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Use Video to Develop a Brand that Sticks with Your Customers

Drew Clifton is an independent digital marketing consultant and practitioner. His clients include the RVT.com Buy & Sell RV Marketplace. He has also contributed to RV Executive Today and RVAdvertiser.com.

What do Starbucks, Google and Ikea all have in common?

They’re sticky brands.

What do I mean by “sticky”?

Well, they tend to leave a particular impression on us, causing us to remember them, and, in many cases, we end up choosing them for business over their competitors — sometimes even when their competitors may be qualified to help us with a similar level of service. And sometimes even when their competitors are cheaper.

But did you know that RV dealerships can be sticky, too? The difference these sticky impressions can make to a business’ bottom line can be significant.

In this blog I’m focusing on the power of using video as a spearhead to sticky brand building, but there are many factors that need to work together.

In fact, I like to think of video as just the coverage layer for an already dynamic and community- and industry-involved business. That is, the hope is that you should already be doing some exciting things – video just helps you share it with the world. And if you’re not doing exciting things, then maybe this blog will serve to nudge you into doing something worth sharing.

Start With Why

Don’t break out the lights and camera just yet. Without a clear strategy chances are nobody will care.

First, you want to get up to a higher level and start with the “why”.

If you’re a bit confused about what I mean, there’s a whole book on the topic from Simon Sinek, and an inspiring TED Talk, too.

First, “Why does our dealership exist?” As Simon (Sinek) says, “to make a profit” is not the answer we’re looking for here.

Now, you may be well ahead of the curve here; the answer to this one may just roll right off the tongues of everyone on the team … but maybe not. That’s OK.

Other “whys” might include:

·         “Why are we reaching out to our audience with a message?”

·         “Why do we want to use (or include) the medium of video to convey our message?”

·         “Why will anyone care?”

If you can answer all these, you’re already in a better marketing position than many – and in a sense, this is all about positioning.

Now, I fully understand that these things may seem a bit “soft and squishy” to some, but having a degree of understanding in regard to these kinds of questions should help set you up for success and make media production go smoother. And, once these are all answered clearly, you can, in good conscience, begin answering the other questions like “what,” “how,” “who,” “when,” etc.

So, sticking to video, let’s try to at least answer this “why” in some general terms:

·         It’s obviously one of the more powerful and digestible media forms.

·         If done well, it can boost engagement, trust, and sales.

·         Video is shareable.

·         Video is very flexible in terms of content and purpose – which means it can also serve as press fodder.

·         It holds the dealership accountable to be proactive, i.e., to say and do things that are worth shooting.

·         Having a strategy for creating and sharing well produced video is likely to produce a competitive edge.

Engagement, Trust and Sales

Regarding engagement, trust and sales, I want to delve into this bullet point a bit, because these are three words are all key in producing brand stickiness.

Engagement

Engagement may be a slippery term for some folks, but it means just what it sounds like — someone has engaged with your brand (i.e., done something on purpose in your direction). They have moved from being, say, a passive “ad impression” to becoming an active participant, even contributor. This might mean watching a video, filling out a form, picking up the phone, liking or commenting on your Facebook content, etc., etc.

Video content has high engagement metrics. There’s also what I could call “inner engagement” or “mental engagement”— this is where the viewer becomes mentally engaged with your brand, but doesn’t immediately take any outward actions in your direction. As such, this kind of engagement may or may not be measurable until some form of external engagement “leaks out” (for example, they come visit the dealership lot).

Trust

Trust is a biggie. There may be different types of trust, but the good news is that pretty much any trust is good trust. For example, a customer might trust that you are going to perform thorough, honest, equitable repairs. Or, they might trust you in the sense that they trust your knowledge of RVs and the RV industry. Or, maybe they trust you to be socially and environmentally responsible.

Again, it’s all good, and in general, the more trust signals you can convey, the better. By using video you can highlight your trustworthiness in an authentic, “face to face” way that goesfar beyond what you could do with text and static images alone.

Sales

Sales will come either sooner, or later — it really depends on where the shopper is at in their buying journey. The point is that you’re now sticky — and barring some other really obvious reason (like you can’t get the unit that the buyer is interested in buying) — you’re now sitting at, or near, the top of the buyer’s list of dealerships to visit, call or email.

The Power of Press, Amplified by Video

As I mentioned in a bullet point above, video is very flexible in terms of content and purpose – which means it can also serve as press fodder. This is another bullet point that I want to crack open a bit.

There’s no question about it, press is one of the most powerful ways of reaching a new audience and building a relationship with your community. And the best part is, it’s free.

But it isn’t really free in most cases, is it? How often is press sparked by precipitous actions taken by an organization, such as sponsoring an event, engaging with a community project, performing some other altruistic act, creating an exciting new attraction, etc., etc., etc. These all go above and beyond the “call of duty” of a local business, and as such can warrant press.

Press can also help with search engine traffic to your website. Why? Because press gets other websites mentioning you, and search engines are in the business of picking up on this popularity signal. In turn, this can actually produce a rankings boost for your website.

As I said near the top, video is a means of covering events. Thus, more video means more coverage, and more content for the media outlets to make use of. You can actually send the press links to your videos, and they can freely use them in their pieces.

These Aren’t Commercials (Or Are They?)

You may be shooting different types of videos for different purposes, but almost every video should be done strategically and should promote brand stickiness.

That said, it should be true that a large portion of your video content will certainly not be directly about your inventory, and some of it may not even discuss your dealership much at all. Think strategically though; you want to help move every video viewer further into your funnel in a real, tangible way if possible.

I have two cases of what I consider to be shining examples to share: one automotive dealer and one RV dealer.

The auto dealer is Auburn VW, and you can check out their videos by clicking on the links below:

https://www.youtube.com/user/AuburnVolkswagen

http://www.cdkglobaldigitalmarketing.com/industry-insights/master-your-marketing-mix/

I’ve been inspired by this dealership. Check out the CDK webinar to hear more about the dealership’s story (there’s a good reason it has nearly a thousand likes as of the time of this writing). Their No. 1 tactic, according to them? Video.

The RV dealership I’m highlighting is Lazydays, and you can check out their video below:

https://www.youtube.com/user/lazydays

What first drew me to Lazydays? A free RV driving safety video series that they produced. I wish they still had this course online, as it was a real differentiator (hint: there’s an opening here for some excellent content to be created by someone). I still remember the course, and by extension, I still remember Lazydays.

Lazydays also does excellent customer video testimonials; these are invaluable!

Take Aways

Growing your dealership’s brand via video is powerful. But, it takes some serious preparation on your end – even before purchasing any video gear. Study what other brands are doing, and then find your own unique message, voice and tone.

Then find the right channels to start sharing this on (there are of course multiple ways of reaching people). Then establish a flexible shooting schedule and roadmap your first few video projects. Expect a learning curve, and realize that this is a long-term commitment, and part of a growth strategy.

Now, go get sticky!