Videos are perfect for grabbing attention, and when they auto-play in social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, it is the perfect opportunity to get your brand out there.

As with all good marketing, the secret here is to grab attention and sell your brand without letting your audience know they are being marketed to. What do I mean by this? Use the video to highlight a feature of a car or your dealership, or maybe an event, but avoid plastering your brand all over it and obvious call to actions. Search up the YouTube or Facebook account for RedBull for example. Their logo might be conveniently placed in the videos, but their product placement is very smart, and their call to actions are minimal as they are using the videos more for brand awareness and being at the top of people’s minds.

But a dealership is not a energy drink company. We have had more success creating videos that serve two purposes:

  1. A video packs more punch and content then text and is easily digested by your audience, but keep them short.
  2. Highlight an event or sponsorship partnership, or a staff update.

Some example videos we have made include switching to video for a ‘Used Car of the Week’ feature. Two types were focused on here, the first a walkaround of the car, inside and out, as though the customer was looking at the car themselves. Backed by some punchy beats in the background, these videos can be quite captivating. Keep it short though!

The second type involved one or two staff members introducing the car. A simple one that Maitland Toyota did well earlier in 2017 was to use all staff in different locations of a Toyota Camry RZ that they wanted to clear stock of. The camera moved between staff who explained a different feature of the car. It finished with a stock controller explaining stock levels, and the sales manager popping out of the boot to explain the time sensitivity of the sale. Worked well, and get lots of reactions on social media.

By keeping your video under 60 seconds, not only does it help keep your viewers attention span, it also fits on to  your Instagram profile, and saves you creating a second shorter video for this channel.

Make it Look Professional

It doesn’t have to be a full blown video production like what you may be used to when creating television commercials. We recommend using a tripod or handheld gimbal to keep your shots smooth and steady, as well as using a good video editing app or software.

Some suggested equipment:

Gimbal: DJI Osmo Plus or Osmo Mobile to reduce video shake and bumps.

Microphone: Rode Video Mic Pro or Video Mic Me on Mobile Phones.

Camera: A quality DSLR like the Canon EOS range, with a basic lens like an 18-55.

Phone Software: The GoPro Splice app, Adobe Spark Video and Phonto work really well.

Computer Software: Adobe Premiere Pro is not as difficult to pickup as you think. Otherwise Windows Movie Maker on PC or iMovie on Apple Macs works well.  (Final Cut Pro on the Apple platform is also a great alternative to Adobe’s Premiere Pro if you prefer to stay in the Appleverse).

Audio Soundtracks: AudioJungle or Primeloops. If using YouTube, you can also use their included audio snippets. These are accessible from your channel dashboard.

Posting your Video

When you have finished editing your video by trimming out bits you don’t need, or adding in more light or filters, you can then save it for uploading to your social media. We recommend saving it in the H264 codec, which will produce an MP4 file. Stick to around 1080×720 at the least for social media videos, unless you are trying to create vertical videos.

To efficiently share the video, we recommend using a platform like YouTube or Buffer. If using YouTube, the benefits can include more exposure on another social channel, as well as comments and feedback. The other highlight is that if done correctly and tagged appropriately, you can sometimes show up in Google Searches quite well, after all, Google does own YouTube.

Buffer is a sharing platform similar to Hootsuite, and the others. Upload your video here and you can select both your Instagram and Facebook accounts. This will then allow you to set the video thumbnail and title text.

Be sure to post the video with text that is engaging and asks a question related to the video, or better still, add text to the end of your video that poses a question. This way it guides people to respond to the video or post. For example, if your video showed you filling the latest car model up with pugs or poodles, and then asked at the end ‘How many do you think can fit in?’ people would definitely answer or share it with friends to try and guess. This could also tie in with a competition. The options are endless.

Here are some examples of videos you can make

  1. Welcome to the dealership. A first person view as you walk into your premises and get greeted by different staff members and guided to the right department or area. Strap a GoPro to someone’s head and go for it!
  2. Used Car of the Week. As mentioned earlier, use the staff that are selling the car to introduce the vehicle or a special offer attached to it. Keep an eye on window reflections and lighting when filming, and use a directional microphone.
  3. New Location Launch. Start doing a pre-launch before your event and build interest. Show sneak peaks or even ask viewers questions.
  4. New Model Launch. Same as above, before it arrives, talk about it and the excitement around it, explain what you are looking forward to the most. When it arrives, test drive the car with some GoPro cameras attached, or do a walkaround inside and out.
  5. Funny Fridays. When it comes to the end of the business week, post something a bit more relaxed. We’ve had success with Instagram Boomerang videos (the ones that loop the video forward and backwards) of staff moonwalking in the showroom, throwing paperwork into the air, popping out from inside cars, and jumping for joy because FRIYAY!
  6. On location at a sponsored event. Are you sponsoring a local event? Go Live on Facebook or Instagram stories and if your brand/logo is up on display, show it off and your staff if they are there too. Of course, talk more about the great event rather than your brand.
  7. Testimonials. Potential customers love seeing feedback from others who have trusted you before and bought a car or servcice. While Facebook and Google reviews are great, as well as written testimonials on your website, you can’t go past a quick video testimonial. Not only does it show the real person giving feedback, it is easier to get it shared on social media. Give it a go!

This list could go on for ever. Let us know what you have tried that you believe should be added to this list.

Bottom line is to have fun with it and remember it is not a TV commercial. The best videos on social media are often the amateur ones with something interesting, unique or catchy in them.

Below is an example of a video we made with Maitland Toyota for a campaign named ‘Jump To It’ in November 2017. We got footage from SkyDive Australia, as well as an iPhone 7 an onlooker used, and cut and edited it from over 10 minutes to under 4 minutes.

Boost Your Video.

Another benefit of using video on social media is the data you can get from it. Facebook allows you to target viewers that have engaged with your video or watched a set length of it, this means you can put ads in front of them that take that video to the next step, or more about your brand.

Once you have uploaded it, boost the video as a post or through your Facebook Ad manager. You can either target the people who like your page and their friends, or try targeting specific audience types that could relate to the video content. ie. Sponsored surf event video and locals interested in surfing.

HOT TIP: People like seeing videos that are different. Why not check if a drone can be flown in your area and contact a drone operator to get some great video or photos of your dealership. It then looks different to what people see just driving past. Want to make them yourself, try a smart and small DJI Spark drone.

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