Video Marketing for Car Dealers


Re-purpose Your TV Ads By Posting Them On YouTube

Car dealerships are the kings of TV advertising, but many will overlook how they can leverage the same, or similar content to sell more cars and get more foot traffic just by using web video. A good step towards taking advantage of the power of video is to put video on your website—after all studies show that dealer websites that have video will hold customers longer than sites that do not. Making your website “sticky” is a great step towards empowering video to produce more sales in your online marketing.

This strategy will only work if you already have good traffic to your website, but how do you do that without spending a king’s ransom for an SEO company to do their search engine magic (or black magic). Often times when you engage in the use of an SEO company you will see an increase in your sites traffic, but if you decide to stop using the company the traffic drops—like a rock.

You can start your own guerrilla SEO campaign by getting your videos on YouTube—posting all your videos with dealership information and direct links back to your website is an affordable way of improving your web traffic. Have you ever done a search on Google and noticed the top results are YouTube videos? After all, YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, which happens to be owned by the largest search engine: Google.

You’re sold on YouTube video but don’t have a video production team on staff — what should you post? The great thing about web video is that you can post everything! If it’s a video related to your dealership—post it.

Reuse TV commercials—most car dealerships have monthly budgets for TV ads. Some dealerships even produce up to 10 different TV ad spots per month. Why not extend the life of your TV commercials by uploading them to YouTube.  Many commercials repurposed for the web have become viral videos with humor and creativity. Viral videos can get your YouTube channel lots of traffic and increase exposure to your dealership. This traffic may not all be local buyers, but it’s like the old saying “no such thing as bad press” I would have to say “there is no such thing as bad web traffic”.

When it comes to web video, the more polished your video looks, the less approachable you may appear. Be creative with your commercials, make them humorous. While getting ready for work today I probably saw at least four local dealership commercials on TV; don’t ask me who they were for because I don’t remember.

There are some car dealer commercials that I do remember; they used humor and creativity that made a lasting impression on my grey matter. One such video campaign is by Suburban Auto Group of Sandy, Oregon. The commercials focus on the Trunk Monkey, a fictional dealer-installed option on cars. The optional feature consists of a live chimpanzee inside the trunk and a special button in the passenger compartment. The button is pressed in situations not found in the user’s manual such as handling irate drivers in traffic, dealing with unruly children throwing eggs at the car, theft deterrent, negotiating with highway patrol officers after being pulled over, helping deliver a child when a nearby hospital is not accessible, or dispatching a gang in the parking lot. Use some humor in your videos and maybe your video will go viral.

You can view the video campaigns here;

Customer testimonials—video testimonials are great; not only do they convey the positive experience that they had at your dealership, but studies have shown that videos that show a person in the thumbnail generated by YouTube out perform all others.

Service shop footage—if you do not have any video about your service department, you should consider making some. Create customer testimonials, technician interviews and how-to’s. Show off your facilities and happy customers. Consumer confidence in your dealerships service department is paramount. Fixed operations can be one of the most profitable parts of an auto dealership. In fact during this recession, many dealerships were kept afloat by their service departments.

Use manufacturer footage—many OEM style video footage can be repurposed and posted to provide good relevant content.

Walk-around videos— you have a constant flow of car inventory coming in all the time, so why not shoot quick walk-around of the cars you have in stock. Most dealerships may not have the time or talent to pull it off, but there are some great companies out there that will create great videos for all your cars with proper keywords and links at a very reasonable price, plus they will even post them all to your very own YouTube channel. After they are uploaded to YouTube, you can easily embed them onto your dealerships website giving your visitors an informative and dynamic experience.

Whatever video solution you pick, try to stay away from cheap robotic voice translators that some companies use to keep the costs down. A human voice is much more appealing to viewers. has Human Voiceover Video (HVO) in their AutoPilot product that includes automatically generated narration for your vehicles make, model, year, body styles and mileage. All of their videos feature visual enhancements like information overlays, option overlays, transitions, player controls, Carfax, map and more.

Use Keywords In YouTube Video TitlesKeyword Rich Titles and links—remember that whatever footage you post, it’s important to use keyword rich titles in your YouTube videos. You’ve already done keyword research to maximize your website traffic for organic search and now you can use the same keywords in your video titles.

You should always add a link to your website or to a related vehicle landing page from your video. Because YouTube cuts off the descriptions at 140 characters you should add the link at the beginning of this video description. Link placement is very important in the conversion of viewers from YouTube to your dealerships site.  These links can give you a traceable lead—try that with a traditional TV ad. As with all videos, give your viewer a clear call to action. Tell them to visit your website by clicking link below, tell them to subscribe to your newsletter, be there to guide them and they will follow.

Considering that YouTube streams more than 1.5 billion videos every day, it’s easy to write it off as oversaturated and move on. If your videos are useful, informative or entertaining, you can build a good community around your dealerships channel, with subscribers, back-links and a lot of views. Embrace the video.

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