How important is YouTube to your dealership?

Collin Davis
I like to follow video trends in the automotive industry and I keep reading about how important YouTube is to dealers. However, what I'm reading and what I'm seeing-in-action seem to be two different things. Most dealers are running pre-roll ads on YouTube (paid), or just dumping their inventory videos on YouTube using a "spray and pray" approach (organic). Seeing the increase in millenial car buyers (overtook Gen-X by 2% in new car sales last year) I think video platforms like YouTube will become more relevant. The timing will enable the YouTube audience to sync up with the car buying audience, and then it'll expand into Instagram, Snapchat, etc. So... Do any of you find value in YouTube? How do you measure its value for you? Do you have someone dedicated to managing it or do you set it and forget it? If you don't find value in YouTube is it because you don't have time? Or have you just not seen the traffic/interest you'd expect? Perhaps it's still too early to tell, but just wanted to get an idea for who's big on YouTube, and who's not and why?
James Altemus
This is another one of those things that depends on your staff and their motivation. We post our TV spots and share videos from others on our YouTube channels, and our third party providers have channels our our behalf for their own inventory videos. Our using YouTube as a sales tool has been limited. We had a couple initially motivated sales people start with video lead response, but when it didn't net immediate results, they quickly gave up on it. Some of this comes down to not seeing any difference in customer response between the video lead response and the "traditional" written response. It also comes down to having staff that is savvy enough and interested enough in utilizing YouTube, or any social media in that case.
Collin Davis
Thanks James. In regards to not seeing results from lead responses with the video, were you just including a link to the YouTube video or was the video embedded (as a thumbnail image) within the email? This can have a profound affect on how well the emails convert.
Collin Davis
Also, for dealers who don't have time to bother with YouTube, would they outsource it as a managed service by a third party? I understand some already offer this with inventory videos, but that's not a true strategy wherein the content is getting seen or even adding value. It's just a "we'll post it but that's it" scenario. Inventory videos barely get any views either... especially since google lowered the weight of video search results from popping up. Not to mention the content has to be of high quality, too.
James Altemus
Therein lies the rub. Our current CRM (which if I'm lucky will be going away soon) and its related email service wouldn't allow embedding. In order to not get caught in Spam filters we went with a link. The perception was that the video reply had about the same response rate as the written reply, but involved a lot more work. Path of least resistance sometimes.
Collin Davis
How could a CRM/email service NOT provide the ability to use images? Is it because it's an older system? We've seen nothing but higher conversions on email lead responses when video was included as a thumbnail image (not just a link). I'm sorry to hear this!

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