How is YouTube influencing car buyers?

February 8, 2024

Understand the power of video content in the car purchase journey

Playing a major part in the consumer car buying journey, YouTube is redefining the traditional customer purchase process in the UK. As car buyers demand a more digital, on-demand experience, YouTube has pioneered filling this need for greater access to vehicle information. 

Up to 90% of vehicle shoppers worldwide consult YouTube first before making a decision. The powerful platform’s visual medium provides a level of showcasing and demonstration unmatched by traditional promotional methods from car dealerships. 

Recognising YouTube’s positioning at multiple touchpoints can present many opportunities to any size dealership. Through creative video content, it is possible to directly reach and guide buyers at peak moments of their decision making. The numbers don’t lie – with subscribers growing over 20% year-on-year, YouTube generates sales unlike any manufacturer brochure, radio promotion or newspaper ad ever could.

In this article, we discuss how YouTube is influencing car buyers in the UK. We’ll look at the overall power of social media, and the importance of YouTube, as well as share our top tips on how to create great YouTube car content. Read on to find out more… 

How does social media influence car buyers in the UK?

Social media has become an increasingly influential part of the car buying journey for British consumers. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram allow buyers to research potential purchases more extensively than ever before. 

Did you know that 6 out of 10 car buyers start their search without knowing which one to buy? According to Google, the average car buyer will visit just two dealerships in person, compared to hours of online research. This method far outperforms TV, newspapers, or magazines. 

To support this claim, CarGuru conducted a study and its results reveal that 71% of car buyers (7 in 10) rely on social media to assist in their search for a new car – 21% of those people went on to say it directly influences what car they eventually purchased. So that’s just 3 in 10 people that opt for traditional research methods when it comes to buying a car.

YouTube in particular has a massive impact on consumers, with 60% of UK car buyers reporting they use it to help choose their next car. Review videos and test drives by influencers and professionals allow buyers to evaluate models on a much more detailed and personal level. This visual storytelling has the power to grab attention and sway the opinion of those who are undecided on which model to purchase.

Facebook is another vital platform, with many brands and dealers running ads to target buyers by age, location, income level, lifestyle interests, and more. Car buyers can ask questions about brands, view special offers, and interact with groups to hear unfiltered reviews. These insights provide them with social proof that can inspire confidence in a purchase – and with such a huge financial commitment when it comes to buying a car, it’s important that consumers feel they’ve made an informed decision. 

Additionally, Instagram offers a showcase for cars as lifestyle accessories and status symbols and proves a great tool for brand building. Across all social media channels, every point of the customer journey is now enhanced by digital touchpoints at various junctions.

How YouTube is influencing car buyers in the UK

So, how does YouTube content influence the car buyer’s decision? Well, YouTube has become an increasingly popular platform for car reviews and advice for consumers in the UK. With over a billion hours of video watched every day by people across the world (yes, really!), YouTube offers convenient access to a wealth of information for car buyers researching their next vehicle purchase.

We know that 60% of UK car buyers use YouTube to help inform their buying decisions, so that is a stat that dealerships should absolutely tap into. Video content is important because it allows consumers to see vehicles up close and watch test drives. Popular car reviewers and vloggers such as Mat Watson from Carwow have access to all makes and models of cars and can effectively provide detailed reviews, comparisons, and buying advice to their millions of subscribers. 

Seeing the influence these YouTube channels wield, car manufacturers are also utilising the platform for marketing purposes. Brand channels and paid partnerships with influencers give businesses direct access to digitally savvy buyers. Many car buyers in the UK report YouTube reviews and associated ads on the channel as having a significant impact on both their choice of car models and the optional extras they choose too.

Let’s look at the data; Statista says that 4 out of 10 UK car buyers reported using YouTube during the vehicle purchase process. The accompanying graph courtesy of Statista shows what social media platforms have the most power over car buying consumers – YouTube leads with 41%:

But what other data supports the power of YouTube? According to influencer brand Socially Powerful, 70% of car buyers believe YouTube content influences their purchase. To drill down on this data further, research conducted by Social Media Week says that 65% of car buyers narrow down their choices after watching video content. 

This is because the interactive nature of YouTube also allows buyers to ask questions and engage further with reviewers in comments and forums. It is a vital cog in the customer journey that serves as an education piece, by providing people with the knowledge they need without having to spend countless hours reading pages of articles and digesting the information – visual learning is key. 

With the average buyer now spending over nine hours researching online, YouTube has become the go-to place for car buyers – we all know that people buy from people! Video content and influencer endorsements can easily cut through the noise, making research more enjoyable and brands more memorable. The rise of YouTube looks set to continue accelerating the industry’s shift to digital platforms for years to come – don’t get left behind! 

How to create great YouTube car content

We share our top 10 tips to grow your dealership’s YouTube channel!

  1. Focus on helpful reviews and comparisons – Provide detailed walkarounds to show every side of the car, get inside to give a feel for the interior cabin, and conduct real-life test drives while comparing its performance to competitor models. 
  2. Answer common questions – Create FAQ videos addressing questions buyers have about models, options, or the buying process. Consumers love to be ‘in the know’. 
  3. Leverage influencer partnerships – Make an effort to Collaborate with popular car reviewers. Start by making a hitlist and approaching them to feature your vehicles in stock or conduct test drives on particular models.
  4. Share what life is like at your dealership – Showcase your dealership’s customer service, events, and expertise through vlogs and behind-the-scenes content. Make videos personable and talk through what experience customers can expect when they come to see you. 
  5. Optimise video SEO – Include relevant keywords, tags, and include transcripts so videos can be found by buyers searching YouTube. 
  6. Promote videos on your other social media channels – Share videos across other platforms to expand the reach and run paid YouTube ads for the best-performing content.
  7. Focus on video quality – Of course, it is fine to film on your phone, but why not invest in 4K cameras, microphones, lighting, and editing software to create the best content possible. 
  8. Upload videos consistently – Create and set a regular upload schedule to keep subscribers engaged and anticipation high. Plan out your content across the seasons. 
  9. Interact with viewers – Make sure you respond to comments, questions, and feedback to help build a following and foster trust between the business and consumer. 
  10. Analyse the data – Use YouTube analytics to assess viewer demographics, determine the most popular videos, and track down traffic sources to help refine your strategy.
Mat Watson has built up a YouTube following of over 1.1 million subscribers!

How to promote a car on YouTube

Whether you’re selling a new or used car, the principles are the same. Here we provide some effective tips for promoting a vehicle on YouTube:

  • Create an intriguing title to grab the attention of viewers
  • Showcase the car to its fullest potential
  • Capture driving sounds to provide a better experience
  • Detail its service history
  • Highlight its value to demonstrate the car’s price advantage
  • Take viewers for a test drive from the driver’s viewpoint
  • Respond to comments and questions posted by viewers
  • Link the video to a landing page on your website

Couple your YouTube content with a website that converts

If you’re looking to drive more sales through YouTube, then you need a website that can convert! Here at 67 Degrees, our in-house experts create industry-leading online solutions specifically for car dealers. As YouTube rapidly becomes the car buyer’s go-to platform, a fully optimised and responsive website is needed to engage consumers and turn browsers into buyers. 

Our award-winning designs are proven to do just that! When you think that 1 in 3 car buyers rely on their mobile phone during the purchase process, it is so important that your website can facilitate the next part of the buying journey. Want to find out more? Get in touch and let’s have a chat about what we can do for you.  

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