From 2012 to 2015, digital spending in the U.S. auto industry is expected to increase from $3.24 billion to $5.8 billion. In order to accommodate the evolving sales market, those in the auto industry are turning to internet ad formats to reach consumers.
Effectively advertising auto online means ultimately increasing foot traffic as well as site traffic. The digital leads need to convert to real-time sales, necessitating more than just increased awareness. Consumers today turn to the internet before making most purchase decisions. It’s critical to not only sell, but educate to cultivate trust, and instill a sense of value in the consumer.
Digital ads can be influential in piquing interest, and none have proven more so than video. 30% of consumers were encouraged to start researching new cars after viewing an initial video ad.
As the fastest-growing digital ad format, online video was also ranked the most helpful ad format over search, TV, newspapers, etc. when it comes to automotive shopping. YouTube in particular is the site of choice for consumers.
Advertising on YouTube can mean an ad before a music video or movie trailer as well as commercials uploaded on a brand channel. The former is effective in increasing visibility; the latter more beneficial for those already looking into making an auto purchase.
Displaying influence even on purchase specifics, 40% of consumers said video ads helped decide which brand to buy. The various digital ad formats mentioned above allow the consumer to compare and contrast auto features. Ads often display how a car drives and target niche audiences, such as parents with young kids or singles looking to take the car on adventures.
One example of an auto ad that went viral is that of Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon” Campaign, which can be seen here. The video addressed a specific stereotype, and in working with the Sienna family, aimed to alter how certain car models are viewed.
As shown in the ad above, the auto industry can certainly be creative. Auto dealerships should similarly research and create campaigns based on popular brands and their target audience. AdAge reports that often the influence of new drivers is overlooked, even though three out of five parents involve their kids in the car-buying decision process.
The purchase path of consumers in the market for a new car typically goes as follows: awareness, interest, consideration, test-drive and purchase. To optimize your YouTube videos for those going through this process, it’s important to keep in mind what they are looking for – namely, car reviews and product demos. Safety, utility and fuel efficiency are critical attributes consumers look for, so all videos should work to address them. For more information on YouTube optimization, download our guide here.
The auto industry is continuously expanding alongside new sales and revenue opportunities. Digital ads – specifically video – have proven to be effective in reaching target consumers and increasing ROI. It’s important to get started increasing your digital presence today in order to be found by consumers online.