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How to use video to increase dealership sales: a step-by-step guide

How to use video to increase dealership sales: a step-by-step guide

Your business can potentially increase dealership sales with effective video marketing. Videos allow for deep engagement with potential customers and help nurture trust, especially when you create the right video that displays a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Today, car buyers like to research different cars before entering a store. This change in customer behaviour means car dealerships must change their approach. Car video walk-arounds are among the most engaging types of marketing content, and they're easy and affordable to make.

Why video walk-arounds are important for dealership sales

A car video walk-around is a 360° recording of a vehicle as a sales rep talks about the features, technology, and other distinguishing features. To a customer, it's the perfect opportunity to check out a car's condition and features.

Today's customers crave convenience. Video walk-arounds give them the opportunity to learn about the car, compare models, and get some questions answered. In fact, a study by Google revealed that 75% of auto shoppers were influenced by videos online when buying a car.

At the same time, Deloitte's 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study concluded that there is "significant potential" for virtual buying processes to grow. Customers still want an in-person experience—but without the pressure of a dealership sales rep.

There are a few other reasons why video walk-arounds should be at the top of every dealership's priority list. Consider:

  • Only the most interested customers proceed to the test drive stage, which saves you money and time.
  • The video reduces friction; when they walk into the dealership, prospective buyers feel as if they already know the salesperson.
  • Video's growth on social networking channels can get you significantly more exposure through shares, comments, and likes.
  • Recording walk-around videos is easy. All it takes is a good phone, a microphone, and some time to prepare and shoot the video.
  • Videos have significantly more engagement than images or text, so potential buyers will spend more time on your website and increase their chances of buying from you.
  • You can easily spotlight and demonstrate selling-point features such as the car's interior or driver-assist technology.

The best car walk-around videos are educational and helpful. They provide an immersive experience that draws in customer emotions and reactions, creating a relationship that's much more likely to end up in a sale.

Video walk-around tips and best practices

A walk-around video aims to create an immersive experience that provides value to you and the viewer. Even without expensive videography equipment and personnel, you can get it right by following these tips.

Be prepared, and practice beforehand

Recording videos can be hard, especially if you don't have prior experience in front of a camera. You still need to connect with the viewer and come across as trustworthy and believable.

That's why it's critical to take a few test runs. We highly recommend writing a script first, which helps you create powerful messaging. Here's more on effective brand messaging and words that get action to help you sell cars using video.

Testing and preparation also allow you to catch potential issues such as lighting and audio. You'll learn what works and what doesn't, including:

  • Knowing what clothes to wear (avoid red, black, and white)
  • Dealing with glare
  • Eliminating background noise

While you’re at it, remember to stay human and relatable. Recording the video isn't just about listing off features and talking tech—the video should sound more like a conversation you would have with a friend.

Keep videos under 4-5 minutes

It becomes harder to capture and keep a viewer's attention the longer your video gets. The sweet spot is four or five minutes for maximum attention and engagement. This is plenty of time if you stick to the main points and message.

If you have a lot to talk about, consider creating a series of videos to boost dealership sales instead. For example, the first video can focus on the interior and exterior, and another one can focus on the technology and performance.

The key to boosting viewer engagement is to follow these tips:

  • Capture their imagination within the first 10 seconds of the video.
  • Make the video interactive; for example, offer a 360° video that lets the user explore the car virtually.
  • Once you feel confident with your on-camera skills and have a good following, host live Q&A sessions to engage directly with potential customers.
  • Always include a call to action. For example, let viewers know where to visit your dealership or how to reach you by phone.
  • Make your content authentic and avoid generic narratives; find a way to infuse your brand's unique personality into every video.

More importantly, stay consistent by posting regularly. This helps you to build a fan base and get people talking, which ultimately leads to more dealership sales. Generating a buzz around your videos helps your videos go viral and get more shares on social media, one of the skills of a successful car salesperson today.

Use a gimbal to ensure a smooth video

Video quality is paramount. Record in HD quality and eliminate shaky video by using a camera or phone gimbal. A gimbal is a stabilisation tool that lets the video remain smooth even when you move around the car.

A gimbal also lets you perform tilts, pans, and rolls easily for an immersive, cinematic effect. You can also shoot from difficult angles and still have a professional-looking video that requires minimal post-production work.

Film in the morning or late afternoon when light is best

Another tip to ensure maximum video quality is to shoot in full sunlight in the morning or late afternoon. Professional videographers call these two time windows the golden hours because the sunlight is softer and produces less harsh shadows at these times.

Morning and evening light is also more flattering to both humans and cars. So long as you have good weather, all you need to do is make sure the sun is behind you (like a backlight). 

If you have to film indoors, you will need plenty of light in and around the car. Avoid overhead lighting, and try to film near large windows for more natural light. Also, add one or two large lamps. Try to eliminate harsh glares and shadows by directing the light as needed.

Have clear audio

Viewers may be able to live with bad video, but bad audio is an absolute no-no. Do not rely on your mobile phone microphone; instead, invest in a clip-on or directional microphone instead. It helps you eliminate background noise and is more sensitive to the human voice.

A good microphone lets you speak naturally and clearly without exerting yourself. But even with a good microphone, you still need to record in a quiet place with minimal wind, traffic, and human noise.

Keep in mind that even with good, clear audio, some viewers may want to watch with the sound off. Include clear open captions (embedded in the video) or closed captions (opt-in captions) without disrupting the visuals on the screen. Making your videos easily accessible is a great tactic for increased dealership sales.

Turn on the vehicle and show it in action

Finally, prospective customers want to see and hear the vehicle in action. After offering a 360° spin display and close-ups of the best features, showing the car in action is the culmination of the video that the viewer has been anticipating.

This is a good time to demonstrate the navigation features, driver assistance, reverse camera, and other features. These selling points can help give the prospective customer a final "push" to want to drive the car for themselves.

As a seasoned car sales rep, you already know how to make the presentation sell the experience. Showing the car in action gives you exactly that.

Invest in cutting-edge dealership technology

Forward-thinking car dealerships go a step further and invest in technology such as 360° 3D video. This lets customers explore the car for themselves and get a feel for it, which is exactly the kind of cutting-edge technology car dealerships need to compete today.

Dealership sales data management and business intelligence software can also help you get that edge over your competition. SalesLogs dealership technology takes the hard work out of car dealership administration so that you can focus on what really counts: providing the best customer experience.

Try SalesLogs today and start growing your dealership's performance.

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