4 Must Know Tips for Automotive Facebook & Instagram Advertising Beginners
Apr 09, 2020
In today’s digital world, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole researching social media set-up and strategy best-practices. It’s even easier to get lost as you try to narrow to a specific industry. We all know there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach, but sometimes you just need some quick tips to get started.
If you’re an automotive marketer looking for some best practices for getting started with Facebook and Instagram Advertising, you’ve come to the right place!
NOTE: Facebook owns Instagram, and advertising for both networks are managed in Facebook Ads Manager. This means you only need to create campaigns once in order for your ads to show on both networks.
1. SET UP YOUR FACEBOOK PIXEL
This is the most important factor in achieving business outcomes through Facebook and Instagram Advertising. If you don’t have this set-up, you severely limit the ad formats, ad objectives, targeting ability and tracking ability from Facebook and Instagram Ads.
When properly installed, the Facebook Pixel enables you to:
Collect audience data from your website visitors
Serve ads to website visitors and lookalike audiences (people similar to your website visitors)
Retarget previous visitors to your website with content they looked at on your site
Optimize ad delivery to people likely to take specified actions
Attribute your Facebook and Instagram campaign influence to actions on your website
You can set up your Facebook Pixel on your own with these steps. If you are weary about setting up the Facebook Pixel on your own, your website provider or social media marketing provider can help you.
2. Structure your campaigns based on shopper intent
If you are new to Facebook and Instagram advertising, one important thing to understand first is the structure involved in setting up ads for these networks. Facebook’s campaign structure is listed below in terms of hierarchy:
Campaigns – where you set your objective
Ad Sets – where you define targeting, budget and schedule
Ads – creative assets (images, video, copy)
When setting up your campaigns, your objective should align with shopper intent. Since car dealers offer a variety of goods and services, you will need a variety of campaigns to effectively market to the different audiences you serve. For example: new car shoppers, used car shoppers and service shoppers.
Next, your ad sets should be further segmented to match different shopper intents within your campaign. Take new car shoppers for example. You likely won’t convince a new car shopper to buy from you by showing them one ad. If you want to convert shoppers into buyers, you are going to need to first attract their attention with some prospecting efforts. Then, the most efficient way to continue reaching them with targeted messages would be to set up an ad set dedicated to remarketing ads.
If you don’t segment these two distinct shopper needs into two ad sets, your generic messaging will fall flat after the initial viewing. Instead of showing the same ad to the same audience over and over again, you can attract them to your website with the prospecting ads. Then, you can serve them new ads automatically that feature the vehicles and similar vehicles they viewed with your remarketing ads.
3. Define your KPIs according to reasonable goals.
Every dealer’s ultimate goal is to make a sale or complete service appointments. However, to achieve that goal, a dealer needs to hit other goals along the way, such as driving awareness, driving traffic, driving repeat traffic and driving leads. Each goal has its own set of key performance indicators (KPIs).
At Dealer Teamwork, we typically recommend having campaigns targeting mid-funnel researching shoppers and low-funnel decision making shoppers running on Facebook and Instagram.
For mid-funnel researching shoppers, two reasonable goals would be driving awareness and driving traffic. At the researching stage in the car buying process, shoppers are likely comparing vehicles and finding out which dealerships have those vehicles in their area. With that in mind, some KPIs that would indicate you are catching shopper’s attention and getting them to your site are:
Link Clickthrough Rate
Cost per link click
If you can drive leads at this stage in the process, great! But that should be more of a bonus at this point, since your goals are awareness and website traffic.
For low-funnel decision making shoppers, two reasonable goals are driving repeat traffic and driving leads. At this point in the car shopping process, shoppers are wrapping up their research into the dealerships they believe meet their needs and are finding the best vehicle at their ideal price point. With that in mind, some KPIs that would indicate you are driving serious consideration and ready-to-buy shoppers to your dealership are:
Link Clickthrough Rate
Cost per lead
Purchases (sales measured with Facebook’s offline conversion measurement tool)
Cost per purchase (cost per purchase with Facebook’s offline conversion measurement tool)
Driving repeat visits to your website through remarketing campaigns and eventually converting those shoppers via click to call or form submissions are your desired outcomes at this stage. You’ll still want to monitor metrics like Reach and Frequency here, but they aren’t necessarily a key measure of the success of a campaign at this stage.
Facebook also has a way to tie your advertising efforts to sales with offline conversion measurement, also known as sales matchback. This is a more advanced tactic, but most social media vendors should be able to assist you in setting this up. You can learn more about how to set this up on your own here.
4. Sometimes you have to let Facebook “do-its-thing”
There are lots of ways to define your audience and how you want to target them when building your ad sets in Facebook’s Ad Manager. Many advertisers (and not just car dealers) feel obligated to spend lots of time tweaking and narrowing when defining targeting with these features. However, there are many instances where Facebook recommends the opposite; such is the case with Automotive Inventory Ads.
Automotive Inventory Ads are designed specifically for dealers to showcase their vehicles to in-market car shoppers. Dealers upload a catalog of their inventory and its features. Then Facebook generates and serves the ads based on user behavior, shopping intent and your campaign parameters.
Facebook’s algorithms work best when they have some room to work with. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t narrow your targeting at all when building ads. It means you need to be aware of the decisions you are making in terms of targeting and if they are necessary parameters to set.
For example, you should consider limiting the geographical areas where your ads serve so that you aren’t targeting outside the distance someone would be willing to travel to do business with you.
The best thing you can do is monitor your campaigns regularly and make adjustments when you are not driving the results you desire over time. Depending on the dealer, length of a campaign and your budget, you may want to wait a few weeks or even months before you discount a strategy as ineffective. It takes time for Facebook’s algorithm to learn.
Don’t worry about digging through all the behaviors and interests that Facebook allows you to target by. Feel free to experiment with them, but it’s usually better to start broad. Let Facebook learn from how people interact with your ads before making huge alterations or highly narrowing your targeting.