Part I: The Naked Truth Exposed [Social & Video Marketing]

Social & Video Marketing

by April Rain | Marketing Director, AutoHook powered by Urban Science

Three marketing powerhouses combined forces at DD21 for one of the most insightful sessions of the year, moderated by yours truly. The Naked Truth was a 50-minute dose of digital reality poured straight up. Our no-nonsense mission of tackling the ambiguous topics that shadow the automotive universe was such a success, every chair in the room was filled and attendees were lined up against the walls. Literally, we ran out of seats.

And the speaker lineup…could it get any better than this? The automotive experts named below combined their exclusive skillsets, personality traits, and backgrounds to provide the desperately needed answers we’d hoped for. When their powers combined, they divinely executed the NAKED TRUTH. In other words, these panelists BROUGHT IT!

The Topics Dealers Want to Know More About:

AutoHook’s nation-wide survey conducted over the last 3-months revealed the top five topics dealers currently struggle with:

  • [Social]: Does social sell cars?
  • [Video]: Video, video, video…tell me more.
  • [Paid Search & Retargeting]: What should we expect?
  • [Online Buying]: Should we do it?
  • [Data & Marketing Attribution]: Who has it, how do we get it, and what do we do with it?

For the sake of your attention span, I will be covering (or should I say uncovering) the digital marketing mysteries exposed in this panel in a four-part series. The first will reveal the naked truth about social & video.

Allow me to share the best tips delivered from our #DD21 Naked Truth Experts and what these digital superheroes taught us about social & video:

Alex Jefferson 

(eCommerce Director, Proctor Dealerships)

“If you have a Facebook page, please stand up…”

He may look like a younger, better-looking version of Michael Jordan, but Alex Jefferson’s talents are best suited for Digital Marketing. Alex taught the audience: Social media DOES in fact sell cars.

Social outlets give us the power to build quality relationships, which then translate into quality website traffic. As long as your website converts, BOOM you can sell cars through social!

Alex also shared the type of content that is best suited for social:

Community events and the latest OEM news, straight from the manufacturer. Also feature relevant industry articles from sources like Edmunds, Car and Driver, and Automotive News. Always keep your audience updated on what’s happening with your brand(s).

Share things to help your customer base. Especially things that will help your followers save money, which will only reinforce the integrity of your brand. Proctor Dealers created an entire YouTube channel with tips on how to do your own vehicle maintenance and repair:

What else has worked well in the social dept. for Proctor Stores?

  • Inventory-specific social ads. Alex’s dealers build their own custom inventory ads that perform incredibly well AND at a lower cost per click. These types of ads are especially effective for used inventory.
  • Video content is perfectly suited for social channels. Show off your inventory in 45-60 second videos, as engagement with those is through the roof.
  • Offer in-store customer surveys to increase your chances of pinpointing how your customer found you. 30-40% of Proctor customers reported seeing a related Facebook ad.

Audience Feedback & Tweets: 

“Alex inspires me to step up my game; it was motivating to see a dealer instituting so many progressive tactics that I assumed were things only larger dealer groups did.”

“Alex Jefferson – it’s time for you to speak again friend – the dealers in the room were hanging on your every word.” – Kevin Frye

Kelly McNearney 

(Senior Automotive Retail Strategist, Google)

Kelly’s not just a pretty face with great shoes. She had the crowd’s undivided attention due to her refreshing humor and unforgettable one-liners.

“No one wants to hear the Google person talk about Facebook and… I won't!

But she did give them a complimentary head-nod by saying, “Facebook is not JUST a social platform.” Use it for paid advertising as one of the best, most data-driven, most intelligent websites for paid ads. “People probably don’t buy cars from organic posts, and I don’t think anyone from Facebook would disagree with that statement”.

Kelly then pointed out the undeniable power of YouTube as one of the largest, most recognized video platforms in existence.

Use YouTube to your advantage! It is a huge lead generator for dealerships and a really great ad venue for selling cars. For iPhone users, Kelly suggests the new app, The YouTube Director for Business. This new (and free) app provides a step-by-step guide on how to create successful YouTube videos for your business. This is perfect for people who may be a little scared of diving into the exploding world of video marketing.

Kelly says, “All I care about is online video. It’s great because you don’t need to customize your content for each individual channel, you can run the same video across platforms.” Need to move a stubborn, aging vehicle off your lot? Kelly recommends making a 60-second walk around video highlighting the cars unique value benefits, and that car will be gone by the end of the day. (Sidenote: Youtube also has a basic built-in video editor in Studio Creator).

Audience Feedback & Tweets

"It was was refreshing to hear someone from Google talking so honestly."

"Kelly gives Google a likability that you don't typically see from a large corporation.”

Scott Empringham

(CEO/President, Flash Point Communications)

“For dealers, there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide…”

Scott’s magnetic way of speaking left the sugar coating at home for the kids:

“Good news and bad news for vendors regarding social: You need to offer transparency from click to sale,” he cautioned. Social media marketing is and should be 100% transparent, as the audience is available to you and the tools are there. Social media has all the instruments you need to generate a sale.  

Agreeing wholeheartedly with Alex Jefferson, Scott says, “YES you can absolutely sell cars on Facebook. It’s happening.”

In fact, Flash Point helped a major OEM sell a BILLION dollars worth of new vehicles with Facebook alone. Think about it this way, the audience is massive - 170 million people are active on Facebook every single day for an average of 40 minutes. 

Over half of the U.S. population currently has a Facebook page. We have the ability to segment and mine Facebook’s data in order to create custom audiences based upon your true target customer.

The best part about social tools? They’re absolutely free. The only thing dealers need to supply is the strategy and creative. In addition, dealers can leverage Facebook’s tool of excluding certain audiences as well to better target their ads. Lookalike audiences can be incredibly effective. Build audiences off of people’s demographics, likes, interests and behaviors, and then generate similar audiences from that pool of users.

Video is the #1 driver of consideration for new vehicles. Scott recommends dealers create 90-second videos just using their iPhone to post on social channels. “If you’re looking for a vehicle, you probably want a good look at the vehicle. Include shots of the vehicle’s exterior, interior, features and benefits.” 90-second videos have been enormously successful for Flash Point and their clients.

Audience Feedback: 

"Scott's knowledge and ability to communicate social strategy was impressive, I wish I could have taken notes faster."  

April's Takeaways:

When it comes to social, think about what your audience really wants to see. Consumers have two favorite words: fast and easy, so remember that when crafting your social and video strategies. Always think outside the norm. Think of something other than a picture of a car that says, “come buy here.” It’s OKAY to be different.

Whether you’re a single point store or a big dealer group, all of these action items are achievable within your own team. You don’t need a big agency or media center. There are so many tools available just waiting to make your life easier. Video editing tools like Camtasia are so simple, my nine-year-old uses it to film and edit videos!

Overall Remarks & Tweets

“I couldn't believe that was 50 minutes; I wish we could have stayed longer to hear more answers.”

“Gotta admit, I am usually not a big fan of panels at the conferences, but I really enjoyed this one.” Kevin Frye

“I was blown away with how big the crowd was. Awesome!” 

"Favorite session from the entire show." 

A huge thank you goes out to DealerRefresh & Flash Point for capturing all the Naked Truth magic live on Facebook. Click here to watch the recording!

Together, our panel of Naked Truth superheroes succeeded in exposing the top challenges of social and video marketing, and provided the audience with an open and upfront dose of reality. The goal of this panel was to help ease the digital pain points real dealers are currently facing. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Stay tuned for The Naked Truth Exposed PART II: Featuring our panelists’ insights on Paid Search, Retargeting, & Budget Allocation Best Practices.

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