You don't need me to tell you that virtually everyone starts the car buying process online, and many of them all but end it there, too. Even two years ago, a Google-conducted study found that 95% of car buyers began their search online, and 49.8% of people who submitted a lead form on an auto dealer's website were live chatting with a sales rep within 30 minutes.
Price negotiations and dealership comparisons often take place solely online and through phone calls, with customers showing up on the lot only to sign their paperwork and drive away. They want information quickly, they want the best deal they can find, and they know how to find it.
The increased power consumers have when it comes to purchasing a vehicle might appear to be squeezing dealerships that are used to a slower pace of business that gave them more time to develop and finesse a customer. With the average time from initial search to final purchase down to three months and the wide availability of online resources, car dealers and their sales teams need to know how to act fast to capture attention, deliver on information, and close the deal.
Yet nationwide auto dealer revenues reached a record high in 2014, according to data from the National Automobile Dealers Association, and even though this revenue milestone came with thinner margins for many it still represents an 8.6% leap over cash for car sales taken in during 2013.
Some dealerships are getting very good at capitalizing on the opportunities online car shopping—and online auto marketing—provide.
The Internet thrives on content and information sharing. It is the easy availability to tons of information on various vehicles and pricing that have given today's car buyers so much power over the transaction, but with a bit of online savvy car dealers can work this to their advantage.
Provide easy access to the information car buyers want with video and they're more likely to buy from you.
It really is that simple, at least in theory. The only complicating factor is figuring out what information your customers want and delivering it to them in a way they enjoy and that makes fiscal sense for your dealership. Video content hits the bullseye on both counts—video content is more sought after, more frequently engaged with, and holds consumer attention longer, and quality content can be obtained and displayed at a price that makes sense when you work with the right marketing partner.