In early 2011 Gunn Nissan was looking for an effective way to generate more awareness of their “One Simple Price™” philosophy throughout the San Antonio, Texas market they serve. Like many dealers, Gunn Nissan maintained a marketing strategy that included traditional and digital components, but were beginning to feel a decrease in the effectiveness of traditional mass marketing mediums like TV, print and radio while the cost for these traditional mediums remained high and difficult to track with measurable results.
Gunn Nissan began searching for a solution that would give them an added edge and increased visibility over their competitors while boosting sales without having to boost their ad budget. They soon discovered that with the dramatic increase in popularity of online video in recent years, a new market audience had emerged that can be highly targeted, and is more cost effective than traditional mass media: online video ads.
The 2011 Google Automotive Shopper Behavior Study shows online video ads as the No. 1 most useful ad format, above all other forms of traditional and digital advertising, to connect with prospective car buyers.
Recognizing an ideal opportunity, Gunn Nissan began implementing a two pronged, “push and pull”, video ad strategy to elevate their local presence and increase profitability.
“Our eCommerce business is up 29 percent year over year since we started our video ads back in March of 2011,” said Tony Rhoades, Executive Director of Information & Consumer Strategies at the Gunn Automotive Group.
First, Gunn Nissan began using Video SEO (Video search engine optimization) that enabled their dealer brand and message to “pull” for relevant keyword search phrases and appear on Page 1 of search engine (Google, Yahoo & Bing) results with compelling videos that attract and influence consumers more effectively than traditional text results.
Online video ads decidedly draw more traffic than static ads because they combine the power of television’s sight, sound and motion with the power of search engines’ ability to speak directly to consumers who want to buy or service a vehicle now. These high impact videos are extremely effective as they stand out amongst the myriad of text ads, influencing consumers in a way that the written word cannot.
Gunn uses a proprietary Video SEO platform to distribute and optimize custom videos through an intelligent algorithm that continually works to achieve the highest possible search rankings on top search engines for popular phrases like “Nissan oil change San Antonio” or “Gunn Nissan reviews”.
A 2011 AutoTrader.com/Polk Automotive Influence Study shows that 95 percent of car buyers use search engines to shop for vehicles and 98 percent of those same car buyers do NOT go past Page 1 search results.
“Today Video SEO is given high ranking authority by top search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo,” explains AJ LeBlanc, managing partner for www.Car-mercial.com, the company Gunn Nissan uses for its Video SEO platform. “It is imperative for dealers to make it onto the Page 1 search results with high-impact video ads that quickly draw-in the consumer.”
Next, Gunn Nissan worked to implement the “push” component of its strategy. Developing a video ad network that included Geo targeting local car buyers on the largest online video ad network in the U.S., building brand awareness and purchasing intent within specific digital market areas, and driving site traffic with professionally produced, high quality targeted TV-style placed “pre-roll” video ads on highly visited websites.
“Pre-roll” refers to in-stream online video advertising across high quality, professionally produced publishers like MLB TV, that typically run for 15-30 seconds at the beginning of a video clip that a viewer has selected to watch or on a website’s home page. The pre-roll automatically runs, and often there is no opt-out option – a captive audience, just like traditional TV. The Video Ad network has the largest collection of popular national websites consumers visit to get information and see videos about news, lifestyle, entertainment, sports, how-to, technology, gaming, health, fitness, finance, auto, food, travel, parenting and family.
“With the average U.S. consumer watching over 21 hours of online video each month, and online video advertising comprising 20 percent of all viewing material, retailers can’t ignore this audience,” said LeBlanc. “Dealers can readily push their message using video ads to a select target audience on numerous popular national online TV networks – it’s truly ‘targeted TV’.”
Gunn Nissan’s initial pre-roll ad ran for 30 days and was featured on 1 of over 40 popular national websites targeted to only local consumers in the San Antonio market. The ad had 313,799 video plays with an 82 percent completion rate, meaning consumers watched the entire video ad, and 3,716 direct clicks were made to the Gunn Nissan website – a 1.18% click rate. This modest website conversion rate resulted in increased sales at a cost comparable to what would be spent on standard pay per click (PPC).
However, with standard PPC an ad is not viewed every time it shows up in sponsored links. Video pre-roll ads always play and are seen whether the consumer wants to view it or not. Just like traditional TV advertising, video pre-roll gives you the power of brand awareness, but online video has the ability to convert that viewer to an actual website lead the moment the video ad is played because the directly clickable video takes the prospect right to your website.
“MLB TV, along with the other sites in the Video Ad Network, has a huge online presence and has afforded us a great opportunity to build our brand awareness. There are a lot more San Antonians who now know… ‘At Gunn, One Simple Price™ means no fine print and No hassles’. The greatest thing about these pre-roll ads is that the consumer can click directly on the video ad and go straight to our website. Thanks to AJ at Car-mercial, Sean Stapleton and Tom Walls at VinSolutions we are now working to find better ways to track this activity,” said Rhoades. Additional stats from the Influence Study by AutoTrader.com /Polk show the average car buyer visits five different dealer websites before setting foot in a dealership. Dealers cannot afford to remain static online, as online video ads are fast becoming the new “norm” in advertising.
With 24/7 easy access to research vehicles, the increased use of tablets, cell phones and laptops and the “no pressure” aspect of searching online, more than 9 out of 10 consumers start their buying process online. Dealers have a phenomenal opportunity to get in front of in-market car buyers with maximum exposure for minimum cost.
New Video Ad Platform Increases eCommerce Sales 29%
WHAT THEY DO
- Use Video SEO to ensure their brand and message appear on Page 1 of local search results with compelling videos that attract and influence consumers more effectively than traditional text results.
- Use a Video Ad Platform that drives traffic to their site with professionally produced, high-quality targeted TV-style “pre-roll” video ads on highly visited websites.
- Geo target ready car buyers and build brand awareness and purchase intent within specific digital market areas to capture local in-market consumers.
RESOURCES THEY USE
- DMS: www.adpdealerservices.com
- CRM: www.VinSolutions.com
- Video SEO Company: www.Car-mercial.com
- Develop a Video SEO strategy to ensure your dealership’s brand and message appears on Page 1 of your local area search results with compelling videos that attract and influence consumers more effectively than traditional text results.
- Create Video Ads to drive consumer traffic to your site by using professionally produced, high-quality targeted TV-style “pre-roll” video ads on highly visited websites like the Major League Baseball (MLB) site.
- Work with an industry specialist like www.Car-mercial.com to Geo target ready buyers in your local market and build brand awareness and purchase intent within specific digital market areas to reach and capture in-market consumers.
“The greatest thing about these pre-roll ads is that the consumer can click directly on the video ad and go straight to our website.” – Tony Rhoades, Executive Director of Information & Consumer Strategies at the Gunn Automotive Group