It can be daunting to look at this massive platform and grasp the overwhelming potential of any one of these information sources, but each holds value and untapped potential for the innovative car dealer.
Take, for example, the potential of online videos: the Association of Online Publishers is predicting a 90 per cent growth in online revenue in 2010 (nma.co.uk, 2010). This communication channel is still in its infancy, however its potential power is already being explored by early adopting dealers keen to get out there and connect with customers through the use of online videos.
While the potential of video may be huge, the big questions to ask yourself are: how can my dealership benefit from online video and which online video tools should I use?
Online video allows salespeople to virtually display their vehicles in a way that negates the need to visit a showroom.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. A number of forward-thinking car dealers have already introduced live video presentations of their cars on to their websites, giving the customer the chance to view the car before even setting foot on a forecourt.
CItNow allows car dealers to harness the power of online videos on their own website while the customer is on the phone. Live video presentations of your car stock allow dealers to engage in a new, more contemporary level.
Imagine being able to talk to a potential customer while they’re sat at home and being able to show them every detail of a car with the ability to zoom in and out to show the quality of the cabin, the tread of the tyres or the space in the boot in a way that photos alone cannot do.
Another benefit can be found in the way that online videos fit very naturally into the realm of social media. A massive 626 billion videos were viewed online in 2009, therefore if you can offer viewers video content that is either entertaining or informative, the chances are they will watch it and wish to share it with others, comment on it or contact you about it. This is where videos, social networking and viral marketing can so often overlap.
If you haven’t heard of YouTube you must have been living under a rock for the past few years. This video-sharing website has revolutionised the way that videos are watched, shared and rated.
With more than 24 hours of video content posted on to YouTube every minute, this is a truly mammoth video-sharing site with global appeal. If you are producing vehicle videos for your website, take the next step and post those on to sites like YouTube. You can get useful feedback from viewers and can link these video posts to your existing social media strategy.
As car dealers assess PR tactics that yield the greatest return on investment, online video should not to be overlooked. It has grown in popularity and is widely tipped to be the principal force driving growth in display advertising this year.
Eight out of 10 internet users access online video in the UK on a regular basis, that’s 10 per cent more than the year before and that number continues to grow (IABUK.net, 2010). Therefore car dealers should give any online video campaign plenty of thought as simply shooting a video and posting it online will not guarantee results.
The key to a successful video campaign is compelling content so get creative and use online video to generate exposure for corporate activities, events, used car stock, customer testimonials… the sky really is the limit.