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How to Hone in on Interested Car Buyers with Facebook Ads


Recently, we uncovered five great ideas for automotive carousel ads on Facebook. But creating the ad itself is only one half of the equation—the other half is targeting.

When it comes to honing in on interested car buyers with Facebook ads, there are several parameters to choose from. Facebook ad targeting is powerful—we like to think of it as an automotive lead generator extraordinaireThe platform has a rich amount of user data and shopping patterns recorded, making it an effective tool for reaching car buyers.

Auto shoppers are 71 percent more likely to be influenced by digital ads compared to others. When an auto dealer runs Facebook ads, visits to car-model pages jump up 50 percent.

With astonishing results like this and from what our client’s have experienced, we want to share our secret sauce for targeting your desired audience with Facebook ads. 

How To Get Started

After you log in to Facebook, go to your settings, and select either Create Ad or Manage Ads. Then, select Create Campaign. Choose the objective that best aligns with the goal of your ad. If you hold your mouse over one of the options, a window will pop up on the right informing you what each objective means.

After you select the objective, continue until you reach the Targeting section. From here, you have three options for reaching your desired audience, including demographics, behaviors, and interests. Let’s dive in to each.

Pick the People

demographic-targeting-300x281Begin by setting up your demographic parameters depending on location, age, gender, and language. Choose a city, and then set the radius. Your radius options include 10 miles, 25 miles, 50 miles, or custom. If there’s an age range you wish to target, set that up here. You can even choose a gender and language, too. Make all targeting decisions contingent on you ad goal.

Take this a step further and set up a targeting strategy for any of the following categories: relationship, education, work, financial, home, ethnic affinity, generation, parents, politics (US), and life events.

Appeal to Their Interests

interests-targeting-300x138Facebook can help you reach a specific audience by looking at their interests, activities, other Pages they have liked and even related topics. Combine a medley of interests your target audience has and expand the reach of your ad.

For automotive, the Interests section has a filter for Hobbies and Activities. Under this parameter, there’s an option for Vehicle types. Here you can get specific and target those interested in a particular car you’re selling.

You’re able to get pretty creative with this section. Maybe you want to target people who travel often and need a reliable car. Maybe you want to target families or married couples. All of this and more can be done with the Interests section.

Choose the Behaviors

behavior-targeting-300x146In the Behaviors targeting section, you can reach people based on purchase behaviors or intents, device usage, and more. However, some behavior data is only available for US audiences.

Under the Automotive filter, you have a variety of target options at your finger tips. Here you may target users interested in buying used or new vehicles, and specific car makes, models, or styles. You may even target those who already own a certain type of vehicle, or who prefer to lease than purchase. 

Have an ongoing sales event at your dealership? Create a Facebook ad and target individuals who are in or near market for a new or used vehicle. After you set up the target audience, you can save the audience for another campaign.

Reach the Right Audience

Marketing with Facebook ads gives you a chance to really narrow down your targeting efforts to an audience of quality leads. With the help of Facebook’s partnerships with data providers like Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon, you’re granted access to a treasure trove of car buyer data. 

All in all, let’s take a higher level look at targeting possibilities. With Facebook ads, you’re able to target potential leads and customers based on the following:

  • Locations
  • Demographics
  • Interests and activities
  • Used or new vehicle customers
  • Near market or in market
  • Lease vs. buy
  • Make, model, and style preferences

Remember, you should value quality over quantity when it comes to obtaining leads. While garnering many impressions is great, the number of impressions is less important than valuable impressions based on a contact’s criteria and purchase history.

If you want to learn more about creating and maintaining a digital marketing plan for your auto dealership, check out our resources page for free eBooks and case studies to get you started.


Photo Credit: Facebook