Cheerful young businesswoman in yellow jacket holding folder and using cell phone outdoorsTowards the end of January 2019 Facebook quietly announced a change/addition to their dynamic ads, adding Automotive Inventory Ads. These dynamic ads are perfect to target people who are in the market to purchase a new vehicle. They use linked information using your Facebook Pixel or SDK to show specific, targeted ads to your recent website visitors or app users.

This new ad type allows auto dealers to upload their entire inventory catalog including each year, make, and model plus additional features to allow potential customers to see highly targeted ads for models they are looking for. The ads can automatically generate the proper ad and inventory to be shown to the specific user. This will help drive potential customers to the proper dealership webpages and lead forms to help generate more sales with less money spent on advertising! With these ads, you can be sure your ads for the most relevant vehicles are always being shown to the proper potential customers. This allows your dealership team to focus on what they do best… closing the sale!

man hand phone with car icon on virtual screen.There are many benefits to new automotive inventory ads. These ads are more convenient with a single setup. This is a huge step in the right direction instead of having to create numerous individual ads. You also get the benefit of making sure your ads are delivered to the potential customers who want to see them. The ads also provide you with the ability to reach potential customers across devices. Your ads will appear on Facebook and Instagram on the desktop and on their mobile devices no matter which platform they were on when they visited your website. Lastly, your campaign is constantly reaching your customers no matter the time of day based on their platform usage. This way you can ensure your ads are seen more often and are more likely to result in a conversion. If you agree that the new ad type will help you grow your sales and save you money but don’t want to mess around with completing it yourself fill out the form below and we will contact you to set up a free consultation to do it for you. Otherwise, read on.

How To Setup Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads:

There are 3 steps to set up your Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads.

  • Step 1 – Set up your online Facebook catalog
  • Step 2 – Implement your Facebook pixel and/or mobile SDK
  • Step 3 – Create an ad template for the ad automation (this is very important to test to ensure the best results from your ads)

Setting Up Your Catalog for Your Automotive Inventory Ads:

The first thing you need to do is create a catalog and link your product feeds. The catalog is your file that contains your inventory information such as your new or used vehicles list. The data feeds are your actual vehicle data of the cars that are for sale. This data feed is dynamically updated and is used to update your Facebook catalog automatically.

To create your catalog you need to go into either Business Manager or your Facebook Ads Manager. In Business Manager complete the following steps:

  • Click the blue button for Business Settings in the upper right-hand corner
  • Under People and Assets click Catalog
  • Then click + Add
  • Next select Create a New Catalog
  • Assign your new catalog a name in the catalog name field
  • Under catalog type select Vehicles
  • The click the blue button to Create Catalog
  • Then you can add people who need access such as your dealership team or any agencies you may be working with

Next, you need to create and/or upload your data feeds. These are the vehicles that will populate the catalog you just created. You can list all of your vehicles in a single feed or you can create different feeds for vehicle groups. This can be especially useful in creating ads for used vehicles, vehicle types (sports cars), or different brands that your group may offer. To create your data feed you need to create a file that fits Facebook’s required file type. Currently Facebook supports CSV, TSV, RSS XML, or ATOM XML files. For more information on Facebook supported data feeds and sample files click here.

Click here for the full list from Facebook of the required and optional fields with a synopsis below:

Required – Vehicle ID (unique for each vehicle), VIN, Year, Make, Model, Trans, Body Style, Description, Body Color, images, price, URL, etc.

Optional – Drivetrain, Fuel Type, Trim, Interior Color, Sale Price, Availability, etc.

Make sure that when you create your data feed file that you have the proper information in the file including having properly sized image links. You can find Facebook’s complete image guide here. The Facebook product catalog also has deep linking integrations into your app. For more information on this, you can visit Facebook’s Developer API information pages.

To link your data feed complete the following steps:

  • From your catalog click the blue button to Add Vehicle Feed
  • Choose a name for your vehicle data feed
  • Set your currency (for almost everyone that’ll be USD unless you’re outside the U.S.)
  • Choose your upload type either Scheduled Recurring Uploads (this option allows you to upload your data feed from your website where it is hosted) or Single Upload (this option is more manual for a one-time upload) then click Next
  • Complete the next steps for either upload type (upload your file or insert the URL where the recurring feed will be pulled from)
  • Click Create Feed

Link Your Facebook Pixel or App:

Your next step will be linking your Facebook Pixel to your catalog. This particularly critical when your business has multiple catalogs, pixels, or apps linked.

To link your pixel to your catalog follow these steps:

  • Under Assets click Catalog
  • Select your Catalog you created
  • Click on Catalog Settings in the menu
  • Under Event Sources click Edit
  • Assign Pixels or Apps to your Catalog

Adding Vehicle Sets:

Each of your catalogs can have multiple vehicle sets. This can be used to separate vehicle types. You can have one set for 4 door sedans, one for 2 door coupes, one for SUV’s, one for trucks, etc. The vehicle sets are separated by different filters within your catalog and are used when you set up your ad campaign.

To create a vehicle set follow these steps:

  • Go to Catalog Manager (link)
  • Choose the catalog you created earlier that contains your new vehicle set
  • Across the top click Vehicle Sets
  • Click Create Vehicle Set (this will open another window to select filters discussed earlier)
  • Choose a name for your vehicle set
  • Use the drop downs to apply your filters to the vehicle set
  • Click Create

Make sure that once you complete these steps that you check the validity and execution. Facebook has a Product Feed Debugging Tool to help with this process. You can enter your product feed and the debugger will run it for errors and warnings. This is an important step to make sure your catalog and feed run properly.

Setting Up Your Ad Template:

Before you start setting up your ad template for your Facebook ads you MUST make sure that you have properly set up your catalog, data feed, and vehicle sets. If you haven’t the set them up and integrated your Facebook Pixel your ad set will not work! The new Automotive Inventory Ads look and function like other Facebook ad types and will show across Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience Network. The difference is with Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads you create a single template that automatically shows the proper vehicle to the right potential customer instead of creating individual ads for each vehicle on the lot.

To create your ad template follow these steps:

  • Login to your Ads manager account
  • Click Create an Ad
  • Select Catalog Sales as your objective under Conversions
  • Select your product catalog from the drop-down menu labeled Product Catalog
  • Select a Campaign name
  • Click Continue
  • Under Vehicles select a vehicle set you created earlier (you can also add a new vehicle set if you’ve added new sets at a later date)
  • Select your targeted audience from your website visitors (includes options for vehicle searches, vehicle page views, or if a vehicle is added to a wishlist)
  • Exclude customers who completed a lead form on your website or purchased a vehicle
  • Complete the placements section of the ad template to decide where to test your ads such as on Facebook, Instagram, or the Audience Network
  • Select your ad budget for all vehicle sets
  • Complete the ad schedule (we recommend testing different schedules until you find what works for your dealership)
  • Click the blue button to Continue
  • Select the image format for your ads (you can choose from a single image, carousel, or collection formats)
  • Fill in the other details remaining for your ad template

You’re now set up to run the new dynamic Automotive Inventory Ads from Facebook. We believe that this new ad format will perform significantly better than the older dynamic ads type for dealerships. The dealers who adopt the new formats and set up the Automotive Inventory Ads first will see the best results before they become mainstream and Evelyn dealer uses them. If this seems like a tall task or your Internet Sales Consultant/Marketing Manager isn’t able to implement them we would love to help you grow your sales and save money on your digital marketing. Contact us today to set up a free consultation or call us today at (412) 812-2757!