Every time I present a video marketing webinar or workshop, I end the session with a Q&A. Some questions are asked more than others. Here are the three most common questions I hear from audiences, along with my answers and recommendations.
1. Should I post my videos on YouTube?
The answer to this question is yes and no.
As a social media channel, YouTube has a lot of value. It has millions of users and it’s a great way for car shoppers to find your videos and brand, especially if your website provider isn’t doing a good job of meta-tagging your videos. It certainly won’t hurt you to have a presence so that you can direct car shoppers to your site. So yes, make sure all your videos are posted on YouTube, as long as they adhere to YouTube’s copyright rules. Your channel can be shut down if your videos have unlicensed content or music.
However, don’t use YouTube as a video host for videos displayed on your website. This is because every YouTube video player has one (or several) links that lead off your website and on to YouTube, where they are surrounded by videos from your competition. You spend a lot of money to bring car shoppers to your website, and the goal is to keep them there for as long as possible. Make sure to host all videos with your website provider or on a video marketing platform that does not send video viewers off your website.
Another reason you shouldn’t use YouTube as a video host is because they don’t share any data, other than the number of views. Website and video marketing providers can collect and share all sorts of data with you, such as where your video viewers are coming from. Did they click through from a video ad, a social media post or an email marketing campaign?
2. How much time does it take to shoot inventory videos for all my cars? It seems like it would be very time consuming, not just shooting but uploading and posting?
Today you can shoot a quality video presentation using a smartphone camera mounted on a gimbal/stabilizer. You don’t need special lighting or equipment, so there’s no time prep involved. Simply walk around a car with your cell phone, and you will have a quality video in a minute or two.
Uploading the video only takes a few seconds with the right app. Some video marketing platforms automate the entire editing and distribution process, requiring no time from staff.
Another strategy is to start with automated inventory videos, which take zero seconds. Some companies make it easy for you to switch the automated video with your walkaround video instantly, by selecting that option when you upload your video. So, having automated videos on all of your inventory, then replacing them with walkaround videos as they are finished, is a recommended strategy.
3. How long (or short) should my vehicle video walkarounds be?
Honestly, there isn’t one right length. The average length of vehicle video walkarounds is from 1.5-2.5 minutes. The worst thing you can do is try to keep it short for the sake of keeping it short. Put the stopwatch away. Focus on quality. Give an energetic presentation and make sure the camera doesn’t bounce around. The worst thing that can happen if a video is too long? The viewer might not finish it. The worst thing that can happen if it’s too short? The viewer won’t get enough information or feel emotionally connected. I’ve seen videos in the 5-6 minutes range average 85% completion rates because the videos are great quality, presenting information to the customer in an emotionally engaging way. Another important goal is to imagine all of the questions a customer may have about the vehicle, and to answer those questions in the video.