Do your Vehicle Details Pages (VDPs) stand out from your competitions’ VDPs? When a car buyer visits your dealership’s website, they are asking two questions: (1) Do I like this car? And (2) Do I want to buy from this dealership? A static VDP with photos and listed features may help to answer the first question, but it does nothing to address the second question.

Inventory videos can answer both questions. Not only that, but videos have the power to change the car-shopper’s mindset. Most consumers visit your website hoping that your dealership has the vehicle they want. A dynamic inventory video can change that paradigm to making the consumer want and take mental ownership of the vehicle that you have.

This paradigm shift is backed up by metrics. Overall engagement on a VDP featuring a live walkaround video jumps an average of 600 percent versus engagement on a static VDP. This translates into an approximate 30 to 35 percent increase in leads, according to feedback from our dealer customers.

“Overall engagement on a VDP featuring a live walkaround video jumps an average of600 percent versus engagement on a static VDP.”

So why are some dealers still dragging their feet when it comes to producing inventory videos? In conversations with dealers, the main objections I hear include “It takes too much time,” “I don’t know where to begin,” and “None of my salespeople want to be on camera.”

What these dealers may not realize is that there are different styles of inventory videos. No matter what your situation is, one of these inventory video styles is sure to work for your dealership:

  1. Spokesperson
    You’ve probably seen inventory videos that feature a dealership spokesperson, often a salesperson, standing in front of a vehicle and talking about the features and benefits of owning that vehicle. These types of videos are especially effective if the spokesperson is energetic, enthusiastic and can tell stories or crack jokes. It’s true that with this style of video, the spokesperson must shine on camera.

    Remember when you first learned how to sell cars? You were probably taught to sell the dealership first, then sell yourself, and then sell the car. In the most effective inventory videos, the spokesperson does exactly this. Unlike a static VDP page that gives details and photos of the vehicle, the spokesperson video can talk about the reasons to buy at your dealership. It’s important to sell the “why” in addition to the “what.” If the car has new tires, promote how that increases safety. If the car has a GPS, mention how it will help you get to your destination on time.

    At the end of the video, the spokesperson should ask for an appointment and issue a call to action.

  2. Individual
    This type of inventory video is produced when one person holds the camera and narrates as they walk around the vehicle. An individual inventory video is ideal for spokespeople who may be camera shy but still have a dynamic personality and are able to verbally convey features and benefits. An individual video can include everything a spokesperson-style video does: selling the dealership value proposition, selling the salesperson, selling the vehicle and issuing a call to action.
  3. Hybrid

    This type of inventory video features a live video combined with an automated audio layer. This option is good for those who are just starting out and need more practice with the audio portion, or if they’re camera shy in general. If your dealership uses a lot services company or photographer to take stills of your inventory, why not ask them to start shooting a video instead? It can take less time and effort, and if the quality is good you can extract photos from the video to add to your VDPs.

    Once the live video is uploaded to a hosting platform, a data driven human voice audio layer is automatically added. With the right platform, the features listed on the VDP will be turned into a professional and engaging video voice over.

  4. Post Production
    This style of video walkaround combines a live video with a recorded voice over added in post-production. Similar to a hybrid, you can have someone in your dealership shoot the video or ask your lot services company. Then have a dealership employee record a voice over. Better yet, find a professional voice talent to record an audio script that will match the video. You can provide a custom script that includes all the same features, benefits and call to action as the spokesperson or individual-style videos.

    If you’re afraid that a professional voice talent will break the bank, fear not! These days, professional voice talent work from home and can be very inexpensive. You can go to your local college and hire someone in the video production department, post an ad in Craigslist, or visit and hire a voice talent for $5 to $10 per video!

    A note on video equipment: these days it’s possible to shoot great quality HD videos with a smartphone, Hot Shot or even a GoPro camera. It’s not necessary to purchase fancy camera equipment.

    However, it is very important to invest in a stabilizer. Inventory videos that are shaky or bounce around are going to instantly turn consumers off and will drastically reduce the viewing completion rates. I highly recommend investing in a 3-axis gimbal that may run from $200 to $800. This is especially important if you want to extract photos from the video.

    If you’re planning to shoot spokesperson or individual-style videos, the other investment I recommend is a good quality microphone. A high-quality wireless mic may run from $150 to $300 but it will greatly reduce background noise. This is especially important if your dealership is located near a busy road.

    Another option for a spokesperson-style video is to purchase a boom mic that can be set up just out of sight of the video frame.

    Once you shoot your videos, if you discover that your audio tracks are poor, I recommend re-recording the audio track in post production.

    Perhaps the most important tip is to practice, practice, practice. When you first implement an inventory video marketing strategy, it may take several months to find a style of video that works for you and to produce a high-quality video that you’re happy with. Keep an eye on your completion rates. Once your inventory videos reflect an 80 to 85 percent viewing completion rate, you know your customers are highly engaged.

Author: Tim James

Tim James, Chief Operating Officer at Flick Fusion, is a dynamic sales and marketing strategist with more than 20 years of achievement and demonstrated success in driving multi-million dollar revenue growth, while providing visionary leadership.

Digital Dealer