10 YouTube Fundamentals

Google sign

We were lucky enough to attend Google’s Video Ignite event at the New York Chelsea office. It was a great event packed with a ton of useful content that we would like to share with you!

Video has been gaining popularity for quite some time now; video even had its own section at Think Auto this year, which was a first. Most of us would agree that we would rather ‘watch’ the internet as opposed to ‘reading’ it, but how do you become successful at utilizing video? Karolina Chodkiewicz, Senior Strategic Partner Manager, YouTube Content Partnerships North America with Google was so kind as to share the top 10 fundamentals of YouTube:

  1. Shareability
    Does your video appeal to users in a way that will encourage them to share you video? Having great content is key, and here are a few things to keep in mind when developing a strategy for your video: is it topical, is it valuable, and is it relatable?
  2. Conversation
    Is there an element of your video that speaks directly to your viewers? This could be content added in the main video or as supplementary content. Think of calls to action and video descriptions!
  3. Interactivity
    Are you able to incorporate your viewers into your content? Are you able to spark a conversation in the comments section and get them involved with what you’re doing?
  4. Consistency
    This is probably the hardest fundamental: updating your video content regularly. We all get busy and forget to make time. Having a schedule and specific video format in place will be key. You also want to make sure you’re portraying the right personality and voice in all of your content.
  5. Targeting
    Do you have a clearly defined audience? You can set your targeting at the video level, show level, and even channel level. Targeting your videos will give you more opportunity to speak to different audiences.
  6. Sustainability
    If the audience loves it, can you make more of it? Meaning, if you spend $40,000 on a video that everyone loves, do you have the resources to keep making videos to that level? Can you continue to hire the right crew for your video?
  7. Discoverability
    Will your content be found? Not every video can go viral, but are you choosing topics that are trending or evergreen (like how-to and DIY videos). Go check out google.com/trends to kick-start those creative juices!
  8. Accessibility
    Can every single video be appreciated by a brand new user or do they need to sit there and watch multiple videos to understand what you’re trying to get across? If you want your content to be shareable, you will want to make sure it’s accessible as well.
  9. Collaboration
    Is there a way to feature guest stars? More and more viewers are relating to YouTube Creators as being more like them compared to traditional celebrities. This means that they take their opinion seriously!
  10. Inspiration
    Is the idea for this video coming from a genuine place of passion and does it fit your overall brand? You want to create unique content that aligns with your brand identity and excites your viewers!

Karolina and her team researched the top performing YouTube channels and found that they all incorporated a combination of these 10 fundamentals which were key to building their success. We’re not suggesting that you need to incorporate all 10 of these items in every single video, but keeping 2 – 3 in mind is definitely a good place to start.

If you’re looking to get some videos created and would like some help coming up with a strategy, don’t hesitate to give our team a call!

Up Your Video Game with Facebook 360

Facebook 360The next big thing in vehicle walk-around videos won’t merely showcase your vehicle from multiple angles; it will flaunt the vehicle from every single one of the 360 degrees.

Introducing the brand-new, open-sourced Facebook 360-degree video camera!

Right now, even the most progressive dealerships in the country are using some sort of spinning platform with different areas where you can attach lighting for best results. This contraption raises the vehicle off the ground and spins the car so you can capture it from different angles.

The new Facebook 360-degree video technology will take consumers’ increasing demand for more photos and video to a whole new level with full 360-degree video. They are claiming this is the “best camera of its kind”.

 

The How & Why with Facebook 360-Degree Video:

The Facebook 360-degree video camera is built with 17 component cameras: 14 wide-angle cameras on a flying saucer, 1 fish-eye camera on the top, and 2 more on the bottom. Using web-based software and new techniques in filming, you’ll be able to “stitch” images together and bring your customer into the vehicle in a new way. Facebook has created a webpage with helpful tips and tricks, best practices, and success stories to help you get the most out of Facebook 360-degree video: https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/get-started/360-video.

Facebook is saying they’re not interested in jumping into the camera-manufacturing space, so they’ll be putting the open-source designs on GitHub sometime this summer. There are a few other companies in this space that have designed versions similar to the Facebook 360-degree video camera, but so far, there has been no comparison of video quality between them all.

Nikon – http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/action-cameras/index.page

GoPro – https://gopro.com/spherical

Nokia – https://ozo.nokia.com/

The future of video shows a clear path into 360-degree viewing and virtual reality. If you haven’t started doing videos of your showroom and dealership, get filming and give the people what they want! What are you waiting for?

In the meantime, check out some AMAZING Facebook 360-degree videos other industries are doing: https://www.facebook.com/Facebook360/timeline.

Leaving a Google Review Just Got Easier

We all know how important online reviews are, and Google just made it easier for users to leave reviews on your Google+ page.  Google+ accounts are no longer required for leaving reviews, and Google is now allowing users with just a Google account to leave reviews.  Users now have the ability to use either a Gmail or non-Gmail based account to post about their experiences.  The only requirement is users must display both their first and last name.

Your clients no longer need Google + to leave reviews!

This small change will make the review process easier, and will open the door for more of your customers to leave reviews!

Testimonials: Are They Still Relevant?

Are your website or marketing campaigns failing to generate business? How do you convince uncertain buyers that your product and services meet their needs and expectations? How do you persuade them that they are right to call on your services and right to trust you?

One of the most effective ways to persuade a potential customer is to show credible testimonials.

Why is this?

How often do you hear the following statements: “I’m not much of a car person”, or “I don’t know much about cars”. Now, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What do you do when you need to buy a product you don’t know much about?  What is your initial reaction when you are searching for an expensive product or service? According to Google’s Think Auto data, 48% of people consult the internet for vehicle information, and 25% consult their family and friends for this information. This is because prospective clients want to mitigate as much risk as possible. When we are faced with a tremendous amount of vehicles to choose from, we all want to make the “right decision” and avoid making a purchasing mistake.

Loyal customers have a story to tell. Give someone who has already made a similar purchasing decision a chance to tell their story in front of the cameras and showcase what’s great about your dealership.

These testimonies will play a huge role in reassuring customers of their decision making throughout the buying process. That being said, not all customer testimonials are created equal. Unfortunately, many false recommendations circulate on the web, which makes it even more important to make sure your customer testimonials are credible and authentic.

Once you are ready to reap the benefits of a strong video testimonial, get on YouTube! This medium is greatly underutilized by Canadian car dealers. The potential to drive a lot more traffic and inexpensive pay-per-click rates are the two components that make YouTube a great tool for delivering video advertisements.

And guess what? Here at Strathcom Media, our automotive video production team will come right to your  dealership with the proper equipment to produce high-quality videos without disrupting your day-to-day operations. All you need to do is have your vehicles (and any featured customers) detailed, polished, and ready to film. We will edit your videos to your satisfaction, and then optimize them for search engines to help you get the most views possible.

Check out one of our testimonial videos below!

Getting Started: 5 Tips for Using Instagram At Your Dealership

Instagram-256

A few months back, Instagram hit 400 million users, making this mobile photo-sharing app officially larger than its rival Twitter. The growth in user-base isn’t slowing either, as it only took nine months for Instagram to achieve its last 100 million users.

If you are already leveraging social media platforms, you are more than likely using Facebook and maybe even Twitter. But you have ever thought to use Instagram to engage with your customers and develop brand awareness? Today, companies are increasingly turning to Instagram to engage consumers and boost their image.

SHOULD MY DEALERSHIP BE USING INSTAGRAM?

We have all heard the expression: A picture is worth a thousand words. The use of images is a great way to tell stories, and stories are much more effective in engaging people to generate an emotional response. Instagram is a great opportunity to differentiate yourself in the marketplace by expressing experiences that define your brand.

In this video below, you can see how the Instagram’s advertising tool (carousel ads) gives brands the ability to create a story using photos.

Needs some ideas on how to use Instagram to promote your brand? Here are some of the ways other brands are leveraging Instagram as an essential part of their marketing strategy

  • Show off your Inventory

Use Instagram to show a collection of your products. See how Chevrolet highlights their line up: https://www.instagram.com/chevrolet/

  • Demonstrate what your products can do

Use Instagram to increase demand by showing customers some highlights features of each model. Initiating an Instagram contest can work wonders in engaging your customers. For example, users can share photos of them in their car or using cool features.

If you would like to highlight your service department, show the impact of your work before and after.

  • Introduce your employees

Consumers are often daunted by the car buying experience. Performing a campaign highlighting the staff of your different departments within your dealership will help put a face to your brand and put consumers more at ease when they come for a visit.

  • Create anticipation

Share “teaser” photos to satisfy the consumer’s curiosity and to create anticipation for your new model launches. Remember to use popular and trending hashtags. This will make it easier for users to find your Instagram campaigns.

  • Highlight satisfied customers

Highlight a customer’s post-purchase satisfaction. Customers have a story to tell so give them a chance to tell their story in pictures and showcase what’s great about your car dealership. These images will play a huge role in reassuring customers of their decision making throughout the buying process.

Conclusion

Does managing an Instagram campaign still seem like a daunting task? Are you still unsure of where to start your campaign? Let Strathcom Media help you leverage this major social media outlet so you can better connect with your customers. Contact us today to find out more about our popular Instagram package.

Is Peach the Next Great Social Network?

Peach Social Network
Peach Social Network

Just when you thought you had an account for every social media platform out there, yet another app has been launched over the weekend. From the co-founder of Vine comes a new social media platform called Peach. So, what the heck is Peach and why should you download it?

Peach combines aspects of other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter – for instance you connect with “Friends” and you can “Tag” your favorite shows – but there are several features that make it unique. You can draw a picture with your finger, you can share the amount of battery life remaining on your phone, and you’re able to post faster with Peach’s “Magic Words” feature. For example, you can share a GIF by typing ‘g’, or switch to Safari by typing ‘sa’. However, one of the most unique aspects about Peach is that it is solely an app, meaning that posts cannot be viewed publicly. All content is only available to “Peaches”, and Peach is currently only available on iOS. Professor of media design at Parsons School of Design, David Carroll, described Peach as a “privately-owned walled-garden”.

If you are looking for an app that has a little more privacy, that allows you to be creative, and that encourages sharing among friends, then this new app is peachy-keen.

Nissan’s Selfie Friendly Vehicle

Say cheese! Soon you won’t need a smart phone to take a selfie with your vehicle.  Nissan has recently unveiled “Teatro for Dayz”, the first selfie-friendly vehicle.  Free of knobs and buttons, this car was designed to appeal to a younger generation.


Continue reading “Nissan’s Selfie Friendly Vehicle”

Turn Pictures into Cash with Instagram Ads

Since 2013, many big brand companies have been taking advantage of Instagram’s 400+ million member community by sharing high quality, image-rich content while driving results that matter. Thanks to the great success of these campaigns, Instagram has opened up their advertising product to all advertisers, internationally. No brand, budget or idea is too small to take advantage of this next wave of social media advertising.

Turn Instagram ads into happy customers and increased revenue!

Continue reading “Turn Pictures into Cash with Instagram Ads”

Strathcom at Dreamforce 2015!

What do you get when you take 160,000 people and stuff them into San Francisco for a week? One of the largest software and technology conferences in the world: Dreamforce!Strathcom was proud to attend Dreamforce '15

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Twitter 101: Why do I need to be on Twitter Anyway?

Many dealers have seen how Facebook can help them sell more cars and get better and closer access to their customers. But what about Twitter? Can the 140-character sharing site and land of the hashtag drive customers to their dealerships in the same numbers?

Well, Twitter has fast become a major marketing tool, and this post will help you wrap your head around a few reasons why you don’t want to miss out.

1. Be Seen by Millions

Effectively communicating on Twitter means your business or product could be seen by millions of users—230 million to be exact. An interactive presence creates stronger brand ties than simply seeing an ad in the newspaper or a commercial.

Many businesses still underestimate the effect Twitter has on its users.The fact is that 71% of users purchase products from brands they follow on Twitter.

76% of users are connecting with mobile devices. – Twitter Business

Iphone

 

A customer may follow an account after seeing an informative and interesting tweet and this ‘follow’ connects them

to your dealership. Someday this customer may need a vehicle, and your dealership will be the first to come to mind.

2. Scale your Customer Service

A major upside of having a Twitter account for your dealership is it scales your customer service team so more than just one person can answer reviews and inquiries.

This gives your business the ability to spread customer service responsibilities across yo

ur team and gets more employees actively engaged. Twitter is essentially a platform for users to share their thoughts, and customers will appreciate instant responses from a dealer if they did not have a favourable experience.

Remember, users are far more vocal on social media than they are on regular review boar

ds. By quickly replying to their tweets, you can help your business establish itself as a community-centric dealership.

3. Showcase Your Dealership

Another great aspect of Twitter is its ability to showcase the sights of your business.

Rather than rely on unreliable foot traffic to showcase the brand new Corvette you have sitting in your showroom, Twitter gives you the ability to tweet a picture of its bold yellow curves and entice Twitter followers to come in and check it out right away.

But why stop there? Do you have handsome staff? Does your dealership look great lit up at night? Are customers having a fantastic time playing one of your colourful promotion games or driving off in new wheels? Snap a pic and tweet it for others to share!

Twitter gives a dealership the ability to share their passion for vehicles, which—in turn—creates a more human connection to the brand.

Twitter for dealers
Source: approvedautoleads.com

4. Market to Mobile

As mentioned earlier, 76% of users access Twitter on a mobile device.

That means they are browsing on-the-go. If you can catch a user’s eye and entice them

to stop by on their way home from work, this may turn into a possible sale.

86% of Twitter followers are more likely to make a future purchase from your business.

It is important to develop your voice on Twitter. Always remember to match your voice with your audience. Users will likely follow your account to learn about new products, but also to learn about the type of people they will be dealing with if they come into your dealership.

To find out more on how Twitter is fast-becoming an essential tool for auto dealers check out some of our other posts!

Social Media for Dealerships — Strathcom Meets Auto Marketing Consultant, Ryan Holtz

We were recently lucky enough to sit down for a half-hour chat with Ryan Holtz, the internationally recognized automotive marketer and social media consultant.

Check out what Ryan had to share with Strathcom’s own Duncan Cochrane about the often uncertain and puzzling yet crucial marketing realms of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and more including:

  • Why should your dealership be on social media, and who should manage your account?
  • How can you get more likes and followers?
  • What’s the next big thing in social media for 2014?

But, most importantly, does this actually sell cars? Here’s the full interview (click on the links to view the video in parts):

What Are Hashtags and How Do I Use Them?

What is a Hashtag? You’ve probably heard about hashtags, and you may or may not know what they are, or how they work. What is Hashtagging? Basically it involves tagging a word, series of words, video or picture by using a hash mark (#). For example, #BMW or #Ford. The #sign makes a searchable tag and allows users to search for a particular subject.

Hashtags2

Who Uses Them?

GooglePlusHashtags

According to a survey from RadiumOne, “Unlike other forms of social sharing, hashtags implicitly reflect customer sentiment and are one of the most powerful ways consumers have to vocalize their tastes and preferences at scale in a real-time fashion,” said Kamal Kaur, vice president, mobile at RadiumOne. “We conducted this survey to help advertisers better manage their brands by responding to the needs and wants of their client base through winning hashtag campaigns.” Key findings from the survey, which polled the opinions of 494 participants, include:

  • 58 percent of respondents utilize hashtags on a regular basis, and 71 percent of regular hashtag users do so from their mobile devices.
  • 43 percent of respondents think hashtags are useful and 34% use them to search/follow categories and brands of personal interest.
  • 51 percent of respondents would share hashtags more often if they knew advertisers awarded discounts for sharing product-based hashtags.
  • 41 percent of respondents use hashtags to communicate personal ideas and feelings.

Google has just announced they will now allow you to search for Google+ posts by using hashtags. This means users will now be able to search for hashtags like #Dodge and get a list of relevant Google+ posts in the right-hand sidebar.

How Are Hashtags Different from a Regular Search?

You can be found by an entirely new audience. Hashtags let users search through everything that is public. As a result, people who don’t even know your store or your page could find you if you are using the correct hashtags. Use your dealership name and your primary keywords as hashtags. Example: #GothamMotors #Cadillac #Buick #CarRepair. Use them on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Vine, Instagram, etc.

Hashtag Etiquette


Hashtags can be ridiculously annoying; just ask Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. So make sure you do it right:

  1. Don’t use too many words — ain’t nobody got time for that! #Checkoutthelatesttoyotacamryinyeg is not something people are looking for. If you have to use a couple of words, make sure you capitalize each word, like #FuelEconomy and #FordFusion
  2. Don’t tag every word. #We #are #having #a #private #sale is ANNOYING.
  3. Don’t tag something just because it’s trendy, especially if it’s unrelated. “I bet #Miley would love this Chevrolet Cruze! #wreckingball” — NO.
  4. Try to put them at the end of your post. It looks better and is not annoying to the reader.
    We’re having a customer appreciation BBQ. Come on by! #GothamMotors #BBQ #GothamEvents

HashtagsFollowers

Strathcom Tip: If you want to see where a lot of your branded car terms are being hashtagged, check out tagboard.com this awesome site searches all the social sites to show you a list of hashtag results!

Tagboardscreenshot

 

Do People Use Social Media in Their Car Buying Process?

I run into a lot of people who don’t “believe” in Social Media. They don’t believe that one can market, attract customers and build relationships on multiple social media mediums. No offence to those of you out there, but not “believing” in social media is like not believing in the internet.

The Internet Should Be Shut Down

I  ran into an American couple in Costa Rica who told me they thought the Internet plug should be snipped because it was ruining their local pool business in Minnesota. He said his business was being ruined because of other pool companies that were on this thing called “the Internet.” This was in 2012 not the late 1990’s. It’s mind boggling that people believe something should be obliterated or think it doesn’t work because they don’t know how to use it or because they don’t use it themselves. Instead of wanting to shut it down, this fine gentleman could have simply adopted this new craze — “The Internet” — and started selling his pool systems online.

Shut down the internet

To Believe or Not to Believe

When it comes to Social Media, if you don’t like to share your life with your friends and family, it doesn’t mean nobody else does. There are plenty of people who wish to share every second of their lives with everyone. There are those that like to use Social Media to ask questions and some who like to use Social Media to keep up-to-date with the latest LOLCAT. Whatever type of social media-er you are, there are all sorts who are using social media in the car buying process. Because of the Internet, people can research cars before stepping foot in a dealership, and over 90% of people now use the Internet before buying a car. Here is an example right on my Facebook page of how people really DO use Social Media in their decision period before buying a car: social media & car buying #1 social media & car buying #2   That’s 18 replies and over 12 vehicle recommendations including a magic school bus that runs on unicorn farts! These people are advertising vehicle brand for free! This is why, as a car dealership in Canada, you should be advertising and readily available on Social Media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to answer questions that potential customers may have while they are researching cars online.

Online Reviews

The above feed also suggests the importance of pushing for online reviews. Each reply to my friend’s question is basically a short online review for an SUV or van that they trust and are happy with. People trust their friends and family. Online reviews also help with the ranking of your Google+ Place page and your website. Reviews are very important for your business, however you do not want to pay or give out prizes in exchange for reviews. If Google or Yelp catches a business doing this, they will pull your reviews and may publicly shame your business. Here are some ways to get more reviews and keep them positive: 1. Post signs in your dealership saying you are on Yelp, Google+ and Apple Maps 2. Provide your clients with links to your Yelp and Google+ review pages on your website or in email signatures 3.  Let your clients know that if they are happy with their experience with you, they can review you online 4. If by chance you get a bad review, reply to it and help resolve the issue. If your customer’s issue is resolved, they will often take down the negative review. Reputation management is very important for your local dealership!

Online Reviews

For more questions Contact Us today!Contact us for more information on Social Media for your car dealership

  Happy Social Media-ing!   ~ Samantha Goettel

What We Learned at DealerTalk 2013

DealerTalk 2013
Credit to Grant Cardone for the picture.

DealerTalk was a huge success and we were ecstatic we could help sponsor it. We’d like to give big thanks to Kijiji for making an absolutely fantastic event this year! Everyone who was lucky enough to attend got an inside look at some of the latest automotive internet marketing strategies, and there’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in our industry.

The Four Seasons was an excellent venue and we all enjoyed sumptuous food and a great atmosphere.  Of course, we weren’t there just for the food. We learned some valuable lessons from the leaders in strategic automotive marketing:

1. Retargeting in the Real World

Paul Potratz was our first speaker, and just as promised he gave some valuable insights on how effective retargeting can bring back potential customers, and we learned some creative methods of targeting different types of online customers.

2. Social Media Clinic

Scott Monty set the record straight in his social media discussion, where we looked at some great examples of successful social media campaigns in the industry. He showed us examples of several creative Ford campaigns that had the analytics to back up their success. You can check out Scott Monty’s blog [http://www.scottmonty.com/] to see his social media insights for yourself.

3. Break Time

Jay Onrait from TSN was our lunch time guest, and he was absolutely hilarious. The two things we took away from it are that you have to be yourself, and that O’Toole doesn’t take road trips.

4. Dominating Your Market

The third speaker was Grant Cardone, a very engaging and energetic speaker in person. His message was to pull out of obscurity and dominate your market. Don’t try to compete, he says. Rather, dominate the market. And that doesn’t mean trying to provide the lowest price (a big mistake). Even if you’re successful in your market, you should be focusing on how to keep your customer’s interest.

5. Empower Your People

Our fourth speaker was John Edeleman who runs an extremely successful non-franchised dealership by his own rules. John empowers his people his customers and his community and has had tremendous success doing so.

We will be sharing these valuable lessons in the coming year with our clients. We were so happy we could sponsor such a fabulous event and we look forward to joining you next year to keep up with automotive dealership trends at DealerTalk 2014!