4 High-Performing Auto Retail Facebook Campaigns to try in 2019

January 25, 2019

1 in 4 minutes on mobile devices is spent on Facebook & Instagram. That is a lot of minutes that you could be using to put your inventory in front of car buyers. What’s more, social media channels have a direct impact on purchasing, with 59% of car shoppers saying they are influenced by Instagram in an auto purchase.

When setting out to create your strategy, keep in mind what truly matters for your business - driving more car sales. Facebook and Instagram are more than brand awareness channels and your strategy should go beyond boosting posts and generating likes and shares.

The key to success with Facebook and Instagram advertising for auto is to look at the entire automotive buying journey and account for each of the five stages a customer goes through - Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Retention and Advocacy. Create Facebook campaigns that help you hit your marketing goals across all stages of the buying journey from Awareness to Retention and Advocacy. We show you how in the campaign ideas below.

1. Awareness Stage - Generate demand with video ads

A study by Facebook revealed that 62% of car buyers discovered new vehicles online compared to just 35% who discovered in-dealership. 65% of consumers aged 18-34 discover new cars through the Facebook family of apps. This is a good enough evidence for us that Facebook and Instagram are worthwhile channels for auto demand generation.

We found that the most efficient way to engage buyers at the Awareness stage is through a combination of Facebook Lead Ads and video ads. Here are our top tips on creating high-performing video ad campaigns:

  • Run awareness video ads and retarget those audiences with leads ads
  • Use lead ad forms as part of the video ad call to action for any customers who are ready to enquire right away
  • Optimise video for mobile - create vertical video or stack horizontal videos on top of each other
  • Aim to get your brand and message across in 3 seconds- the slow build up and reveal used for TV formats doesn’t work on Facebook

This great guide by Facebook on how to create ad creative perfectly optimised for video. https://www.facebook.com/business/m/playwithcars

2.  Consideration Stage - Drive new car leads and sales

A fully scaled marketing strategy on Facebook covers all the stages of the funnel but you can prioritise the stages that matter the most to your business. For example, you can start with a campaign aimed at the Consideration stage if your goal is to engage people who are already in market for a car. At the Consideration stage, your mission will often be to capture in-market leads and get them to book a test drive.

By far, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to capture in-market leads is through Facebook Lead Ads. Our clients see a 50% saving on cost per lead from Lead Ads when compared to a traditional website journey. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider Facebook Lead Ads:

  • Lead forms are easy to use and fill in on mobile
  • Forms are pr-filled with profile information
  • We see a consisted 50%+ saving on cost per lead as a website journey
  • You can customise consent for GDPR

Facebook Lead Ads Pro tips

  • Ask more questions - On a traditional website landing page form, you normally will try to ask as little questions as possible to increase the conversion rate. On Facebook Lead Ads we recommend doing the opposite - ask more questions to qualify the lead. Facebook’s algorithm is so good at finding people who fill out the form that asking more questions won’t increase the cost per lead but it will produce a much higher quality leads. Check out our blog for the top 3 questions you should ask in automotive Lead Ads
  • Building engagement audiences to Retarget people who start the lead journey but don’t finish will give you a 40% boost in form submissions
  • Try out High intent forms if you still need a boost
  • Respond to the leads very quickly - sync to your DMS - conversion rates increase drastically when responding quickly

3. Purchase Stage - Sell more used cars

In a recent study, Facebook found out that  60% of vehicle buyers buy or plan to buy their next car in-dealership, compared to 39% who buy or plan to buy online. While car buyers are still more likely to make a purchase in a dealership rather than online, there are a number of Facebook tools and tactics you can use at the Purchase stage to move leads down the sales funnel.

We are going to focus on two different tactics that can help you drive more used car sales one using Facebook Dynamic Ads and one using Facebook Marketplace.

How to use Facebook Dynamic Auto Ads to drive used car sales

Thanks to Facebook Dynamic Ads and Facebook Marketplace advertising your used car stock to local buyers is becoming easier.

Dynamic Auto Ads is a great ad format developed with auto retailers at its heart which lets your customers see used car stock in their Facebook feed personalised for their local dealership. With Dynamic Ads, you can put your used car inventory in front of the right audience and give your customers the chance to enquire about specific cars on sale.

Facebook Dynamic Ads Pro Tips:

  • Make sure that the Facebook pixel is set up on your website correctly
  • Upload your product catalogue to your Facebook Business Manager
  • Use Dynamic ads to point people to vehicle detail pages or lead submission forms
  • Upgrade your pixel to build better audiences
  • Add a Lead Ad call to action on your Dynamic Auto Ads to allow customers to enquire about a particular vehicle. Instead of trying to drive vehicle page views, sometimes it pays to give people the option to enquire right away through a Facebook Lead Ad.
  • Retarget your website visitors with ads that show them the exact cars that they have viewed and send them finance offers.

You can find detailed instructions on how to set up Dynamic Ads to showcase your products here.

4.  Retention and Advocacy Stages - Boost aftersales and loyalty

Your marketing strategy shouldn’t end when a deal is closed. In a recent study, Facebook found out that 87% of consumers want to engage with auto brands post-purchase. Whether it is maintenance reminders, technical information about their car or model updates and specification upgrades, your customers want to hear from you after they purchase a car. This gives you a great opportunity to reach them with relevant information and send them new offers.

Facebook and Instagram are great channels for driving aftersales revenue. Your most powerful weapon at the Retention stage of the buying journey and one of our favourite Facebook features is Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences allows you to reach your own customer list on Facebook & Instagram. For example, you might want to reach customers whose finance plans are ending soon and send them offers.

How to boost aftersales with Facebook Ads:  

  • Upload your customer lists on Facebook via CSV or use real-time automatic sync like Driftrock
  • Segment your audience - segments you can use are customers with service due, customers whose finance plan is ending, owners of a particular brand and model
  • You can also use Custom Audiences to create Lookalike audiences of people similar to your existing customers. Lookalike as a targeting strategy tends to beat any other targeting option on Facebook and in 95% of cases, it is the best way to target people.

With a full funnel strategy, Facebook & Instagram ads can help you create demand, drive consideration and close deals thus driving real results for your business. Track and measure your campaigns as you go and use your learnings to optimise your strategy.

Get more Campaign Inspiration

Visit our automotive campaign recipe page for more automotive digital marketing campaign ideas and resources.