How to Craft an Automotive Paid Search Strategy
Where Good Dealers Fail in Automotive Marketing
Show all

4 Ways to Improve Your Automotive Video Marketing

The term “automotive video marketing” covers a lot of territory, but there are a few things you can do to improve efficacy and boost ROI across the board. The best videos don’t waste any time getting to the good stuff (as we will discuss), so we won’t either. Here are four ways to improve your automotive video marketing:


Boost Your Branding

As a dealership, your brand is everything. With so much competition, dealers have to stand out, or they’ll undoubtedly lose out. One of the best ways to improve the efficacy of your automotive video marketing is to perfect your branding on your videos.

For one thing, video is a great format to capitalize on your brand. After all, video makes an impression. A full 80% of customers remember a video they’ve watched in the last month. Capitalize on that memorability by making the branding in your automotive video marketing more impactful and engaging.


Here are some ways to improve your video branding:

  1. Open With Your Dealership

Start your video with a gorgeous shot of your dealership. Whether it’s a classic sweep of your showroom or a beautiful drone-captured shot from above, opening your video with your dealership cues the audience to think about your physical location. It set the stage for the video topic, associated your brand with any information to come, and makes a professional impression. This is even more effective if your viewers are local and already recognize your storefront.


  1. Be Human

Humans are social creatures. We respond to other humans on many more levels than we do objects. As a much richer medium than text or still images, video is naturally an excellent platform for humanizing your brand. Use this to your advantage. The person from your dealership who will be in the video should introduce themselves and set up the topic for the rest of the video. Your introduction should be very short and get right to the point. You could try something like:

“Hi there! My name is Rick Exampleman. I’m a service manager here at Anytown Motors, and today, I’m going to show you how to get your vehicle ready for winter weather.”


  1. Call To Action

Don’t forget to include a call to action. While the content you create should have real value to your viewers, it is still a marketing tool. If you are creating truly useful content, it should make your call to action more effective. Calls to action can be anything from requesting a shopper check out your inventory (with a link to your site), to asking them to follow you on social media, to just sharing the video. Vary your call to action by the video topic. If you create a marketing video giving a walk-through comparison of the 2018 F-150 models, you should probably link to your truck inventory or offer an incentive to come by the dealership. Consider something like:

“Still curious? Click the link below to explore these trucks for yourself on our website!”


“In love with one of these epic trucks? Stop on by Anytown Motors and mention this video, and we’ll take you for a test drive.”


  1. Have a Signature Sign-off

Don’t forget to say a quick goodbye, even if it’s just a quick sentence after your call to action. Signing out leaves viewers with a subtle reminder of your brand. The information you provided will be more strongly associated with your brand. That association of your brand with helpful information will make all your automotive marketing efforts that much more trusted and effective.


Branding will help improve the efficacy of your automotive video marketing, but it must be done well. Remember to keep your branding professional. You don’t have to sacrifice personality, but overly showy, time-consuming, or distracting branding will turn viewers off. Branding should be a pleasant side note in your automotive video marketing, not the focus.


Invest In Quality

When we say “quality,” we mean quality across the board, not simply video quality*. Increasing the quality of your content means increasing its value to consumers. How useful is this video to them? Why should they go out of their way to watch it? And extremely importantly, is it worth sharing with other people?

Not only does a high-quality video mean you have provided a valuable resource to your viewer, it means that you’ve increased your automotive marketing video’s chances of being shared. Video is shared 1,200% more than both links and text, combined, and it’s been estimated that 92% of people who watch mobile videos share them with other people. In order to take advantage of the enormous share-ability of video, you need to invest in quality.

So what does high quality video content look like? Above all else, it is useful.  Shoppers rely on video to be a generally fast and information-rich resource. In fact, 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions. People are using video to inform their purchase decision, so dealers need to create the kinds of videos that shoppers find helpful.


Here are the 4 most common (for a reason) types of videos for businesses to create.

  1. Explainers

These delve deep into the details and attempt to explain a situation or concept.

Example: A video series on vehicle financing, breaking down the different acronyms and terms, explaining the process, and giving your best tips for a painless experience.


  1. Product Demos & Walkthroughs

These videos focus on a specific vehicle or product and give a detailed walk-through of the features that make it special.

Example: A vehicle walk-through of the new Prius models.


  1. How-Tos

These videos explain “how to” do a specific task. You don’t have to explain exactly how to do something every time. You can also make videos with tips and tricks that users find equally helpful.

Example: A how-to video on “Basic Car Maintenance Everyone Should Know”


  1. Testimonials

These videos feature satisfied customers telling their experience at your dealership. Get creative, tell a story, and remember to use service testimonials as well as those for car sales.

Example: A video about the Martinez family’s car-buying adventure — featuring the actual family and the car they purchased.  


As you can see, improving the quality of your automotive video marketing isn’t necessarily easy. Thankfully, dealers have a distinct advantage in their video marketing. Your product is already loaded with emotional significance. Don’t hesitate to incorporate that sentimental connection people have to cars in your videos.

*Video production quality is enormously important. Always create your videos with the best equipment in your price range (when in doubt, go with slightly better than you think you need) and always shoot in landscape unless there is a very good reason not to.


When in Doubt: Short and Sweet

There are many reasons that videos lose viewers. Irrelevance, disinterest, dislike, boredom, impatience, or goal completion (if you answered their specific question/pain point before the end of the video) can all be reasons for viewers to stop watching your video. One of the major factors is naturally the length of the video.

The top 5% of videos retain an average of 77% of viewers to the last second. If that seems low to you, you might be surprised to learn that the average retention for all videos is 37%.

Videos that are too long for their purpose will lose viewers. It is essential to create videos of an appropriate length, and that length is almost always “very short.” We have short attention spans, but we’re also busier. Thus, there is a notable preference for short videos that offer condensed information.

So, just how short is ‘short’? Well, very short. The sweet spot varies from source to source, but the consensus is less than 2 minutes, preferably around 1 minute and 30 seconds. The data helps affirm this assessment. Last year, 56% of all videos published were less than 2 minutes long. Making shorter videos’ means more viewers will be exposed to more of your messaging, content, and branding because fewer people will abandon the video before it ends. Video over 30 minutes only retain 10% of their viewers to the end, but videos below 90 seconds retain around 53%.

90 seconds can seem incredibly short, but you can always serialize longer topics. If your specific video will be more than a couple minutes long, consider making a Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. If by some chance your topic or demonstration is going to be a pretty long process, you could even do steps. Breaking videos out into Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 … Step 12 can create lots of content in a highly digestible format. Now, this isn’t a tactic that should be blindly applied. If a step is ridiculously short and simple, it most likely does not need its own video. Remember: quality of content and value to viewers should always take priority.


Use Video Analytics For Optimization

Let’s say you’ve created excellent, high-quality content with attractive and engaging branding. Congratulations! That alone is a major improvement over most automotive video marketing and something to be truly proud of.

We’ll assume you’re doing most of your automotive video marketing on Facebook and YouTube (what we would recommend). These platforms both have great analytics tools that your dealership can make use of to improve the efficacy of your marketing videos.

Let’s take a look at YouTube.

Youtube's Analytics Menu

YouTube’s Analytics Menu.

On YouTube, one of the best pieces of information for improving your automotive video marketing is the viewer drop-off rate. Finding out how much of your video users typically watch can help you discover weaknesses in your videos. If you’re losing people right after your branding introduction, there’s probably something people don’t like about it. If people drop off suddenly once you’ve answered a specific question or gone over a common problem, that might be something people are using your video to answer, and you can capitalize on that.

You should also make a note of views over time. Check all your videos, and see which are increasing in viewership. What type of videos are these? How long are they? Who is in them? Identify the winning characteristics in your best performing videos and incorporate that into your ongoing automotive video marketing strategy.

Facebook has some tremendously useful analytics tools as well. These are best applied to help you optimize video length and determine the most effective and engaging content for your automotive marketing videos.

Go into Facebook Insights and you’ll be able to check out details of audience interaction like post reach, views, 30 second or longer views, the percentage of views that exceeded 30 seconds, and more. If the views were high, but the percentage of viewers that watched more than 30 seconds was low, this could be an indication you should optimize your marketing videos for a significantly shorter playtime, thus increasing the chances users will stay to hear your call to action.