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Chris Green, co-founder and sales director, motoring.co.uk

New research into video content and the motoring industry has revealed that one in five UK consumers search the web for car video content, while one in six have searched YouTube for reviews before buying their next car. The research also reveals that 19% of consumers watch videos on car manufacturer websites and online reviews, when searching for their next car.

The largest appetite for online video is among 18-44-year-olds, with 22% consuming car reviews on YouTube when they are deciding what car to buy next, and 20% visiting manufacturers’ websites to watch video.

Despite these stats, it is apparent is that many car manufacturers either bury their unique video content on their site, making it difficult to find, or simply don’t make it available at all. There is growing consumer consumption of video-on-demand (VOD) content, especially via mobile devices or iPads, and it presents manufacturers a great opportunity to showcase their cars – old and new.

Car marques have some of the best video content available, including historical and archived footage, along with ongoing new video production, but they simply do not use it powerfully enough. Consumers are visiting manufacturers’ websites less and less but VOD content, old and new, is a great way to draw them back.

If we look at Audi UK as an example, it has partnered with Manchester United for several years and lots of the club’s stars drive Audis. There was quite a lot of video content at one time with several high-profile players, including the Likes of Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, that had obviously been produced by Audi UK. However, the company has simply not harnessed the power of that content in order to build a much stronger awareness of the brand and push visitors to the website. In fact, the video content just seems to be hidden away with no promotion whatsoever.

With VOD, manufacturers could look at streaming live, say, from their stands at motor shows across the world or exciting launch events. They could also produce one-off events, such as testing a car on a track day. The amount of consumers that would visit manufacturer websites in order to view that particular type of sexy content could be huge and would enable constant repeat engagement and visits, creating much stronger brand loyalty.

Manufacturers focus on capturing data for brochure requests and test drives, so why are they not producing video brochures, which effectively give short punchy information about their new cars? The videos could feature a walk around of the car, a quick test drive with someone interesting and then, at the end, there could be a link to order a physical brochure or book a test drive with your nearest dealer.

Video content provides manufacturers with an excellent platform to inform and convert potential car buyers, via buyer’s guides, car reviews and video overviews. These can be broadcast on a dealer or manufacturer’s website and, potentially, other portals.

Investing in unique content can boost natural search ranking and lead to an increase in targeted traffic to a website. Manufacturers who don’t commit to publishing quality, relevant video content risk falling page rankings and declining web traffic.

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Published 22 November, 2011 by NMA Staff

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