A Super Nifty Trick to Make Your Facebook Videos More Effective

Social media is a great place for brands to get their message out to the masses using video. Not only are more people watching video on Facebook, but the platform itself is also giving it extended reach in order to entice marketers to publish more video on Facebook. Another really great (for marketers) feature of video on Facebook is that it autoplays in a user’s newsfeed. The problem is that it autoplays with no sound, so a user actually needs to engage with the video in order to hear it. If the user is scrolling through their newsfeed, you literally have seconds to capture their attention. So, how do you maximize the effectiveness of your Facebook videos knowing that users aren’t going to hear it, but only see it?

A recent article in Inc., shared that at the Salesforce Connections conference held in June, Facebook’s CMO Gary Briggs revealed a new trend that brands are beginning to use in their video marketing efforts on Facebook. Knowing that they’re pretty much at the mercy of a user when a video is presented in their newsfeed, marketers have started introducing text into the first 5-10 seconds of the video, so as to pique the interest of users and bypass the need for audio to capture attention. Similar to subtitles, this text is actually rendered into the actual video itself, allowing companies to use creative text in unison with their video to capture the user’s attention and get them to engage.

Facebook video marketing can be highly effective for dealerships, especially if it’s targeted properly. Video ads are one of the most effective means of advertising on the platform. The ability for dealerships to utilize various data sources and identify in-market car shoppers within their geographical area offers amazing opportunity. Consider incorporating video into your social media marketing on Facebook and, if it’s in the budget, utilize the precise targeting features that Facebook offers.

The most effective form of video marketing on Facebook for car dealerships would be more in the area of company branding, fun and random entertainment videos, customer testimonial videos, and occasional inventory walkaround videos.  Of course, you should have an entire Inventory Videos page available from your Facebook Menu, making it easy for anyone visiting your Facebook Page to quickly see videos of your inventory (since you actually do sell cars).And, if you have a very rare or unique vehicle, and target it properly, a video ad for that vehicle on your wall could also help the vehicle sell faster as well. However, for the most part, the ability to expose your dealership to potential new customers through well thought out, creative and engaging video can keep you top of mind.

A successful video marketing strategy will ensure that your dealership is present at each and every touchpoint that a consumer could visit on their car-buying journey. It will also take advantage of any unique features of the platform to optimize the chances that consumers engage with the video. This super nifty trick will allow you to relay a quick message (a hook, if you will) to consumers without them having to engage with your video, and could make them stop and listen to what you have to say.

Vertical Video: If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

by Tim James

Ever since cellphones gained video recording capability, people have insisted on shooting video vertically. Despite all the harassment and corrections received from peers when sharing a vertical video – “Hold the phone sideways!” – Some things never change. Those black bars that bookend the video when taken vertically certainly aren’t the most attractive. They also limit the space in which the video can be viewed.  Despite all this, a bunch of video platforms have finally given up encouraging people to abstain from taking videos vertically and have altered their platforms to accommodate them.

According to an article in Entrepreneur, Snapchat and YouTube have altered their platforms and have given their video players vertical video support. This means that those annoying black bars will no longer be visible when a vertically filmed video is uploaded. The newer live-streaming video services – Periscope and Meerkat – have always promoted a vertical video format. The thought process behind this is that most consumers peruse content holding their phone in a natural way (vertically) and horizontal video forces them to rotate the phone – an unnatural action with a smartphone.

In fact, Snapchat asks its marketers to reshoot their videos in a vertical manner. While this can be a costly suggestion, according to Snapchat, “vertical video ads are nine times more likely to be viewed to completion than their horizontal counterparts.”

It’s all about options, folks. Some consumers like watching videos horizontally. In fact, most video marketers up till now would cringe every time they saw a video with the black bars on the side, indicating that it was taken vertically. Now, however, these video hosting platforms and apps are optimizing their properties to emphasize vertical videos, so as to accommodate the way in which consumers actually use their devices. This is instead of forcing them to make (or watch) videos in an unnatural position. The fact that vertical videos have higher completion rates is certainly logical for these very reasons.

The most important things to consider when choosing platforms for your video marketing are: a) is the platform optimized for a mobile web experience, and b) is your video attractive and easy for a consumer to view. Forcing consumers to watch videos through an app could make them hesitate to watch – especially if they aren’t already a user of the app.

It’s also important to include distinct calls-to-action that consumers can take within the video player itself. It’s great if they watch your whole video. But, if they cannot be lead further down the buying funnel, what’s the point? You cannot expect a consumer to watch your video and then have to hunt you down because, well, they won’t.

It seems that we can lay to rest the taboo of vertical video now that these platforms embrace it. Does this mean horizontal video will all of a sudden be taboo? Who knows – and it really doesn’t matter anymore. Make compelling videos and host them in a way you can control where they go next, rather than risk the video player suggesting “relevant” videos which just so happen to be from your competition. In this way you’ll win in your video marketing — whether you take the video vertically or horizontally.

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.