What Are Canadian Car Buyers Looking For & How Do You Appeal to Them?

According to recent Mintel data, Canadians are practical in what they look for within automotive innovations. While they show consideration for innovations that elevate comfort and convenience, they prioritize affordability, safety and reliability.  This is where smart communication through our social media platforms comes into play.  For each different manufacturer, competitive edge is not only within innovation, but in how they communicate their commitment to meeting consumers needs and wants.

Safety Features are always top of mind.  Canadians are most interested in the different safety features different manufactures offer in their vehicles.  As we find more and more interest in automated features – such as blind spot warning systems and rear and front cameras – dealers must make sure they are mentioning these features while also conveying that consumers should feel safe working with them.

Women are becoming more and more involved in the vehicle purchasing process and are showing interest in automotive innovations – especially safety features. However, they remain far less engaged in keeping up with the latest vehicle innovations.

Female buyers' leading emotions for mentions of buying a car
Female buyers’ leading emotions for mentions of buying a car

With women accounting for over one-third of online discussions around the car buying journey and showing a fair amount of anticipation, it is important to be sure we are still catering to them as an audience as well as what they are looking for in a vehicle. A great example of this is Mercedes-Benz’s ‘She’s Mercedes‘ campaign.

More people are also starting to show more interest in Hybrid/Electric vehicles when talking about automotive innovation.  Studies show that those who are engaging in online discussions or posting about automotive innovation are much more likely to be interested in hybrid and electric vehicles than the general population.  A 2016 report from Mintel’s New Cars – Canada showed that nearly a quarter of Canadians 18-24 years old are considering a hybrid/electric car for their next vehicle.

Making relevant posts to your Social Media platforms is an easy powerful way to promote your product.  If you want to learn more about how to be successful on Social Media, contact us today!

Social Advertising in a Mobile First World

mobile devicesThe mobile consumer experience is rapidly changing. Consumers are checking their favorite social media platforms on their smartphones when they wake up, and before they go to bed. At this point, it is no secret that your business needs to be reaching customers on social media. How does your business stand out from the other content your customers are consuming daily? The optimal consumer experience consists of three things: using the power of videos, content consumption, and the quality of engagement.

Videos are becoming an important form of expression and communication over social media. Gone are the days of long statuses or posts to express yourself. Individuals are now sharing short videos to convey a message. However, most people don’t want to hear what you have to say, they want to view it. To get your customer’s attention, make sure the message of your video can be expressed without sound. Use text or subtitles in your video to get the customer to focus on your ad for a few seconds.

“Thumb stopping” content is one of those buzzwords everyone is using. But how do you create content that will stop people from scrolling?

Two women sitting in a bar and staring at mobile phones - Girls watching a video online on portable device

People recognize pictures more than they recognize a wall of text. You may provide the best description of your business possible, but if you are not utilizing photos, or using very dull photos, no one is going to recognize your brand in the future. You need to also consider the age of your target demographic. Younger people tend to scroll through their feeds quickly, whereas older individuals tend to take their time. You should use interesting graphics to capture a younger audience, and consider using quality photos to keep an older audience interested in your post.

The quality of engagement on social media is no match to other platforms. Individuals are more attentive and more positive to their experiences on mobile versus other platforms such as television. Even though smartphone screens are smaller than a flat screen TV, individuals are more focused to the content on their phones due to less distractions around them.

It’s time to revamp your social media strategy and Strathcom Media can help! Reach out to our sales team today to get started.

Worldwide Digital and Mobile Ad Spending is on the Rise!

After eMarketer’s latest update to their 2015-2020 forecast, the key points put focus on the growing spend and digital and mobile’s impact.

They are now predicting that ad spend is going to rise faster than previously expected. Having grown to $550.51 billion, global ad spend saw an increase of 7.2% in 2016. Digital ad spend is set to climb 20.3% to 194.60 billion for 2016. The increased jump is due to the recent Summer Olympics in Rio followed by the US presidential election.

From 2015 to 2020 ad spend growth is expected to maintain between 5% and 9% increase per year. eMarkerter also expects that by 2020 $724.06 billion will be invested in advertising.

Consider how to target the mobile market

Continue reading “Worldwide Digital and Mobile Ad Spending is on the Rise!”

Think with Google – Online Video Planning

Camera lens with lense reflections.

The Think with Google resource gives us online video planning tips for success with online videos. The first tip is to be mobile-minded. Google’s research found that viewers who watched an ad twice on mobile had – on average – a significant lift of 23% in unaided brand awareness, and 47% in unaided ad recall.

Think with Google also suggests to put YouTube alongside TV. But for most small to medium businesses, this might not be as easy as it would be for big-box businesses. So what’s the alternative? Put YouTube alongside Facebook. Not only are you adhering to the first tip, but you’re also choosing to advertise on a platform where people spend their time watching videos. When was the last time you watched a video on Facebook? The answer is probably yesterday or when you were on your coffee break.

Facebook is also more measurable than TV because you can track conversions from pixels and generate leads right from Facebook through their lead ads objective. In addition to the ability to generate leads, you can also track performance and measure key performance indicators to see if it’s all living up to your expectations.

online video planning tips

You can read the referenced Think With Google content here. If you would like more online video planning tips, check out or previous post about YouTube or give our Online Marketing Team a call; and don’t forget to ask about how you can get $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend!

10 YouTube Fundamentals

Google sign

We were lucky enough to attend Google’s Video Ignite event at the New York Chelsea office. It was a great event packed with a ton of useful content that we would like to share with you!

Video has been gaining popularity for quite some time now; video even had its own section at Think Auto this year, which was a first. Most of us would agree that we would rather ‘watch’ the internet as opposed to ‘reading’ it, but how do you become successful at utilizing video? Karolina Chodkiewicz, Senior Strategic Partner Manager, YouTube Content Partnerships North America with Google was so kind as to share the top 10 fundamentals of YouTube:

  1. Shareability
    Does your video appeal to users in a way that will encourage them to share you video? Having great content is key, and here are a few things to keep in mind when developing a strategy for your video: is it topical, is it valuable, and is it relatable?
  2. Conversation
    Is there an element of your video that speaks directly to your viewers? This could be content added in the main video or as supplementary content. Think of calls to action and video descriptions!
  3. Interactivity
    Are you able to incorporate your viewers into your content? Are you able to spark a conversation in the comments section and get them involved with what you’re doing?
  4. Consistency
    This is probably the hardest fundamental: updating your video content regularly. We all get busy and forget to make time. Having a schedule and specific video format in place will be key. You also want to make sure you’re portraying the right personality and voice in all of your content.
  5. Targeting
    Do you have a clearly defined audience? You can set your targeting at the video level, show level, and even channel level. Targeting your videos will give you more opportunity to speak to different audiences.
  6. Sustainability
    If the audience loves it, can you make more of it? Meaning, if you spend $40,000 on a video that everyone loves, do you have the resources to keep making videos to that level? Can you continue to hire the right crew for your video?
  7. Discoverability
    Will your content be found? Not every video can go viral, but are you choosing topics that are trending or evergreen (like how-to and DIY videos). Go check out google.com/trends to kick-start those creative juices!
  8. Accessibility
    Can every single video be appreciated by a brand new user or do they need to sit there and watch multiple videos to understand what you’re trying to get across? If you want your content to be shareable, you will want to make sure it’s accessible as well.
  9. Collaboration
    Is there a way to feature guest stars? More and more viewers are relating to YouTube Creators as being more like them compared to traditional celebrities. This means that they take their opinion seriously!
  10. Inspiration
    Is the idea for this video coming from a genuine place of passion and does it fit your overall brand? You want to create unique content that aligns with your brand identity and excites your viewers!

Karolina and her team researched the top performing YouTube channels and found that they all incorporated a combination of these 10 fundamentals which were key to building their success. We’re not suggesting that you need to incorporate all 10 of these items in every single video, but keeping 2 – 3 in mind is definitely a good place to start.

If you’re looking to get some videos created and would like some help coming up with a strategy, don’t hesitate to give our team a call!

Why You Can’t Afford to Skip YouTube

YouTube has about 16.6 million unique users in Canada; if you are not advertising your dealership on YouTube, you are leaving out this audience and these potential customers. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip YouTube.

Before you get into the reasons why YouTube is absent from your marketing portfolio, let me tell you that recent studies have shown that viewers retain 95% of information from video ads as opposed to just 10% from text ads. With advertisers being charged only when users watch their videos, YouTube is one of the most effective and cost-efficient channels to market your business and yet, surprisingly, is also one of the most underused channels in the automotive industry!

Users aren’t just watching videos, they’re also being impacted by them. About 70% of car shoppers say that YouTube influences their purchase decisions. YouTube lets dealerships reach new visitors who are not only interested in their business, but also eager to take action. With call-to-actions on video ads, YouTube also allows potential customers to connect with dealers to begin their car-buying experience. Studies show that 49% of vehicle shoppers who watch a YouTube video ad end up visiting a dealership.

Don't Skip YouTube
Don’t Skip YouTube

YouTube also allows dealers to remarket to specific audiences. This audience might include users who interacted with your ads and are much more likely to be receptive to additional brand messages. Remarketing can reach users who have already shown interest in your dealership and bring them to your website. By letting you reach your most valuable customers, this can lower your cost per acquisitions. And yes, we just touched on one of the reasons that should make YouTube very attractive to your dealership. It is highly cost-effective, costing you only pennies to get your message in front of interested buyers.

Google researchers found that 92% of vehicle consumers visit YouTube every month. With an eager and interested audience like that just waiting to be engaged by compelling offers and enticing visual messages, there are more than 16.6 million reasons why you should be advertising on the world’s second-largest search engine.

Start building an effective YouTube campaign with Strathcom Media today! Call our team at 1-888-914-1444.

Facebook Is A Must-Have Advertising Platform

In March 2016, Google came out with a case study that highlights how the modern car buying process predominantly involves digital interactions, 71% of which occurred on mobile devices. In November 2015 they stated that 1 in 4 car buyers turned to mobile every day to do research on vehicles prior to purchasing. Google’s 5 big moments should be something all digital marketers think about, which is why I think Facebook is an advertising platform that will strengthen any marketing efforts if executed properly.

Facebook advertising can help you generate more credible leads.Facebook has over 1.65 billion monthly Facebook users1 and that number grows each year. On average, users spend approximately 20 minutes on each Facebook session2. In Canada, about 21 million people are on Facebook and about 16 million of those users are on Facebook every day. Just the sheer amount of daily users should be enough to consider advertising on Facebook, and we haven’t even gone into the features and tools that help you get more leads and engage potential and past customers. Not to mention, you’ve probably heard more than once that everyone is always on their phone. Well, 1 out of every 4 minutes spent on mobile is spent on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Connect with potential customers via Facebook and InstagramIf you want to compete and get ahead of your competitors you should be where people spend their time – Facebook. Not only will people be familiar with your brand, but the people who are truly interested in purchasing will interact with you on Facebook. How, you ask?

  • Your ads can generate website or page traffic which can result in a lead.
  • Competing to engage with people interested in makes or models outside of your own.
  • Facebook allows users to fill out a form directly on the app or website.

The third point should stand out the most. Facebook has lead ads that allow users to fill out a form quickly through Facebook. You don’t even need to worry about a form being too long. Facebook pre-populates their info reducing the time it takes a user to fill out a form. Which means you get all the information you need to get more qualified leads.

Want the best strategies and optimizations for Facebook and Google? Contact one of our Strathcom Online Marketers to learn more.

Statista
Fast Company

Credible Alternatives to Google Adwords Advertising

Digital Advertising is becoming the new norm – this marketing channel has rapidly developed into a preferred advertising channel and shows no signs of slowing down. Companies love digital marketing because of its ability to be targeted, engaging and easily measurable. You know your outreach is going to people who want your information, you have the ability to reach your audience when they are on-the-go, and the metrics of digital advertising are built right in so you can see how the channel is adding value. Google is definitely the leader of the online advertising realm with millions of Canadians using Google every day to search the web.

 

Continue reading “Credible Alternatives to Google Adwords Advertising”

Up Your Video Game with Facebook 360

Facebook 360The next big thing in vehicle walk-around videos won’t merely showcase your vehicle from multiple angles; it will flaunt the vehicle from every single one of the 360 degrees.

Introducing the brand-new, open-sourced Facebook 360-degree video camera!

Right now, even the most progressive dealerships in the country are using some sort of spinning platform with different areas where you can attach lighting for best results. This contraption raises the vehicle off the ground and spins the car so you can capture it from different angles.

The new Facebook 360-degree video technology will take consumers’ increasing demand for more photos and video to a whole new level with full 360-degree video. They are claiming this is the “best camera of its kind”.

 

The How & Why with Facebook 360-Degree Video:

The Facebook 360-degree video camera is built with 17 component cameras: 14 wide-angle cameras on a flying saucer, 1 fish-eye camera on the top, and 2 more on the bottom. Using web-based software and new techniques in filming, you’ll be able to “stitch” images together and bring your customer into the vehicle in a new way. Facebook has created a webpage with helpful tips and tricks, best practices, and success stories to help you get the most out of Facebook 360-degree video: https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/get-started/360-video.

Facebook is saying they’re not interested in jumping into the camera-manufacturing space, so they’ll be putting the open-source designs on GitHub sometime this summer. There are a few other companies in this space that have designed versions similar to the Facebook 360-degree video camera, but so far, there has been no comparison of video quality between them all.

Nikon – http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/action-cameras/index.page

GoPro – https://gopro.com/spherical

Nokia – https://ozo.nokia.com/

The future of video shows a clear path into 360-degree viewing and virtual reality. If you haven’t started doing videos of your showroom and dealership, get filming and give the people what they want! What are you waiting for?

In the meantime, check out some AMAZING Facebook 360-degree videos other industries are doing: https://www.facebook.com/Facebook360/timeline.

How Dealerships Can Use Urgency to Increase Website Conversion

Act now! Hurry! Low Stock! Only a few items left!

Creating a sense of urgency during the sales process is a common practice in marketing, but is very underutilized in the automotive industry.

Take a look at your current website and ask yourself, am I creating a perspective sense of urgency that encourages potential customers to buy now? Are your customers aware that if they don’t act promptly, they may lose their chance to buy the product, or to benefit from the promotional offer? This practice works well, if executed properly.

Here’s how you can generate a sense of urgency to increase your sales and online conversions.

Provide Availability Information

Dealerships have a great opportunity to use the scarcity effect on their websites.  When an item is perceived as being limited, the desire to have that product will increase due to the inherent fear that people have of missing out. Leverage this by providing instantaneous alerts on inventory and let customers know when the stock level is low.

Scarcity can help improve your conversion rates

Integrate a Timeline on Your VDPs

This week only! Exceptional price! You have 3 days and 4 hours to take advantage of this offer! Add a countdown to your VDPs to remind users that your offers are temporary and perishable and that they should buy before the end of the countdown to take advantage of your deal.

The search results on Expedia’s website prominently displays a “Daily Deal” function with a timer. This fuels the urgency and encourages visitors to act fast!

Use limited time offers to increase urgency in your ads

Show Off Your Vehicle Popularity

Show visitors the popularity of your vehicles. The popularity of a product decreases consumer uncertainty and increases demand as a result. When an item is perceived as being popular, the desire to have that product will increase.

  • “15 people are looking at this SUV”
  • “10 people booked a test drive in the last 48 hours”

Using scarcity in your ads can increase conversion rates

 

Creating a sense of urgency doesn’t need to be complicated. If you have a website with Strathcom Media, you will have access to the tools that can achieve this for you. The result? An increase in your customers’ confidence levels in your product, and the creation of a sense of urgency that will successfully spur people to convert their interest into a purchase. What are you waiting for? Join companies like Amazon and Expedia and start creating conversion producing urgency now!