Car dealer video marketing (with tips)

Most car dealers and most businesses for that matter, think promotion is all about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. But video is increasingly being used to promote business’s and products. In fact YouTube the worlds biggest video hosting site, is just a search engine, in fact the second biggest search engine in the world and an extension of Google. So why wouldn’t you want to promote your business of product using video?

Video can also help you rank in Google searches and can really be effective in local Google search results. Have you noticed how Google are increasingly including videos in search results? So video can be a great way to stand out from your completion.

In this post, I’m going to show you why and how to use video’s to promote your business and cars.

The basic advertising strategy

You need to adopt a slightly different strategy when promoting cars via video and on Youtube than for social media. Creating vedic content is often more time consuming than producing content for social media. But the content has a much longer shelf life than a social media post, that is often lost in the feed after just a few hours. I posted my first video on Youtube in 2013 and it still gets views to this day. 

Video can be daunting when you first start. But in truth it’s never been easier. When you start you are best to start with a Youtube channel. Making videos promoting the services you offer and rather than promoting individual cars you have for sale.

Think old school TV advert rather than the instagram story style of posts. These videos help with improving brand awareness and engagement, while also sending traffic to your website and generating more leads and sales.

​These video’s will help you with general brand awareness and make you standout in search results. I would advise any dealer or business to make at leased one video of this type. Even if you get very little traffic from Youtube itself, you will see the benefits in Google search results.

Then if your following grows and you enjoy making videos you can make sort videos advertising individual cars and grow the channel from there.

What type of video should you make?

The biggest thing keeping businesses from making promotional videos are cost and not wanting to appear on camera. But a simple promotional video needn’t be expensive, and if you aren’t confident on camera there is an easy way around that too.

The easiest and often best way to generate awareness is by using a company to make an animated video. This is especially good if you don’t want to be seen on video and is a great way of showcasing your brand and services. There are lots of companies offering these services online at a very low cost.

But if you have experience making videos and are confident on camera you can make the promotional video yourself. This is by far the most cost effective way. But in most cases it’s best employ a marketing agency to help you make a professional video. The cost of this normally only runs into a few hundred pounds and is worth the investment. The video can either feature yourself or an actor, or simply showcase the cars. 

The video should ideally be a few minutes long and it should cover every service you offer and possibly the history of the business or a mission statement. The video can then be used initially as your Youtube channel trailer.

But if you have formatted the video correctly you can also use it on social media in various formats. You can run the video in its entirety, but you should also be able to cut it into shorter clips. In essence creating more videos and shorter form adverts for instagram etc. This can be a very good and cost effective strategy if implemented correctly.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Remember how I said Youtube was actually just a search engine? Well if you want people to find your business you need to think about SEO. This basically works in the same way as you would implement SEO on a website. Youtube lets you pick keywords that apply to you video and business to help them and google rank your videos appropriately in their search engines. You will also need to pick a suitable headline and fill out the description section that appears under your video.

Youtube monitor video engagement and the number of likes/dislikes, shares and comments will effect the way Youtube ranks your videos. But the watch time is the most critical factor for YoTtube. So longer videos are normally better than short, but it is almost impossible to predict how well a video will actually do on YouTube itself.

You can also embed a YouTube video on your website to help visitors understand your business better. Again this can help with website SEO and can appear in local search results in Google. When you share this type of video on social media it’s also good practise to pin it to the top of the page allowing new visitors to understand your business easily.

Another useful way to help SEO is to upload the video to your Google My Business listing, this also works well with photos. If you haven’t got a My Business listing I highly recommend you set an account up. You can find my guide to setting up an account here. 

Video and social media

Firstly if you aren’t using video to sell cars on social media you need to start today. With a little practise you can make great short videos using just a smartphone. But in recent years the game has moved on, lots of dealers and salesman are using gimbals and DSLR cameras to make a short professional looking video clip. Youtube is the best place to learn how to do this. With lots of tutorial videos available.

But if you are new to video making and want to achieve great results in as short a time as possible DJI have the best solutions. They offer two great products at affordable pricing which let you make short videos without any videoing or editing experience.

The first is the DJI OSMO Pocket, the second is the DJI OSMO 3. Both are stabilising gimbals, the Pocket had a built in camera and the OSMO 3 utilises your smartphone.

You can use both to make films freehand in the same way as you would a camera or smartphone. But the software available with both products offer a feature called story mode. This mode allows you to easily shoot, edit, and share a short video in a matter of minutes.

To create a video with Story mode, select a template, then shoot each clip individually. The clips will then automatically be placed together with creative transitions and music to create a unique video. Taking away the need to edit clips and edit the clips together, saving you a huge amount to time.

​So if you have no experience or just don’t know a DJI gimble is the easiest place to start. If you want to know more I have written a guide to making a video using the story function here – Making a car promotional video with a DJI Osmo Pocket.

​These video can then be shared on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on.

Using video for direct sales

Larger franchised dealers have been doing this for a while and is a great soft selling tactic with can give good results. ​You simply send a short video clip of the car to a potential client or interested party. The clip can be walk around style video showcasing the exterior or interior made on you phone.

It’s often worth talking over the features whilst filming and it can be personalised by using the interested parties name. Alternatively you can just send them the video you have made with the OSMO story app. But either way this is a great modern sales tactic you should be deploying regardless of the size of your business.

Conclusion

Regardless of the size of your business using video to sell cars is a fantastic marketing opportunity, and now that it can now be done simply and quickly with no loss of quality, there really is no excuse. It works equally well for social media selling as it does for brand building, plus it’s great for website SEO. So if you aren’t already making videos get started today!

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