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Dealers, Promote Your Videos By Hand

Video Promotions

After watching an amazing video that a client had prepared for their business, I asked how she was going to promote it. She said she already had it set to get blasted out to all of the social networks and posted on all of the video sites. I buried my head in my hands.

There's a big difference between automated video promotion and manual promotion. For those creating massive numbers of videos of items such as inventory, it makes sense to automate the bulk. When it comes to high-quality videos that took time to create, it should be done by hand. Here's how:

Start with YouTube

Some would say that it's best to put videos on proprietary players or other video sites like Vimeo. For the most exposure possible, it's best to start with YouTube. Get it up there. Do the right research and craft the title, description, and tags appropriately. Make it the best possible YouTube video you can.

After it's up and running on YouTube, wait a day or two before uploading it to other sites or other venues (including Facebook). The more plays and likes a YouTube video gets, the more visible it will be in the important places such as YouTube search and on the search engines themselves. Focus all efforts on the original upload first.


Blast it on social

There are two phases to this part. First, get it out on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest. If it's a truly important video that has some social sharing legs to it (i.e., not an ad for your store), invest in getting it exposed.

Once it's up on the important networks, set your calendar or put it in your social scheduling tools to post again in the future - a month or so is fine - as long as it's something that's not too timely.


Blog about it

This isn't just a matter of getting it out there on a stand-alone blog post with a quick caption. If it's an important video, talk about it. Write a story surrounding it. Encourage your readers to watch AND share it.

The blog post can then be promoted a week or so later on the social media sites similar to how you promoted it as a direct video in the first place.


Upload it

You should already have it out on the other video sites and possibly on your website's internal video player. Now, it's time to get it uploaded directly to Facebook. Don't spam it - if you posted it to Facebook from YouTube one week then followed up the next week by promoting your blog post, wait another week before uploading it to Facebook.

There's nothing wrong with repeating a message, but do it in a way that doesn't seem spammy. When you upload it to Facebook, don't do it with the same exact title and description that you put on YouTube or in your blog post.


Rinse, repeat

Unless it's a timely video, you can do the same thing (other than re-uploading it to the video sites) a month or more later. You can even write a brand new blog post about it. Get it out on Tumblr. Refer to it in other discussions or blog posts that aren't centering around the video itself.

Video promotions are best done manually if you want to maximize the exposure. It takes more time but it can yield exponentially more views if you do it right and have a solid video to promote.

Here's an infographic that discusses video tactics even further:

Video Marketing

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There is plenty of vanilla out there. As someone who explores various social media campaigns, techniques, and strategies on a daily basis, it gets pretty boring seeing the same old things being spun in slightly different ways. When something truly fresh comes along, I normally applaud.

When I saw Fiat's attempt at being bold on YouTube, I had to watch it again. And again. Each subsequent viewing I went deeper into analyzing what they were trying accomplish with the clever rap. They wanted to go viral, that was certain, and it worked. They're approaching 3 million views. They also wanted to relate to a demographic, and they probably did to some extent by mentioning many of the trials that mothers face when they transition into motherhood.

The only thing I couldn't figure out was whether or not the risk was worth the reward. They didn't hold very many punches, mentioning controversial topics such as fake orgasms and itchy thongs, and the funny play on words talking about dogs and gardening equipment as "bitches and hoes" brought the full spoof factor into play right from the beginning, but can it really do anything other than garner a few laughs and knowing nods of agreement? The challenges faced by mothers were never shown to be addressed by the stylish Fiat 500 other than the fact that this particular mother liked to drive one.

The risk, of course, is that some people will be offended. It's as clean as a spoof like this can get but there will be those who get a negative vibe about the brand as a result. This is fine and any time you take a risk with social media you're going to make people upset but there needs to be a greater reward potential to counteract the negatives.

Unfortunately, the video does not do enough to get positive sentiment for the brand. Mothers may associate with the video, even feel the pain, so to speak, but the positioning of the brand within the lyrics and visuals is not enough to bring the association full circle.

When Toyota came out with their Swagger Wagon video nearly three years ago, they did much more to accomplish the same goals. They created a video through which parents could relate, but also centered it around the vehicle itself. It was effective on both ends - controversial and funny enough to be watched (over 11 million views) without running the risk of offending many people. The Sienna was front and center through most of the video and not just a subtle background statement for the sake of lifestyle association.

Even the name itself was much better. There are those today who likely still call their vehicle their "Swagger Wagon", whereas Fiat naming their video "The Motherhood" does little to keep the video or the branding going once it falls off of people's buzz radar.

Creating a viral video for the sake of going viral is no longer an effective technique. It helps somewhat with branding, but even in that regard Fiat is too subtle without being powerful about it. There's nothing wrong with subtle branding when done properly. Pantene had a viral video that didn't mention the brand or highlight its effects until the end of the 4-minute video. It was effective because the storytelling throughout was powerful and the final minute where the star's hair is highlighted ended at the peak of emotion when the brand is finally revealed.

Fiat was close to having a successful video. Had they worked in the brand into the song itself, toned down some of the potential negatives, and showed that the vehicle represented some level of freedom and expression that their target audience craved, the effects would have been much better.

Watch the videos and you be the judge. Did they work?

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It’s pretty well known that YouTube is the second largest search engine with more than 4 billion views per day. While your dealership isn’t likely to produce the next “Gangnam Style” YouTube sensation, your presence on and use of YouTube can be part of a successful online strategy. If you allocate a significant budget towards SEO and SEM, you may want to think about allocating a percentage of it to increasing the number and types of videos on your dealership’s YouTube channel. Videos have been proven to engage customers, boost credibility and drive traffic to websites.


If you’re not already incorporating these five types of videos into your Internet marketing plans, consider adding them in 2013:


1)    Inventory. Posting inventory videos on YouTube is very effective when a link to your website and relevant search term keywords are included in the description. Also post the videos on your website and Facebook page. Then, post links from classified ads sites like Craigslist. Craigslist gets more than 50 billion views per month, and can drive traffic to both your website and Facebook page from customers wanting to view your inventory videos.


2)    TV commercials. Most dealers at some point or other have spent a significant amount of money on creating commercials. Are you maximizing that investment by uploading your old commercials to YouTube and posting them on your website? If a commercial was to promote a specific event such as a Labor Day sale, you may want to include something in the description that encourages customers to keep in touch for news about this year’s Labor Day sale.



3)    Videos that brand your dealership. Customers want to feel good about who they are buying a car from. Whether you brand yourself as the price leader, the honest, no-haggle dealer, or the small, family-owned dealer, have a professionally produced video that reflects this. Highlight your involvement in community service or incorporate humor if you can, and include your service departments by weaving in expert technician interviews or service advisor maintenance tips.


4)    Customer testimonials. Word of mouth and online reviews have tremendous impact on customer consideration. Potential customers want to know what your current customers have to say. What better way to advertise than combining both of these effective marketing methods in a series of testimonial videos? The key to making this successful is to keep testimonials current. If a customer sees that your last testimonial was posted more than six months ago, they may wonder if your service has been slipping.



5)    Personalized videos for lead follow-up. Have you ever received a personalized video message in your e-mail? I did recently and it got my attention. If you want a customer to think, “Wow, this person actually took the time and effort to create this video just for me,” then you may want to consider this idea. If you are a salesperson who is comfortable and personable on camera, sending a customized video to select Internet leads is a surefire way to outperform your competition.


Which types of videos have you found to be the most effective in increasing traffic to your dealership website? Are you able to track leads that come in as a result of your videos? 

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