best practices

Should You Outsource Your Dealership Videos?

Improve customer experience, increase sales, fatten the bottom line and boost your value when your team knows how to shoot their own videos.

“I’m too old-school to learn how to use video to sell vehicles!” ~ common self-defeating objection

These days, just about everyone and their grandma are comfortable using a smartphone. We all know how to send pictures and videos, (or how to find someone to teach us).  So why do some dealers still shy away from making their own videos for customers?

There are several benefits of outsourcing your videos. These include:

  • You “get in the game” of video marketing without expertise
  • Your staff doesn't need to ever change their habits
  • The work is done for you
  • The video looks professional
  • Customers get something a little different

The disadvantages of outsourcing your video-making have to do mostly with costs:

  • Out-of-pocket expense
  • Videos are not usually personalized
  • Cost of lost sales due to low turnaround time (potentially days or weeks)
  • Cost of lost opportunity to develop new skills

In dollars and cents, outsourcing your video-making will run you between $200 and $800 per month, according to Automotive News. But the slow turn-around-time is much costlier. When a lead comes in, you want to be able to respond right away. If you have to wait hours or days for the video so you can respond, the opportunity will be long gone. Keep in mind, freelance videographers typically have more flexibility than video production companies, and many can work with you to provide fast turnaround times.

pros-cons-outsourcing

Outsourcing means you give up freedom and control. And you give up the chance for you and your team to improve your game, to learn to get better at what you do, and make more sales. That’s a steep price to pay.  

If actually shooting the video is all that’s stopping you from adopting a video marketing strategy, by all means, hire a third party. Do whatever you can to the act on the data and take advantage of the opportunity for your dealership.

But if you want to get the most out of the opportunity to use videos to increase vehicle sales, the best option is to learn to do it yourself

The benefits when your team knows how to shoot and send their own videos include:

  • Improve customer experience
  • Staff takes pride in creating good content
  • Increase sales
  • Fatten the bottom line
  • Boost your value to the organization
  • Have fun!

You know, it’s a mystery. We’ve got a lot of smart problem-solvers in our industry. A lot of do-it-yourself types who know how to figure things out by using Google and YouTube. And yet I still hear people say, “I’m too old-school for video.”

Where’s the disconnect? Why can’t we align our problem-solving teams with this simple strategy of using an app to make videos and use them to increase vehicle sales?

One thing you might try is asking your team to picture your customer, at work, at home, anywhere. Their phone vibrates, and they check the incoming message. Imagine it’s from you. It’s a short video clip you sent them, about the exact vehicle they are interested in?

Well, that would be cool. They’d probably think you’re someone they want to work with. You just went from total stranger to helpful expert in seconds.

Customers are impressed by experiences like this. And the beauty is, you can work the magic, over and over, every day, by learning a simple tool that lets you record and send dealership videos to customers by email or text, within minutes.

So yes, you should outsource your videos, temporarily, if absolutely necessary. A far better strategy is to invest in yourself and your team, so that you can create and send engaging videos that amaze the customer, time and time again.

If you choose to invest in yourself and your team, you’ll be part of a trend. According to AutoTrader's HomeNet, a growing number of dealership are shooting their own videos.

Here’s how to get started:

That’s it!  Sign up and shoot a free test video. Then come back and let us know what you think in the comments below.

How to Shoot Dealership Videos That Help Drive Decisions

If you want to help car shoppers make purchasing decisions with dealership videos, be sure show the interior and exterior, as well as the design/feature overview – and DON'T MAKE A COMMERCIAL!

Thanks to the widespread use of handheld devices that can record, send and receive dealership video, it’s easier than ever for you to build your brand and establish yourself as a helpful resource to car shoppers.

Last week we talked about the ideal video length, but there are other things you could do with video that are more helpful than others. For insight on how to make your dealership videos as helpful as possible to car shoppers, lets refer back to AutoTrader’s recent video study:

Source: 2015 Cox Automotive Consumer Video Research Study

Source: 2015 Cox Automotive Consumer Video Research Study

Any video is better than no video, and all of these video types are at least somewhat helpful. But consumers clearly prefer interior/exterior walkaround videos (68%) to staged commercials (45%) or photo montages (46%). 

To make your video as helpful to the consumer as possible, here’s 4 quick tips: 

  1. Stage the Vehicle
  2. Hold the Camera in Landscape (PLEASE for the love of everything holy!)
  3. Personalize the Video
  4. Use your Voice

Here's a great example that puts all of these into action:

Most of all, remember to be yourself. Your videos should reflect you and your personality. By studying the statistics from AutoTrader, and incorporating these insights into your videos, you’ll be letting car shoppers get to know you, while helping them make a decision.

… Which in turn helps the dealership, and helps you.

Questions:

  • Are you shooting both the interior and exterior of the vehicles you video?
  • Do your videos sound too much like a commercial?
  • How would you talk about the vehicle if you were describing it to a friend?

Let us know how it goes in the comments below!

Why Aren’t Your Dealership Videos Converting Sales?

Car shoppers prefer videos between 30 seconds and 2 minutes

Using videos to sell vehicles is a new strategy for many dealerships, and best practices are only recently emerging. As a result, many owners and managers don’t know how to improve video sales conversion rates, and are starting to abandon the strategy.

My advice: Don’t give up on video. Automotive News has been telling the industry that “videos sell cars” for some time. And now a new video study by AutoTrader reports that 65% of consumers consider video an important part of their car-shopping process.  

Now is the time for dealerships to do more video, not less.

But what if you’re using video, and just not getting the conversions rates you’d hoped for?  

There could be many reasons. The AutoTrader report sheds light on several contributing factors, including video duration:

Source: 2015 Cox Automotive Consumer Video Research Study

Source: 2015 Cox Automotive Consumer Video Research Study

Customers want short videos

This rings true for me. I like to watch short, informational videos to help me decide on certain purchases. If the video runs under 30 seconds, I might come away unsatisfied. Longer than two minutes, and I will DEFINITELY feel like bailing out.

The content of the video certainly plays a role in influencing me, too. As Aaron Wirtz points out in “Shoot Video Like a Rockstar", dealerships should create content that customers actually want to watch. (He offers several useful tips here.)

These simple suggestions can make a big difference on your video sales conversion. Try shooting shorter videos. Make them something you’d want to watch. Focus on building long-lasting, trusting relationships with customers by creating a distinct, lasting impression, with video.

And keep it short.

Questions:

  • How long are the videos you’ve been making?
  • How long are the videos you prefer to watch?
  • What can you do to “right size” your videos going forward?

Let us know in the comments below!

How Do You Get Your Dealership to Use Walkaround Videos?

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It’s the same old story.

Somebody recommends Authntk Walkaround Videos, the simple, powerful dealership video service that the dealership everywhere are using to take sales to the next level. The owner buys in. The GM wants to get it implemented, and everybody signs up …

And nobody does anything!

Has that happened at your dealership? Or maybe you haven’t tried Walkaround Videos yet.

Either way, here’s what you’ve been missing:

  1. More customers who call back
  2. More appointments set
  3. More appointments kept
  4. More vehicles sold
  5. More repeat customers

Walkaround Videos helps you connect 1:1 with customers by recording and sending unique, personalized video messages about the vehicles they are interested in.

It’s easy. It works. You just have to DO IT.

So if you are a GM, sales manager or service manager, how do you get your team to use it? We recommend 5 steps to help you make Walkaround Videos a part of the daily routine at your dealership, and be successful:

  1. Establish a strategy
  2. Create a process
  3. Do a training for your staff
  4. Follow up with your team to make sure they are using it
  5. Motivate them with incentives (for example, the most videos this month gets a $50 AMEX card)

Emphasize from the start that using Walkaround Videos is required, not optional. After all, the videos won’t shoot themselves. And folks can’t say they don’t have time, because the whole process only takes about 90 seconds. Besides, once they do it, they’ll want to keep doing it, because they’ll start to sell more vehicles.

It’s time to start telling a new story at your dealership. Use Walkaround Videos to flip the script today!

Note: if you are still researching dealership video services, it’s easy to try Walkaround Videos and see if it’s right for you. Take our FREE test drive, or visit our website to learn more.

Top 5 Ways to Create Memorable Videos for Your Customer

The great thing about using video to create memorable experiences for your customers is there is almost no end to the number of ways you can use video to connect 1:1 with the customer and stand out. Here at Authntk, we love putting lists together, so here are a few ideas you may already be doing, as well as some that you might not have thought of yet. It’s the all new, Top Five Ways dealerships are using Walkaround Videos to create a memorable experience for the customer:

Tip #1 Capture yourself and the vehicles in the video. That’s what Tony Quinones of Beaver Toyota does very well here. While he talks, we see his face and the vehicles. It’s a great way to build the relationship while showing customers what they want:

“You’re asking about 2015 Tacoma. I got a bunch of ‘em here right now. That one you asked about, the color is no longer available, but that’s not a problem. I get two trucks a day and can get that ordered for you.”

Check It Out:

Tip #2 Make sure you talk about their interests, not yours. Torie Benoit, also of Beaver Toyota, stays laser focused on the customer’s trade-in inquiry:

“… I’d love to work with you and get you out of that 03 Corolla. We pay top dollar for cars like that. Curious to know how many miles are on it, because it seems like a car that people are looking to get into as an entry vehicle. So give me a call!”

Check It Out:

Tip #3 Highlight the unique features of the vehicle. James Koser, Apple Ford Lincoln is all over the 2014 Mustang GT/California Special edition. He makes a big deal over the features you can’t get in any other vehicle:

“… This is a GT California Special edition. The spoiler is unique to the California Special… Those are unique 19 inch California Special wheels… Inside the car, there’s a suede insert with GT/CS in the seats… This is a great car. You won’t see a lot of them coming and going with this package. I know you’d absolutely love it. We are open tomorrow from 9AM to 7PM. Let me know if you’d like to come in. We’ll leave the top down and take it out for a drive.”

Tip #4 Another great use of Walkaround Videos is to teach the customer how to do something they are trying to do. Azalea Huggins of Pacific Volkswagen shows the customer how to start the 2012 Land Rover:

“As you can see, you’ve got the push-button start. You have to pop the key in here. Get that in there first, then press on the brake, push and hold.”

Tip #5 Why not use Walkaround Video at the end of the sales process, just like at the beginning of the sales process? Cono Cirone of Causeway Honda sends out a very personal video to a recent customer, and provides them with easy links to leave a review:

“I just wanted to thank you guys for the purchase of the Accord on New Years Eve, it was a lot of fun. Happy you lowered your payment... If you get some downtime, if you gave us a review on the left that would definitely help us. Take Care.”

Check It Out:

These are just a few of the many ways to use Walkaround Videos to create a distinct, lasting impression with customers. Visit WalkaroundVideos.com to learn more OR try it out today, sign up to take our free test drive!

In Dealership Walkaround Videos, the First Frame Matters

Personalized Walkaround Videos are a great way to introduce yourself to a potential customer and distinguish yourself from your competitors. It’s a chance to take advantage of the fact that nearly everyone is watching videos on their phones and using videos to make purchasing decisions. But if you don’t pay attention to how the first frame displays, you could be missing a huge selling opportunity!

Don’t blow that opportunity by sending them a video with an unappealing first frame.

If you are new to sending Walkaround Videos to your prospects, you may not have paid much attention to the first frame. The first frame is the “movie still” that displays before your prospect clicks to watch the video – or doesn’t. Not sure how to improve that first frame? Try a few of these tips, and see them in action below:

The first frame captures a snapshot of your video about two seconds in. To get a good first frame, smile, and keep smiling for a couple seconds before you speak:

 

Let’s say the customer has his heart set on a 2015 Lexus LS 460. Start your video with a close-up of the classic logo, and stay focused there for about three seconds before you zoom out to show the entire vehicle. You can begin speaking as soon as the video starts.

 

Because you always want customers to know where to find you (and the vehicles they are interested in), it’s often a good idea to fill the first frame with the dealership sign.

 

This is your safest bet, make the car the star! Frame the vehicle up nicely in your camera, and film for the first few seconds, before zooming out or in and walking around.

 

When a customer indicates an interest in a particular vehicle’s features, they will be likely to click on a video that shows that feature in the first frame. Start your video by filming that feature for about three seconds.

 

  • Smile
  • Start With the Vehicle’s Logo
  • Start With the Dealership Sign
  • Spotlight the Vehicle Itself
  • Show the Dashboard

These are just a few of the many ways to use Walkaround Videos to capture interest and create a distinct, lasting impression with customers before they ever set foot in your showroom. Visit WalkaroundVideos.com to learn more or take a free test drive today!

Avoid Using Dealership Lingo In Your Videos

Neurologically, we all have an instinctual reaction to words and language. That’s why, in sales, there are good words and bad words. Good words include “you,” “because,” “free” and “instant.” People respond to “increase,” “take,” “amazing” and “announcing,” among other good words. And then there are bad words, to be avoided at all costs, especially when making a video.

Bad words aren’t what you think. In the auto industry, bad words are words that alienate customers. This happens when dealers, sales managers and reps forget that customers don’t speak their "lingo" and use words that customers don’t understand.

Consider this video script, loaded with dealer lingo (capitalized for emphasis):

“Hey, Charlie it’s Wild Bill, I'm the ISM here at Slang City Honda. I wanted to send you this follow up video about the UNIT you inquired about. Among the many features, this vehicle does include ATC, great for the coming winter. If you are UPSIDE DOWN on your current vehicle, our finance department is always willing to work with SECOND CHANCE customers, depending on your DOWN STROKE. So give me a call!”

Huh?! If you're sending a video with a script like that, be sure to include a dealership dictionary along with it.

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of using dealership lingo. Better to take your time, speak plainly and use words that everyone understands. When you know what good words to say – and what words to avoid – you can communicate effectively using the power and convenience of Walkaround Videos.

Visit WalkaroundVideos.com to learn more about how videos sell vehicles. To get started right away, take a free test drive!