Try a full-funnel approach to video for holiday car sales
As the holidays and end of the year approach, we are reminded of the rush to meet sales numbers. Of course, this time of year also brings to mind more pleasant thoughts, such as images of mistletoe, candy canes, sleigh bells and cornucopias filled with goodies. Cornucopias, also termed “horns-of-plenty,” are symbols of abundance and prosperity. To me, they look a lot like sales funnels, and wouldn’t it be great to have your dealership’s sales funnel filled to the brim at the end of the year? One way to meet your goals is to implement a full-funnel video strategy. If you want to focus on high-intent auto shoppers as they travel through the sales funnel, think dynamic inventory video ads.
Progressive automotive marketers realize that an effective video advertising strategy is more than slapping together a dealer branded video with models and offers. The opinion that video advertising is only used for a high funnel “awareness play” has dramatically shifted. Today you can shop for cars right from a video ad unit. Google and YouTube exclaim that the barriers to shopping while watching online video have become virtually nonexistent.1 It’s never been easier to fill your “sales funnel of plenty” using video advertising.
New inventory video ad units have become available on media platforms like Google’s Display & Video 360 (DV360), YouTube’s TrueView, Facebook/Instagram and Snapchat. At-home car shoppers can get closer to a dealership’s inventory more than ever before by watching online video. Imagine getting the best of all worlds in a video ad: high-funnel awareness, mid-funnel consideration and low-funnel action by presenting vehicles that are on your lot today.
A full-funnel video strategy is the one-two-three punch for video advertising. Each part is important for a complete game plan — upper funnel messaging to explain your dealership’s differentiation, mid-funnel ability to research options and low-funnel action to drive clicks and traffic to your showroom. The video strategy you choose for your dealership should include all punches.
Dynamic inventory video ad units have been proven to effectively deliver more consideration and conversions. We have seen a 72 percent increase in clicks to vehicle detail pages (VDPs) from video ads that include actual inventory. By adding your specific vehicles to video ads, you appeal to more customers, especially high-intent car shoppers. Google has concluded that video is an effective way to engage with customers in the late stages of the journey.1 Vehicle shoppers are much more likely to click on a video ad and visit your dealership when they are shown actual vehicles from your lot.
As users travel through your full-funnel video advertising strategy, dynamic inventory video ads persuade shoppers anywhere, anytime from desktop, mobile or Connected TV (CTV). If your dealership is primarily advertising offline, you’re not where people are viewing content. It is critical to evolve by advertising where people will see your content. A recent buyers’ journey study from HubSpot discovered that 80 percent of auto shopping happens on smartphones, desktops, and tablets.2 As most people are aware, mobile use has grown exponentially and when it comes to video adverting, mobile-first video ads for car shopping has become a big deal.
A recent trend toward vertical video has further changed up the scene. According to Facebook, 94 percent of mobile users consume content vertically.3 Dealerships and their agencies should embrace this trend when producing video ads and create videos with a mobile-first mindset. Vertical video ads provide a big, beautiful canvas to deliver your message on mobile and allow engagement with your customers in a way that fits their viewing preferences, says Google.4
Advertising platforms continually add new targeting options that allow dealerships to reach the right demographic at the right time, on the right device. In conjunction with strategic targeting and retargeting, dynamic inventory video ads are a great way to improve engagement, increase click-through rates (CTR), decrease cost per click (CPC) and decrease the average cost per view (CPV).
Imagine a consumer landing on a VDP for a red Jeep Cherokee stock# 5T0Y73 on your website. Through the magic of retargeting, they see the same red Jeep Cherokee stock# 5T0Y73 along with similar vehicles in in a video ad — not a banner ad, but a video ad. According to Enterprise Thought Leadership at Adobe, retargeting can boost ad response up to 400 percent.5 Dynamic inventory video ads have proven to drive high-intent auto shoppers into showrooms. In one national Google study using a full-funnel video strategy, 3,200 customized video ads were created for 300+ Jeep dealers. The strategy generated 53,532 showroom visits.6 This holiday season use a full-funnel video advertising approach, get more for your money and fill up your “sales funnel of plenty.”
About the Author
Thomas Pearce, Senior Director of Interactive UX Strategy at Autodata Solutions, has over 20 years of interactive marketing, data-driven video, UI/UX online strategies, including 10 years leading interactive marketing teams in the automotive vertical. He has worked with/for many recognizable brands such as Ford, GM, FCA, Seagate, Google/YouTube and Napster.
1 Your customers use video throughout the entire journey. Do you? Think with Google
2 Buyer’s Journey, HubSpot
6 Online Video Drives Showroom Traffic, UnityWorks