Real Walk-Around Video

Russ Chandler
Is anyone doing actual video of their vehicles on their website and/or third party sites? Everyone seems to have taken the step to get the "slide-show" type video, and with solid results. We all agree that video is good for SEO and capturing the customers attention and sometimes their information. Pro's and Con's to doing real walk around video? Is anyone doing it and why or why not?
Brian Pasch
Russ I think customized, live, walk-around videos will help car dealers stand out during the Zero Moment of Truth. Since most OEM websites looks the same, and the vehicle "showcase" pages all display a stock OEM photo, a video would give a local dealer the ability to stand out and better communicate their brand value. Doing your own videos should focus on a few basics like sound and lighting. An inexpensive wireless microphone will give clearer audio. This means your video camera should have an audio input jack. A nice video, microphone, and lighting setup can cost less than $1,000.
Bryan Armstrong
We will do live walk arounds which we e-mail to customers. The biggest issue I had with live walk-arounds is that I used Salesmen to do them. That being said, it caused contention when someone else sold "their" car. Doubly so if it came from an on-line inquiry. There was a lot of wasted time arguing about 1/2 deals after-the-fact. Silly reason to change it perhaps, bt until I hire someone whose is NOT commissioned and can do only that (as well as customer testimonials, service vids, etc. I'm waiting. Now that I read back over what I've written, it seems silly, but the reality is I need my people focused. I use callsource and have given a few people their own trackable # which will push those calls into the CRM as a lead. Perhaps that is the way to go... I'll let you know! Sorry for not answering your question, but thanks for getting me thinking. ;)
Russ Chandler
Brian Pasch>>I have already made a purchase, Sony HandyCam, and it does have the option for a wireless microphone. I'm working for a independent used only dealer so lighting is going to have to depend on some good weather. I think it is going to be the the and for now the dealers that do participate will really set themselves apart from the competition. Bryan Armstrong>>I feel your pain with getting the salesman to cooperate. We have an internal employee that handles taking photo's and putting up window stickers. They also double as detail when they can't fill their time with merchandising. We pay hourly + $7.50 per car that is merchandised. We decided to bump this to $12 per car and mandate a 1min video for each car. She is going to narrate 1st person on some and when there is salesman available, throw them in the video to do a quick version of the walk-around. Gives the salesman a chance to plug their name and information as long as they follow a general outline that we make everyone use for use for video. I think this will allow all salesman to get some face time online and give our dealership a very personal feel. It is much more efficient having the same person do video that is doing photo's, they already have the car out and are prepped for merchandising. Using the salesman intermittently will hopefully get that personal feel we are going for and get our salesman more comfortable with it. Using it in email is awesome and I love the idea. Once we can carry a 90% average of vehicles with video I plan on sending an email with video of the car they are interested in, to every customer we have an email address too. Any thoughts on length of video and script? I don't plan on doing much if any editing to keep time invested down, and a straight to the point feel. All of our cars already come with a edited video from with all that fancy stuff.
Adam Thrasher
We do live video walkarounds on every single used car on our lot using an iPhone with the Mobile Inspector app by cDemo. I'm working towards including new vehicles as well, but don't have the manpower right now. I firmly believe that a real video is better than a slideshow. The video quality on the new iphone 4s isn't as good as a true HD camcorder, but I don't think people need a studio quality video to "see" the car. We've been very pleased with both the photo and video quality that the Mobile Inspector app provides for us. It has allowed us to speed up the process of getting our inventory online significantly. We have a full time inventory person that takes the photos and videos with the app and posts each vehicle as soon as he has finished the video. On average the videos he does on the used cars are roughly 2 minutes long and the app does all the editing for us as well as posting it to youtube. It's pretty slick! You may want to take a look at it considering your setup. We switched from a traditional digital camera setup about 8 months ago and have been very pleased.
Charles Gallaer
Everyone here has posted excellent advice regarding video walk-around processes, equipment, etc. If you want another example of excellent video walk-arounds, go on YouTube and search for user Saabkyle 04. He's a pharmacy student who, I think, has a family member (parent, maybe) that owns a used car dealership. His videos get a ridiculous amount of views. He has a consistent presentation, quality, audio, etc and also examine how he tags each video, which helps these videos show up on YouTube. Granted, he's a YouTube "Partner" and that distinction certainly helps get his viewing counts up. But I still think there's an important lesson to learn by watching how he presents vehicles in his videos.

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