Today, 73% of users use multiple channels during their shopping journey. Companies are taking note and employing a myriad of digital marketing strategies to reach consumers. From investing in mobile apps to interacting with customers via social media, brands understand that to increase revenue, they must meet their customers where they are — online.
One of the largest growing segments of digital marketing is social media marketing. In fact, according to Statista, 91.9% of U.S. marketers in companies with more than 100 employees are expected to use social media for marketing purposes this year.
For dealerships, social media marketing will continue to be an integral component of successful digital marketing tactics.
After all, in 2020, more than 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, and that number is projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion by 2025.
However, recognizing the importance of social media marketing and running successful campaigns are two different beasts.
For dealerships looking to improve their social media marketing strategy, it all comes down to better sales conversion tracking and enhanced ad optimization.
The good news is that with a recent update to Facebook and Instagram, dealers can learn how to build a social media marketing strategy that is based on offline sale conversion tracking. By doing so, these dealerships can outpace their competition in this increasingly cramped digital space.
Historically, tracking sale conversions from social media ads has been extremely difficult for dealerships.
For example, Kerry might see an ad on Facebook for the newest Toyota Corolla. She might even click through that ad and visit a dealership’s landing page — all of which can be tracked. However, she is not going to purchase that car online. Unlike many e-commerce experiences, if Kerry wants to purchase a Corolla, she wants to visit the dealership to complete her purchase.
This leads to a disconnect. How does the dealership know to attribute her purchase of the Corolla to the ad it paid to promote to her?
Before, the answer was, it doesn’t, or it might attempt to manually connect this data with varying results.
This is where offline sale conversion tracking comes into play.
Offline sale conversion tracking allows you to see your direct return on investment (ROI) from your Facebook and Instagram ads.
Using your customer data, you can track against ad campaigns, attributing closed sales and booked services to specific social media ads.
This is a powerful advancement in social media marketing, allowing savvy dealers to harness a remarkable ability to understand the quality of their ads and leads based on actual revenue earned.
Telling the whole digital story is not easy, particularly for dealerships. Purchasing a car is a complex process that involves multiple touchpoints with customers across numerous channels.
This can make it extremely difficult to understand how effective a particular marketing campaign has been.
For example, even if a dealership could track the number of impressions an ad got and the total number of click-throughs, these numbers are fairly meaningless without knowing what action the consumer did or did not take as a result of that ad.
Sure, Kerry clicked on the ad and visited the dealership’s landing page, but from here, what happened next?
Impressions and clicks simply don’t tell the whole story.
Offline tracking has previously been difficult to measure and imperfect, with room for manual data errors.
However, this is changing. Modern offline sale conversion tracking allows marketers to capture improved insights, superior to every other Facebook and Instagram reporting metric previously available.
Why is this method of sale conversion tracking superior?
- You have a detailed look at which ads you are running are leading to the highest number of conversions. You will also be able to see what total revenue is attributed to a particular ad campaign.
- You can understand the quality of leads generated by a specific social media campaign. This allows you to double down where it counts and remove ineffective spending.
- You can analyze what campaigns are leading to the highest ROI and optimize your ads accordingly. Once you optimize an ad, you can test your changes, creating an endless cycle of data.
- You can create customer-based audiences and lookalike lists based on your top converting customers. This allows you to target the audiences most likely to convert, cutting down on wasteful ad spend.
With offline sale conversion tracking, our story about Kerry changes.
Not only does the dealership see that a customer clicked on the ad and visited its landing page, but later, it sees a sale attributed to that campaign. If Kerry belonged to a particular demographic in which the majority of consumers responded the same way and took the same journey to a closed sale, the dealership could start to adjust its strategy. More ads in a similar vein could be displayed to lookalike audiences, leading to higher conversion rates.
Offline sale conversion tracking is powerful because it helps follow the whole customer journey story rather than providing siloed bits of information.
To enjoy the benefits that offline sale conversion tracking offers, businesses must be proactive.
Offline sale conversion tracking will not happen on its own. Instead, it requires a few key steps for implementing this new tactic.
To begin attributing revenue to the right social media campaigns, you must first start by setting up this tool on Facebook and Instagram.
You cannot retroactively match conversions to ad campaigns. The ad campaign must be set up to allow for this tracking upfront.
Once you have set up offline conversion tracking, run an ad campaign.
After this ad campaign is complete, you will import sales data back into Facebook and Instagram. Here, it will be matched against your audiences to see what ads led to offline conversions.
The key to successfully setting up offline sale conversion tracking is to ensure that the data you are putting into the system is quality. The more detailed your data, the better the results.
As is always the case, bad data in, bad data out — good data in, good data out.
Once you have your social media campaigns set up to allow for offline sale conversion tracking, and you have imported your customer sales data over the top of a completed campaign, it's time to analyze the results.
The data you gain from offline sale conversion tracking is only as meaningful as your ability to analyze the results.
It is important not only to look at which ads converted to sales or scheduled services, but also to pay attention to the spend versus the return.
An ad that converts well but has a high cost might not be as effective as a lower-converting but lower-cost ad. This can be particularly true when trying to win over new customers.
Measure and filter through data, looking for important trends and key indicators of winning ad campaigns.
Additionally, this data can be used to create customer-based audiences and lookalike lists based on the top converting customers.
For example, if you see that a particular maintenance service ad is performing well, you can use Facebook and Instagram data to build a lookalike list with consumers who have the same interests and fall into the same demographic as your original targeted audience.
Lookalike lists and customer-based audiences allow you to better target existing clients and reach new audiences that are more likely to convert.
After the pandemic shook the way consumers interact with businesses, it became obvious that digital is a rapidly evolving landscape, responding in real time to consumer demands.
For this reason, dealerships must constantly adapt strategies based on the success or failure of marketing campaigns.
What worked for you last year at this time might not work for you today. Don’t be afraid to try out new tactics.
The beauty of offline sale conversion tracking is that it allows you to test campaigns with an actual measure of ROI.
Rather than trying to manually piece together your customer’s journey, you can now see everything from impression rates to click-through numbers to offline conversions, all in one convenient location.
Spend time homing in on the most successful customer journeys. What channels lead to the highest number of conversions? How many touchpoints does your average customer take before converting? Keep digging into the data and continually test new theories.
Innovation is key to outpacing your competition.
If you are interested in learning more about offline sale conversion tracking and matching your social media spend to revenue earned, we invite you to check out our latest webinar: How to Match Your Facebook Ad Spend to Revenue. In this webinar, we cover key topics, including the following:
- Why Facebook/Instagram ad impressions and click-through rates are not enough to optimize your ROI … and what you can do about it
- The #1 strategy separating great Facebook and Instagram marketers from their peers
- Three reasons it’s hard for dealers to know if their marketing resulted in delivering or servicing a car
- How Facebook and Instagram sales conversion tracking works
- Details about a unique feature of offline sale conversion tracking — which makes it superior to every other Facebook and Instagram reporting on the market
- How you can use offline sale conversion tracking to make much SMARTER DECISIONS than you are today
Additionally, we invite you to reach out to our team to talk to us about your social media marketing strategy. We will be happy to walk you through how you can set up offline sale conversion tracking and provide you with detailed insights into the best way to capture sales data and import this back into your social media campaigns.
At J&L Marketing, we have years of experience helping dealerships optimize their customer journey. Our goal is to set you up for success through the right digital marketing strategy and ensure you have the data you need to make intelligent decisions for your business's future. Reach out to our team to learn more today.