Car companies and Youtube effectiveness

Social Car News had a good article today, where they took a look over the various Youtube channels of some European car manufacturers.

They took a broader look at each one than what I have here, but I thought it would be good to drill down into some of the numbers and see if they tell us anything about each company, the way it’s using Youtube to engage customers and the relative success of each company in doing so.

Here are the numbers. You can sort the table by clicking on the arrows at each header. The default sorting is alphabetical by company name.

[table id=1 /]


Why “Saab” and “Saab II”?

16 of the 54 videos on Saab’s Youtube channel relate to footage of the dinner held on the Saturday night of the Saab Festival. I know from doing videos like this myself that they are valued by the people that watch them, but that those numbers are small.

In fact, the dinner videos have an average of just 347 views each, so the inclusion of these videos is definitely of statistical significance. Their inclusion has a significant influence on both the total number of videos uploaded as well as the average number of views per video.

Given that these videos are quite recent, its doubtful their addition to Saab’s Youtube channel would have added to the number of subscribers to the channel, so I’ve left this figure the same.


I thought I’d just run some simple numbers, which are shown in the last two columns.

The first of these is VpVideo, or Views per Video. It’s an average number of views per video for each manufacturer. I guess you could say that this can be used as a guide to how much interest there has been in the channel.

Saab does pretty well in this regard, rated fifth and following on from some pretty popular companies.

The number of average views per video can be influenced by a several factors not limited to the size of the company. These include how often the videos are embedded into websites, blogs, forums, etc. When you consider the amount of coverage the big German companies get in all the fanzines, etc, Saab really are doing pretty well.

The second number is SpVideo, or Subscribers per Video. My take on this is that it shows the ‘stickiness’ of the Youtube channel. It’s an indicator of how many people view a video and then decide that they want to see more from that company. This can be governed not only by the level of interest, but also by the nature of the videos produced and uploaded by the company.

From this figure, you can see that everyone wants a Porsche and no-one cares a whiff about Smart companies with what’s perceived as an attractive product, as well as engaging video, seem to do pretty well here.

Sometimes it’s the sheer attractiveness of the product, which can be an enduring thing over a long period of time (Aston Martin, Porsche) and sometimes it’s the constancy and variation of updates as well as exciting product videos (BMW and Audi).

Whatever the magic cocktail is, Saab are lagging behind a little in the number of subscribers per video, which would suggest that whilst there’s been a good level of interest in the videos they publish online, they’re not cementing that connection by getting people to subscribe and watch more of them.

Perhaps it’s the nature of the videos? Many of the videos on Saab’s channel are more about information and less to do with racy product shots. That’s the nature of Saab’s situation over the last 18 months, of course, and is not a criticism. But it could be a pointer as to what might work better in the future.

The internet is becoming a bigger part of people’s automotive research regimen with every week that passes by so whilst online video is just another piece of the puzzle, it’s still one that should be optimised.


Feedback time: Saab online

An article appeared in a Swedish computer magazine in the last few days, talking about Saab’s increased efforts in cyberspace, particularly with regard to social media.
The publication is called and the article appears here.
The following are some Googletrans snippets:

When the recent crisis was at its worst, Saab responded to the negative press with openness instead of silence. In just six months, Saab has established itself through Facebook, Twitter and Youtube and they have reached people they have never had contact with before.
A turbulent year for Saab Automobile has put enormous demands on management. There were national headlines in the media and negative rumors that the company suddenly faced a crossroads.
– We had two choices: to refuse to say anything and ignore all the negative press and to dare to take the step to become more transparent. We made a conscious choice to become more open and focus on brand building” says Johan Grundin, director of interactive marketing at Saab.
It was the start of Saab’s commitment to social media…….

They go on to speak about the presence that’s been built up, particularly with the Saab Newsroom.
Then there’s a little bit about the future:

The next big step will be to get to grips with what is said on the Web and do their own material on it.
– When the magazine Auto Motor Sport, for example, do an in-depth story on the new Saab 9-5, we can follow up the story on our website by, for example, video interviews with the developers behind the product. We will work much more quickly to pick up current issues and make our own materials based on it,” he says.
He stresses the importance of the business running quickly and not missing any chances when it comes to social media…..
….The only risk he sees is not having enough resources to be involved enough in the channels.

This is really good news and whilst I haven’t written about it for a while, those of you who go back to the Trollhattan Saab days of this website might recall that I’ve encouraged this for a long time.
There is so much of the Saab story that hasn’t been told and one of the things that’s a great hook for people is an interesting history. I know it hooked me in.
I’m very encouraged to hear that Saab are taking this medium, and the possibility of interacting more with their customers, so seriously. It really does have massive possibilities for building interest and loyalty.
I guess the big question now is…..
How do you find contact with Saab is working out? Do you frequent the various outlets they use, such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, the Newsroom? Is there anything happening with the Widget?
What do you use most and how do you find it works for you?
I’m sure there are several sets of eyes in Trollhattan who’d like to know.
Thanks to Hampus the young bloke!

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