Let’s talk about video, or the lack of video. Video can be the most powerful marketing tool in your toolbox, if used correctly. But before we talk about how to effectively use video at the dealership level, we first need to understand the Marketing Tiers in the Automotive Industry.
There are 3 tiers in automotive, Tier 1 is the OEM. It is the job of the OEM to market the brand and say WHAT to buy. Tier 2 is the LMA or Local Marketing Agency/Group. The LMA is there to market WHEN to buy by advertising the price. Tier 3 is the individual dealership. The dealership needs to advertise WHERE to buy and WHY buy from them. The most common mistake we see in automotive marketing is dealers using the “camera ready” assets from the OEM. Now these do make nice commercials but they only support the OEM and not the individual dealers.
So how do we effectively market where and why to buy? First, stop using OEM video assets. Only use assets that you create inside the dealership. Second, try your hardest to NOT advertise price, if you must don’t make it a focal point in your videos. Third, you don’t have to use professional actors, use your employees and showcase your culture (you might be surprised how much acting capabilities your own employees possess). By using your employees, you help create that recognition when customers walk through the door. When a customer sees a familiar face there is an automatic connection and the customer is all of a sudden more relaxed. We’ve all seen the studies that most people will pay more for a product if the customer service and experience is there. The recognition and connection customers make with your employees will amplify your already amazing customer service.
The fourth way to help make your videos effective is to tell stories. Don’t just talk to the audience (do that with radio) entertain them, make them laugh, pull on their heart strings.
Use the strategy of Sight, Sound, (E)Motion.
- Sight – Power of seeing. Without any sound your video should be able to convey your story.
- Sound – Power of hearing. Without any visuals your audio should be able to convey your story.
- Motion – Power of Movement. Videos should not just be slideshows; they need to provide actual movement form the subjects.
- Emotion – Power of feeling. If you successfully combine Sight, Sound, & Motion, your end result should be a powerful story that evokes some sort of emotion.
“You can make people feel something without them having to use any brain power.”
If you’re just getting into video, it can be a huge investment. My recommendation is to start with your local News station or Cable company. Most of them offer free production with a signed contract, VS your local video agency that will charge a production fee. Yes, technically you are still paying for production, however, by using the local news station or cable company your dollars are now being spent for actual marketing and not just production fees. If you don’t already advertise on TV then be sure to have the conversation about a min media spend to get the free production.
Effective video advertising uses Sight, Sound, E(Motion) and tells the story of Where and Why to buy from you. Let the OEM and the LMA advertise What and When to buy. At the end of the day, break apart from the status quo and be that bull in the China shop.