Car shoppers fall in love with a vehicle by seeing it up-close and in detail. A spec sheet, written pitch, or even a low-resolution image typically isn’t enough to captivate a car buyer in the age of ultra high-definition television, monitors, and phones. High-resolution premium stock photos, however, can create immersive experiences that capture a customer’s attention—and their imagination, even in-place of seeing the vehicle right before their eyes.
Complete sets of premium stills, exterior spins, interior panoramas, and interactive automotive virtual reality assets give car buyers a deep understanding of what a car offers before they ever see it in person. At a time when car shopping increasingly begins online, these assets can drive purchasing decisions and pave the way for customers to step into the showroom. As such, premium stock photos are no longer a nice-to-have, but a critical part of today’s automotive marketing.
THE POSSIBILITIES OF PREMIUM STOCK PHOTOS IN AUTOMOTIVE MARKETING
It has been decades since classified ads and newspaper flyers were the primary way for dealerships to reach out to car buyers. While a short description and a low-res image once sufficed, the digital marketplace has opened up new possibilities, and today’s consumers demand more. They want to see a vehicle and interact with it in meaningful ways before they consider driving it.
However, as technology has evolved and car buyers have become more discerning, even standard stock photos are no longer enough to make a dealership stand out in a crowd. Rather, potential customers want a complete visual experience accessible via the device of their choice and content that is ready to browse from virtually anywhere. By using premium stock photos in your marketing efforts, you can create these experiences and give car buyers a comprehensive view of each vehicle you offer, including:
- Exterior styling. Exterior styling is perhaps the most powerful draw of a vehicle and the first feature car buyers look for as they begin the search for their next car. With today’s technology, it is possible to offer detailed views of a car’s exterior from every angle, with just the swipe of a finger.
- Color. The color of a car is known to affect many factors, from vehicle safety to resale value. The specific color of a car often has a significant impact on purchasing decisions. In fact, researchers have found that 39% of consumers are willing to change brands to get the color they want. As such, showing a vehicle in every OEM color available can help car shoppers connect to the vehicle they want.
- Interior design and features. While the exterior of a vehicle is typically the first point of interest, interior comfort, ease of use, safety, and the livability of the vehicle are all essential deciding factors for car buyers.
- Comparison to other vehicles. When looking for a new vehicle, car buyers are usually deciding between several cars rather than set on a single vehicle. Being able to offer side-by-side comparisons of multiple vehicles can help them navigate their options.
With high-quality stock photos, you are able to offer car buyers complete, detailed, and interactive views that shape their decision-making process and guide them into the dealership.
GOING BEYOND DEALERSHIPS
While premium stock photos are an essential part of marketing for dealerships, their advantages go beyond car dealers. Significantly, these assets present new marketing possibilities for car rental agencies, automotive insurers, research sites, e-commerce websites, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), and virtually any company that specializes in automobiles or auto products.
Car rental agencies typically offer rental cars by size and grade instead of model, and there often seems to be little difference between agencies. Strategic use of premium stock photos provides an innovative way to stand out in the crowd and offer consumers greater insight into their options. Rather than presenting only a single model in a class and a non-specific “or similar” option, premium car photos allow rental agencies to show customers a thorough overview of every vehicle in a class. Not only does this help rental agencies to differentiate themselves and connect to customers, it facilitates better comparisons between tiers and may spur upgrades
Premium car stock photos also have meaningful benefits for auto insurance agencies. High-resolution images can help agencies create more engaging online experiences and be reassuring to consumers seeking insurance quotes, as they can confirm that their quote aligns with their exact vehicle. Additionally, detailing each model’s features and making its safety benefits—or the lack thereof—explicitly clear through photos is next-level service that can help an insurance agency stand out from its competitors. In short, smart integration of high-quality assets throughout an insurer’s website provides an easy way to engage customers before they even have a VIN to run through the system.
Additionally, premium car stock photos can act as a critical part of ridesharing app design and function. Not only can these images be a valuable addition to the overall look of an app, but anyone who’s requested a rideshare can appreciate the value of having a high-quality, correctly colored photo of the vehicle they are expecting. OEMs and aftermarket component manufacturers can use stock photos to show exactly which makes and models parts and accessories are compatible with. This can be particularly valuable for e-commerce sites that do not give customers the ability to view products in person, relying solely on the digital environment to convey product information.
ACCESSING PREMIUM CAR STOCK PHOTOS
The value and versatility of premium stock photos in automotive marketing are undeniable. Indeed, with the advent of virtual product clinics, they will increasingly guide both which products are marketed and how they are marketed.
However, finding these photos can be challenging, as few stock agencies provide the kind, quality, and breadth of imagery needed to create compelling marketing materials. Partnering with a firm that specializes in high-quality automotive stock photography ensures access to a comprehensive library of images created for the diverse needs of the auto industry. With these assets, companies can deploy more powerful marketing strategies that resonate with today’s customers and open up new opportunities for growth.