Facebook Ads Retargeting for Car Dealerships 2023 Guide: Converting Interest into Sales
Published 13/01/2023 - Updated 02/08/2023
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In this article, we will be providing a guide for car dealerships on how
to set up and use Facebook Ads Retargeting in 2023 to convert interest
into sales, with examples.
We will cover the steps on how to create a custom audience, a lookalike
audience, and retargeting ads that will be shown to those groups.
We will also share tips on how to optimise your campaign and get the
most out of your Facebook Ad budget. Additionally, we will provide live
examples of ad formats that can be used to showcase your inventory and
promote special offers.
By the end of this guide, you will have the knowledge and tools needed
to effectively use Facebook Ads Retargeting to increase conversions and
boost your ROI.
What is retargeting in Facebook ads for car dealers?
Have you ever looked at something while shopping online, for example,
“Nike Trainers”, and then gone back on the internet to find those
products are following you around everywhere you go?
If this experience is familiar to you, then I hate to break it to you,
but you have been retargeted.
Retargeting in Facebook ads is a technique used to reach potential
customers who have previously shown interest in your car dealership’s
inventory or services. It allows us to target ads to specific groups of
people who have previously engaged with your website and social media,
or who have previously bought a car from the dealership.
Car dealers can use Facebook retargeting to reach customers who have
previously visited their website, looked at their inventory, or taken
other actions that indicate interest in buying a car.
For example, if a customer visits the dealership’s website and looks at
a particular car model, the dealership can use retargeting to show that
customer ads for that model or similar models. This can help the
dealership to convert that customer’s interest into a sale.
Retargeting can also be used to reach customers who have bought a car
from the dealership before, by building a custom audience of previous
customers exported from your CRM. This can be used to reach people at
the time their lease is expiring, for instance.
Who is the article “Facebook Ads Retargeting for Car Dealerships 2023 Guide: Converting Interest into Sales” written for?
Car dealers can use the information in this guide to set up their
retargeting ads on Facebook.
Warning: This article is intended for advanced users who have a good
understanding of Facebook Ads and its features. The information provided
in this guide is intended to be a supplement to Facebook’s official
documentation and support resources, not a replacement for them.
It is recommended that readers have a working knowledge of Facebook’s ad
manager, ad creation, targeting options and tracking pixels before
implementing the strategies outlined in this guide. If you are not
familiar with these topics, we suggest that you seek additional training
or consult with a Facebook Ads expert before proceeding.
Who has written the article: “Facebook Ads Retargeting for Car Dealerships 2023 Guide: Converting Interest into Sales”
Before we continue, let me introduce myself. I am Gary Lewis Cheetham, a
highly experienced automotive marketing specialist with over a decade of
experience using online ads.
I am passionate about the car industry and have extensive knowledge in
utilising Facebook ads retargeting to drive growth for car dealerships.
As the founder of GL Digital Automotive Marketing, I started my company
in 2020 to assist other dealerships in achieving their growth goals
using digital marketing strategies.
My goal is to empower independent car dealerships in the UK and US to
expand their inventory and boost their sales by harnessing the power of
Facebook and its retargeting advertising features.
What are the benefits of using retargeting ads on Facebook for a car dealer?
Retargeting an audience of customers who have interacted with your
business before allows your dealership to show more relevant ads and
special offers, which can lead to higher conversion rates.
The workload for your salesmen is significantly decreased because the
customers will already be familiar with you, and know what car they
want. This makes customers much easier to deal with.
What are the different types of retargeting ads a car dealership can use?
The different types of retargeting options on Facebook we find are most
effective for the car dealerships we work with are:
- Website visitors retargeting
- Video views retargeting
- Facebook page interaction retargeting
Website visitors retargeting: This allows dealerships to target
ads to people who have previously visited their website. We use this
for dealerships who have the Meta pixel set up to send stock IDs to
Facebook for each page view.
To do this, we typically place a Meta tracking pixel on the dealership’s
website, which captures visitors’ information, including which car the
user looked at, and allows us to create a custom audience of those
visitors to target with retargeting ads.
Video Views Retargeting: This type of retargeting allows dealerships
to target ads to people who have previously watched their videos on
Facebook or Instagram. By tracking which videos have been viewed, we can
create a custom audience of people who have shown interest in the
dealership’s video content.
Facebook page retargeting: This option allows dealerships to target
ads to people who have previously liked or engaged with their Facebook
page. By tracking engagement on the dealership’s Facebook page, we can
create a custom audience of people who have already expressed interest
in the dealership and target them with retargeting ads.
We use this option when a dealership has a large, engaged organic
audience on its Facebook page.
All three types of retargeting have been proven to be effective with the
dealerships we work with, but we recommend experimenting with all three
options to find the best results for your business.
I Can Run The Marketing At Your Dealership
I Can Run The Facebook Ads At Your Dealership
Hi, I'm Gary. I've been working in auto businesses since I was a teenager at my dad's dealership.
My clients get these benefits:
Completely done-for-you dealership marketing - across Facebook, Google and TikTok.
Pre-qualified sales leads - Good credit local customers, attached to a vehicle so easy to close.
Fixed monthly price, no contract. Cancel anytime (but you won't want to)
How to set up retargeting ads for your dealership: Step by step
The following steps should be taken to set up retargeting ads on
Facebook for a car dealership:
- Set up tracking on your website with the Meta pixel.
- Set up a Custom Audience on Facebook
- Creating Retargeting Ads
- Optimise Your Campaign
Step 1: How to set up tracking on your website with the Meta pixel.
This step shows you how to set up a Meta pixel (formerly Facebook
pixel), which allows you to track your website visitors and create a
group of people who have previously interacted with your dealership.
If you already have a Meta pixel set up on your website, you can skip
Before you begin, you have to check if the Meta pixel is already
installed on your website.
To do this you can install the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Plugin.
When you install this plugin on your Google Chrome browser, visit your
dealership’s website and check the top corner of your screen to see the
plugin in action.
If this plugin comes up green, a Meta pixel is already installed and you
will be able to create audiences for retargeting in the Facebook
If the plugin comes up grey like this, then you will have to set up your
Meta pixel on your website before you continue.
You can have a developer do this or you can do it by yourself.
We have a full complete guide to setting up your Meta pixel and conversion
tracking here: The Ultimate Guide to the Meta Pixel and Conversion Tracking for Car Dealerships
Step 2: Create a Custom Audience in Facebook Business Manager
Creating a Custom Audience lets you reach people on Facebook ads who
have interacted with your dealership before.
The “audience” is just a group of people you have set up in Facebook ads
This is the core technique of retargeting, separating out the people who
have never seen you or your business from the people who already know
about you. You build an “audience” from these people.
Your first step should be to visit your Facebook business manager at
Once you are in your business manager, click on Audiences in the left
On this screen you can see all the audiences that you have created in
the past, and you have the option to create new ones.
Click on “Create Audience” in the top left and click “Custom Audience”.
In the next popup, you have to choose your audience source.
We recommend you choose “Website” if you have a Meta pixel set up but
you could also choose “Facebook Page” or “Video” depending on what your
goals are with the ads.
In the next popup entitled “Create a website custom audience” you can
select the “source”, which should be set to the pixel you created
For Audience Name and Description, type whatever you want, this doesn’t
matter and is only for your own reference.
After you click “Create Audience” the audience will be set up and ready
for use in your ads.
Creating Retargeting Ads: How to showcase your inventory and promote special offers to your retargeting audiences
To create your retargeting ads, navigate to the Facebook ads manager and
click on the green “Create” button in the top left of the screen.
In the next popup, we recommend choosing “Leads” for a car dealership
and leaving all other options the same.
In the next step, you can set up your campaign and ads however you see
When you get to the audience section, click on the search box below
Custom Audiences, and choose the audience you made previously.
This will ensure that your ads are only shown to the people included in
the audience you made in the previous step.
Best Practices for Car Dealership Retargeting: Tips on how to effectively target your audience, choosing the right ad format and ad placement
When creating retargeting campaigns for our client’s car dealerships, we
try and keep the best practices below in mind.
First of all, it’s absolutely crucial to effectively target your
audience by segmenting them based on different stages of the buying
For example, if a customer has shown interest in a specific car model,
we’ll target them with ads featuring that model, or if they’ve shown
interest in financing options, we’ll show them ads highlighting our
We also make sure to choose the right ad format for our audience. For
instance, if we’re targeting people who have previously shown interest
in a specific car model, we use a carousel ad that showcases multiple
images of that model as it tends to be more effective than using a
single image ad.
We also use retargeting as an opportunity to upsell other services or
products to customers who have already purchased a car from our client’s
dealership. This involves creating an audience list from an exported CSV
file of past customers from the dealership’s CRM.
For example, targeting customers who have recently bought a car with ads
for maintenance services or extended warranties has been effective.
Optimizing Your Campaign: How to use Facebook’s ad analytics to track performance and make adjustments for better results
There are several key metrics we pay attention to when we are running
retargeting campaigns for the dealerships we work with.
Here are the most important ones:
- Reach: This metric measures the number of people who have seen the
retargeting ad, and it gives you an idea of how visible the campaign
is and how well it’s reaching its target audience.
- Impressions: This metric tracks the number of times the ad has been
shown, and it can help you understand how frequently the ad is being
displayed and how effective it is at reaching its target audience.
- Click-through rate (CTR): CTR is calculated by dividing the number of
clicks on the ad by the number of impressions. This metric can give
you an idea of how well the ad resonates with its target audience and
how successful it is at driving conversions.
- Conversion rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who
take a desired action after clicking on the ad, such as visiting the
dealership’s website or filling out a form. It can give you an idea of
how well the ad is driving conversions and how effective the campaign
- Sales volume: This metric measures the number of leads that eventually
convert into sales, it gives you an idea of how effective your sales
team is at dealing with the leads.
All of the above metrics are important, but the conversion rate and
sales volume are the most important to measure the campaign’s overall
Conclusion to the article: Facebook Ads Retargeting for Car Dealerships 2023 Guide: Converting Interest into Sales
Facebook Ads Retargeting is an effective way for car dealerships to
reach potential customers who have previously shown interest in their
products or services. By setting up a custom audience, a lookalike
audience and retargeting ads, car dealerships can convert interest into
sales by effectively promoting their inventory and special offers to
It’s important for car dealerships to track metrics such as reach,
impressions, click-through rate, conversion rate, return on ad spend,
customer lifetime value and re-engagement rate to measure the success of
their retargeting campaigns and make adjustments as needed.
Additionally, car dealerships should follow best practices like
effectively targeting their audience, choosing the right ad format and
ad placement, using retargeting for upselling, testing and refining
their campaigns, and providing value to the customer to get the most out
of their Facebook ad budget.
By following the strategies outlined in this guide, car dealerships can
effectively use Facebook Ads Retargeting to increase conversions and
boost their ROI in 2023.
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