The process of shopping for a new car has changed drastically over the years. In the past, consumers may have started the process by looking at a newspaper classified section, a dealer sales flyer, or going to whatever local shopping center couldn’t bother towing the cars with ‘for sale’ signs stuck under the wipers.
Watching a favorite movie online in those days involved an eight hour, or longer, download time and getting thoroughly sick of the intro. In the here and now, both shopping for a car and watching videos have moved mostly online, and there is a surprising degree of overlap between the two, which is why HD automotive video footage should be incorporated into your marketing plan.
Car buyers in the modern and always-connected online world are accustomed to streaming HD videos whenever they want. When they are shopping for a car, being able to view HD automotive video of the vehicle they’re looking for is an option they expect to have.
But this expectation is surprisingly not met by most dealerships, or automotive manufacturers. In some respects, the automotive industry still operates by the rules of yesteryear, and online listings are still treated much like expanded newspaper classifieds. In an era where not just HD streaming video, but ultra HD video is increasingly common, this is a significant oversight in automotive marketing.
WHY HD AUTOMOTIVE VIDEO MATTERS TO CAR BUYERS
There are many reasons why HD automotive video matters to car buyers and marketers. A video makes a car’s scale and the way that disparate details flow together into a single vehicle clear to the watcher. That isn’t always the case with car photos, as certain angles can make a vehicle look larger, or smaller than it is.
The movement and motion of a video help the human eye to make more sense of what it is seeing, as opposed to car image stills. Seeing a car in motion also helps consumers imagine what they will look like behind the wheel, which may influence their purchase decision. There is also an element of trust that is conveyed to the viewer through a video that may not be there with photos alone.
However, the biggest reason automotive marketing should include HD automotive video is that video, in general, has saturated daily life. Through today’s computers and smartphones, a video has become something that is shown, dissected, and debated in office break rooms and at lunch counters. Automotive marketing that doesn’t include video in some shape or form is missing out one of the most common media platforms of daily life.
HOW TO USE HD AUTOMOTIVE VIDEO TO ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS
The majority of car buyers start their buying journey with online research. Often this begins with car review portals and car editorial sites where experts share their opinion on different models of vehicles, their performance, and what their features add to the experience. However, the internet differs from print media in that it is able to present a diverse range of opinions where print media can only present that of a reviewer, or an editor. These opinions include those of amateur or semi-professional reviewers on third-party streaming sites whose opinion might reflect the needs of the buyer more than that of professional car reviewers.
A basic, no frills car meant to just get one from point A to point B may not be well-reviewed by critics, but is often much-loved by those who own one. Critics who routinely review luxury and performance cars might not be the ones to best understand and relate the features of a very basic subcompact vehicle, whose target market is those that are looking to upgrade from a car from the previous century. But someone in a similar budget and lifestyle bracket who owns one of these cars is in a position to speak to them about the pros and cons of the model. The third-party streaming sites where these owner-reviewers post their opinions are the water coolers of our always-online age, and more and more car buyers want to hear the opinions posted on them.
HD automotive video footage of these cars posted on streaming sites allow dealerships to enter into this sort of watercooler talk. Once posted, these videos don’t just have to stay on streaming sites either.
- HD automotive video footage can be used in online ad campaigns, and be used again on a dealership’s streaming channel as part of an intro to a longer video. This can serve as a soft landing page for clicking on an ad.
- Videos can be shared from streaming sites to social media like Facebook or Twitter, giving them broader reach, more views, and drawing in more customers.
- Videos can also be directly uploaded to social media sites and used to grab followers’ attention as they scroll through their newsfeed. Incorporate these videos into your Facebook or Instagram ads to target consumers who may be interested in the specific vehicle featured in the video.
- Streaming videos can be a teaser for longer videos, detailed car picture galleries, press releases, and spec sheets on dealer websites, helping to bring customers to the website.
- HD automotive videos can also be used in car listings posted on the dealer’s website and third party websites. Incorporating video assets into car listings on third party websites can help your listing stand out from others that solely show images.
- Dealerships can also use video assets as banner and side banner ads on their website to promote a newly released or just announced vehicle.
Car dealer video marketing posted by a dealership on third party sites can show viewers the details they would like to see. Buyers could watch an owner’s review of a vehicle, have their interest piqued, and then want to see more.
Amateur car reviews, although informative, tend towards lower quality video with inconsistent angles, and spotty lighting. Dealerships that provide HD automotive video footage of particular cars will draw anyone that wants a more detailed look at a model, an approach based on sharing video and information also builds trust with a car buyer.
WHERE TO FIND HIGH DEFINITION CAR VIDEOS FOR MARKETING
Dealers have used video for their marketing for a very long time. However, this has been in the form of television ads. When many dealerships brought their marketing online, they retained the same mentality. The majority of the video footage used for marketing that consumers see online is in the form of advertising before or during the video that they’re trying to watch. There is room for this type of marketing, but its potential is limited compared to making HD automotive video footage available for those that are specifically seeking it out.
The car dealerships that have made their videos have tended to lack the high resolutions that today’s buyers are looking for. Most dealerships do not have the time or resources to create high quality, high definition automotive videos. Furthermore, most auto sales staff are not cinematographers.
A solution to this problem is to make more use of automotive stock footage, especially for new vehicles. Stock libraries specialize in photography, imaging, video and routinely produce high-quality HD automotive video footage. This footage makes for outstanding follow-up to the plentiful owner car reviews that are found online, and do an excellent job illustrating the angle and details that car buyers might not have seen clearly in a car review.
Video clip sets, 360 exterior spin videos, and showroom videos can give viewers an uncommonly high-resolution view of vehicles that they don’t get from any other source. These videos can also be combined with a voice-over to become editorial car videos that give viewers a brief overview of the vehicle. The voice-over can highlight the main features of the vehicle, help consumers make sense of the video they are watching, and provide consumers with the information they need to make a purchase decision.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN HD AUTOMOTIVE STOCK VIDEOS
There are a number of different stock libraries to choose from, so it’s important to know how to choose the right one for your dealership.
First, look for a stock library that focuses solely on automotive images and videos. A company that provides stock images and videos of a wide range of products may not understand the unique needs of the car consumer. Therefore, their images and videos may not capture the details and features that are important to the average consumer. But a company that solely offers automotive images and videos will know the best way to present a vehicle in images and videos.
You should also look for a stock library that contains various types of video assets, including fly-around videos, showroom videos, and drive-in videos. Incorporating different types of videos into your marketing efforts can keep the customer interested and help them see the vehicle, inside and out.
Finally, make sure the video assets are shot in high resolution with optimal lighting. The lighting and resolution should be consistent in all videos. The lighting is especially important since a poorly lit video can hide important features of a vehicle. Make sure the way the vehicle looks in the video is the way that it actually looks in person. No customer wants to fall in love with a vehicle after watching a video only to find out that it doesn’t look the same in person.
TAKE YOUR MARKETING TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH HD AUTOMOTIVE VIDEOS
While high-quality car pictures can make or break a dealership’s website, it is high-quality videos that determine the effectiveness of the rest of a dealer’s marketing efforts. Wise dealerships will make the most of the channels that are available to them, and make full use of the resources available to them through automotive stock libraries.