Getting the Most From Facebook Lead Ads: Facebook Announces Lead Ad Improvements For Auto!

Do you remember your first version of Facebook? It might have looked a bit like this:

In the last few years, Facebook has evolved tremendously. Gone are the days where “pokes” were considered an acceptable means of initiating a conversation. Facebook has become a resource for people to connect and consume media. It has also become a predominate marketing platform. As such, its advertising platform has also evolved. One of the major developments in Facebook advertising was the introduction of Lead Ads.

Let’s Refresh – What are Lead Ads?

Simply put, when customers are compelled by your ad they can conveniently click on the call-to-action button to get more information. Clicking on these ads launches an unobtrusive, pre-populated form containing information that the user has voluntarily shared with Facebook. Most Lead Ad forms can be completed in as little as 2 clicks: the first click on the advertisement will launch the form; the second click will submit the form to the business page. This translates exceptionally well for the automotive industry, as Lead Ads allow clients to quickly and conveniently request information on specific vehicles, book a test drive, and even apply for credit.

If you’re not already using Lead Ads – you really should be.

The information collected from these ads lets dealers:

  • Capture the most important information for future marketing purposes.
  • Collect information for campaigns and contests.
  • Respond and follow up with leads.
  • Improve future ad relevance based on user interests and online habits.

By making form completion as simple as possible, it increases the likelihood that a customer will engage with your ad. However, we occasionally hear from our clients that Facebook Lead Ads don’t always generate the same quality of lead as they would if user were to actively navigate to their website and submit a form. This is logical; due to the simplicity of submitting a Lead Ad, users occasionally submit a lead on impulse while in the midst of watching cute cat videos and responding to Uncle’s inappropriate profile pic comments. It poses the question of whether users should occasionally be required to jump through hoops to submit a lead. However, doing so is counter-intuitive to purpose of Lead Ads. The objective of a Lead Ad is to intrigue users in the moment – encouraging them to engage with your business, take you up an offer, or enter a contest – with the fewest possible barriers. However, it’s not enough to set up a Lead Ad without proper targeting, messaging, and campaign optimization. But how do we enhance the performance of our Lead Ads, while also keeping it simple for the user?

Facebook has recently announced improvements to their Lead Ads for the automotive sector that will increase functionality to both the dealer and customer through features like:

  • Appointment scheduling which allow customers to book appointments and test drives.
  • A custom Thank You screen that lets dealers display a custom message or a link after the lead is submitted.
  • A full screen experience that will capture the user’s attention while also conveying a comprehensive message.
  • Dynamic ads that allow dealers to create personalized ads based on interests and preferences customers have demonstrated on your site, app or elsewhere on the web.

These functions will provide more tools in the effort to engage the customer on a meaningful level, helping to generate high quality, valuable leads. For more information on these improvements, visit: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/introducing-new-discovery-tools-for-auto

To learn how Strathcom can help improve your Lead Ad campaign, contact us today!

Mobile Advertising In Canada Going Into 2018

 

eMarketer.com recently published their report on Mobile Advertising in Canada and to no ones surprise, mobile is exploding. I wanted to condense and share some of the findings, but if you wanted to purchase the full report from eMarketer.com, you can find it here.

Before I get into the numbers, I wanted to give you an idea of what the end game for mobile is. Mobile has evolved to be a part of our lives; our phones are with us – for the most part – 100% of the time. Because of this, how much we use our phones to complete activities in our daily lives will only increase. It used to be just to make calls, then text as well, then email as well, then surf the internet on the early (crappy) mobile web browsers, then apps and so on. We even have the ability to track our health on our phone, and in a relatively short period, probably 10 years, when you go to the doctor’s office, you’ll just hand the doctor your phone, and it will have all your medical info and readings it has been taking since your last visit. Many companies are working on how the mobile phone will replace desktops, which – other than for work – have been declining in sales. Unless you need a desktop to run high powered programs like video/image editing or PC games, you’ll soon just have your phone and a couple monitors at home/work that you plug directly into.

 

Alright… onto the info:

Continue reading “Mobile Advertising In Canada Going Into 2018”

What’s the Story with Instagram?

We have had a few dealers ask us about Instagram lately, so we took the liberty of asking Facebook what’s up with its sister platform. Here are the new stats they sent us:

  • Instagram currently has about 250 million daily users
  • People under the age of 25 spend an average of 32 minutes a day on Instagram
  • People over the age of 25 are spending an average of 24 minutes a day on Instagram
  • In the last year alone there have been more than 20 new features added to Instagram Stories – including stickers and Boomerang
  • Last month, over 50% of businesses produced an Instagram story.

Instagrammers iPhone 5 displaying log in screen of Instagram application.

Case Study

There is also a case study on the Instagram business page called Accelerating to Success: The Auto Industry on Instagram that includes a ton of data about why dealers should be utilizing this powerful platform. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Nearly 80% of Instagrammers said they research products online before making a purchase
  • Two years ago, 38% of people said Instagram informs what they buy. That number increased to 59% for auto enthusiasts.

The case study goes on to show examples of ads OEMs like GMC and Lexus ran if you need some inspiration!

Top 10 Hashtags

If you are already an active Instagrammer, you probably want to know what the top hashtags are so you can more Likes! Well, here they are (as of July, 2017):

  1. #GOODMORNING
  2. #WORK
  3. #GOODNIGHT
  4. #MOOD
  5. #HAPPYBIRTHDAY
  6. #TBT
  7. #LOVE
  8. #HOME
  9. #BOMDIA (means hello or good day in portuguese)
  10. #RELAX

For more information about Instagram and/or Facebook Advertising, drop us a line today!

Use Messenger Ads to Reach Your Target Market

People already spend time on Messenger interacting with the businesses and brands they love, and now with Facebook’s Messenger ads, they will have an opportunity to discover experiences directly on their home tab.

Man typing in Facebook Messenger

These ads will include:

  • Messenger ads – found in the home tab of Messenger. When people tap on an ad, they will be sent to the destination chosen during ads creation; this can be your website or a Messenger conversation.
  • Click to Messenger ads – take full advantage of the personalized nature of messaging by driving people to a conversation after they interact with the ad in Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.
  • Sponsored messages – allow businesses to re-engage with people who have started a conversation with them.

With more than 1.2 billion people using Messenger, it is another powerful platform for you to reach your potential customers. If you don’t believe us, check out this recent Business Insider article that gives three examples of companies that were able to generate huge results from Messenger campaigns. One example was Tommy Hilfiger: during Fashion Week NYC this year, they found that 3.5 times more was spent through Facebook Messenger than any other digital program.

To find out more about Messenger and other ad methods available with Facebook, visit the Facebook Business website and check out our case study, or drop us a line today!

New Medium, New Rules

In a recent Facebook blog, Mark Rabkin, the VP of Core Ads at Facebookdiscussed everyone’s favourite media platform: smartphones. He mentions in the article that just as televisions were not just a modern version of the radio, smartphones are not just tiny televisions. TV was revolutionary because it gave every household a screen, smartphones give every person a screen, on their person, at all times.

This constant access to content means that advertisers have to create attention-grabbing, thumb-stopping content in order to capture and hold the small amount of attention consumers have. In fact, Facebook studied the Facebook activity of 537 participants as they watched the season premiere of a popular TV show. They found that during every commercial break, their Facebook activity rose.

Participant's activity on Facebook rose during comercial break
Rabkin, M. (2017, June, 8). New Medium, New Rules: Video Advertising in the Mobile Age

When it comes to advertising, Facebook clearly knows what they’re doing. Here are the best practices of some of Facebook’s top advertisers: Nestle, AirBnb, and Ubisoft.

Build brand new, short-form, mobile creative 

Whether it’s a carousel ad or a video ad, it has to be unique, designed for mobile, and reward people’s attention. Mark also suggests using mobile to echo the organic content people already like to consume.

Re-organize to test and measure ads on a weekly cycle, not every 6 months

You need to test and build quality creative on short notice. As Mark mentioned in the article, “mobile is evolving too quickly for a traditional, fragmented approach to work well”.  Having your creative and measurement streamlined with one provider is a great way to do that. Someone at the dealership might not have the time to whip up new creative on-demand but we have an entire team of experts that can take care of everything for you.

Don’t try to equate disparate platforms

Every mobile format has a different demographic with different expectations and behaviours, so it’s important that you design your creative based on the platform it is going to be viewed on. Mark explained this well when he said:

“a guaranteed 10 second ad break requires different creative than a video in a feed that may be seen for 6 seconds by the average person, but for 30 seconds by 10% of the audience. Facebook isn’t YouTube, YouTube isn’t Search, Search isn’t Snapchat“.

Measure results, not seconds 

It’s easy to get caught up in the amount of views or clicks. But remember, everything should revolve around your business goals and your bottom line. It can be tough to remember these kinds of campaigns take time to begin to generate results, but that’s why it is important to measure, track, and optimize. Traditional media seemed easier to advertise on because there really was no way of knowing how it was performing. Maybe a thousand people converted on your newspaper ad, maybe no one did, there is no way to know for certain.

Mark summed this up nicely by saying:

“it’s crucial to measure business value and results on a per-creative, per-platform, per-audience basis. An advertiser’s ability to measure the right things properly will be the biggest predictor of their mobile advertising success”.

If you would like to learn more about running kick ass mobile campaigns, drop us a line today!

Check Out Our Case Study on Facebook’s Website!

We have been talking about Facebook a lot lately, but that’s only because we understand its potential and we know to succeed on it. If you still don’t believe us, check out this case study Facebook published on their own site about yours truly.

With Facebook advertising, we were able to get this dealership group 68% more vehicle sales than the next best advertising medium in just 60 days. If you want to give Facebook advertising a shot, you can try it with us for 3 months and get $500 in bonus ad spend. Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Facebook is more than Likes and Shares.

 

Boosted Posts are Bullshit.

There is no mincing words here: boosted posts are bullshit.

It’s definitely an enticing idea, sure – you get that notification that gives you a little digital pat on the back that the Facebook post you made earlier is performing better than 75% of the posts on that Page, and you can boost it for $X and reach up to blank-thousand more people.

And that’s when you mark the notification as read, and step away from the computer. Don’t click on it, don’t pick a number of days to boost it for, and don’t plug your credit card in.

We can give you any number of answers as to why it’s a bad idea, but here’s the only one that matters:

Boosting that post is not going to be the difference between selling another car or booking another service appointment, and is therefore not going to affect your bottom line.

I repeat: Stop wasting your money on things that don’t affect your bottom line.

frustrated marketing agency
This is the face I make when I see a business has been boosting the same post for any extended period of time.

Boosting posts is intended to increase the number of people who see, like, comment on or share a post on your page. Its sole purpose is to increase engagement for small businesses (which car dealerships aren’t), and the reason to want to increase engagement is to build a community that will regularly want to interact with you and purchase from you on the same regular basis. Boosting posts isn’t Facebook advertising – it’s paying to stroke your own ego.

The average Canadian purchases a new vehicle every 2 years†. With car dealerships, maintaining a regular organic (as in, not paid) social media presence is a key part of long-term customer retention and building brand, but it is not a definitive call-to-action to make a customer decide to purchase a car from you today. And I promise you – the boosted picture of a smiling customer standing next to their new car at delivery (that they then shared with their friends, and you received the residual likes and other engagement metric bump up from) is also not that call-to-action.

If you missed out on the webinar we hosted with Facebook last month, Nimalan Bala, the Client Solutions Manager at Facebook’s Automotive Dealer Solutions, echoed the same sentiment.

“The vast majority of your marketing dollars should be spent on your business’ objectives for building lead ads and driving traffic to your website, because again – your website is a great property. You spend a ton of money building ads and building your website, and there is no other competition on your website. There is only you. And how are you using that data, how are you using the website? Focus more on that.”

Your dealership should have a clear set of marketing objectives, and your money should be spent strategically to help accomplish those objectives. If you’re looking at paid social media (which is a great option), Facebook offers a multitude of ad types that can generate leads directly for your dealership so that you can sell cars, target customers nearby to come into the store to take advantage of service or parts promotions at your dealership, or view your dealership’s inventory directly from the comfort of the app they’re spending the most time in. Our team can show you any number of options or ideas that might fit your budget (and with Facebook advertising, it doesn’t need to be a huge one). But if you want to advertise on Facebook, it makes the most sense to do it in a way that you can measure, manage, and monetize. “Likes do not pay the bills – sales do”. (Noah Kagan)

†http://canada.autonews.com/article/20170406/CANADA/170409873/survey-finds-62-of-canadians-in-mood-to-buy-a-new-vehicle

Advertising in the Age of Ad-DHD

People are busy. With work, family, social media, and a plethora of other distractions it is getting more and more difficult for advertisers to get people to notice their ads; let alone retain people’s attention long enough for their ad to actually be recalled. Think of it as a kind of ADHD… Ad-DHD.

As people's attention spans decrease, their ability to recall ads does too.

 

According to Google, users who watch ads for more than three seconds are more likely to recall, recognize and consider your brand. This may not sound like a long time, but to keep someone’s attention for more than 3 seconds is a lot more difficult in this day and age.

In a recent Google Livestream, Google talked about the new currency: time. Google also discussed how the Old Mantra was ‘get the customer to the dealership‘ and the new mantra is ‘bring the dealership to the customer‘. So, how can do you bring the dealership to the customer?

By personalizing your message

Advertise to your potential customers based on their interests, inventory they viewed, their demographics, and where they are in their sales journey. It’s the next best thing to saying “hey, so-and-so, I have your dream car in stock, come buy it!”

The most effective and affordable way to create personalized ads is through Facebook. Over 18 million Canadians are on Facebook every single day, and Facebook has more information about everyone than you can imagine. Not only that, but it takes 38.5% longer to fill out a form on a mobile device – time that people do not have – but with Lead Ads on Facebook, users can click on your ad (for a test drive, for an oil change, etc.) and the form will pre-populate with information that Facebook already has about that user. And speaking of saving time, we have built out an integration that allows your Facebook leads to automatically be sent to your CRM.

We’ll generate the leads for you, all you have to do is sell them a car.

Facebook advertising is just one way you can bring the dealership to the customer. If you want to learn more about personalization and how it can be used to generate more leads, drop us a line today!

HeroConf 2017: Recap On 3 Days Of Non-Stop PPC

T-Shirt from HeroConf 2017 that says PPC Nerd

From April 17th-20th, I had the opportunity to attend one of the largest gatherings of PPC nerds in North America: HeroConf 2017 hosted in Los Angeles.  This was my first PPC conference and I had no idea what to expect, but I couldn’t have felt more at home at the conference among other people who live and breathe PPC.

It was a busy week filled with learning, networking, and free drinks. Despite all the fun, I came home excited to share my new knowledge with the Strathcom team. Here are my key takeaways about what to expect in the world of PPC in the future.

 

It’s Time to Move on From Last Click Attribution

Attribution Modeling was one of the hottest topics discussed at HeroConf. Speakers from all industries agreed that it’s time to ditch the last click model, and focus on other touchpoints that lead to a conversion. However, there is no magical way of knowing which model is right for you. Speaker Jeff Greenfield of C3 Metrics discussed the importance of not waiting around for the perfect model, but to test and test again. The only way to prove the value of attribution models is to test until you become less wrong. Attribution modelling is extremely important in the automotive industry as we move away from the standard sales funnel, to a customer journey with multiple touchpoints. By ignoring the touchpoints a customer reaches today, we may never see them again for another 3 years.

Integrate Your Paid Social & Paid Search Strategies

Marketers are making the mistake of not integrating search and social strategies, or choosing to ignore social all together. Keynote speaker Jason Dailey of Facebook’s US Agency Development team stressed the importance of running a social campaign along with search ads, and how to properly run the content together.

To no surprise to anyone, mobile is the leader in performance marketing channels, and is the key platform to integrating search and social. Jason mentioned that people are on their phones from when they wake up to when they go to bed, and are less distracted by things around when consuming content on their smartphones (as opposed to TV).

The key to integration is recognizing that search and social advertising have the same outcomes, but with different signals. On social media, we can identify our audience based on their profiles and engagement, but cannot identify their intent online. Paid search allows us to discover our customer’s intent with keyword targeting, but cannot identify who they are as a person. Integrating social and search brings us to the middle ground of the two to execute a successful online advertising campaign.

Making Sure Your SEO & SEM Get Along

My favorite session of the week was keynote speaker Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive. Wil brought an exciting insight as an SEO expert on how paid listings should complement organic. As PPC analysts, it is so easy to forget why customers are using Google, and focusing too much on getting them in our sales funnel.  His key take way was optimizing for the real world, and making sure you answer the customer’s question. If your organic or paid listings don’t help the customer, another source will. A true example below shows that both ads on the top of the page have no mention of the price of a Toyota Rav4, and the answer is provided by a non-dealer website.  Making sure ad copy or ad extensions match the “why” of a consumer’s search will improve the quality of traffic SEO and SEM listings receive."how much is a rav4?" typed into Google Search

It would be difficult for me to include everything I have learned in a single blog post. HeroConf 2017 was a great experience and provided so much insight into how to succeed in PPC in 2017. Can’t wait to return next year in Austin!

Social Advertising in a Mobile First World

mobile devicesThe mobile consumer experience is rapidly changing. Consumers are checking their favorite social media platforms on their smartphones when they wake up, and before they go to bed. At this point, it is no secret that your business needs to be reaching customers on social media. How does your business stand out from the other content your customers are consuming daily? The optimal consumer experience consists of three things: using the power of videos, content consumption, and the quality of engagement.

Videos are becoming an important form of expression and communication over social media. Gone are the days of long statuses or posts to express yourself. Individuals are now sharing short videos to convey a message. However, most people don’t want to hear what you have to say, they want to view it. To get your customer’s attention, make sure the message of your video can be expressed without sound. Use text or subtitles in your video to get the customer to focus on your ad for a few seconds.

“Thumb stopping” content is one of those buzzwords everyone is using. But how do you create content that will stop people from scrolling?

Two women sitting in a bar and staring at mobile phones - Girls watching a video online on portable device

People recognize pictures more than they recognize a wall of text. You may provide the best description of your business possible, but if you are not utilizing photos, or using very dull photos, no one is going to recognize your brand in the future. You need to also consider the age of your target demographic. Younger people tend to scroll through their feeds quickly, whereas older individuals tend to take their time. You should use interesting graphics to capture a younger audience, and consider using quality photos to keep an older audience interested in your post.

The quality of engagement on social media is no match to other platforms. Individuals are more attentive and more positive to their experiences on mobile versus other platforms such as television. Even though smartphone screens are smaller than a flat screen TV, individuals are more focused to the content on their phones due to less distractions around them.

It’s time to revamp your social media strategy and Strathcom Media can help! Reach out to our sales team today to get started.