4 Facebook Advertising Strategies You Need to Utilize to #SellCars

June 28th, 2019
Saxton Horne

Welcome to 2019, where “yell sell” tactics are fading and organic content is on the fritz. With the algorithm changing constantly, Facebook is truly a pay-to-play platform with undeniable performance metrics in place to show you exactly where your money is going. Put your money where your mouse is, because if you aren’t utilizing Facebook to its full capacity, you’re not selling enough cars. These four Facebook advertising strategies are neglected in automotive and can help you move metal and keep the dealership’s lights on.

Canvas Ads Who doesn’t love the easy navigation and steady reliability of a car dealership website? (The answer is obvious. This is a rhetorical question.)

Facebook solves our website woes with the Canvas ad format, keeping users on the site while providing an immersive, website-like experience. This is solving the problem of high bounce rates and flawed mobile experiences by walking customers through the journey you truly want to take them on. Building a Canvas for awareness around a new vehicle model, a custom build, or a new dealership is not only reaching new customers but also keeping them actually engaged. How often do you have a potential customer engaging with an ad for more than 30 seconds? Canvas ads allow your customer to find their perfect vehicle — while staying on Facebook — and provide you with the customer’s lead information afterward. Often, dealers are too caught up in the “yell sell” on Facebook. It’s time to transfer your energy into a full-screen experience convincing customers why they should want a vehicle — the same way you would do on a test drive.

Dynamic Ads for Auto

Introducing the newest, most mysterious ad type known to the automotive industry — Dynamic Ads for Auto, or DAA.

Let’s cut to the chase — you probably have a vendor who is pushing a “dynamic Facebook ad.” Make them clarify if they are actually running DAA or if they are really only using a Dynamic Product Ad (DPA). DAA was designed exclusively for automotive whereas DPA was designed for e-commerce. DAA provides the ability to target based off of auto-specific variables such as make, model, stock number, mileage, etc. In order for DAA campaigns to succeed, you must work with your online inventory provider to set up your feed properly for Facebook. Your Facebook pixel parameters must be mapped correctly for DAA to work. And please, make sure you’re using DAA, not DPA. Why would you take your minivan up the mountain when you have a 4Runner in your garage?

Designed for auto (Make, Model, Stock #, Mileage, Etc.), Dynamic Ads for Auto provide:

Lead Generation Ads Since launching, lead generation ads and automotive have been a match made in heaven. We are a lead driven industry! But let’s go beyond the “sign up for a test drive” or “get a personalized quote” message. Two other areas we have found success in using lead generation ads are the hiring and subprime/CRC departments.

Let’s start with one of the biggest issues in the dealership: hiring the right people to take our customers on a test drive or give them a quote. In other words, hiring leads. Take advantage of an untapped platform and get the quality applicants you need, like sales consultants, finance managers, master technicians, you name it. Utilize your employment page pixel targeting/retargeting, engagement retargeting, and interest targeting to ensure you are reaching all future employees in your area. Add preliminary questions to ensure each candidate meets your requirements before you give them a call. And finally, make sure you have a system in place so your hiring manager calls the applicant in a timely matter.

Talking to your potential subprime and CRC customers is an art all its own. Making them trust your dealership and feeling confident in calling you to help them into their next vehicle is one of the biggest hurdles. A lead generation ad is an easy option for a few reasons:

1. Allows you to ask qualifying questions to the customer before having them fill out a full credit app. This helps in generating qualified leads.

2. Gives you a way to communicate with your customers in a way that makes them feel comfortable by asking them how they want to be contacted: text, email, phone, or messenger.

3. Provides the opportunity to communicate with customers in a non-threatening way on a platform that they know and trust. Allows you to talk to them conversationally and use videos that can feature a friendly face at the dealership so they know who they can work with.

4. Offers real-time lead integration with your CRM.

Offer Claim Ads The offer claim ad has been around for a few years now. It’s one that dealerships may not have tested to its full potential because of the complexity of the actual process. Handling the offer, or the measurement, isn’t as easy as a website session or lead. After a lot of testing, the sweet spot is simple — start with Facebook-specific service offers.

Parts/service offer claim ads help the dealerships:

• Boost sales and hours

• Generate new customers

• Send automatic reminders

Now that you’re ready to utilize the offer claim ad, make sure you have a process in place like generating Facebook-specific op codes and making sure your service advisors code them properly.