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Using Facebook advertising to boost business - guest opinion

Neil Smith

In our June guest blog, we unpacked why it’s imperative for dealerships to advertise on Google Adwords. The same applies to its counterpart, Facebook Advertising.

Multiple researches have shown car buyers use Facebook, Instagram (and Google) more than any other website - and much earlier - in the automotive purchase journey.

Facebook is by far the most popular social media network; 84% of car buyers use it, with an average frequency of 15 to 20 times a day. Based on these stats alone, it’s in every car dealership’s interest to actively look for better ways to leverage social media to reach customers.

Implementing an advanced, highly targeted Facebook Advertising strategy allowed Imperial Cars to:

  • Reach new audiences who are in-market to buy a car - From our experience over the past two years since the strategy was implemented, leads coming in as a result of advanced Facebook targeting display higher intent than the ones coming from Google Adwords.
  • Retarget potential customers who visited our website but didn’t enquire - We find some of our customers visit our website and then leave in order to compare prices with competitors, or do additional research. While away, they might forget about us and therefore may not find a way to get back to the website. Remarketing specifically to those customers has helped us bring otherwise lost sales back to the table.
  • Target people interested in competitor cars - Google research shows only 25% of customers statistically end up buying the car they started their journey with. This means, for instance, that only one in four people initially thinking to buy a Ford Focus will drive away in a Ford Focus; the other three will likely purchase cars such as a Volkswagen Golf, a Mazda3, or a Vauxhall Astra. Not advertising to people interested in competitor models, therefore, equals missing out on 75% of your in-market audience.
  • Advertise specific cars - We find this works particularly well to shift cars that have been in group stock for longer than the average.
  • Promote aftersales offers - This can be used for seasonal offers or MOT and service deals.
  • Create recruitment campaigns - The goal is to reach people in specific job roles or in similar job roles with transferable skills, in a specific location or within a set mile radius. These people are then directed to specific job pages on our website where the can apply and submit their CV.
  • Boost local brand awareness - This is particular useful for new dealership openings, where we’re initially looking to establish trust with people who might not yet know our brand.
  • Create adverts from a bespoke stock feed - This is a fairly recent feature which allows you to upload your entire stock feed, effectively turning Facebook into an additional classified platform.

It has become apparent by now that Facebook Advertising isn’t an option, but rather a key component of every dealership’s marketing strategy. How many of the above areas is your business successfully covering at the moment?

Author: Neil Smith, operations director, Imperial Cars

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  • Tony Searle - 15/08/2018 18:15

    The targetting potential that Facebook (and all digital channels) offers means that dealers can genuinely zone-in on conquest sales without needing big budgets. The effect is turbo-charged (pun intended, cheesy though it is) when dealers start overlaying their own customer data to optimise and model their campaigns. I just wonder how many independent dealers have somebody savvy enough for all that...?