9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
Good marketers know that in order to craft an effective marketing message, they first have to find the right audience to receive it. Facebook Custom Audiences are a great way to define, research, target, and connect with the perfect group of people for your dealership's message.
But first, a quick primer about Facebook Custom Audiences. They come in four types:
- A list of email addresses or phone numbers from your database
- People who visit certain pages on your website
- People who perform certain actions in your Facebook app
- People who interact with specific posts on your Facebook page
In this post, we're going to cover the first type of Custom Audience: the list. Specifically, we're going to look at how dealerships can pull spreadsheets of people from their own databases to advertise to on Facebook.
This particular method of building an audience will give your dealership yet another way to implement an automotive marketing strategy that fires on all cylinders.
Rock on for Your Audience
Our inbound automotive marketing agency began using Facebook Custom Audiences for auto dealers in 2015, and we continue to find ways to apply this powerful digital marketing tool for dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada.
From what we've learned, there are four main benefits to using a Facebook Custom Audience list:
- Pinpoint your specific audience.
- Craft a compelling message with relevant content.
- Measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
- Get real return from your Facebook advertising budget.
How can your dealership benefit from this powerful marketing tool? The answer is in your dealership's CRM data.
Find Leverage in the List
Custom Audiences allow you to nurture relationships with known leads and customers on Facebook. As with any great dealership marketing campaign, the challenge is to show the right message to the right people at the right time. The first step is to rally your tribe by putting them on a list.
With your CRM data, you can select these niche groups — or “tribes” — and appeal to their specific needs, desires, and interests with a great Facebook ad. Whether you use DealerSocket, VINsolutions, or another CRM database, dive in and build a list of people with whom you'd like to connect on Facebook.
We often get asked, “What kind of data does my dealership need to build a Custom Audience?”
The answer is easy: email addresses or phone numbers. That's it! You don't even need names. In fact, your spreadsheet can consist of just one column of either email addresses or phone numbers. That's all you need to connect with various groups of people from your database.
For example, you could take a list of your most recent customers, create a Custom Audience on Facebook, and ask these people to leave you a rating on Google, Yelp, or another review site.
Jumping over to the other end of your sales funnel, you could pull a list of recently added leads from your CRM and show them a Facebook ad featuring a blog post about your brand values, thereby differentiating yourself from your competition.
If you're a Chevrolet dealer, you probably have a general buyer persona for your new Chevy Silverado trucks: middle-aged males living within 25 miles of your store, spending time doing outdoor activities, living family life, and working in industrial jobs.
Facebook allows you to target all those characteristics together with its own demographic targeting tool, but a list of Silverado leads from your own CRM will provide a clearer picture of what's really happening with your Facebook budget.
The key here is to test things out. While Facebook has its own powerful targeting filters, you won't know exactly where those people are in the sales funnel (or if they're in the funnel at all). Creating your own list of known leads or customers will let you make an ad that really hits home and effectively moves people toward a certain goal.
Craft a Compelling Ad
Using a Custom Audience will give you the confidence to show an advertisement that compels your audience to perform a specific step in the path to their next purchase. Whether they just recently purchased a vehicle or are near the bottom of the funnel, Facebook Custom Audiences will allow you to connect with the right message at the right time.
Remember that list of recent customers? Ask them to review your dealership on Google.
That list of Silverado leads? Show them your brand values so they can understand why your dealership is the right dealership for them to choose.
Time for an oil change? Service customers who last visited your service lane three or more months ago might appreciate an ad with your current service specials.
And what about those people in the middle? We're talking about the lady who bought her new Toyota Carolla from you six months ago. What could you say to her at that point? Here's an idea: blog about “caring for your Corolla,” and show her that you care.
Measure to Maximize Performance
The effectiveness of your Facebook advertising strategy is only as good as your ability to measure its results. Here are some things to consider:
- Cost per click
- Frequency and click-through rates
- Conversions or goal completions
First, your cost per click will determine how many clicks you can get within your budget. If you're running a campaign for $100 and you get 100 clicks, that's $1 per click. Duh, right?
In our experience, targeting a smaller group of people will generally cost more per click, but keep in mind that this isn't just any audience. This is a Facebook Custom Audience — and knowing who you're talking to specifically is always valuable.
But what about your reach? Does that $100 allow Facebook to show your ad enough times (frequency) to click? If your ad has a high frequency without many clicks, it might be time to change the content.
Conversions are key. It's one thing to get people to click on your ad, but it's what they do after the click that counts. Track your Facebook ads with some great UTM tags, and you'll be able to measure the conversions or goals within Google Analytics to see if your audience reached your digital finish line.
Rock on with Facebook Custom Audiences!
Every stage in the sales funnel presents an opportunity for a thoughtfully crafted Facebook ad. Facebook Custom Audiences can help your dealership increase brand awareness, convert visitors into contacts, fill the gaps in between points of contact, and increase loyalty among your clientele.
If your first Custom Audience campaign isn't working well, change it up! It took our agency a few tries to really hone in on the right strategies afforded by this powerful tool.
Our team at 9 Clouds would be happy to help you create the perfect Facebook advertising strategy. Contact us today, or keep learning with our Facebook advertising eBook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Leveraging Facebook Ads for Automotive Dealers.