Auto dealerships must implement effective marketing campaigns across multiple channels in order to remain competitive. This includes social media. In fact, over three-quarters of automotive consumers find social media useful when deciding which vehicle to purchase.
Dealers should consider marketing on many different social media channels, but if you want to focus your efforts on one, you may want to stick with Facebook. Why? Facebook is the most frequently used touchpoint between consumers and brands throughout the car buying journey. Research also shows that consumers are more likely to learn about new vehicles on Facebook than any other social media platform.
If you want to grow your business, launching an effective Facebook ad campaign may be the solution. Most dealerships run Facebook ads featuring the exterior of a vehicle. But if you want your ads to stand out to consumers scrolling through their newsfeed, use car interior pictures instead.
The exterior of a vehicle is what creates a strong first impression on consumers, but it’s the interior that actually sells the vehicle. Follow these tips to create effective Facebook ads using car interior pictures:
USE HIGH QUALITY CAR INTERIOR PICTURES
Before you start creating a Facebook ad for your dealership, it’s important to choose the right car interior pictures to promote. These images need to be powerful enough to stop a scrolling Facebook user in their tracks. The images you choose should be high resolution and high quality, which is why it’s best to use stock photos taken by a professional photographer.
If you have a camera, you may think you can save money by taking your own photos of vehicles in your inventory. However, taking a picture of the inside of a vehicle is difficult, not to mention costly since you may need to invest in expensive photography equipment. A smartphone or tablet camera won’t produce the type of high quality picture you need for a Facebook ad.
You may also encounter issues with the lighting, background, or scale of the features shown in the picture. Taking a high quality photo that captures all of the features of the interior is also challenging.
To avoid these problems, it’s best to pull car interior pictures for your Facebook ads from an automotive stock photo library.
CHOOSE INTERACTIVE IMAGES
Some automotive dealerships assume that they can only feature still images in Facebook ad campaigns, but that’s not the case. Facebook also allows advertisers to feature panoramic and 360-degree images in their ads. If you want to stand out from other automotive advertisers, you should consider incorporating these interactive images into your campaigns.
Panoramic images of the interior of a vehicle can put your target audience in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. They can interact with the image by moving it up or down or turning it to the right or left to explore other areas of the vehicle’s interior. These interactive images are powerful enough to cut through the clutter and grab your target audience’s attention, which is why they are perfect for Facebook ads.
You won’t need to adjust your ad settings to use a panoramic image. Facebook will know it is a panoramic image based on its metadata, so it will automatically adjust your settings to ensure the image appears correctly once the ad goes live.
KEEP THE DESCRIPTION SHORT
Every Facebook ad consists of a digital asset such as a video or image along with text. The image is what will catch your target audience’s eye, but the text is what will convince them to click on the link to visit your website.
Facebook users don’t want to read through a lot of unnecessary information to figure out what your ad is about. Your copy should be simple and straightforward. Get to the point right away so your audience understands what you are trying to promote and why they should care. The more unnecessary information you include, the more likely your target audience is to lose interest in your ad.
Facebook recommends following these character limits when writing descriptions for your ads:
- Primary text: 125 characters
- Headline: 40 characters
- Description: 30 characters
You are allowed to go over these character limits. However, the characters that exceed the limits may be cut off, so they won’t be visible to Facebook users anyways. For this reason, it’s best to keep your primary text, headline, and main description within these character limits.
ADD A CALL-TO-ACTION
Every Facebook ad should end with a call-to-action, which is a statement designed to encourage users to take a specific action. The calls-to-action that are available for your ad will vary depending on the objective you choose in Facebook Ads Manager. When you select an objective, Facebook will automatically generate a list of calls-to-action that are designed to help you meet your goals.
For example, if you choose engagement as your objective, Facebook will allow you to use one of these calls-to-action:
- Learn More
- Send Message
- Get Quote
- Shop Now
- Call Now
However, if you choose traffic or lead generation as your objective, you will get to choose from additional calls-to-action, including:
- Request Time
- Book Test Drive
- Check Availability
- Get Offer
- Sign Up
- Book Now
A call-to-action tells your target audience what you want them to do next after looking at your ad, so choosing the right one for your Facebook campaign is important. Be sure to look through the different objectives in Facebook Ads Manager to see which calls-to-action are available before deciding which one to select for your campaign.
TARGET THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
Choosing the right audience is one of the most important parts of creating an effective automotive Facebook ad.
You have several options when it comes to choosing a target audience for your Facebook ads. The first option is targeting a specific audience by setting certain parameters. For example, you may want to target a certain demographic located within 20 miles of your dealership.
You can also select the Custom Audience option to target groups of your existing customers. This option requires you to upload your customer lists, website data, or Facebook data to locate and target your existing customers on Facebook.
The third option is creating a lookalike audience, which is an audience that is likely to be interested in your business. To build a lookalike audience, Facebook will ask you to upload customer lists or other data related to your existing customers. Facebook will analyze this information and use it to identify users who are similar to your existing customers. Because they are similar to your existing customers, they may be more likely to show interest in your business.
Don’t be afraid to test all three targeting options. Then, see which ad was the most effective.
TURN ON AUTOMOTIVE MODEL ADS
Explore all of your options when deciding which type of Facebook ad to run with your car interior pictures. One of the most popular options for dealers is the automotive model ad, or AMA.
An AMA is a type of Facebook ad that retargets consumers who have previously visited your automotive website.
How does it work? Say you decide to run an AMA campaign on Facebook to retarget consumers who browse your website and use your online tool to explore different vehicle options.
Then, a consumer visits your website and uses this online tool. They select different interior and exterior colors, trim levels, and other features to create a custom vehicle. The next time this consumer visits Facebook, they may see your AMA in their newsfeed. The AMA will feature an image of the customized vehicle they created on your website.
The vehicle shown in the ad will include all of the features the consumer selected when building their custom vehicle on your website. In other words, it will remind them of the vehicle they left behind and encourage them to come back to your website to see it again.
Dealerships have seen a lot of success with these Facebook ads, which is why you should consider incorporating them into your campaign.
FOLLOW FACEBOOK’S ADVERTISING GUIDELINES
It’s crucial that you follow Facebook’s advertising guidelines when creating ads for your dealership. This includes choosing digital assets with the right aspect ratio, resolution, and file type. Keep in mind that the recommended aspect ratio and resolution may vary depending on whether you are placing the ad on Facebook or Instagram.
Facebook also recommends looking at a preview of your ad before launching it. This way, you can check for typos and confirm that the featured image loads correctly before the ad goes live.
Following these guidelines can ensure you create the best ad possible, which may increase the effectiveness of your campaign.
In some cases, failing to follow the guidelines could result in consequences, including temporary or permanent restrictions on your Facebook ad account.
For example, the 20% rule is one of the most important Facebook advertising guidelines. This rule states that no more than 20% of the image or video thumbnail you use for your Facebook ad can be covered by text. If more than 20% of the asset is covered by text, Facebook may not allow the ad to run.
Keep this information handy the next time you open Facebook Ads Manager so you can create an effective campaign for your dealership using high quality car interior pictures.