Why Youtube is a good idea, but also may not be a good idea

  • Prasanthi Pittala


Auto buying has changed drastically in the past 30 years. Buyers still want to kick the tires and take test drives, but before visiting a dealership, car shoppers have already gone online to research models, find deals, reviews and get real-time advice. According to Google research, the average shopper today is only making two visits to dealerships. Car shoppers are turning to digital and mobile devices to help select the perfect vehicle. Among these virtual experiences, videos have a significant role as they are a great way to engage your potential customers. It’s absolutely essential for video marketers with car dealers as clients to be there and be useful in these moments that matter, if they want to be one of the two dealerships that car shoppers visit when they’re ready to buy.

When it comes to online video, YouTube is the first thing that comes to mind. It clocks approximately 30 million visits per day. It's an easy decision to host your dealership videos on YouTube given its low- cost, robust search engine, audience and its social media integration. But as you put more thought into it, you may realize YouTube may not be a great video hosting website for car dealerships.

While the Search Engine Optimization of YouTube is the best out there it doesn't necessarily have a positive impact on how your dealership website ranks in search. YouTube can significantly suppress the traffic that would normally go directly to your website. Even when you have YouTube videos embedded on your website, those videos only link back to YouTube. The primary goal of the dealership should be to get the prospective customers to your website, convert them to leads and get them to your dealership. When you start sending the potential customers away from your website, you are losing audience and may be tough to get them back.

YouTube makes a ton of money by selling ads, banner overlays, suggested videos in the right, related videos after the video is done playing. Anyone can purchase ads to run on YouTube, this would allow your competitors to purchase ads to run on YouTube against your videos to potentially convert your customers to theirs. In addition to the ads, related and popular videos are competing for the attention of the potential customers. Your potential customer could start by looking at your video but then easily get diverted to watch an entirely different video unrelated to a vehicle or a car dealership. This would make it harder for the customer to stay focussed on the subject and thereby losing interest in the vehicle they are searching for or lose track of the dealership they are interested in.

There is a significant debt in terms of branding at YouTube. The individual video pages on YouTube allow for some customization but do not have many options for dealership branding, links, or call to actions. Ideally, you would like your potential customers' experience to revolve around your dealership not jumping to different sites and brands and YouTube doesn't give a potential customer a seamless branded experience.

YouTube is undoubtedly the largest and easiest video hosting platform out there but digging more deeper into it, it may not be a great idea for car dealerships as it is for the rest of the world!

For more information on using video at your dealership, please reach out to Doug Thompson at VehiclesTEST.com (954-629-2242), or set up a demo with him.