The automotive industry is saturated and it’s harder than ever to set your dealership apart through marketing efforts. In fact, there are close to 9,000 car dealerships in Canada vs 1.8 million new cars registered per year. This means less than 16 new cars are sold per month per dealer. On the other hand, digital marketing has been on the rise and a lot of industries have been adopting digital ads, social media, email marketing, video marketing, chatbots, and etc. to try making more sales and promote their dealership’s visibility. The issue with this is that 10 years ago, when you tried online ads and didn’t know how to properly use them, you still had a chance to score good leads and direct sales – In 2020, not so much.
Marketing strategies executed by inexperienced people are often incomplete, un-focused, and worst of all, not optimized for your main Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Thus the importance of having a solid marketing plan; and this applies to video strategies as well. The misconception is that videos are a big game changer – but they are pointless if not used properly. Videos need to be seen as they really are: powerful but costly in resources, and if poorly executed, are a waste.
This being said, it’s good to take precautions. Don’t get me wrong, when video strategies are done the right way, you can reduce costs and increase revenue too.
Why car dealerships should have a video content strategy
Brand guidelines and artistic directors
The automotive industry is often restricted by guidelines from their manufacturer. For example, in 2019, when a Jaguar dealership wanted to promote creatives or add a page to their website, they had to comply to certain strict rules such as: having the text within a box that doesn’t take up more than X% of the image with a black background and 80% opacity.
Now these may seem like a nuance, but these simple guidelines are what help your dealership save on creative costs when realising your video.
See, what some may consider as a stick in the wheel is, in this case, a strict brand book for your video agency to respect. Having such guidelines will most likely reduce the time spent by the artistic director in deciding what should be done, and what would look nice and in sync with your brand.
In most cases, small businesses struggle in defining their brand and purpose. For example, a barber is in businesses simply to cut hair – but there is more to it. Your brand image and story have such an important impact on your customer’s decision. Thus, your creative director wants to embody your brand as accurately as possible. Having set guidelines of what your brand is or isn’t allows the creative director to create a canvas revolving around your guidelines. Having your Manufacturer set these guidelines and the brand vision saves your dealership a lot of headaches and money.
2. Creative decision
Once you accept that you have very little control over the aesthetic, you are left with very few decisions to take in order to build your video properly. In regards to car dealerships, there are many different valuable videos you can have run on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube ads.
Here are some examples of videos you could create on a monthly basis, without having to spend time and money on a creative concept.
The monthly offer:
You know it, every month you get new offers from the Manufacturer. The downside with this is that, let’s say Honda has an offer of free financing on all Civic vehicles, well, every dealer follows suit. Therefore, you aren’t competing within your brand but with other similar brands like Nissan or Volkswagen. Having a monthly manufacturer offer, combined with an in-house offer (an extra 1000$ off) will not only get valuable traffic but motivate customers to go an extra mile to buy from your dealership instead of the one closer to their house.
Combine this with a Facebook ads campaign promoting your video, and you’re set to generate leads on a consistent basis.