Consumers might have two large monthly expenses: the car payment and the mortgage. When shopping for either a new home or car, most buyers will not make such a significant purchase sight unseen. Photos can help the buyer understand if the purchase fits their needs, requires any changes or repairs and matches their style or design preferences, too.
Real estate agents provide slideshows or virtual tours online to appeal to a buyer’s visual curiosity. Car dealerships also need to provide potential buyers with imagery to showcase the vehicle on their lot or showroom. Here’s why car stock photos are vital marketing tools for car dealerships and how dealerships can leverage these digital assets.
There are several different types of digital car stock photos dealerships can utilize online:
- 360 degree spin photos
- Panorama interior photos
- Base trim photos
- Slideshows of still images
How do dealerships best promote their vehicles using these images to keep customers engaged? Are certain images ideal for specific marketing purposes?
How to Use 360 Degree Spin Photos
Spin photos are often referred to as ‘360 spin photos’ as the user can interact with the image and turn it all the way around (360 degrees). These images are best used on online spaces that encourage interaction.
Social media pages for dealerships on sites like Instagram or Facebook could include these images. However, the dealership will need to provide some type of instructions or directives to online visitors. Otherwise, social followers or those who surf onto a dealership’s social sites won’t know that the photo is interactive.
Spin photos that showcase the exterior of the vehicle might be the most beneficial to the dealership when they are used on the dealership’s website. These images can be uniquely placed on a new model’s webpage to encourage user interaction. Again, though, dealerships might wish to provide an interaction prompt for site visitors.
Perhaps a model’s webpage could include a slideshow and an on-page spin exterior image that encourages users to explore the new model.
Panorama Interior Photos
Spin photos also can focus on the vehicle’s interior. These photos are typically referred to as ‘panorama’ photos. The images encourage the user to look around the vehicle using a fingertip (when using a mobile device) or the mouse.
Panorama photos give the illusion that the user is sitting in the front seat of the vehicle and looking around. The photos allow the user to look up to see features like a moon or sunroof and to investigate the back seat space, too.
Panorama photos can be used next to or in conjunction with spin exterior photos. These immersive photos let car buyers better understand the exterior design features and the interior space of their possible dream vehicle.
Base Trim Photos
Some buyers only have a limited budget for a new car. To keep the car payments low and the sale price reasonable, some buyers might decide to purchase a vehicle without any upgraded features. The base trim of a model also correlates with the lowest price or base price.
Unfortunately, those who are interested in purchasing a base price vehicle might not be able to visualize how the car looks at its most basic trim level. Some dealerships might post beautiful photographs of vehicles, but they will include a note that states that the car is a different price than the MSRP.
The beautiful images may include numerous upgraded features or may be a more expensive trim of a popular model. How are buyers who can only afford the base trim of a model able to understand the design or look of this option?
EVOX Images provides a base trim car stock photo library to dealerships. This library includes photos of only the base trim of the model. Dealerships can use these photos on their website or via social media.
Show buyers the base trim and let them know that the photo they see correlates to the base or lowest MSRP price they might find online.
Slideshows Online and Via Social Media and for Ads
Slideshows of vehicles are a useful tool to help buyers discover different aspects of a vehicle. Slideshows can include all the interior and exterior close-up shots that tell the car’s story.
Dealerships might include imagery that showcases an infotainment screen, the digital instrument panel or even the wheel rims. The slideshow also could show the car from different exterior angles and include images of the trunk or cargo space.
Slideshows depicting new models also could be an interesting post for social media. Use slideshows on photo-centric social sites like Instagram and don’t forget to include information about the vehicle’s price and/or specs.
Slideshows of multiple car models can be part of a carousel ad that is featured on Facebook or other online sites; Meta lets advertisers use up to 10 images for a carousel ad. These interactive ads let the user scroll through different images and click on the information that they wish to explore. Use unique links for each image of a carousel ad.
What Car Stock Photos are Best for a Hero Image?
Dealerships might be familiar with the term ‘hero image.’ This is a large or oversized image found on the main page of the website. These images are designed to grab the visitor’s attention.
Car dealerships might want to change out their hero image regularly. Choose a new model that will ‘wow’ the visitor and use the image as the hero image on the website. A hero image doesn’t just draw the visitor’s attention to the site; it also could make them curious about the featured vehicle.
Some dealerships, however, don’t use a vehicle as their hero image. Instead, they create a banner that showcases the dealership name. The banner also might include a search query system that encourages visitors to peruse their available inventory.
Before choosing a hero image, the dealership might need to focus on the goal of the image. Does the dealership want to move a specific car model? Do they want the hero image to focus on the dealership and the dealership name?
What About Car Stock Videos?
Car dealerships might want more visuals on their website or social sites beyond just pictures. Videos also encourage user interaction. Car stock videos can provide a tour of the vehicle and showcase different features of a model.
Car stock videos can be used on social media to tease a new model and build excitement. These videos also could be included on a specific car model’s web page to simply provide an additional resource to buyers.
Integrating videos, interactive photos and slideshows all can help keep site visitors or social media followers engaged and interested.
How Should the Dealership Leverage all these Tools?
Every dealership has its own unique marketing strategy. How one dealership integrates car stock photos and videos on its website might be completely different than a competitor.
The end goal of using imagery and videos is to create a memorable experience for the customer, keep them engaged and use the website and help to move them to the next step in the buying process.
When site visitors are on the website, is it convenient for them to interact with someone from the sales team? Is there an online customer service representative who can help them and answer questions?
While photos and videos can help a buyer research a potential purchase, ultimately, the dealership must make the next step in the sales funnel an easy one for buyers. Beautiful photos can help draw a site visitor to a particular car, but easy communication tools can encourage the visitor to convert into a buyer.