If you want to sell more used cars and you’re already doing a great job with all the fundamentals, I mean:
you maintain your Website inventory in tip-top shape;
you already have all your units on Trader, CarGurus and all the other car portals;
you hopped on the Facebook Marketplace bandwagon and are featuring on the platform all your models;
and you run ads on classified sites like CraigsList and Kijiji;
What else could you be doing to crank up the used car sales volume if you wanted to launch a massive pre-owned sales event and double your usual sales volume this month?
The short answer: YouTube!
Are you reaching pre-owned vehicle shoppers on the 2nd largest search engine on the planet?
Now I’m not going to be talking in this article about the long term strategy you should have already embraced to make sure every single pre-owned unit on the lot benefits from a full walkaround video. As you probably already know, 94% of car buyers surveyed by Google watch videos on YouTube and 70% of car buyers who use YouTube to research their purchase are influenced by video content.
Wow! 94% of the people you’re trying to sell pre-owned vehicles are on YouTube watching videos influencing their purchase decision. These statistics alone should be enough to settle the case to make ongoing videos a must for your used car department.
Plus let’s face it, most of your competitors are sleeping at the wheel (PUN intended) when it comes to videos; which makes the opportunity even bigger for your dealership!
But what if you haven’t yet started, or what if your efforts were sporadical? Is there a way to jump-start your dealership’s presence on the second largest search engine on the planet and take advantage of this new advertising El Dorado to generate a record-breaking used car month?
The answer is a resounding YES! And in this article, I will breakdown the 3-step recipe I found to do it.
Step 1 – Forget specific units and make it an event:
The online used car game is normally based on specific units. People are looking for a particular year, make, and model; and your dealership will pop on their radar if you have that unit available in your online inventory.
In the recipe I want to share with you, we’re going to steer away from the specific models game and sell the dealership, and the reasons prospects should buy from you instead.
Do you have access to trade-in technologies that allow you to reach more buyers and wholesalers so you can pay more for trades? Do you finance people across the credit spectrum? Do you focus on a particular niche like trucks, families, or luxury? Do you offer unique reconditioning features? What about extended warranties, roadside assistance, insurance, or other Certified Pre-Owned advantages available if your used car department is part of a franchise store.
These are the features we want to focus on in the messaging of the videos.
To do this effectively, we’re also going to wrap up these “why buy” reasons into an event and give it a unique name that will get people talking. This will allow you to have a start and end date to your event which will create the urgency required to get potential prospects to take action during that period.
As an example, we’ve been successfully using the “Yellow Tag Sale Event” theme for years every February with one of our highly thriving dealers. We have been using it for off-site sales, indoor and outdoor sales and also for in-dealership used car events; always with the same effectiveness.
If you want to see an example of the Yellow Tag Used Car Sale concept you can check it out here.
Step 2 – Dominate YouTube by going for speed and quantity
If I were consulting with your store to help you find your used car walkaround video “voice & style” we would have a very different conversation. We would explore different approaches to help you create a distinctive look & feel that fits your dealership corporate culture. We would investigate the talent pool available at the store to figure out who are the ideal spokespeople. And we would build processes to assure the highest quality possible of your video content.
But in the case of the video jump-start solution we are expanding on in this article, we will go about your YouTube domination using a slightly different strategy. Instead of focusing on style and quality, we will go for speed and quantity.
Keep in mind this will not be your permanent modus operandi; it’s only to get you started. Let’s not forget that the goal here is to sell a ton of used cars this month, so time is obviously of the essence.
Here’s how we’re going to do it.
First, you will need to write a script presenting the event with the dates, your dealership, and the reasons people should consider your inventory. Make sure your script also has a strong call for action and sprinkle it throughout the video a few times. This technique will allow people to take action whenever they’re ready, instead of having to wait for the end of the video to get your instructions.
Don’t focus on any particular vehicle because we’re going to use the same audio script for every single vehicle.
Get a few people to read it over to make sure it packs a lot of punch, and it communicates the message effectively. The best scripts will range between one and two minutes.
Once your team is happy with the script, get the audio recorded using your smartphone’s recording app.
The next step will be to record a simple video of all the units you want to feature during the event.
Remember, go for quantity!
Again, using a simple smartphone (in landscape mode) start filming the vehicle beginning on the driver side, going around counterclockwise, always trying to keep the vehicle “in-frame” while you move around filming. Once you went full circle, open the driver side door and show viewers the inside of the vehicle.
You don’t need to worry about what you say while filming because we’re going to replace the audio from the video with the audio you recorded earlier featuring your event, and the “why buy” reasons.
Quick tips: try to film with a slight left or right angle instead of looking directly at the vehicle. This will allow you to avoid having your reflection in the footage of the video. Also, save the different video files using the year, make, model and stock number of the unit. This will save you time when putting it all together.
Once you have all your footage, you can use simple software like Adobe Premiere, Vegas, Camtasia or any other video editing tool you might already have to slap your audio on the videos and add a music bed and a little outro with your coordinates.
This tactic should allow you to put together easily between 30-50 used car videos in a day or two at the most. Just upload all of these to your YouTube channel using the name of your dealership with the year, make, model and stock number as the title, use the vehicle description from your Website for the YouTube description and include a hotlink to your used car section and the VDP. Finally, add tags with all the competing models, and you’re all good to go!
In the next step, I will show you how to use Google Ads to make sure every one of these used car videos is served multiple times daily to every pre-owned vehicle shopper in your market.
If you want to see an example of one of the “why buy” videos recorded by one of our dealers, and see how we packaged it with their walkaround footage, check the link here.
Step 3 – Launch a YouTube remote and take over the pre-owned conversation around your dealership
OK, now that all the hard stuff is done; it’s time to sell some used cars! To get the phone ringing and the showroom buzzing with traffic, we’re going to use Google Ads for video (formerly called Adwords) to serve your videos to used car buyers around your dealership.
If you’re familiar with the Google Ads platform, you can skip to the end of this article where I sign off sending you to used car sales nirvana; but if you aren't fully familiar with video advertising, let me provide you with a few pointers.
First, yes! You will be able to focus your ads on the specific area around your dealership. You can choose by city or areas, radius to your store, etc. You’ll never have to pay for ads for viewers outside of the geography you select.
Second, you will have the ability to target used car shoppers using numerous demographic filters and shopping behaviour. You will even be able to zoom in on people looking for specific makes or body types.
Finally, people will not have to be looking for automotive stuff or vehicle-related videos on YouTube to have a chance to view your used car video ads. Since Google owns YouTube, you benefit from the AI and Machine Learning of both organisations when running your ads on the platform. If somebody has been identified as a vehicle shopper by Google because they’ve shown signs of being in the market for a vehicle by visiting an OEM site for example, the next time they will go to YouTube to watch any video, they will have a chance to view your ad.
If you’re an advanced user, you will even have the ability to target your competitor’s Website traffic using Custom Affinity Audiences.
If you would like to learn more tactics to allow you to target the right audience using YouTube in-stream ads, make sure to check the link here.
If you carefully followed my 3-step recipe, every single used car vehicle shopper around your dealership will see your different videos each time they access YouTube. Since 94% of vehicle shoppers surveyed by Google use YouTube, you can start to imagine the impact your efforts will have in the marketplace.
Just make sure you start your video ads campaign a least a week before the start date if your event is only going to be running for a few days. You want to give the AI some time to build some momentum while it looks for the ideal shopper. Ideally, I would run the campaign for two weeks or even a month if you have enough inventory.
If you have any questions or would like me to help you put your next used car campaign together using the tactics I shared with you in this article, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Once you taste the power of video with this jump-start solution, you will be addicted to the results videos can have on your department!
Sean Cassy is the Digital Marketing Specialist and Co-Owner of Turbo Marketing Solutions. You can contact him by email here or reach him by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office