I’m a huge fan of using video for marketing. I was hooked the day I went online to find information about how to fix cracks in asphalt driveways. A how-to video popped up in the search and I’d much rather watch someone show me how to do something than read about it. I used the product in the video and applied it just the way I was shown and it helped me fix my problem.
We’re in an industry that begs for video. While working at a dealership, I realized that the rural lifestyle tractor customers needed extensive training that could be offered through video and started a website called AskTractorMike.com. Once a week, I post a training video as well as answer questions from viewers all over the world. My success is due to the growing segment of the population going to YouTube for training and because today’s rural lifestyle customers don’t know many of the basics of tractor operation and maintenance.
YouTube experts say you must do one of three things to be successful: Entertain, inspire or educate. A lot of us aren’t creative enough to inspire or entertain through video, but we all spend many hours educating when we’re selling.
By developing educational equipment videos on YouTube and integrating them into your website and social media platforms, you can train novice customers and develop a relationship before they ever walk in the door. Unlike the dollars you spend on other advertising, you can see, through analytics, the number of views, “watch time” per video and the viewer’s location.
Through the comments posted, you can learn about commonly asked questions and commit more marketing efforts toward those areas. Your sales department will spend less time training and more time selling and your parts and service departments can head off a lot of “operator error” problems. Finally, since Google owns YouTube and recognizes the importance of video, adding it to your website and social media will help your placement in Web searches.
So how do you get started with YouTube? First, the platform is free and you can set up a new account in about 20 minutes and immediately start uploading videos. You can shoot and upload videos right from your smartphone.
The videos don’t have to be of amazing quality. In fact, videos of “real” people seem to get more views than highly produced videos. And, avoid the temptation to ramble. Videos need to be as short as possible or viewers will drop off before getting to your intended message.
Here’s one video scenario: Record a video that answers a commonly asked question, such as “How do I know what horsepower tractor I need?” or “How do I check the oil on my new tractor?” Record it, upload it, embed it in your website, share it on social media and invite others to do so as well. You’ve started the journey.
As you grow with YouTube and begin looking to take your efforts to the next level, you will want to learn about keywords, titles, analytics, gaining subscribers and the timing of postings. YouTube offers in-depth training about how to maximize views.
You may think you don’t have the time or training expert on staff to undertake a YouTube strategy. However, your efforts to overcome these obstacles will be well worth it. I challenge you to invest in the opportunities waiting in this new frontier of marketing vs. spending money on traditional media outlets that are losing audiences every day.
I feel so strongly that video is the future of marketing that my partner and I are opening up a library of videos for any dealer to access. Go to our website, EDMforSales.com and click the “Free Dealer Videos” tab. The videos cover basic instruction, options, attachments, maintenance and buying tips. The brand of tractor in the background may not be what you sell, I use what I can find at the time, but the educational aspect will build loyalty to your dealership.
Share some of these videos or record and upload some of your own and see what happens. Once your customers have seen the first videos, they’ll start requesting others and you’re on your way. Find someone on staff with a passion for video and the time to produce them regularly and you’ve hit a home run. You’re on the forefront of where the marketing world is headed.