What is it that makes images so valuable to the online consumer? Four decades ago, the average person in the U.S. was subject to 500 marketing images per day. Today, that number is closer to 5,000 images per day (Johnson, 2006). More than ever before, consumers of marketing content are able to view and control what they view through the various platforms by which they entertain themselves, consume information, and make purchases. How then, do you successfully cut through the noise, provide meaningful and descriptive content, and ultimately capture the attention and subsequent loyalty of a potential customer? Answer: your ability to provide images that tell a story. In a 2016 study, Cox Automotive found that 40% of online vehicle shoppers are likely to buy a vehicle, without seeing it in person, based on images they have viewed online (Cox Automotive, 2016). Research, as well as our own personal experience have confirmed: buyers don’t want stock photos either. They want to see detailed, thorough images of every aspect of a specific vehicle for purchase consideration. The same Cox Automotive study found that 90% of potential online customers consider photos to be “extremely important”. What kinds of images are important? Studies have found that there is a ranking of importance for dealers to consider when providing quality images for potential customers (Cox, 2016). The number one photo for used vehicles (and #4 for new cars) was a mileage photo, like this:
The number one photo ranked in order of importance for new vehicles (#4 for used vehicles) is a photo of the cockpit, like this:
These are just two of 35-50 unique, detailed images Annex Room Media produces for each vehicle we capture for our dealers. Why 35-50 images? First, this is the amount of images needed to capture the story of each vehicle, which is what potential customers want. Second, your online customers want to see, in order to believe. They want to know the story of their future vehicle by seeing it with their own eyes, even if the images are simply captures of what is already listed on your VDP. In fact, the images you provide to your customers should tell the story of the specific features, details and and upgrades of the vehicle without even reading the information listed on your VDP page. In this image driven digital world of marketing, this is the way in which you stand out to your customers and provide them with images that inspire them, allowing them to visualize making this vehicle their own. In fact, in the same Cox Automotive study, a 262% increase in VDPs per listing was found for used and CPO vehicles when multiple custom photos were provided, rather than stock photos of said vehicles. This is staggering! Your images matter. Make them tell their story, and make them stand out and inspire your online customers in a sea of marketing images.