The 2021 Facebook Ads Guide for Auto Dealers - Adpearance

The 2021 Facebook Ads Guide for Auto Dealers

Facebook has emerged as both a brand awareness and lead-generation channel for advertisers in the automotive space.

Car dealers can use Facebook’s dynamic ads and robust targeting to capture low-funnel car shoppers. Use these tips and best practices to maximize ROI and generate more leads from your automotive Facebook ad campaigns.

Best Facebook Ads for Auto Dealers

In addition to the standard ad types that have been around for years, Facebook offers inventory-based catalog ads that make the advertising platform especially effective for auto dealerships looking to generate high-quality, low-funnel leads.


dynamic Facebook ad

Dynamic advertising is a must for any competitive dealership. By linking your vehicle inventory feed to a Facebook catalog, you can instantly create carousel ads that include up-to-date vehicle descriptions and live pricing information. Use these ads to bring users back to your website by segmenting particular makes or models into vehicle sets that will ensure your ads are only shown to interested Facebook users. Then, go a level deeper and target shoppers with VIN-specific ads that directly link them to the exact piece of inventory on your website.

By targeting a healthy mix of previous website visitors and new in-market shoppers, you can guarantee full-funnel coverage and fully leverage Facebook as a lead generation channel.

The results? Our experience has shown that dynamic Facebook ads result in a 2x higher click-through-rate, 47% lower cost-per-click, and 3.4x more conversions compared to static ad creative.


Facebook lead forms

In addition to dynamic inventory ads, Facebook lead form ads can be used to directly generate in-app leads. Instead of users clicking through to a VDP, they will be prompted to fill out a form with their contact information. These ads are especially effective in automotive for reaching low-funnel shoppers and converting them into leads. 

Part of what makes lead form ads so effective is the native experience that allows users to quickly fill out and submit forms without leaving the Facebook interface. The ad and form are completely customizable, and you can sync your CRM to make sure the leads you generate are automatically sent to your sales team. 

Lead form ads do require a longer setup period, but in our experience they out-perform the already impressive performance of dynamic inventory ads.


Video ads can be an effective way to increase brand awareness or reach. We typically do not recommend brand-heavy campaigns as a first priority on Facebook; however, these ads can be valuable for new dealerships or dealers who are looking to promote a specific aspect of their business or increase awareness of the dealership as a whole. When you need to communicate deals, promotions, or brand promises, select views or impressions as your campaign objective to reach a high-volume of relevant Facebook users at a relatively low cost.

Best Facebook Targeting for Auto Dealers

Facebook offers a wide range of targeting options, but there are three that have proven to be the most effective for auto dealers. 


In our experience, remarketing is the most successful targeting method for car dealers advertising on Facebook. Remarketing campaigns target previous website visitors to ensure your ad spend is focused on users who are already familiar with your brand and known to be in-market for a vehicle. 

To create a retargeting audience, you can easily track and retarget previous visitors using the Facebook Pixel. This audience can then be segmented into specific campaigns based on the pages that they viewed, the amount of time elapsed since their last visit, the total amount of time spent on the site, and other relevant activity.


Once you have a remarketing list, Facebook can create a similar-to-remarketing audience by finding users with similar demographics and characteristics as your previous website visitors. While not as effective as remarketing, targeting a similar-to-remarketing audience tends to produce moderate success at a low additional cost for dealerships.


Leveraging third-party data allows you to target in-market vehicle shoppers based on their make of interest, whether they want to lease or buy a vehicle, the model they’re considering, etc. This level of targeting requires integration with a custom third-party data provider, but is worth it for the sharply focused approach to reaching ready-to-buy car shoppers. Use third-party data to pair a custom audience with vehicle sets for maximum targeting accuracy.

Serving Personalized Ads in the Age of Data Privacy

iPhone tracking permissions
Source: Apple

Back in June 2020, Apple announced that the company would be releasing a major update to iOS 14 devices that allows users to opt-out of app ad-tracking. If you’ve been following along closely in the last couple of months, you know that Facebook advertisers, in particular, have been preparing for the impact of Apple’s privacy push. 

Adpearance has been preparing our clients’ accounts for minimal disruptions by verifying access to ad domains and configuring Facebook Pixel events for the future. As the advertising world moves closer to the reality of a cookieless web experience, we are staying ahead of the game to transition our clients to new standards—including the server-side Conversions API—when appropriate.

If you’re looking for a partner to implement a lead-generating Facebook advertising strategy, get in touch. We’ll start with a free digital analysis to assess the opportunity in your market and determine how Facebook ads can be leveraged for sales success.

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About the Author

Rachel Sather

Rachel is a digital advertising specialist. She gets your business in front of the right buyers at the right time using cutting-edge technology.

Adpearance is the digital marketing company obsessed with generating quality leads. Our solutions combine cutting-edge technology, premium tracking, and an expert team to transform business results.

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