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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Nenni

Measuring Success on Paid Facebook Advertising

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

Many dealers may have seen the recent Automotive News article on Facebook’s new “Automotive Playbook for Dealers.” We have reviewed this playbook, and have come away very impressed with the way Facebook outlines the broad advertising categories that work well on their platform. Whether it be “why buy” campaigns, specific product catalog ads, or promoting events, Facebook can be a very cost-effective tool for a dealership’s digital marketing efforts. It has been said that Facebook ads are priced where Google paid search was priced 15 years ago. For a dealership that is running well-designed and well-targeted ads, they should expect to see costs per click under $1 (or even under 50 cents) and a costs per hard-conversion of as low as $25.

The challenge that typically exists, and that Facebook’s new playbook does not properly address, is linking Facebook stats with Google Analytics stats to more accurately measure the quality of these paid campaigns. The Facebook playbook simply says to use pixel tracking to track website conversions, but that is such a small amount of data to measure. What I mean is that we know 90% of website shoppers will not submit a hard conversion (lead, chat, text, click to call, etc.). Therefore, if we only measure conversions, we will fail to identify campaigns that didn’t generate leads but did generate strong shopping traffic. In addition, tracking conversions using Facebook’s pixel leaves off chat, text, trade-in tools, and other conversion methods not supported through FB’s pixel.

The best approach, we feel, is to combine Facebook campaign metrics with the downstream traffic metrics in Google Analytics. We use a simple Google spreadsheet that can accomplish this. First, the dealership must make sure they are UTM-tagging all of the URLs used in the Facebook campaigns. This tagging should include the campaign name and make sure it is the same campaign name that was used in Facebook. This allows you to easily match the Facebook campaign stats with the performance stats in Google Analytics. Then, by looking at the amount you are spending on each campaign, you can calculate important metrics such as: cost per shopper, cost per email lead, cost per trade in tool inquiry, as well as traffic quality and engagement metrics.

If you are an automotive retailer, let us help you find and eliminate the wasted spending in your digital marketing investments. We can help you greatly improve your return on ad spend and gain more transparency with your digital marketing investments.

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