Start Your Engines: Cars.com Supercharges User Engagement with Brightcove Video Cloud
Cars.com is one of the Internet’s largest automotive classified websites, with more than 10 million monthly visitors using the site to browse, research and purchase new and used vehicles. Founded in 1998, Cars.com first debuted online Editorial video content in 2007 as part of its commitment to giving car buyers the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
The user experience at Cars.com has improved significantly since we implemented the Video Cloud online video platform. Our average engagement time for users watching Editorial video content went from roughly 30 seconds to more than six minutes, which is much more attractive to our prospective partners.”
Editor-in-Chief for Cars.com
Cars.com offers online ad solutions for automakers, dealers and private-party sellers in the form of classified advertising solutions, banner advertisements and lead-generation. Cars.com is a highly successful online business, achieving profitability and driving significant revenue back to its local affiliate markets.
“We see video as crucial to building our brand and highlighting the reviewing expertise of our editorial staff,” said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief for Cars.com. “We know online video usage is growing, and we want to be well positioned to make the most of that interest, both from users and advertisers.”
Since its inception, Cars.com has used multimedia content as a key component of its business model. The site partners with automakers, dealers and private-party sellers to deliver advertising and lead-generation, much of which relies on compelling photo and video content to entice buyers and prospective advertisers.
Cars.com considers online video a key component of its growth strategy, driving more site traffic, longer dwell times and improved conversion rates. Olsen also relies on video analytics to determine which audience segments are viewing videos, so he can merchandise those numbers to advertisers.
Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform for Editorial video content, June 2009
- Better measurement and viewer analytics
- Simplified distribution across a wide variety of platforms, including mobile
- Improved dwell time and user engagement
Flexible, Robust, Efficient
Cars.com Takes Online Shopping Down a New Road
With the Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform, Cars.com created a more efficient content creation and distribution system. The new interface allows website programmers to create tags, custom video players and syndicated content quickly and easily, using wireless cards, tablets and even mobile devices.
“The user experience at Cars.com has improved significantly since we implemented the Video Cloud online video platform,” Olsen said. “Our average engagement time for users watching Editorial video content went from roughly 30 seconds to more than six minutes, which is much more attractive to our prospective partners.”
Olsen also noted the Video Cloud platform has made it easier for users to share Editorial video content via social media, blogs and YouTube channels. Such organic, user-driven activity helps Cars.com build its brand and enhance its overall presence online.
Internally, Video Cloud has allowed Cars.com to function more efficiently, enabling easier uploading and content categorization. Cars.com is also taking advantage of the Video Cloud online video platform’s built-in analytics tools, which allow content managers to gather user data and “shape” video content to suit the unique preferences of individual users, based on past behavior and engagement level.
“The analytics portion of Video Cloud is so useful, we are thinking about moving to an enterprise level of service, in order to get metrics from the content we share with multiple partners,” Olsen said.
Cars.com plans to expand its emphasis on Editorial video, eagerly awaiting the newest Video Cloud developments that will help create even more site traffic and ultimately help fuel more conversions. Among the features being considered, Olsen says adopting both live-streaming and syndicated content plug-ins are high on the list of priorities.
“In just a few short years, online video has gone from an emerging technology to an entry-level offering for sites like Cars.com,” Olsen said. “We’re constantly evaluating our Editorial video needs, and we’re continuing to explore opportunities for better video integration within our existing content, as well as third-party video content integration from our advertisers and partners. The Video Cloud online video platform gives us the flexibility to fulfill all these opportunities quickly and easily.”