education

If a Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words, How Many Is a Video Worth?

If you haven’t drunk the video marketing Kool-Aid yet. Or, perhaps are overwhelmed by the thought of creating and distributing videos, it’s time to consider the advantages of having a video marketing strategy.

There was a time in my career when dealers used to complain about having to take multiple PICTURES of a vehicle. Now, however, most dealers include as many as 40 or more for each vehicle. Why? Because buying a vehicle is an emotional purchase and your online merchandising must transfer information while inspiring emotion. By providing more photos (and a good vehicle description) dealers give shoppers more information and help to facilitate them in becoming emotionally attached to a vehicle.

Once dealers understood that with multiple pictures customers would be more interested and they’d receive more inquiries, that’s all that mattered. And then along came video….

Look, technology is rapidly advancing and consumers are advancing with it. If video marketing didn’t benefit you in the only way that matters — which is to help you sell more cars — I’d be the first to tell you not to worry about it. But, the facts are the facts.

An excellent article published on Business2Community shared a wealth of statistics on the benefits of video marketing for businesses in general. While all of them are impressive, here are some highlights from the article that I thought applied specifically to an automobile dealer:

  1. Including video in an email leads to a 200-300 percent increase in click-through rate.
  2. 90 percent of people say that a video is helpful in the decision making process.
  3. Including a video on a landing page increases conversion by 80 percent, while including one on your homepage can increase conversion by 20 percent.
  4. Video ads increase purchase intent by 97 percent and brand association by 139 percent.
  5. An introductory email that includes a video receives an increase click-through rate of 96 percent.
  6. Video increases organic traffic from search engines by 157 percent.

Think about these statistics. The highest converting (as in sold) leads come from your dealership’s website. Why then, would it not be prudent to increase conversions on your home page by 20 percent? Or how about an 80 percent conversion increase on a landing page (like a VDP)? How many leads are you getting per month from your website and inventory? You do the math. These leads are gold waiting to be mined.

And what about your salespeople sending follow up e-mails to customers? Or replying to leads for the first time which get no response at all? Don’t you think that increasing click-through rates by 97 percent by having the customer watch an introductory video tailored specifically for them would increase engagement?

Give your sales staff (or BDC) an edge with video. The stats are there to prove that you’ll interact with more people. Think of it this way. If you had a lot full of customers, but your salespeople weren’t allowed to interact with them until the customer interacted first, you’d probably sell less cars. Of course, you wouldn’t allow that to happen! But that’s what’s happening with all of those people on your virtual lot!

People can be lazy. Most people would rather watch the movie than read the book. Why? Because it’s easier. We enjoy it more. The same applies to your marketing and follow-up efforts.

Want to increase views, conversions and engagement? Send your customers a video. You’ll see how powerful video content is.

And, before I forget, I’d be neglectful if I didn’t answer the question I posed in the title of this blog. According to Forrester Research, one second of video filmed at 30 frames per second (which means that it has 30 pictures per second) is the equivalent of 10,000 words. This means that a 60-second video is worth 1.8 million when it comes to the amount of information that you can deliver with a video, versus static photos. However, you can’t even begin to measure the increased emotional impact that a video will have versus the static photos…and emotion sells.

Want to make an impression on your customer? Seems as if video says – and produces – more than a picture by far. Take advantage of video marketing. The results will speak for themselves.

Video Marketing: Let’s Get Musical!

By Gina Reuscher

Quality video content can manipulate emotions and convey meaning far beyond the capability of written words or any still images. But videos aren’t effective simply because customers can see you or view the vehicle, they also work well because another sense is stimulated – sound. In a personalized video email, your voice and message is conveyed without ambiguity. Customers can see your facial expressions, hear your tone of voice and interpret what you’re saying in the most effective way. And, music can take the experience to a whole new level.

Imagine going to see Jaws with no soundtrack. That “duh na duh na” whenever Jaws is around instills fear without the shark even being on screen. In fact, many of you probably had the sound from the famous score come into your head as you read this. That music is just as famous as the movie. It was specifically created to instill a sense of fear and foreboding. Most viewers would know when that music plays – and it gets faster – nothing good is about to happen.

Music is a great addition to video as it can more easily convey emotion to viewers. Consider adding music to your inventory videos as they then become that much more powerful at playing on the customer’s emotions and pulling them into your message. That being said, due to copyright issues, you can’t simply download a popular artist’s song and stick it in your inventory video. So what do you do?

There are plenty of music libraries out there for dealers of all sizes and budgets. Some offer royalty -free or public domain music. And, there are also sites that offer extensive music libraries which you can subscribe to and use in your videos as needed. Here are a few resources I like, which were also highlighted in this article by Vidyard:

There is a reason why some businesses choose certain types of music – because it sets a mood. If the customer wants luxury, play to that by choosing suitable music. Cars targeted to younger demographics could work well with a little more pop or hip-hop type background tracks.

Playing to consumers’ senses is not a new concept. However, auto dealers as a whole could to a lot more with it, especially in video. Did you know that Disneyland pumps the smell of popcorn into their parks before opening every day and throughout the day? They do this because the smell of popcorn instills a sense of happiness into people as they’re entering. And, while we may not be able to add new car smell into videos yet, you can use the same techniques and tricks that play to customer’s senses to make your videos that much more engaging, attractive and interesting to the viewer. And, if you get their attention and keep it, chances are much better that the customer will inquire about or come in to see the vehicle in person… which is exactly what you want them to do.

 

Note: Be aware of companies that administer copyrights on behalf of artists. Some have been known to aggressively file unsubstantiated Content ID claims with YouTube on a broad scale. This mostly only impacts videos that are hosted on YouTube. If hosted on an alternate platform, you don’t have these concerns. Their motive is to create an unscrupulous stream of revenue and they are a huge inconvenience to those following the rules — namely, you!  Best-in-class video production and hosting platform solutions typically own their own library of exclusive music tracks and are knowledgeable on how to handle these kinds of minor setbacks for their clients.

How to Maximize the SEO Value of Website Videos

Tim James, COO of Flick Fusion, shares tips on how to maximize the SEO value of your video content.

 

Flick Fusion Video Marketing is a pioneering video technology company, specializing in creating, managing, and distributing dynamic and cost-effective online and mobile video products on the world’s largest content delivery network. Each video is designed to help our clients reach and engage their customers with richer content and greater impact that results in increased sales and ROI. Data, photos, inventory, audio, music, and special offers are automatically combined to create compelling multimedia video solutions that are fast, easy, and affordable.

How to Create Emotionally Appealing Inventory Videos

by Gina Reuscher, Director of Marketing, Flick Fusion

For dealerships that are considering video marketing, or in the early stages of developing their video marketing strategies, we recommend starting with inventory videos. Inventory videos are a great way to attract and emotionally engage car shoppers. According to a recent Gallup study, “businesses that optimize this (emotional) connection outperform competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth.”

Emotion sells because it happens on a very instinctive level. People may not be aware of why they’re buying–they just know they feel good about it.

So how do you create emotionally appealing inventory videos? Visually, most inventory videos are pretty straightforward. Typically they’re two to four minutes in length and show the interior and exterior of the vehicle. They should also highlight popular features such as infotainment systems, cameras or hands-free tailgate openers.

Although these visual features by themselves do stimulate some emotion, let’s face it: there’s only so much you can do with lighting or mood effects without getting cheesy. It’s an inventory video after all, not a Hollywood movie.

The best way to make your inventory videos emotionally appealing is to create a custom, unique voiceover track for each vehicle. Most inventory videos, including virtually all automated voiceover videos, simply recite the features and data that the consumer can already see on the Vehicle Details Page (VDP).

To differentiate your dealership and generate a powerful emotional response in viewers, create inventory videos with voiceovers that focus on how owning the vehicle will make the buyer feel.

For each video, identify one or two emotional opportunities that you want to tap into. The emotions will be different depending on the type of vehicle. Then, decide on a specific call-to-action that you want the car shopper to perform during or after viewing the video. Include hyperlinks or an audio prompt for the call-to-action in the video along with phrases designed to generate emotion.

In Barry Feig’s book Hot Button Marketing: Push the Emotional Buttons That Get People to Buy, he uncovered 16 emotional opportunities that drive conversion:

  1. Desire for control
  2. I’m better than you
  3. Excitement of discovery
  4. Revaluing
  5. Family values
  6. Desire to belong
  7. Fun is its own reward
  8. Poverty of time
  9. Desire to get the best
  10. Self-achievement
  11. Sex, love, romance
  12. Nurturing response
  13. Reinventing oneself
  14. Make me smarter
  15. Power, dominance and influence
  16. Wish-fulfillment

To get you started, here is a list of emotions and sample phrases that you may want to incorporate into inventory videos.

Emotion Phrases
Sex Appeal/Desire Imagine how you’re going to look in this car, you’re going to look so good driving this car, this is a sexy car and you’re going to look sexy in it, you’re going to be the envy of your friends/family.
Admiration Your friends are going to love it, your kids are going to love it, your dog is going to love it! You are going to love yourself in this car.
Family Values Imagine your entire family on a road trip in this spacious SUV, imagine how much fun you and your family will have trekking in this vehicle, this is the perfect vehicle for creating that special family bonding time.
Discovery/Excitement Imagine the places you can go in this vehicle. Explore, discover and escape the ordinary, enjoy unparalleled freedom in this adventure ride, imagine escaping into the great outdoors, you’ll forget all your worries the moment you get behind the wheel.
Humor Imagine all the stuff you can fit in here; kids, dogs, hogs, farm animals, circus props, all your wife’s/husband’s old junk. Lots of stuff, you’ll never have to go anywhere without your stuff again.
Smart Buying this car will be the smartest decision you ever made, with this deal/rebate you’ll be walking off the lot feeling like Einstein, buying this vehicle is one decision you’ll never regret, this one’s a no-brainer folks.
Confidence Don’t worry, worry-free, satisfaction guaranteed, no-hassle buying experience. Imagine all the money you’ll save with this fuel-efficient vehicle; imagine all the things you can do with that money! You can go out to dinner, you can go on a trip, you can buy new clothes.
Desire for the best Rest assured with this vehicle you’ll be getting the best in class, highest quality, top of the line, best value, best looking, etc.
Fear of missing out Isn’t she a beauty? We haven’t seen a make/model in this primo condition for a long time, this one won’t last long folks, this vehicle is going to fly off this lot, this vehicle is in high demand, if you want this, don’t delay, this won’t be here more than a few days
Pride You’ve worked hard, you deserve this car, you know you deserve it, you’ve earned it and you’re going to feel so proud every time you slide behind this wheel.

These phrases are just suggestions. Feel free to brainstorm and come up with your own! It will take some practice to feel comfortable producing custom inventory video audio tracks, but with time it will become second nature.

One thing is certain: creating inventory videos with emotional appeal will be worth the effort. Emotion plus a call-to-action will convert more shoppers into buyers because emotion sells.

 

A Primer on Video E-Mail Response

So, you’ve decided that you want to send video responses to internet leads, but you don’t quite know where to begin. Well, first, congratulations! You have made an excellent decision that will engage more of your customers, build rapport faster and elicit increased responses. Now to the nuts and bolts of how best to do this:

Technology – The simplest tool you need to create video is probably right in the palm of your hands. You may even be reading this blog on it, right this minute. I’m talking about your phone. These days, most smart phones have pretty impressive video capabilities. On the other hand, perhaps your dealership is willing to invest in a little dedicated video equipment. That is great as well. The biggest thing to understand is, regardless of whether you’re shooting video from your smartphone, or from an expensive camera, you need to ensure that you’re familiar with all of the settings that the camera offers and how to use them. Read your manual. And, In the case of an expensive camera, pay attention primarily to the Exposure Triangle (ISO, Aperture and shutter speed). Understanding these three features, and how to manipulate them, will help you produce great looking quality videos.

Deliverability – I am frequently asked about the best way to deliver videos to a customer via e-mail. Should the video be embedded in the e-mail or linked? Well, embedding a video inside an email sounds cool. But, “sounds cool” isn’t functional because only a few e-mail clients would actually play the embedded video. In addition, many spam filters flag e-mails that contain embedded video as spam. This means that most of your customers won’t even see them. A video is worthless if it doesn’t make it through spam filters. Because of this, your best option is to utilize a video landing page and insert a link to the video which is embedded in the landing page.

Creativity – Creativity is an important piece of any video marketing strategy. First, decide how you are going to utilize your video content. Are you going to build a library of stock video responses to send to leads? Or, are you going to personalize each one? Perhaps a combination of the two? Regardless of which strategy you choose, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. That being said, each one can be effective if it is implemented properly.  Here are some fundamentals that apply universally:

  • Use the word “VIDEO” in the subject line.
  • Use e-mail to support your phone call strategy, not replace it.
  • The focus (i.e. the call-to-action) of the video should be to get the customer to call you.
  • SMILE! There is nothing worse than seeing a video with an unhappy face.
  • Use a video landing page that contains the video you created for the customer along with additional supporting videos such as your dealership’s value proposition video, your salesperson’s introduction video and perhaps even some video customer testimonials. Sell the dealership. Sell yourself. And sell the car. All at the same time.

Hosting – One of the most important pieces of the puzzle for an effective video marketing strategy is where your video is “hosted.” All of your video content, including your video e-mails, should be hosted on the same platform so that you can track the viewing data of your shoppers across all touch-points and match that shopper with their history within your CRM. This also allows you to deliver “viewer specific” content to your shoppers based on their history and/or geo-location. Hosting videos on the same platform allows you to see if the prospect you sent the video email to watches another one of your videos on your website, cars.com, AutoTrader, Facebook Video pages, a blog, through another e-mail, etc.

Make certain that your video hosting platform knows what it is doing and can serve up real-time marketing/re-marketing content, or special offers, all based on rules that you can set, in order to return the best results. You can even geo-target your competitor’s lot. This means that if a specific shopper ends up visiting your competitor, but then decides to come back and watch your video e-mail just one more time (or any of your videos for that matter), you then receive a notice that they are on your competitor’s lot, while your video throws up a last chance offer to entice them over to you, before they buy elsewhere.

I hope this blog provides some useful data on the fundamentals of implementing an effective video marketing strategy. With the right tools and technology, you’ll find that it’s not that complicated at all.

Use Video to Increase Service Upsell

It’s widely known that video walkarounds, email responses and other types of video attract more attention from car buyers and better engage them once they reach out to you. But, one of the biggest mistake I see most dealerships make is to neglect the service department in their video marketing efforts.

Most importantly, utilizing video in your service department is a key part of a complete Video Marketing Strategy, and an easy way to capture your service customer’s viewer profile (data) to match with your CRM records.  In other words, you can know if your service customer is also watching your inventory videos on touch-points such as AutoTrader or Cars.com, in addition to your own website, Facebook pages, Email Campaigns, Blogs, etc.  You can then leverage this knowledge by sending targeted messages to that service customer that include videos with offers specific to their vehicles of interest, while passing that data to your CRM to queue the customer up for Sales Follow Up. Essentially, the targeted messaging occurs via your existing videos in “real-time,” based off the data gathered from your video views. It’s re-marketing just as you would have through a Google Ad Campaign, except you are using your own videos and your own data.

Video can dramatically increase the service department’s footprint on your website and serve as a useful resource for your customers. It is also an excellent way to educate customers and increase service recommendation acceptance.

When customers drop their cars off for a scheduled repair, one of their biggest fears is an unnecessary upsell. Unfortunately this fear can create resistance to any repair recommendations. A short video created by the service adviser can help to alleviate this fear and provide “visual proof” that a repair is really needed.

Videos are far more effective than photos because the service adviser can explain how the old part is worn and compare it visually to the new part, along with an explanation of how important it is to get the repair done now. Additionally, advisers can mention the potential impact and costs of related problems that could be caused by not completing the service now.

Creating an upsell video simply involves two parts: the “why you need it” and the tutorial. The “why you need it” portion of the video plants the seed in the customer’s head that they had better get this taken care of soon or they are likely to end up with a more expensive repair, stranded on the side of the road, or possibly even in an accident.  The tutorial section shows how much work it really is to fix this issue, the cost of the parts, and the time involved with the fix; thus, justifying the cost of the repair.

Once the upsell video is created, the adviser can text it directly to the customer so they can see the video on their mobile device and make a quick decision. You can remove additional fear and the “oh they’re just trying to up-sell me” mentality from the customer by delivering each video on a landing page that contains your Value Proposition Video, Service Manager Introduction Video, and a couple of Testimonial Videos so that the customer can quickly see that you have their best interest at heart and can be trusted.

If the customer refuses the additional service, send them a “how to” (on the same landing page) so that they can appreciate how serious you believe this service is, and that it needs to be completed ASAP (even if they prefer to do it themselves).  The more you can help the customer understand that this about “their safety” and that you aren’t just trying to sell repairs that aren’t necessary, the more likely the customer will trust you and approve the additional repairs.

These type of videos also create content on your website and increase the odds that your dealership will show up in service related searches (VSEO). You never know when someone searching for an answer will stumble across your service video and make the decision to choose your dealership for their service repair.