The What, Why, and How of YouTube Marketing
YouTube is perhaps the most effective platform available to connect with customers online. It is a platform that attracts more than 1 billion unique visitors monthly; and it is grossly under-utilized by the automotive industry.
Why Use YouTube?
The statistics are powerful. 10 years ago the average car shopper visited 4.5 dealerships before making a final purchasing decision. Today, the average customer visits 1.3 dealerships before buying. Shoppers are using tools online to choose and price their next vehicle. When they finally come to the dealership, they are coming to buy. The ability to embrace YouTube as a form of communication will make a dealership more searchable online, provide a tool to convey a clear message, and ultimately expand market reach.
Visibility. YouTube has powerful search engine optimization, making a dealership more visible to car shoppers. Many search engines favor video content; particularly helpful content like how-to videos.
The automotive industry has been forced into transparency with invoice prices posted on the Internet, powerful third party car reviews, and unlimited access to vehicle history reports for the used car shopper. Rather than resisting this movement, YouTube allows us to embrace it and control the message we would like to send.
Communication. People prefer watching videos to reading long blog posts. Video also gives us the opportunity to articulately illustrate our message, down to the tone. So much of communication is non-verbal and video is the only platform that truly conveys facial expression, body language, and thus the precise intended message.
Differentiation. Marketing on YouTube is so under-utilized by the automotive industry that participating in this medium is an immediate differentiator. Helpful videos like: how to check oil, how to tell when you need new tires, how best to test-drive a car, are all ways to identify your dealership as a valuable resource—one which will remain fresh on the mind the next time the customer needs service or a new vehicle.
More Dollars. Providing valuable content on YouTube gives dealers the opportunity to build relationships with customers leading to sales and service business.
Why then, won’t we embrace and participate in this online movement? We have the opportunity to connect with our customers before we ever meet, and to leave the impression that we are both approachable and knowledgeable. This opportunity to connect with customers makes this platform invaluable.
How To Create Video
This is where a lot of dealers get stuck. They believe they will need expensive camera equipment, advanced editing software, and a hired professional. Remember: these are not commercials. Valuable content doesn’t need to have incredible quality; it just needs to exist to begin working.
Personally, I use my iPhone, free editing software iMovie, and a YouTube app called “Capture” to produce the videos on my own automotive YouTube channel.
How Do You Communicate a Valuable Message?
The ideas for content are, I believe, endless. Product tours, new feature reviews, used car spotlights, how-to and messages to customers are just the beginning of how dealers can connect.
Some topics of mine that have been popular are: personalized messages both introducing myself and thanking customers for inquires and purchases, competitive comparisons, and new redesigned model tours.
The advice I would give to dealers when creating this content is to be memorable. Show personality in your videos; make your customers feel they are getting to know the staff and store. I believe that being unique has been the largest factor to my popularity on YouTube. A dealership that can convey personality, produce consistent content, and promote videos on other mediums including Facebook and the dealer website has positioned themselves beautifully to dominate the internet space and attract new customers while retaining the customers they already have.
I wish you all the success YouTube has brought me. Thank you.