All right car dealers…I see you out there.
We have been watching, and a lot of you are doing exactly what you should be doing right now. ***COVID-High5 right here*** But for the rest of you…those of you who need some help getting the right message out there, in the right way, well, we have “Just the Tip” for you.
While sales and ad spend may be down, it’s important to recognize that media usage is up. YouTube alone recently reported that their viewership is up 75% compared to last year’s viewing at this time. This is no coincidence. While it’s inevitable that such stats are partially due to our need for updates during this pandemic, it’s also fueled by our society’s desire for distraction. As much of the U.S. is approaching what’s estimated to be the apex weeks of this crisis, the novelty of this “new norm” is beginning to wear thin.
Depending on where your dealership is located, your state may be enforcing stay-at-home orders lasting as far out as June 10th. Some sources have even rumored that some dates could extend out to the end of summer. And while most people are still vigilant in doing their part to #stayathome and self-distance, many homes are currently divided while essential workers attempt to self-quarantine themselves to protect loved ones, social events are being cancelled and postponed, and hey – even the most motivated Insta-moms out there are starting to get bored of humble-bragging about their home-schooling methods (it’s okay “Karen”…just breathe…)
But the result of all of this is that people are starting to look forward, in whatever way they can. In an effort to remain optimistic and goal-oriented, households everywhere are having conversations about what they’re going to do to infuse some welcome reward into their lives once their stay-at-home orders are lifted. And for many of them, those plans include a new vehicle purchase.
Now some of you are ALL over this. Either your dealership has a long-standing online platform, or you’ve managed to adopt some semblance of one since the world’s gone COVID-crazy. But if you’ve enabled your customers to shop, to apply for financing and to complete an entire vehicle purchase online from the isolated safety of their own homes you’re in a better position than most. Plus, there are those of you are going above and beyond by exploring unique financing options that could alleviate some of the understandable concerns that could prevent customers from moving forward during “these uncertain times”. But what are you doing to get the word out?
As people seek distraction and the comfort of connection, social media usage continues to climb…as does video consumption across various social media platforms. So how can you use video effectively and responsibly to stay connected with your customer base? How can you use it in a way that helps you to stand out from your competitors? And of equal importance, how can you do so in a cost-effective way?
Create Original Video Content
Some of you may have an in-house media team, or a production company that you work with on a regular basis. If you do, that’s awesome; stick with them for the big stuff. But if you don’t, or if you’re just looking to create incremental content on the fly, there’s no reason to get discouraged. In 2020, the average smartphone requires little assistance to create multimedia content that’s completely acceptable by social media standards. In fact, most every smartphone newer than iPhone 8 or Samsung Galaxy S8 has the means of filming in HD, if not 4K. Add in the right lighting, and a suitable plug-in microphone setup, and you can create high-quality content without breaking the bank. Want to learn more? Join us this coming Saturday morning, and I’ll be back to walk you through some affordable and easy-to-use options that can help you to get the ball rolling ASAP. But regardless of the gear you use, what kind of content should you be creating?
Use Video to Provide Assurance
Your dealership has a social responsibility to your community. Remember that, because it should rest at the heart of your core message. And while we’re all experiencing this global crisis together, it’s important to recognize that we may not all be experiencing it in the same ways. In other words, we need to mindful of tone. For this reason, the foundational video content you create should be a message based in sincerity and assurance. Forget the vanity shots of your dealership, or boasting of your expansive inventory. Cliches should have no place in your flagship message, because people are having a hard time, and they need to know they can count on their community leaders. Let your community know what steps you’re taking to continue operating safely, sanitarily and in a socially responsible manner. Let them know how you can help them. Then, be sure to create a new landing page for that video on your website and pin the video to the top of your Facebook page, so it’s the first thing seen by new visitors.
Once you’ve taken the steps necessary to communicate how you’re supporting your customer base, there is nothing wrong with introducing some laughs and levity. It’s something we could all use a little of right now. And some of you are KILLING IT with awesome, original video content. From social distancing humor to song parodies and fake movie trailers, some of you are doing yourselves proud out there. And don’t even get us started on those of you who are putting TikTok to quality use. Some of the stuff we’re seeing is amazing, and it helps to humanize your dealership by injecting genuine personality into your public image. So, here’s an invitation. Whether you’ve made some great, light-hearted content or you’ve came across something from another dealership that deserves a wider audience, do us a favor, and share it right here in the comments of this post. Not only would we love to check it out, we want others to see it, so it gets the attention that it deserves!
So (i) use the equipment at your disposal to create original video content (ii) provide your existing and prospective clients with the assurance they deserve, and once you’ve done so (iii) don’t be afraid to have some fun.
Remember, people still want to know why they should do business with you, and how they can continue to do business with you. And with social media use up, there is ample opportunity to stay in front of them through regular video posting and targeted video content.
So, be sure to check back with us on Saturday AM for a rundown of affordable equipment alternatives worth picking up, and don’t forget to join us this Thursday, and every Thursday for more SEO and Digital Marketing Insights on ‘Just the Tip’.