As we move out of 2020 looking forward to a (hopefully) brighter future, getting back in front of your customers is the number one priority for every dealership. Just as 2020 has changed the sales landscape, it’s changed the trajectory of advertising as well. For all its pitfalls, 2020 also saw the advent of many technological advances in the video realm. Smart phones are getting bigger, more powerful and displays and cameras are gaining higher resolution than ever before. Did you know the latest iPhone can even shoot video in 4k DolbyVision, an extremely high-resolution format that used to be restricted to the highest end film cameras?
Pair these advances with the new prevalence of blazing fast 5G networks and it’s now easier to produce, distribute and consume video content than ever. Consequently, video is rapidly cementing its place at the top of the media consumption hierarchy. Is your dealership prepared to take advantage of that?
A great place to start with video advertising is Youtube. Youtube is the second largest search engine on the internet behind Google, with 1 billion hours of YouTube videos being viewed daily. Since it is owned by Google, YouTube ads are purchased through the Google Ads platform and are just as precisely targetable as their display advertisements.
There are two main types of YouTube advertisements:
The first type is Pre-roll advertisements. They show up before videos and automatically play for your selected audience. They are an excellent and extremely cost effective way to broaden your video reach. If the user skips your advertisement, you don’t have to pay for that impression. This means that even though the user saw 29 out of 30 seconds of your ad, you paid nothing for them to see it. With a really concise advertisement, you can get your point across quickly and pay nothing for the impression. However, be warned. If too many people skip your ad, the costs for those that do not skip it can increase and your quality score can decrease. It’s important to strike a balance between getting your point across quickly and enticing the user to view it through the end.
In search ads are the second main type of YouTube ad, and they work on a similar premise to Google SEM advertisements. They show up in relevant searches on YouTube, and if the user clicks on your advertisement you’re then charged on a per click basis. These types of advertisements are good for more robust content videos, like a virtual test drive of a vehicle or a rundown of new features on a new model year.
Social Media Video:
In addition to purely video platforms like YouTube, Social Media plays a vital role in video content generating online, and that role is just getting bigger as time goes on. Platforms like TikTok are emerging as an extremely popular social media platform with the younger generation as it easily enables them to create fun and entertaining videos with their smart phones. On Facebook, videos almost always get more reach than static image posts. Instagram features “stories”, a disappearing slice of life type look into someone’s day. This was such a huge hit that other platforms are adopting similar features. Fleets, the latest innovation from Twitter, are a great example of this idea being adopted cross platform.
To take advantage of this, make sure any Social Media advertising you’re running includes a video component if possible. Your automotive digital marketing agency should be able to help guide you in the right direction. This will help expand your reach per dollar spent and diversify where you appear in user feeds. If you have any social savvy employees, discuss having them develop video content for stories on the various platforms you’re active on. These stories don’t have to be heavily scripted or produced, just slice of life moments throughout the day of the dealership. If you can capture the joy of someone buying a new car, a great experience in the service department, or the staff having fun doing their jobs it will go a long way in humanizing your dealership staff. Social media is supposed to be fun and social just like the name implies.
Cable and Streaming:
With all the new platforms for your video content, make sure you don’t forget the classic cable. Cable TV is still active but is reinventing itself with a modern twist as people migrate away from traditional cable services. More people than ever are making the transition to TV streaming services. According to Deloitte, 80% of US consumers are now paying for a streaming video service, up from 73% before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many cable providers are recognizing this and have incorporated streaming advertisements into their media packages. Unlike traditional cable buys where targeting was chosen based on programming, network or time slot, Streaming TV buys are targetable just like programmatic display advertising. This means that not everyone watching the same program on their streaming device will receive the same ad. This gives streaming advertisers a clear-cut advantage over traditional cable buys. Although Streaming TV buys are not as actionable for the user as the ads outlined above, they are still an important branding and messaging component in a modern media plan that shouldn’t be overlooked. Think of them as a laser targeted cable campaign and enjoy the targeted brand exposure that comes with them.
As video continues to grow and develop, it’s becoming more crucial than ever for dealers to get involved. Fortunately, this growth comes hand in hand with technologies that make it easier than ever to produce and distribute your own videos. If you’re ready to take the video plunge in 2021 and stay ahead of the curve, reach out to our digital experts. We will help you with everything from media planning, to production and placement.
Michael is a Digital Marketing Strategist with over 7 years of experience implementing and managing digital media campaigns of all types and sizes. Over the course of his career, he has held a variety of certifications from Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook, Programmatic DSP’s and more.
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