Pre-Roll: 5 Surefire Ways To Know That You’re Still Doing it Wrong!

 January 20, 2017
Posted by Francis Mariela

By Paul Caldwell

It‚Äôs been almost 2 years since I made this promotional video impersonating President Donald Trump for my Digital Dealers session, Pre-Roll: You’re Doing It Wrong. I took time this week to look back at my notes from this presentation and found that many of the core principles I went over sill hold true.

Algorithms may have changed, some trends may have changed, but some of the most important things that I stressed at that convention I will once again stress now.


If you‚Äôre¬†still¬†not running video on YouTube, Facebook or any type of online video platform because you don’t know what to run due to the additional production costs.

The worst thing you can be doing with video right now is not running any at all.  While yes, each platform requires different formatting, and the audience consumes media differently on YouTube then on Facebook, it is still very important to be in front of your potential and current customers. Serving up a strong brand and retail message, even if it is, at a minimum, just your current TV spot is essential to strengthening your dealership’s presence in the marketplace.  This practice also works to increase the reach and frequency of your TV buy.

If you’re not running TV at all due to production costs, the proper pre-roll targeting will help make the most of your current TV spots. This will help give your current TV spots a longer shelf life and spread out your costs over 3 months.

However, with all of this being said, I still recommend using custom creative for each online video outlet, if you do have access to a larger budget. Online video pre-roll that is customized to include real people, lifestyle activity, or animation can boost your completed view rate by a minimum of 20%.


If you think it’s still too expensive to run creative for your dealership.

Consider creative to be the new normal cost of business if you want to compete in this economy. 10 or maybe even 5 years ago you could get away with running generic ads but today the landscape for automotive advertising has changed drastically. You need creative to stand out.


If you’re still doing everything yourself and not measuring your results based on best practices for creative.

This ties in with my previous point. Doing everything yourself and not following the best practices for creative might save you a few dollars but at what cost? You are not really giving yourself an advantage by saving money if you are not really being effective with your own creative.


If you’re still judging automotive online video advertising like Pay-Per-Click.

While it’s delivered on a digital device, it’s consumed like traditional television. This is completely different than a pay-per-click strategy. You have to look at different metrics like completed views, viewability, brand lift, audience targetability and view-through conversions.


If you’re still not integrating your pre-roll strategy with your advertising campaign.

Your online pre-roll strategy should not run alone; it should be part of an integrated marketing effort. This should at a minimum include retargeting ads, paid search, social media marketing and email marketing. By integrating your pre-roll with these other types of digital collateral you will be able to amplify your efforts for more leads.

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Francis Mariela is bilingual writer, publicist, and advertising executive with over 10 years of experience. She currently works at Caldwell & Kerr as Senior Bilingual Copywriter handling all Spanish language output for the agency and press releases for clients.
pr@caldwellandkerr.com