Don’t you love video?

I remember the day MTV went on the air. It was August 1, 1981. I was home on leave from the Navy, hanging out at a friend’s house and saw the very first video MTV aired. It was The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” That day changed entertainment forever. Now, video is changing the way car dealers market their products and services.

Video supercharges the senses and evokes emotion. It’s captivating, interesting and something we feel compelled to share. It’s also very inexpensive to produce and free to broadcast to potentially billions of people.

According to Alexa, the estimated percent of global Internet users who visit YouTube is 33 percent. One out of every three human beings on the planet who logs on to the Internet visits YouTube on a daily basis. YouTube exceeds 3 billion viewers a day, nearly doubling the prime-time audience of all three major U.S. broadcast networks combined.

Thankfully, it’s not going to create a billion leads for you, but done correctly, video will change your business in many positive ways.

Let’s look at how you can leverage video to enhance your online presence, wow your customers and tap the creativity of your employees.

The first thing you need to understand is that the search engines love video. Google loves video so much it bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006. Excuse me, but even Dr. Evil would have to be impressed with that staggering number. If the search engines love video that much, you should too. Because you want the search engines to love you!

The search engines like video because it’s user-generated content—popular, current and relevant to the searcher’s inquiry. So considering the most basic of marketing axioms, “fish where the fish are,” doesn’t it make sense to broadcast to a billion people a day?

In this manner, you can compete with larger dealers. A simple video explaining the different features in one model from another can give your video a top-five organic placement in a Google search, competing with millions of websites.

Next is the wow factor. As online shoppers work their way down the funnel, they eventually begin to engage the dealers. On average, they will shop five or six dealers online and visit one or two. So there is a definite selection process going on. What shoppers encounter is an unmistakable sameness when they inquire, especially by email or an Internet form. The auto responses all say the same thing: “We’ve been in business for 50 years. We have the largest selection and the lowest prices, and we are here to make your experience fast and easy.”

The shopper’s inbox blows up with templates, irrelevant content and invitations to come on in when that is exactly what they chose not to do. Bring video into your process and you immediately cut yourself from the herd. You become different and memorable.

What kind of videos? Here is a short list of videos you can use to wow your prospects, attracting them to you and your store:

1. Video auto-response

2. Introduction videos

3. Short video walk-around of the car they are asking about, or a one similar

4. Customer testimonial videos

Other videos to have available include how-to videos:

1. How to pair your phone

2. How to use Sync or OnStar

3. How to change a tire

4. How to check your cars fluids

Longer video walk-arounds make for a great resource in your YouTube library. You can use them as virtual test drives. As that library grows, so does your name and your search equity.

Finally, video is a great way to bring showmanship and salesmanship to an otherwise boring, left-brain process. Since buying a car is an emotional act for your customers, video can bring that emotion into the equation and give you an advantage towards being the dealer they want to do business with. Your employees will have fun with video and it gets them engaged with the products.

The downside to video is small. For the most part it’s free. A YouTube account doesn’t cost anything; neither does broadcasting on YouTube. Ask your ad agency to broadcast to a billion people for you for free and see how that goes over. Sure, you’ll need to buy a camera or smart phone. Some dealers invest in green screens and editing software, but that is not necessary. Your time and effort represent your biggest investments.

Sometimes your customers can’t view your video because they are at work and YouTube is blocked by their Web filters. Tools like Eyejot (an online video messaging platform) or simply parking your videos on your own website for viewing can get around this.

So what are you waiting for? Do you want to reach more customers, improve your dealership’s search engine performance, wow your customers and get your salespeople involved in selling?

I have just three words for you—lights, camera, action.

Vol. 9, Issue 6

About the author
Greg Wells

Greg Wells

Senior Partner

View Bio