social networking

Should You DIY or Outsource Your Video Marketing?

By: Tim James

So you’ve decided it’s time to differentiate your dealership from the competition, and that video is the way to do it. Your next probable question is, do you produce, distribute and market the videos yourself, or outsource some, if not all of these functions?

The answer to this question is, it depends. We’ve got dealers who are successfully doing both. In my experience there are three factors to consider when making this decision.

1) Motivation

If your decision to implement video marketing was arrived at rather reluctantly, then you should probably outsource. Motivation requires passion. It requires an understanding of the rewards that will be reaped from putting your time and effort towards this undertaking. It requires buy-in and excitement from your staff. It requires commitment.

I’ve talked to many dealers who spend time waffling over whether they should go the DIY video route. Here’s what I ask them: If not you, who? If not now, when?

Video is not a trend. Remember the music video, “Video Killed the Radio Star?” The actual song was released nearly two years before the music video debuted on MTV in 1981. Hardly anyone heard of the song, but once the video aired, the song became a huge hit. That was 35 years ago. Online marketing video is here to stay, and it’s just a matter of time before it kills the static Vehicle Details Page (VDP).

2) Internal Resources

The second factor to consider is what your internal resources are. Even if you’re highly motivated to launch a video marketing program, someone has to take responsibility. Someone has to take ownership to make sure it’s successful. Someone has to learn how to shoot videos, how to get the videos on the right touch-points and how to measure whether the program is successful or not.

The ‘pros’ of producing videos internally are that you already have staff at your disposal. With an established process, inventory videos should take less than 24 hours to upload.

In addition to inventory videos, it’s important to create value proposition videos, customer testimonial videos and service videos. Internal employees are in a better position to spontaneously capture a glowing customer testimonial video, and may have a better handle on how to sell your dealership’s unique value proposition than an outside entity.

However, when analyzing internal resources, be brutally honest. Are your current employees already struggling to keep up with what’s on their plate? If they are, adding new processes may be too much of a burden.

It’s possible to split the responsibilities between internal and external resources. If your in-house staff is currently tasked with taking inventory photos, it’s not much of a stretch to task them instead with shooting a walk around video. Photos can be easily extracted from video, so there is no need to do both. If you use a lot services company to take your photos, task them with shooting a video in addition to taking your photos.

If you decide to use internal resources, distribution and marketing are two important areas to be addressed. Who will be tasked with ensuring that your videos appear not just on your website, but distributed to as many touch points as possible; including third-party auto shopping sites and social media channels?

Who will be in charge of incorporating video into your digital ad and/or email marketing campaigns? Who will be in charge of collecting viewer data and using that data to increase the relevancy of your videos? Meaning, it’s important to ensure that the right video is shown to the right car shopper at the right time.

Another question to ask when evaluating internal resources is what the turnover rate is in your dealership. Are you confident that your Internet Manager or the staff in that department will be with your dealership for a long time? A potential pitfall of producing videos internally is that you’ll have to constantly train new staff.

3) Dealership Volume

Last but not least, volume is another factor to consider. How many units does your dealership move per month? The greater inventory turnover there is, the greater time investment involved and the greater commitment there must be to the video marketing process.

The good news is, a successful video marketing program will increase your overall sales volume, but for some dealers this can present its own challenges. Kia of Puyallup in Washington saw a nine percent uptick in sales after implementing a video marketing program. How many more units can you handle moving per month?

Now, is everything as clear as mud? Good! The fact is, only you can decide what’s best for your dealership. It’s easy to get excited about the idea of video marketing and want to do it yourself. But it’s important to be able to objectively analyze your motivation level, internal resources and overall volume.

I’ve seen too many instances where dealership salespeople will produce a few videos, upload them to YouTube and don’t see any increase in leads or sales. The dealer points to these paltry efforts and claims that videos don’t work.

Well, of course that level of effort doesn’t work! Producing a few videos is nowhere near the same thing as having a comprehensive video marketing program. It’s like deciding that you want to go into space so you build a shuttle in your backyard. Without an actual space program, with testing, logistics, a launch pad and experts to tell you when and where to go, you’re not likely to get very far.

Outsourcing some (or all) of your video process may involve investing a little more in your merchandising budget than you currently spend, but the end results will be well worth the investment.

No matter which direction you choose to go, the important thing is that you start now — Not next week or even tomorrow. You can start slowly if you need to, but you must start in order to find the process that works best for you and your dealership. The end will justify the means.

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.

 

Announcement: Like Accelerator for Dealer Ads on Facebook

Strategic Service Delivers Ultra-Targeted Ads to Accelerate “Likes” and Drive Leads

Picture this—an ad for your dealership on the world’s leading social networking site with over 150 million users in the United States.  Now envision a truly relevant, interactive ad that is precisely targeted and customized to reach the Facebook pages of the exact demographics groups you select—created and combined with monthly performance monitoring, analysis, and strategy management so you can continually fine-tune your approach to achieve your evolving marketing goals.  The result: super-targeted ads that generate more “Likes” and traffic, and ultimately, more revenue opportunities for your dealership.

Introducing The “Like” Accelerator Service

With the “Like” Accelerator Service, your ads are created, targeted, monitored, managed, and adjusted, as needed, to maximize effectiveness on the ever-expanding universe of Facebook.  In seconds, you can exclusively pinpoint which customers or potential customers you want to reach—all by specific groupings, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location radius
  • Workplace
  • Education
  • Interests
  • What they like—and what they’re talking about on Facebook
  • Your dealership’s current fans or customers
  • Or individuals who are not yet fans or customers

Your dealership’s color logo, active “Like” button, and promotional messages stand out in the right column on the Facebook pages of your targeted users.  When a user clicks the “Like” button in your ad, they automatically begin receiving daily News Feeds from your dealership on their profile page—which provides yet another vital touch point to share your unique deals, discounts, rebates, and specials with users.

The “Like” Accelerator Service gives your dealership the power to:

  • Leverage the unparalleled distribution potential of your dealership’s ad on Facebook
  • Handpick the targeted audience members who can see and respond to your dealership’s ad
  • Accelerate “Likes” and interaction from those who view your ad
  • Deliver customized, call-to-action messages to the right individuals at the right time—who can share word-of-mouth details about your dealership with their friends, family, and coworkers
  • Identify promotional opportunities through ongoing ad consultation to further target specific groups to optimize impact and response
  • Deepen your dealership’s Facebook presence through highly-focused, strategic marketing
  • Generate engagement online that translates offline into increased leads and revenue opportunities for your dealership

The “Like” Accelerator Service is available to you as a cost-effective standalone service, or as an add-on option for any of our existing R1, R2, R3, and R4 Digital Marketing and Social Media Packages.  The Service is standard as part of our R5 and R6 Full-Service Packages.

To learn more about leveraging the “Like” Accelerator Service for your dealership, please call Dealer Impact Systems today at 877-334-9638, or send email to us at innovation@dealerimpact.com.

The Rules of Engagement

Win Your Customers by Wooing Them through Social Media

Winning the hearts, trust, and life-long loyalty of your dealership’s customers begins by following a few simple rules of engagement on the social media sites of your choice—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Google+, just to name a few.  By keeping the following fundamentals in mind when managing the content on your social media venues, you’ll keep in touch and in tune with your customers.  And in turn, this will help you stay on target with your dealership’s sales goals.  Think in terms of your customers’ lifetime value.  Put a greater emphasis on investing the relatively small amount of time and energy regularly to cultivate high-quality relationships that offer long-term satisfaction and returns for both you and your customers.

Be informative.  As often as you can, post on your dealership business pages on your favorite social media sites.  Your customers are anxious to hear from you.  They want to know about your dealership’s latest discounts, rebates, incentives, giveaways, and upcoming events.  They want to know about manufacturer and industry news that may impact them.  They want facts that will help them make the most informed decision when buying a vehicle.  They want service specials, links to other helpful automotive resources, along with maintenance and safe-driving tips.  And don’t forget to share videos and photos as well to engage them.  If you can save your customers time, money, and headaches, they’ll remember you, thank you, and stick with you.

Be ready.  Be on your toes and ready to share news and announcements at a moment’s notice.  Your next prepared post can be online in seconds, and that immediacy works to the advantage of you and your customers.

Be concise.  Your customers will appreciate short bursts of information on your social media sites that they can scan, absorb, and act on at will when it’s convenient for them.  Being brief also cuts the prep time for you in drafting and finalizing the details to be posted.

Be inquisitive.  Strike up a healthy conversation with your customers.  Pose some thought-provoking questions online.  Ask for comments, opinions, and reviews.  They’ll appreciate the chance to speak their minds.  And when they do, you’ll receive valuable feedback that will help you continue to support and satisfy your customers—now, and down the road.

Be yourself.  Being honest and genuine is the key to having sincere, open, and ongoing interactions with your customers online—just as it is in person.

Be committed.  You believe in your business, the vehicles that you sell, and the service that your dealership delivers.  Make sure your customers know this.  Show them every day in the way you talk about your dealership, its inventory, and its services.  Use your web presence to most effectively present the distinct elements of your dealership’s brand personality and to reinforce them.

Be there.  When something goes wrong for your customers, be there for them.  Be responsive.  Acknowledge what happened in general online—and in particular offline, directly with your customer.  Offer your dealership’s apologies.  Research the problem.  Then make it right, and learn from it.  Very often, what began as a strained customer relationship can be transformed into an even stronger bond when a dealership responds sincerely and promptly with a satisfactory resolution to a customer’s complaint.

Be generous.  You and your dealership are a living, breathing, vital part of your neighborhood.  Be sure to let you customers know about the variety of community and charitable events and causes that you and your dealership put your time, money, and muscle behind.  It’s feel-good news that everyone loves to hear, and it’s news that you should be very proud to share.

Be grateful.  Every business is in business because of its customers.  Thank your customers as often as you can—for their patronage, their patience, and for the trust they’ve placed in you, your dealership, and in the vehicles that you deliver.       

Be good.  Keep up the good work that you do at your dealership every day, and be sure to share it with your old and new friends who interact with you on social media forums.  This interaction is vital for developing enduring customer relationships.  And it offers countless mutual benefits for you and your customers—right this second, and right on down the road.

For more information about engaging your customers through social media and expanding your digital reach and market presence, visit our Full-Service Page for details or contact Dealer Impact at (877) 334-9638, or email us at sales@dealerimpact.com.

Facebook Shows Us Our Timeline

Facebook has completely re-thought the profile. Looks great!

Since the beginning of Facebook, your profile has been the place where you tell your story. People use it to share everything from the small stuff, like their thoughts on an article, to the most important events of their lives, like the photos of their wedding or the birth of their child.

Details here.

Watch the video here.