The automotive business is more and more digital every day. It’s no secret that consumers are visiting fewer dealerships in person before purchasing a vehicle, down from 2.7 in 2017 to 2.3 in 2019, according to the 2019 Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey study. If you’re finding it tough to get customers to come to the dealership, why not take the dealership to them?
Nearly every dealership uses video in broadcast advertising. However, targeting accuracy can be difficult, tracking results sometimes impossible and production costs are high. Most dealerships have not yet tried personalized video marketing or “social” video, which are videos made for a single prospect or customer. These videos are perfectly targeted to a single individual, eminently trackable and virtually free to create.
Harness the creativity of your existing staff, who likely all have high-powered cameras in their pockets all the time now. Instead of telling your team to put their phones away and get back to work, why not put that digital pull to work for you?
Here are five examples of just how to do this.
1. Respond to Digital Leads with a Video
Instead of replying with a generic email asking a prospect to schedule a time to come visit or take a test drive, why not have your BDC reps pull out their phones and shoot a quick video? Show the customer that a real person cares and you’re not just a machine with an auto-reply.
A quick video on the lot proves you have the inventory they are looking for and can highlight features and selling points. If you are responding to a third-party lead, a video strongly differentiates you vs. the other dealerships also responding to that lead.
One large dealership group saw a 30% increase in lead-to-appointment for leads who were sent a personalized video.
2. Take a Video of Happy Customers After a Purchase
We’ve all seen the happy customer photos. A video says even more, with customers often willing to record a powerful testimonial. Share it with the customer to post on social media or ask them to tag themselves in your post.
3. Document Vehicle Condition Upon Arrival for Service
Tired of filling out forms about existing dings, dents or damage? Shoot a quick video as the vehicle comes in to document everything in a more simple and accurate way. Send to the customer with a note that the vehicle has been received and you’re beginning work; people like status updates.
4. Upsell Service Customers on Needed Repairs
Find a vehicle that needs new brake pads in addition to whatever the customer brought it in for? In an industry plagued by low consumer trust, that can be a harder phone call than it should have to be. Why not shoot a video and show the customer exactly what additional repair work needs to be done? Upsells with videos are more fun and more effective.
5. Make a Video for Each Pre-owned Vehicle
Every vehicle has its own character, and nothing displays that better than a video. A video shows more than 15-20 photos and is much easier to produce, send, and most importantly, watch. It usually would not make sense to do a full production-level video for each used vehicle, but with social video, you can cost-effectively bring the dealership to customers.
Of course, there are many other interesting videos that your employees can make in this way, such as employee biographies, shoots of work being performed in the service drive, welcome videos from a GM … the list is endless. Most dealerships are not yet doing these things, so it’s a great way to differentiate yourself.
As you try it out, watch out for a few common pitfalls. Send a link to the video rather than an actual file; consumers don’t always love receiving a 10MB MMS or email attachment. Make sure if customers are in the footage, you have the right permissions to use in marketing materials. You’ll want to use tools that will sync to your CRM so this powerful communication can be included in the customer record. You’ll also want to have the right systems to manage what images and footage may be stored on employees’ personal devices — or better yet, only store them in the cloud.
The “play” button on a video is the most powerful call to action on the entire web. Consumers like and watch videos; your employees are creative and like videos; put them together for your dealership today.