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Dealers are missing out on web video opportunity

Fewer than one in 10 dealer websites currently use any form of video to promote their businesses.

According to a new study by Kent-based GForces only 14 out of the 200 dealership websites it surveyed – or just 7% – contained any video content.

Tim Smith, GForces commercial director, said dealers were missing out on a highly effective marketing tool.

He said: “If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video is even more impactful.

“It’s far more attractive from a customer’s point of view to watch a short clip than it is to wade through text, or even wait for multiple images to download. Videos help make a website 'sticky' – retaining visitors’ interest for as long as possible so the dealer can communicate crucial details about their business and available stock.”

By featuring videos on their site, dealers can also now support their search engine optimisation (SEO) activities.

“Since purchasing YouTube in 2006, Google has started to integrate more and more videos into its search results, so having one on your site improves your Google ranking and the visibility of your business online.”

According to internet search monitor firm Hitwise, UK traffic to online video websites increased by nearly 180% between 2007 and 2008.

Smith said: “It’s clear the popularity of video as an online medium is growing very rapidly.

“Some of the dealers with more sophisticated marketing strategies are already using video to reinforce a competitive advantage online.”

However, Smith warned that, done incorrectly, a video can potentially do more harm than good. “If a clip goes on too long or feels fake, then it is likely to taint the impression viewers get of a dealer’s business.

“They should only put something up there if it’s going to be of real value or deliver a truthful insight to a potential customer. Look at the style – granular home movies shot by actual clients – that’s the sort of human interest everyone wants to watch.”

Smith suggests topics of interest include new and used stock updates, new-car promotional clips (sometimes sourced direct from the manufacturer), special offers, company history and highlights of any charitable or sporting activities. Video testimonials, too, will provide prospects with valuable reassurance, clearly demonstrating how well existing customers are treated.

Smith added: “Sticking a video onto your website won’t turn a floundering business into a booming concern.

“However, every little advantage you can eek out over the competition helps, and the right clip might provide just that.”

GForces’ top tips for web videos:

  • Location – Make sure that video content is easy to find within, or accessible from, relevant parts of your website.
  • Content – Ensure that potential customers will be interested in what you’re saying. If unsure, gather opinions from customers that visit your showroom.
  • Look – Videos don’t have to look like they are shot in Hollywood – integrity and plausible content is the most important element.
  • Technology – employ the right kind of streaming technology, to make it easier and quicker for consumer to download content. A good web management firm will provide sensible advice on the latest solutions.
  • Duration – Keep it short and sweet. Stick to a maximum of three minutes.

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