Running video ads on YouTube encourages added brand awareness to your dealership. One of the most common video advertising formats is the YouTube TrueView. This ad format presents a “skip” button. After 5 seconds there is a “skip” option, which forces the user to interact with the advertisement.

The benefit to your auto dealership is that you only pay after 30 seconds of watch time or when a user has clicked on the ad. If the user does skip, you gained 5 seconds, and while not ideal, it does cultivate a certain level of brand lift.

This post today covers some tips for leveling up your dealership’s paid video advertising.

Identify Your Target Audience

Many dealerships skip this step and go straight to the video creation process. While the videos look great, they lack a true understanding of the people watching the ads. Start looking at your current customers: Identify their wants, needs, and interests, learn where they spend their time online and offline, find out how they like to interact, and learn about the jobs, hobbies, preferences, and personalities of your customers.

What problems does your dealership solve for these customers? The good news is that the OEM has done much of this work for you. But your dealership needs to stand out from every other dealership in your city.

Start looking at the white space that you fill. Is your pricing more transparent? Do you offer better quality service? Do you have a different delivery method? Can you leverage a better location?

Maybe your dealership is located near a customer’s workplace? Maybe you have a bigger parking lot with easy access? There is nothing worse than having to go into the city to get your car serviced if you live in the suburbs. If you work in the city, it may be great to service your car in the city.

Do not be afraid to identify your target market and speak directly to that audience through video. Most dealerships don’t do this, and your goal if you are reading this, is to create better video ads. A target market will help your videos stand out because your voice will match the tone of your target audience.

Be Current

At this point, we are all aware that we are living through a Pandemic. Create content that is relevant to our current state of living.Before posting, ask yourself: Do our ads reflect the times? Do we have a family meeting mask-less going through the purchase process in our video? Are we running videos in the winter featuring summer attire? Make sure your ads are relevant. If not, update your video to reflect the time.

You also need to consider your target market. If you applied the first step you may have learned that your target market has certain seasonal hobbies. These are all things that should be taken into account to keep your videos current.

Create Meaningful Videos

Videos are effective because they offer movement, imagery, sounds and music that can evoke emotion, however most videos lack that emotional component. Humor tends to be the easiest option, but you can test sadness, fear or even something like uneasiness or embarrassment. Just make sure that whatever emotion you plan on hitting will resonate with r your target market.

Tell A Story

It is important to remember that with TrueView YouTube Videos the user can skip after 5 seconds. Start the video out with a hook to grab the user’s attention Once you catch the attention, continue to tell the story by showing versus telling. You can do this through conflict. Humans gravitate to emotions. Sales and offers aren’t enticing but emotions tend to be immersive.

The conflict in the story should resolve with your dealership. Remember you are the solution. This solution can be a special offer as long as it is part of the story arc and is relatable and appropriate for- you guessed it – your target audience!

Test Multiple Creatives

Let’s face it, you might think you know your target market or your customer base, but it is impossible to know everything. Identifying your target audience takes refinement and learning.

You can create multiple videos and run them to find out which video performs better. The answer may surprise you. More than that, you might learn that one video results in more clicks but fewer conversions and another ad results in more conversions but fewer clicks. This testing should be an iterative and constant process.

Start with 2 or 3 different videos, learn which video performs better and under which metrics, and then test that video against another video. This process never gets old. Always test and always learn. Have these conversations with your agency.

Try Different Video Formats

I started out this post talking about the TrueView YouTube video ads because these are the most popular video advertising formats for most dealerships, however there are a plethora of different ways to run these campaigns. The TrueView YouTube video in itself can be run as a discovery ad or within YouTube videos and how this is displayed can impact performance. You can also create unskippable ads. While this post won’t get into the differences and nuances of these campaigns, the takeaway is that these are conversations we like to have with our clients.

Your agency should always encourage testing, because testing and applying knowledge to build better marketing campaigns is what is going to not only level-up your video marketing, but it will lead to better marketing outcomes for your dealership.

For more information about Paid Search Advertising, reach out to PCG Digital today!

Sarah Stemen
Sarah Stemen
Sarah Stemen is a Paid Search Strategist at PCG. She has been working in digital marketing since 2007. She has worked at large companies such as Nationwide Insurance and BMW Financial Services and has also worked on the agency side before joining PCG. What she loves most about her job is testing and engaging in high-level strategic conversations with clients to impact all other advertising channels. When Sarah isn't working you can find her weight lifting or taking care of her 3 kids.
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