As we know, video—specifically, video search—is powerful, but did you know it was this powerful? Recent statistics from comScore data (August 2008) show that out of the 11.7 billion core searches by Americans in the month of August, Google ranked number-one with 7.6 billion queries attained, and YouTube came in second with 2.6 billion queries, surpassing Yahoo as the world’s number-two search provider. Yahoo came in with 2.4 billion queries. As a matter of fact, there are more people who log onto YouTube than watch NBC and ABC television networks combined.

Some other stats:

• YouTube accounted for 98 percent of all videos viewed on Google sites.*

• 91 million viewers watched 5 billion videos on (54.8 videos per user).*

• It is estimated that in 2007, YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000.**

• Over 13 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.***

Online videos are becoming more and more powerful for a dealership. As a matter of fact, there have been numerous studies performed by companies like Jupiter and General Motors. Larry Pryg, national marketing manager for GM’s certified Used Auto Business said, “Video is exploding,” and that when it comes to used cars, dealer Web sites that have video are twice as likely to generate phone calls or e-mails from prospective shoppers as Web sites without video.

YouTube needs to be taken very seriously at your dealership. You need to make sure there is a strategy in place that will make sure that you are dominating YouTube.

Here are some suggestions:

• First, create a YouTube channel for your dealership.

• Customize your channel for branding purposes to fit the look and feel of your dealership.

• Start to upload relevant videos to your channel. You can upload your client testimonials, dealership bios, employee bios, events/trade shows, new product launches, walk-arounds, facility videos, special events, etc.

• YouTube converts these videos into two formats. First is HTML code that can be used on any of your dealership Web sites, credit sites, and MySpace or other social network sites. The other format is a URL. So you can cut the URL and paste it anywhere. For example, you can send prospects a bio or commercial about you or your services, or you can add a video testimonial of a happy/successful client to your e-mail signature.

Video is powerful for your dealership. I suggest you start creating your YouTube strategy before your competition does.

If you have any questions about creating a YouTube strategy, please feel free to contact me for some free ideas.

Special Finance Insider Vol. 2, Issue 6