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!

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!

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!

Facebook for Auto Dealers: Meh, Myth or Legend?

We’re all familiar with Facebook and that 18 million of us Canadians visit the site daily, but what’s in it for the dealership? As a dealership, can you utilize Facebook and all of its data for more than likes and shares?

Some dealers have remained skeptical and think successful advertising on Facebook is a myth. However, after reading the data in Facebook’s latest study, that myth is busted. Young woman using cell phone to send text message on social network at night.

Facebook has finally published their very own independent study based on Canadian Automotive shoppers. Surveying 1,500 Canadians between the ages of 18 – 64 who specifically planned on buying or leasing a vehicle in the next year, garnered some interesting results.

Key TakeAways for the Dealership:

  • “Nearly half (47%) of Canadian auto shoppers surveyed said they use Facebook to get information about vehicles and 29% said they use Instagram to do so.”
  • “74% of Canadian auto shoppers surveyed use a mobile device to do their research.”
  • “33% of Canadian auto shoppers surveyed said say it’s too difficult to find the information they need when researching a vehicle.”

A few great reminders:

"Canadian auto shoppers want control and easy access to information" according the the latest Facebook study

As shoppers get closer to the end of their buying journey, they start to whittle down the number of devices they do their shopping on to strictly mobile. Insights from this survey suggest this shift is due to the increased need for immediate, on-the-go answers.

Put it Into Action:

  • Shoppers prefer online shopping for the convenience but are insecure about their expertise and ability during the car buying process. Assuage their worries and streamline the process by engaging on Facebook and Instagram with how-to content across all stages of the purchase process and all departments of the dealership.
  • Assure shoppers that they are making the right choice by promoting your current reviews and happy customers, citing 3rd party reviews and promoting no commitment or low pressure programs
  • Use the vast amount of customer data available on Facebook to create custom content targeted to their specific needs. For example, create content around how to get financing, how the student purchase program works, and which vehicles are best as your ‘first vehicle’ targeted to students at your local University and Community College.
  • Be where your customers are and your competitors are not. It’s more cost effective to run a Facebook advertising campaign right now because you have less dealership competition, so take that early adapter advantage and run with it!

Now that Facebook has proven they’re a legend, ask us how we can make you into one and we’ll give you $500 to get started on generating more leads.

Read the full survey here.

Facebook Auto Summit

Facebook Auto Summit

Mobile Moves Metal

We may be heading into the second quarter of 2017, but we are still talking about how this is the year of mobile. On March 22, 2017, we were fortunate enough to attend Facebook’s first ever Auto Summit in Toronto where mobile was definitely at the top of all conversations.

The year of mobile has been going on since 2014, but it is still relevant as consumers’ buying habits continue to evolve. I remember a time when I wouldn’t dare to shop online, out of the fear that whatever I ordered wouldn’t be as good in actuality as it seemed on the website. Now, looking at this past Christmas season, I did 95% of my shopping online from my phone, and had it delivered straight to my desk. Talk about convenience!

Looking at the Canadian automotive industry specifically, the most recent survey done found that 74% of shoppers used a mobile device during some point of their purchasing journey. This just goes to prove that ‘the year of mobile’ is still a reality, and one that you as a car dealer need to take seriously if you want to win the online-sales game. And I’m not just talking about having a mobile-friendly and responsive website design – that should be a no-brainer at this point – I’m talking about being present throughout the entire online-buying journey and providing optimized ads and content that relates to your potential customers.

Evolving the mobile-first game is something Facebook continues to excel at. They have developed a number of ad formats for greater impact throughout the purchase journey, with new releases coming soon, all of which have been completely optimized for mobile. As Instagram continues to grow, a lot of these ad formats are moving over to this platform as well, including the ability to have ads in Instagram stories and having carousel and lead ads right in the Instagram feed.

Facebook Auto Summit

If Facebook and Instagram are the new digital newspapers and our thumb is the new remote control, how are you going to stand out and capture someone’s interest when they are essentially seeing a new screen every three seconds? This is where Facebook’s Creative Team’s mantra comes into play: design for mobile, build for people, and play more. Optimizing your content for Facebook is essential. This can be as simple as resizing an image to the appropriate ratio, or as complex as creating a new video asset to highlight your why-buys at the beginning as opposed to the end of the clip. When creating assets for Facebook, you need to think of them as people, not users. People have individual interests and needs that can be capitalized on. This is where you can start to have fun with your ads. Something that appeals to Mary, who is 38 with two kids and likes yoga, may not necessarily gain the attention of Thomas, who is 25 and likes to spend his weekends driving to the mountains; so don’t try to blanket them with the exact same message.

The main takeaway is that you can’t just be semi-present by only putting one foot in to test the waters. You need to think outside the box, put your money where your mouth is, create thumb-stopping creative, and measure your success. With over 18 million daily active users across Canada on Facebook, and one in every four minutes on mobile being spent on Facebook and Instagram, there is so much potential to differentiate yourself from the competition on these still underutilized advertising platforms. At the end of the day, don’t get stuck in social jail thinking that Facebook and Instagram are just about generating likes and shares. These platforms are here to help you generate leads! If you’re not sure where to start, give the Strathcom Media team a call.

Our Visit with our Friends from Facebook

met with Facebook to discuss the benefits of Facebook advertising

On Wednesday we were visited by our friends Brian and Nim from Facebook. We discussed the many reasons that dealers should be advertising on Facebook, and how we can improve our current Facebook campaigns. Here are some of the key takeaways from their visit:

  • Recent Facebook data shows that the number of Canadians that are on Facebook daily has increased from 17 million to 18 million.
  • Facebook is the most affordable advertising platform for dealers.
  • When we asked how they describe the value of Facebook in online marketing, they gave this example: if you think of your smartphone as today’s television, Facebook is today’s NBC or Fox.
  • If you are currently advertising on Google, studies show that advertising on Facebook can improve your performance on Google Search. How? When someone searches for a product on Google, they are likely in the final stages of the sales journey. By advertising on Facebook to those that are in the earlier stages, it increases the chance that they will eventually convert on your Search ad because they will already be familiarized with your brand. Essentially, if we think about the traditional sales funnel model, Facebook helps drive potential customers down the funnel to your Search ads, and then to your dealership.

If you are running your Facebook ads in-house, here are some things that you should consider:

  • Maintaining and optimizing Facebook campaigns is an important, and time consuming process. If it is someone at the dealership that is maintaining your Facebook ads while also taking care of other things at the dealership, they may not be spending as much time making the adjustments and optimizations that an online advertising expert would.
  • It is also important to consider that a management fee from an agency would be much less than someone’s salary.

If you would like to get started on Facebook, get in touch with us today and $500 towards your next lead-generating campaign!

Every Generation is the Facebook Generation

phone screen with social media applications of Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Periscope while a male finger is about to touch on Facebook app.

Facebook. What started out in a college dorm room has since grown into one of the largest advertising platforms available. Yet, there are many companies that still do not realize the potential Facebook has to offer their business.

One common objection we hear about Facebook advertising is “I’m not on Facebook, and my customers aren’t on Facebook”, or “people my age and older aren’t on Facebook”. Although this sounds like a reasonable objection, the data simply does not back it up.

There are 22 million Canadians on Facebook, and 17 million of them are on Facebook every day. The population of Canada is about 35 million people, meaning that about 63% of Canadians are on Facebook, and almost 50% are on Facebook every day. When one considers that 1 in 2 Canadians are on Facebook, suddenly the “people my age aren’t on Facebook” argument seems unlikely.

Also, a recent study by Sprout Social looked at which social platforms each generation – Millennials (ages 18-34), Gen Xers (ages 34-54) and Baby Boomers (ages 55+) – engage with the most. They surveyed 1,000 people from each demographic and the results showed that, actually, every generation is the Facebook generation.

43.6% of those surveyed chose Facebook as their social network of choice. 64.7% of Gen Xers chose it and 65.2% of Baby Boomers chose it. That’s right, out of all three generations, the highest percentage came from those aged 55+. 65.2% of Baby Boomers chose Facebook as their social media platform of choice

Another interesting discovery in this study is which generations are most likely to follow a brand on social media. They found that 48.6% of Millennials currently follow brands, and 48.8% of Gen Xers currently follow brands.  That means almost half of people aged 35-54 have opted-in to following brands on social media. Is your brand available to them?

But what about Generation Z? Even though Sprout did not survey anyone from this generation, there are a plethora of articles out there trying to figure this generation out. Many suggest that SnapChat is going to be that generation’s Facebook, but according to an article by Contently:

“67 percent of older Gen Zers regularly use Facebook, while 50 percent name the Facebook-owned Instagram—only one percentage point behind Snapchat. Facebook was also named by 26 percent of respondents as the social network they use ‘constantly,’ compared with 23 percent for Snapchat. Nearly half of respondents said they log onto Facebook multiple times a day”.

One of the most basic lessons in advertising is to be where your customers are and where your competition isn’t. It’s been proven that your customers are, in fact, on Facebook; but right now, a lot of your competition is not advertising there. Give us a call today to get started and get $500 in bonus spend to put towards your next lead-generating campaign.