The following statistics show the power of video for entertaining, education — and marketing. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. More than 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. That’s almost an hour for every person on Earth.

Why not tap into that trend as a way to capture the interest of rural lifestylers doing online research? Harry Wells, managing vice president of American Equipment LLC, Farmington, N.Y., has done that for his dealership, featuring a video on the front page of the company’s website. American Equipment carries Echo, Kioti, Massey Ferguson, Ferris and other equipment lines.

Wells worked with a small video production company to show off the best of his dealership and how it serves customers. “When you get a customer in, you only have a couple minutes to give your ‘spiel.’ Either they become interested or they wander off. We find that when they go to our website, they’re in the comfort of their home or office and we can keep their attention better than when they are in our store,” Wells says. “The video adds so much credibility to what we do.”

They even show the video occasionally on a TV in their showroom.

An Outsider’s View

Wells already had experience developing a video for the construction side of his dealership, so he had seen the benefits of how it engaged customers. He sought the help of Ben Gonyo, Fish & Crown Creative of Rochester, N.Y., whom he had worked with on the construction video. “I live and breathe this stuff, but he was fascinated with what we do. They went around all morning and early afternoon and filmed what they saw,” says Wells. “Things like unloading a truck would be a common every day thing for us, but he took an interest in it. The view of an outsider put our dealership in a different perspective,” Wells says.

The video features Wells talking about the different aspects of his dealership and didn’t involve a complicated script — or even a script at all. “He would ask a question like ‘Tell me about your delivery processes or ‘Tell me about your service department.’ I just replied like I was talking to a customer,” he says. “I’ve been in sales all my life. I owe some of my ability to talk like that from my sales background.”

Wells asked his team for their buy-in before Gonyo started shooting video segments of them at work. He assured them they wouldn’t have to talk on camera. “Everyone was very agreeable. They knew what we were trying to do and that it was just going to be a short ‘take.’ ”

After shooting the video portion, Gonyo went back and edited the footage and added text to highlight information. Wells viewed the first draft and they decided to add some other details. The final video is now just about 5 minutes long. Wells says they’ve had good feedback from customers. “I’ve had many people call me and tell me they like the video. I probably hear it mentioned on about every fifth call,” he says. “It was the best $2,500 I ever spent.”

Wells says you don’t have to spend a lot to develop a professional video. “My advice is to look for an up and coming star in the graphic arts like a recent college graduate instead of going to a full-line agency.”