GForces Tim Smith takes a closer look at the way video is transforming the world of online car sales.
According to internet search monitor firm Hitwise, UK traffic to online video websites increased by nearly 180% between 2007 and 2008.
Smith said: “It’s clear the popularity of video as an online medium is growing very rapidly.
“Some of the dealers with more sophisticated marketing strategies are already using video to reinforce a competitive advantage online.”
However, Smith warned that, done incorrectly, a video can potentially do more harm than good. “If a clip goes on too long or feels fake, then it is likely to taint the impression viewers get of a dealer’s business.
“They should only put something up there if it’s going to be of real value or deliver a truthful insight to a potential customer. Look at the Confused.com style – granular home movies shot by actual clients – that’s the sort of human interest everyone wants to watch.”
Smith suggests topics of interest include new and used stock updates, new-car promotional clips (sometimes sourced direct from the manufacturer), special offers, company history and highlights of any charitable or sporting activities. Video testimonials, too, will provide prospects with valuable reassurance, clearly demonstrating how well existing customers are treated.
Smith added: “Sticking a video onto your website won’t turn a floundering business into a booming concern.
“However, every little advantage you can eek out over the competition helps, and the right clip might provide just that.”
GForces’ top tips for web videos:
Location – Make sure that video content is easy to find within, or accessible from, relevant parts of your website.
Content – Ensure that potential customers will be interested in what you’re saying. If unsure, gather opinions from customers that visit your showroom.
Look – Videos don’t have to look like they are shot in Hollywood – integrity and plausible content is the most important element.
Technology – employ the right kind of streaming technology, to make it easier and quicker for consumer to download content. A good web management firm will provide sensible advice on the latest solutions.
Duration – Keep it short and sweet. Stick to a maximum of three minutes.