Tips and Tricks

Three Dealerships Doing Walkaround Video RIGHT!

In 2013, dealerships all over America used Walkaround Videos as a way to wow prospects and customers. And why not? Statistics show that, after watching a video, 49% of shoppers visited a dealer (according to the Milward Brown Digital/Google Vehicle Shopper Path to Purchase Study, September 2013), and video sells more cars (according to a recent article in Automotive News).

Given these trends, how can your dealership further differentiate from competitors who are also using Walkaround Video? Here’s a tip:

Do it right.

Yes, there’s a big difference in life between doing something, and taking the time to learn how to do it right. If you are interested in getting the biggest bang for your buck with Walkaround Videos, it makes sense to learn best practices from the videos that are hitting the criteria. Here are some examples, direct from those who are doing it right:

#1 Be Personable

There are many best practices working in this video. James Versiackas from Prime Motor Group showcases the immaculate condition of Toyota Highlander by leaving enough room to walk around, showing the tire treads, paint and interior, all in excellent condition. James calls his customer by name (“Hi, Joseph!”) and leaves his phone number for the customer to schedule an appointment for a closer look and a test drive.

#2 Stage the Vehicle

In this video, Brandon Price of Cavender Toyota does a good job staging the Toyota Tundra before shooting. First, he made sure the vehicle was clean and in a well lit, quiet location. Then he pre-opened the passenger side doors, so that, as he walks around, we get an effortless look into the interior. He completes the video by returning to the starting point.

#3 Be Creative

Chet Navey of Jeff Wyler begins his video from the driver’s seat of the Kia Optima to show how, with one touch, the vehicle “comes alive.” After letting us see several great features in action, he hops out of the vehicle to show off the “sharp” features from the front. Rather than turning the camera on himself, he keeps the focus on the car.

Be Yourself

Everyone has their own personal styles and techniques, and we encourage that! Your videos should reflect you and your personality. Incorporate these great examples into what you’re already doing, and the competition won’t stand a chance!

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Video Personalization is Key


Back in a February blog post, we told you how important it is to speak in your videos. Now that you're comfortable talking, PERSONALIZE what you say! Start the video by addressing your prospect directly and introduce yourself.

Something like this:

"Hi Cathy, this is John Sharp from Wild Lake Mercedes Benz..."

It's also a good idea to mention and take video of something they specifically asked about:

"Here you can see the navigation system you said you were looking for..."

Personalizing your video and speaking to your prospect by name makes your first in-person meeting in your dealership that much warmer as well. Because they already know what you look like from the picture in your email and what you sound like from your voice in the video, you're that much closer to getting their signature on the dotted line!

Walkaround Videos Shouldn't Be Silent Movies


Personalized walkaround videos are a great opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential customer and distinguish yourself from your competitors. It's a chance to pitch yourself and the vehicle - if you don't say anything, you're missing a huge selling opportunity! Don't squander that opportunity by walking around the vehicle and recording in complete silence.

If you haven't sent many videos to your prospects, it might be difficult at first, but don't be afraid to talk! Don't know what to say?  Try a few of these:

Say "Hello" and address the recipient by name

Start off your video with something as simple as:

"Hi Mrs. Wellingham".

Introduce yourself and your dealership

Even though your email and video landing page is personalized with your picture and contact information, it doesn't hurt to introduce yourself verbally as well:

"My name is Isaac Wood and I'll be your sales consultant here at Acme Motors."

Identify the vehicle

It may or may not be obvious from the vehicle pictured in the your video, but either way, it's a good idea to give the vehicle year, make, model information:

"This is the silver 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS you inquired about on our website. As you can see, we've got it here on our lot, and it's in great shape!"

Answer any specific questions the prospect might have

Since you're sending walk around videos that are tailored to each person, this is a great opportunity to address their questions:

"In your email I saw you asked whether this model had the navigation system. It does indeed, let me show you how it works."

Highlight special or interesting features

Even if the buyer didn't ask any questions about the vehicle, here's your opportunity to tell a little more about the vehicle:

"This Sonota only had one owner - she was a little old lady who only drove the car to the end of her driveway once a week to pickup the Sunday paper. She was not a smoker, so it's even still got the new-car smell!"

Close with your contact info and call to action

Reiterate your name and the best way to reach you, and ask to setup an appointment to see the vehicle in person.

"Again, my name is Isaac Wood, and you can reach me on my cell phone at 410-000-0000 or reply to my email with any additional questions. I'd love to show you this vehicle in person and let you take it out for a test drive. Just let me know what time works best for you!"

In short, a walkaround videos is your chance to make a warm introduction to your prospects before they ever set foot in your showroom. Take full advantage! Plus, let's face it, a minute-long video of dead silence can be kind of awkward...

The Best Way to Hold Your Phone for Recording Video

Just say "No" to portraitboxing

Video Recorded Vertically

Video Recorded Vertically

When recording walkaround videos, or really any videos at all, it's important to hold your phone sideways (landscape).  

Otherwise, when prospects are viewing your videos, they'll see the large black bars on either side of your video (see example above).  Not only that, but you're really squandering valuable real estate in the video player that could be used to show off the vehicle (or whatever the subject matter is) instead of just empty black space.

The same video, recorded horizontally instead of vertically looks a lot better, and best utilizes the space available in the player:

Video Recorded in Landscape

Video Recorded in Landscape

Make sure your orientation isn't locked

Sometimes, after recording with your phone held sideways, the video also comes through sideways, like this:

iPad Orientation Locked
iPad Orientation Locked

This is caused when your orientation is locked, and is specially common on iPads. So be sure to unlock that orientation before you begin shooting!