He sure didn’t win any honors at the advertising industry’s Clio Awards.
An Ohio car dealership used his phone to record an impromptu vehicle visit to his sales pitch. He then uploaded it to YouTube.
The production value was poor. Audio was distorted by wind noise. “It was terrible quality,” recalls Angie Cucco, senior automotive strategist for Google, a YouTube companion company.
Still, despite the flaws, the dealership’s DIY video has been viewed many times, she adds. How is it possible?
Because “he came across as a great guy,” Cucco told an American International Automobile Dealers Assn. webinar in which she gives advice on how to present vehicles on YouTube, a site that attracts millions of viewers every day.
The trick is to “develop powerful video content,” says Cucco. “It’s a great way to communicate with people.”
The average American watches seven hours of video daily, whether on phones, streaming TV or elsewhere, she says. “I don’t know what it says about the society that we’re sitting there staring at screens, but there you go.”
Dealers can shoot their own individual inventory videos like the Ohio auto retailer did, or they can hire production companies to do it.
Either way, Cucco offers four tips on what dealerships should (and shouldn’t) do to create YouTube videos that resonate with viewers:
1. Sell it carnot an event, brand or store.
Provide details about features and offers. Focus on one car. “In our studies, ads focused only on the dealership, on unspecified retail events, or on automotive brands without a detailed offer, are less correlated with store visits.”
If a video is centered around the dealership itself, “make sure its specificity comes through.”
2. Make the message solid and differentiated.
Go beyond monthly payments, Cucco recommends, noting that a dealership breaks down the mentioned loan payments on a daily basis. “Seven dollars a day sounds more appealing.” Highlight vehicle features. Appeal to regional and local pride.
3. Models provide a scale for detail.
Whether or not a dealer hires a videographer, use production models where photos and written content can be exchanged. It’s better than starting from scratch every time. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Even simple models work well.
4. Educate consumers.
Inform the viewer about the vehicles and their features of interest.
Many effective salespeople deliver detailed messages, including competitive advantages. “Video is the perfect opportunity to educate your car buyers on vehicle specifics,” says Cucco. “The sight, sound and movement of video helps your message resonate with consumers.”
For DIY videos, YouTube starts loading after 30 seconds. The company offers various paid services. These include:
- Brief six-second “bumper” ads that can run before, during, and after a particular video someone is watching.
- Targeted ads for buyers in the marketplace, based on their tracked online activity. Example: someone who entered “Jeep Wranglers for sale” in a Google search.
“Ideally, ads reach people in the marketplace,” Cucco says. A close second: people who are not in the market but who will be at some point.
Steve Finlay is a retired editor of WardsAuto. He can be reached at [email protected].