When it comes to social media advertising, Facebook reigns supreme with Instagram a close second. These are ideal platforms on which to raise brand awareness, bring customers down funnel and generate leads.
For dealers, a presence on Facebook and Instagram is essential, because quite simply, this is where your customers are spending their time. Check out these usage stats for different age groups.
As you can see, having a dual presence on Facebook and Instagram provides you with a broad reach to social media users in every age range.
I have heard from dealers who have tried advertising on these platforms with varied results. Some see the ROI but many don't. If you haven't seen the ROI you have hoped for, make sure your marketing vendor's strategy incorporates these five keys necessary to creating successful social ads campaigns.
1) Focus on your business objective
Before you start any campaign, decide what your objective is. Do you want to build awareness of your brand, generate more leads or complement your other marketing objectives by increasing reach? Don't expect to accomplish all of these with one ad campaign.
If your marketing vendor is still using social metrics such as likes, shares and comments to justify your marketing spend, beware. It's fine to keep track of those but your goal is not to have 1,000 fans. Your business objective builds a frame for the rest of the ad campaign.
2) Plan with target audience in mind
Facebook and Instagram users are real people, not proxies or bots. Because of this, these platforms offer very precise targeting with an accuracy of 85%. You can choose from many different parameters including demographics, interests, lifestyle, life stage, psychographic and geographic.
Perhaps best of all, you can upload your customer database and Facebook and Instagram will match those customers with users on their platform. This allows you to serve personalized ads and videos that greatly expand reach and frequency.
Once you are getting good results with your target audience, Facebook and Instagram can create lookalike audiences to discover potential new customers in your geographic area.
3) Ensure media best practices align with your objectives
Depending on what your objective is, your social ad campaigns are designed as high funnel (awareness), mid funnel (consideration) or low funnel (conversions).
If you're running a low funnel campaign, the amount you're willing to bid for a conversion will be higher than what you want to bid for high funnel campaigns. Know what a conversion is worth to you, or let Facebook/Instagram decide the best bid for you.
Select an optimization goal that meets your business objective. Use Facebook Pixel codes on your website to track activity and actions. This allows you to track user behavior on your website and also to tie specific activities, such as scheduling a service appointment or submitting a lead, back to a social ad campaign.
4) Think about creative for a mobile world
The majority of Facebook and Instagram impressions are delivered on mobile screens. Your goal is to develop creative that will stop people as they scroll through their news feeds.
Create ads with simple, stunning and clean images. Keep text to a minimum and ensure that text size is optimized for mobile so you can read it on a small screen. Design ads for sound off.
5) Measure effectiveness
Before you launch a campaign, define the KPIs you will use to measure your objectives. If your goal is consideration, your KPI might be website visitors. If your goal is conversion, it might be leads. If your goal is to increase service revenue, your KPI might be the number of service appointments scheduled online, or monthly ROs.
Note your baseline KPIs before the campaign starts, then again after it ends. Was there an increase? An effective social ad campaign should have a pretty immediate impact in just 30-60 days.
If your campaign didn't move the needle on your KPI, don't give up. Re-evaluate.
Start with your audience. Are you reaching the right audience? If you're using your own first-party customer data, it's hard to go wrong.
If your audience is good, look at reach and frequency. You want to ensure a 50 to 70 percent reach of your target audience at all times. As far as frequency, it typically takes four to seven impressions to drive a customer to take action.
Finally, look at resonance. Is your message relevant? Don't create an ad for an oil change and serve it to customers who have recently been in for an oil change.
Does the creative appeal to them? One strategy to increase resonance is to segment your target audience by their expressed interests and create different ads for each segment. For example, if a portion of your audience is interested in technology, create an ad with a technology focus. For nature lovers, include stunning visuals of the outdoors.
Social advertising can be an incredibly effective complement to your marketing strategy. But there's a lot more involved than just coming up with a cool ad campaign. Facebook and Instagram give you the tools for success; all you have to do is find a marketing partner that knows how to properly leverage them.