Car lots have grown quieter in the past decade. As any dealership owner can testify, salespeople used to spend their Saturdays selling vehicle after vehicle. And yet, car sales are up: Americans purchased more than 17.5 million cars and trucks in 2016, according to a report from Autodata and reported on by the Los Angeles Times. This was a new record for an industry that's experienced seven years of steady growth.
How are successful dealers tapping into this thriving market? The answer is online video advertising. But why do consumers love videos? And which types of videos are most likely to drive shoppers to buy?
Why Online Video Advertising Works
Despite the drop in lot visits, modern shoppers aren't any less interested in weighing their options before purchasing. In fact, they're arguably more engaged than ever before.
Thanks to the internet, consumers are unable to commit to even an $8 bottle of shampoo without researching multiple brands, investigating ingredients and scouring the web for coupons. When the stakes are much higher — e.g. car buying — the craving for informational content becomes almost insatiable.
The quickest and most effective way to communicate a substantial amount of information is through video, and it seems consumers can't get enough of car videos. A total of 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. watches automotive-related videos on YouTube at least once per month, according to Google. Not only does this make online video advertising a viable option for engaging active shoppers, it's a great way to nurture customers between purchases, too.
What Types of Videos Drive Sales?
There's no doubt online video advertising drives consumers to take action, Google explained. After viewing a video, 61 percent of shoppers searched a dealership's inventory online and 49 percent visited the lot. According to Google data, auto dealers would be wise to invest their time and resources into these three types of videos: vehicle test drives, highlights of features and vehicle walkthroughs.
What Steps Should You Take?
The most successful dealerships in the industry have a thriving video presence, but creating the sorts of online video advertising that captivates potential customers and fills your sales team's pipeline isn't always easy.
In addition to video production costs, make sure videos reach the intended target in the right place and at the right time. Learn about the channels where your prospects spend their time online and have videos convey the messaging best-suited to their place in the buyer's journey.
Once you've done the legwork, your videos will drive highly-informed and eager shoppers onto your lot and help you achieve better close rates in less time.