In September 2020, Facebook launched On-Facebook Destination Automotive Inventory Ads (AIA). This new ad type allows users to stay within the Facebook platform for their shopping experience. When a shopper clicks on an automotive dealer’s ad, they’ll land on a dynamic VDP on Facebook that’s created using information from the dealer’s inventory feed.
The importance of adopting this new ad format remains a mystery to some. Today, we’re going to demystify this industry update and share some of the data these dealership social media ads have produced during beta testing.
On-Facebook Destination Automotive Inventory Ads, Explained
Why is this ad format update so important?
You may be wondering: Why did Facebook make such a drastic strategy and shopping-experience shift? The answer: privacy.
Because of greater privacy restrictions around tracking user activity via cookies, marketers may soon find it difficult to reach audiences with ads most stimulating to their shopping needs. But when you keep a user on the Facebook platform, you don’t have to rely on cookie tracking — that all takes place behind the scenes on Facebook’s pixel. Investing in the latest On-Facebook technologies is the best way to stay ahead of the curve as we come closer to a cookie-less online experience.
If you’re looking for a good resource for keeping track of Facebook-related updates, Hootsuite publishes updates monthly to their blog.
Do On-Facebook VDPs have all the up-to-date vehicle information like my website’s VDPs would?
It’s a valid concern that the Facebook VDP would not be as robust as the information on your website. However, the connection with your inventory feed allows for seamless dissemination of vehicle information, so the Facebook VDP is just as knowledge-rich as your site. Plus, these VDPs load in approximately half a second, making the entire experience completely frictionless.
Within the On-Facebook VDP, a user sees specific information detailing that vehicle’s features, the dealership’s vehicle description, multiple layers of pricing information, mileage information (if applicable), and more.
Several conversion opportunities are also available. Within the ad, a user can:
- Message the dealer about a vehicle, which will seamlessly connect the user to the BDC.
- Click to call the dealership.
- Save the vehicle so a user can come back and learn more or see if the price has changed.
- Get directions to the dealership.
- Share the vehicle with another person(s).
Are these ads specific to new cars only or can you also do used cars?
You can focus on both new and used vehicles! Since all On-Facebook AIA are operating from a single campaign, we use campaign budget optimizations to intelligently spend each media dollar based on propensity and volume between new and used, making it a smart and fluid campaign.
What are the ad performance improvements?
Even being a different ad format, the KPIs for On-Facebook AIA ads are the same as before — primarily tracking VDP Views, cost per VDP view, and CPM.
While there are not currently any published industry averages for this ad type, Reunion has established initial benchmarks and performance deltas when comparing this to the previous AIA setup that are really quite impressive.
- Average Cost Per VDP View: $0.44
- Average % Change in Cost Per VDP View: -21%
- Average CPM: $2.57
- Average % change in CPM: -75.6%
- Average CPC: $0.12
These results are aggregate recordings, where 80% of a dealer’s social budget went to supporting Destination AIAs.
Do retargeting ads still work?
Yes! Facebook has a native pixel built within its platform so we can track and retarget users off of On-Facebook AIA campaigns effectively. Retargeting is one of the most cost-effective ways to re-engage and reactivate users. The backend work to enable this tactic has simply adapted to circumvent privacy restrictions. Although, retargeting audiences will likely not be as large as the standard of the past.
What changes in reporting should I expect?
Since On-Facebook Destination AIAs keep in-market shoppers on Facebook instead of going to dealer sites, dealers will not see much activity on Google Analytics for sponsored social ads.
Facebook has reporting that will allow us to know how effective our AIA ads are. While you will see a decrease in GA traffic we will be reporting on the following conversion AIA metrics:
- FB VDP Views
- Cost Per VDP
- AIA Chat Leads
- AIA Phone Calls
- AIA Direction Requests
There’s still much to be learned and tested when it comes to On-Facebook Destination AIAs, but the main takeaway should be this — quick adoption of these ads are resulting in lower costs, with high returns. They also signal greater protection from data blind-spots as platforms and providers continue to abandon the use of third-party cookies. It’s also prudent that your marketing team or digital agency is keeping you informed of vitally important privacy updates that will affect your digital successes.
Ready to launch your dealership’s On-Facebook Destination AIAs and start eliminating friction? Reach out to our sales team today to get your campaign launched!