What platforms do you serve video and inventory ads on, where will I see these ads?
Our full-funnel strategy is currently best deployed on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. We also create and provide OTT content to each dealer fresh each month to align with factory offers from the OEM. We have explored solutions on Tik Tok and Snapchat, but those platforms don’t currently offer the results and ROI (or audience) that most of our dealers expect. We monitor those platforms and all new ones for opportunities going forward.
Because of their range of dynamic tools, reporting features, website pixel opportunities, and massive platform audience size we focus primarily on using Facebook and Instagram to drive results for our dealers. All of our video content is optimized and designed for specific placements on the platforms we advertise on, which is a key to our success on these platforms and means you will see our/your ads everywhere you go when you use your phone, often multiple times per day!
Do these ads create leads that come to my CRM?
Facebook and Instagram ads are able to create any result our dealers prefer! When a lead outcome is chosen by our dealers that lead is generated on Facebook pulling that prospect’s most accurate email, cellphone, and accurate name. That lead is then sent to the dealer’s actual CRM, often as a VIN-Specific lead with information about which ad produced the lead to inform our dealer’s BDC about the best way to respond to that lead!
Do these ads create FB Messenger conversations for my staff or chatbot?
Facebook and Instagram ads are able to create any result our dealers prefer! Many of our dealers have chosen FB Messenger conversations as the conversion option they prefer. There are some easily customizable auto-responses to make sure no first touches are left on unread to but it is best practice to always have one of your staff members or your chat provider on the same page with us to ensure that each campaign is getting the correct response and everyone involved knows how to handle each message/lead.
Do I need to cancel my other ad agencies in order to use this program?
No. In fact, if you have vendors you currently work with that deliver good results for your store you should totally retain them while adding our program into the mix. For most dealers, the agencies they use now only drive a customer as far as a VDP view before moving on to find the next new prospect Our program is focused primarily on picking up where these other agencies drop off and keeping those expensive prospects you have on your website engaged after they leave your site.
However, Facebook and Instagram ads are served based on an auction system so to avoid bidding against yourself we DO recommend only running our remarketing strategy within the program to maximize ad performance (and delivery costs) but we can run our outbound ads to “cold audiences” alongside other vendors (and often do) and still deliver awesome results for our dealers.
Will I own my market with this program, excluding my competitors from using it?
A cornerstone of our commitment to you is Market Exclusivity. We work hard to provide our smaller client base with a premium boutique product and experience that delivers a truly unique advantage within their market and we wholeheartedly believe that success comes from treating any of our partners like it were our own family dealership. This includes allowing our partners to name their competition within their market to ensure we don’t work with their actual competition and are always aligned in our goals/interests.
What is the difference between Outbound and Remarketing Ads?
We use these terms to separate prospecting ads from ads that retarget your existing traffic. The industry-low average CPC and VDP view metrics that we proudly carry are only possible by deploying a video-funnel strategy that includes the right mix of ads displayed to “cold audiences” and remarketing those prospects after sorting them into “warm” and “HOT” audiences that each feature different content and bidding strategies.
The Outbound portion of the funnel strategy generates first-party audiences that YOU own via soft conversions such as video watches and engagement with the inventory displayed within our ads. The term “Remarketing” refers to ads that stay in front of these potential customers with a refreshing variety of content from our dynamic inventory tools, and user-generated video ad content from your staff, generated through our hands-on training, scripts, and examples.
My current remarketing is not very good, how can this program help me in that area?
Our dynamic inventory tool will make sure to not only place the exact models, body styles, and specific VINS your prospects are interested in back in front of them on social media, but do so in a way that is always unique, clever, and engaging so they never see the same ad twice! Our client/partners accounts feature literally dozens of copy varieties, (including dynamic copy) so that each ad they see about the vehicles they are interested in features a unique sales “gimmick” and an extensive variety of tested copy to ensure we are placing the most effective content in front of your prospects.
We also feature YOUR STAFF in our video ads with our unique approach to training and content generation. Think your staff won’t/can’t do it?? No worries! With our training, examples, scripts, and guidance they can, and will! We guarantee that we can get your staff involved and more comfortable making video content for your dealership (and for new leads as well!). We pair this content with the exact interests of your prospects so no matter which vehicles they are interested in we have the right content available to present your dealership and staff as the authority and “go-to” people for those products! It works!
How do you avoid the Special Ad Category restrictions on Facebook and Instagram?
It’s your dealership, your customers, and your data. Special Ad Category restrictions only apply when trying to advertise to “cold prospects” that have never engaged with your brand before. Most dealerships already spend a ridiculous amount of money generating unique audiences for their products each month which we use to inform our outbound ad audiences and to generate 1st party remarketing audiences that are not subject to the “Special Ad Category” rules.
We leverage cost-effective top-of-funnel techniques to create your own first-party audiences with our Monthly Model Special Video Ads that we generate for your dealership and then provide the most diverse follow-up strategy on the market. We also leverage CRM lists from your dealership to solve some of your more personalized requests and unique audience requirements. The only dealerships/agencies that are severely limited by these Special Ad Category limits are the ones not fully using the Facebook platform to properly build out a real ECommerce Funnel Strategy and are just “blasting” your ad budget at cold audiences without proper follow-up after the “1st click”.
How long does “setup” take to get this program running and fully operational?
There is a process that needs to occur before we can run ads on Facebook using our platform that generally includes three things: (onboarding call with the dealer, sharing of pixel to your website provider, and granting advertiser access to our business manager from your company FB Page)
After a new partner signs up with us, we usually will have sent an email on the same day including the pixel to be forwarded on, and looking to schedule the onboarding call to go over account details and options. After that occurs, the only delays to running ads for your dealership will come from your web provider installing our pixel and someone from your team approving our FB requests! This usually takes about a week to be fully operational, however, our best time is under 24 hours from start to finish!
What steps are involved in getting my dealership set up to run ads on Facebook?
Running an ad (or all our dynamic ads) just takes a Facebook Pixel being placed on your website, Page Approval to advertise on behalf of your FB page, and a quick onboarding call to go over our many ad options and strategy, which is customized to every partner we work with to make sure we are achieving their unique and often specific goals based on their market, team, inventory, and future benchmarks!
Is this program co-op approved, or reimbursable with my OEM?
We structured as many campaigns as possible around maximizing most co-op approval processes and about 75% of the ads we run are co-op approvable. Some of the ads we run are so specific, dynamic, focused on pre-owned, service, or focused on your individual staff and processes that they often do not qualify for co-op (depending on your OEM).
The vast majority of the campaigns we deploy for dealers ARE reimbursable and are designed around unique coop guidelines to ensure that they are reimbursable for our dealers. For some OEMs (like VW) we even submit our ads to coop on behalf of our dealers to ensure they have nothing else to do but empower us to run the ads, and tell us the budget to use!
Will you submit our co-op funds for reimbursement or does my staff do that?
Yes! (For some OEMs) We received so many requests to help navigate this process and advise on how to get this done that we now submit pre-approval for our OEM model-specific videos and submit claims for your social media spends on new car advertising (and our management fees in most cases). If we do not submit (currently) for your OEM we will tailor our content to ensure it is “co-opable” for your dealership staff to submit and get approved.
Can I conquest and/or target specific competitors or markets with this program?
YES! Our program is designed for this specific purpose giving our partners full control over the cities, markets, and even ZIP codes they advertise to. We also tailor our ads specifically based on WHICH areas we are running them into and are able to adjust our messaging to directly compete with other dealers, or address certain ZIP codes with different offers and/or messages.
When you sign up with us (if your market is available) we offer exclusivity that allows you to name the competitors you want to protect us from working with and allows you to develop strategies with us for each one to directly conquest their market, or target their current market share. You can also use this program to conquest other makes and models you want to steal market share from!
Can I control the area or zip codes, and cities we advertise in on this program?
We used to recommend sending in a list of top zip codes for the most recent year of sales, however, Facebook is currently equipped to handle bulk imports of Regions/States, DMAs, Cities, Addresses or (our favorite) Geo-Targeting circles to control where your ads appear. Once we segment your ads and run them into specific markets, we can also tailor the messages of the campaigns that use those audiences so you can run different offers or messages into a market based on what messaging would convert best in that region, or population of prospects.
How will my staff send you videos they have created to be used as Facebook/Instagram ads?
We typically will group you and your team together into a Facebook Messenger group to provide more accountability, an atmosphere of competition, and some fun times to help them stay motivated while they get more comfortable with generating video content. This platform allows us to QUICKLY and easily send video examples, scripts, and coach in near-real-time the content your staff generates.
This also allows your entire team to be “pulled in” to the action witnessing the coaching, training, and results their peers are achieving even if they are less engaged themselves. When your staff creates new content they are one button press away from sending us this content using Facebook Messenger, where it will then be paired to a tailored audience and running as an ad by the end of that same day!
How much do I need to spend in ad budget on this program?
This will mostly depend on the size of your inventory and the general population of your city and surrounding areas. The largest factor is the size of your goals as a dealership and how much traction you want to divert to social advertising. A typical starting recommended ad spend is around ~$2500. We have partners who spend $1200 and others who spend $10k+ just based on their unique goals and how they spend the rest of their advertising budget.
We recommend to our partners that they start “small” and let the results month over month guide their budget decisions as we compare our results with the results our partners expect from their other advertising vendors. Other partners start LARGE, and we do actually see more efficient performance in the account per each dollar spent the more budget that we run for a dealer. This is because of our “funnel-building” approach, where the more money we spend at the “top of the funnel” the more efficient our ads run at the bottom of the funnel in converting that first-party audience we have generated.
Are there any hidden costs associated with this program?
None! We charge a management fee for our services and unlimited access to pick our brains, use our videos, scripts, examples, and access our training and consulting. We NEVER mark up your ad spend, or even handle it instead putting your CC directly into the Facebook Business Manager and sending you the dated receipts at the end of each month. If you pay any fees to advertise currently our program WILL save you money!
We also never charge to consult and develop new campaign ideas for you, and there is virtually no limit to our ability to work together to layer new details into your account build. The only way you would ever see more than the management fee on an invoice is if we also cover your ad spend on a company card and bill you at month end with no additional mark-up ($1 spent = $1 dollar billed with full receipts from Facebook along with reporting and results!)
I have heard this program can help change the culture of my dealership, how does it do that?
We use a time-tested strategy – “peer pressure”… Many dealers are “old school” and want to just tell the staff what needs doing and modern (millennial) employees really don’t respond well to that. We focus on getting in the mud with your staff (via Messenger, and with our tested training content) and SHOWING them what needs to be done, how to do it, and most importantly WHY to do it. Proving to them that it will earn them more money (not just make management happy) is the key!
We use previous examples, scripts, and real-time personalized coaching to engage your staff and get them over the hump of creating their first videos and everything is downhill from there!! We also share a lot of success stories from their peers and create a community of successful salespeople around them to really prove to your staff that they would be crazy (or lazy) not to take advantage of the opportunity to share in a piece of your ad spend and make sure that part of your budget is also focused on THEM and helping them grow their own business and paycheck.
Is there a required commitment length to partner with your agency?
We do ask our dealers for a commitment to begin our partnership. While some vendors offer contracts that require no commitment, those same vendors often offer the dealer very little commitment in return! We focus on building real partnerships with every client that include a very detailed and nuanced business account buildout so our dealers can perform optimally from day one.
The opportunity within paid digital ads is MUCH bigger than most agencies, and dealers realize and require a much larger effort than they currently apply. There are processes inside the store that need to be aligned, training of staff, creation of pixels, audiences, and video content in order to run this account optimally and get it ready to scale month over month. We offer our clients market exclusivity and our FULL commitment to help them grow their perspective on what is possible with their current ad spend.
How often are my ads, and ad copy cycled out or changed?
A benefit to our program being deployed by dozens of dealers in different markets is that all A/B testing winners are expressed seamlessly from month to month on all short campaigns across multiple clients. This means that the copy your dealership is using, the strategy, the audiences, are all already tested and proven within our shortlist of Beta accounts that try our new ideas first.
Short campaigns like monthly video specials are fresh each month with at least three variations per model. For remarketing efforts, we include a standard of at least two variations per ad that ensures no person ever sees the same ad twice for as long as they are in our funnel and the best ads are always being shuffled to the front while we test newer variations. We rotate evergreen campaigns quarterly or twice a year in some cases. Think of it like “AI” constantly improving your ads but really just the “I” part – because we are definitely not robots!
My store has recognizable jingles, logos, slogans, etc… will your videos use these things?
Yes! Everything in our program is customized, and customizable to your unique store, assets, market, and staff. We made places within ALL our templates just for this type of customization to occur based on your existing media and brand marks and encourage our dealers to send us any assets they have so we can pick through them and further customize their series without more input needed from them! Anything you see in our program that you would like to customize, modify, or change can be done!
Return On Investment
Why do I keep hearing that advertising using video is so valuable/important on Social Media?
Video is incentivized on social platforms by the platform creators because in general, it is the most engaging medium for any content. These incentives come in the form of cheaper impressions costs (how many times an is placed into an available ad slot) which is the most common way for companies like Facebook to operate.
The other reason that video is key on a platform like Facebook has nothing to do with placement costs, but rather the ability to meter anyone watching a video ad on Facebook to determine their level of interest in the product. If your current agency only deploys images, the only way to monitor engagement on that ad is thru clicks alone… with video ads, each impression is a branding opportunity that also allows us to generate 1st party audience based on how much of our video they consumed and create lists of “warm” audience that we can follow up with later to engage their interests in our products or offers.
How does Social Ad spend compare in terms of cost with other options like SEM, SEO?
The biggest difference between our advertising approach, the SEO or SEM is that we focus on catching people BEFORE they enter the market and start searching for vehicles with search engines, and by design, we focus heavily on retaining customers AFTER they leave a dealer’s website.
Waiting for a customer to decide they want to buy a newer car means you have to compete with every option in the market and pay for their attention at the most expensive part of their shopping journey while all your competition is doing the same. Focusing on this customer’s attention before, during, and after they are actively shopping provides a MUCH lower cost per impression to get your message across to customers and gauge trackable interest.
How do you justify results with this program/ What are your KPIs for a program like this?
Definitely not “match-backs” until the attribution situation gets a little better, many agencies have put entirely too much weight on the quality of “match-backs” because it makes them look better than they should. Simply showing an ad to someone that buys a car does not entirely mean that the ad influenced that purchase. We have a close watch on the Positional Attribution windows within Facebook Analytics.
We work with each dealer to help them define what success would look like in their store. For some that is lead cost, lead size, lead quality… while for others this is VDP views, FB messages, or just customer sentiment! (Your customers WILL MENTION seeing these ads we run to them once we get your staff involved!) We don’t feel like we are succeeding unless we are solving your unique problems, the campaigns can be optimized for many key metrics so aligning the ads to achieve the goals that our partners have in mind is key to success in the platform and success for our partners. Most partners ask us for leads, VDP views, or messages but ALL are more than happy to get their staff involved in ad creation and see customers having fun engaging with the ads/videos!
How is money better invested on social media, than it has been for us with traditional media?
Traditional Media is comfortable, but only because dealers are used to it. Traditional media doesn’t allow you to control where your ad is served to, who your ad is served to, when your ad is served, and it doesn’t allow you to re-engage the prospects that responded favorably to your ad. It also doesn’t allow you to feature your LIVE inventory as part of that ad, or see results about the performance of that ad in real-time (or at all in some cases).
The honest fact is, traditional media doesn’t offer a single feature or advantage over digital advertising and is losing market share day over day as more dealers and agencies wake up to these advantages and how to deploy them for marketing budgets. Digital marketing allows you FULL control over each dollar spent and offers you the ability to feature your inventory right within the ad and have full control over when and how your ad is served. Our clients are often running dozens of campaigns and ad types some with budgets as small as $100 at a time. Investing your ad budget in such an intentional way allows you the ability to constantly make slight adjustments to your approach and strategy that always deliver marginally better results each month, rather than just “shotgunning” $10k into a Cable TV sports package or blasting an ad for one model onto the radio waves that play to prospects hours away from your dealership!