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Drive More Business with Video Advertising in Automotive

One of the fastest-growing digital advertising tactics in the automotive industry is video advertising as dealers begin to see the value of the medium, while others are simply getting on board because they see their competitors doing it. Keeping up with competitors is never a bad thing, but you should always take the time to understand the value of the marketing tactics for which you are paying.

This blog series examines how to drive more business with video advertising. This blog covers the importance of video, and how to create and gather footage. So let’s begin.

Why Video?

Every day, people are cutting ties with traditional cable and satellite TV companies in favor of getting their content online. These people, known as “cord-cutters,” are largely Millennials, but older generations are also jumping on the bandwagon. In light of this trend, Google recommends that automotive dealers use 15% of their TV advertising budget on online video advertising.

If cord-cutters aren’t motivation enough, then consider the following:

  • 75% of auto shoppers say that online video has influenced their shopping habits or purchases
  • 61% of auto buyers visited a dealership after viewing a video ad
  • 40% of purchasers decided which brand to purchase based on an online video ad

While video can and does influence purchasing behavior, it should be thought of as an awareness play, just like display advertising. Don’t expect to see a large volume of leads coming from video campaigns – that’s not the purpose of the tactic. Instead, you should run display and video campaigns in tandem with paid search. Let display and video campaigns increase awareness, which in turn will increase search volume and can ultimately help drive more leads.

Creating and Gathering Video Footage

Many dealers ask the same question: “Where do I get the videos, or do I have to create them?” The first place you should look when searching for video footage is your organizational equipment manufacturer (OEM). Most OEMs allow dealers to leverage the national and regional TV spots in online video campaigns. Your marketing services partner should be able to provide some minimal editing, add voice-over audio, and stitch an end-card to the video that shows your dealership’s brand, location, specials, and incentives.

video advertising

The production cost for this type of video spot is minimal and cost effective. Plus, it is always a good idea to keep your messaging consistent from medium to medium so that consumers who see the national or regional commercials on TV can be hit with the same commercial consistently online. This same logic can also be applied for those dealers that have their own local TV spots. If you already took the time and money to create TV ads for your dealership, by all means, use them in a video campaign.

If you have the budget and want to take your video campaigns to the next level, you can create additional video assets. Vehicle walk-arounds are always good, and a marketing agency should be able to help you with the production of these as well. These types of videos can be used in a video campaign, on your dealership website, or on your social media pages. Vehicle walk-arounds should be used to feature new vehicle models of which you have a large, or they can be used for pre-owned vehicles that may take more time to sell. If you anticipate that you can quickly sell a pre-owned vehicle, then there is no need to do a vehicle walk-around. On the flip side, if you have a more specialized vehicle, that can take longer to sell than your average pre-owned vehicle, a video walk-around and website/social media promotion would make sense.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to limit your video advertising spots to 15 or 30 secondsShorter spots drive much better performance and also keep the consumer from feeling like you are monopololizing their time. The last thing you want to do is turn the potential of a positive video campaign into a negative experience in the mind of the consumer. Website and social media page videos can be longer than 30 seconds, but it’s not recommended to go longer than a minute. 

Final Thoughts

The importance and use of auto dealer video advertising are only going to increase. Remember, start with the free and readily available video content from your OEM. Make sure you lean on your marketing service provider to help with creating video campaigns. Use vehicle walk-arounds to help move specific models of which you have a high inventory, and keep your videos short and to the point.

Follow along with this series when my next installment highlights using pre-roll and native video, targeting the right customers, and how to analyze metrics for maximum results.

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Michael Thomas, Director of Analytics

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