Smaller May Be Better for Reaching Some Car Buyers via Video-Sharing Sites

December 14, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | Social Media

Though the number of consumers visiting the larger video-sharing websites grew considerably in 2007, some smaller video-focused sites may be more effective in reaching new-vehicle buyers within specific vehicle segments, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study.

The “2007 Power Auto Online Media Study – Winter” study of verified new-vehicle buyers looks at the internet usage and behavior of new-vehicle buyers to identify websites that most effectively target desirable advertising audiences in terms of reach and scope.

“A relatively small number of adults – roughly 6% of the population – purchase a new vehicle each year, so it is particularly important to carefully target automotive advertising to mediums that will provide the best balance of audience reach and penetration,” said Arianne Walker, director of marketing and media research at J.D. Power and Associates. “More new-vehicle buyers are viewing video on the Web, and advertisers could benefit from staying on top of this growing trend.”

Among the findings of the study:

  • More than half of new-vehicle buyers – 54% – report going online to view video.
  • Of video-sharing websites, YouTube has the largest reach among new-vehicle buyers at 29%, achieving a 4 percentage-point increase since the previous wave of the study.
  • YouTube’s reach is nearly three times that of its closest competitor, Google Video BETA.

Although smaller video-sharing sites may have less absolute reach than large video websites such as YouTube, the study finds that the smaller sites may be more effective in targeting specific sub-segments of buyers:

  • Websites such as Spike/ifilm, MSN Video and Yahoo Video, for example, reach a greater proportion of compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) buyers than does YouTube.
  • That market – which includes models such as the Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Saturn VUE and Toyota RAV4 – is one of the fastest-growing segments in the automotive industry, up by 11% from July 2007.

The study also finds that making media buy decisions based solely on general website visitor demographics tends to be less effective than placing advertising on websites with high concentrations of the target segment.

“As an example, YouTube’s and MSN Video’s visitor target demographics are nearly identical,” said Walker. “However, when segment reach is examined more closely, it becomes apparent that MSN Video has the propensity to deliver a higher proportion of target compact CUV buyers, compared with YouTube.”

The study results also include the following findings:

  • Approximately 58% of compact premium CUV buyers say they are willing to pay more to obtain an environmentally friendly vehicle.
  • Compared with the average new-vehicle buyer, buyers of large premium sporty vehicles are more than two times more likely to visit an automotive blog website.

See related charts:

About the study: The Power Auto Online Media Study, now in its second year, is based on a random national sample of 10,883 verified new-vehicle buyers who purchased a vehicle between January and March 2007. The study was fielded from September to October 2007.


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