Volkswagen tries conquesting on Facebook

A data partnership with Motor Trend Canada provides a way to reach down into the funnel for those looking at competing brands.

Volkswagen Canada and its media partners have found a way to conduct a form of “conquesting” on Facebook, making sure consumers already in the purchase funnel see VW vehicles when researching other brands.

Getting a brand’s ads to target those looking at content from competitors is a standard tactic in search and display advertising. But when it comes to social, few platforms offer the right tools to do it. In search, an advertiser can buy terms related to a rival brand, for example. But there are no equivalent key words on Facebook.

VW, working with Suite 66 and media AOR Touché, partnered with Motor Trend on a content and data-sharing deal that allowed the brand to target car shoppers comparing the Jetta against competing products.

Motor Trend (which Suite 66 represents as part of its network of premium websites) developed a product that creates user data for people researching cars through its buyers guide. Volkswagen was able to find users researching competing cars like the Honda Civic, for example.

Volkswagen also authored sponsored content on Motor Trend that highlights its Jetta and upcoming Arteon models. The brand then surrounded that content with its display ads and sponsored its Facebook posting to the feeds of those same users who were looking at rival brands. Those who clicked on the story were brought back to Motor Trend and the ad-dominated content.

“People are naturally okay with migrating away from Facebook because it’s so easy to migrate back,” said Melanie Elvald, sales marketing and communication manager at Suite 66. “But getting the information in front of them and serving something perfectly targeted to what they need… this was about getting them to engage with a product and learn more.”

Data suggests Motor Trend is a particularly good fit for a program like this, as Suite 66′s proprietary index data shows the site’s users are 133 times more likely to buy a Volkswagen compared to internet users overall.

The campaign ran at the end of February during the Canadian International Auto Show. The brand does not yet have results from the campaign.

Correction: This story originally reported that Motor Trend authored the sponsored article.