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3 Best Facebook Automotive Ad Campaigns that are just killing it

The automotive industry was a bit of a laggard when it came to the leveraging of digital advertising channels; today, they are heavily investing in the same. Even though this is still at its nascent stage, a report by Zenith on automotive ad spends found the total ad investment was $35.5 Billion in 2018.

Further, from 2018 to 2019, total ad spend on the internet went up from 22.9% to 25.6% respectively. There are two major reasons why the automotive industry is keen to jump on board digital advertising.

  • 90% of auto research starts with Google Search.

  • 1 out of 3 car buyers are undecided about which car they want to buy initially.

This opens up another window of opportunity for the marketers to mold the customer decision making to their benefit.

Consequently, there are a couple of challenges too that automotive marketers need to consider. The enhancements in technology and changing customer demands further is one of the challenges. Secondly, the very sentiment to buy cars is also under the microscope, and the organizations must learn to adapt.

Need some inspiration? Here are the top three Facebook ad Campaigns


Mercedes Benz


Run Time: November 2019 to January 2020

Target Region and Audience: Taiwan, 25 to 34-year old male

Performance:

The 2-month campaign yielded 2.9X higher participation from the target audience and also led to accrual of 100,000 Augmented Reality Impressions in just 11 days.


Goal:

Mercedes Benz to enhance the awareness about the brand among the younger cohort of the audience, leveraged augmented reality to attract.

Approach:

To attract the audience via online channels and bringing them to an offline car exhibit Mercedes Benz began with a few video ads about two car models. The viewers were invited to the exhibit where the attendees can get a first-hand experience of the cars via AR.


For those who were not able to attend, Mercedes used a special AR effect on the user’s phone. The phone’s front camera allowed the user to oversee the AMG A 35 running past the user with blazing fast speed.

Buyer Journey Stages Targeted:

Such a marketing approach was something that was never tried in the Taiwanese market before. It was evident that the users conversing with such an ad are self-motivated to share it with others on social media.

Mercedes retargeted the potential leads to maintain visibility and also used lookalike audiences to further tweak the campaign performance for best results.

Did they Succeed?

Yes, obtaining 100,000 AR impressions at the event in only 11 days speaks volumes about this creative approach.

Products Used:

Augmented Reality Ads, Video advertisements, Custom and Lookalike audience, ads in Facebook Stories.

INFINITI

Run Time: November 12, 2018, to January 31, 2019

Target Region and Audience: Korean citizens aged between 32-54

Performance:

With an online-only and mobile-first Facebook ads campaign, the organization increased the sales of their car (INFINITI QX60) 14.7% more than the business goal.

Goal:

Working to increase brand awareness across all the buyer stages and bring in more leads for car purchases.

Approach and Targeting Buyer Journey

INFINITI created separate targeting strategies for three buyer stages:

  • Awareness Phase: Leveraged from Facebook Ads to showcase the key features of the new car. It was all about creating an impact, and INFINITI used the Reach and Frequency method to address the target audience on a personal level.

  • Consideration Phase: By using Facebook Instant Experience, the advertisements run perfectly on every mobile device at full screen and create an immersive experience. INFINITY further connected with potential customers by taking data from Facebook Pixels and addressed them in the next stage.

  • Conversion Phase: At the end of the funnel, every advertisement had a CTA and highlighted the car's specific features. Further utilizing the data of customers who have shown interest in booking a test drive was presented with ads that had a signup form.

Did they Succeed?

Across all the buyer journeys, INFINITI saw a growth. Be it sales, lead generation, or website traffic, every aspect shows performance.

Products they Used

Ads in Photos and Video ads along with running Ad stories. Further, they also used Instant experience to better target lookalike audiences and customer audiences.

Honda

Run Time: May 2018 to May 2019

Target Region and Audience: India

Performance:

With an intricately curated Awareness and Conversion Campaign, Honda was able to double (2X) their sales from Facebook which led to a 4X decrease in their ad spend.

Goal:

Increase awareness and generate more sales with targeted ads.

Approach:

With the Indians careening towards compact sedans and eSUVs, Honda aimed to promote their two cars in this segment, Amaze and WR-V. With the motive to connect with their audience and enhance brand awareness, that will pave the way for more sales, Honda ran Dual Campaigns, Awareness, and Conversion.

Buyer Journey Stages Considered:

Honda went for the Full-Funnel Strategy and set demographic and region-based targets.


Awareness Stage: By using Reach and Frequency buying, Honda established a connection between the potential buyer and created an impact. These ads were telling a story that engaged the viewer and with automatic placements, the ads reached a vast amount of potential leads. The interested leads landed on Honda India’s landing page for more information.

Conversion Stage: By using Facebook Pixels, Honda India segregated its customers into three segments

  • Unverified leads

  • Verified leads who did not take a test drive

  • Leads who took a test drive but did not buy

To increase the conversion rates, these segregated leads were shown custom ads. One of the most exciting things that they did was narrow down the video ads according to the customer intent.

Low intent, Medium Intent, and High Intent leads were shown three different forms of ads. Low intent users were shown ads with car features.

  • Low Intent: Ads that highlighted the car features

  • Medium Intent: Ads containing customer reviews of the car

  • High Intent: Ads with offers to make them buy the car.

Lastly, the ads shown were in the regional language to help build a better association.

Did they Succeed?

Honda car ads were shown at the right time to an ideal audience and with customized content. Thus, the results were equally amazing as they were able to bring down the cost per sale and cost per lead by 18% and 45%.

Products they used:

Carousel, Photo, and Video ads that were automatically placed to interact with custom and lookalike audiences.

Ready to build your own Killer Ad Campaign?

If you are, then you must acknowledge that there is no one-stop solution for running ads. All the three brands that we talked about above understood the market, their target audience, and presented customized content for effective engagement. Thus, it is vital to hit the right chords with your customer, leverage from the appropriate Facebook tools, and right strategies.

References for Data and Statistics

  1. Zenith Report: https://www.zenithmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Automotive-adspend-forecasts-2019-executive-summary.pdf

  2. Auto Research: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/auto-digital-retail-trends/

  3. Google Search: https://www.callrail.com/blog/five-stats-automotive-customer-journey/

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