According to the latest Google/Ipsos study, more than 75 percent of auto shoppers say online video has influenced their shopping habits and purchases. This is a 6-percent increase from the 69 percent of auto shoppers cited in Google’s 2015 study, “The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own.”
But what does “influence” mean anyway? Skeptics could argue that a number of factors influence auto shoppers on their journey. But this study focused on the research phase of the car-buying process, and in particular, video’s ability to convert car shoppers into car buyers.
Research and Consideration
It’s no surprise that more than any other medium, video engages car shoppers at the top of the funnel and has the power to bring them down through the funnel.
The Google/Ipsos study found:
- 40 percent of auto shoppers who used online video for research said it helped them discover a vehicle they weren’t previously aware of or considering;
- 50 percent of auto shoppers said video helped them learn more about the vehicles they were considering; and
- 40 percent said they used video to narrow down consideration set.
According to Google’s “The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own” study, the most influential videos during the research and consideration phase are test-drive videos, videos that highlight features and options, and video “walkthroughs.”
Google also found that video inspires auto shoppers to take action. More than 60 percent of car shoppers who used video during the research process reported visiting a dealership or dealer website after watching a video of a vehicle they were considering.
Manufacturer Fiat Chrysler decided to test the conversion power of video when it created an online digital video campaign to promote its annual Jeep Celebration sales event. Corresponding foot traffic was measured. The six-week video campaign drew more than 50,000 visitors to 300 Jeep dealers. That’s an average 166 visitors per store.
But dealers don’t have to rely on manufacturers to create videos for them. What would you be willing to invest in a campaign that brought an average 27 new visitors to your store every week?
In the study, Google profiled one dealer who reported that after switching from broadcast media to a digital video strategy, his internet leads increased by 26 percent and in-store traffic increased 22 percent.
To enhance the conversion power of videos, we recommend the following tips:
- Host videos on a dedicated video-hosting platform instead of YouTube. Your videos will be distributed to multiple channels including third-party auto shopping sites and social media profiles, gaining even greater exposure. Additionally, YouTube doesn’t share any viewing data beyond the number of views. With a dedicated video-hosting platform, you will get valuable data such as where your video views came from, time of day and you can even match video viewers to customers in your CRM.
- Display each video on its own landing page. If you host your videos on YouTube, once the video is done, your viewer is presented with suggestions from Google on what to view next. You have no control over this process, and Google might even show your competitors’ videos. When videos are displayed on a landing page, you get to control what your viewers see next; for example, your dealership’s value proposition and customer testimonial videos. Additionally, a lead submission form and call to action is prominently displayed, encouraging viewers to contact your dealership.
- Include a call to action. In every video, viewers should be encouraged to visit your showroom or call your dealership. Display your phone number prominently both in the video and on your landing page, and include a map location for your dealership on the landing page. Also make sure that your videos display current incentives and offers. When you host videos on a smart platform, incentives and offers can be customized to individual viewers based on their online browsing behavior.
The Google/Ipsos study shows us how incredibly important it is to have video be a part of your dealership’s marketing strategy. Without it, you are literally giving away leads and losing market share to video-savvy competition.