If Facebook were a country, its population of two billion would make it the largest in the world. Similar to Google’s internet domination, when people think of the word “social media,” Facebook comes to mind. It is the digital meeting space for a third of the world’s population and therefore is a potential goldmine for businesses who use it to reach prospective customers strategically. This is what makes Facebook’s new announcement for car ads a big deal for automotive marketers and dealers who need to expand their clientele.
Facebook’s Discovery Tools for Auto
Facebook’s new Discovery Tools for Auto Ads allows dealers to upload their vehicle catalog that includes information such as make, model and year. Specific cars can be turned into ads that are shown to the most relevant audiences. Interested consumers can then visit the vehicle’s detail page, and eventually a lead submission form where they can show interest in the vehicle and include their contact information for a follow-up. These dynamic ads are optimized for Facebook’s mobile app.
This new resource by Facebook helps dealers tailor their ads by preferences and interests of consumers who have purchased vehicles from them before, vehicle inventory from the dealer’s website can quickly and seamlessly integrate onto Facebook without having to create a unique ad for each car.
Facebook has also developed a built-in auto dealer locator where consumers can search for dealers in their immediate area. Dealers who use this service by Facebook can be entered into this locator database. Lastly, dynamic ads give interested consumers the opportunity to speak directly with dealers and service centers to solidify times to come in for an appointment. This offering by Facebook can make an impact on dealership marketing efforts, but in what ways?
Creating a Dynamic Mobile Experience for Consumers
The average consumer spends five hours on a mobile device, and Facebook leads this time spent with 19 percent. This means there will be a steady flow of users on the app viewing ads as they scroll through their Timeline. If dealers are struggling with attracting mobile users to their homepage, Dynamic ads can be an additional funnel to expose consumers to vehicle inventory they prefer. It can also help increase click-throughs to a mobile dealer site.
Dynamic Ads are an Additional Lead Generator
One of the most impressive features about this new offering from Facebook is the fact that consumers can see a vehicle, submit a pre-populated form that already holds most of their contact information, and potentially set up a service or dealership appointment right from the app. These days and times, it is all about convenience. Facebook users can find the car they are looking for as they connect with friend or post a status update.
Consumers regularly come in contact with apparel, groceries, and other essential items because they have to be routinely purchased. Automobiles do not have the same luxury so dealers have to find ways to get in front of people who are or might be in the market for a new vehicle. In addition to their website, a dynamic ad showcasing a car tailored to a consumer’s taste can lead to a sale on Facebook instead of a consumer having to navigate directly to the dealer through a Google search.
The Impact of Pairing This with Facebook Messenger
Usually, Facebook ads are the primary lead generating resource businesses think of. However, there is another capability that could be combined with this for further reach. Facebook Messenger has over 1.2 billion active users each month. Some brands are using it as a chatbot to answer customer questions. This would be perfect for auto dealers as many of their websites already feature chatbots on the homepages of their sites. Kia Motors of America was successful with this method. They ran click-to-Messenger ads to encourage people to chat with their premade bot to answer questions and distribute information about a new model offering. This helped to double conversions on engagements that did not regularly attract users. Dynamic ads that incorporate Facebook messenger can become a powerful lead generator.
According to Buffer, a $5 per day ad can yield daily results such as nine-page likes, one homepage clicks, and 787 overall people who see the ad. Dealers can do the math to see what $25, $50, or over $100 can do for their Facebook ad efforts. This new offering by Facebook seems to be attempting to give dealers a lot of bang for their buck. Edmunds and Cox Automotive are early adopters of the technology and have both discussed their initial positive results with dynamic ads. Only time will tell if dealers have the same experience.