Using YouTube’s Free Marketing to Sell More Cars

YouTube iPad

When a shopper wants to see a car, it’s no longer the dealership showroom that they go to. Instead, many of today’s shoppers are turning to video.

While no longer being the go-to spot for unveilings and demos may sound like a loss for dealerships, it actually opens up opportunities to reach more consumers than ever before.

The Internet’s Virtual Showroom

Vehicle video views are currently in the millions and will keep growing as online shopping becomes more ubiquitous. In fact, Google’s research shows that more than 40 percent of shoppers who watch a vehicle video will visit a dealership as a result.

To harness this mounting interest in video, dealerships can start by using the internet’s second-most-popular search engine and number-one video platform, YouTube. Best of all, you can do it for free.

Here are a few video tactics that you can put to use on your dealership’s YouTube page to start driving traffic in your door today.

Personalized Video Demos

When you receive a lead, chances are that you will have the customer’s email, name and the vehicle which interests them. That’s all you need to create a compelling, personalized video demo.

Have your web specialist film a video of a salesperson giving an overview that includes key features, a demo, and a look at the exterior and interior. You don’t need expensive equipment to do this. In fact, most smartphones now capture high-quality video that is well-suited for the web.

Make sure to include the prospect’s name in the video and in its title. For example, naming the video “Jason’s New 2018 Elantra” will catch Jason’s attention more than something generic. Make sure to upload this video to either the dealership YouTube or a separate demo account, then send the customer the link.

Research has shown that a person’s name is their favorite word to hear. It’s amazing how using this simple, personalized tactic will up your ethos with the customer and turn a cool lead into a warm one.

Dealership Highlights

When customers are considering a visit to your dealership, they’ll want to know what they can expect when they arrive. Having a high-quality video that highlights your dealership’s best features and amenities will help you make a great first virtual impression.

Consider featuring friendly employees, the snack and coffee bar, lounge area, landscaping and anything else that you would want to show off about your dealership.

Once you have your video edited and ready, it’s a good idea to pin it as a featured video on your YouTube channel. This will keep it front and center so customers can’t miss it.


In all likelihood, the manufacturer will have its own unveiling video of a new model online. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t feature a new model’s arrival at your store.

YouTube has a “related videos” feature that serves up video suggestions based on what the viewer is watching. If a customer is already on your channel, it is possible that an unveiling will be a related video that catches their eye. Even if your unveiling isn’t the first one to be posted, it may be the first one your customer has encountered.

Culture Showcase

Posting video highlights of special events and culture snapshots of your employees is a good way to convey the personality of your dealership. This could mean featuring star employees, posting highlights of a volunteer day or showing the team in action with customers.

Storytelling is always a great way to captivate audiences, so consider having an employee with a particularly compelling story share it on camera. For example, you could feature a person who started washing cars and moved up to a successful sales role.

While culture showcases are useful, be cautious not to go overboard. Customers are on your channel to shop for cars, not watch videos of every sales event you hold. Remember to keep a good balance between the two.

Service Center Tour

Just like a dealership video, a service center highlight will show off your facility and entice customers to visit you for service.

When making these videos, consider showcasing amenities, service bays and technicians in action. Additionally, you can include numbers such as years of experience, clients served, and efficiency and satisfaction rates.

Paid Video Advertising

The strategies outlined above all take advantage of YouTube’s no-cost marketing potential. However, you can also gain exposure on the platform by purchasing paid advertisements. For more on the specifics of this, check out our article on video web advertising.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as an account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40.” In 2018, Strong was named CEO of the Year by the BBJ. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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