Automotive Digital Marketing

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A recent study by NIELSENWIRE suggested that 70% of online consumers have watched video during their research for a product or service. As well Nielsen reports in the same study that over 45% of those surveyed prefer to watch video via their smartphones rather than a PC.

In today’s online sales environment, live video presentations are an overlooked strategy.  Recently YouTube videos have extremely high Search Engine Rankings and when done properly can really secure you place as “New Age” dealer. 

To be clear “Live Video” is not taking the photos you take, putting them into a slideshow and using a funky voice to explain the features of the car.  Live video is actually taking the extra 3 Minutes and 28 seconds to capture real video that can be found online to demonstrate the vehicle you are selling. 

Properly merchandising cars is the first step in modern online automobile sales and drives the overall digital strategy of any dealership. The overlooked core competency in the automotive industry today is the commitment to a solid online merchandising strategy.

Implementing an online vehicle merchandising strategy can produce numerous benefits that will help dealers achieve greater success in all areas of their online digital strategy. Benefits that include enhanced communication with potential customers and a portrayal of transparency.

Transparency today builds trust with online customers.

Proper online vehicle merchandising strategies will also raise the level of product awareness and knowledge for the dealership’s sales team.

Live video allows your merchandising specialist to be bring your store’s personality to the online space.  Done properly live video may become you biggest lead generator.

Strategies to help you get started

  1. Start with your staff and select a team of people in your dealership to spearhead your video effort.  Having buy-in from the entire team makes this fun, engaging and relatively in expensive.  Hiring an outside vendor or film crew comes at a cost and often is more of a production that what its worth.  The probability of a “Viral” sensation should not be your goal.  Your team is more than capable of producing video walk-arounds in-house. 
  2. Investigate video apps available thru iTunes or Google Play. There are some great applications you can purchase or find for free that make taking Video very easy.  Some great examples are Mobile Inspector, SocialCam, iVideoCamera and many more. 
  3. Compare equipment costs and usage.  Almost every dealership has a story of their $1200 HDLR Camera being mysteriously misplaced.  The "problem" with any camcorder is that it's one more thing to buy, one more thing to learn, and one more thing to bring along. For everyday shooting needs, like the customers enjoying your courtesy or Brenda documenting every used car’s features, a camcorder is just an extra hassle. It's way easier (and more convenient) to just whip out the iPhone or Droid.
  4. And speaking of convenience, think how incredibly easy it is to share that video on Facebook or YouTube--the end game for so much of what we record nowadays. Very few camcorders incorporate Wi-Fi for direct uploading to social networks, and none (that I know of) offer 3G. If truly want to produce a large volume of videos than throw out the devices that require an editor to share your clips and a PC to connect to via a USB cable. Mobile devices like the iPhone 4S are the way to go.  Other experts would agree that if you dealership doesn’t encourage the use of smartphones in your stores, you will fall behind.



If live video is omitted from your merchandising, you will place a filter around your store that leads an online customer to the conclusion that your dealership is taking a short-cut when it comes to demonstrating the vehicle. 

The merchandising process should be streamlined to one type of device; no paper, no tethering devices to download, no double entry to multiple sites and no re-keying of information. Mobile device developers like Apple and Google (Android) and the apps that now drive smartphones are far more advanced than the tools available only a few short years ago that were used to complete merchandising tasks. The device and the app that you use to capture the data needs to have a work flow driven methodology to ensure consistency, regardless of who is performing the capture process


To be an innovative organization you need to embrace mobile innovation, devices and technology in order to implement a process to capture the data required to merchandise your cars online.


The use of an App to generate videos and text descriptor will motivate your employees to produce better content that will in turn motivate shoppers to initiate contact with your dealership. Mobile Apps that standardize the data collection processes make a merchandising strategy easy to manage and sign off on by the entire sales team from your merchandising specialists right up to the Dealer Principal. Transparency establishes accountability and accountability establishes credibility. Both internally with your team and externally with the online consumer.


“When you’re selling cars this fast, you don’t have time for dirty data or multiple device” Dennis Galbraith, Author of Sales integration

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Replies to This ADM Discussion


 You're right. I've been doing video walkarounds for years. Even have a channel for them

Your channel is amazing.  Almost 30,000,000 views!!!  Do you have a best practices to share with the ADM community?

There is another thread going I just noticed about this subject. Titled

Should SEO Video Companies Own Your Videos After You Leave Their Service?

 Love to hear your view too.

Adam Thrasher from Carnival Kia Automotive Group has been having some powerful YouTube results. Their channel is up to 368,000 views.

Carnival Kia's channel can be viewed here

Thanks Jay,

How do I set up Best Practices?


Just put together and post a list of "Best Practices".  I would bet that the rest of the ADM members have some points to add.

thanks again


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