I have really gotten into YouTube as a way to promote a business. With more and more people using higher speed internet connections and cell phones and other mobile devices offering more video playback capabilities online videos are increasingly becoming a great way to reach people. Many people prefer to watch a video on something as opposed to reading text on it. While YouTube isn’t the only service available for online videos, due to its overwhelming popularity it is the one that I concentrate on the most.
I feel that car dealerships are one of the potential businesses that could get the most out of marketing through YouTube. There are many small impulse purchases that customers aren’t going to research they just see them and decide to buy them. For a couple of reasons cars obviously aren’t one of these. People like to research cars, look at them and test drive them before buying them. Part of the reason is because these are expensive purchases. People want to make sure that they get a good deal before they spend a large sum of money on something as important as their primary means of transportation.
Another reason being that many people just enjoy studying and looking at cars. There are a lot of people that enjoy going to car dealerships and looking at cars even when they don’t intend to buy one just because they want to see them and dream of the purchase. How many times have you seen someone stop to look at a car for sale on the side of the road even when they aren’t looking to buy? Just the other night I seen two guys I work with looking at and discussing a beat up twenty year old company pickup truck that wasn’t even for sale. People just like to look at cars.
As the internet becomes a bigger part of our life more people use the internet to learn about and just in general look at cars. As more people turn to videos such as YouTube in place of traditionally text based websites these videos capture a share of the “car views” that traditionally were only done in person.
This can make YouTube a great way to promote a car sale. A couple of years ago I was designing a management system for a car salesperson to be able to add their cars to a website. I was trying to create a system using easy to use form fields that would allow someone with basic computer knowledge to be able to add pictures, information and the description of a car, to a dealerships website (as well as remove it when sold). I toyed with the idea of adding YouTube video capabilities to the website. My thinking was an image was good but a video could potentially be better. You could create a video with the car specifications and a complete 360 degree view of the car both inside and out.
My thought process was that when people are making a major purchase like a car they want to research it as much as possible online before traveling to see it in public. You might have a lot of competition but if you offered potential customers the most information they could get from the comfort of their own home then you had the best chance of them already being sold on the car and coming to you first as opposed to your competitor that may has only one tiny black and white image and brief description in a sales catalog.
YouTube is free, there are many online listings sites that are free, cameras get cheaper all the time, and in fact many people already have smart phones with great video capturing capabilities. A tech savvy car salesperson could quickly get a good video of the car, add the cars description, put it on YouTube for free then post the car on a site such as Craigslist with a link to the video. A visitor might be interested in a couple of cars on Craigslist, they would view the couple of photos and description offered by a competitor then check out the much more thoroughly offered presentation offered by the YouTube video and guess which vehicle they are much more likely to spend their hard earned money on? Hooked before they have even left the comfort of their own home.
I don’t think that the average person would buy a car online. They would look at in person and test drive a car first. But you could go a long way to making sure that your dealership is their first stop and this particular car is the one that they have their heart set on. With a relatively simple YouTube video and just a tiny bit of promotion for this video.
Personally I feel the best approach would be to have a website and feature every car on its own page with text and images as well as embed a YouTube video in the page. Despite the popularity of these videos there are still some people that would prefer a more traditionally website. You could then advertising in car listings and on sites such as Craigslist. The viewer would see this initially and then use the dealership site and video for follow up. You might even offer a great deal on one car as a loss leader type thing and post this in a newspaper, car listing, Craigslist etc to get people to your site for more info on then great offer where they can then view the rest of your stock.
In closing there are many ways to promote a business online, some effective and others not so much. It really depends on the product or service offered and the target market. I hope that I have shown you some great ways to implement YouTube into your marketing plan for vehicles. As I feel that vehicle sales and YouTube combine to form an unusually simple and effective marketing method.