|Online video is powerful. There is no question any longer of its relevancy. Take, for example, the Johnson Automotive group in Raleigh, N.C. (www.nobadgers.com). Their series of very funny commercials appear on YouTube. If you go to www.YouTube.com and type in “Badger Commercials” you will see a whole series of them. This dealership has received over 10,000 unique visitors to their Web site in a single month!|
What is surreal is the amount of views these videos receive. One titled “Wiggle Room” received 264,334 views. What is profound here is that for a video to be counted as a “view,” someone has to watch the entire video, so it’s not simply a “hit.” It was marked as a favorite over 555 times! They have a combined view rate of almost two million views from their series of online commercials. Two million views—that is astronomical!
So, how did they do it? Can you simply post commercials and the YouTube gods will make it rain? Not a chance. You need to think outside of the box. The Johnson Automotive Group took it outside the box. They created a whole concept and a character. They personified the emotions of the public, made it funny and made a statement about their dealership.
The first step is taking time to think of a totally new concept that will capture people’s attention. Humor is a great way to accomplish that. You need to know that one of the most powerful aspects of online video is the viral aspect, meaning that a tremendous number of videos are being forwarded from other people. So, the people watching those YouTube Badger Commercials and laughing their heads off are e-mailing them to their friends. To be specific about this point:
• 67 percent of video viewers ages 18 to 29 send others links to videos they find online *
Please be careful and try not to just rip off an idea in a half-baked way. A dealer group tried to hijack the badger commercials and turn the badger into a wolf. It hasn’t worked well. You need to correctly execute whatever concept you decide on.
Like Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind,” meaning, don’t just get your video camera out. Have a strategy meeting and brainstorm ideas. Go to YouTube or MyspaceTV and take a look at other videos of all types (funny, serious, public relations). Take a look at other car dealerships. It may help with the brainstorming, and you can learn what not to do from what you see online as well. This is just to gather field intelligence and get some inspiration.
After you have your concept, figure out the production angle. You can go YouTube-style and try to do something with a small digital video camera or a cheap, basic camera, but you are not going to have the same effect as the badger commercials. Everything was thought out ahead of time--the badger, the voice, the clichés, the script, the set--and quality production.
Remember, if you want the things others don’t have, you must be willing to do the things that most people aren’t willing to do to get them. That often means working hard and smart. After you have created the video production, you are going to want to upload it to ALL 50 of the video search engines (not just YouTube and MyspaceTV).
Once you have your video uploaded, make sure all of the subject content is written properly; the descriptions and keywords need to be unique and thought out properly. You cannot just upload once and be done. You need to constantly and methodically create and upload content on a weekly basis, or your campaign will not have a dominating effect on the Internet.
It is no longer a question of will online video capture the greatest share of eyeballs on the Internet; it already has. I really suggest that all of you reading this try to figure out how to do what Johnson Automotive has done. If you think a clever, professional video is not worth it, consider the last time you gave out money for a referral. How much would you pay to have 67 percent of your customers refer you to someone else?
* Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project
Dealers seeking a harmonious online-to-instore experience should start by taking advantage of the advanced digital marketing tools, assets, and services your manufacturers are offering for free.