Many automotive consumers go online to learn about new models, research their options, and decide where to purchase a new vehicle. These consumers often fall in love with a vehicle based on the images they see online, which is why choosing the right images is so important for automotive dealerships.
Some dealers choose to take their own photos of vehicles, but the vast majority of dealers rely on stock photos pulled from a car photo database. How can auto dealers benefit from using stock photos? Where can these photos be used? Here’s what every dealer need to know about using a car photo database:
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING A CAR PHOTO DATABASE?
There are many reasons why an auto dealership should use stock photos instead of taking their own photographs, including:
- High Quality Photos
- Consistency Across Marketing Channels
- Easier to Maintain Online Inventory
- Efficient Use of Resources
- True Representation of Vehicles
HIGH QUALITY PHOTOS
It’s easy to take a photo of a vehicle, but it’s much harder to take a high quality, professional photograph. This is one of the main reasons why dealers often use stock photos, which are high quality and high resolution images.
The lighting in these photos is also consistent, which makes a huge difference to consumers who are comparing different vehicles. By using these photos, dealers can help consumers get an up-close look at each vehicle they are interested in.
CONSISTENCY ACROSS MARKETING CHANNELS
Using stock photos also helps auto dealers establish consistency in their marketing efforts across all channels. Each of the stock photos within a car photo database are taken from similar angles with the same lighting, so using them across all of your marketing channels will create a consistent, professional look for your brand.
EASIER TO MAINTAIN ONLINE INVENTORY
It’s much easier to maintain your online inventory of vehicles when you are using stock photos as opposed to your own photos.
For example, say a new vehicle arrives on your lot. You need to get it listed online right away, but you can’t post a listing without photos of the vehicle. If you plan on taking the photos on your own, you will need to find time to prep the vehicle, move it to an appropriate location, take photos, and upload the photos before you can get it listed for sale. But if you use stock photos from a car photo database, you can quickly pull the images you need to list the vehicle in a matter of minutes.
Your inventory may change on a daily basis, so using stock photos can save you hours of time and ensure you can get new vehicles listed for sale as soon as possible.
EFFICIENT USE OF RESOURCES
One of the keys to your dealership’s success is making the most out of your limited resources. However, taking your own photos of your vehicles is not an efficient use of your resources.
If you choose to take your own vehicle photos, you must either invest in the appropriate photography equipment or hire a professional photographer. Both of these options are expensive, so they may not be right for dealerships that are trying to stick to a small marketing budget.
As the example above illustrated, taking your own vehicle photos is also time-consuming. By using stock photos, you can free up time in your staff’s schedule so they can focus on other more important tasks that directly generate sales. Therefore, using car stock photos helps you efficiently manage your dealership’s limited resources.
TRUE REPRESENTATION OF VEHICLES
Automotive consumers assume that the images they see online are accurate representations of what the vehicles actually look like in person, but that’s not always the case. Dealers that take their own photos may unknowingly post a photo that does not accurately represent the color, size, or features of the vehicle.
To avoid this problem, dealers should use car stock photos from a reliable car image database. The professionals who take these photos understand the importance of accurately representing each vehicle, which is why the vehicle will always look the same in person as it does in the stock photo.
WHERE TO USE CAR STOCK PHOTOS
Automotive dealerships can use car stock photos in a variety of ways, including:
- Website Content
- Social Media
- Online Listings
If your dealership’s website has a blog, make sure to incorporate stock photos into your posts. For example, if you are writing a blog on the most popular features found in luxury vehicles, incorporate stock photos that show each of the features you are describing. This is a great way to help your readers visualize what you are talking about.
Even if you don’t include stock photos within the content, you should at least use one stock photo as the blog post’s featured image. This is the image that will appear whenever the link is shared.
You should also use stock photos on your website, especially your homepage.
The image you use as the background on your homepage should be striking enough to immediately catch your audience’s attention. It should also help visitors understand who you are as a brand. For example, if you are a high-end vehicle dealer, you should use an image of a sleek and sophisticated luxury vehicle.
It’s important to maintain a strong presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media channels. Every time you update these accounts, pull a relevant stock photo to go with your post. Using professional, relevant images in these posts can increase engagement, attract new followers, and build brand awareness.
Of course, stock photos can be used in online vehicle listings as well. The vast majority of automotive consumers start the process of shopping for a car online, which is why it’s crucial to create online listings for each vehicle in your inventory.
This isn’t a secret–most auto dealers list their inventory online to attract these consumers. As a result, a consumer in your area may browse through hundreds or even thousands of listings from local dealers when deciding which car to purchase. Using stock photos is one way to make your listings stand out.
The high quality, professional look of a stock photo is powerful enough to get a consumer to stop scrolling. In other words, stock photos can help you cut through the clutter and get your target audience’s attention.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A CAR PHOTO DATABASE
All car photo databases are not created equal. When searching for a car photo database, look for these important qualities:
- Comprehensive coverage of vehicles: The stock photos you choose should show consumers as much of the vehicle as possible. Look for a database that includes photos of the interior and exterior of each vehicle from different angles.
- New releases: Automotive manufacturers release new models annually. Choose a database that will give you access to photos of new models shortly after they are announced or released.
- Used and new vehicles: Having access to photos of older models is just as important as having access to photos of new releases. Being able to showcase photos of both used and new vehicles will ensure you can sell to the broadest audience possible.
- Search feature: You shouldn’t have to spend hours digging through thousands of stock photos to find a photo of a specific vehicle. Make sure you choose a car photo database with an easy-to-use search feature.
Finding a car photo database with these qualities will make it easier for you to market your dealership, maintain a professional online presence, and sell more vehicles.
TIPS FOR USING CAR STOCK PHOTOS
After finding the right stock photo database, the next step is pulling car stock photos. Follow these tips when using stock photos:
- Pull both interior and exterior photos. Many dealers make the mistake of focusing too much on the exterior of the vehicle when marketing a car, but the interior is just as important, if not more so.
- Optimize your images. Improve your website’s search results ranking by optimizing each stock photo you use online. Incorporate keywords into your file names, alt text, and image descriptions to increase your chances of securing the top spot in the search results.
- Make sure you are authorized to use the photo. Some images are free to use, but in most cases, you will need to purchase the rights to use a stock image to market your dealership. It’s best to choose stock photos with extended licenses. This licensing structure will allow you to use the images over a long period of time, modify them, and add your branding.
- Show various colors. Finding the right car color is important to automotive consumers. Pull stock photos of the vehicle in every color available so automotive consumers can see all of their options. This way, they won’t have to visit another website to find images of the vehicle in the exact color they are interested in.
Now you know how to find a reliable car photo database, use the images to market your dealership, and sell more cars. Switch to stock photos today so you can take the first step toward growing your business.