Each month, most American consumers aren’t in the market to purchase a vehicle. When they do enter the market, their journey is dominated by a variety of digital channels – 19 touchpoints out of a total of 24 touchpoints. The legwork they put in doesn’t often yield a final choice; in fact, only 1 in 3 are certain of the specific car they want. It is, of course, important that you have SEO and SEM strategies in place to capture these low-funnel, in-market shoppers.
But if your strategy only attacks those actively looking for a vehicle, what about the consumers who haven’t entered the market?
Your dealership can stimulate interest in your actual inventory by leveraging social media. Not only can a paid Facebook ad approach powered by variety – and supplemented with smart targeting – help undecided shoppers narrow their options, it can also help push more consumers into the shopping funnel.
This does two things for you: (1) it helps people recall your ads while (2) avoiding creating ad fatigue.
AD RECALL = REACH + ATTENTION * FREQUENCY
It’s simple. You must understand audience needs and intent to create ads that capture their attention (aka brand awareness). When ads resonate, your dealership’s name – your brand – fosters a positive influence on those in-market shoppers. This is really important because the average shopper will see thousands of ads every month.
Mobile device. Radio. TV. Computer. Magazine. T-shirt.
Advertising is ubiquitous.
You need to keep your dealership top-on-mind without stepping into the dangers of ad fatigue.
AD FATIGUE (N) — THE CONDITION THAT ARISES WHEN CONSUMERS HAVE GROWN TIRED OF VIEWING THE SAME ADS
When you run only a handful of ads, your local market will see the same message over and over again, creating the very real potential of making your local buyers resent your brand. The ads become a nuisance instead of be helpful and interesting. This ultimately affects the performance of your ads and the Facebook campaigns’ return-on-investment.
CMS Wire conducted a study that showed ad fatigue can set in as soon as three days post-launch of the ad campaign. They reviewed the results of various campaigns, finding a decrease in click-through rates and an increase in costs-per-action.
You can combat this with ensuring variety of the ads’ messaging:
Audience-Specific Ad Copy
And you must — yes, must — have clear audience segmentation.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
As competitive as modern advertising has become, your dealership needs to overcome two obstacles: Ad Recall and Ad Fatigue.
The way to overcome them both is to do two things effectively:
Have unique messaging
Understand your audiences
Remember the question posed earlier in this piece?
“What about those consumers not currently in the market?”
The answer was to stimulate interest — push that majority of shoppers not in the market into the market — using social media. Users sign into Facebook 13.8 times per day, totaling 30 minutes per day. But you cannot approach paid advertising on this platform with just a few ads running.
If you run just a few ads, you’ll not be able to hit a frequency that affords your market the proper brand awareness for recall.
If you increase your spend to hit a greater frequency, you’ll create fatigue — unless you want to undertake changing the ads every three days and never built any statistical relevance for what works by allowing Facebook’s machine learning to make automatic adjustments based on consumer actions and inherent feedback.
So we must keep in mind the two elements necessary to overcome these obstacles when we went to “Connect the Dots” just a few moments ago.
Facebook’s targeting offers a variety of options that help narrow the scope of shoppers. From interests and affinities to life events and page likes, there is plenty to mine and create a variety of audiences. If you want to supercharge your efforts on this platform, you can — which we offer and recommend to our dealership partners — select a data partner like Oracle. This data will help inform your decisions and dig even deeper into the wealth of data Facebook collects.
When you start digging into this data, a picture comes into focus. It shows you how sedan buyers are different from SUV buyers — and they are different than van buyers and truck buyers. They are all distinct audiences.
An Example: Say You’re a Toyota Dealership
Not only do you have SUV buyers, but you’ll also have a 4Runner buyer, a C-HR buyer, a Highlander buyer, a Land Cruiser buyer, a Rav4 buyer, and a Sequoia buyer.
Each model appeals for different reasons — but remember that only 1 in 3 buyers know the exact model they want.
That means you’ll want to hit your SUV audience with ads for each model and an ad for the entire lineup, and they’ll all have different headlines, ad copy, and inventory (your creative).
Your Toyota SUV audience will not continually see the same ad while you spend your allocated budget to achieve the right frequency. Then, as the campaign runs, Facebook’s machine learning will begin moving money to the most effective ads.
Keep in mind that this applies to the other segments of vehicles that your dealership will carry inventory for — and your actual inventory is what will populate the creative of the ad in the form of a carousel to show different colors, trims, et cetera.
This approach means that, depending on the number of models that your brand has, you could have anywhere from 20-50 ads running. None of them say the same thing or have the same exact inventory. It’s a strategy that models the same granularity that you apply in your SEO and SEM efforts to diversify your messaging and attack those low-funnel, in-market shoppers referenced at the beginning of this piece.
The crux is to understand who your shoppers are and build out a campaign and content that speaks to them as individuals, which gives you a wide swathe of ads that don’t require additional work. And, thus, you’ve set your dealership up with paid Facebook advertising that pushes more shoppers into the buying funnel that offers the proper brand awareness for Ad Recall without risking Ad Fatigue.