One Isn’t Always the Loneliest Number That You’ll Ever See

by Tim James

In determining the effectiveness of video marketing, perhaps the metric most used is views – How many views did this video get? In fact, in a recent study by Yahoo-owned video platform Brightroll, 31 percent of polling respondents from over 70 ad agencies in the UK, placed completed views as the most important metric, followed by brand lift (28 percent) and a four-way tie between inventory quality, conversion, click-thru-rate and sales impact, which all came in at 8 percent. Hold on a minute. Does this mean that these marketers care about video views almost four times more than sales?

In video marketing, too much focus can be placed on how many people saw a video when, in fact, what matters is did someone watch the video and then buy the car. Yes, it’s important to have your videos on every touchpoint a buyer may visit in the purchasing process. It’s also important that your video is engaging enough that that individual watches it and decides that YOUR car is the one they want, versus the many others they may encounter. But make no mistake, car buying is an individual journey.

Our world is so noisy today that consumers go out of their way to be alone. Don’t believe me? Try to visit mostexclusivewebsite.com then come back to this blog. I dare you.

It didn’t take long for you to come back, did it? You know why? That website only allows a single visitor on its servers and then only for 60 seconds at a time. Once a person gains access, they can then leave a short message on the site to prove that they were there. Sounds kind of silly, right? I mean, why would someone visit that site? The fact is that so many people are trying to access the site that it cannot keep its servers up. According to the Washington Post more than 300,000 people have tried to access the website while only 55,000 have been successful.

People crave individual experiences. They want to feel special. Creating relevant and engaging video content can accomplish that. It can warm the customer up to your dealership as they make their way along whatever path they’ve chosen. On high funnel touchpoints, you want customers to find videos about your dealership’s value propositions and why they should consider purchasing from you, service and sales overviews, along with customer testimonials. These will start making an impression on your customer and plant a seed that you are the “good guys” and that they can trust you. As they move further down the funnel, they’ll be watching your inventory videos while searching for a vehicle. Once they are low funnel shoppers, that’s when you want to treat them like they are the only lead, the only customer, and the most important person in the world, by serving up personalized lead responses, vehicle walk arounds and appointment confirmation videos.  Video also gives you the ability to serve up custom content via your video players, throughout the entire buying cycle and specific to an individual shopper’s behavior and viewing pattern.  This makes the overall experience even more relevant and more personal to each shopper.

Stop thinking of video marketing as a numbers game. There is only one number that matters –and that is the customer that is watching your video… right… now.

Laptop with reel

Facebook Enhances Algorithm to Deliver More Video Content

by Brian Cox

Last year, Facebook changed its algorithm to favor video content in an effort to gain market share in the very popular video content market. In fact, it’s done such a good job that daily video views increased by 400 percent – a huge rise over its September, 2014 numbers of 1 billion per day,  to an incredible 4 billion per day. That’s a significant rise in less than a year.

Now, as a further enhancement, at the end of June, 2015, Facebook announced that it is again making tweaks to its algorithm so as to better identify the types of video content its users want. In the past, Facebook’s algorithm tracked the types of content that each individual user liked, and subsequently delivered more of that type of content. For example, users that interacted with photo content the most would be delivered more photo content. And the same for video. However, it always necessitated action on the part of the user. Whether that action materialized as a like, share or comment, Facebook’s algorithm noted that and factored that into the content type it delivered to that person.

In a recent blog article, Facebook shared, “There are many times people don’t want to like, comment on, or share a post, but this does not mean it wasn’t meaningful to them. In an effort to capture that meaningful content without actionable engagement, Facebook is now taking into account more interactions with videos that we have learned indicate whether someone found that video interesting, such as choosing to turn on sound, making the video full screen, and enabling high definition. So, if you turn the volume up, or make the video full screen, we have updated News Feed to infer you liked the video and will show you similar videos higher up in your News Feed. We have found that this helps us show people more videos that they are interested in.”

This comes on the heels of another significant algorithm change that was also made in June, 2015, whereby Facebook started to track how long a user lingered on a video in their Newsfeed. Facebook began using this as an indicator of relevance to that user and factored this in as an indication of interest.

From a video marketing perspective, this algorithm now enables auto dealers to see increased reach for their videos from consumers that watched them, but took no further action. Chances are, if a consumer is watching your video on Facebook – whether they are interacting with it or not – they are pretty low down the funnel. Facebook’s new algorithm will take note that they lingered on your video, interpret that as interest, and increase the priority as far as delivering similar content to that user.

Facebook knows that its popularity hinges on finding the right balance between satisfying its advertisers and delivering the types of content its users want to see. By continuing to tweak its algorithm, Facebook can more successfully deliver interesting and relevant content to individual users, providing a better overall customer experience and increased opportunities for video marketers to reach relevant consumers.

 

technology, people and relationships concept - smiling couple with laptop computer sitting on sofa at home

Why Real Video Engages Consumers

by Tim James

Digital Marketing plays such an important role in a business’s success today that it is easy to forget how young this medium truly is.  It has, in fact, experienced a growth explosion that is historically unparalleled.  A new innovative marketing product seems to emerge almost on a daily basis. And everyone promises that if you use this new “insert buzz word here,” then you will get more leads.  With this explosive growth, and all the new products and features that roll out, it is easy to get caught up in chasing “the next big thing,” and forget about some of the basic fundamental rules of marketing that must be followed.

Rule 1: Emotion Sells

There is no technique in the world that can sell as well as emotion. It’s the exact reason why every sales process includes a test drive to get a shopper sitting in a vehicle, their hands on the steering wheel, and their mind taking mental ownership as they drive down the road. The problem with online car shoppers is that, unlike the customer standing in front of you, you can’t open the driver’s door and slide them in. However, you should be using your VDP Pages to duplicate this emotional experience the best that you can.  Having good quality photos and a good quality vehicle description is a good start, but the very best way to generate the most emotion possible in the virtual world is by creating live walkaround videos. Encourage your staff to interject personality into that walkaround. Another great way to use a walkaround is to personalize the video response for customers who have inquired about a specific vehicle. The customer will feel special and you can then begin to develop trust and rapport with them before they even step foot in the dealership.  The more emotion you can add to the overall experience for a shopper, the more leads you will get — with more of those leads actually showing up at your store to take a real test drive.

Rule 2: Be Relevant

In marketing, relevancy is one of the most important things, no matter what the media source. The first basic fundamental of marketing is to analyze your message and determine if the content you are trying to deliver matches the audience it is being delivered to. The ability to understand the consumer’s motivation at significant points in the buying cycle, and to then deliver relevant content to that specific consumer, is key to converting car shoppers. Different videos impact different shoppers at different times in the buying cycle. For example, you may want to give a different message to a shopper watching a video on your dealership website versus a shopper watching your video on AutoTrader. Or a shopper that is standing on your competitor’s lot while visiting your website (showrooming) to check out your inventory to see how your vehicles compare.  These are just a couple of the many examples of how you can utilize technology to increase the relevancy of your marketing message. One of the best aspects of using videos in your marketing strategy is that your videos can dynamically update your message based upon the relevancy to that particular consumer.

Rule 3: People Buy From People They Like (Trust)

Quite frequently, a customer browsing your website or VDPs does in fact have an interest in a vehicle, yet they do not submit a lead. In many cases, the underlying cause is that they simply do not trust car dealerships. Your dealership itself may not have done anything wrong to this person, but some past experience has perhaps infiltrated their thoughts. Address those fears in your videos and reassure the customer that your dealership won’t treat them poorly. If you make it clear that they will have a great car-buying experience, it can help entice them to fill out the form and click the submit button.

Rule 4: Call-to-Action

Make sure that you are very clear in your videos about the next steps you want the consumer to take. Having the video is great. But if you don’t tell the customer what to do next, you may find that they leave your website or VDP solely because they don’t know how to proceed. Be sure to lay out out a clear path for your customers to follow. Don’t rely on all of the widgets on your site, or third party VDP listings to do this for you. Include the call-to-action verbally in your video. This then helps to guide the car shopper to take the actions you want them to take. Make the process easy for the customer – don’t force them to guess. You could run the risk of the customer leaving your site and then getting overwhelmed by the many different calls-to-action that are present on most other websites.

All dealerships want more leads. The common thought process is usually along the lines of “If I get more leads, I’ll sell more cars.” However, if you rely solely on adding the latest gizmo to the numerous other ones already on your website, this is not the best process. Use these basic fundamental rules of marketing and you’ll see an increase in leads and end up with car shoppers further down the funnel, with a genuine interest in a specific vehicle, ready to engage with you. This will produce a higher closing ratio with less effort on your part.

Award of Victory

Two Tips to Differentiate Your Dealership from 99 percent Of Competitors

by Brian Cox

In order to decrease bounce rates, if a customer clicks on an ad – whether that’s a banner ad, PPC, email ad or one specifically targeted for a mobile device – it is not a good practice to simply take that customer to your home page. Forcing a consumer to then do a second search for the information promised in the ad is a recipe for failure. Best practices prove that creating landing pages relevant to the ad itself result in higher conversion rates.

Wistia Co-founder and CEO, Chris Savage, revealed in a recent blog that out of the estimated 375,000 landing pages in existence, only 0.25 percent use video. That statistic could offer an immediate opportunity for dealerships. By simply incorporating video content into a landing page, you’ll be differentiating yourself from 99.75 percent of not just the automobile industry, but ALL industries, according to Savage’s study.

It’s a well-known fact that video converts better than any other medium. Consumers love video content and businesses are working hard to create it and get it published. Social media platforms are begging popular music artists, news media and other top video content publishers to publish directly to their platforms. In exchange, these platforms offer a reach beyond what these companies can expect to get through simply linking to a video on YouTube, or any other video publishing platform. Because consumers are responding so positively to video content, it makes perfect sense that delivering that content on a landing page engages your customers better and increases conversion rates.

Just as important, however, is to ensure that the video content is engaging. Another tidbit revealed by Mr. Savage is that you are just as likely to lose a viewer’s interest in the first 2 percent of your video (the nose) as you are in the 96 percent that is the body. His advice is that viewers prefer jumping right into useful content and will drop off when introductions and brand offerings flood the beginning of the video.

So, if we look at this data, an effective video marketing strategy that could set a dealership apart from its competitors should incorporate video content into landing pages. This video content must be relevant, engaging and begin with the content promised, rather than lengthy intros or branding. These two things could very well result in dealerships seeing higher conversion rates, more leads and more car sales.

Sales talk in the car trade

How to Use Video to Turn Leads Into Shows

by Tim James

All dealerships get leads that originate from the Internet. Not all dealers, however, are equal when it comes to how they handle these leads. Ever wonder why some dealers are able to close Internet leads at 12+ percent, while others struggle to reach 6 percent? The reason has everything to do with how these leads are handled – from speed of reply to the content in the reply itself.

One of the most powerful ways to communicate to today’s tech savvy customers is with video. It’s a highly effective form of communication because it engages the customer’s senses. It can help capture the customer’s attention and increase the amount of leads that turn into appointments.

There are three basic types of videos that I find work best when created and integrated into any lead follow up system :

  1. Lead Response Videos: When you receive a 3rd party Internet lead, chances are really good that lead also went to multiple other dealerships. This interested buyer then gets bombarded by e-mails and phone calls. Quite frankly, most of these responses are generic, contain no information, aren’t personalized and tend to start looking alike. Gain a competitive edge with your response — rather than simply send a template email, create a personalized video response that thanks the customers for the inquiry. Introduce yourself, mention the vehicle the customer inquired about and invite them in. Your video will stand out and make you the memorable one. Customers will also feel flattered that you took the time to create this video and realize that there is a real person communicating with them, not just a computer.
  1. Appointment Confirmation Videos: When you do get a customer that is interested in test driving a vehicle, it’s important to create a sense of obligation on their part. It’s proven that e-mails that contain videos get opened at a far higher rate than those that do not (especially when the word “video” is in the subject line). Create an appointment confirmation video and you can increase the chance that the customer will open and view it. In addition, use the video to tell them that you’re looking forward to seeing them and make it “personal” so they feel guilty if they blow you off and don’t show up. Let them know that you are doing something “for them” by making sure you have the vehicle cleaned up, pulled around and waiting for them…and offer to have an ice cold bottle of water or a cold Coca Cola waiting for them.
  1. Personalized Walkaround Videos: Nothing is stronger than sending a personalized walkaround video to your customers. The fact that you took the time to video and explain the features and benefits of the specific vehicle they inquired about JUST FOR THEM, can impress them and can also increase their interest level. People appreciate it when others go that extra mile to help them. Make your vehicle AND yourself memorable and you’ll have a better chance of building trust and rapport with your customer and, ultimately, getting them into your dealership.

Give one or two of these a try, I’m confident you’ll be impressed with the increase in the lead to appointment rates and appointment show rates that you receive.