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The Ninth Commandment of Automotive Video Marketing: Make More Than One Video [How to Plan a Campaign]

So you drank the Kool-Aid, you are committed to producing a video to highlight the differentiators of your dealership.  What is more, you’ve decided to launch a YouTube channel, which you intend to plan and execute thoughtfully.  Most importantly, you’ve allocated precious budget to hiring a professional.  Now what?




Know Your Limits

You are not Your Target

It’s easy to allow one’s personal tastes to guide one's decisions about marketing activities, particularly where a creative process is involved.  As professionals we all know that developing some sort of target audience profile is essential to any marketing effort. Video marketing is no different.  You must identify the value drivers that motivate your audience to buy and then align your messaging and creative expressions accordingly.  Remember you are not the target of your marketing campaign. Unless you are selling to your mirror image you need to hold back on injecting too much of your likes and tastes into your content. Tested tactics are best and proven creative resources that can deliver audience driven content are the best choice.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Once you have profiled your audience to a level where you can begin to segment them according to the attributes that best define them, you can really target your marketing efforts and importantly, get the most bang for your marketing buck.  A great example of audience segmentation is the mobile auto user profile shown.  Other examples include matching media consumption patterns to groups based on gender or ethnicity.

Be Prepared to Invest the Time

Having a strategy for producing sufficient video content to fuel great social engagement while maintaining budgetary sanity requires a well thought through plan of attack commonly known as a content strategy.  As shown, content can be mapped along several dimensions. 

The best practice is to align your marketing to the buyer’s process, or when looked at by the seller, the sales funnel.  Planning a content strategy that forces you to align your thinking about what to produce for your audience at various stages of the sales funnel will get you on the path to optimizing your investment in content. 

Understanding which channels of distribution, e.g., which media outlets, best target your audience at each stage of the buyer journey is another great way to slice and dice content.  The point is that in order to maximize your ROI in content development you need to take the time and do some planning.  This is especially the case with video marketing, which has high production values.  The good news is that the ROI from dollars video content will outstrip every other form of content if it is planned for and developed intelligently. 

Without the upfront market research, and planning you might very well end up the automotive video marketing equivalent of John Carter, the recent Disney fiasco.











Plan and Budget For an Ongoing Program

Create a production schedule like the one shown.  Be smart about pacing and don't try to do too much at once.

Set Goals

Branding and Reputation

Boosts to the dealership’s image and the emotional connection to its community should be the two primary goals of branding and socially targeted video content.

 Recognizing the role that the relationship between a customer and sales consultant plays at the ZMOT in most sales scenarios is a good way to think about branding strategies for video marketing.  How do you want to appeal to customer value drivers in your messaging attributes and characterize that relationship? Here’s an example.

Measure Your Success

With a well conceived and cost managed but steady stream of high-value video content that is aligned to your audience profiles, value drivers and favorite search and media hangouts, it’s time to set up the metrics for success.  The most direct measure is of course movement of metal.  There is a second measure of course and that is the front to back advertising and marketing cost per vehicle.  At 30% or more of the margin it becomes a large variable cost.  The metrics of advertising and marketing’s contribution to leads, revenue and its cost per vehicle are the dials you want to be turning.

Content that effectively targets the bottom of the funnel, just before ZMOT must either be vehicle or value specific.  Examples of value specific content include a promotion  or an e-incenive overlay to the campaign.

More On Metrics

Important metrics include viewership, engagement and SEO performance.  All of these metrics can be tracked and should be reported on at least monthly to measure campaign performance.


A well conceived and executed automotive video marketing campaign can produce sterling results.  If you follow a process and focus on the main elements list, you will start to earn the kind of ROI and efficiencies that only video marketing can deliver.


Views: 1333

Tags: 9th, Automotive Video Marketing, Car Dealer Marketing, How-to, VSEO, Video SEO, campaign, commandment, ninth commandment, planning, More…


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Comment by Joe Schwartz on February 13, 2013 at 2:11pm

Great to see such spirited debate.  In the final analysis, like my grandaddy used to say "if it doesn't make $, it doesn't make sense."

Comment by Ken Beam on February 13, 2013 at 2:04pm

lol - @ Todd - Listen this will be the last comment that I have for this thread......... Five years ago I created some awesome slide-show voice-over "videos" here at Douglas. It absolutely did not have the desired effect that we anticipated. Customers wrote numerous comments & stated on multiple occasions that they preferred seeing a walking & talking person as opposed to a voice-over slide-show(which contained my voice). The way I see it is like this Todd, some folks like a tofu burger while other prefer a "Real" burger.......... Whatever whets your appetite!

So be careful when you swim in unknown waters Todd, because somebody with big "Paws" might just pull ya outta the water by your tail!

The End.

Comment by Todd Vowell on February 13, 2013 at 1:31pm

Low beams Ken! j/k :) It actually is "Rocket Science". If a dealership turns his/her 200 used car inventory every 75 days, and they need not just a robot but a real voice over video that includes custom graphics, tracking toll free 800 #, landing page, and keywords within a description that optimizes each video to capture short and long tail, there needs to be a solid game plan. So before we "do", we talk, we design, we plan, and then we EXECUTE just as you said, and you are absolutely correct!

Comment by Ken Beam on February 13, 2013 at 11:03am

Ok Joe............ You`re not "re-inventing the wheel" ........ I mean come on......... who doesn`t  or wouldn`t utilize their clips in various digital facets? That`s rather obvious point at least to me anyways. Listen when it`s all said and done none of this is "rocket-science" when it comes to videos. You want to know what it`s really about in regards to anything digitally speaking? In one word......... Execution. There are talkers (That`s what we are gonna do too) and there are "Doers".................... that in a nutshell just get it done and move on to something else.

Comment by Joe Schwartz on February 13, 2013 at 10:37am

It's in the middle, Ken - but consider the economics of a campaign in which car clips are one element, targeting one part of the cycle.  They have real human voice which connects emotionally, and elicits brain responses that computer generated voice does not. And the other point is of course the context of a campaign where engagement can occur on multiple channels with multiple types of video, promos, etc.

Comment by Ken Beam on February 13, 2013 at 10:15am

Well Joe they`re nice slide-show voice-over clips and I guess a nice alternative to a more lazy sort of dealer that won`t get off his/her ass and go outside and do it themselves, which by the way adds an entire different gamut of value to to the customer`s perception by seeing an actual person showing the vehicles. Like I said, not a bad alternative.  

Comment by Joe Schwartz on February 13, 2013 at 9:12am

Thanks, Don Graff.  We aim to please :-)

Comment by Joe Schwartz on February 13, 2013 at 9:11am

Hey Ken,

Thanks for asking.  Here are some links:


Branding Video:!before-and-after/c1jd5

Example Dealer YouTube Channel:

Comment by Ken Beam on February 13, 2013 at 7:58am

Hey Joe I just went on your website and didn`t see any examples of your work with car dealerships? Can you please post some of your examples on ADM as I`m sure everyone would like to see what you can do. The charts & graphs are nice but I`d like see some examples of your work. 

Thanks - 

Comment by DON GRAFF on February 13, 2013 at 7:43am

Joe, thank you for taking the time to share with the ADM community this valuable post. I do not comment that often. You outlined and put some meat into the best Video marketing process I saw or can remember. This cohesive easy to follow process allows someone to advise their client using this as it is. A CMO can use this to educate and implement. A dealer can get a grasp very quickly on what needs to be done using time and resources to start and test results and go bigger.  Great stuff on the funnel, too.

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