John’s Auto Buyer Journey: The Ultimate Ad Placement Strategy

John’s Auto Buyer Journey: The Ultimate Ad Placement Strategy

John’s Auto Buyer Journey: The Ultimate Ad Placement Strategy

In today’s digitally dominated world, it is more important than ever to meet potential auto shoppers where they are online.

And it is no shocking secret that today’s savvy consumers (as well as their mom, coworkers, and best friends) invest their time on social media.

In fact, the average person scrolls through about 300 feet of mobile content on Facebook and Instagram… daily. That’s equivalent to the size of the Statue of Liberty!

So with every swipe of their thumb, dealers have the opportunity to get their brand and promotional content on valuable visual real estate.

Sure, with so many resources and the handy-dandy “Boost” button, Facebook has made it easier than ever to run ads on social platforms. But what separates the average from the best converting ad campaigns is strategy.

Specifically, leveraging different ad types intentionally with thoughtful messaging throughout the auto buyer journey.

The Auto Buyer Journey

According to Cox Automotive, auto shoppers are only in-market for just over 3 months.

This means that your dealership must strategically take an auto shopper from awareness to consideration to conversion in a limited amount of time — or just hope you get lucky. 

Most advertisers are only meeting the shopper with 1-3 messages and hoping it’s at the right time and the right message. 

And while this method can work, there is a far better, more reliable way. 

Introducing “The Auto Buyer’s Journey,” where dealers are NAILING the right audience, right message, right time, every time. 

We’re going to follow an example auto shopper avatar, “John,” as he goes from initial vehicle research to ultimately converting at your dealership. 

Keep in mind: John’s example journey is very specific based on John’s unique interests, behaviors, and stage in the buyer journey. As you walk through the experience with John, imagine other types of prospects that could fall into each stage, and how you would message them. This is truly where the magic happens… entire Monthly Ad Spend turned into Leads.

 VIDEO: How Dealers Can Reach Shoppers Throughout The Auto Buyer Journey

Identifying Your Shopper

Meet “John.” 

John is a 36 year old male who is interested in an F-150. John is in your addressable market but has never been to your dealership, isn’t in your CRM, and has never visited your website. 

He just started doing research on 3rd party sites like Edmund’s and Autotrader. After a little investigating, John decides that he wants a new, white or gray F-150 between $40,000-$50,000.

Bringing Awareness To Your Dealership

Using Facebook and 3rd party data, we now know that John is an in-market shopper in your PMA who is browsing for a new F-150. 

We certainly could send John ads with your F-150 inventory at this point. 

But if you immediately start showing “Sales-y” ads to John, before you even have had a chance to introduce your dealership, it’s kind of like asking someone to marry you before you even know their name. And that’s just… wrong.

Next time John hops on Facebook or Instagram, you first want to capture his attention by deploying engaging ads that introduce John to your dealership.

These ads should include “Why Buy” messaging about features that make John want to purchase from you, instead of your competition. 

Winning the “Consideration” Stage

John is now aware of your dealership and has been engaging with your Awareness ads through Likes, Comments, and Video Watches.

In this next stage, you want to accomplish 3 things: 1) Encourage John’s interest in the F-150, 2) Inform him about current specials on the F-150, and 3) Show your live, on-the-ground F-150 inventory.

With these ads, John will click through to your SRPs, which will trigger a View Content event back to Facebook.

Now we’re going to start showing him all relevant live inventory that your dealership has on the lot.

Once he engages with your ads and either lands on your website VDP or an on-Facebook VDP, we know once and for all that John is ready to buy.

But if John leaves your VDPs without converting, it’s crucial that we retarget him to keep your store top-of-mind until he makes a decision.

Bringing John Back With Retargeting

1. Continue enforcing what sets your store apart from other dealerships.

While “sales-y” ads are a priority at this stage, don’t forget to continue messaging John about what sets your store apart.

Customer testimonials, awards and accolades, and your involvement with your community are sure-fire ways to build trust with John.

2. Stay relevant and ask for a lead conversion (at the right time).

If John is looking at neutral color F-150s between $40-50k, you certainly don’t want to retarget him with a bright blue F-150 that is out of his price range.

Instead, retarget John with the exact VIN that he viewed, and all similar inventory you have in stock.

Then, when John is at the peak of his shopper journey, ask him to submit a lead directly on Facebook to Apply For Financing, Schedule a Test Drive, or Schedule a VIP Appointment!

With On-Facebook Lead Ads, you can provide John a frictionless experience without slow page load times, pop-ups, or other friction. (Want to learn more about reducing auto shopper friction? Watch: Reduce Auto Shopper Friction with Facebook’s Newest Solution for Dealers)

Did you know? Many dealerships and agencies run Lead Ads either too early, or for too long, which can waste your ad dollars. With Facebook’s custom retargeting windows, you can maximize your spend by ONLY asking John for a lead conversion when he is at the peak of his journey: 3-7 days after he left your VDP.

Once John raises his hand and submits his information, your team will see his information dropped immediately into the CRM as a lead so you’re one step closer to the sale.

Attributing The Sale

Say John never submitted a lead form on Facebook, but still came in and bought that new truck.

How can we attribute that unit sale to your Facebook campaigns?

Using Facebook’s Offline Conversion tool, dealers don’t have to guess anymore.

Simply upload your sales report into Facebook (or via our our awesome new dashboard), and you will be able to see the amount of shoppers who viewed or clicked a Facebook ad before they bought.

Learn more about how Facebook Matchbacks work here.

This will give you immediate insight into your return on ad spend and cost per unit sold, so you can stop guessing and start making better decisions with your advertising dollars.
But John’s journey with your dealership isn’t done yet!

Customers For Life

Now that John is in your CRM as a successful sale, you can run service and promotion campaigns to him and the rest of your established customer base.

Keeping your dealership in John’s timeline, we can continue to drive fixed ops revenue and ultimately start reenaging him with trade in incentives to get him back into your store to buy again.

Want to see how your dealership can engage your customer base to start getting back much needed inventory back on your lot? Click here to download the 2021 Buy Back Ad Playbook.

Now that John’s journey has come full circle (and he’s a raving fan of your dealership), grab a testimonial and turn it into an ad for future shoppers who you meet during their auto shopper journey.

Nothing builds trust like word of mouth referrals, so it’s so important to continue to nurture these relationships even after the sale. You never know the connections one person can bring!

The Journey Never Ends…

By now, you understand the full spectrum of interactions in the auto buyer journey.

There are so many opportunities to optimize each touch point to drive a potential buyer (and everyone they know!) into becoming a raving fan.

Facebook and Instagram are a digital marketers playground: internet users spend an average of 144 minutes per day on social media. Moreover, 63% of car buyers are discovering new vehicles online and 86% of shoppers want to engage with brands post-purchase.

From prospecting and retargeting, to nurturing the relationship (and revenue) post-sale, these strategies will help your business build local awareness, enhance engagement, garner qualified leads, and get the most out of your advertising budget.

If your business isn’t leveraging digital marketing across the marketing funnel, your local audience is one click away from giving their business to your competitor.

Ready to learn more with real world examples? Check out this video to see the auto buying journey in action.

 VIDEO: How Dealers Can Reach Shoppers Throughout The Auto Buyer Journey

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.

“Attack On Dealerships” : How Dealers Can Combat Vroom and Carvana’s Messaging

“Attack On Dealerships” : How Dealers Can Combat Vroom and Carvana’s Messaging

“Attack On Dealerships” : How Dealers Can Combat Vroom and Carvana’s Messaging

If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you probably caught Vroom’s commercial that rubbed a lot of us in the dealer community the wrong way.

Carvana has also been taking an anti-dealer message in some of their latest ads and marketing. As dealers, there is plenty enough to stress about without worrying about large-scale messaging disparaging your efforts and adding to the misconception that working with a dealership is a bad experience. 

Many dealers aren’t happy, and are fighting back. 

Dealers Respond to Vroom and Carvana Through Video

Here are 3 examples of dealers who have taken things into their own hands, and shot simple videos that combat the Vroom and Carvana messaging. 



Tips to Create Your Own Anti-Vroom Video

Not every dealer has the ability to drop a highly produced and expensive TV spot at the drop of hat. And even if you could, would it be the most effective?

Facebook and Instagram have become the go-to solution for businesses to reach their markets with a much more targeted and cost-effective strategy than traditional media.
And with Facebook and Instagram, there isn’t always a need to use over-produced media to grab auto shopper’s attention.

Some of the most successful videos that we are seeing from dealers are “native content,” meaning that they just look like a simple selfie video or something that you might “natively” see on your timeline; no need for all $$$ equipment.

Take a look at this example from Thonton Automotive Dover:



This video was simple to create, simple to edit, and reached over 58,000 shoppers in the dealer’s PMA.

With the average American spending 58 minutes per day scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, your dealership can create simple videos, get in front of your target audience, and combat the messages of companies like Vroom and Carvana to get auto shoppers back into your dealership.

Get Our Dealership Secrets to Shooting Powerful and Cost-Effective Videos In-House

Get The Secrets!

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.

941-366-6760

PODCAST: Digital Marketing Tips For Aftermarket Shops with Pete Petersen

PODCAST: Digital Marketing Tips For Aftermarket Shops with Pete Petersen

PODCAST: Digital Marketing Tips For Aftermarket Shops with Pete Petersen

We’ve realized that for almost all small businesses, trying to do it all in terms of marketing actually results in almost no traction!

In order to ensure your efforts are achieving results, our CEO Pete Petersen offered professional insight, featured on TheSHOP’s latest podcast.

WATCH: https://theshopmag.com/podcast/ep-5-how-to-grow-your-aftermarket-business-with-digital-marketing/

7 Key Digital Marketing Strategies For Your Shop

There are so many options when it comes to marketing your shop digitally, follow along to make sure that your actions are effective.

1. Identify Your Customers

Before you do ANY marketing, be sure to ask yourself:

  • Who are your customers currently?
  • Who should your customers be, are there any up-and-coming segments?
  • Where do your customers hangout, online and offline?
  • Where are they navigating to get information?

2. Be Easily Found and Post Relevant Content Organically

Ask your current customers which platforms they are on daily, weekly, monthly… Then ask them where they learn about new products and services so you can reach them and people similar.

Google and Social:

You’ll want to create a Google My Business account to provide your current and prospective customers with an easy way to find your shop and its information.

Generate a strong presence on social media so that when your target market finds you, they engage with relevant content. Only do so using a few platforms, we understand there’s a lot of factors to consider with each, so we have a guide for you here!

Blog Content:

Brainstorm what type of information is significant to your audience. People want to know the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.

Why did your business take on the project, what products did you use, how long did it take, and who is the owner and where are they from?

3. Encourage And Leverage Positive Reviews

The first thing that prospective customers do when they are not familiar with you is search your brand + “reviews” before giving you their business!

Google My Business:

Display your positive reviews and download an App for your phone to respond to reviews, create offers, post events, and update your business info!

Facebook Reviews:

Broadcast all of the good things said about your shop on your Facebook business page. Anyone who lands on your page will be able to see the positive comments from other active users!

3rd Party Seller Sites:

Your shop can also use 3rd party seller sites to host this complimentary feedback in the attempt to have an immediate impact on their decision and influence customer conversion.

4. Design for Mobile Optimization

Mobile is the new source for information consumption. Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok are almost exclusively mobile… So make sure to double check the accessibility and flow of your website on mobile devices, not just desktop.

5. Amplify Your Business With Paid Ads

What phase of the funnel are you wanting to reach your customers at? Both Google Search and Facebook Ads offer paid advertising options for your shop.

Click here for The Ultimate Guide to Social Advertising For Aftermarket Shops!

6. Improve Your Shops Website

Organize your website and make it easy for visitors to find information, be educated, make decisions, and choose you!

For shops, show before and after photos, tell the customers’ story, and why this project was important to them. Include the extra details of what you helped with to make the project custom.

Get a quote from the customer, or ask them to leave a review. Showcase this on your site, add the review to your main homepage for others to see and let them tell the story for you!

7. Add A Tripwire

A tripwire is a low dollar offer to get someone in your business, build a relationship with them, and then upsell.

In dealerships, this has been the oil change/car wash experience. They get them in, get their contact information including email/phone, build positive relationships, reviews and further market to these individuals with new products and services.

Targeting Dealerships

Here are some key elements for aftermarket shops to keep in mind when targeting the dealership market:

  • Relationships (face-to-face, calling and text messaging)?
  • Custom web pages (this will also help with SEO and positioning as an expert) and brochures specific to the vehicles they sell:
    • Best accessories and upgrades for the Mazda CX-3
    • Answer questions like “what is the towing capacity of a Ford F150?” and “how much can a Ford F150 tow?”
  • Beyond that, email marketing is a great way to keep your prospects and dealerships available

We created an audit template to help your business log your current profiles and ratings.

👉 Click here to access the free template and begin improving in areas where it’s needed.

 

Watch our On-Demand Demos to learn more about our solutions.

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] Free Tools To Keep Your Dealership’s Community Informed

[Facebook Guide] Free Tools To Keep Your Dealership’s Community Informed

[Facebook Guide] Free Tools To Keep Your Dealership’s Community Informed

Facebook just dropped their newest resource for automotive dealers: “Free Facebook Tools to Keep Your Community and Customers Informed During the COVID-19 Crisis”.

In the guide, Facebook details how dealerships can connect to their communities to begin building long-term relationships—and create lifelong customers.

Read on for a brief overview of the guide, and to see examples of each tool!

As social distancing continues, US social network users are spending more time than previously estimated. (Source: eMarketer, US Adults Are Spending More Time on Social Media During the Pandemic)

We believe this increase on social media is not only due to more down-time from social distancing, but also because users want to connect with their friends, families, and communities more than ever as they navigate these uncertain times.

By presenting value on these channels now, your dealership can position itself as a community leader and begin to build relationships with future customers, setting yourself up to “unlock shopper demand” when buyers come back in-market. 

Facebook’s latest resource gives dealers free tools to help start connecting with their communities today. Get the full guide here!

Facebook’s Free Tools To Keep Your Dealership’s Community Informed:

  1. Pinned Posts 
  2. Facebook Messenger
  3. Facebook Live
  4. Facebook and Instagram Stories

Let’s dive into each tool a little further!

Pinned Posts

You can pin a post to the top of your Facebook Page’s timeline so that visitors can find important information about your dealership quickly. These can be things like:

  • Updated hours of operation
  • Sanitation procedures 
  • What services you’re currently offering 
  • Virtual appointment and at-home service options 
  • What incentives you’re currently offering 

Facebook Messenger

Messenger is Facebook’s instant messaging platform. It is connected to your dealership’s Page and can be answered by anyone with the appropriate permissions. Using Messenger, your dealership can:

  • Set up an automatic greeting to Page visitors
  • Let site visitors know that you’re answering any questions so they never have to leave the platform

Facebook Live

Facebook live is a video feature where your dealership can instantly broadcast video to your followers. It notifies users when your Page is going live, and they can interact in real time.

Live broadcasts are also saved so if people miss it live, they can go back and view later. Use a Facebook Live video to:

  • Do a live Q&A with your followers 
  • Walk around your dealership and show sanitation procedures 
  • Introduce the staff
  • Vehicle walkarounds 

Facebook and Instagram Stories

Stories are a casual way for people to engage with your dealership.

With Stories, your dealership can post as briefly and frequently as your want about anything you want.

Stories are posted to the top of user’s feeds and also on your dealership’s Page. You can do any of the same options as your can with Facebook Live, only without getting immediate feedback from viewers. 

PRO TIP: Utilize your Facebook Cover photo to bring your latest updates to the forefront, and make it easy for prospects to get in touch with you by updating Page’s main Call-To-Action button to “Call Now,” “Message Us,” or “Book Now” with available appointment times.

Click here to get the free guide and see how you can freely and easily apply any of these Facebook tools to connect with your community!  

More free tools to help your dealership

If you’re looking for more ways your dealership can stay connected with auto shoppers, visit our Resource Center here.

You can also find our specific COVID-19 resources at www.dealersunited.com/covid-19.

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.

Use This “Data Jackpot” To Find WHO Your Dealership Is Actually Selling Cars To (Part 1 of 2)

Use This “Data Jackpot” To Find WHO Your Dealership Is Actually Selling Cars To (Part 1 of 2)

Use This “Data Jackpot” To Find WHO Your Dealership Is Actually Selling Cars To (Part 1 of 2)

What if I told you that I knew the secret to nailing your store’s next marketing campaign? That you could uncover EVERYTHING you wanted to know about your dealership’s target customers, like if they are women or men, what job title they have, and their purchase behaviors – before you even spend ONE ad dollar? Well, I’ve got good news for you. You can. Here’s how your dealership can easily identify its target customers:

Data Jackpot For Auto Dealers: Find Your Target Customers

Don’t miss Part 2: 9 Shockingly Successful Facebook Campaigns You Can Create From Your Dealership’s Audience Insights

Your Dealership’s Target Customers Aren’t As Hard To Find As You Think

For local businesses like dealerships, pinpointing your target audience isn’t always easy.

It generally takes a bunch of research, guessing-and-checking, and customer demographics to finally get it right.

Even with your OEM’s extensive reports, uncovering your store’s exact “ideal customer” may be all but impossible.

Thankfully, I know a way you can find EVERYTHING you want to know about your dealership’s target customers.

And it all starts with data.

There’s Just Somethin’ About Data

You’ve heard it a thousand times: Data is “king” in today’s world.

But now, the data realm is massive. And pretty confusing.

If only there were one central place that hosted all of the 3rd party data your dealership actually cared about…

…like automotive data, shopper-intent data, psychographic data, and online behavior data.

Well now there is.

Want to tell all In-Market Auto Shopping women who live near your store and LOVE dogs about your upcoming Adoption Event? No problem.

Thanks to a recent partnership between Oracle, Datalogix, POLK, and Facebook for Business, the data possibilities for your dealership are (literally) endless.

VIDEO: A map exploring Facebook’s advertising data from Plankton Digital
Facebook’s data is INTENSE…and is expanding every day!

But that’s not what this blog article is about. (If you want more about Facebook targeting, you can read this article, instead.)

This is something else entirely…

And I think you’re going to like it.

If Facebook’s Data Is A Treasure Chest, Your Dealership’s Data Is The Key That Unlocks It

Remember how I told you that I could help you unlock everything you wanted to know about your target market?

This is how:

Facebook Audience Insights.

Using this semi-new (but extremely underutilized) Facebook tool, your dealership can upload its own data files…

…then cross-check Facebook’s data to learn everything you could want to know about people on those lists.

With Audience Insights, your dealership can:

  • Pinpoint the demographics and lifestyles of a 2017 used vehicle buyer versus a 2017 new vehicle buyer
  • Upload sold F-150 data over a few years and see what purchasers of F-150’s “look like,” from job title, device use, and household income
  • Discover what other Facebook Pages your customers Like or Follow, and create new Custom Audiences based on those findings

PRO TIP: Using these same insights, you can create “Lookalike Audiences” on Facebook to find people who “look like” these customers or lists. It’s what we call Facebook’s Ultimate Conquest Strategy – read this article to learn more!

Since so many people are on Facebook, it has become a gigantic data hub that your dealership can easily access.

Sound interesting?

Keep reading…

Here’s How To Unlock Audience Insights At Your Dealership

Step 1: Create Your Custom Audience

Under your Ads Manager, navigate to “Audiences,” then click “Create New > Custom Audience.”

Create your Custom Audience using your dealership’s customer file, website traffic, or users’ engagement on Facebook.

NOT SURE WHERE TO START? If you aren’t sure which of your lists you should upload, or what traffic to turn into your newest Custom Audience, you may want to schedule a Facebook Analysis with our Facebook team. We’ll help you nail down your dealership’s goals, create your Custom Audiences, and use your Audience Insights to help you sell more cars!

Step 2: Load Your Custom Audience in Audience Insights

Log into your Facebook Business Page and navigate to Ads Manager > Audience Insights.

Next, navigate to “Audience Insights” under Plan.

Your audience can include “Everyone on Facebook,” or “People connected to your Page,” but to maximize your own dealership’s data and find your dealership’s specific target customers, start with a “Custom Audience.”

Then simply load the Custom Audience you want to study in the left panel of Audience Insights under “Additional Entries.”

Once Facebook matches users from your list, you’ll see 6 tabs chock-full of aggregated user insights:

Demographics:

Summarizes key demographics like age and gender, education, relationship status and job role, as well as Lifestyle segments that range from “Rural Parents” to “City Mixers.”

Page Likes:

This shows the top Categories of interests (based on Facebook Pages that your Audience interacts with), and which Pages are likely to be relevant to that audience.

Location:

Reveals the top cities where your uploaded Audience is based.

Activity:

Measures your Audience’s activity on Facebook, such as frequency and number of Pages Liked, Comments, Posts Liked/Shared, Promotions Redeemed, and Ads Clicked, as well as main device usage (desktop vs. mobile, iOS vs. Android).

Household:

Reports household income, type of home ownership, household size, and spending methods.

Purchase:

Reveals key trends in retail and online spending, purchase behaviors across specific categories, and automotive purchase behavior based on vehicle registration data.

If your dealership is looking for the holy grail of marketing data…

THIS IS IT.

Wrap Up: Facebook’s Audience Insights Will Help You Find Your Dealership’s Target Customers

Thanks to Facebook Audience Insights, your dealership will never have to worry about hitting — or missing — its target customers again.

Here’s how your dealership can use them:

  1. Create a Custom Audience based on your dealership’s data.
  2. Load your Audience and cross-match it to Facebook’s user data and third-party data.
  3. Dive into 6 pages of aggregated data, including demographics, Facebook Page Likes and activity, purchase behaviors, and more.

You don’t need to be running ads on Facebook to take advantage of Audience Insights. Use them to optimize your dealership’s email marketing, Google PPC campaigns, direct mail, in-store promotions, general branding, and beyond.

But think – once you’ve already done the leg work and uploaded your store’s data, why not use that data to deliver messages to your ideal customers on Facebook, the #1 social media platform in the US?

In a new article next week, I’m going to show you how to turn your findings from Audience Insights into high-performing Facebook campaigns.

You can read it here: 9 Shockingly Successful Facebook Campaigns You Can Create From Your Dealership’s Audience Insights

Stay tuned…it’s going to be good.

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.


Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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This Small Thing Builds Brand Awareness. But Whose Brand Is It Building?

This Small Thing Builds Brand Awareness. But Whose Brand Is It Building?

This Small Thing Builds Brand Awareness. But Whose Brand Is It Building?

The tiny icon that appears before your dealership’s name or site title in a web browser is called a favicon – short for “Favorites icon.” It’s generally comprised of a brand’s logo, and offers a small but immediate first-impression. Personally, I’ve never really thought much about them other than, “Oh great, another place I need to remember to put our logo.” That is, until two days ago.

Read it!

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

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