Dealers need to get creatively ahead of the curve by meeting shoppers where they are, and that may be by means of video. - Photo©GettyImages.com/Andi_Martin

Dealers need to get creatively ahead of the curve by meeting shoppers where they are, and that may be by means of video.

Photo©GettyImages.com/Andi_Martin

It’s my personal mission to speak with as many dealers as possible to lean into their feedback and ensure their business is as successful as possible. The common theme raised among all clients — whether they’re happy, unhappy, or somewhere in between — is how can you help me sell more cars? With a slowing economy, longer-lasting vehicles, and evolving consumer behavior, the need for advertising efficiency has never been greater. As such, diversification of message delivery and strategic targeting are critical. Dealers must advertise their brand and product across a variety of different channels to the right people, at the correct time, and in the proper place.

Like all channels, video will only become more expensive as demand increases. That’s why dealers shouldn’t wait any longer — now is the time to invest in video advertising.

In 2020, dealers need to creatively get ahead of the curve by meeting shoppers where they are. It’s the only way to secure consumers’ undivided attention in a climate cluttered with competing content. If executed correctly, dealers can utilize a platform that is infinitely more valuable than previously established channels, such as television. 

Enter Digital Video Advertising 

Car shoppers now use videos to educate themselves about dealers’ products. There are 4-million in-market auto videos viewed on YouTube every day. Two-times the number of test drives are taken digitally on YouTube than on the dealer’s lot. Shoppers use video at every stage of their car-buying journies. An estimated 97% of consumers who watch videos take some kind of action immediately after. They either visit a dealership, search for inventory, or conduct further vehicle research.

Why is this the case? 

When it comes to vehicle research, consuming video is more convenient, detailed, and engaging than trying to read through a bunch of articles to get the information you need. Dealers can then identify those in-market shoppers and show them video ads on the channel they already regularly use. Dealers that deploy 15-second ad-spots can grab consumers’ attention by leveraging “why-buy” messaging and showcasing specific vehicle offers. The icing on the cake is that these ads are low-cost and people see them: ideal digital video advertising launches cost between 2 and 3 cents per 15-second view and these ad spots are 95% viewable and 95% audible. 

It’s not just YouTube that matters for video, however. On average, shoppers scroll through 300 feet of mobile content per day and are more likely than ever to watch video ads. This is why dealers should not only advertise on YouTube but also on Facebook and Instagram as well, both applications that dominate attention on mobile devices. All of these channels provide us with better targeting opportunities including in-market audiences, retargeting audiences, and lookalike audiences. Compare that to running advertising on a platform like television, which has limited targeting. Even if the ad reaches the right demographic they can fail to grab consumer’s attention, as TV commercials are the perfect time to check the phone, go to the bathroom, grab a snack, or change the laundry. It’s hard to guarantee these advertisements will even be seen by the consumer.

 One method is clearly a safer bet than the other. 

Given the success it drives, one might think every dealer leaps at the chance to capitalize on video advertising. While adoption is certainly prevalent throughout the industry, not every dealer can participate. When considering video advertising, most dealers realize they aren’t capable of creating enough content at scale in-house. That shouldn’t stop dealers from investigating what video advertising could bring to their businesses. The best advertising partners can create video content, which takes dealers’ feedback on what vehicles they want to showcase as well as what types of offers they want to extend, and allow them to incorporate unique taglines about their dealership in the video. 

Like all channels, video will only become more expensive as demand increases. That’s why dealers shouldn’t wait any longer — now is the time to invest in video advertising.

Jon Torrey is a product manager for Dealer.com (div. Cox Automotive). 

Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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