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The following is from an article Paul Nagy - Cobalt's VP of Core Products - wrote for Dealer Marketing Magazine's April 2009 issue.

As dealers continue to transition from traditional advertising to internet-based media, they need dynamic content to increase time spent on their website and help persuade prospective consumers to contact the dealership. 

The new trends in Video and rich media content placement have proven to increase visitor-to-purchase rates in the online retailing industry.  Many retailers have reported that when they add rich media to their site, increased conversion follows.  Online video advertising viewership is on the rise. It is expected that online video advertising viewers will increase from 129.5 million in 2008 to more than 164 million in 2011, according to eMarketer.

A new study from The Kelsey Group, 59% of auto dealers say they plan to use Internet video on their own websites during the next 12 months, up from the current 33 percent using video on their sites today.

Video has rapidly increased in importance to the consumer and therefore to the dealer. Auto Channel reported that today, 80% of car buyers indicate that videos impact their buying decision and 80% of Internet users stated that they watch video online, reports Advertising Age. Using video on a dealer site further engages the consumer and increases overall site stickiness.

The benefits of video on a dealer website:

  • Provides a comprehensive vehicle review in a rich media format strengthening the consumer’s emotional connection
  • Attracts and persuades more consumers, increases the time spent on the website, increases interaction, which ultimately, drives more leads
  • An important sales tool for distinguishing pre-owned vehicles in a time when more consumers are increasingly turning to pre-owned to fill their needs
  • Makes the car buying process easier and more enjoyable by allowing consumers to do hours of research within minutes 

Enhancing the Sales Experience

How do you capture your customer’s attention online? You want to provide them with the best video experience that really showcases the vehicles on your lot whether they are new, used or certified pre-owned.

There are various types of video that dealers can use on their site, which can serve different sales needs. There are professional videos created by third parties that can provide a high level overview that highlights the strengths and features of a vehicle. These videos incorporate footage of the vehicle in motion, provide impressions of the vehicles performance and utilize a voiceover narration that walks the viewer through the vehicle highlights. 

Another easy option for dealers is a method of creating video that allows the dealer to leverage the photos of any new, used or CPO vehicle they have on the lot and turn those into a video with a personalized voice over narration. These videos are specific to a single car and utilize computer text-to-speech technology to generate a voice over that highlights the vehicles features and specifications.  This technology allows a virtual walk around video to be quickly generated for every vehicle in a dealer’s inventory In fact, Pictures to Video is a great sales tool when following up on a lead by allowing you to email the consumer a link to that exact vehicle’s video.

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