Traditionally, home DIY mechanics and weekend garage warriors always kept a trusty shop manual on their workbenches. Even today, Haynes and Chilton still publish comprehensive maintenance books for virtually every make and model.

However, most gearheads have long left their printed shop manuals by the wayside. Nowadays, you’re more likely to find a smartphone or tablet lying on the shop manual’s former garage pedestal, with the screen open to a YouTube playlist of vehicle maintenance and aftermarket installation videos. 

YouTube is ubiquitous in today’s aftermarket automotive world. Car enthusiasts constantly tune into the platform for everything from customized car showcases to racing coverage to basic aftermarket installation and repair guides.

The latter can be a goldmine for your automotive eCommerce store.

Why Your Store Needs a YouTube Channel

One glance at the stats should convince you: video consumption accounts for over 80% of all Internet traffic, and users spend an average of 2.6 times as long on pages with embedded videos versus those without. 

YouTube is essentially a second incarnation of the Google search engine at this point – the majority of users looking for any type of video content search for it on YouTube, mostly by default. If your automotive store isn’t on the platform, your site is essentially invisible to a huge swath of the market.

Going beyond the surface, there are a myriad of additional benefits. Properly embedded, relevant videos can add a ton of SEO juice to your product pages. That’s doubly true when you’re posting unique video content and Google begins to categorize your site not just as another generic web store, but as an authority in the automotive aftermarket world with a library of quality videos to back up your products.

How to Build an Automotive YouTube Channel 101

  • Brainstorm a Personality for Your Channel

Whether you’re writing content for your store’s blog, product pages, social media channels, or video scripts, your content should maintain an effective and consistent voice. Obviously, what that entails will heavily depend on your unique brand and personality.

For example, you could create a series of purely technical how-to videos with straightforward narration and easy-to-reference tips like tool lists and torque specs. Jegs does a great job of this style in their installation and product videos.

On the other end of the spectrum, you could create a lifestyle-focused channel that showcases products and how-to guides with a lot more flair and personality. American Muscle is a good example of this style with their videos showcasing custom car builds, exhaust sound clips, and generally more creative content.

  • Handpick Your Hot-Ticket Products

Obviously it’s not practical to produce a video for every single aftermarket product you offer. You have to carefully choose the products that will benefit the most from a video showcase to maximize the return on your investment of time and money.

One way to do that is with some good old keyword research. Identify which products receive a large volume of searches alongside related DIY terms like “how-to”, “installation”, “guide”, et cetera. You should also research your competition to see which product videos of theirs receive the most traffic, then capture some of their thunder by publishing your own video highlighting the same product.

A third method of research is to engage directly with your customers. Read their reviews and product feedback, search Google and automotive forums for direct information on the aftermarket brands and products they’re most interested in. Use that research to choose which products to highlight, then use your video to address the most common questions and issues that shoppers bring up.

  • Get Your Videos Seen

The biggest barrier of entry to the YouTube spotlight is the sheer number of videos that are out there. Over 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute! That’s a lot of competition for attention.
However, if you take it one step at a time – consistently publish quality videos with relevant formatting, SEO, and meta content – your channel will begin to naturally climb up the ranks to the top-tier of YouTube. Of course, you can always throw in some paid advertising or clever viral marketing to shift your channel into a higher gear.

Examples of Automotive Sites That Are Doing It RightWhy Brands Partner with Nano and Influencers

We already mentioned American Muscle and Jegs for the quality of their YouTube channels. Now let’s take a look at how those companies integrate their channels with their product pages.

American Muscle makes their product videos immediately visible by placing them directly in their product image galleries.

A shopper who is interested in the product has instant access to a product review, showcase, and/or installation guide. That keeps them from leaving the store to seek out the content elsewhere, which makes them far more likely to refrain from cross-shopping or changing their mind.

American Muscle does another clever thing with the videos on their product pages by including transcripts. Below the fold of the page they embed the full-sized video so shoppers can watch it straight on the page without a popup or external link. Beneath that is a transcript of the video which provides ample opportunities for additional keyword targeting.

Jegs does something similar with their product pages. They don’t go so far as to post full transcripts, but when available they always include a full-sized video embedded at the top of their product specifications. As mentioned, that keeps shoppers on-site and far more likely to complete a purchase.

It’s a Long Road to the Top

If you want your automotive store to compete with the aforementioned big dogs, you’ll have to use every wrench in the digital toolbox to get your site to the front pages of the Internet. Whether it’s YouTube, Google, product aggregators, or social networks, there are a lot of web shops all clamoring for their spot in the limelight.

Building a quality YouTube channel for your aftermarket eCommerce store is one of many major steps in the right direction. If you need help navigating the rest of the way to the top, InteractOne can help you turbocharge the marketing engine of your website so you reach the summit ahead of your competition.

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