The popularity of video is growing with a snowball effect: the more video we consume the greater our appetites for it become and the more we create.
It seems like each day a new study is released that boasts about how video is changing marketing. Some studies suggest, for example, that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads each year and a 54% increase in brand awareness.
Who wouldn’t you want a piece of that action?
This is why so many people get swept up in the craze and drop large amounts of money on slick videos, then sit back and wait for the results to appear. But it’s not that easy.
As you will know, dealership owners have to use savvy marketing to attract their customers. And it’s tough. There’s a subtle art to standing out from the crowd while also developing a good idea of who your customers are and where you can find them.
If you’re considering using video marketing, you’ll need to do it effectively instead of chasing that one viral video.
Tips for Effective Dealership Video Marketing
Never Abandon Strategy
There’s no doubting that everyone loves a beautiful video. Just look at the numbers: YouTube has over one billion users who watch more than 500 million hours of video on the platform each day.
Some marketers believe that because video is popular right now, they can jump on the bandwagon and their new video will just automatically do well because the medium is hot.
But video has to do more than just look great. You can’t afford to pursue video for the sake of it – you’ve got to make sure you’re creating something that’s SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely).
This is why before you begin to think of what video you’ll create, think about the why.
Your video must have a purpose and a reason for being created.
Here’s a look at some examples of the strategic videos you might want to create:
1. An About Video
You could use a short video to introduce your dealership, where it came from and why customers should buy from you.
2. Car Previews
Customers want to get as up close and personal with your inventory while browsing your website, and a 360 view of your stock can offer that.
3. A Thank You Video
Once the deal is done, your customer is still very useful to you. A charming video that says thank you after the purchase that you could also use to ask your customer for referrals, reviews or even to provide more information regarding the vehicle or the process.
4. Customer Testimonials
Above all else, dealerships need to focus on demonstrating that they can be trusted. This is why customer testimonial videos are so effective. You can also get creative with where you use them, such as on your website or showroom TVs.
Remember never to stop asking why and thinking about strategic purpose when planning your video. Above ideas are no way close to getting viral, but they provide value to your customers in many ways.
Know Your Customers and Their Preferences
Is video even an appropriate way to target your potential customers?
Different demographics interact with video in different ways and on different platforms, so it’s important to understand how your video will be treated.
To get an idea of how to use video for your dealership you should conduct customer research. Try to discover more about your customers, what they expect from a video and where they consume it. This thought-provoking article will explain more about how video is used on the key platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter: How to Leverage Social Media In 2018: A Video Marketing Guide for Brands.
You might even discover in the end that content marketing or some PPC ads, while not as flashy as video, are the best way to share key messages with your audience.
Don’t Get Carried Away by Production Value
It can be tempting to see an awesome video, and want to replicate it entirely. But it’s not always possible. Your team may lack the audiovisual abilities and your budget may not be able to accommodate for what your mind’s eye has created.
Also, pursuing the highest production values possible should not be the priority for your dealership: car manufacturers can create breathtaking videos but your video should focus more on communicating the personality of your dealership to your customers. Video is a visceral way for you to demonstrate how your dealership is different from all of the other dealerships out there and why you’re the natural choice for your customers.
In my experience, I haven’t seen a direct correlation between high production values and great performance. So, as long as a video isn’t shaky, inaudible or blurred, the content of the video determines the fate of the campaign. This is why, as I mentioned above, strategy and an understanding of your audience should be the foundation for your video.
Don’t Break the Bank
While it’s important to be grounded in your expectations, it’s also important you don’t think it’s impossible to achieve great results. It’s genuinely surprising what an individual can achieve equipped just with a smartphone and the right amount of skill.
Steven Soderbergh’s last movie, Unsane, was actually shot entirely on an iPhone!
If you – or somebody on your team – puts in the time to learn and plan your shoot, you could produce something that is really great and captures your team’s personality. It’s certainly worth considering and it could be a fun project with a great end product.
There are a lot of resources out there. Take, for example, Hubspot’s detailed overview in its article How to Create High-Quality Videos for Social Media.
Think Ahead to Publishing
Jonathan Perelman is the VP of Agency Strategy at BuzzFeed and he is on record saying that “content is king, distribution is queen, and she wears the pants”. This means that you could have the most incredible content out there but without a distribution strategy to get it in front of the right people it’s worthless.
Producing the video is just one half of the battle – you’ve also got to have a solid strategy in terms of where the video is going to be hosted and the distribution strategy that you will adopt.
Will you host it on YouTube and embed the video into a landing page? Will you create short trailers for Instagram and Twitter? Would sections from the video work well in a Story format?
There’s nothing more disappointing than investing time, money and effort into a video only for it to fall flat once it has been published. It’s important that you invest in the right strategy and talent to make sure that your video does well once it has been published.
This article from Vidyard, Distribution Checklist: Where to Share Your Videos for Maximum Reach, offers interesting food for thought when it comes to distribution strategy for video.
Have Fun with Video
I hope that these tips have been useful and given you ideas when it comes to seeing video as a strategic tool.
My final piece of advice is to keep it fun. Marketing and reaching out to your customers should be a pleasant process that helps to forge genuine connections. If the video production process is defined by stress and overexertion then that will come through in the final product and the results will suffer for it.
I wish you all the best with your videos and look forward to seeing what you create!