For many dealers the message is becoming clear that it’s time to get video off the “to do” list and onto the Internet to capitalize on what customers have demonstrated is their preferred method of receiving information.
A recent panel of automotive marketing experts unanimously agreed the biggest challenge facing dealers this year will be finding ways to sell more cars while spending less. By being aware and taking advantage of this consumer buying trend, you’ll have a chance to do both.
What we have here is a natural progression similar to 12 years ago, when it was first suggested that dealers include a photo of the advertised vehicle in their online classified advertisement.
Many at the time questioned the value, although it was what the customer told us they wanted. From there, to stay visibly relevant, it evolved and became necessary to include multiple photos to meet the demands of online shoppers. Today, many dealers include 30 to 40 photos, providing a graphic walk-around of the car. We’ve now become so conditioned as customers that many of us will not even consider viewing an ad unless it has photos. It’s that instinctive disregard that tells you that you need to take the extra step by providing video, or again risk being viewed as irrelevant. The customer once again has demonstrated their desire for a medium that has become mainstream.
While TV has provided the consumer with information in the past, online videos have become more impactful. The big difference between TV and online video is that information viewed via TV is more likely to cause the customer to make a mental note and continue watching their program, while after viewing an online video they are already in front of their computer, have searched for specific information and are poised to take action. It’s the dynamic content in videos that cause customers to stay on sites longer, view more inventory than originally intended, and in many cases, contact the dealership to gain more information, visit the dealership or make an immediate purchase.
If you’re still hesitant, take a look at this information. In November 2009, 170.6 million U.S. visitors viewed 31 billion videos in just one month according to comScore; this is up from 146 million visitors and 12.7 billion videos from the same timeframe in 2008.
According to Ad Age, for dealerships looking to build their brands online, video represents a low-cost, low-risk way to connect with in-market consumers in the channel where they will do the majority of their product research. Recognizing this, six-in-10 car dealers say they will incorporate videos on their websites and in marketing efforts because the effect of the dynamic content of video has proven to engage customers longer, more often and effectively.
The fact is that there is a monster opportunity out there and you need to be part of it. The customer has spoken.
What if the additional exposure increases the time customers spend on your website viewing inventory, ultimately motivating them to buy from your dealership? You could spend more time selling to proven in-market car shoppers, instead of trying to find them.
Do nothing, and you’ll lose sales to the 60% of dealers who are posting videos. It’s time to get video off your “to do” list and onto the Internet so they can help you sell more cars.