Video Education

Home is Where the Money Is

By Tim James

As we head into 2022, a dramatic shift has occurred in online consumer shopping behavior, according to an article in Forbes. While online shopping was growing, COVID hit, forcing an increasing number of consumers to do their shopping online. Shoppers started buying more than books, but necessities such as groceries, household goods (remember the toilet paper shortage), pet supplies, and more.

Due to the pandemic, for most everything a consumer needed, they looked online – and businesses had to adapt. Even big-time movie production companies changed strategies to online content. As consumers were so worried about being around others and as restrictions were in place, Warner Bros. teamed up with HBO to deliver first-run movies on HBOMaxx the same day as the official theatre release.

Another example is real estate. The most expensive purchase most consumers make in their lifetime. Due to Covid, people didn’t feel comfortable visiting multiple properties in person — so what happened? Real Estate Agents adopted video walkthroughs, drone footage, and more!

Let’s now talk about the second most expensive purchase that consumers make in their lives — vehicles. Videos are extremely valuable in the car-buying process. What do industry disrupters that operate completely online do? They use video to make the emotional attachment that is missing when a consumer can’t visit their lot! Through an aggregate of data on our platform, we’ve seen a huge spike in video usage by dealerships as well as a marked increase in consumer consumption. It’s convenient. It can be done remotely. It inspires significantly more emotion than photos alone, and consumers don’t have to visit multiple dealerships to buy a vehicle.

To create a great video experience that builds emotion in your shoppers it is important to include personalized videos to the customer as part of your video strategy. These can include “Why Buy from Us”, “Why Buy from Me”, or service-related videos. Selling yourself and your dealership along with your vehicle in your video presentations can build a solid trust relationship just as it does when the consumer is on your lot. People buy from people they like and a majority of all online auto shoppers are looking for a salesperson and a dealership they can trust – just as much as a vehicle to purchase. Use your vehicle video presentations as an opportunity to build that personal relationship as well. 

Next, focus on the data. Having the data necessary to continue interaction with a customer is imperative. The data you get from your online videos can continue engagement while informing your dealership that a customer is interested. Think about when an email is sent by a salesperson or BDC agent. Most are never responded to and in many dealerships, it is almost impossible to know if the customer has read those emails or not. If your dealership is using video in an attempt to engage customers and hosting them on sites that don’t provide individual viewer data, such as YouTube, the same result occurs. You’re shooting in the dark and don’t know if you’re hitting the target.

Consumers are getting more comfortable shopping from home, online. Escrow services are even paying notaries to travel to a customer’s house to get the paperwork signed to finalize the sale. Many dealerships are also offering this type of service. There are several ways to “complete” a sale nowadays, especially with the new digital retailing technologies now available.

That being said, no house can be sold, no car can be sold, nor any other high-ticket item, without the consumer being confident in their choice. They also need an emotional attachment to their planned purchase. Even comparatively low-priced items on Amazon have video descriptions and/or reviews and information about the product.

In 2022, resolve to incorporate more video into your marketing strategy and ensure you are hosting on a platform that provides actionable data from those videos. Then you can create a game plan not just for the dealership, but for each prospective buyer.

To your success in 2022 and beyond!

Don’t Let “Writer’s Block” Stop Your Video Marketing Efforts

by Tim James

Most dealerships understand the importance of effective marketing. Heck, you’ve been doing it for years. Every medium, every day and go big on Friday! As online content has grown, so has consumer preference for video. In fact, according to an article on Search Engine Journal, 78% of companies that use video in their marketing strategies said it helped increase sales; 83% stated that it increased consumers’ time on their website, and 86% saw it increase overall website traffic.

Most dealerships know they should create video content to effectively market their dealership, sales team, and inventory. Those dealerships who have experimented with different types of video content rave about the impact that it has on their sales.  But even those dealerships often stop creating new video content even though they have experienced the positive impact firsthand.

So, what’s the problem then? Why isn’t every dealership using video?

A recent article on Inc.com has a phrase that I love – Perfection Paralysis. Essentially, it shares how many marketers are so worried about making video content perfect that they end up not making any at all. Striving for perfection is great. However, major league baseball players, NFL stars, and musicians don’t become great overnight. Do you know what they do? They go out and do it! Whatever “it” is. They don’t expect it to be perfect. But what they do know is that the more they practice, the better they get.

If your dealership isn’t utilizing video, a great place to start is with automated inventory videos and 360 spins. These videos and 360s are fast and easy to create, as they utilize your existing inventory feed and then are automatically pushed to your website and online marketing partners. From there, you can continue to build on your video marketing strategy to add in full motion inventory videos and 360s, new model test drive videos, live video streaming, monthly promotional videos, lead follow-up video communications, etc.

You’re never going to improve unless you start. And you can’t expect to go from crawling to running a 5K overnight. Your customers aren’t going to expect your videos to be commercial grade by a professional videographer. I would even argue that, if they did look like they are professional quality, customers may doubt your sincerity.

Many salespeople have made an excellent career for themselves by utilizing video with their customers. They didn’t start as professional videographers and many of them still aren’t. What they did do, however, is recognize video’s potential and, most importantly… STARTED.

Don’t let writer’s (or in this case) video block stop you from actually creating video content. As you start to use it, you will see how customers react to the effort you made to create a video just for them! You will see how much easier it is to engage them when they get a video response instead of a text template email. And the most important part, you will sell more cars!

Make Your Videos Talk, Even When They’re Silent

by Tim James

When it comes to marketing, video is the most effective, engaging, and preferred medium by consumers. Every social media platform has preached this for years and statistics support this fact. Streaming video is beginning to outperform cable and consumers increasingly choose video online over all other mediums.

There are ways to supercharge your video content by using the videos you are already making to further benefit your marketing strategy – specifically by adding subtitles to those videos.

According to an article on Marketing Week, adding subtitles to your videos produces multiple benefits. Similar to I-frame content or widgets added to your website, Google cannot always “read” video content when crawling your website, and so it has no benefit to search results. But Google (and other search engines) can read videos that have subtitles included. Why? Because by including the text, it transitions your unreadable video into a readable one. This adds incredible value to your video content from an SEO stance.

Have you ever scrolled through a social media platform, seen a video without the sound on, and kept scrolling? By adding subtitles to your video, consumers can not only watch the video but also see what you’re saying. The Marketing Week article shares statistics from Verizon stating that a full 50% of consumers watch video content with the sound off. This percentage increases to 69% when consumers watch a video in public. Subtitles allow those consumers to watch your video content and get the words, thus increasing the percentage of people who see and continue to engage with your video content by simply allowing them to absorb the content and keep engagement on their terms.

Google (and others) penalize websites that aren’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Many OEMs and website providers are also requiring ADA compliant videos and more are soon to follow. Plenty of car shoppers are hearing impaired and, while a video is great, if a potential car buyer can’t hear your video, it’s useless to them. By adding subtitles, those consumers will be more attracted to your dealership in the same way that having a salesperson that knows sign language, speaks Spanish, Korean or any other language makes those customers feel more at ease. Consumers feel more comfortable when dealerships (or any business) communicate with them on their terms.

While all of your videos should be ADA compliant, there are some videos that would benefit the most if they can be watched in any setting. Customer testimonials, value proposition, finance & service, FAQs, and other “Why Buy” videos all benefit by having great subtitles. If your shoppers are in a situation where they need to watch your videos without sound, these informative and emotion-inducing videos must have subtitles so they can still make an impact no matter the setting.

Competition between dealerships for consumers is hyper-competitive from acquisition to retention to brand loyalty. Anything you can add to your arsenal gives you an advantage over your rivals. Making your videos ADA compliant and available to watch in any setting gives you an edge over dealerships whose videos can’t evoke emotion or transfer information when customers have to watch silently.

Consider adding subtitles to your dealership’s video experience so your videos stand out and shout even when they’re silent.

Interactive Video: The Power of Story

by Tim James

Video has taken over as the preferred form of content for consumers. According to an infographic on The Drum, in 2017 only 63% of businesses used videos in their marketing. Fast forward to 2021 and that statistic has exploded to 86%. In addition, 85% of consumers stated that they would like to see even more video content from businesses. But forget about these statistics for a moment and just think about yourself and your habits. Would you prefer to read a bunch of words about a product you are researching, or watch an informative video on it?

In my past blogs I have shared various ways you can use video to engage your customers — but here is another idea:

Most dealerships hold new car-owner clinics designed to welcome shoppers who just purchased a new car to the dealership’s family, introduce them to service, and answer any questions they may have after owning their vehicle. These clinics handle a variety of things from how to set the seat memory function, to how to pair their iPhone with the vehicle’s entertainment system. The clinics are designed to invest the customer in your dealership while encouraging them to continue to do business with you as well as refer their friends and family.

If run well, the clinics show the customer that you care and that they are important to your dealership. This sort of service builds tremendous trust with your dealership’s new customers. The problem is, especially now with Covid, many new car owners don’t show up. Whether that’s because of a scheduling issue, or a feeling that it is not important, varies from customer to customer. What if you could offer a similar experience to your customers through video? It’s quite simple!

Think of an interactive video similar to a choose-your-own adventure-type experience. Do you remember those books? You read a page and then, at the end of the page, decide what you want to do next. How about creating a similar experience for your customers, but with video? As vehicles become increasingly more sophisticated and technology-infused, these questions will become more frequent, and your customers will go online to find the answers to their questions rather than come to you. Why don’t YOU become their go-to resource?

Start with what you want them to see and learn, along with the people you want them to meet, and make videos of those things. Typically, at these events, salespeople answer the customer’s vehicle-specific questions such as how the memory seats work, or how rain-sending wipers are set up.

Then, you need to put these videos where your customers will see them. The best way to get these videos seen is to use video email/text to follow up with your new customers. First, create a video introducing how your process works. Put this video on a landing page that includes videos covering the car-specific topics that you think the customer should see, whether it is features of their vehicle’s infotainment system or unique settings on their seat adjustments. This allows customers to guide themselves through your educational process at their own pace, using the power of video to retain more information and come back to watch whenever they need to.

Finally, offer each consumer the opportunity to Live Stream with you on the fly. I know that we all have become familiar with many live streaming services like ZOOM or Facetime. The problem is that not all live streaming services work on all devices (Apple, Android, Desktop, Mobile, etc.) and scheduling set times to live stream often leads to consumers ditching because something came up at that time. Utilize the new “one-click” live streaming technology that places a “Video Call” button on your landing pages (or any designated page) that the consumer can engage anytime at their convenience. This button will call into your dealership’s system and ring any designated team member who is online at that time. When the call is answered by a dealership employee, the consumer and employee are instantly placed in a live streaming call, and it all happens at the consumer’s convenience. Now your employee can walk through the various features with the consumer, just as if they were at a live event. 

Interactive, personalized video engages your customers. It also makes you their go-to resource, helps the customer gain more familiarity with your dealership and staff, and starts the process of building brand loyalty which, hopefully, culminates with a brand advocate. And there is no better, or more profitable, customer than that!

Live Video Calling: Carvana’s Kryptonite

Video marketing has been a growing focus in nearly every industry for over a decade. But during the past year-and-a-half, due to a majority of business moving to virtual, video use at dealerships has exploded. While covid-related restrictions have started to ease in recent months, video has taken root and continued to be an essential tool to help sell more cars. This is because not all consumers are ready to venture out, or they recognize the convenience of an online car buying experience.

At the same time, the used car market is exploding, forcing dealers to increase prices on their lots, with few new vehicles to sell because of chip and parts shortages.

As Carvana and other disrupters are making a play to capture even more market share by running anti-dealership campaigns while willing to lose money buying vehicles high and selling them low, consumers are gravitating towards them.

There is a way, however, to overcome the marketing tactics that these online retailers are pushing so heavily: live video calling. The ability to follow up with your leads with a live video call humanizes your dealership. It gives a face and personality to your sales staff that builds the valuable trust relationship that these companies are trying so hard to break.

While vehicle description pages exist, there is no emotion for a consumer to connect with when they look at text on a screen. Your shoppers will almost assuredly seek more information, while also trying to decide if your dealership is a place that they want to do business with. Through live video calling, your salespeople can connect with their customers, show them the vehicle live and answer any of their questions in real-time.

It does not matter if the live video call is one-sided (where the consumer sees you, but you can’t see them) or two-sided (like a Facebook Live video call). You can build rapport with a customer through a live call, show them the vehicle they expressed interest in and reassure them that YOUR DEALERSHIP will be there for them for whatever they need during the car buying cycle.

As the market continues to lean more and more to the digital side, both dealerships and these industry disruptors will continue getting online leads. The good news is your dealership can still have an advantage over these online companies. Through live video calling, you can prove that you are a business that can still be trusted… much more than any multi-story “car vending machine” can.

How Do You Sell a Vehicle without Knowing Which Features are Most Important to the Customer? Video!

by Tim James

Part of the vehicle sales process is to learn the customer’s needs and wants. You probably encounter a large number of consumers who don’t know exactly what they want (or need). In fact, it isn’t unusual for an online lead to provide no additional information other than the vehicle they are interested in. Reaching the consumer to learn more about them and their wants/needs can also be difficult. They might respond to you simply asking for a price, and that could be the only information you have when trying to move forward with the sale and relationship-building process. This conundrum makes it more difficult than ever to sell cars, but luckily video is the solution to this issue.

Recently, a dealer asked a question in a Facebook group that was amazingly simple: “What’s the most important thing for you in a car?” As you can imagine, the answers were all over the place. One of the funniest I saw was “an engine,” but many people answered with more interesting responses. The reason they were interesting is that, as a salesperson, you don’t know what a customer wants unless they tell you… and many times they won’t. So how do you sell a car to a customer if you don’t know their needs and wants, and they won’t tell you?

Video walkarounds and video communication. That’s how.

Video Communication:

While a growing number of dealerships utilize video in their lead follow up process, many dealerships still respond to inquiries with a simple “give me a call” or “we’ll be in touch soon,” without answering any questions or trying to connect with the consumer on a personal level at all. This approach simply isn’t enough to make your dealership stand out against the lot on the other side of town. Shoppers look for transparency and someone they can trust when going through the big commitment of buying a new car – and you need to show that your sales team and dealership are trustworthy. Dealerships that utilize video communication in their lead follow-up process not only stand out, but they build those valuable trust relationships that keep shoppers coming back and sharing their experience with anyone they know that may need a car. In other words, you go from just another dealership to a trusted source for your shoppers — simply by getting face-to-face with them over a video call and answering any questions they may have.

Video Walkarounds:

But… without a great video experience, one that includes video walkarounds, some dealerships might not get much of a response from their shoppers at all regarding their inventory.

By using video to display your inventory, you’re able to make an emotional impact on every shopper and get across all the vital information your shoppers care about the most. When you have a video for every car in your inventory, you get the benefit of humanizing your inventory and your dealership, while giving the customer anything they might want to know in the fastest way possible.

Although photos and vehicle descriptions are extremely important merchandising tools, emotion is what sells. There is no better way to transfer the information the consumer is looking for, while inspiring the emotions that will get the consumer attached to a vehicle, than a good video of the vehicle. With this method, you have a much better chance of selling the vehicle or getting a response from the customer about what works or doesn’t work regarding a specific vehicle. Because of your virtual showroom, once a customer is interested, you know what their needs are and can begin building a closer relationship with them via video communication. Win-win!

Video walkarounds and video communication enable you to better engage the customer, build rapport by selling the vehicle, yourself, and the dealership, and become more of a consultant to them than a salesperson. Don’t simply throw photos of your inventory on your site. Instead, combine video inventory and video communication in your strategy to stand out from the rest.

Think of your presentation like your virtual car lot. Take the customer on a tour of the vehicle via a video walkaround, or personalized video that includes all the selling points you would present if they were there in person – Safety, Comfort, Fuel Economy, Performance, etc.

An equally important note is to, no matter the form of video, use it to also sell yourself and the dealership at the same time you are selling the car. The most important sell is “you.” Introduce yourself and your dealership and let the consumer know that you are trying to learn more about their wants/needs and that YOU will work hard for them and provide them with THE best experience — so no need to shop anywhere else.

Utilizing video in this way, having a video strategy for every stage of the buying cycle, allows you to find out what your shoppers want while establishing yourself as a trusted resource.

Video Marketing: Strategy First

When it comes to video marketing, I see a large variety of strategies within the automotive industry. Some dealerships are hyper-focused and create their video content with a defined purpose and strategy, some have a good idea of the “type” of video content that they need to capture but no defined strategy for maximizing the value of that video through touchpoint distribution, and some dealerships simply bring out a cell phone and start aimlessly wandering around their lot, with employees capturing video of whatever they want to. While these actions are certainly a start, it is far more effective to have an overall video marketing strategy. Start by thinking about what video content will have the biggest impact on your shoppers throughout the entire buying cycle. And then figure out how you plan to distribute your content across the various touchpoints to be seen by the right shopper at the right time.

An excellent article in Rolling Stone magazine showcases advice from eight video marketing experts. All of the panelists give solid advice. But the one that stuck out to me the most was by Brian Chin, Co-Founding Partner of p3 Maine, a video production company. His advice was as follows:

I run a video agency, and far too often we see companies waste money on ineffective video content because they’ve just been told they “need video.” Put in place the correct strategy for your needs, targeting the correct audience with the right message. And if video is the way to go, create beautiful and engaging content that inspires people to take action. But strategy first.”

I’ve always believed in a “strategy first” approach to all marketing, not just video. You can save yourself so much time and money by “starting with the end in mind,” and understanding what content you need, as Brian Chin mentions. Also, by understanding the technologies that are available to you to help maximize your efforts. It’s not simply about taking video. Shooting videos is great, and it is something that data shows every dealership needs to be doing. However, videos need to be seen by the right audience at the right time to maximize their true value.

Here are three simple points to consider that can help your dealership when creating a highly effective video marketing STRATEGY:

1. How and where are you using that video? Before making any video, it helps to know exactly how you plan to use it. Ask yourself the following questions: “Is the purpose of this video to inspire an emotional response and increase engagement on a social media campaign? If so, where else would it have that same emotional value? Should it also be displayed with a specific Make or Model (or even a specific vehicle) on my VDPs?” “Is it to build trust with high, mid, or low funnel shoppers? If so, what are the touchpoints where I know my shoppers will be throughout the buying cycle and how do I make sure that all of my shoppers are presented with this video content (without them having to look for it.) “Am I trying to increase recommended service repairs?” Having solid answers to the question “how and where” is a great way to start formulating a strategy.

2. What outcome do you desire for each video?

Once you’ve determined the purpose, now ask yourself what outcome you want from each specific video. Is the video designed to increase sales? Is it to increase conversion from an ad and drive more traffic to your website or landing page? Get leads to engage with your BDC or sales team? Brand your store? There are a lot of outcomes you might expect from a video marketing strategy. But, you have to know what to expect and how to make certain that your video content is presented to your shoppers strategically before you can measure it.

3. How can you use data to improve the effectiveness of each video?

Many video platforms only show rudimentary data such as views or likes, but fail to provide valuable information about the HOW, WHO, or WHEN. And that is what is needed to make your video marketing actionable.

Everybody gets excited about having thousands of video views. Of course, if it a branding video and that was the purpose and desired outcome, that’s great! But sometimes it is just that one view that turns a video into a sale. The point is that it’s not just data, but detailed and actionable data that matters.

If you make a video specifically for Mr. or Mrs. Smith, knowing that they watched it, when they watched it, and how many times it was viewed, and being able to see what OTHER videos they watched is invaluable information for creating a correctly targeted sales strategy. Having this valuable data allows you to get the right video in front of the right shopper at the right time of the buying cycle, while also allowing you to know the exact second that one of your leads or customers is live on a touchpoint and watching one of your videos. This provides you the most strategic opportunity to reach out to them with a follow-up call.

Make sure you use a platform that allows you to capture that data and archive it in case Mr. and Mrs. Smith are not ready to buy NOW. Then you are prepared for them when they are.

These are just a few quick tips designed to show you some of the basics of how to start to incorporate a strategy into your video marketing efforts. Having videos is great but, as Mr. Chin said: Strategy first.

Video: The Content that Rules them All!

by Tim James

According to a recent study published by Wistia, consumers watched more than 23,000 YEARS of video in 2020 alone. This means more video was watched last year than the entire history of modern civilization! And it’s almost certain to continue to break records. Why? Because video transfers more information to a consumer in the least amount of time, while also creating the greatest amount of emotion when compared to any other visual medium.

Perhaps even more interesting is HOW consumers are watching video content. According to an article in Forbes, about 72% of consumers watch video content solely on their smartphones. More so than on a movie screen, their desktop, or anywhere else. New video apps and features are infiltrating the current market offering an increasing number of ways for consumers to view this content. Even Pinterest, which has historically been a single image-only site, has started to adopt video into its platform. This is why your dealership must understand that video isn’t just the future, it is the NOW.

Every industry has either begun the transfer to video or is fully engulfed in it, and the automotive industry is no different. Moving forward, high-quality and innovative video experiences on your dealership websites and in the different stages of the buying cycle will set your dealership apart from the rest when it comes to building relationships with shoppers.

Why do you think that nearly every business is scrambling to include video in their marketing strategy? Because it works, and the data is there to back it up!

Entrepreneur magazine recently featured an article stating that consumers want to, “See, Watch and Buy. In that Order.” How does this apply to your dealership website? When a consumer lands on your SRP or VDP, they are “seeing” your inventory. The next step is to “watch” the vehicle via a video. Whether that is a stitched photo video, a live video walkaround, or an interactive 360 spin, video content engages viewers and saves them from clicking through uninteresting photos and from having to read a large amount of text.

Consumers want to feel empowered to gain as much information about a vehicle as possible, as quickly as possible. Why has the test drive and product demonstration been a part of the basic steps to selling a car for decades? Because it works! And now, the technology exists to accomplish the same thing online.

The point is to make content consumers like, while also making that content in the form consumers want to consume. Then make it even better! Watching a video of a vehicle is great, but if you personalize that content and make it resonate with the customer in front of you, then you can move them further down the funnel.

It also helps to have trackable data you can use for your marketing. Use personalized videos on platforms that provide useful marketing data, and which integrate with your CRM for ease of follow-up. “Easy” doesn’t have to mean that quality suffers.

Make it easy to create videos that consumers desire, that they can view on their mobile phones, with data that integrates into your CRM so you can follow up with them appropriately. This will help turn your dealership into a marketing powerhouse that rules over any competition!

Build Your F&I Revenue Through Video

Dealers are increasingly adopting video in order to engage customers and win sales. Well, how about adopting this strategy in the F&I department as well?

As front-end margins decrease, many dealerships are placing more emphasis on F&I to make revenue. With digital retailing on the rise and customers shopping from home rather than in the showroom, how does a finance department sell F&I products in the absence of the dealer?

Going under the assumption that home delivery means that the entire deal has already been done as the paperwork must be printed in advance, dealerships are probably finding it difficult to present finance products in the most convincing way.

And that is where video comes in.

Most companies that offer various F&I products have product videos available for your use. The first step to increasing your F&I profit is to package these videos along with your dealership’s value proposition (Why Buy) videos, testimonial videos, and other finance FAQ videos on your website where they are easy for the consumer to find. Consumers know these “upsell” product offers are coming. Provide them with the opportunity to educate themselves on the various products higher in the buying cycle. 

The next step is to strategically re-introduce these videos to the consumer as they continue through the buying cycle. After you have used “video messages” when following up with inquiries (leads) and setting appointments, include these F&I videos in the “video experience” that you send to your leads to confirm appointments.

This provides the shopper with another opportunity to view the various F&I videos, and, with the right software, you can enjoy real-time reporting on the exact video content they view. When your shopper shows up for their appointment, you have insight into all the F&I videos they have watched (or haven’t watched). You know if they watched videos about purchasing with bad credit, lease vs. purchase, the impact of a divorce or bankruptcy, and all the extended warranty and other F&I product videos that you offer. Armed with this information, your team can provide a significantly better experience for each consumer, while helping them with any questions they may be afraid to ask. Both your profits and CSI Scores go up. 

For the best results, I would suggest having the finance manager make multiple videos of products on an individual basis. This personalization will increase the informational and emotional value of your videos and reward you with an even larger success ratio.

For example, your finance manager could create a video explaining why paint & fabric protection is a worthwhile investment for the consumer. Then another video explaining wheel and tire protection. Then continue to create short videos “selling” products as if the customer is sitting right in front of them. In addition, you could also create a short video with the finance manager summarizing all of the finance products.

Regardless of if you use stock product videos, or your own personalized videos, be certain to include some testimonial videos for each product.  Consumers constantly hear how they don’t need the various “upsell” products. Let them hear a few success stories from other consumers who found the product valuable. 

As the finance manager is the correct person to explain and adjust payments based on product and accessory choices, it is important for them to have that engagement and to have these product videos handy should the customer prefer to do everything online. The finance manager can then engage the customer with video via email or even live over a “one-click” video call, whatever the customer’s communication preference may be, while the vehicle paperwork is being created and sent to the customer.

Video can be used in every department to increase brand loyalty, vehicle sales, F&I product sales and service revenue. It is a highly effective tool that should be added to your marketing toolbox. However, to truly maximize the benefit of your videos, utilize your video content across multiple touchpoints as an end-to-end video marketing strategy that combines video content with video data. Then you will realize the true value of video.

Keeping with the Times is Essential in Video Marketing

Video marketing in the automotive industry is very dynamic, which makes it essential to keep your videos relevant and sensitive to your market.

During this pandemic, video has proven to be a tremendous tool for communicating with customers and potential customers, helping to gain their trust and create more impact in every stage of the sales funnel.

Here are a few video strategies that I have found to be successful in many dealerships. They are simple, produce great results, and best of all, take little effort on the part of your dealership.

Service – Most dealerships have processes in place to sanitize their customers’ vehicles after repairs and/or maintenance are completed. Consider making a video illustrating the steps from start to finish so customers can actually SEE what you are doing, rather than try to find it in print.

Does your service department offer vehicle pickup and delivery? Show your customers! Make a video showing a driver picking up the vehicle and then returning it. If there is a loaner car involved, show not only the actual process as it happens but also the customer’s vehicle (and loaner) being sanitized, all the way up to returning the serviced vehicle to the customer.

Do you offer touchless payment options? Can the customer pay online before coming into the store? Be sure to include those features in your video to make your dealership stand out from the competition.

Sales – Most states currently allow dealerships to present and sell cars to customers both online and in store. If a customer wants to come in and kick tires, test drive or make the transaction in person, make a video illustrating what they should expect, along with the safety precautions that your dealerships take for this type of sale. This can easily be done using a salesperson along with another dealership employee acting as the customer. In this way, your dealership will not need to get permission from customers to be filmed.

If your dealership offers to deliver vehicles to the customer’s location for a test drive and delivery of the purchased vehicle, make a video illustrating this process from start to finish. This can help build trust both before and after the transaction.

I see a lot of dealerships starting to shoot great content like I’ve mentioned, but then only post their videos on YouTube or Facebook. Video is an incredibly valuable tool, but to truly maximize your ROI you must have a strategy that gets your videos in front of your audience at the right time of the buying cycle (where it will have the biggest impact). The best way to make it work is to present the videos where your customers will see them.

Your video experience should live on your website, and it should be as easy as possible for a shopper to find. Put your videos in the places where you know your site visitors will be looking since buyers won’t go out of their way during the buying cycle to view your content. To capitalize on the impact video can bring use these videos in a variety of ways:

  • Put value proposition & testimonial videos on the same page as inventory videos so consumers get to see not only how great your inventory is, but how great it would be to do business with you. The majority of consumers are looking for a dealership that they can trust, every bit as much as they are a vehicle to purchase. Don’t make them search your site to learn why you are that dealership, put it in front of them where you know they will be looking.
  • Send video emails with a landing page featuring a vehicle a customer is interested in, while also giving them the option to watch several other videos that feature your inventory, value proposition & testimonials videos. Even include your personal introduction videos, all without having to leave the page.
  • Build a trust relationship between your sales team and customers by having them send picture-in-picture videos of a vehicle a customer showed interest in, explaining the vehicle in more detail, and letting the customer know that your salesperson is a trusted resource throughout their buying process. Be sure to include this video content on the landing page experience that I just mentioned. The possibilities are endless when you utilize video to give your consumers the best experience possible.

We are currently living in an interesting time. People have many different viewpoints when it comes to the pandemic. The most important thing is to put your videos where your customers will see them, showing your customers (as well as potential customers) that you care, are trustworthy, and that your dealership is a place where they can feel safe and comfortable. These emotions are what will make a consumer choose you over the competition, and keep your current customers coming back again and again. The single most effective way to build these feelings and connections? Video.