news feed. Although Facebook recommends running your ads throughout its ecosystem, you should consider selecting specific placement options as the cost per click can vary by platform.

Try A/B Testing
In digital marketing, insights are critical. Consider A/B testing your Facebook campaigns by creating multiple ads with slight content tweaks to determine which version performs better.

You may find that dealership images receive significantly more interaction than manufacturer stock photos, for example. You can try changing the call to action button and see which generates better results for your dealership. These small experiments can help you gradually improve your dealership’s Facebook advertising.

Target Special Audiences
Special Ads Audiences (SAAs) are available in Facebook Ads Manager to assist your dealership in reaching out to more customers who are likely to interact with your ads.. This will help you reach new audiences instead of potentially “wearing out” your core audience with repeat ads month after month.

Get Started!

Facebook advertisements are an essential and powerful tool in generating leads for the modern car dealership. While getting started can seem like an overwhelming task, we hope the tips in this article will help set you up for success and allow you to begin generating effective and valuable leads in no time.

If you don’t have the time or resources to devote to creating a Facebook advertising campaign, AutoLeadStar can help you expand your sponsored search presence with quick, simple, and compelling ads.

AutoLeadStar’s Acquire helps simplify and improve the quality of Facebook ads for dealerships using machine learning and marketing automation to make highly accurate, one-to-one car-buyer matches.

Click here to learn more.