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Geo-Targeting Your Audience on Facebook

Geo-targeting ads for your business can be an excellent way to maximize the effectiveness of advertising for your car dealership business, particularly when you advertise on Facebook. With Facebook’s large audience that is available at any given time, your car dealership is receiving maximum exposure.

When advertising on Facebook, the ads are paid by for by an ‘automated auction’.  Which means the bidding can get pretty stiff if there are a lot of nearby car dealerships wanting to place ads as well.  As with anything else, before you spend the money you need to ask yourself “is geo-targeting the answer for your advertising?” The short answer—“it depends.”  With the long answer “we will help you figure it out” being the reason for this article.

What is Geo-Targeting? Geo-Targeting is a marketing concept to draw users based on their location.  With geo-targeting, you can locate users based on their zip code, city, or country.  If you have a brick and mortar business, this can also bring you new customers.  For a retail store or car dealership, this is a good way to find nearby customers and draw a local awareness to your store or dealership.

With local awareness advertising, you can have a powerful tool in which will bring customers to your store. With Facebook, a local awareness campaign can actually draw thousands of users to geographically targeted outbound stores.

Local awareness ads can find you the highest value of customers.  The easiest way to do this is to set up your Facebook ad as you normally would.  When setting up your target audience and you are drawing up a map hit the “drop pin” this will place an indicator on the map of where you want your target audience to be.  Then use the radius slider to modify the range of area from 1 mile to 50 miles that you want the geo-targeting to cover.

Target Customers within a Region, Age, or other Demographic

Let’s say your car dealership is running a special for first-time car buyers and you want to attract college students at the local university or community college. You will set your advertising to modify target users within a 50-mile radius of each college and university within the area of your dealership. This way when college students go on Facebook they will see your car advertisements and spark their interest.

In order to keep a certain demographic in our target, Facebook will keep your business informed of all the young viewers that are searching for a new car.  By narrowing the search range (slightly) you can exclude users that are too young to actually purchase a car on their own; these could be high school kids just “dream shopping”; when want to target those young users that might actually be able to purchase a car in the near future, and have a source of income in which to do so.  Placing a “likely to purchase” indicator on these users will give your dealership the right age, region, and demographics of future customers in your business area.  

Excluding a Certain Geographical Location

Geo-Targeting an audience can also exclude an unfavorable audience from your dealership location, as well.  This is done by excluding a particular zip code or region from seeing your advertisements.  Such as a zip code that is predominantly known to be occupied by teenagers or another unfavorable group that doesn’t provide the sort of audience your dealership wants to attract.

However, when you are excluding certain zone areas; don’t be too narrow with targeting a certain demographic or behavior.  Be careful that you are not making the desired are so small that it is almost impossible for Facebook to deliver your advertisements.  

Targeting by Geographical Location

You will begin to notice a bit of ambiguity once you have targeted a certain geographical location for a length of time.

Facebook uses a variety of ways to determine the geographic location of its users; by data-collection on smartphones, users doing manual check-ins at certain locations, and by where the user states they are from on their user profile.  What this means is that your location is not always going to be clear (where the target location is) on the location awareness ads you place for your business.  

Targeting Future Customers of Small Towns

When targeting future customers of a small town it is much different than that of a big city.  The automotive dealerships in small towns face different challenges than the big city dealerships in that the large city dealerships can use different sales tactics and strategies; while in the smaller towns, sales are more based more on the relationships built between the customers and the dealership.

The key to acquiring more business in a small town dealership is the strength of the relationships that are built between the customers and the dealership.  A small town dealership may be a three to five-generation family business; throughout the years, each generation has seen children grow up and have children of their own, watching people come and go as well.  All along the way gaining several business acumens.

So when your business is targeting a geographic location that is in a small town, you have to realize that you are going to be in competition with these types of businesses and customers who are going to have a loyalty towards their home-town dealership.

When targeting customers from a big city dealership, you can offer them a lot better deals than the smaller dealership does because a larger dealership has more access to a larger inventory of vehicles.

Geo-fencing is another term used which refers to a more specific form of geo-targeting an audience. When putting up a geofence, it can be as large as an entire state, or as small as a city block.  Whatever or wherever you choose your target audience to be within the fence.

Whether you are going to target a big city or small hometown audience, the main reason for targeting any audience is to build a customer base and to service your customers the best way possible.

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Teresa Jenkins
Teresa Jenkins
Marketing expert and freelance writer for CBT News

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