The Importance of Online Video

Nine out of 10 car shoppers use video to research and buy vehicles. That, in and of itself, is reason enough to have a strong, consistent YouTube strategy. But, just in case you aren’t quite convinced, let’s look at some other statistics:

The popularity of video test drives and 360-degree walk-around videos has been on the rise among car shoppers for several years now. Throw in a pandemic, and marketing without these sales tactics is virtually impossible. The average car shopper spends about 10 hours researching online. Of this online activity, auto shoppers rank YouTube as the number-one platform for video research, beating out both OEM and dealership websites. 69% of prospective auto buyers using YouTube said that the site had an influence on the car they ended up choosing.

Video ads can also extend your budget by reaching 66% more car shoppers than with local television advertising alone. These ads encourage shoppers to take action and engage your dealership. YouTube is the number-one destination for watching auto-related content. With YouTube targeting, buyers are targeted based on shopper profiles. Once these viewers are identified, your videos are shown to potential low-funnel customers.

In this 60-Second Update, Intermark Automotive offers four marketing tips you should consider when establishing your online video presence on YouTube:

So, what can you do to maximize engagement on your YouTube channel? Continually provide content. The more content that is provided, the more likely you are to pop up on people’s search results and watch lists. According to Google’s “The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own” study, the most influential videos during the research and consideration phase are test-drive videos, videos that highlight features and options, and video “walkthroughs.” These types of videos influence nearly nine out of 10 car shoppers—far more than TV commercials, radio spots, and print ads combined.

But it’s also important to diversify. In addition to test drives and walk-around videos, here are a few ideas for content:

  • “Meet Our Staff” videos. Introduce new staff members, celebrate anniversaries, and highlight employees who have won awards or have been commended for exceptional service.
  • Dealership news and highlights. Upcoming events, sales, contests, giveaways, community sponsorships, and charity fundraisers are all great ways to engage customers.
  • New model reveals. One of the most exciting times for a dealership is when your brand releases a brand-new model or redesign. Don’t just rely on the factory’s videos. Show off these new vehicles in your showroom or on your lot, featuring your sales staff.
  • Testimonials. Using the words of real satisfied customers has been an effective sales tactic for car dealers for many, many years. YouTube is just a new platform to showcase your happy customers, and smartphones with cameras has made the process faster and easier.
  • How-To’s and FAQs. Monitor your website chats and have your sales and service teams take notes on what customers ask about the most. Then turn those questions into short educational videos.

One more thing…well, a few more things, actually, to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be a Spielberg. Although you want the quality of your videos to be good, try not to go overboard with graphics and effects. Keep it simple and let your brand be the star.
  • Share your story. Think about what makes your dealership special and create videos with exclusive and unique content. The more individualized you make your content, the more successful your online presence will be.
  • Keep it real. Feature real employees and go for a more conversational approach, rather than something that is scripted and overly rehearsed.
  • Hook ‘em early. If your video doesn’t grab a viewer’s attention within the first 10 seconds, chances are they will leave, so be sure to start off strong with a compelling message and high energy.
  • Include a call to action. Every video should include your contact information and location. Prominently display your phone number, address, and website URL.
  • Fill in the description. Give a brief, yet accurate, description of your video, and always include your call to action.
  • Always respond. It’s important to remember that YouTube is still social media, so personal connection is key. Be sure and respond to all queries and comments with personalized responses.

Video is one of the most powerful, and cost-effective, marketing tools you can use to build brand awareness and engage customers during their research process. YouTube’s reach is unparalleled, reaching more car shoppers than streaming, cable TV, and broadcast television, and it enables you to connect with customers in more meaningful ways.

For more information on how to effectively target intentional car buyers via YouTube, contact Intermark Automotive today!

by Shea Posey, Senior Account Executive/Compliance & Co-op Specialist

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