1. Video Advertising

  2. In-Stream vs. Out-Stream Video Ads

  3. Why YouTube

  4. YouTube Video Targeting

  5. Choosing the Right Type of Targeting

  6. Picking the Right Audience

  7. How to Measure Success

  8. Connected TV

  9. Summary 

There are 93,000 YouTube Videos Viewed Every Second 

Pretty incredible right? And the fun part about this, as soon you read that number, it's already higher. Check out this link to see where it is when you read this sentence. 

YouTube has become an incredible source of content and an incredible place to reach your potential customers. Since YouTube is owned by Google, it is a powerful platform to leverage since you already have Google Analytics running on your dealer's website (right?) and chances are, you're already running some sort of Google Paid Search campaign. 

Number of YouTube Videos watched every second

Video Advertising

Video Advertising typically sits at the top of the marketing funnel to help effectively drive awareness for your dealership. It can be used in the consideration stage if done wisely. But we’ll get to more of that coming up. 

Video Advertising and the Marketing Funnel


Keep in mind that Google has been capturing consumer intent signals for a long time. And they are really good at it. Their first effort to capture intent was through people entering in specific search terms in Check out our Automotive Digital Marketing - Paid Search Guide. An easy way to think of this stuff is that you need to create intent for your dealership and then capture it. Search does an amazing job at capturing intent. Video advertising does a great job of creating it. Google now has 7 properties, or platforms, with more than a billion. BILLION monthly active users: Google Play,, Gmail, YouTube (which Google bought in 2006 for a cool $1.65B), Google Chrome, Android, and Google Maps.

Google's 7 Properties

And guess what they are capturing intent signals across all 7 of them. Imagine that you’re daughter or son is in the market for a Honda Civic as their first car. Then you as an awesome parent are probably “helping them shop.” You start your journey with a quick Google search with something like this: “Best car for a teenager.” 

And Google sends you a list right back to you. 

Best car for a teenager

So now you’re aware that there at least 9 vehicles that are the “best car for a teenager.” so you will narrow those down and consider 3-4 of them before you decide to purchase one of them for your perfect teenage driver. We'll get into more detail about ways to target customers that are currently shopping for their new teenage driver. But first, we need to cover off on some basics. 

In-Stream vs. Out-Stream Video Ads


In-Stream vs. Out-Stream Videos


In-Stream video ads show up as part of the video stream that you’re about to watch. The most common example is probably YouTube content. When you search for content and get a YouTube video, you often will see an add playing before your desired content. This is simply, in-stream video ad content. 


Out-Stream Video Ad Example


Out-stream video ads typically run by themselves on a web-page or somewhere else. Think of them as display ads but in a video format. 


YouTube Video Targeting

It's best to think about Video Advertising in a simplified framework of the marketing funnel. We mentioned earlier, that Video Advertising is best used at the top of the marketing funnel (and some could argue in the middle consideration stage). Whenever you are thinking about the marketing funnel there are essentially four things to think about: 

4 Levers to the Marketing Funnel

With YouTube, there are essentially 5 different ways that you can target your potential customers: 

  • Affinity Audiences
  • In-Market Audiences 
  • Retargeting
  • Custom Intent Audiences
  • Geography (by Radius)

Let's discuss each of them. 

Affinity Audiences

These are people who are categorized by Google based on their hobbies and interests (identified from search behavior). These categories are pre-defined by Google. 

YouTube Affinity Audience Examples

In-Market Audiences

People Google has determined to be "in-market" for something. A particular product or service based on search and browser history. Google has a set list of in-market audiences to choose from. 

YouTube In-Market Audience Example

Retargeting (Google calls this Remarketing because...well...they are Google)

This is the same as any type of retargeting. You are able to build specific audiences based on which pages they visited on your website and the specific actions they took or didn't take. For instance, using the example from earlier, if someone visits your Honda dealers website and check out 4 Honda Civic vehicle detail pages but never submitted a lead, then you can retargeting them with your dealerships Honda Civic YouTube ad. 

Custom Intent Audiences

These are built with performance advertisers in mind, custom intent audiences allow you to reach viewers as they are making a purchase decision based on keywords they have recently searched on 

Here's a link to an awesome resource that goes into much greater detail of the Custom Intent Audience.


Finally, you can combine any of the targeting types with a specific geographic area. A good starting point is obviously a certain mile radius around your dealership's physical location. 




Picking the Right Audience

This is the real power of leveraging the Google platform. And feel free to reach out if you don't see the impact that this can potentially have for your dealership. Go into your Google Analytics account for your dealership's website and click on the Audience tab on the left. 

Google Analytics and YouTube Targeting 1

And then select Interests

Google Analytics and Affinity Audiences

Here you can see the traffic that is coming to your website based on these specific targeting types from Google

Google Analytics and YouTube Targeting 2

Google will give you a very clear breakdown of the audience type and the quality of each audience type that is driving quality traffic to your website based on time on site, pages viewed, and probably most important to you, the conversion rate

Google Analytics YouTube Targeting 3

In the framework of the Marketing funnel, it generally looks like this

YouTube Audiences aligned to Marketing funnel

Pretty cool right? 

How to Measure Success?

Different audiences drive different results. Choosing the right audience will help you achieve the goals that your want. To break it down for you, this will help depending on what you are trying to achieve: 

  • Affinity Audience. Earn the most views at the lowest cost
  • In-Market. Get the highest amount of conversions
  • Retargeting. Highest click-through rate and view-through conversions (more on this soon). 

Industry Benchmarks

  Automotive Home Goods Health Care Technology
Cost-Per-View $0.06 $0.05 $0.06 $0.04
View Rate 28% 31% 31% 27%


Multi-Channel Marketing is Best

One of the important take-aways here is that all of these marketing tactics need to support your overall marketing strategy. Using them together with intention is the best way to roll and will keep you from wasting a whole lot of money. Typically you will see a significant increase in your paid search campaign performance when you start a YouTube campaign. Remember the marketing funnel. For Paid Search campaigns with a concurrent YouTube Video Campaign running, we've seen a 40% increase in clicks on the paid search campaign, 32% increase in click-through-rate, and an almost 60% increase in conversions. 

And the same story holds for paid social campaigns like Facebook. With a concurrent YouTube Video Advertising campaign running, we've seen the following results: 77% more impressions, 82% more clicks, and 17% more conversions. 

View-Through Conversions

When talking about the search and social lift you will see from adding a YouTube Video Advertising campaign, it's important to understand something called View-Through Conversions. Sounds like something fancy, but it's really not. View-Through conversions are counted when someone views a YouTube video ad but does not click on it. Later, they may be driving home from their teenager's concert piano recital and remember watching that ad. So when they get home, or most likely at the stop light, they put in a couple of search terms into They visit the dealer's website and fill out a form to schedule a test drive from their teenager. That form-fill being completed counts as a conversion on the website and since they viewed the YouTube ad earlier, Google knows that, so give the YouTube Video ad credit in the form of a view-through conversion. Pretty awesome. 


Connected TV

 A entire separate guide can be written on Connected TV. But I'm sure that it's been presented to you or you may be leveraging it currently through your local broadcast television partners or through The Trade Desk. We've found this summary table to be helpful in just keeping the terminology clean. 
Terminology Definition
OTT Content that is streamed on request through an Internet connection onto a laptop, mobile device, tablet, or CTV
CTV A television set that is connected to the Internet via OTT devices, Blu-Ray players, and gaming consoles or has built-in Internet capabilities. CTV is a subject of OTT
Linear TV Traditional TV where content is delivered to a specific channel at a specific time. The type of television most of us watched growing up. 
In-Stream Skippable pre-roll, mid-roll, post roll video ads served within original video content
Full Episode Player Professionally produced content that are tv-length (typically 30-60 minutes, sometimes more) and often includes multiple ad breaks throughout the streaming video content. 



We hope that you found the Automotive Digital Marketing Video Guide to be helpful. 

Advertising is likely one of your biggest expenses at the dealership level and you have to figure out how best to allocate your monthly spend so that you can hit your advertising cost per vehicle. There’s an infinite number of choices out there and it’s your job to best allocate that advertising spend. Here are a few tactics or techniques that you can use.

Here’s a list of digital marketing tactics (or techniques) that is by no means exhaustive. Seems like there are new tactics entering the marketplace every day. But these are the individual tactics that should support your overall marketing strategy. If the tactic is linked then it will send you to our Guide for that linked tactic. Let us know if you would like to see a Guide written for one of the tactics that isn't linked. We'd be happy to write one for you. 

Check out our Complete Guide to Automotive Digital Marketing

We've worked for hundreds of hours to document our teams years of experience in one spot, and its all available to you for free.