corporate branding

3 Tips for Creating a Killer Testimonial Video

Ever since reviews have risen in popularity, dealerships have mostly focused on written reviews — they were the most prominent in search engine results and on third party sites.

This worked pretty well for a while. However, with the rise in the importance of reviews, some companies chose to act unscrupulously and falsely boosted their reputation by posting fake reviews. As word of this spread in the media, consumers became increasingly skeptical of ANY reviews. These days, if a consumer lands on a dealer’s review site and sees all 5-star reviews, they tend to discount those reviews as filtered, or perhaps solicited by the dealership. They feel they are not a true reflection of how the customers really view the dealership.

Well, in today’s digital age, there is a fairly simple solution to this problem. We have found that testimonial videos can help. In fact, they have a very powerful effect. Humans naturally tend to read a person visually. Body language and inflection can go a long way to convince a viewer of the sincerity of the customer giving the testimonial. And, the viewer can SEE that it’s a real live person.

Dealers who work with their customers and film quality video testimonials find that these videos are one of the most powerful influencing factors in convincing potential buyers that they should choose that dealership over any competition.

That being said, there is more to creating an effective and compelling testimonial video than simply pressing the record button.

Here are three tips that should help take your testimonial videos to the next level:

  1. First and foremost, remember that stories sell. Simply convincing a customer to allow you to film a testimonial may feel like a win. However, a customer testimonial which shows a monotone, expressionless customer, may not be the most effective. Consider prepping your customer before the video. Help them to get comfortable in front of the camera and ask them to tell a story. Perhaps they can describe a pain point in their car buying or service experience and talk about how your dealership solved it for them. Or they could compare the experience at your dealership to past experiences at other dealerships that may not have gone quite as smoothly.

    In some cases, you may want to spoon feed the customer to keep them talking and to get the content that you want. So, an interview format, versus just asking the customer to talk, may work better   Ask the customer what their fears were prior to service and how they feel now, post service.  The questions part of the conversation can then simply be edited out of the video, leaving just the comments.

    Also, it can take a ‘roll’ of perhaps 200 shots to get the one or two that you are looking for!  So remember this when setting up your customer expectations for any interview. To keep it natural, take your time to keep the conversation going – assure the customer that they can take as many takes as needed. Then keep it short. It’s okay to edit down to the 45 seconds of gold. You can keep the customer conversation long, to keep them comfortable and talking naturally. But do keep the final clip short.

    And a word of caution here: If the customer mentions that they had a better experience at your dealership, ask them not to name the dealership where they had a poor experience. Just as it is bad form to talk negatively about your competition, posting a review in which a customer does so would also be frowned upon by other customers.

 

  1. Another option is to have the customer share a concern they had about doing business with your dealership and then share how impressed they were or how you alleviated that concern. For example, statements such as: “I was concerned that the price would be too high but I ended up getting a really good deal.” Or, “I was afraid that bringing my car here for an oil change would take too long, but I was out of here in 30 minutes!”

 

  1. Last, but not least: As is true for all great content, make sure that you have a powerful headline for the video. Simply saying “Mary Jones Customer Testimonial,” really isn’t going to compel someone to click the play button. Consider headlines that address the pain point such as, “Mary was concerned that our prices would be too high…” Or, “Concerned that Servicing Your Vehicle Here Will Take Too Long?” These type of headlines will attract attention. Potential customers with similar concerns will be compelled to watch the video.

 

Customer testimonial videos are definitely something that dealerships should adopt in any video marketing strategy. The videos should be displayed prominently on the website and can be used for all sorts of purposes. Incorporate them into follow up emails for any Internet leads. Or edit into a compelling “Why Buy from Us?” video.

If your customers’ have a great experience, many of them will be willing to share that experience with the world. All you have to do is ask –and have your smartphone or video camera ready when they say “Yes!”

Make a commitment today to begin interacting with your customers and start collecting video testimonials. You won’t regret it.

Using Emotions To Excite Customers: Honda’s Brilliant Holiday Marketing

by Tim James

To promote their brand this holiday season, Honda is pulling out all of the stops by incorporating just about every feeling and sentiment it can into a series of commercials featuring toys. Consider their “Happy Honda Days” commercials that published around Thanksgiving. Every one of them featured a toy covering many demographics – including He-Man & Skeletor, Stretch Armstrong, Strawberry Shortcake, G.I. Joe, Jem and even Little People. These commercials were designed to evoke a feeling of excitement and nostalgia that, they hoped, would then be associated with Honda vehicle — and Honda isn’t afraid to tell consumers that is exactly what they’re up to.

Take a look at this commercial featuring He-Man’s arch enemy, Skeletor, which begins:

Salutations. It’s me Skeletor. Remember the exultation you felt when you got me for the holidays? Well, feel that again with a new Honda CR-V…”

Or this commercial featuring another popular toy from the past, Stretch Armstrong:

Hey, I’m Stretch Armstrong. Remember how pumped you were when you got me for the holidays? You tried to pull my arms off. Didn’t happen. Well, feel that excited again with a new Honda Accord…”

That’s about as in your face as you can get, folks.

Honda’s December holiday campaign features a series of videos titled “Toy Tunes,” which up the ante by adding in popular (and created) holiday songs sung by some of those same nostalgic characters from our past. This is all tied in with a contest that awards several charities $50,000 for the most watched video – the Urban Little League Initiative, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Honda’s marketing team has produced clever film and video content for quite some time now, including the Honda “Hands” and “Illusions” commercials that won big in the 2013 Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards, presented at the Detroit Auto Show last January. They know what they’re doing.

Building an emotional connection with your customer – whether that’s excitement, nostalgia, charity or simply a “feel good” type video – creates a connection in the customer’s mind – even if they aren’t aware of it.

So take notes from Honda’s marketing playbook when considering your marketing strategy. Emotions sell — and that’s exactly what you want to do.

Don’t Be So Serious!

by Brian Cox

A little over a month ago, a couple of employees at a car dealership in Illinois published a music video on YouTube titled “Keys In A Box,” which parodied a sketch from Saturday Night Live. These two individuals proceeded to have a great time and showcased their dealership in a creative and fun way. Their reward? Over 67,000 views in just one month, as well as compliments from Jalopnik, Edmunds and AdWeek. I wouldn’t be surprised if this helps place the dealership top-of-mind when a local customer is ready to buy their next vehicle.

 

 

Having fun with your branding and being creative with any videos can help you stay top-of-mind with your customer base. Think of the Volkswagen commercial that debuted a few Super Bowls ago – the one where the little kid dressed as Darth Vader and ran around trying to use the “Force.” It was a huge hit and created a lot of media interest and created quite a firestorm on social media.

But why do videos like these stay in our minds while other types don’t?

The answer is simple. They tell YOUR story. The buzz this fun and creative dealership video created is very likely worth more than any print or television ad they could have purchased. And my guess is that all it cost was a little time investment.

Videos are a powerful way to connect with customers. They allow you to share your unique personality. Whether you develop inventory videos for your website, or personalized videos destined for a specific person, take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your customers online. Create a lasting and memorable impression.

Think about perhaps finding the fun, creative people in your dealership and let them do a little outside-the-box thinking. Yeah you’ll probably have to nix a few of the crazier ideas. But I bet you get some great stuff out of it. Consider stepping outside the box a bit and share what is unique and different about your dealership. I am willing to bet you will notice the difference in customer response.

Social Media Success: 5 Lessons From In-House Corporate Teams

While implementing a successful social media campaign is something to celebrate, longer term, policy-based programs (which may not garner as much immediate publicity) can be even more rewarding.

Here we are highlighting five companies that have enjoyed long term success with their own social media teams and taking a look at some of the measurable returns they have seen as the results of their programs.

Key personnel from within the five companies below (in alphabetical order) have commented on their teams’ successes to offer you an insight into their various processes. Meanwhile, please be sure to let us know in the comments about any other companies that you feel should be recognized for having strong in-house social media teams.

Via: Mashable

Buick Is Creating Brand Ambassadors Via Twitter

In this article from Social Fresh. Automaker Buick is doing its best to create brand advocates in order to revamp and redefine its mature image. Just a quick disclaimer the author of the post is currently working as a Buick Brand Ambassador in Chicago on behalf of the brand.

In an effort to reinvent the brand, Buick knows they have a lot of work to do. They want to trade in the old fuddy-duddy grandpa image that has plagued the brand for the last decade for a hipper more modern brand impression.

In August, AdAge reported Buick was the fastest growing car brand in the US, but they are still struggling to rid the brand of their dated image. It is a large effort that General Motors has undertaken to broaden the appeal of Buick. And just as they have been doing with Chevrolet, they are reaching out to social media to help change the public’s awareness of the brand.

Via: Social Fresh

Stay up to date in this social media revolution — follow @dealerimpact on Twitter and Like our Facebook Page.

5 Tips for Managing Your Companys Brand on the Web

Brand management in the current era means not just keeping an ever-present eye on the social web, but also engaging in meaningful ways with brand advocates and detractors. Professionals in the field have come to accept social media as crucial to their jobs, but most know that managing a company’s brand on the web is so much more than setting up shop on social sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Here we’ll give you an inside look at the strategies of avant garde industry leaders who’ve spent years figuring out how to move beyond social media hype and implement practical management practices into their daily work routines.

Brad Nelson, Jeremy Thum, Joel Price, Joel Frey and Bowen Payson are all marketers behind big brand names. They’ve done the dirty work. Their lessons and words of wisdom range from finding ways to unify digital assets to knowing your niche, and each tip should be heeded by those looking to follow in their footsteps.

1. Let Someone Else Say It
2. Unify Digital Properties
3. Leave Your Ego Behind
4. Know Your Niche
5. Don’t Wallow or Gloat

Via: Mashable

Just setting up a Twitter and Facebook accounts isn’t enough on today’s social internet honest customer engagement is key to any company’s brand.