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Top Dealerships Are Profiting From Video

Video is the most powerful resource for any car dealership. That’s right out of all of the shiny objects, magic beans and great ideas. “Video” is the most powerful opportunity for dealers to have an unfair competitive edge against their competition. But the problem is that the vast majority of dealerships do NOT have a video strategy and what is worse is that they do not even realize that they truly need one! As a matter of fact, 75% of ALL businesses in ALL verticals do not have a video strategy or even plan on creating one! This blows me away because video is a major part of our lives, it is totally integrated in everything we do.

The current lack of respect towards the importance of video and massive underestimating its viability reminds me of the “Hip Hop” music phenomenon. Most people thought that Hip Hop was a fad, it was a silly trend in music that would blow ever. Others though that Hip Hop was only for the urban market and corporate America stayed away from it. Well… that is obviously not the case.  According to Forbes, Hip Hop currently generates over 10 Billion dollars per year and has moved past just music and the urban market. Hip Hop has integrated into every aspect of mainstream America. Now look at how the Internet was received in the Automotive Sales industry. It was looked at the same way as Hip Hop music. It was not taken seriously. Dealers thought it too was a fad and would pass. It had no legs. Back in 1995 – 2000, in the early days most dealerships still did not even have a CRM. They were using paper desk logs with highlighters and the OEMs knew that dealers were not taking the Internet opportunities seriously. They use to have to fax dealers Internet leads because dealers didn’t understand or utilize the Internet correctly. Then came Social Media, dealers thought that too was a fad like the Internet itself. They believed that it was a waste of time and a distraction. They thought incorrectly that you couldn’t sell cars on Facebook. Now, there are dealerships like Castle Auto Group in Chicago that are selling a tremendous amount of quantifiable units directly from Facebook on a monthly basis. The same is happening to Video. Sean V. Bradley, CSP wrote the first article in the Automotive Sales industry about Video Search Engine Optimization in 2006.Ten years later and most dealers still do not understand VSEO never mind using it as part of their dealership’s digital marketing strategy. Fast forward three or five years from now, would you be reading this article or would you be watching it on video?

Here are some of the most recent and powerful statistics of video:

  • One minute of video is equal to 1.8 million written words –
    • Dr. McQuivey, VP of research and development of Forrester research said that if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a minute of video is equal to 1.8 million written words because it is sight, sound, motion and emotion.
    • People prefer watching video MORE than:
      • Reading
      • Writing
      • Emailing
      • Texting
      • Chatting
      • Etc…
      • According to Forbes, 59% of executives would rather watch video than to read or text
      • Email that contains video has a 200-300% higher read open rate
      • 70% of all Internet content will be video by 2017
      • According to consumer research from Levels Beyond, 42% of consumers like it when companies share videos online, but 75% of brands say they rarely or never produce video for their social media followers.
      • 62% of All Google searches include video
      • Google prefers video content over all other content
        • Video propagates and indexes faster than any other content on Google
        • A video on a search engine results page (SERP) is clicked on 53 times more than a static link
        • Businesses using video, grow company revenue  49% faster year-over-year than organizations without video
        • Video quality does matter
          • The days of cell phone video footage are over. Prospects and customers are use to higher quality video and want it.
          • 36% of people that consume video content consistently watch videos over 5 minutes long.
            • That is up 14% from last year
            • Cisco says that by 2019 over 90% of all web content will be video
              • The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with video than without.
              • 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
              •  69% of smartphone users say videos are a perfect solution for smartphone viewing as it offers a quick way for consumers to grasp an overview of a product."
              • Only 24% of brands are using online video to market to consumers."
              • Video has a higher “science of communication” value over text or phones.
                • Based on the science of communication:
                  • Text or written words are only 7% of communication
                  • Tone and inflection are only 38% of communication
                  • Visual perception and body language is only 55% of communication.
                  • Video combines, sight, sound, motion and emotion.

Car dealerships also have a couple of other realities confused. Just because you have video content doesn’t mean it has any search engine optimization (SEO) value. There is an art to “Video Search Engine Optimization”. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pirate companies and vendors that peddle VSEO but have no idea what they are doing and don’t possess the true skills and knowledge to optimize dealers’ video content. To be clear, video content on a website, social media or anywhere doesn’t automatically mean that the video is optimized. A video on YouTube for example is almost like a full blown website

For example:

A website and video BOTH have:

  • HTML Code
  • A URL (website address)
  • Anchor text
  • Meta Tags
  • Back Links
  • Geo Targeting
  • Destination mapping
    • This is a big one. Just like traditional SEO, you can not just have duplicate or plagiarized content and expect to be indexed.

Video SEO is UNIQUE because:

  • Search engines now have facial and pixel recognition capabilities
  • Search engines have speech and audio recognition capabilities

Another colossal mistake that dealers actively do daily is utilize generic, recycled video content from their OEM or from the Internet and expect it to be search engine optimizable. This is seriously wrong because if you are a Chevrolet dealership how can Google rank one of your OEM videos on the first page of Google when it is being used by 3,000 other Chevy dealerships across the country. Same thing if a dealership is buying video clips or content online or worse straight hijacking video on YouTube utilizing websites like

Now that it is seriously clear the power of video in general, lets dive into how important video is for the Automotive Sales industry specifically. Here are some recent Automotive Sales Video Stats:

  • 70% of people who used YouTube as part of their car buying process were influenced by what they watched. 
  • Mobile searches from dealership lots increased 46% in the last year.
  • Nearly Half of All Auto Review Videos Were Watched on Mobile Devices.
  • Video content on Dealerships’ websites will increase time on site and reduce bounce rates

Now that we have talked about the “Why” video is so important, let us discuss the “How”. Specifically, how can dealerships use video to take their organizations to the next level and not compete in their market but truly dominate their market.

Here are some of the most successful and profitable dealerships in the country with video:

The Atlantic Auto Group AKA The “New York Auto Giant” in Long Island, New York

  • Atlantic Auto Group is a $1.1 Billion Dollar Dealer Group
  • 22 (soon to be 24) roof tops. Domestic, import and High Line
  • The #1 Hyundai Dealership in the United States
  • The #2 Most Profitable privately held dealer group in the country

The Atlantic Auto Group, led by the eCommerce Director for the dealer group, Toni Anne Fardette saw the true potential of video production and invested in a full video production strategy by creating high quality but cost effective video production for all 22 roof tops in her dealer group. All of their roof tops use video for:

  • Value Package Proposition Videos “Why Buy From Us”
  • Dealerships tours
  • Comparison (conquest) videos
  • Offsite events, sales, community events etc…
  • Video email template library
  • HR / Recruiting videos
  • Social Media
  • Videos for their website(s)
  •  Staff Intorductions “About Us”
    • Sales
    • Internet / BDC
    • Service
    • Management
    • Sales / Specials
    • Special Events / Occasions

Toni Anne Fardette Reviews Dealer Video Production from Dealer Synergy on Vimeo.

RK Auto Group’s (Featured on the cover) Dealer Principal, Jim Gee and its GSM John Luciano saw tremendous value in video production enough to invest in a cost effective Dealer video production company to come to their dealership with a team of highly trained video production specialists that soley work with Car Dealerships and understand Automotive Internet Sales, BDC and the culture that goes with it. RK was able to showcase its beautiful dealership and their unique value package proposition with some of the most advanced video production technology and techniques at a fraction of the cost they thought it would cost.

RK Auto Group utilizes the same video production strategy as the $1.1 Billion Dollar Atlantic Auto Group. But unlike the New York Auto Giant, RK Auto Group is an average size Chevy, Kia & Subaru dealership in NJ.   One additional video strategy RK utilizes is to show public how altruistic they are. They are huge supporters of the community. In their “Why Buy From Us” video, they show and discuss how out of the 3,000+ Chevy dealerships in the country, they have been the #1 Chevy dealership for Chevrolet’s “Making Strides For Breast Cancer”… for the last 4 straight years!

Castle Auto Group is a 3 roof top Dealer Group in Chicago that generates 3,000 leads per month (Almost ALL of their traffic is organically generated) and delivers over 350 units online per month! Castle Auto Group has similar strategies as the other dealerships mentioned. Additionally they have an aggressive Video email template library in their dealership CRM. Internet Director Gus Medina and ISMs Mike Rodriguez and Oliva Montoya spent a lot time creating CUSTOM video email templates for follow up, and customer relationship management. Their video email strategy has increased email read opens and their appointment shows are AVERAGING 70% plus!! That is because they are utilizing video emails for ALL appointment confirmations.

AutoFlex Leasing in Richardson, Texas delivers 300+ units per month at over $3,500 per copy! They created a powerful video strategy (similar to everyone listed thus far). One of Dealer Principal, David Blassingame’s favorite videos is his dealership’s “Video TO”. That is right, he created a video himself where he says “I heard you are no longer are interested in a car from us… I hope it wasn’t something we did etc..”. He has that video set as an automatic action plan in his CRM and ANYTIME a sales person or BDC rep deads a lead for ANY reason, the prospect gets a “Video TO” from him directly. David says that has been one of the most powerful tools ever!

Even Sales Professionals are understanding the power of video. Jeff Cormier has the absolute most powerful website in the country for a showroom sales consultant, He has video throughout his website but one of the most effective uses of video is for both the new and pre-owned inventory. If someone goes to his website and clicks new or used car inventory and does NOT see what they are looking for via video he tells them not to worry, that the vehicle is probably in transit but if not he can get it for them within 48 hours etc… What is so amazing is that most dealerships don’t even set expectations for prospects if they do not find what they are looking for. And “Inventory” is the #1 visited place on a dealership’s website.

Type into Google “2014 Toyota Sienna NJ) and you will find a large video player first position natural Google and then in second position natural Google, there is another video listing. The punchline is… its for the HONDA Dealership! The local Honda dealership is conquesting ALL of the Toyota Dealerships in NJ and crushing them with this placement.

I can keep going with example after example. Please call me at 856-546-2440 or email me at for a free strategy session and a complete list of what kind of videos you should be shooting and where to use them at.







Sean V. Bradley, CSP

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