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Ralph Paglia

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Video has become the new Eye Candy of the web... Car buyers are attracted to it and many dealers have leveraged low cost or free video distribution sites to their business advantage... Let's take a look at how some of these sites stack up.

Many Automotive Digital Marketing professionals have asked me "How do I get started with using Video to attract customers?"... There are a lot of ways to leverage the car buying public's seemingly insatiable appetite for online video clips. Certainly the whole industry has by now been pitched on using video clips created by vendors like Unity Works Media and SiSTer Technology from your used vehicle images sent in by DealerSpecialties or CDM Data or any one of several used and new vehicle photo taking services... However, what about the kinds of videos that the Jeff Wyler Family of Dealerships uses to enhance communications with customers? Or, how about what Alvin Newton does with his team at Courtesy Chevrolet in San Diego?

Both of those innovative dealership teams have used fairly low cost technology in the form of a video recorder, which can be bought from as low as $199 plus tax. Now, I am not saying that everyone can become the Francis Ford Coppolla of dealership videos, but it does not take graduating from UCLA Film School to record a compelling message that connects with car buyers on a much more emotional and heartfelt level than the terse unemotional use of text in an email. What many of these dealers have discovered is that when car buyers watch your homemade video clip where you are personally addressing them and their needs, the development of a relationship between the people working in the dealership and the person shopping for a car online is greatly accelerated... And, as most of us know, when your relationship with a prospective car buyer grows... Kapoweee! You just sold a car!!!

So... How do you get started. Well, first of all, get yourself a video recorder and start having some fun with it. Make some videos that you can use to start building your library of video assets. I personally love the way that Kevin Frye and his team at the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, and a few other dealers, have used videos that address issues like:
- We've been trying to reach you by phone, please give us a call
- Thank you for buying a car from us, and we would like to get some referrals
- Thank you for sending us your inquiry, we are working on getting your information right now
- There's nothing quite like taking an actual test drive to really learn if the vehicle is right for you
- Are you still in the market for a new vehicle?

Once you have some video clips stored on your PC, you are ready to put them online... But, where do you put them? There are dozens of video hosting and file sharing sites to choose from. YouTube is probably the most famous, and is one of the best for people to just come across your video and find it by accident. But, if you are going to be proactively pushing your video clips out to customers, then you should take a look at a few other video sites and their potential for making it real easy to email video clips and plug them into blogs, social networks and your own dealership websites as well. When I was researching all these video hosting sites, I came across an evaluation of them from a purely user perspective. How well do they work? Are they easy to use? Do they let me email videos to my clients and customers? All these and many, many other qualities were evaluated and the list below was created to showcase the ten best video hosting sites at the time. This list makes a great place to start, and all things being equal, the more sites you upload your video clips to, the greater the liklihood of them being discovered and becoming a "viral marketing" phenomeno! Who knows, maybe YOU really are the Francis Ford Coppolla of dealership video clips, and you just need to be discovered!

Video-Sharing Sites Comparison based on technical competence, video resolution quality, storage capacity, ability to distribute and share, as well as other features related to the service and not related to how popular they are...

1. Blip.tv - http://www.blip.tv/
2. DivX Stage6 Beta - http://stage6.divx.com/
3. Brightcove (Personal) - http://www.brightcove.com/
4. Revver - http://www.revver.com/
5. Veoh - http://www.veoh.com/
6. MSN Video - http://soapbox.msn.com/
7. YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/
8. Vimeo - http://www.vimeo.com/
9. Jumpcut Beta - http://www.jumpcut.com/
10. MySpaceTV Beta - http://vids.myspace.com/

Listed below are evaluation rating summaries and a few notes on highlights of the features offered by each of these 10 video hosting sites used to determine the above rankings... Each image of their logos is linked to the video hosting site and opens their home pages up in a new browser window for you. I wanted this blog posting to be something you might want to bookmark because it gives you single click access to 10 of the most popular video sites. This could be used to quickly upload a dealership veido to all 10 hosting services from a single jump page, this one!

1. Blip.tv

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Superior/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Very Good

 

• File size/length limits: 100MB/none

 

Web video connoisseurs will like Blip.tv?s superior video feed quality and optional revenue sharing.

 

2. DivX Stage6 Beta

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Very Good/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Good

 

• Embedded player design: Superior

 

• File size/length limits: 2GB/none

 

Though its use involves a few extra steps, Stage6 supports high-def video and has a well-designed Web video player.

 

3. Brightcove (Personal)

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Good/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Superior

 

• File size/length limits: 100MB/none

 

Brightcove provides professional video management tools and a variety of revenue-sharing programs beyond opt-in advertising.

 

4. Revver

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Good/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Superior

 

• File size/length limits: 100MB/none

 

Using Revver is one of the easiest ways to make money from your video content. Its compact QuickTime files look better than its Flash conversions.

 

5. Veoh

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Good/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Very Good

 

• File size/length limits: none

 

Veoh impressed with a large and easy-to-use embedded player and its useful VeohTV desktop software.

 

6. Microsoft Soapbox on MSN Video

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Good/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Very Good

 

• File size/length limits: 100MB/none

 

Well designed and syncs with MSN Messenger. Unlike rival embedded video players, it has no full-screen mode.

7. YouTube

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Fair/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Good

 

• File size/length limits: 100MB/10 min.

 

Its video quality isn?t the greatest, but YouTube can't be beat for drawing the widest possible audience.

 

8. Vimeo

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Good /Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Very Good

 

• File size/length limits: 250MB/none

 

Easy-to-use Vimeo lets you make your original file--sized up to 250MB--available for download along with a streaming Flash version. Unfortunately, 250MB is also your weekly upload limit.

 

9. Jumpcut

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Good/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Good

 

• File size/length limits: 100MB/none

 

Uniquely remix- oriented, Jumpcut makes it fun to mash up videos, music, and photos from yourself or others.

10. MySpaceTV

 

• Price when rated: Free

 

• Video/Audio quality: Good/Very Good

 

• Ease of upload: Very Good

 

• Embedded player design: Good

 

• File size/length limits: 100MB/none

 

Best for those seeking video uploads to their MySpace blog or profile without the need for other sites. Others are better served elsewhere.

Dealers can enhance their Digital Marketing activities, build a better connection with their customers and sell more cars without spending more money!

 

 


 

earnest young
David, great article. I would like to know how much cars are sold on the internet through leads and how much for each of the 50 states. Do you have this data? thanks Earnest

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