If you're an auto dealer using Facebook to grow your brand, generate leads and engage followers, you already understand how the platform can be a powerful marketing tool for your business.
Our own experience suggests that most Northern California auto dealers have some sort of Facebook presence.
However, paid Facebook advertising is an entirely different type of investment, and a complicated one at that: Facebook is constantly tweaking its policies, pricing, and techniques, leaving many marketing managers confused and unsure of how to proceed. With that in mind, today we'd like to provide a summary of best practices in Facebook advertising for auto dealers.
Auto Differs from Other Facebook Verticals
All kinds of industries advertise on Facebook and, not surprisingly, each have their own unique characteristics and engagement drivers. For example, as the attached infographic from Unified notes,
- Facebook ads are more expensive to run compared to the average.
- The CPM rate (cost per thousand impressions) is 69% higher than other verticals.
- The "Cost Per Like" — the amount of money you need to spend to get someone to "Like" your page — is the same as the average.
- The "Cost Per Click" (CPC) is 22 percent less than the average.
Taken in total, Facebook advertising for auto dealers is, well, a good deal: the "Click-Through-Rate" (CTR) for auto ads is two-times higher than the average Facebook ad on desktop and mobile.
Focus on User Mobile News Feeds
Unified crunched the numbers and mobile newsfeed auto ads bested desktop feed ads by a two-to-one ratio. Therefore, while the mobile vertical is slightly more pricey on a CPM basis, it yields tremendously impressive user engagement rates, thereby justifying its costs.
Gender Targeting for Optimal Customization
Everyone knows that ads need to be tailored based on your buyer persona's gender and Facebook is no different. In fact, research suggests that men will be far more inclined to engage your auto brand compared to women. Specifically, 79 percent of men are more likely to engage with auto ads via liking or commenting. For women, the rate is 29 percent.
Auto ads, in general, outperform other vertical ads on Facebook but there's a catch. To maximize performance advertisers need to focus on mobile news feeds and hone in on the male demographic to boost user engagement.
Paid Advertising is Just One Part of Your Facebook Marketing Strategy
One last point. This purpose of this article is to talk about ways to reach customers through paid advertising on Facebook. These efforts should be rolled out in tandem with your other "free" Facebook-related efforts like engaging existing followers to generate leads. It's not a one-or-the-other proposition. In fact, you'll find that the things that work on the paid advertising front — things like crisp ad design, copy, CTAs, and free offers — can subsequently be leveraged to engage followers or generate new ones organically.
Now we'd like to ask you to join the conversation. Has Facebook proved an effective component of your automotive marketing efforts? Has the Facebook platform proved more successful than, say, Google display ads? What advice would you give dealers just starting to experiment with Facebook advertising?