How to Build a YouTube Audience and Convert New Leads

If your dealership finds it difficult to gain subscribers for your YouTube channel, trust me, you aren’t alone. We have outlined some of the ways we have seen success with YouTube for car dealers and some best practices to get your YouTube channel looking sharp and performing better.

1. Focus on search engine optimization.

SEO is key to your dealership’s website and the same goes for your YouTube channel.

Search Engine Optimization on YouTube is similar in many ways to what you might be doing on your website. Creating searchable titles with relevant keywords really does help. You can use AdWords to see what people are searching for and go from there.

Pro Tip: Keep your title under 50 characters. Your video descriptions cannot and should not be packed with keywords. Make descriptions robust, informative, and use critical keywords when appropriate.

Last but certainly not least – do not forget about those metatags. My best suggestion here is to look at your competition and see what metatags they are using working and going from there. Don’t over-do it, but don’t skip them by any means.

2. Create Specific Categories and Playlists for Your Videos.

If you have a ton of vehicle walk-around videos, put them into a separate playlist. Customer testimonials? Those go in a different playlist too. Individual playlists help your customers (and Google) know what you’re uploading and make it easy to find.

3. Promote your YouTube channel to relevant and online groups and communities.

If your dealership is primarily about lifted trucks and cool customs – go after those people and let them know your account exists. Growing followers really is as simple as capturing the attention of people that like the things you’re posting about.

We all know that Facebook is the pinnacle of advertising at the moment but promoting your channel on unique places like Reddit groups, Twitter chats, and even automotive focused LinkedIn groups have proven to help increase new followers. This is a trial and error step – but once you find your dealership’s target group, run with it!

If you can reach out to ANY YouTube influencer – do it. Even if you try and fail, if you can grab their fanbase’s attention, you have a shot at your content performing better.

You may be wondering, “That sounds awesome, but how would I grab an Influencer’s attention in my videos?” Call them out. If they have a hashtag that they regularly use in their content and videos, use it. Your dealership’s content might pop up in their feed and grab your desired Influencer’s attention.

For dealerships that ship unique and rare vehicles, this can be especially important and useful.

4. Keep your videos at a reasonable length.

Studies have shown that top-performing automotive videos are around 3 to 5 minutes long.

20% of your viewers drop off within the first 10 seconds.

Make sure that your intro is attention-grabbing, so they stick around long enough to see the video you put effort into, and they’ll more than likely hit that ‘subscribe’ button (if you remind them to do so).


5. Calls-to-action are imperative on your dealership’s website, your Facebook ads, and basically everywhere else, right?

The same goes for YouTube! Powerful and effective CTAs. YouTube has made it incredibly easy to add on-screen CTAs directly to videos and end screens. Use them. Ask for them to hit that like button and to subscribe. There’s zero shame in straight-up asking for them to follow your channel. Keeping your page humanized and honest is also extremely helpful.

6. Cross-post your content.

If you’re going to be making a video for YouTube, you might as well make a vertical version of that video for TikTok and Instagram Stories.

TikTok and Instagram are excellent places for dealers to experiment with content marketing.

What is content marketing, you ask?

The official definition from the Content Marketing Institute is, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

When posting to multiple platforms, the most important thing to consider is how this platform’s primary audience receives and consuming this content? Is my intention to inform them? Or am I looking to entertain – maybe you are aiming to do both?

Knowing where your brand and models’ target customers spend the most time will help you define your content’s best fit to gain the maximum conversions.

7. Lastly – and this is one that we all knew would be on the list – invest in YouTube advertising.

Every single social media platform is pay-to-play, and YouTube is no exception. There are five major types of YouTube ad styles that are effective and can, over time, help grow your subscriber and follower count:

  • Sponsored Cards
  • Display Ads
  • Pre-Roll: Non-Skippable and Skippable Video Ads
  • Bumper Ads
  • Overlay Ads 

This where your paid search campaigns and YouTube advertising connect. Similar to Facebook, you can target people based on interests, in-market customers, and various demographics. Basically – You gotta spend a little money to get those authentic and engaged followers.

Not only can you have text and display ads populate for specific keywords that focus on your target market, but you can incorporate 15-second and 30-second video ads, just like the ads you see when viewing videos on your personal profiles, that highlight your dealership, inventory, and why-buy messaging.

A properly managed and well-maintained YouTube channel that is updated regularly will thrive. It’s a crowded space, but luckily dealership videos aren’t as common as wannabe makeup artists and cat videos. If you’ve found any things that have helped your dealership’s channel grow, share them with us!


Does your YouTube Channel need a refresh? We can help!

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