Within the past few years, dealerships have caught on to the useful nature of video. Some dealers have the connections to establish their presence, while most do not. Since video has overcome the industry so quickly these past few years, we’ll say when you start producing your own content, we highly suggest you take the following components into consideration. We know you have a million other things to take care of, so we’ll keep it snappy first and provide explanations later in the post:
- Don’t produce sub-par videos (your reputation is at stake!).
- Cover the features your audience wants to hear.
- Let your sales team know about your videos – they absolutely can help close a deal.
- Be consistent in providing videos.
- Keep them short and sweet.
- Understand slideshows are not videos.
Read on to learn more about each component.
Don’t produce sub-par videos (your reputation is at stake!).
Consider that the quality of every little thing that originates from your store is reflective of your image in the eyes of the customer. That includes sales team members, media content, and everything in between. As Millennials start to dominate the sales demographics, keep in mind they grew up with MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. They expect quality content. That means:
- No poor audio recording
- We put audio quality ahead of video quality because, believe it or not, studies show viewers will bear poor video longer than poor audio.
- No Standard Definition video
- High Definition has been standard for years. Use urge you to not upload a 4:3 video when almost all new content produced today is 16:9, and increasingly pushing towards 4K (which is 4x the resolution of HD).
- No vertically recorded video (if shot on a phone)
- All too often we browse other dealers’ videos shot in-house and read comments bashing the video simply because the orientation of the recording device was not “normal” or 16:9. It’s not fair to have videos disregarded because of this simple mistake, but it happens.
- No slideshow “videos”
- Simply sliding between photos of a vehicle while listening to a computer voice is not going to excite the customer. We have a section below on this.
In short, don’t establish your video presence anything less than the quality your customers expect. No matter where you’re located, it’s easy to connect with professionals that can get you started. Search around your area for production teams that specialize in automotive, or seek out production companies online that have dealer-oriented content at the ready. Drop us a line and we will be happy to suggest some options to you.
Cover the features your audience wants to hear.
Please, oh please make sure your script is well done. Without a solid script, a project with 50 crew members, 8K cameras, and the best ten thousand dollar software tools is worthless. For years, we have used the same script outline to structure our videos. We like to parade around the fact that we’ve reached over 2.3 million views with our first auto group; this only would have been possible by providing meaningful content our audience wanted to engage with. We won’t publicly give away our secret sauce, but we will leave a few words of wisdom on forming scripts: be logical and be organized.
Let your sales team know about your videos – they absolutely can help close a deal.
We got our start working in-house at an auto group. During that time, we had plenty of time to get feedback from our team on the floor. Our new video ideas were first discussed with sales team members because we intended for our videos to be tools for them first and foremost. Nowadays of course we have potential in social media, but it all started as tools for sales. Do a little investigating with your CRM software and see if there’s the option to add in YouTube videos. If it’s available, we strongly recommend starting there and getting your sales team excited about the possibilities video can offer. We heard feedback that customers actually purchased their vehicles because of the videos we produced for that local auto group. There’s no reason your dealership can’t have the same results. All it takes is the first step of creating or licensing customized content.
Be consistent in providing videos.
It’s important. It would be a shame to start creating a series of high quality videos with fans in your local area only to be let down when a subsequent video is not up to their standard they expect. We understand having a local professional production company produce a single video can be expensive every time you want a new video. Consider hiring a part-time producer that can script, shoot, and edit in-house if you have enough work to support.
Keep them short and sweet.
Different dealers will have varying strategies, however we are confident that 2:30 is a safe total running time (TRT). All you’re looking for is to entice the viewer to visit your location instead of the competition down the road and/or to keep the viewer interested in your brand versus the surrounding competitors. Here are some ideas for popular TRTs:
- 15 seconds: YouTube and Facebook ads, general emails, incentive offers
- 30 seconds: Same as above, but includes local cable TV as well. More or less the “standard” time for ads
- 1:30 to 2:30: Briefly going over a product, dropping in contact information throughout, perhaps incentive offers, and so much more. There’s a lot of flexibility in this range from uses in social media to emails.
- 2:30 to 10 minutes: Be careful here. it’s all too easy to lose viewers if there isn’t a vested interest in what is being displayed. However, this is good for completely dissecting a particular model and covering a host of topics from design to packages. Viewers nearing the purchasing stage will appreciate you providing hours of research in a (relatively) short video. They should trust you as the experts and the ones who can assist them in leasing/purchasing their next vehicle.
Understand slideshows are not videos.
Perhaps the most misleading service out on the market today is taking your inventory photos, automatically editing together a slideshow, adding a computerized voice over, and calling it a video. This is not a true video. In a way it’s a bit of a insult to creative talent in video production that work hours on end to produce work they and their clients can be proud of.
- But professional video production is expensive!
- Not necessarily. There is a balance between budget and quality that you can strike. While it may cost an extra dime, the quality will soar and your audience will appreciate it.
- Quality isn’t really that important to us. We just want something on our VDPs that’s more engaging than just photos.
- If that were truly the case, you wouldn’t be taking the time to read this post, right? Your audience, your customers, will appreciate the effort you give in trying to reach them in a truly engaging way. Go for gold!
In a very long post, we hope to have answered your questions on your first steps in the world of video production. If you do have lingering questions, by all means please do reach out to us below. We have been in this business long enough to see the explosive growth of video in dealerships across the world, and are confident we can help you reach your new marketing goals with video.
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