Why Using a Car Dealer Stock Image Isn’t the Best Marketing Choice

Car stock photos are ideal for showcasing new models on a dealership website, via social media and even in online ads. These images are professional, high-resolution and often include close-ups of important details of the vehicle.

Professional stock photos enhance the user experience, but there is one situation where these photos might be a fail. Using a car dealership stock image could seem like a great idea; these images are usually a standard photo of a group of cars in front of an unknown dealership.

Using a car dealer stock image isn’t the best marketing choice and what dealerships should use instead. The reasons are numerous, but here are a few takeaways:

  • Dealership stock photos aren’t personalized
  • They don’t capture the dealership’s brand or culture
  • They could confuse potential customers
  • These images could take away from the website experience.

Car Dealership Stock Images Aren’t Personal

Dealerships use stock photos often. They might incorporate professional stock photos online to create a slideshow for a particular model. Some photos are interactive and encourage online engagement. Stock photos also can be used to tease upcoming models or even show base trims.

There are many reasons for dealerships to choose car stock photos. Yet, car dealership stock photos are different. Again, these photos might capture the exterior of some random dealership or they might show an overhead shot of a group of cars in a lot.

These images might seem like an easy choice to help break up space in a blog or just to add use on a dealership’s website as a hero photo. Unfortunately, though, these photos aren’t personalized for the dealership.

Dealership stock photos don’t include any personal representation of a dealership. There is nothing special that makes that photo relatable to the business. Instead, it’s a placeholder.

Photos should be used to communicate inventory, but they also need to be used to communicate the dealership’s itself. Instead of choosing a dealership stock photo, hire a local photographer to capture the front of the dealership and maybe the sales team, too.

Make that hero image personal and ensure that any dealership photo is personal to your dealership.

Car Dealer Stock Image

A Car Dealership’s Stock Image Won’t Capture the Brand or the Culture

A random dealership stock photo isn’t personal, and it also isn’t branded or even representative of the dealership culture. A custom photo should showcase and/or incorporate the dealership’s logo, brand, and/or insignia.

The more customers see imagery that relates to the brand, the more they might remember the dealership. Include the dealership’s showroom frontage or even photograph the inventory lot with the dealership sign in the forefront. By showcasing the dealership’s logo, signage and/or insignia, the photo serves to create a visual reminder of the name of the dealership for site visitors.  

Maker and Moxie recommended that businesses decide on their brand story and create a list of necessary photos before hiring a photographer. The site also advised businesses not to just rely on stock photography, although the writer noted that stock photos might be fine for newer businesses.  

Photography also can be used to capture the dealership’s overall culture. Showcase the upbeat sales team and staff. Make the team a part of the messaging and the dealership’s visual story.

Does the dealership have a mascot? Include it. Does the owner’s canine companions feature prominently in messaging or serve as a memorable part of the brand? Make them part of imagery found online.

Use a photo that incorporates the brand, captures the culture and creates cohesive messaging online. Photos should support the dealership’s overall brand, and the brand messaging (written and visual) should remain consistent across all channels. Consistency can aid in brand recognition.

Dealership Stock Photos Could Confuse Customers

Consistency is key, and adding a stock photo of a car dealership that isn’t the actual dealership could lead to some really confused customers. While a dealership stock photo might just include a basic shot of a car lot, it is still a photo of a random car lot or a random building.

Include a custom shot of the actual dealership or the inventory lot. While inventory always changes, the background of the dealership building (hopefully) won’t change often. When customers visit the dealership, they will likely recognize some elements of the dealership that are captured in the photo.

Car Dealer Stock Image

A Dealership Stock Photo Could Detract from the Website Experience

About one in three car shoppers surveyed by Cox Automotive reported that they visited the dealership website last during online research. A stock photo of a generic dealership won’t add to the online information about the dealership. The goal with online messaging—or any marketing messaging—is to leave a positive lasting impression.

 A dealership stock photo might detract from the website experience in that it could look generic or unprofessional. The photo won’t include personalized branding, team members or anything memorable. Site visitors could feel that the imagery is simply used as a placeholder.

Use EVOX Images for a Custom Dealership Photo

EVOX Images doesn’t offer dealership stock photos in its available car stock image libraries. Instead, EVOX Images offers custom photo options for dealerships to have professional photos that capture their brand and culture.

Dealerships trust EVOX Images for its expansive inventory of high-quality professional car stock photos. EVOX Images also can create personalized professional imagery that is ideal for a website hero image, social media posts or even advertising.

Dealerships can make a list of the photos they want, and EVOX Images can capture the best images to tell their story. These images aren’t stock photos; they are professional custom photos.

Car Dealer Stock Image

Use Stock Photos to Tell the Story of Vehicles

While dealerships should focus on personalized imagery to capture their business and location, dealerships should use stock photos to provide customers with the best imagery of new models. EVOX Images offers a variety of car stock images, including these new options:

  • Drive-in animations
  • Drive-in / spin animation
  • Colorized fly-around
  • Colorized spin

These new image options are designed to enhance the user experience online and create excitement. The drive-in animation photos include a vehicle model driving into the photo. This action happens automatically (no interaction required), and this photo is ideal to add an element of interest to a web page.

The drive-in / spin animation photos offer a similar action. However, after the vehicle drives into the photo, it also spins around to give customers a look at every angle of the model.

Colorized fly-around photos show the vehicle at different vantage points. As the vehicle’s vantage point changes, the color of the car changes, too. Use the photo to help shoppers see the car in all different paint options.

The new colorized spin images are animated to show the car turning around. As the car rotates, the paint color changes. Include this photo on a new mode’s site page or add it to a social media post to create interest in a new model.

EVOX Images also continues to offer its full range of still sets, 360 spin photos, interior panorama photos, base trim images and more. Choose photos to visually showcase new vehicles as they arrive in the showroom and create online experiences that help simplify the buyer’s new car search.

For dealerships that are interested in creating custom photos that capture their business, contact EVOX Images to learn more about custom options.