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Facebook is making itself into a digital show-rooming tool. Well, not exactly. It’s still Facebook. But they’ve made some changes that will more or less allow shoppers to engage with your inventory before even going to your website.
Last Thursday, 11/16/2017, Facebook revealed two huge advances for dealership social media advertising. Two types of ads have been altered to give auto dealers the ability to much more effectively advertise with Facebook.
Click to Tweet: Specifically, these changes make it possible to target the right users at the right moment to get them to come in for a test drive and leave in a new car.
Now, dealers and automakers can use dynamic ads to create a private showroom in the middle of the social media platform. Changes to lead ads also let dealers follow up with these virtual show-roomers and schedule a test drive at a dealership.
Facebook’s revamped dynamic ads for auto dealers will work similarly to the dynamic ads that retail, real estate, airline, and hotel industries are already enjoying the results of. Dealers have been waiting for the opportunity to capitalize on similar dealership advertising technology. Now, they’ll be able to retarget shoppers who have visited brand sites, engaged with an auto maker app, or visited similar websites with specific vehicles (or parts/service deals) that fall within the sphere of that user’s individual behavior. For example, if you read an article from an automotive site about the most efficient hybrids of 2018 and you can expect to see an ad displaying the best range of hybrids from an auto brand utilizing this new Facebook ad type.
To better fit how dynamic ads function with the reality of car sales, Facebook has also brought custom power to their backend system. Dealers can upload lists of inventory information that will be used in the dealership social media ad. This automated system provides the shopper with the specifics on the car at the moment they see it, just like in a showroom. It’s a perfect system for generating leads by targeting shoppers who are already know what they are interested in and are thus in the right moment in their buyer journey. By doing this, users can view the vehicle and the information and quickly match it in their mind to the desired specifics they’ve already picked in the course of their research. Customers can then easily click to view more details about the car, or simply schedule a test drive. This is the closest that dealership social media advertising has been able to get to the customer.
The changes to the dynamic ads also has an impact on Facebook’s lead ads. Lead ads, which were first made available for the auto industry in 2015, allowed marketers to gather user contact information with forms, which Facebook will auto-populate using information already in the user’s facebook profile. With the advancements in the dynamic ads, auto dealers can create a ‘Custom Audience’ of users who have interacted with their dynamic dealership social media ads, and then market directly to this primed audience using their lead ads – following car shoppers as they move through their car buying journey. When has dealership advertising been able to achieve that before?
Aside from the changes made to dynamic ads and the impact those have on lead ads, lead ads themselves have been changed.
Dealership advertising on Facebook will now include business locating and appointment scheduling features in the creation of new lead ads. The business locating feature is based primarily on zip code, and users can simply submit a new zip code and watch the business locator re-populate. The appointment scheduling feature is built into the lead ads, and is one of the “questions” an advertiser can use to build their lead ad. To make it even easier, Leads that result from these improved lead ads can be ported directly into the dealership’s CRM, making the data and the lead known to the appropriate party immediately.
These changes are the next step the industry is taking to bring the buyer journey closer and more connected to dealerships, eliminating inconvenience and stress for customers, and challenging dealers to streamline their sales processes. Now, car shoppers can start their education in new mediums aside from a dealership website, enhancing their customer experience. Don’t take it from us. Take it from Facebook’s auto industry lead Stephanie Latham, who remarked: “The intent very much with both of these products is to remove any of that friction, either the pain of the researching and the getting to the dealership or the actual getting straight to ‘I just want this information, I just want to set up time to do a test drive.’”