Article

Pick One Goal for Facebook Ads

Facebook’s new ad categories give dealers the opportunity to create multiple campaigns to target increasingly down-funnel car buyers.

March 2017, Auto Dealer Today - Feature

by Brent Albrecht

If you have been running Facebook Ads for a while, you might have noticed they recently changed the structure of the ad objectives to tie them to specific goals. These marketing objectives fall into three categories: awareness, consideration and conversion.

I believe one of the reasons that Facebook made this change is because they woke up to a fact many business owners continue to ignore: You should have a single, primary goal for an ad campaign, not two or three.

Any ad can generate multiple goals. Focusing on one objective will maximize your results. Choosing one goal will also help you choose the right type of ad, and you can adjust your strategy to best accomplish that goal.

While the best practice is to have one main goal for each ad, that doesn’t mean you should be running just one ad during the month. All three goals are important, so you should be running multiple campaigns. Let’s look closer at the three categories and discuss when to use each type.

1. Awareness

I get it. We all want conversions. Getting more direct sales from Facebook Ads is a great goal, but I would argue that it should not be your only goal. The reality we need to deal with is that the number of people in the market to purchase a vehicle this week — or even this month — is very small. This is the audience you need to be reaching with conversion ads.

In the meantime, since we cannot always identify everyone at the moment they are going to make a purchase decision, we want to build awareness of the dealership. Before a person can consider doing business with you, they need to know you exist. A strategy here is not to simply let them know you are open for business, but build positive ideas about your business when those prospects recall your name.

Examples would be promoting posts around community service you do, testimonials from happy customers, or customer service awards. This will improve the effectiveness of your web click and conversion ads.

People are much more likely to click on an ad when they have a positive association with the advertiser versus no impression at all. The Top 500 online retailers convert at an average of 3.32%, but Amazon converts at an average of 13%, and Amazon Prime members convert at 74%. Familiarity with the brand improves conversions.

2. Consideration

With the consideration objective, we are trying to find prospects who are not yet ready to purchase, but who know a need or potential need exists in the near future. Web click ads would be the most popular type of ad to run here.

You want to get prospective buyers to visit your website, learn more about your dealership, search your inventory, and check out incentives. The right offer can move someone who was merely considering a future buy to make that purchase sooner.

Another great ad objective here is video views. Video content does very well on Facebook. Car buyers who only watch TV shows on streaming services or fast-forward through programs recorded to their DVRs might never see your commercials — but they will watch them on Facebook.

Start with walkaround videos and testimonials recorded by happy customers. This is great, engaging content to promote. Both of these ad types provide consumers with more information about your dealership and why they should consider you when they are ready to purchase. But that’s not the only important benefit to running these ads.

As you build ads to match Facebook’s three new categories, you will find your message becomes more specific as you move down the sales funnel.
As you build ads to match Facebook’s three new categories, you will find your message becomes more specific as you move down the sales funnel.

3. Conversion

Now we have reached the lead-generation phase. The mistake many dealers make is jumping right to this objective. Why bother advertising to strangers who have no relationship to your brand and have not been qualified at all? All you will get in return is lower click-through and conversion rates and a higher cost per click.

The right way to approach lead generation is to move people through the funnel. Your goal is to generate leads from people who are familiar with your brand and have expressed interest. You can do that by creating custom audiences of people from your consideration ads.

If you ran web click ads, we can now use Facebook Lead Ads to retarget the people who clicked on the ads and visited your site. For that matter, let’s retarget all people who have visited your website for any reason. Those video ads you ran? We can use Facebook Lead Ads and target only the people who clicked and watched them.

Your optimal advertising strategy on Facebook will be to take advantage of all three categories: Use awareness ads to target broader audiences by demographics and geography. Use consideration ads to narrow that focus to more specific lifestyle events (e.g. recent college grads) or by vehicle ownership (your brand or conquest brands). Finally, use Facebook Lead Ads and other conversion-focused ads to target in-market buyers or retarget website visitors and people who have interacted with your other ads.

This strategy may appear somewhat complicated, but it works. And in the end, all three campaigns support the same objective: moving people along their path to purchase.

Brent Albrecht is national sales director for Friendemic and has expertise in dealer social media and reputation management. Contact him at [email protected].

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