Congratulations to carwow who are the winners of Best Use of Video 2018
Your ’Elevator Pitch’
In less than two years, independent car-buying site carwow has come from nowhere to become the UK’s number one car review channel on YouTube. With up to 18m views a month, it’s watched by more people than its established rivals (What Car?, Autocar, Auto Express, Carbuyer, Parkers, Car Magazine, Honest John and Auto Trader) combined. The channel not only raises brand awareness, but also drives significant and valuable direct traffic to carwow.com. One in ten of the people who buy a car through carwow each month say they heard about us from one of our YouTube videos.
Set The Scene
We wanted to compete with the main car-review magazines and websites, which all have well-established YouTube Channels with strong subscriber bases. They often get early and exclusive access to cars, which also gives them a newsworthy advantage. Two years ago, carwow had neither a video department nor any kind of relationship with car manufacturer press offices. So it hired Mat Watson, former Dennis Publishing head of motoring video and Carbuyer presenter, as editorial director. The aim was to match Carbuyer’s 4m views per month within two years, but in fact that figure was achieved in just six months.
Tell Us The Story
The strategic vision for the video channel was to raise brand awareness, drive direct traffic from YouTube and provide video content to embed within the written car reviews on carwow.com. In the early days, access to press cars to review was limited, so growing a sizeable audience, which we could leverage, as quickly as possible was vital. To do this, we devised a video style which blends the authority and trustworthiness of traditional motoring journalism with the fun, intimate and engaging presenting style of successful YouTubers. Essentially, our videos feel like it’s your expert mate showing you round the car. This makes our videos very watchable for car fans, yet also useful to normal people looking to buy a car. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and its algorithm rewards a channel’s overall watch time. So, we knew the key to success was producing longer-form videos that are engaging enough that people will not only watch them through, but then go on to binge-watch on several more. We achieved this by incorporating regular comedic segments and ‘easter eggs’ into each review to capitalise on the fact that viewers want to expect the unexpected. A consistent and frequent upload programme is also essential for growing subscribers’ loyalty and, therefore, views. That’s why, for the past year, we’ve been uploading four videos a week. This has required a gruelling filming and editing schedule for carwow’s five-strong video production team.
The success of the carwow YouTube channel has amazed the automotive industry. In the past 30 days, we’ve had 18m views - that’s the same as Top Gear’s channel, which does car-related entertainment rather than normal reviews - and we’re growing at a faster rate. In the past 12 months we’ve had: 1,071 years of content watched, 156m views, 1.5m likes, 574k shares, 503k new subscribers and 126k comments. Our YouTube channel now accounts for 10 per cent of the carwow marketing mix and is expected to drive around 1,000 new car sales a month. This will continue to grow as our videos rank top in YouTube for most car review searches. The result is substantial long-tail views and an increased likelihood that car buyers using YouTube for research will see our videos rather than those of the competition, thereby increasing our chances of converting them into carwow users.
Best Use of Video 2018 sponsored by Unruly