Telling Your Value Story with Video

Online video continues to increase in popularity among car shoppers. Video brings vehicles to life in a way that photos just can’t. Sight, sound and motion make it more emotional and engaging for viewers. As a result, video is a powerful merchandising tool that can help influence car shoppers to not just buy your make/model, but to buy it from you.

 

Video Facts

 

•       More than 75 percent of internet users watch video online 1

 

•       50 percent of consumers watch videos while shopping for a car 2

 

•       66 percent of car shoppers would watch more video if it were available3

 

•       72 percentof shoppers are more likely to buy a product or service when a video is used 4

 

Sources: 1—eMarketer Jan 2009, 2—AutoTrader.com Site Stats 2010, 3—AutoTrader.com Video Survey 9/09, 4—Wharton School of Business December 2009

 

What You Can Do

 

First, let’s talk about where you should post videos online. It’s not just about the video’s content, the key is in the wide distribution of your videos. It doesn’t matter how good the video itself may be if it’s not being seen by car shoppers.

 

According to the AutoTrader.com Video Survey, vehicle shoppers say they expect to find videos on dealership sites, manufacturer sites and independent sites like AutoTrader.com. Therefore, it is critical for automotive advertisers to place video content in front of all potential customers. Don’t forget about video sites like YouTube either.

Now that you know where you’re going to be posting your videos, let’s talk content.

 

Do-It-Yourself Videos

 

•       Do a complete video walk-around.

 

Give shoppers a sense of what it would be like to drive and own the car.

 

•       Keep videos to less than one minute.

 

Shoppers will often lose interest if a video is too long.

 

•       State the facts.

 

Include price but keep information objective to avoid a sales pitch.

 

•       Include information that cannot be gained from photos.

 

(e.g. warranty, single owner, non-smoker, etc.)

 

•       Reinforce the retention of information.

 

Show what you are talking about (e.g. show the odometer while talking about mileage).

 

Use Pan-and-Scan Video

 

Consider using pan-and-scan videos. AutoTrader.com offers a personalized, video solution called FastAds that is based on this technology. This option allows you to use vehicle photos and easily turn them into a virtual “walk-around” video, narrated by a voiceover with a custom script. It’s a very convenient and easy tool that can effectively showcase any vehicle caryou are trying to sell.

 

Leverage Manufacturer Assets

 

You don’t always have to make a homemade video to communicate the message. Most OEMs will have video assets available for your use, so use them when you can’t use the other two options I mentioned already, or use them in conjunction with a do-it-yourself or pan-and-scan video.

 

Merchandise Your Dealership in a Video, Too

 

So far, we’ve only focused on videos about your inventory, but your online marketing is about much more than the vehicles you sell. Building confidence in your capability as a dealership is just as important, if not more important, to get shoppers to choose you.

 

•       Tell your story.

 

Do a store video tour and highlight amenities and departments. Show customers why you are a dealership they should do business with.

 

•       Use customer testimonials videos.

 

Build a strong image for your prospective customer.

 

•       Include dealership information.

 

Be sure to incorporate your contact information, website address, map, and directions.

 

•       Post your videos on a multitude of sites.

 

Include user-generated sites like YouTube, your dealership site, independent sites like AutoTrader.com, and anywhere else your inventory is listed.

 

Howard Polirer is the director of industry relations for AutoTrader.com. He has helped train more than 10,000 dealers in over 200 cities across the U.S. on the industry's best practices to reach automotive consumers. Howard can be reached at howard.polirer@autotrader.com.

 

 

 

 

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