According to the 2017 Car Buyer Journey report, 56% of car buyers used a smartphone to access automotive information before purchasing their vehicle. That means whatever you do, make sure your content is mobile friendly.

In terms of social media, Facebook and Instagram are more often than not accessed on a smartphone. To take advantage of this, we can use Facebook’s ad platform to show content to the right audience.

Lets look at:

  • Facebook Lead Ads
  • Facebook’s Audience Network
  • Facebook Dynamic Ads

All of these will require you to have an ad budget, they are pay per click/impression campaigns.

Facebook Lead Adverts

Lead ads on Facebook allow you to get your audience and potential customer to sign up for something directly on the Facebook platform. They look similar to a normal ad with the difference being a button like ‘book now’ or ‘sign up’ at the bottom.

When they click this button, the advert will open to a form that is pre-filled with their Facebook date including name and contact details if verified.

Lead ads can be great for things like registering interest in a new and upcoming model, booking test drives or downloading of brochures.

Facebook’s Audience Network

According to Facebook, the Audience Network gives you access to 16% more people on average than on the Facebook platform alone. This means your ads will expand past the Facebook platform and show in video streams and apps.

They also state that over 40% of the top 500 apps are integrated with t he network. From an advertisers point of view, this means access to a larger audience.

In your advert manager on Facebook, when you select placements, you will notice the audience network option here.

Facebook Dynamic Ads

Facebook’s dynamic ads allow dealers to upload their vehicle catalogue with relevant details such as make, model and year, which then gets automatically generated into ads that show the most compelling inventory to the right audiences – driving them towards vehicle detail pages, lead submission forms or other valuable places.

This means that someone most likely to want a Used Toyota Camry should get shown your available used Camrys in Facebook ads. Its a bit like retargeted ad formats that pick up what your customer is looking for on your website and then tries to show the most appropriate ad.

Facebook Dynamic Ads for Auto is still in testing at the time of writing this, but looks to be available to everyone very soon.

From Ads to Leads

The whole idea here is to capture your audience’s attention, and get them to take action. If that is signing up for a brochure, booking a test drive or making an enquiry on a car, you can get the potential customer’s contact information which then allow you to contact them directly to try and close the sale.

The best advice when it comes to Facebook ads that try to capture information is to make it look as natural and non-sales as possible. Make your ad more about providing something of benefit to the customer, that way they don’t mind giving their information. For example, a vehicle brochure download, a customer will give their email address as they know it will be needed to download or get sent the brochure. They don’t think about it getting passed to a salesman.

Same goes with test drive bookings, customers know you need to contact them so they give out their information. Event pages that promote an open day for a new model can work just as well, with a ticket section that can link back to a form on your website.

Facebook gives you a great platform to collect data and leads, but needs to be approached differently to other advertising. Try to create ads that capture interest and engage with the viewer. The biggest point to remember here is that you are on a social network, not a sales page, newspaper advert or TV commercial. You need to provide value and support, which your potential customers can then take advantage of.

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