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Mobile video revolution: The new era of car sales

According to a Google study, 75% of auto shoppers reported that mobile video directly influenced their purchasing decision.

Automobile dealerships are told they must adapt to the ever-changing landscape every week. Or at least it seems that way. For example, one of the most significant developments in car sales has been the rise of mobile video. With video taking up 82% of consumer internet traffic, there is more than enough research to show that video is shaking up how people buy cars.

This powerful tool is not only transforming the car shopping experience but also opening new opportunities for dealerships. With the average person watching 100 minutes of video daily, embracing this trend and leveraging its potential to ensure continued success is time.

Times are Changing

For decades, customers have visited dealerships to test-drive vehicles and inspect them up close before purchasing. But, if you haven’t noticed, mobile video is changing that. Today, potential car buyers can virtually explore every nook and cranny of your vehicles from any location using their mobile devices.

But why should dealerships care about this shift? For one, research has shown that mobile video drives purchase decisions. According to a Google study, 75% of auto shoppers reported that it directly influenced their decision, and 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices. Furthermore, car shoppers who watched mobile video content were twice as likely to visit a dealership as those who didn’t.

This means dealerships that effectively harness the power of mobile video can tap into a vast audience of engaged and motivated buyers. In addition, by providing compelling video content showcasing their inventory, dealers can pique potential customers’ interest and build trust and credibility in their brand.

A Tree Starts with a Seed

But to stay ahead of this trend, it would be easy to think you must do more than create and share videos. You may think you must deliver a seamless and immersive mobile video experience like Michael Bay, James Cameron, or Ron Howard. No. You don’t.

But look, dealers can invest in or work with a partner with high-quality video production to make OEM-style 360-degree video technology to give viewers a comprehensive look inside and outside the car. And you can provide interactive features that allow users to explore specific elements in detail. So, if you have the money, go for it. But be aware that the costs can be prohibitive.

However, dealerships shouldn’t overlook the potential of live video. As Warren Buffet said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” So, sometimes you must start with what you have — a minimum viable product, so to speak, that’ll get better over time. So, make yourself feel better by checking out TikTok and Instagram to see the quality that people respond to. You may even be inspired.

So, start by offering virtual walkarounds or live Q&A sessions so you can engage with customers in real-time. And since emails with “video” in the subject line have a 30% higher open rate, start producing a video series about product benefits your customer is focused on. These provide a personalized touch often lacking in the online car shopping experience.

This can help customers know your dealership, help build rapport and foster a sense of loyalty, making customers more likely to choose you when it’s time to make their purchase.

By providing this level of visual engagement, dealers can make it easier for shoppers to imagine themselves behind the wheel, increasing the likelihood of a visit to the dealership and, ultimately, a purchase.

Know Your Target

Of course, simply creating top-notch mobile video content is not enough – dealerships must also ensure it reaches their target audience. This requires a strategic approach to marketing and distribution, leveraging the power of social media platforms and search engine optimization (SEO) to increase visibility and drive traffic.

By utilizing platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, dealers can share their videos with a broader audience while targeting specific demographics and user interests through targeted ads.

Moreover, partnering with influencers and automotive bloggers can help extend the reach of dealership videos and lend credibility to the content. By collaborating with new bloggers or, if you have the money, well-respected voices in the automotive world, dealers can amplify the impact of their mobile video efforts, driving more potential customers to their virtual showroom.

Commit. Do. Assess. Measure. Repeat.

Finally, dealerships must measure the success of their mobile video initiatives and adjust their strategies accordingly. This means monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as views, engagement, and conversion rates and using this data to inform future content creation and distribution efforts.

By continuously refining their approach, dealers can ensure that they are maximizing the potential of mobile video and staying ahead of its rapid evolution. As a result, forward-thinking dealers can drive sales and strengthen their market position by embracing this digital revolution.

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Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News. He earned bachelor's degrees in Marketing and Television from the University of Texas in Austin and a Masters of Theology study from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas. His passion for automobiles lead him to become a creative director for automotive marketing ad agency. Most recently, he was the manager of interactive marketing for Mitsubishi Motors, NA.

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