YouTube videos are an easy and cost-effective way for you to reach and interact with new customers, driving them to your website or straight to your dealership. Yet, many dealers are not yet taking advantage of this resource that I know to be very powerful.
How can I be so sure of the value of video? Because I’ve been using the medium for 7 years and have more than 37,000 subscribers to my channel. The channel has now become a primary revenue stream for me, and I want to share how you can use this marketing tactic to drive customers to your dealership as well.
All of that said, your videos can fall flat if you don’t have a strategy in mind and don’t follow some basic practices.
Get the Benefits
Let’s look more closely at the benefits so you can be sure the effort to create videos is worth it. The No. 1 benefit of producing videos is that your customers feel like they know you before they ever set foot in your dealership. This way, you’re developing relationships and building trust before meeting face-to-face. This is especially important for the rural lifestyle customer who may not have purchased from an equipment dealership before.
Through the course of the video, you can share information about your business philosophy along with product information. People want to do business with people who share their values. You can also use the videos to educate your customers about how to operate equipment, helping them avoid common problems.
Finally, videos can quickly move customers toward a purchase in a way that is still comfortable for them because you are building trust. Doesn’t this all sound much better than an interaction that begins in the store with a “Hi, how can I help you?”
Putting in the Effort
One of the main reasons many dealerships don’t utilize video marketing is because it takes time and commitment to get the results you want. I understand that making videos seems to be a low priority compared with everything you need to do each day, but they won’t get done if you don’t set aside time for them.
I commit to producing a video every week, but it’s important for you to just get started. Whenever you see a need, record a video. You may find that you’ll produce 5 videos one week and then not do any for several weeks. The good news is that you’ll likely only have to create educational videos once and you can repost them every year.
Don’t worry if they don’t look as professional as you think they should be. Videos that are authentic are valued much more by search engines than a professionally-produced marketing video. Your first videos might be a little rough — I know mine were — but you will get better over time.
- Producing videos takes time and commitment, but is a fairly inexpensive marketing tactic.
- Videos provide a means to build awareness and trust before customers visit your dealership.
- The most effective videos get right to the point and solve customers’ problems or answer questions.
- Capture contact information by asking your viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel or your email newsletter.
Regarding the equipment you need, most newer smartphones record good quality videos. Attach your smartphone to a tripod to keep the recording steady. Smartphone mounts don’t cost much, and you can get inexpensive microphones for them that greatly improve sound quality and reduce wind noise. You’ll also need video editing software to produce the final videos and there are several options you can download for free. Shotcut is a good free video editor for Windows. Mac computers come with iMovie pre-downloaded, which is what I use most.
After you get the hardware, it’s time to set up your dealership’s YouTube channel and start uploading videos. It only takes about 15 minutes to set up a YouTube channel and the uploading process is very simple. Make sure to fill in an extensive description of your dealership, your business philosophy and products offered in the “About” section and record a welcome video for first-time visitors to watch.
Developing a Strategy
Some dealers may get hung up on developing a video strategy and, as a result, never actually produce videos. Your video strategy can be as basic as finding ways to tell your unique story and focusing on answering questions and solving problems. For instance, introduce your salespeople and have them talk about your inventory and doing business with you. You should also introduce your parts people — they can talk about how to look up part numbers on your website, for instance. You could shoot videos showing off your inventory and locations.
Think about the questions that your sales, parts and service teams receive from customers every day and answer those questions through videos. Videos can also help you upsell by showing what else customers might be able to accomplish on their properties with attachments or upgrades. You can also use videos to demonstrate ancillary products that you don’t have time to explain in the store.
Tips for Creating Effective Videos
- Most smartphones can record good quality video. Shoot in wide angle and crop in later with your video editing software. There are many options for free video editors that you can download.
- Invest in a shotgun microphone with a “dead cat” blast filter to record sound on your phone.
- Attach your smartphone to a tripod to keep the recording steady. Mounts are inexpensive.
- Find shade if possible or keep the sun at your back. Avoid shooting when it’s windy or find an area that is blocked from the wind.
- Be concise and get right to the point. You have 4-10 seconds to capture a viewer’s attention and most videos should be only a couple of minutes long.
- Interview your team members answering commonly asked questions or demonstrating products.
- When you provide video that provides value, it is perfectly appropriate to ask viewers to sign up for your YouTube channel or your email newsletter.
- Encourage employees who are enthusiasts, such as for hunting or outdoor sports, to shoot videos showing off the equipment you sell.
Source: Mike Wiles of AskTractorMike.com
You may have employees that are enthusiasts in outdoor activities. Encourage them to show off their hobbies or sports, and, in the process, highlight the equipment you sell.
Remember, share information right away that benefits your customers. You have 4-10 seconds to capture a viewer’s attention.
Focus on customers’ needs and problems, but make sure you take advantage of cross-promotional marketing opportunities. For instance, embed the YouTube link on your website to make your site more engaging and so your website visitors can easily view your videos.
Make sure someone on your team is watching and approving the comments that viewers may have. These comments could turn out to be sales leads and could give you ideas for future videos.
Most importantly, ask the customer to subscribe to your channel or sign up for your email newsletter. This allows you to capture their contact information for additional marketing later.
Worth the Effort
If someone told you 10 years ago that you could have your own television station, promoting only your content, which anybody could watch for free, wouldn’t you be all in?
Few marketing efforts can produce the impact of well-made videos that are promoted on YouTube, your website, social media and in all of your communications.