MM Podcast Episode 006: Facebook Advertising For Auto Dealers With Daryl Mander (transcript)

This is a transcript of MM Podcast Episode 006: Facebook Advertising For Auto Dealers With Daryl Mander.

Ashley: Welcome to episode six of the Motorcar Marketing Podcast. This episode’s main segment I’m going to be interviewing Daryl Mander. Daryl is an expert of Facebook Ads. He’s got a wealth of information and tip for car dealers and how they can use Facebook to grow their business, so stay tuned for that. If you find this episode valuable please help us out by giving us a review in iTunes or leaving a comment on You Tube or retweeting the podcasts on Twitter or liking it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word and the word about the podcast so it’s very much appreciated.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to send us an email at . I want to improve this podcast so some honest constructive feedback is very much appreciated. A couple of quick notes, any website or links that I mentioned in the podcast can be found in the blog in the show notes. I also published a transcript with every episode incase you’d rather read the show or look at something later on. You can find all the podcast show notes at www.motorcar If you’d like to get our free video selling more cars on Craigslist, go to and put in your name and email address into the form in the side bar.

This guide goes to all the recent Craigslist changes and shows you some actual statistics from dealerships who post heavily on Craigslist, both now and last year before the big changes were rolled out. If you’re wondering if you should still be posting your cars on Craigslist or wondering how to get value out of Craigslist Ads, definitely check this free video.

Now let’s get into the main segment, today I’m interviewing Daryl Mander and we’re talking all about Facebook Ads for car dealerships. Here is the interview.

Welcome Daryl to the Motorcar Marketing Podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show.

Daryl:    Hey Ashley, thanks very much for having, I’m excited to be here.

Ashley: To start out, I wonder if you can give us a quick overview of your career in marketing and tell us how you got into Facebook Advertising.

Daryl:    Sure, long story cut short I was  working for advertising agencies in the U.K for about eight years before I decided to strike out on my own. Initially as a solo advertising consultant, and then moving into starting my own company. In the past eight years of my career, I started out in TV advertising but quickly gravitated to an area that’s much closer to my heart which is online advertising, and then specifically Facebook advertising is where I spent a lot of my time over the past couple of years especially since I started my own company.

Ashley: Perfect, can you give us sort of an overview of how Facebook Ads work just for someone who maybe didn’t even know that Facebook had an advertising platform just kind of the broad strokes of sort of what you can do with it, how it works and sort of overview.

Daryl:    Sure, I’m sure everyone who’s listening to your podcast has heard of Facebook and even if they’re not on Facebook, they’ve got some broad idea of how it works and what happens on Facebook. The great thing about doing advertising with Facebook is that there is so many people on there.

There’s an absolute ton of available attributes that Facebook can show to their users because there is literally millions and millions of people logging onto Facebook every single day and every time someone looks into Facebook, that’s an opportunity to show them a very targeted ad for an offer that is customized to the likes and interests in their profile.

The other great thing about Facebook advertising is the amount of information that you can use to target potential prospects. If you know a little bit about Facebook, you probably know that people tend to put a lot of information about themselves that’s the profile. If you’re scrolling through some profile if you’re looking for information in there, you can probably see about movies they like, you can see if they’ve recently moved house, you can see who they’re married to, if they’ve got kids, you can see their age, their gender.

I know this information that they put publicly available into their Facebook profile, it sounds a little bit sinister probably to the un-initiated. It’s all information that we can use as marketers to target people better. An example of that might be targeting people based on their previous purchase behavior, which is a new way for targeting that Facebook now has available.

They’ve partnered up with a few data companies in the United States which allow them to not only target users based on information in their Facebook profile, but also based on information about their purchase behavior. There’s a whole wealth of different things you can do with targeting on Facebook and I think that’s what makes it very appealing for lots of small and medium sized businesses.

Ashley: Yeah, and correct me if I’m wrong, but can you also target by the certain pages and businesses that they have liked. For instance someone can like the Ford motor company page and you can target those people that have liked that page correct?

Daryl:    Yes and no. It’s correct in some circumstances but sometimes it doesn’t quite work out. It’s a bit of a gamble whether a particular page will be targetable. If someone likes Ford, you may be able to target based on it may not and it’s not really clear what the important factor is. The case with the campaigns I have done is that in a page and you’re trying to talk to these fans, the larger the page gets the more likely it will become after potential audience you can build in your Facebook posts.

The smaller ads is less likely that you can target them as a potential clients in your Facebook Ads. I think instead being capable to use Ads instead they’re trying to lump the user. If someone who likes Ford would be put into Facebook’s cars category of interest in campus. You wouldn’t necessarily be able to target them based on the fact that they like Ford, but you could target them based on the fact that they have interest in cars.

Ashley: I see.

Daryl:    That’s what’s happening with Facebook’s native targeting capabilities. There are actually some apps out there, some third party apps that are trying to get around this limitation and allow you to directly target any page you want. Some of them work better than others, I don’t think any of them work perfectly but if you want to directly target a competitor’s page, you’re probably going to have to use one of these third party apps.

Ashley: I see, okay now let’s kind of dig into what we can specifically apply to car dealerships. First let’s talk sort of a strategy question. You can … when you’re getting a Facebook age … Facebook Ad, you’re buying a Facebook Ad, you can decide whether you want to send those clicks to your Facebook page or you can of course send them to your website. What do you … kind of what would you recommend for a car dealership?

Daryl:    Personally I recommend that’s..; what the goal of their advertising is because sometimes you might want to be advertising in order to increase the level of engagement you have on Facebook. That can later on increase your engagement on Facebook which means the amount of people who like your posts, who see your posts, who share your posts, if you increase that level of engagement you will generally increase the number of people who see your posts and that will help increase your fans.

If you’re doing sort of broader work trying to increase your fan base, trying to increase your engagement, then you should really be directing people to your Facebook page because that’s where engagement on Facebook happens and that’s where they’ll have an opportunity to like your page as well.

If you’re targeting people not to engage them with your post on Facebook, but instead to drive them to an offer that you want them to convert on turn perhaps you want them to turn into a email sign-up or turning to an inquiry about a particular offer at your dealership, then I think the job is often better done by custom Landing Page on your website, so you would create special Landing Page just for the Facebook traffic and then send your Facebook advertising traffic to that Landing Page.

Ashley: Okay let’s dig in and actually talk about creating some ads. Let’s talk about writing ad copy, do you have some tips and tricks for car dealers about how to effectively write ad copy for Facebook Ads?

Daryl:    I do yes, firstly be very aware of your character limits depending on which type of device your ad show is on. Then have different character limits. If you’re showing ads on the right hand side on the desk top, your character limit is going to be 90 characters. If you’re showing ads in the newsfeeds on the desktop, your character limit is going to be 120 characters.

The confuse things at the mobile character limit is slightly different is well 110 characters. Other ads there’s the limit … the actual limit and goal on the amount of characters you can put in is much higher, but after 110 characters on mobile and 120 characters on desktop, they will get truncated so they won’t see the whole ad copy straight away, they’ll have to click a little button so that they can see more.

A lot of people won’t click that button so it really pays to do … if you’re just doing your ads in the newsfeed keep them to 110 characters or less because that will work in the mobile newsfeed and the desktop newsfeed. If you’re going to put your ads on the right hand side of Facebook which is … which often performs worse than the newsfeed but it’s worth testing because you never know until you launch it and test it. If you’re going to put your ads on the right hand side then make sure you write 90 characters or less.

Ashley: Is the cost generally about the same whether you’re in the newsfeed or in the side bar?

Daryl:    It depends on what cost you’re looking at. I can … for the clients that I run Facebook advertising for the most important cost, is the cost the conversion or hence the conversion would be the someone inquiring in the form on your website, we would call that a cost per lead or in the case that it’s someone making a direct purchase it would be a cost per cost per conversion is the most important cost to look at for most campaigns that we run. In terms of cost per conversion, often the right hand side would be more expensive than the newsfeed because les people see it.

Ashley: I see, so your cost per click might be less but your cost per conversion might be more because you’re not getting as good engagement.

Daryl:    Correct, yes.

Ashley: I see, okay so let’s talk about the pictures that people use with Facebook Ads, I’ve seen some very strange A/B testing where people put up really whacky pictures and they performed better than sort of more straight forward pictures. Do you have any tips on what type of a picture somebody should use with their Facebook Ad?

Daryl:    Yeah, you cut out about all quite through that question could you …

Ashley: Okay.

Daryl:    Do you mind repeating the question?

Ashley: Yeah sure I’m sorry. Yeah, what type of picture do you recommend the car dealers use? I have seen some very strange A/B testing where people use really bizarre pictures and they actually outperform more straight forward pictures. Do you have some tips for what type of picture you think a car dealer might want to use?

Daryl:    Yeah I’ve noticed that myself with Facebook and I think it makes sense that if you can use a picture that’s a bit unusual versus if you put three side by side and you had picture that inspires curiosity it’s a bit unusual it’s not the normal kind of thing you’d  see and you compare that picture’s performance to a picture that is obviously stop photography or is obviously a professionally taken photography used for an advertising message, often times you’ll find the unusual picture does better.

It kind of fits in with how people interact on Facebook. A lot of people go onto Facebook to look at funny images, and they share the funny images that they’ve seen or they post about weird articles or unusual things that they’ve read. Yeah it kind of … it works well if you can find an image that is relevant to what you’re advertising but also in some way unusual.

Some other things that work well are big pictures of people staring at the camera so you get some eye contact. That tends to get decent clicking rates. With the current clients that I have worked, with they tend … we tend ..; more men are buying cars than women or selling cars as the case might be.

The audiences that we work with in the car industry tend to be a bit men-heavy and as a result they tend to respond quite well to pictures of women … pictures of attractive with the car in the background as well. The things I remember about Facebook advertising is that it has to be relevant. Don’t just go down the route of sex sells because if you put an attractive man or an attractive female on your advertising image with no relevance to what you’re advertising, it might get a lot of click throughs but you probably won’t get good engagement on your site.

Whatever conversion that you were hoping will happen on your site will likely not happen. A lot of those click throughs will mean he was interested in the image and clicked through to works if you tie in the idea of sex selling with maintaining relevance, so an attractive-looking female who is driving a car it sounds cliché but it works.

But trying to get an unusual cars of an attractive man or woman driving a car and seeing that before ….; If you can cut something that’s kind of …; I think but doesn’t look quite the usual looks you make it a potential look and you can also with advertising you can get … when you do a Facebook ad, you get two areas you can work with, you can work with the ads copy, the written parts of the Facebook ad, you can write in a message off of that.

But you can also write in … onto the image. You have to make sure that less than 20% of your image is covered by text. As long as 20% of your image is covered by text, you can put whatever text message you want onto your image. That helps a lot as well if you take a nice attractive photo that will get a good click through right, and then perhaps put on some of the details of your offer on there.

For example if you are offering free test-drives of a brand new model of car, you could just write free test-drives and as long as you can fit it into less than 20% of the size of the pictures.

Ashley: I see, you literally embed that … when you’re creating the image, you literally embed that text into the image. It’s not something that gets put on there by Facebook.

Daryl:    No, it doesn’t get put on there by Facebook. The honors is down to you the marketer or the advertiser …

Ashley: Okay yeah, okay I understand.

Daryl:    … it’s you to edit the image yourself and there’s lots of very easy to use tools online that will help you edit the images … overly text onto images.

Ashley: Sure, let’s talk about clicks versus impressions. What should a dealer be looking at in terms of how they decide whether they want to buy clicks or impressions on Facebook?

Daryl:    I … my advice, and now that the Facebook have released a new type of bidding mechanism. You can either make Ads or Facebook ad barely bidded for in a sort of advertising auction. If you bid high enough and you’ve outbid the other people who are trying to show up for that particular user, ..;the many auction and your ad will be shown.

When you’re bidding in these auctions, you can choose to bid for clicks or impressions and my advice is almost always going to be to bid for impressions because Facebook have recently released a new bidding type called Optimized CPM which is CPM is cost per thousand impressions, so cost per view basically, and optimized cost per view basically means that Facebook is going to optimize the bids for you.

You tell Facebook what you want to achieve with your advertising. Let’s say in your Facebook that you want to pay up to 10 bucks for someone to fill out a form on your page. Then Facebook goes and it sets the cost of the bid according to the best bid in the situation to meet your goal.

Your Facebook will set what’s called a dynamic cost per impression bid based on how likely someone is to hit that goal of 20 bucks per sign up whatever you’ll go with this and basically because it’s quite good at setting those bids. A lot of Paper Click marketers have been initially hesitant to hand over the reins to Facebook to do the bidding for them.

But what I found I a lot of campaigns who have tested this, is that when you let Facebook bid to automated bidding to reach your goals it tends to reach your goals more effectively than manually bidding on a cost per click or manually bidding on a cost per impression to reach your goals.

The reason why I’d say definitely go with bidding for impressions rather clicks is because with impressions you can get that automated, you automate the bid and that can be optimized cot impression whereas clicks help..; you have to do it manually.

Ashley: We talked a little bit about this when we were … when you were sort of describing Facebook Ads in general, but I really think that Facebook’s secret source is the way you can laser target certain people. Again we sort of talked about this but I wonder if you could give us some very specific tips for what you think car dealer should be going after and how they should decide who to target with these ads.

Daryl:    Absolutely, first of all one of the great editions to Facebook target that has come in within the most recent couple of years is the ability to input data from other sources and use that to target your Facebook advertising.

When I say input data, the most obvious example of that is your email list. Let’s say you start … you’ve an email list from people that have decided to get your Ad and you’re posting on your Facebook page and you need to get some fans on that first because there’s nothing sadder than a Facebook with no fans, it’s very difficult to get your initial fans if you’re starting from zero.

A great place to start is to upload list into Facebook and then start showing them ads saying, “Thanks for being a customer,” or “Thanks for being on our email list if you liked our service please also like our page.” Something along those lines, and what that can do is it builds your fan base very quickly because these are people, if they’re on your email list they might already have done business with you, they might have already purchased something from you, or they might have opted in to be on your email list via your website.

These people are very likely to be okay with becoming a fan. That’s not the only thing with targeting your email list, there’s a whole wealth of options. Another way that you can use your email list to build targeted audience is to do what’s called a look-alike audience.

Let’s say you’ve got a few hundred people on your email list even though you can … you might get a few hundred fans out of  that if you’re very lucky and you managed to convert every single one of them into a Facebook fan. But there’s not a lot you can do just directly targeting a few hundred people, you might want to target a lot more people and there’s way of doing that but you can start with your email list and sort of grow out from there.

Facebook has released a targeting option called look-alike audiences and what that means is you can upload data search as your email list, and then you can hit a much larger audience of people who are very similar to the people on your email list.

The people … it’s … you might not necessarily know all the common themes that tie together the people on your email list that you might know a lot of them are male or a lot of them are female or a lot of them are a certain age. But there’s lots of other things about them you might not know and Facebook knows a lot of that stuff about your audience, they know what they like. They know where they’ve been, they know … well they often know what restaurants they like to go to.

Facebook can use all that data to find who the other who are in your target location and you have a very similar profile to the people on your list. It’s a great way of expanding out your marketing to a much larger list of people who are not necessarily on your list but who are very similar to that list in terms of their profile and demographic.

Ashley: Let’s talk a minute about geo-targeting I know a lot of car dealers, they sell let’s say to people that are like within 30 miles of their physical store. Can you give us some tips and kind of tell us how geo-targeting works in Facebook Ads.

Daryl:    Sure straightforward when you Facebook I suppose you ..; within a … I think the lowest form  is 25 miles or might be 10 miles and I wrote this on my ad, I have to go and check but you can target to a particular city or a particular town within an area. Then if you want to, you can also put a radius around that.

I believe the radius is 10 miles, 25 miles and 50 miles something like that. You get to choose [inaudible 00:24:28] radius and so depending on how far you want to target you can cast that net, however wide you want with Facebook and yeah, it’s pretty accurate and it’s just simple as writing in your target area into your targeting section on the Facebook Ads interface.

Ashley: One thing I’ve heard a lot about just read is people have horror stories about getting their Facebook advertising accounts banned and cancelled. Do you have some tips on how to avoid that and some things that Facebook looks out for that you definitely should not do?

Daryl:    Yeah I think, if we’re considering your audience this is probably not going to be a big problem. Correct me if I’m wrong the people who you hear complaining about getting their ads accounts banned are they car dealerships? Or are they in a different …

Ashley: No, no, no, yeah, no it’s most of the like affiliate marketers and that stuff.

Daryl:    Right yes. I think your audience will be safe from this. The guys who complain they got … about getting their Facebook Ad account banned are all often as you say affiliate marketers who might be using shady marketing techniques to trick people into clicking through to a site that they didn’t think they were going through to or even affiliate marketers who are completely above board than doing everything by the book Facebook can be a bit tricky with you if you’re an affiliate marketer and simply because some of the marketers are a bit shady.

Ashley: Yeah so bottom line is … yeah.

Daryl:    Other sectors have a hard time.

Ashley: You haven’t seen no … the reputable businesses that you’ve worked for, you’ve never seen any problems.

Daryl:    Correct yeah the reputable business that I have worked with that has had problems are business with the Ads and unfortunately yes the same thing is with the affiliate marketing where you just get … the good businesses get damaged by the sort of small minority of Ads businesses that they’re just sort of miracle cure so they’ve got kind of solutions but car dealerships I’ve never had … I’ve never seen problems in that particular space.

Ashley: Okay perfect, let’s talk a bit about your company maybe you can just give us a two-minute elevator pitch for your company and what you guys do.

Daryl:    Sure, my company is called, so that’s B-I-G-F-L-A-R-E dot com. We are a Facebook advertising, Google advertising and retargeting specialist companies. We help clients who need to advertise on Facebook or who need to advertise on Google and don’t have the time or the skill to do it themselves.

We do everything as a managed service and we build the campaign for you, we manage it ongoing and we focus on sort of direct response campaigns where we’re held very accountable to getting measurable results and the others that’s us. You can check us out at and see more about us there.

Ashley: Perfect I’ll link to that directly in the show notes so people can click straight over to that.

Daryl:    Okay.

Ashley: What’s the best way for people to keep up with you or contact you?

Daryl:    The best way to contact way to contact me is on my email address and as always you can link to my email address from the show notes or should I spell that out?

Ashley: No, not exactly I’ll link to it in the show notes as well.

Daryl:    Yeah and with regards to keeping up with me, I don’t … we don’t really blog or do much content marketing but or any sort of updates happen on the site of so that’s probably the best way to keep up with what I’m doing and what we’re doing as a company.

Ashley: Perfect, Daryl you’ve been very generous with your time, I really appreciate your coming on the show.

Daryl:    Oh absolutely, it’s been fun, I always love talking Facebook.

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On the next episode of the Motorcar Marketing Podcast, I’m going to be interviewing Tom Lee Belt. Tom is an expert at local SEO. He’s got some great tips and tactics for car dealers and how they can rank their websites highly within the google search results. There are some really simple things that everyone should be doing and Tom tells us exactly how those things can be done so keep an eye out for that.

Just a couple of comments on today’s interview with Daryl. Like the interview before this one on Google Paper Click with [Brad Clauser]. I know things can seem complicated if you’ve never done any of these type of advertising, it really isn’t all that confusing though. Just like with Google Paper Click, you can set a maximum daily budget so that’s my recommendation just get in there, create some ads on Facebook set your max daily budget at 10 or 20 dollars and just see what happens consider it money spent on learning.

I also think that Facebook can be a small part of your overall social media presence. As Daryl just explained it’s pretty easy to drive people to your Facebook page and pick up likes that way. I would however recommend and listen to episode four of the motor car marketing podcast two, where I interviewed Rachel Haro, she laid out a pretty comprehensive social media strategy and as I just said I think Facebook Ads can be a part of that overall strategy.

It’s good to understand the basics of how these systems work even if you hire a consultant or agency to come in and manage the campaign for you. If you understand at least the basics it will help you interface with the people you hire to do this sort of work. Anyway that’s our show, I hope you get some value out of it and that it can help grow your business, thanks for listening.


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