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A video-related dividing line in our industry

Neil Pascale, Columnist
August 14, 2013
Filed under Features

A fellow industry member once stopped me at a dealer show and told me I was his favorite bathroom read.

“Seriously,” he said.

How do you respond to that?

I mention this not to provoke whatever tasteless joke that immediately came to your mind (and mine!), but to give you proper notice: This will be will one column that needs to be read by a computer. Why? Because I want you to go to your web browser and type in: http://bit.ly/12z4vRd

Watch this YouTube video — it’s a fairly quick one.

Then, type this one in: http://bit.ly/120tD8n

For this one, just watch the first 10-15 seconds of it.

Once you’ve done that, I want you to consider two things:

1. Neither of these videos had a summer blockbuster budget to pull them off. The visuals are certainly not bad, and the second one is actually fairly exhilarating, like you’re seated on the bike yourself. But let’s be honest: You and I could produce these videos if somebody gave us the equipment and said, “Go to it.”

2. It’s extremely likely that more than 100,000 consumers viewed those two videos. Maybe even 150,000. Seriously.

The staggering popularity of online video has become a dividing line in our industry, a fact many of us are either not aware of or have not accepted. Regardless of which camp you sit in, here is what you need to know:

• There are more adults watching YouTube than any network TV station, according to numerous online reports;
• This acceptance of video is drastically changing the retail marketing landscape. According to a report on Mashable.com, in three years, companies’ ad spend for digital video marketing will double to $8 billion. Yes, billion.

What does this mean to us? It means we’re seriously hurting our chances of selling a unit if we’re not providing video of our units as part of our online marketing. Or maybe I should approach this from a different prospective: If you’re providing videos on your website and on CycleTrader.com for your unit marketing, you’re way, way ahead of the overwhelming number of dealers who don’t go to this step.

Want proof? In a recent Dominion Powersports Pulse webinar, we studied this exact issue. We did a comparison of dealers in Texas with similar brands. Both dealers were listing their units on CycleTrader.com. One dealer had more than 300 units listed online, but no videos of those units. The second dealer had approximately half the number of units listed as the other dealer, but one-third of those units had videos. Turns out the second dealer’s listings received 155 percent more consumer actions (a click from a search result to an ad detail page) than the dealer who had twice as much as inventory but no videos.

Knowing one such comparison wouldn’t sway many of you, we did a second one. Again, two Texas dealers with similar brands and models. Only this time both dealers had a similar number of units. Again, only one of the dealers had videos on their unit listings. And again, the dealer with videos is seeing a huge, huge advantage in consumer actions on their listings — they had nearly 200 percent more consumer actions on their listings vs. the other dealer.

Can you imagine what that means in the difference of leads one is receiving vs. the other? How about in terms of sales revenue?

Yet many of us will delay even looking into video production, even though your website provider should already possess a tool that lets you easily post a video to multiple places, including YouTube and your website. So let me dissuade you from delaying by telling you a couple of important things about video production that we discussed on the aforementioned Dominion Powersports webinar: 1. It’s not expensive. You can shoot acceptable video with your smartphone, and even a decent video camera and equipment can be had for $500; 2. It’s not time-consuming. One dealer said it takes him about a half hour to do one video; 3. It can be done with a small staff.

The dealer I referred to is Mainland Cycle Center. Their general manager, Albert Crow, told webinar audience members his rural Texas dealership has 12 employees yet still manages to take video of every one of his new and used units.

Two years into this effort, Mainland Cycle Center has nearly 1,500 consumers following him on YouTube and nearly 3 million video views. Three million!

“It’s really not a question of if you’re going to do video,” Albert said during the webinar, “it’s a question of when are you going to start doing video. You just have to start somewhere.”

Start today.

Neil Pascale is the Business Development Manager for Dominion Powersports Solutions, a dealer service company that includes PowerSports Network, Cycle Trader, Traffic Log Pro, Ziios and Dominion Insights. He can be reached at neil.pascale@dominionpowersports.com.

 

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