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If you’re ramping up your inbound auto marketing strategies to take advantage of Facebook, you might be scratching your head trying to pick the best Facebook ad options for your goals.
On the other hand, if you haven’t even been thinking about search engine optimization (SEO) for your automotive business, it’s time to catch up.
Facebook has an array of different ad options, and all have their uses. To take your auto SEO to the next level and get the right leads to a car’s vehicle detail page (VDP), we’ve broken down the best Facebook ad options for auto dealers.
(Learn more about whether your dealership is doing all it can with our
2016 State of Automotive Marketing report »)
Your Advertising Objectives
Instead of being daunted or frustrated by the selection of Facebook ad types, think of these options as your social media marketing war chest — an arsenal with different choices suited to all the needs you might have.
You wouldn’t use a grenade to catch a fish (we hope!), and you wouldn’t use a shovel to chop wood. Having a variety of weaponry for your Facebook campaigns only works if you’re using the right tool for the right job. As we go through these options, you need clearly defined advertising goals to guide your decisions.
Do you want people to check out the VDPs of your newest cars or share a video to bring in new likes? Are you trying to get folks excited for an event next month or convince them to call you today? Do you want to split a log or dig a hole?
You get it.
And if you are really new to Facebook ads as a whole (or want a quick brush-up before we get into the various types), take a minute to go over the anatomy of a Facebook ad.
Ready? Here we go!
Facebook Ad Options: The Basics
If you’re ready with specific goals for your inbound automotive marketing, Facebook is ready with specific ad types. These first few are some of the best and most straightforward options to get your dealership going going.
Page Post Engagement
Have a great post you’ve shared on your Facebook page? Page post engagement can help you get more eyes on it, encouraging users you might normally miss to like, comment, or share your content. This is a good way to build awareness and bolster your image.
Here’s a big one for inbound auto marketers! The more people who like your page, the more people who will see the news and offers you’re posting.
You can also learn a lot more about your customers and audience with the information Facebook will generate from a page likes campaign (pictured right).
Clicks to Website
One of your big goals will often be moving users from Facebook to your website. After all, it moves them along the sales funnel. There’s a big value in getting people off Facebook and onto your website, where you can eliminate distractions and have them focus on your excellent inbound content.
You can use clicks to website to direct people to special offerings, your general page, or specific VDPs so they can start picking out their next car or truck. When you’ve cultivated a good Facebook following, getting your fans to click will be huge, but you can also target these ads to people who don’t like your page – yet!
One word of caution: as you go on, it’ll be important to target these ads correctly to ensure high-quality leads are visiting your website, instead of folks who will just close the window and cost you a click.
Just a Bit More Advanced
As you get further into the trickier ad options on Facebook, make sure you know your way around its Business Manager program.
You’re not super likely to be using event responses all that often, unless you have a big bonanza you want everyone to stop by for, and local awareness ads will be more useful to restaurants trying to get noticed, but offer claims might be the perfect ad option for getting your dealership more attention.
Offer claims are a better fit for you than event responses if you’re running a sale longer than a day or two because it’ll put the offer right in front of users. You can even make special rewards available to the people who are finding you through Facebook, and you can target these ads based on a number of factors.
By the way, if you want to know more about targeting a Facebook ad campaign, this post offers a rundown on nailing inbound auto marketing with custom audiences.
Dynamic Product Ads
When you’re ready to get fancy, dynamic product ads will help your ads get specific to a person’s interest. If a user has viewed a VDP for a truck on your website, this type of ad can put that same vehicle in front of them on Facebook.
Dynamic product ads are a bit more work to set up, but they can be worth it to get the most relevant ad to your customers.
With lead ads, potential customers can sign up for what you’re offering, and you’ll get accurate contact info to follow up with them.
Once your inbound strategy for auto marketing has gotten established on Facebook and you have a healthy following, lead ads allow you to engage users by having them fill out forms and sign up for offers (similar to a landing page). They’ll get you accurate information and, with the right offer, help you move people closer to that next sale.
The Spectacle of Visual
Video views, slideshows, and carousel ads offer the enriched engagement of visual aids to tell users about your products.
If you have a great video promoting new models, video views could be a solid way to get yourself attention. Slideshows are a type of light or dumbed-down video that you could use if your production value isn’t high. But at 9 Clouds, we really swear by carousel ads (pictured right).
Carousel ads should be a cornerstone of your inbound auto strategy on Facebook. They let you advertise multiple products without creating multiple ads. You can show five different cars or trucks and link to five different VDPs for the price of just one spot.
Plus, carousel ads let you get more creative than other Facebook ads, catching the attention of your new audiences.
There’s an Ad for That
We recommend pouring time and effort into auto SEO, pushing you to the top of people’s searches, before investing a bunch of resources into an app.
Still, if you have one that works like a dream and converts, you can direct users to it from Facebook. This is especially handy as so many people are accessing Facebook from mobile devices.
There are two types of app ads. App installs direct people to the page to download, while app engagement can bring them to a specific page within the app. Engagement ads will be most effective when you have a big audience that has already downloaded the app in the first place.
If you want to take your Facebook ad campaigns to the next level, check our free webinar series on Facebook ads.
9 Clouds brofounder Scott Meyer will show you how to maximize your inbound auto marketing on Facebook and answer any questions you have along the way in four unique sessions. You can register for all four or just the ones you think you need.
Give yourself an edge on the competition, and sign up today!