With more than a billion daily active users on Facebook, and mounds of data on those users, you’d be hard pressed not to find a segment that’s looking to buy a car right now. And with clicks that are typically less expensive and more targeted than ads on the Google Search Network, auto dealerships and car makers have created some interesting success stories by advertising on Facebook.
Let’s take a look at a few case studies and some Facebook features you don’t want to miss if you’re in the automobile industry.
Facebook Advertising for Auto Dealerships
As an auto dealer, it’s all about driving awareness of your local business, the vehicles and programs you offer, and doing so in a creative way.
That’s what one Chicagoland-based dealer wanted to do with two of its showrooms “located in the middle of one of the most competitive GM territories in America.”
Castle Chevrolet and Castle Buick GMC wanted Facebook Ads targeted to people they believed were most likely to buy—residents located within a few miles.
The dealership turned to Facebook Ads for a three-month campaign using the local awareness ads feature, which reached people close to the business’s neighborhood.
Other cool features of local ads include a map card with additional contact information for your business, and a call-to-action button that includes “get directions,” “call now,” “learn more” and “send message.”
The dealership set its goals to measure the ads’ effectiveness by traffic sent to the website and vehicles sold. During the campaign, the auto dealer saw:
- More than 2,ooo unique visits to the site
- Less than $1 per click
- Twenty-three vehicle sales, which resulted in a 23X return on ad spend
As dealerships acquire new customers, retaining those customers becomes a next step priority, as well as finding new customers who may enter into the business with smaller purchases at first, like through car maintenance.
Facebook Ads can help here, too. The same auto group oil change offer targeting the local community of existing and potential customers. Using custom audiences, dealerships can target people already on their contact list who use Facebook.
That campaign realized:
- A 75 percent cost savings over direct mail marketing
- A 24X return on ad spend
- A 9 percent redemption rate on the offer
In a similar success story, this New York City-based dealer used a mix of custom audiences and an oil change coupon to help boost the sales of new and pre-owned cars.
The auto dealer’s exchange program helped current Honda owners upgrade to a newer model for a similar monthly payment, which in turn boosted its inventory of certified pre-owned vehicles.
To get people in the door and aware of the program, the dealer advertised with an oil change coupon using Facebook Ads, and targeted specifically the types of folks they’re looking for.
From the case study:
The dealership team started with its customer relationship management and equity mining solution to build a list of current customers with positive equity in their current vehicle. Next, Paragon uploaded a list of email addresses for these owners into Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool and matched them to people on Facebook. To encourage these customers to come back to the dealership, Paragon targeted this audience with a Facebook link ad offering a $9.99 oil change.
Results for this auto dealership included:
- A 49 percent redemption rate of the coupons
- An average of $79 spent on advertising per new vehicle sold
- Acquisition and reselling of four used car trade-ins in less than three weeks
- An 80 percent savings over direct mail marketing
Facebook Advertising for Auto Brands
Big auto brands can have just as much success on Facebook as local dealerships, and what’s good for auto brands is good for their dealership counterparts. We’ve seen some pretty creative campaigns that drive everything from launching a new vehicle to getting people in the door of a local dealership and boosting auto sales.
Take this Acura case study that explored a variety of ad formats, including video, to launch a new model that would effectively replace two existing vehicle models from the auto brand.
With Facebook’s video ad options, advertisements come to life. Acura featured videos of the new model in action to stimulate interest and create a story around the new vehicle targeted to more than 42 million people over a three-day period.
Acura then used a form of video retargeting on Facebook, which, according to reports is getting a facelift to offer a better advertising experience.
The brand also retargeted engaged video viewers with direct response link ads to send people to a website for a period of two months.
In addition, Acura saw:
- A 2.6X increase in mobile visits to the TLX landing page
- A 2.8X increase in mobile visits to the “locate a dealer” web page
Mazda has a similar success story using the custom audiences feature with lookalike audience targeting, a feature that allows advertisers to target more people based on shared traits (like those traits in your custom audience).
For Mazda, it wanted to boost car sales with a test drive for new leads—people who had given their contact info at auto show events.
In combination with lookalike audience targeting, Mazda layered interests targeting on top to segment people based on the vehicle models they might be interested in, and then created custom ads for those segments.
From the case study: https://www.facebook.com/business/success/mazda-canada-2#u_0_a
Each ad featured a photo of the vehicle advertised, an invitation to schedule a test drive and a “Learn More” call-to-action button. To boost the efficiency of each ad, Mazda also promised a gift card to anyone who registered for and completed a test drive at their local dealer. To measure relative effectiveness and help audiences stay interested in the creative throughout the campaign, the team used A/B testing and refreshed when necessary.
Mazda’s results included:
- An annual benchmark of 20,000 test drives
- Seven percent of test drive registrants bought a new car
- Ninety-one percent of all vehicles sold were to people who were new to the auto brand
A lot more cool ideas exist for those in the auto industry to take advantage of Facebook Ads. We’ve seen a lot of success ourselves with our auto industry clients, and encourage you to take advantage of the exceptional targeting features available to you to drive awareness and boost auto sales.