Get “The 2020 Essential Guide For Dealership Facebook Ads” Free on Digital Dealer Now

Get “The 2020 Essential Guide For Dealership Facebook Ads” Free on Digital Dealer Now

Get “The 2020 Essential Guide For Dealership Facebook Ads” Free on Digital Dealer Now

Due to the recent pandemic, tradeshows all across the country have been cancelled. Thankfully, our partners at Digital Dealer have created a new, virtual alternative, called Digital Dealer Now.

The platform provides dealers on-demand education at their own online convenience, including Dealers United’s session, “The 2020 Essential Guide For Dealership Facebook Ads,” which is available on the platform free for a limited time.

What is Digital Dealer Now?

This new digital service showcases 100+ of your favorite keynote speakers on up-to-date and pressing automotive subjects, which are rolled out monthly.

You can gain access to exclusive content, news, and e-learning courses aimed at delivering you the latest trends from industry experts.

Educational sessions on Digital Dealer Now cover various topics in 3 categories: Dealer Ops & Leadership, Sales & Variable Ops, and Marketing & Advertising.

You’ll find actionable sessions on consumer behavior, emerging technologies, best practices and proven approaches to support all facets of dealership operations.

Subscription options include 6-month or 12-month access, and both plans include 3-day free trials.

Test Drive DDNOW With Free Access To Our Session

To help dealers test drive the platform, Digital Dealer is giving complimentary access to our session, “The 2020 Essential Guide For Dealership Facebook Ads” presented by our CEO, Pete Petersen.

 

To watch Pete’s session free of charge, simply use our exclusive access code, “DUFREE”.

  • Go here and click “Get Access Now”
  • Select the option to “Purchase The 2020 Essential Guide For Dealership Facebook Ads”
  • Register for a free account
  • On the payment page, enter “DUFREE” in the promo code to bring your total to $0
  • Click “Complete”
  • Enjoy!

This virtual education session expands on Facebook’s Automotive Playbook For Dealers, walking you through essential steps you need to take to run successful dealership Facebook Ads.

You’ll learn how to best set up and optimize your campaigns, plus how to scale up over 12 months and take your audiences from cold prospects to customers for life!

More On-Demand Resources For Your Dealership

Looking for more automotive education? Check out our resources page, which features a few of our favorite webinars and resources like:

…and much more!

Looking for more COVID-19 Resources to help your dealership?

Click Here

Blog Author - Drew Detweiler

Written By Drew Detweiler
Drew manages inbound and outbound marketing for Dealers United. When he’s not at work, he’s probably enjoying the outdoors, fishing, or eating.

Facebook Spotlights Dealers United Video Strategies In DEALER Magazine

Facebook Spotlights Dealers United Video Strategies In DEALER Magazine

Facebook Spotlights Dealers United Video Strategies In DEALER Magazine

This month’s issue of DEALER Magazine published a Facebook Q&A series about helping dealers leverage digital video.

In the Q&A, Facebook highlighted Dealers United for our successes with video campaigns in the automotive industry. Two Dealers United dealer-partners, Power Ford and Rob Sight Ford, were also featured in the article for maximizing our video strategies and using video to drive real business results.

Video is important. We hear it all the time. But did you know that 80% of all internet traffic is estimated to be from video content, and 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every single day?

But not only is video important, but it’s important to have in the correct format.

According to Facebook, the average adult spends 40 minutes consuming video from mobile devices alone. 

So what does it mean to optimize a video for mobile?

Here are the steps needed to ensure your dealership has an optimized video, according to Facebook’s “Mobile First Creative Best Practices:”

  • Shoot with the phone vertically, so it fits into mobile screens held right-side up
  • Reinforce the your dealership name in captions or superimposed text
  • Use the majority of the video to showcase the dealership, inventory, or offers
  • Choose attention-grabbing video thumbnails

Power Ford and Rob Sight Ford, both family owned single-point franchises, were both featured by Facebook in the article for utilizing these Mobile First Best Creative Practices.

Here’s a look inside each dealership’s strategy: 

A closer look at Power Ford’s Facebook video strategy

In Q4 of 2019, Power Ford was able to attribute 21 sales and 127 service visits to Facebook video campaigns alone.

Using dealership branding videos, model line videos, and custom Quick Lane service videos, the dealership was able to target and engage with their future customers where they were spending their time, on mobile devices browsing Facebook and Instagram.

 


To get more insight into Power Ford’s video campaigns, click here to see “The 3 Biggest Facebook Even Advanced Dealer Marketers Are Making,” where Matt Sneed, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience at Power Ford reveals his core video strategies that help him increase sales.

Behind-the-scenes on Rob Sight’s Facebook video strategy

Rob Sight Ford operates in an extremely competitive market where there are over 10 Ford dealerships.

Using mobile video on Facebook and Instagram, Rob Sight was able to use their own creative branding videos to get exposure in their marketplace.

In addition to branding, the dealership also leveraged video to showcase model line incentives, specifically 2020 F-150s.

As a result of video campaigns, Rob Sight Ford attributed 7 vehicle sales in Q4 of 2019.

To see an in-depth feature of Rob Sight Ford’s video strategy, click here.

 

With more and more people using social media daily, it’s important that your dealership is reaching prospective shoppers proactively where they are spending their time and with media forms that they are engaging with most—video.

Our team has hundreds of video strategies that your dealership can take advantage of right now, from custom-video scripts and best practices, to proven, mobile-ready videos of your incentives and inventory specials.

If you want to learn more about video for your dealership, click here to check out our On-Demand, Instant demos.

Watch our On-Demand Demos to learn more about our video strategies.

Click Here

Blog Author - Drew Detweiler

Written By Drew Detweiler
Drew manages inbound and outbound marketing for Dealers United. When he’s not at work, he’s probably enjoying the outdoors, fishing, or eating.

Where Is Car Shopper Attention During Coronavirus?

Where Is Car Shopper Attention During Coronavirus?

Where Is Car Shopper Attention During Coronavirus?

Let’s face it: With all the uncertainty around Coronavirus, we’re all too well aware that most consumers aren’t actively looking for cars right now.

In a weekly survey of shoppers looking to buy within the next 6 months, Cox Automotive found that the amount of auto intenders who were delaying an automobile purchase had increased from 7% to 35% in just 3 weeks.

What about traffic? Are shoppers still browsing dealership sites and 3rd party listings?

We aggregated research from industry experts to help find out where auto shopper attention is going, and where it’s dragging behind…

Endemic and 3rd party listing sites experiencing a flux

In an article released on April 3, 2020, Dealer Inspire reported downward trends in unique active shoppers across CARS® audiences, including Cars.com and DealerRater. 

Meanwhile, Cox Automotive reported a similar decline in traffic for other key endemic sites such as AutoTrader, KBB.com and Dealer.com in the first few weeks of March.

Thankfully, Cox also reported that traffic seems to be slowly increasing again as of March 31st.

“Online shopping started to improve in the middle of last week and continues to improve in the latest data that we see,” said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.

“AutoTrader saw a 7% gain in VDP views over the past weekend over the prior weekend; KBB saw an 11% gain this past weekend; Dealer.com…saw a deceleration over the weekend in traffic declines that were much worse 2 weeks ago.”

Dealership traffic and Google search volume trending down

Dealer Inspire also reported downward trends in dealer website traffic and leads based on tracking unique daily visitors across over 3,500 dealer websites nationwide.

Source: Dealer Inspire – “New Data: Opportunity For Dealers As COVID-19 Shakes Up Traffic Across Industries

They noted similar Google search trends across their customers and partners as well.

Using Google Trends reports over the last 30 days, we also found that search volume on Google is down from shoppers actively searching for terms like, “dealer near me” and “used car.”

So if auto intenders aren’t actively searching for a car right now and are delaying purchases, where should dealerships be investing their ad dollars to reach them?

Facebook usage on the rise

Unsurprisingly, social media sites are garnering more attention as more and more users are social distancing and staying at home.

According to a blog post on Facebook.com, Facebook is seeing an extreme spike in usage across the globe due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The article states, “The usage growth from COVID-19 is unprecedented across the industry, and we are experiencing new records in usage almost every day. Much of the increased traffic is happening on our messaging services, but we’ve also seen more people using our feed and stories products to get updates from their family and friends.”

Compared to some of the 3rd party sites, Facebook is clearly experiencing more search volume and activity right now.

And while classified listing auto traffic is somewhat declining, Facebook Marketplace continues to have an upward trajectory as well.

Source: Google Trends – This chart shows Facebook Marketplace search popularity over the past 12 months compared to the top 3 leading 3rd party listing providers.

One thing we love about Facebook is that it serves as a proactive channel for advertisers to use to reach their audience.

Dealerships don’t have to wait for shoppers to search for “car dealer near me,” but can instead send their latest messaging out to any shopper in a 15 mile radius from their store.

If you ask us (or Steven Stauning), Facebook is one channel you don’t want to be without in today’s quickly-changing market.

Maximizing attention with the right messaging

People are using Facebook and Instagram now, more than ever, to seek the latest news updates, stay in touch with family and friends, and simply kill time.

Shoppers will recognize which companies in their local communities are there to support them, and keep them safe, versus the ones that are pushing “buy, buy, buy.”

Therefore, you may need to shift your strategy away from asking shoppers to submit leads or come to your lot and test drive a car.

Instead, show them that you’re there as a resource for them: if their car breaks down, or they need an oil change, or yes — if they do want to buy a new car — you’ll be there.


“Previously I know we all focus on the bottom of the funnel, how many leads can we get in, how many leads can we close,” said Brent Parres, Partner Manager at Facebook Automotive during the State of Automotive webinar last week.

“I think this is an opportunity for us to refocus and think of ‘How can I push my brand, my dealership as a brand in this local community that I’m in? How can I stand out from the competition and show that I care about my community?’ While you can do both, I think the messaging for anything on the bottom of the funnel needs to take that branding approach.”

Use Facebook to inexpensively saturate your local community with messaging around:

  • If and when your dealership is open
  • What safe services you’re offering
  • What precautions you’re taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (sanitization, at-home services, etc.)

Want more ideas on how dealerships are effectively messaging during COVID-19? Click here to check out our article, “State of Automotive Dealer-Panel: 5 Key Takeaways and 19 Tips To Come Out Ahead”!

Show your community that your dealership is there for them and you care about their well-being, so that when the dust from this pandemic finally settles, you’re positioned well in your PMA.

Looking for more COVID-19 Resources to help your dealership?

Click Here

Blog Author - Drew Detweiler

Written By Drew Detweiler
Drew manages inbound and outbound marketing for Dealers United. When he’s not at work, he’s probably enjoying the outdoors, fishing, or eating.

[Facebook Guide] How To Eliminate 50+ Friction Points In The Car Buyer Journey

[Facebook Guide] How To Eliminate 50+ Friction Points In The Car Buyer Journey

[Facebook Guide] How To Eliminate 50+ Friction Points In The Car Buyer Journey

We all know that today’s digital landscape has greatly influenced how auto consumers discover and buy cars.

But do we know to what extent?

Facebook IQ (an official Facebook resource that provides insights from Facebook & Instagram), recently commissioned Accenture and Boston Consulting Group to survey auto consumers and understand more about the auto buyer’s shifting needs.

Their findings were published in Facebook’s latest report, Zero Friction Future, to help auto dealerships understand how to identify and reduce friction throughout the car buyer journey.

Instant Gratification Meets A Zero Friction Future

When I’m running low on cat food, I simply call to Alexa from my living room, instantly checkout on Amazon, and get a bag delivered to my doorstep within 24 hours.

Hello, instant gratification.

Better technology has led to more convenience, and now we as consumers have high expectations for getting what we want, when we want it.

Image Source: Facebook.com

But while buying cat food on Amazon is much different than buying a new car, consumer expectations and the “I want it now” mindset is becoming the new norm. Even in automotive.

That’s why brands like Carvana are gaining traction. They are capitalizing on these “I want it now” audiences by showing them how seamless and easy the process is.

But you don’t need to offer a vehicle vending machine to give auto shoppers the instant gratification they seek.

 
Image Source: Facebook Page Transparency, Carvana

According to Facebook’s study, car shoppers are becoming increasingly “less willing to suffer any inconvenience or invest unnecessary time to find the right vehicle that suits their needs.” 

In fact, with mobile devices giving consumers more options and information than ever before, 70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere. (“Consumer Experience in the Retail Renaissance” by Salesforce and Deloitte Digital, Apr 2018) 

This means that every additional step, every broken VDP link, and every second delay is a chance for your customers to abandon their journey and look for a car somewhere other than your lot.

Image Source: Facebook.com

These inconveniences add up to what Facebook found to be “up to 50+ points of friction in the auto buyer journey.”

So where do these points of friction happen?

3 Stages of The Buyer Journey Where You’ll Find Friction

Facebook identified 3 main pillars in which these pain points most often occur:

  1. Discovery: Awareness and evaluation around brands, models and inventory
  2. Purchase: Test drive, negotiations, and purchasing at the dealership
  3. Ownership: The stage once auto buyers sign the dotted line

In the resource, Facebook breaks down the top pain points that consumers reported, as well as solutions to help you identify and solve them for your own business.

Ready to learn more about a Zero Friction Future for your dealership? Download the resource now!

Moving to a Frictionless Future

The modern auto shopper’s desire for speed, simplicity and convenience with technology is paving the way for new, smoother customer experiences. 

Dealerships and auto marketers are therefore being asked to really sit down and evaluate their own friction points, then use technology and processes to get ahead of them.

“Just as auto marketers have differentiated on product for years, today’s advantage lies in differentiating on experience,” said Kim Stonehouse, Automotive Head of Industry at Facebook. “The brands and dealers winning more customers are the ones who remove friction to compete on car and convenience.”

Addressing the needs of your consumers is key to winning against your competitors. 

Download Facebook’s Zero Friction Future guide now to learn how to eliminate friction & stop car shoppers from abandoning ship! 

We’ll also send you 3 success stories of how dealerships eliminated friction with Facebook, and a bonus training video with our CEO, Pete Petersen, about the 3 pillars of a Zero Friction Future!

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

6 Companies To “Ad Hack” For The Absolute Best Automotive Facebook Ads

6 Companies To “Ad Hack” For The Absolute Best Automotive Facebook Ads

6 Companies To “Ad Hack” For The Absolute Best Automotive Facebook Ads

Last week, we released our video guide on how to “Ad Hack” and get a competitive edge for your dealership’s Facebook Ad Strategy.

But once you unlock this secret “Ad Hacking” super power…

…what do you do with it?

In this article, we’ll give you 6 ideas for companies you should run Ad Hacks on to get you the best insights for your dealership’s Facebook Ad strategy.

Not sure what Ad Hacking is? Catch part one, “Ad Hacking 101: Steal Your Competition’s Automotive Facebook Ad Ideas With This Free Tool” 

Tips Before Ad Hacking

We love Ad Hacking so much, all of Dealers United (from our Marketing, to our Sales, to our Facebook teams) frequently runs “Hackathons” to ensure we’re staying on top of new trends, our competition, and identifying gaps in our own and others’ ad strategies.

Before you get started, create what we call a “Swipe File.”

(True story, our internal Ad Hack Swipe File is 358 slides long…)


 

Use Word, Google Slides, Google Docs, Evernote, Onenote, Google Keep or whatever tool you like to capture a video or image of example ads you like.

You can send this to your agency, internal marketing team, or outsourced Facebook partner things you like once you’re done “Ad Hacking.”

Use This Checklist When You’re Ad Hacking

Internally, we have a 30+ item checklist we use to test how the ads we’re hacking stack up.

To cover the basics, here’s a condensed checklist to get you up and running: 

Text:

Is there too much text?
Is text optimized for mobile? (Facebook only shows 3 lines on mobile!)
Are the ads using emojis, line breaks, other formatting to help focus the reader’s attention?

Images and Videos:

Are the ad images high resolution and clear?
Are the ads taking advantage of the 1:1 or 2:3 ratios (best for mobile)?
How long are the videos? (Facebook recommends less than 15 seconds!)

Strategy:

Can you identify any ads that may indicate a Retargeting strategy? (Hint: Look for copy like, “Are you still looking…” or “Forget something?”
Filter platform by “Instagram.” Are the Instagram formats the exact same as Facebook, or are they being optimized for Instagram specifically? (Hint: Look for copy or imagery that says “Swipe Up” or are the size of the entire phone to indicate an Instagram Story optimization.)

Now that you know what to look for, here are 6 companies you should run an #AdHack on for the best dealership Facebook Ads! 

Want to skip the “DIY” and get a comprehensive Ad Hack with our Facebook experts? Click here to name your top 3 competitors, and we’ll get started!

6 Different Companies to Facebook Ad Hack NOW:

#1: Ad Hack Yourself!

Go through your ads and audit copy, imagery, and verify that the ads you’re running should still be running! 

(You’d be surprised how often we see Veteran’s Day ads and promotions showing up Mid-December…)

Proofread your copy, and look for opportunities where maybe your message wasn’t crystal clear, or when you used too much text.

Later, you will come back after you study other ads and create/update your current ads.

#2: Ad Hack Your Competition

Now for the best part: Ad Hack your competitors!

Look up your biggest threats, or even dealers whose advertising strategy you’ve admired before.

Take note of the type of campaigns, copy, calls-to-action, imagery, video, length of video, and anything else you want to steal to help YOUR consumer during the path-to-purchase.

Be sure to ask yourself, “WHO were they probably targeting with this message? What were they trying to get the user to DO?”

Once you know that, you’ll be able to recreate the targeting and purpose of the ads.

#3: Ad Hack The Top Dealer Groups In The Country

Check out what the top-ranked dealers are doing!

What’s their secret sauce?

What are their strategies? Are they integrating their vehicle feeds for automated vehicle ads? Are they focused more on branding? Are they using videos or Lead Ads? What is their split between Dealership Branding VS. Inventory or specials?

#4: Ad Hack Your OEM

Understand what your OEM is messaging to the market. This is a HUGE opportunity to marry your messaging to theirs. 

Manufacturers/OEMs create messaging to create awareness and start the consideration process…

…it’s up to you to pull the consumer through to the retail level.

Think about how you can marry your message to the efforts of your OEM

#5: Ad Hack Other Local and National Retailers

Let’s face it, all brick and mortar retailers face the same challenge… 

….you have to get the customer to show up at your store.

Study what other retailers who are selling physical goods are doing in their ads. 

(Think Amazon, Zillow, Home Depot, etc.)

#6: Ad Hack 3rd Party Automotive Sites and Lead Generation Providers

Want to stop depending so heavily on your 3rd party lead and listing provider(s)? 

Facebook is one of the main traffic drivers for the 3rd party vendors you’re likely handing cash to every month.

You can now use the same type of ads, target the same customers, and cut out the middleman!

Did you know? Facebook is one of the top lead drivers for 3rd party listing sites. Cut out the middle man by running your OWN inventory ads on Facebook.

If you recreate these ads successfully, you’ll be able to place your brand on every ad, instead of someone else’s.

Plus, you’re collecting the data on Facebook’s users and local shoppers. That’s your vehicle feed and therefore YOUR data. Don’t let them use it against you!

To learn more how your dealership can generate 1st party VIN leads without the middleman, check out our Facebook Inventory Ads program.

The Results of Your Ad Hacks

Try to Ad Hack each of the recommendations above…and then the hard part…

…use your findings to create your Facebook ads and start experimenting! 

And be honest with yourself:

If you’re not sure how best to “Ad Hack” your competition and identify the “Good, Bad, & Ugly” of dealership Facebook Ads, request our experts to run a FREE Facebook Ad Hack here!

Enjoy your new Ad Hacking hobby!

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

Ad Hacking 101: Steal Your Competition’s Automotive Facebook Ad Ideas With This Free Tool

Ad Hacking 101: Steal Your Competition’s Automotive Facebook Ad Ideas With This Free Tool

Ad Hacking 101: Steal Your Competition’s Automotive Facebook Ad Ideas With This Free Tool

Auto dealers have a secret weapon when it comes to viewing their competitors Facebook Ad strategy…

…and it’s completely free!

Technically called Facebook Page Transparency, this feature was created in an effort by Facebook to “make advertising more transparent and to give people more information about the ads they see.

NOTE: You may have seen something like this before under a Page’s “Info and Ads” tab in 2018. But as of March 2019, this was moved to the new Facebook Page Transparency section.

But as you’ll find out, the tool gives businesses a new competitive edge and the ability to study the Facebook ad landscape like never before.

Use it to gain more insights into:

  1. Your competitors’ live dealership Facebook and Instagram ads
  2. Your live ads
  3. Your manufacturer’s ads
  4. Anyone’s ads!!!

This process is so helpful to us here at Dealers United, we’ve created our own term for it: “Facebook Ad Hacking.”

Ad Hacking will help you get inspired, steal ideas, stay up-to-date with current ad strategies, and see how your ad strategy compares to other dealers like you!

Ready to learn how to run your own Automotive Facebook Ad Hack?

How To Run Your Own Automotive Ad Hack

To see how you can easily view any dealership’s live Facebook and Instagram Ads, watch this quick video!


Quick Guide:

  1. Visit any Facebook Business Page
  2. Click on “Facebook Page Transparency” on the right column of the page (you may have to scroll down a bit)
  3. Toward the bottom of the Pop Up screen, look for “Ads From This Page”
  4. Click the link at the bottom right, “Go To Ads Library”
  5. Use the top Filter Results bar to filter by platform, impressions, and keywords.
  6. Dive further into each ad by clicking “See Ad Details” and view if the ad has multiple variations
  7. Lift your jaw from the floor!!!!

What Your Automotive Facebook Ad Hacks WON’T Reveal

There are 2 big catches when you are going through your Ad Hacks:

First, you can’t see exactly what audiences the ads are targeting.

You won’t know precisely if your competitors are running ads to cold prospects, or if they are using 3rd party In-Market Shopper data, or if they are simply retargeting their website traffic.

However, you can still use copy and context clues to make assumptions on their targeting strategies.

Second, you also can’t see if the ads are actually effective.

Unfortunately, after the switch from Info & Ads to Page Transparency, you can no longer see how many engagements (Likes, reactions, views) each ad received.

Want our team of Facebook experts to Ad Hack your top 3 competitors, and compare their strategies with your own? Click here!

 But you CAN still learn from and mimic great ads for your dealership! (Hint: Be sure to use this tool as inspiration, not to copy exact messaging or clone imagery.)

Our team of Facebook and Instagram experts has an ultra-thorough “internal analysis” we run through when we help auto dealers #AdHack. 

By testing hundreds of dealership ads across the country over the last 5 years, we know which ads are likely to perform…

…and which will FAIL.

If you’re interested in having our team of experts help you Ad Hack, click here! Otherwise, Happy #AdHacking!

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

Register for the webinar, “The 3 Biggest Facebook Mistakes Even Advanced Dealer Marketers Are Making”!

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