By Jason Ezell, VP of Partner Communications, FlickFusion
In order to sell a vehicle, two things need to happen. The consumer needs to become emotionally attached to a vehicle, and they need to become emotionally attached to your dealership. The traditional road to the sale has always included “sell your dealership,” but the recent inventory shortages have negated the necessity of this step. Many salespeople have adopted a “I don’t care if you buy it because I know the next person that comes in will buy it” attitude.
But with used car prices falling, new vehicle production ramping up and a looming recession, this type of complacency needs to be curbed. Dealers who want to remain competitive will need to market their dealership with the same effort that they market their vehicles.
Compared to pre-pandemic days, consumers are completing more of the car shopping process online. Many customers visit the dealership only after they have made the decision to purchase a vehicle. This means that dealers need to proactively sell their dealership online, so that car shoppers can decide the “where to buy” part of the equation at the same time as they are deciding which vehicle to buy.
In fact, if you can make a customer love your dealership, there is a good chance they will decide to buy a vehicle from you even before they know which vehicle they want! So, how best to accomplish this? With video of course, the most powerful informational and emotional marketing tool available. To sell your dealership, I recommend creating the following.
Value Proposition Video. Answer the question “Why buy from you?” in a video. Ideally this is answered by the general manager or dealer principal in a welcome video. Thank the customer for considering your dealership and let them know the type of customer experience to expect at your store.
Customer Testimonial Videos. Whenever you have a happy customer, offer them an incentive to make a testimonial video. Have them talk about how great the purchase experience was at your dealership.
Post Videos to Vehicle Display Pages (VDPs)
Now that you have these great videos, what do you with them? Do NOT bury them on your “About Us” page on your website. You should post them to your social media channels, but do NOT stop there. Yes, include them in your email campaigns but do NOT call it a day.
The first—and sometimes only—website pages that active car shoppers visit are VDPs. The best place to post your value proposition and customer testimonial videos are on the VDPs themselves.
The easiest way to do this is by creating a landing page for every vehicle that displays several videos at a time. Think about the last time you were on YouTube, watching videos. What do you do after watching one video? Most people watch another video, then another video. It’s easy to create the same effect on your dealership VDP, and it’s a highly effective way to keep car shoppers engaged.
First, the customer lands on your VDP, sees photos and specs of the vehicle, and then sees a large “View Video” button. They click on the button which links them to a landing page that features a vehicle inventory video AND your general manager welcome video, and one or two customer testimonial videos. You could also display an inventory video of another vehicle that the customer might be interested in.
Once they watch the inventory video, the customer will naturally click on the next videos and watch them too. When they see how committed your dealership is to offering a great customer experience—voila! You have created an emotional attachment, and possibly a loyal customer (as long as the experience they get at the dealership matches with what you promise them).
Videos are a powerful tool for building customer trust, and for giving customers confidence in their decision-making process. But it’s not enough just to have videos—you have to make sure that every casual car shopper sees your videos, so they can answer the “why buy from you?” question before they even decide which vehicle they want.
About the Author
Jason Ezell forms strategic relationships with digital marketing, website and CRM companies in retail automotive. Prior to joining FlickFusion, Ezell co-founded Dealerskins and Dataium, and held executive positions with DealerOn and Autotrader.com.