Automotive Digital Marketing

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From the trenches - Where's the value of video?

More than 8 years of content is uploaded to YouTube every day.  That's more video content in one month than the three major US networks created in 60 years.  YouTube is owned by Google, and Google is attaching "search" relevance to video.  The following chart from SearchMetrics illustrates the most recent trends in search showing that video is dominating every other catagory.  Dealership marketing would fall under "Shopping".


So the obvious answer is to recognize the importance of video to SEO.  Sounds good.  So how does this all affect Dealer marketing?  Should we all hire marketing companies to produce videos that we hope will go viral and draw traffic from all over the world?




First of all, dealer marketing is generally local in nature.  That means that dealers first think in terms of "calls for action" and that's all right.  But I saw a recent video by Paul Potratz that introduced dealer branding in "thinking outside of the box". Only a small proportion of consumers are in the market for a car at any given time, so shouldn't you make your marketing appeal to those who will remember you when the time comes?  (Shades of Social Media)  This brings a lot of the things into focus in a very broad spectrum and I'm only going to concentrate on one that ANY dealer can do without spending large amounts of cash.


If you have your sales staff make an admittedly unprofessional walkaround video for each individual Internet email or phone request, and you put it on YouTube, what have you accomplished?


  1. It becomes part of a "wow" experience for the customer.
  2. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictues.
  3. It allows you to communicate with customers who gave you no phone number or won't answer their phone while your competitors are bombarding them with meaningless emails.
  4. It allows you to "sell yourself and the dealership" while showing the car.
  5. It introduces your company to others on YouTube and in Search (Google) in a way that humanizes the company.
  6. Other websites will "suck" your video into their websites to show their visitors (AOL, etc)
  7. It allows you to link back to your other web assets such as your website where there are other opportunities and calls for action.
  8. It actually does increase your SEO IF you use proper titles, description, and tags.
  9. You can further use those videos on your website, blog, Facebook, etc. where and if you choose.
  10. Along with video testimonials from your customers, video walkarounds can be utilized for reputation management and marketing.
  11. Can increase web presence and "Klout" for the dealership and sales staff alike.

What do you think?  Can you think of other ways videos can assist you as a dealer? 


The power of video is not a silver bullet.  It is often over-hyped and at the same time under-utilized. Video is really just one (valuable) piece of a puzzle called multi-platform marketing.  All elements in marketing should complement each other, feed each other, and lead ultimately to conversion.  But in the end, where does that conversion come from?  Does it come from doing one thing well?  Or does it come from doing a variety of things well?


Below is a video I really like about SEO.  I take no responsibility for it, and I am not an advocate for the company that has produced it.  I just present it as an example of how video can be persuasive.  Nah, actually I just present it because I love Bill Cosby!  :-)



Views: 250

Tags: Bill, Cosby, Media, Multi-Platform, Online, SEO, Social, Videos, advertising, marketing


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Comment by Tom Gorham on September 24, 2011 at 3:24pm
Thanks Tom.  I agree with you 100% and I definitely remember those days also!  Boy, does time march on...
Comment by Tom Rocha on September 23, 2011 at 3:34pm

Tom,  Great post.  Very informative.  I was having a conversation with an old friend today about the good old days of selling software that required a nightly download of data to the dealers and how we had to get them to sign up for dial-up service.  They were complaining about the $19.95 fee(this was before Net Zero).  Then it was the whole, "What do I need a website for?, No one will ever buy a car off the Internet, Why do I need to have pictures of my cars online ?and so on and so on.  Video will be as necessary in the near future for all businesses and that includes the ones that move iron.  And PTZ Slide-Shows is not the type of video I am talking about.  We have our first dealer that will no longer be taking photos and will only have full motion video of his product and Vid2Pic generated still images, pulled automatically from the video in the locations where he needs more than one thumbnail.


The SEO results speak for themselves.  Consider the screen grab attached.  Gunn does not have a MB point.  How do you like the organic results?  Think someone will click on the video link before the text one?  How do you think they will like a real moving full motion video on the other side instead of some still images moving around a video player.  BTW this happens with other searches for brands that Gunn does not have.  Video will be mandatory for dealers.  Count on it. 

Comment by Tom Gorham on September 17, 2011 at 1:08pm
Thanks Keith! I appreciate your kind words! Ken, I love your videos, have watched some of them before. Keep up the good work. I'm sure it's bringing in customers!
Comment by Keith Shetterly on September 17, 2011 at 9:41am
I *love* these "In the Trenches" series blogs.  Well done, Tom!
Comment by Ken Beam on September 16, 2011 at 5:23pm

Hey Tom,

Definitely enjoyed reading your perspective on here in regards to the use of Video.

Yes I absolutely agree with you, it`s not the "Silver-Bullet" for sales, but when used appropriately it can definitely kick things up a notch!


*Here`s a few(of the many~) ways that we incorporate Video at Douglas;


*Here`s how we show/explain to Clients the value of a Certified Volkswagen;
**This 2008 Beetle was sold by this Video!~
** Here are a few examples of Video Testimonials;
**Here`s another cool clip that sold this Mini-Cooper (that`s my girlfriend not a customer driving the Mini!~lol)
**And lastly, this clip sold this Scion(that sat on our lot for 2.5 months.....until we did this!)
** All of our Videos are created in-house, so it`s a no-brainer not to give this form of advertising a roll!~
**Hope you enjoyed the examples,

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