Unlock Facebook’s Ultimate Conquest Strategy: Meet Lookalike Audiences For Auto Dealers [plus get 6 campaigns to heat up cold traffic FAST]

Jun 1, 2017 | Social Media

So your dealership is using Facebook to try and convert cold traffic. But your campaigns aren’t producing the same awesome results over time, and the leads are running dry. WHY?! And what’s the solution? Meet Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences, your ultimate online conquest strategy. Get ready to “reuse” high-performing campaigns and heat up new audiences to convert more leads.

Even The Best Dealership Facebook Ad Won’t Last Forever

Most dealerships using Facebook Advertising are already targeting In-Market Auto Shoppers to turn cold traffic into warm leads.

Some are even making their messages more relevant by using Facebook’s interest-based targeting, building custom audiences, and retargeting website visitors.


(If your dealership is still only using auto data on Facebook, click here to unlock ALL of Facebook’s data.)

But what if you’ve exhausted these audiences, and they’re not engaging with your ads anymore?

You can only target the same group of cold traffic for so long before fatigue sets in.

No matter how spot-on your image or copy, after a while, your ads will stop performing like they used to.

Luckily, we have an easy way for you to find – and get in front of – cold prospects who are MOST likely to convert on your ad.

They’re called “Lookalike Audiences,” and they’re the key to scaling your dealership’s Facebook campaigns and conquesting new blood.

Using Facebook Lookalike Audiences To Conquest New Auto Shoppers For Your Dealership

With Facebook Lookalike Audiences, your dealership can create audiences that “look like” people who have already engaged with your store.

They help you find where ELSE your target market is hiding on Facebook so that you can advertise your highest-performing campaigns to them.

DISCLAIMER: If you’re just getting started with dealership Facebook Advertising, Lookalike Audiences are NOT your jumping off point. These are best for scaling what campaigns you already know WORK to help you find audiences that are most likely to convert; NOT for testing new campaigns or audiences.

Once you build your source audience (from your customer list, for example), you can use Lookalikes to find NEW people that have similar characteristics to that existing audience. (In this case, people who have already bought from you.)

These characteristics include behaviors and interests, demographics (like income and gender), and Facebook engagement.

After you create your Lookalike audience, Facebook will automatically look for those matching attributes in other Facebook users across the US.

When you go to create your next campaign, an audience chock-full of ideal prospects will be ready and waiting.

HEADS UP! When you create Lookalike Audiences, you are creating the largest bucket of people possible. Don’t fret when you are limited to choosing “United States” and Audience Size “1” for your Location initially. You will be able to target closer to your dealership’s address once you begin creating your Ad Set.

Lookalikes Really Work

Compared to other targeting options, Lookalikes are the strongest choice when using Facebook to move cold traffic through your dealership’s sales funnel.

Since you’re creating the source audience from your own dealership’s data rather than Facebook’s aggregated data, you can expect better-quality and more relevant audiences.

In fact, in a study of 64 automotive campaigns, Oracle Data Cloud found that the best-performing automotive campaigns on Facebook used Lookalike Audiences to maximize two key metrics…

quality, the ability for a publisher to reach auto buyers versus a national average, and scale, the total number of car buyers reached by a publisher.

BONUS: 6 Campaigns Your Dealership Can Use To Heat Up Cold Traffic FAST

There are many different ways your dealership can create a Lookalike audience on Facebook.

You can create a source audience using your dealership’s customer file, website traffic, or users’ engagement on Facebook. Bear in mind, though, that all Lookalike Audiences require creating a source audience, or Custom Audience, before starting.

PRO TIP: The larger your source audience is, the better quality you can expect your Lookalike audience to be. The more people, the more data points Facebook can use to draw comparisons! Aim for at least 1,000 people in every source audience before basing your Lookalike off of it.

Here are the 6 Lookalike Audiences you need to send your Facebook vendor NOW:

1. Lead Ad Engagement

You know those oil change offer claims, trade in evaluations, and test drive Lead Ads that you’ve seen rake in qualified opportunities?

These are key audiences you want in your top-of-funnel Lookalike arsenal, because these are people likely to take an action on your next ad.

2. Conversions

In addition to using Lead Ads to capture a conversion in Facebook immediately, building a website conversion Lookalike is our next go-to audience.

If you’re truly measuring the effectiveness of Facebook Advertising at your dealership, you or your Facebook vendor will already have Custom Conversions set up.

These help you understand whether your campaigns end in a completed online goal, like a Test Drive form or ePrice request, tracked by the Facebook Pixel.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE – Dealers, You Can Now Track Your Exact Facebook Ad ROI: Introducing Sales Matchbacks For Facebook

Our recommendation is to create Lookalikes for every high-value Conversion Event you have. (Facebook also just launched Value-Based Custom Audiences for Lookalikes, which allows you to find customers who “look like” your highest value customers. These only work if you have Customer Lifetime Values set up for your Conversion Events. Click here to learn more.)

3. Video Ad Engagement

Next, build a Lookalike audience based on customers who watched your specific model-line video ads, or any other high-performing dealership videos.

Users with higher video engagement (higher than 50%) generally have a high-propensity to purchase, especially if your video is over 2 minutes long!

4. Customer list

This one’s a no-brainer, but here’s the key:

Separate your list out by model line, and create specific Lookalike campaigns from each of those unique customer lists.

Why? The buyer of a F-150 will “look” a lot different than the buyer of a Focus, and you’ll want to make sure your ads are tailored to those different audiences.

5. UPs report

You can also use any data file to match users on Facebook and create a Lookalike audience.

Why not load your UPs report as a Custom Audience and find other people who are likely to end up on your showroom floor?

6. Post and Page Engagement

Last but DEFINITELY not least:

If you have a large number of Facebook fans or have a ton of engagement on your posts and ads, build a Lookalike campaign of people who interact with your Page.

This will include anyone who has:

  • Visited your Page, regardless of the actions they took
  • Engaged with your Page post or ad. Engagement includes reactions (Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry), shares, comments, link clicks or carousel swipes
  • Clicked any call-to-action button on your Page. For example “Contact Us” or “Shop Now”
    Sent a message to your Page
  • Saved your Page or a post on your Page

(No, you cannot create Lookalike Audiences of pages outside of your control. We wish!)

Wrap Up: Use Lookalike Audiences To Run Unusually Successful Conquest Campaigns

Even the best Facebook ad will experience burnout eventually…

That’s why Lookalikes are important.

Simply put, Lookalike audiences are the most effective targeting tool to help you conquest new, cold audiences at the top of your sales funnel.

Because they’re based off existing audiences that have already converted, they help show your ads to NEW people who are more likely to engage with the ads because they “look like” your ideal customers/prospects.

This post gave you 6 Lookalike audiences for auto dealers that we swear by. Have YOU created other Lookalikes that have generated awesome results? Or, do you have another technique you use on Facebook to conquest new customers? Let me know in the comments below!

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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