Every year, advertisers and marketers try to choose one defining medium of the year, and 2017 is, no doubt, the year of the video. Digital video can enhance your content marketing and drive prospects to your dealership — if you do it right. From OEMs down to the local dealership, automotive marketers are integrating video into the selling process. So, where do you begin?
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind only Google (who purchased YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion). More than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and all the major OEMs are contributing to this content. Take a look at your brands’ official YouTube channel and you will find national commercials, in-depth vehicle reviews and other valuable video content.
Adobe reports that 90 percent of consumers find retailer videos useful during the shopping and buying process. These are the three types of videos car buyers are watching (and you need to start filming):
- Vehicle Walk-Around — If a picture’s worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth? Car buyers want to see the car they are going to buy, and they want to buy it from the dealership that shows them. OEMs produce high-quality vehicle videos when they release a new model, but their video is not a one-size fits all. Showcase every model, trim and package on your lot with your own vehicle walk-around videos. Plus, every video you create adds to your library of content. Initiate a positive customer relationship when they use your Website as a resource.
- How-To Videos — With the advent of connected cars, you’ve got a lot of new inventory hitting the blacktop with many new features. After shopping, financing and signing papers, your customer usually wants to drive home in their new car instead of stay for another few hours of tutorials. Take some time to film tutorial videos on how new features like Bluetooth and navigation work and share them on your social networks. Establish a lasting relationship with your customer and stay relevant. Satisfied customers are more likely to return to that dealership for service.
- Customer Reviews — This is the most important and authentic type of video your dealership needs to be filming. Every closed sale is an opportunity to earn referral business. The average Facebook user has approximately 350 friends on Facebook. When you film a video review at the time of delivery and share it with your satisfied customer they can then share it on their personal Facebook (bragging). You are then reaching a large, trusted, local network of potential local customers with no advertising costs. Plus, filming video reviews is a great way to convert finance downtime into an exciting opportunity.
Content marketing firm Syndacst projects that, by the end of 2017, 74 percent of all online traffic will be video. At this time, Adobe reports that 50 percent of all mobile traffic is video. For dealerships trying to pinpoint their marketing messages to the smaller screen, use video.
On-the-go, constantly connected consumers are using video to make purchase decisions. Dealer.com reports dealerships that add video to their vehicle description pages (VDP) get 78 percent more views than pages featuring static images. Dealerships can purchase walkaround videos from third-party companies or self-shoot videos of actual vehicles on display at your lot. Connect with consumers through sharing vehicle walk-around videos.
How-to videos allow your dealership to maintain a connection with the customer after the sale is closed. OEMs sponsor maintenance packages to give customers an impression of your service center. According to Wards Auto, only 45 percent of customers return to the dealership service center after two years of vehicle ownership. Your dealership is losing more than half of your customers to independent repair shops. Nurture the customer relationship with ongoing video content. Whether you are filming in-depth feature tutorials like setting up connected devices with vehicle infotainment system or short clips on how to quickly defrost a windshield, you are building a relationship with your customers. Sharing how-to videos on social networks increases reach and raises brand awareness for your dealership. BrandWatch reports that searches for “how-to” videos are increasing by 70 percent each year. For ideas, check out your OEM’s YouTube channel and see what kind of videos they are sharing.
Video reviews are a cost-effective way for your dealership to earn referral business and deepen the customer relationship. Prospects are looking at reviews before deciding to do business with your dealership. While written reviews may or may not reflect an actual customer experience, prospects can see the authenticity in video reviews. Through video reviews, you are incorporating your customer into the selling process. Film a video review at the time of delivery when the customer is the happiest. Share the video with the customer instantly and give them the opportunity to share on their social networks. Leverage authentic video reviews in your digital advertising. According to Syndacst, using the word “Video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent, click-through rates by 65 percent and reduces unsubscribes by 26 percent.
2017 is the year of digital video. With viewership on the rise and more accessible content than ever before, your dealership needs video to get noticed. If you have any questions about incorporating video into your digital marketing, please contact me at the address above.