The way that people go about buying cars is shifting. Consumers no longer walk into the showroom and leave it up to the salespeople to give them the details. With so many online tools available, buyers are taking things into their own hands.
A 2016 report from the Harvard Business Review notes, “The average U.S. car shopper now spends 11 hours online and only 3.5 hours offline, including trips to dealers, doing research.” Even more telling, 53% of buyers would consider buying a new car online, with no dealership or sales interaction at all.
As a result of this changing landscape, dealerships must adapt. Although we can’t give buyers everything ahead of time, we can give them the information they need and get them excited about purchasing a car. That’s where video comes in.
Video can be a great way to target potential buyers and, more importantly, it can take the showroom beyond the dealership and directly to the consumer. Let’s take a look at how.
Keep focus on the key features
According to a study in Automotive News, 52% of auto enthusiasts watch videos to evaluate vehicle performance, and 42% of shoppers search inventory on a dealership website as a result of watching online video.
The takeaway? Video works when done right.
Video provides dealers an opportunity to immerse the consumer in all aspects of the vehicle—whether it’s the interior features, the various exterior options, or footage of safety tests, consumers can see things that matter to them without having to go to the dealership.
Another benefit of video is that it’s flexible. Full-length videos can be trimmed in order to feature the most important parts of the video, fit a specific marketing channel, or target a key demographic.
For example, a video focused on safety would appeal most to mothers, while a video touting the vehicle’s horsepower may be more applicable to auto enthusiasts and young adults.
Different features are important to different buyers, and video allows dealers to show the right features to the right buyer using sight, sound, and motion.
Bring the vehicle to the consumer
Video can make the buying process both easier and more immersive for consumers, even when they aren’t in the dealership.
How? The introduction of virtual test drives has permanently altered the process of buying a car.
Dealerships are now able to give drivers a feel for a car and its features without them ever having to step foot in the vehicle. Additionally, virtual tours help give buyers a 360-degree view.
While on the path to purchase, consumers can browse a variety of websites or social channels that will provide information and visual aids for the cars they are considering.
Instead of waiting for a salesperson’s assistance, consumers can take to their computer or mobile device and learn more about their purchase through explainer videos and information.
With virtual test drives and tours, consumers discover what build, features, and color they are looking for before stepping inside the dealership.
Use social media to spread your message
Social media is one branch of this growing tree. Users show their personality on social media, and tend to let their guard down when scrolling and absorbing the advertisements that appear on their screen.
Buying a car represents a major financial investment, and consumers have grown more comfortable coming to their own independent conclusions by researching on mobile.
According to research conducted by Facebook, 71% of consumers will take to their mobile device during the process of purchasing a car.
Furthermore, a report from Marketing Profs states that nearly thre-quarters of millennials say they are more influenced in their buying decisions by social media recommendations than TV ads.
Dealerships can use social media channels to showcase what the buyers want. These channels are able to target users with specific videos that are engineered to take advantage of the platform they appear on.
For example, YouTube is best suited for showcasing walk-arounds and vehicle previews, while Twitter is most effective when short videos are prioritized and pushed to the top of a targeted user’s feed.
Personalized videos are the precursor to personalized experiences that will stick with the user, and social channels are where they are most accessible.
The bottom line
The buyer journey no longer starts in the showroom. It starts at the consumer’s own pace, and it starts on the web. As a dealer, it’s your responsibility to stay with your consumers step by step.
Video marketing and everything that comes with it can make this process simpler. By taking your showroom digital, it becomes more accessible, flexible, and persuasive with the use of sight, sound, and motion.
In this day and age, those two qualities are priceless.
Erik Schear is an advertising veteran with over 20 years of sales experience. As Eyeview’s VP of sales for auto, travel, and new markets, Erik manages various components of Eyeview’s sales team nationwide and enables Eyeview’s partners to achieve ROI with their video advertising spend.