Scaling Your Vehicle Video Marketing Efforts
CHICAGO, IL—June, 2010
This is a re-post of an article originally published on Dealer Magazine. You can find the original article here.
Online video has been perhaps the hottest growth category in the advertising industry over the past two years. eMarketer estimates that spending on online video advertising will grow to $4.6 billion by 2013, representing a more than sevenfold increase from the $587 million spent in 2008.
Many dealers know that using online video to showcase their vehicles results in greater engagement with their inventory, more qualified leads and sales. However, many dealers don't realize they can use their video assets beyond their website—for that matter beyond the Web, to create major exposure for their vehicles.
Dealers can now execute high-quality videos for every vehicle on the lot at pennies per video and distribute them "everywhere". Here are five tips to affordably scale a video marketing program for dealers.
First, if you don't already have vehicle videos, get 'em
A recent Eyeblaster Study from October, 2009 entitled "Online Video Advertising: Doubles Engagement, Boosts ROI" demonstrates that video advertising has nearly double the dwell time (at 57.62 seconds) as static ads (30.52 seconds). This doesn't necessarily mean that sales will double with video, but it should certainly mean increased sales if prospects are spending twice as much time looking at each vehicle.
Getting high-quality vehicle videos on your site is now easier and cheaper than ever. Most vehicle videos are essentially fancy slide shows generated from vehicle data and photos taken on the lot and stored with a dealer's data provider. These automated video products not only pull together video segments and photos and provide nice camera transitions and music beds, but can now provide customized messaging and supers based on the vehicle data as well as "text-to-speech" or "concatenated human voiceovers" to provide custom narration on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis. Importantly, these videos can be produced automatically through data-feeds or APIs, stitching together photos and vehicle data into finished videos in a fraction of a second.
Many auto manufacturers and data providers broker or provide video services to their dealers.
Tip: Ask your OEMs or data/web-services providers if they provide video services, and if not, who they recommend.
You don't need to edit video to update video.
Through the use of APIs, many video suppliers provide Real Time video updates. That means, the second a price, feature or image changes within your database, that information will change within your vehicle video. That's because this type of video is rendered "on the fly" rather than pre-produced (but this doesn't mean they're slower to pull up and view!) This type of video rendering is not only cheaper, but solves many problems for dealers with changing price points, features and sold inventory, etc. These videos are always accurate and current without investing in new production. A slightly slower method of creating and updating video is through data feeds. With this method, video can be updated whenever a new feed is sent to the video supplier from the dealer's data provider. With this method, Flash videos can be updated quickly, but flat-file videos (.flv's, .wmv's) need to be re-produced and replaced entirely. Flat-file format is cumbersome and takes more time and hosting costs, but is necessary if you're distributing video to sites like YouTube which requires flat files.
Tip: Ask your supplier if they produce "Real Time" video updates, and if not, how quickly they can turn around updates at volume?
Web pages are not the only online destination for video.
While it's known that video can be pushed through Rich Media banners, it's not as well known that you can push an entire inventory of vehicle videos through these banners. Turn a banner into a video website for all the vehicles on your lot, allowing consumers to scroll over vehicles within the banner and click on them to propagate video without leaving the site they're on. Consumers can even search for more models within the banner to sort or pull up more video inventory. These banners can include one dealer's inventory, or multiple dealers' inventories.
Tip: Ask your video supplier if they have Rich Media applications for their video products.
Syndicating video increases reach and SEO Results:
The more places you post your video, the better the exposure, SEO, and sales you get out of them. The top video flat-file destinations are AutoTrader.com and YouTube. YouTube is popular because once posted, Google will begin displaying the vehicle video in search results within ten hours. But these flat files are more expensive, cumbersome and hard to update, particularly once distributed. So, it's good to know you have faster and less-expensive distribution options, such as syndicating links to your videos on Cars.com, EveryCarListed.com, and many other portals and destinations.
There are services (such as TubeMogul) that can automate flat-file syndication to YouTube and other video destination sites. But many other syndication methods exist depending on what you want to do.
Tip: Ask your video supplier if they provide syndication, and if not, which services they recommend for your needs.
You can use these videos to sell beyond online.
The next syndication step is to make your videos available on mobile devices. This requires hosting your videos in a different flat file format for mobile (like 3GP). Display text codes for your vehicles in other advertising media to let consumers know how to access your mobile videos. Because mobile content is cumbersome to navigate, video is perfect for mobile because an entire vehicle presentation can be delivered without requiring consumers to "thumb around" for various pieces of information.
Cable's Video On Demand is another great destination for your video because your entire vehicle inventory can be available to consumers through their TV sets 24/7. The cost is inexpensive compared to what most dealers expect to spend on TV, and listings can average between 600 and 1,200 views per-vehicle per-month.
Tip: Ask your video supplier how they can help you push your video assets to other media.
Liquidus has revolutionized the way companies are advertising on web, mobile and Video On Demand TV. Through a proprietary platform, Liquidus works with clients to create large volumes of video advertisements using existing static collateral. The result is high production quality, affordable interactive video advertisements for multiple media outlets that capture consumer's attention.
Contact: Kirk Davis
Phone Number: (312) 589-6102