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Before You Make a Video

Before You Make a Video

The video production process has never been easier or faster than it is today. Most smartphones are equipped with cameras that produce high-quality images; and if you’re making inventory videos, that might be all the equipment you need. Just walk around the car while giving an engaging presentation, upload the video to your video marketing platform, and boom, you’re done.

However, if you are creating other types of videos—such as value proposition, service special, or test drive videos—a little more thought and planning has to take place before you pick up the camera. But even the pre-production process is not difficult or time-consuming, if you know what you’re doing. Here are a few tips.

Define an objective. For each video, what is the primary message you want to convey? If you are making value proposition videos, choose one value proposition to convey in a video. For example, if your dealership is the low-price leader in your market, make that the objective and include several evidence-based facts to support the message. If you are making a video to promote a service special, make one video for each special.

Don’t try to cram too many messages into each video. Information overload means that consumers will remember less. Additionally, having one message per video allows you to use the videos in targeted marketing campaigns.

Part of the objective is the call to action. What action do you want the customer to take after watching the video? Whether it’s to call your dealership, click on a link to schedule an appointment, or watch another video, your call to action should be clear. Today, your CTA can even be a live video call using any device. Think about the power of being able to connect with a potential customer directly from the VDP!

Identify target audience. Dealers know who their core customers are and what appeals to them. Based on your dealership’s location, median income and other factors, decide the video’s tone, how formal or informal the video is, and types of vehicles to be featured in the video.

To script or not to script. This really depends on who is narrating the video. Some people prefer to read off scripts, others prefer to wing it. If the latter, use bullet points for the main information that needs to be conveyed.

Start with a quick introduction. Why should the consumer watch this video? What information will they learn? Then get right to the point and deliver the main message. Present supporting facts and anecdotes. If the video objective warrants it, create a sense of urgency, then deliver the call to action.

Storyboard. Next, plan a sequence of shots that reflect what is written in the video script. To provide visual variation, allow anywhere from five to ten seconds per scene, and then segue to another scene. Include scenes that feature people—preferably, happy and smiling employees—as much as possible. Videos with people in them are more engaging than videos without people. Finally, make a shot list that includes the location, angle, and length of the scene.

Choose equipment. Advanced video production requires lighting and microphones, and maybe even a professional video camera. Fortunately, these items are not expensive and it’s possible to get everything you need online to make a high-quality video for a price range of $1,000 to $2,000.

Chances are high that someone in your dealership is an aspiring photographer or video enthusiast. A spiff may be all that is needed to start producing high-quality videos that can be used on your website, in email campaigns and on social media. The more videos you have, the more customers you can engage, and the more customer trust you will build.

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In his role as VP of Partner Communications, Jason Ezell forms strategic relationships with digital marketing, website and CRM companies in retail automotive. Prior to joining FlickFusion, Ezell co-founded Dealerskins and Dataium, and held executive positions with DealerOn and Autotrader.com.

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