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My name is David. I am new to the forum. I got the site from Ralph Paglia at the Digital Dealer Conference. He & Shaun Raines were definitely the best speakers there. I am in the marketing/film/video business, and have done a considerable amount of commercials for car dealers over the past decade. I am moving into helping dealers maximize the potential for video on the internet. At the conference this week I was stunned at how excited dealers were about the "videos" that are nothing more than pictures moving around with a video bumper on the front & back. I always laugh when I look at pictures of a car, then click "see video" only to see the same pictures moving around with a VO. JD Powers & Assoc. told me consumers hate those "videos", so I squashed the idea for my company. I hate them, but recognize I am obviously biased (being from a film background).

So, my question to the forum is:

Please look at the player I created for a Saturn dealership in Orlando. Check out some of the other videos in the player. There's 20. There is a lot more to what I am doing with Saturn than what meets the eye in this player (SEO, etc) and more videos are in the works. This player will be reproduced/customized for other Saturn dealers throughout the US. I am also working on similar players for other makes (Toyota, Chevy, Ford, etc).

Am I wasting my time? Is it overkill? Will it help sell cars?

If I need to start creating those "picture" videos in order to make any money, I'm getting out of the car business.

Here is the link to the Saturn player:

I hope no-one thinks I'm trying to sell you anything. I really would like your thoughts.

Thank you for you honest input!

Tags: video, videos

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I am sorry I am late to respond... our video strategy is improving every day. I would like to address some of the issues/concerns in the prior posts:

1) If you are not willing to spend money to promote the videos - then why are they there? Simple - the advertising is essentially "free" with video search engine optimization. Google rewards us for videos that "tell, not sell" when we create useful test drive videos that share the features and benefits of cars we are selling.
2) Shoppers "prefer" professional videos to amateur videos. I would agree that if a survey was taken, that folks would indicate that. Perhaps the better question would be - would you prefer seeing a video to having no video option even available? Shooting professional video is cost prohibitive for most dealers. We shoot 95% of our video in-house. One of the things we have found is that our shoppers LIKE this as they find authenticity in what we are doing. We have been doing this for going on 2 years and are getting better at lighting, sound, etc, but most important - we are doing it!
3) What are your goals with video? With our sales videos, our goals are to personalize our sales reps with the prospects. Let's face it, emails DO NOT SELL CARS - people do. When we do not have a phone number, and only email to communicate with, placing a short video within the email is invaluable. It allows the prospect to see a live person talking to them, and even better, the ACTUAL sales rep (not a professional spokesmodel) that is trying to reach them. It comes down to fundamental sales - if you can get the prospect to like you and trust you, they will buy from you. Video allows us to begin that process MUCH more effectively than text in an email.

As always, I will leave some of our latest examples:

1) Example test drive video of new 2009 Honda Pilot used for Video SEO (make sure to select "high resolution under the views indicator)
2) Example 10 Reasons to buy from our dealership video (used for video SEO, make sure to select high resolution - this is used for our Cincinnati Mazda dealership).
3) Example welcome video for sales process
4) Example invite to test drive video for sales process
5) Example Trying to Reach You video for sales process
6) Example Thank You video after sale for sales process
7) Example still considering video for sales process
8) Example Bloopers video - used for our own entertainment and interne...
9) Example Event video (of our Jeff Wyler Racing Team day at one of ou... Used for video SEO, our racing website, etc.

And lots more... we shoot every week, every month. We have found that many of the "silly" videos do best, and our folks enjoy making them. A great benefit of this strategy is not just selling more cars, it is also FUN for our teams to work together, be creative, and put together videos that our valued customers appreciate. Are they perfect? No - but they show real people reaching out to our market. Hope this helps! Kevin Frye/eCommerce Director/Jeff Wyler Automotive Family

I agree there is a place for reality tv, to a point. It wouldn't hurt to mix in some professional stuff too.

The only problem I see with your internet strategy is that people have to be looking for the car you are selling. How do you use the videos to bring people in who might not be considering the vehicle you sell (example: one of my clients Saturn). You may not have this problem because you are a large dealership group with many brands.

Also, just curious...

Are you concerned about the free video going away? That is, what happens if you create 100's of these videos, then all of a sudden YouTube starts putting competitor ads in front of them?

Just wondering what your long term strategy is on this.

On another note. I have listened to some of your videos. I am not sure, but some of the music sounds like artist's original recordings (the racing team video? Who's song is that?). You need to be very careful, if this is true. You are using the music as part of sales pieces. Last I checked (not 100% sure), copyright violations have a minimum fine of $250,000 per occurrence. Your videos could turn out to be very expensive, if a hungry attorney catches on to what you are doing. I once payed $17,000 for the rights to use a song in California for one year only. If you are using royalty free music, or you have the problem.

Thanks for your input to the thread.

I have to admit I was resistant to having these videos "shared" when put online - but my feelings have changed. Why? That is the direction the market is moving... Our videos are "rewarded" with better SEO results if we share versus not sharing.

Of note - Youtube has a nifty feature that screens your video and detects the music - and then you agree to allow the music to be tracked by the artist and in return are given permission by the artist. Does not work on every track, but many... thanks for the heads up though.

Finally - this is a small selection of our videos, we have them across every brand and location continuously update them ... Cheers, Kevin
Still curious about YouTube putting ads from other dealers/makes in front of your videos in the future. Any thoughts?
My thoughts - it is the price of having my video uploaded at no fee. Better to have an opportunity to be seen than none at all... My gut feeling is that folks will react more directly to the posted video than the banner ads off to the side. Of course I (like most dealers) are already used to this - we pay a fortune to AutoTrader each month and our inventory is placed on their site with our competitors' banner ads above and next to it... Kevin
I'm talking about pre-roll, full-blown video ads, not banner ads. The video ad/commercial will play before your video. It may even pop up as a banner in front of your video in the future. YouTube is doing it now with some videos. Soon, it will be on all videos. How soon? I don't know.


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