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Video is King

Posted By Bob McCann, Monday, July 20, 2020

Use of videos for promoting products and services has become extremely common. As the world goes digital, it's clear: Videos sell boats. So, it’s obvious that a boat dealer would also jump on the bandwagon.

As a boat dealer your goal should always be to discover new and effective ways of making people aware of the boats you are offering to sell, but without spending too much money. Advertising and promoting the boats through videos is probably the most cost-effective way of reaching a huge customer base.


Video isn’t exactly the next big thing, and although it’s a huge part of any good marketing strategy, we’re not going to try to pretend that digital retailing is just a new buzzword for video marketing. So, I figured we’d gather some of the best tactics we’ve seen and heard about and share them. Dealers know that the boat business is all about standing out. These video marketing tactics will help you do that.


1.     Use video because that content is getting Google’s attention.
When we think of SEO-boosting-content, we normally think of blog posts first, but ignoring the SEO potential in video marketing is a good way to miss out on attracting the attention of boat shoppers. Providing boat buyers with information is a great way to attract them to your dealership. Providing boat shoppers with information in the quick, helpful, and digestible form of a brief video is the perfect way to combine the research they want with a medium they enjoy. Google is well aware of the benefits of video and has begun to rank videos highly for many queries. And creating helpful and informative videos that are local specific will help boost your rankings with your local SEO efforts.


2.     Feature your boats.
Customers want information, and good dealers give shoppers the information they’re looking for. One of the best ways to do that is to feature walkthrough videos of the boats on your site and in your showroom. A good walkthrough video should be a quick overview of the boat with a focus on the features that make the boat interesting with a good voiceover. If you have a phone that can shoot video, a steady hand, and a pleasant voice, you can create videos easily for each of your boats. Once you have produced these videos, you can add them to your YouTube channel and embed these videos to your site’s listings. Now take full advantage of your efforts and tweet them, post them on Facebook, share them on Instagram and link to them from your prospecting emails.


3.     Bring video marketing to your Service Department.
Service departments tend to get neglected in marketing, but video marketing is a great opportunity to get your service department some attention. Videos about DIY boat maintenance, advice on common maintenance warning signs, seasonal service needs, etc., are great ways to drive boaters into the service department. Your service team knows the questions they hear on a daily basis and probably already have the answers. By making videos answering those questions, and more, you can capitalize on the opportunity to build credibility, trustworthiness and become the authority on local boat service.


4.     Create staff profiles.
Staff profile videos can help prospective customers feel more connected to your dealership as well as providing them with an advanced opportunity to get to know the person who is going to help them with their experience within your dealership. These videos further humanize your team and make them more approachable and likeable in the eyes of boat shoppers.


5.     Think mobile.
You’ve heard by now that mobile connectivity is outpacing the connections from our desktops, so we won’t go on about that too much more here. But really, mobile is important, especially as a platform for video marketing. Video can be particularly well suited to mobile if the content is suited for video-friendly mobile platforms, like Facebook and Instagram. Rule of thumb, some say 45 seconds for Facebook and just 15 seconds for Instagram. These videos are a great way to reach an audience that is interested in a boat but haven’t yet embarked on the deep research part of their journey. Start by sharing a short video about the boating lifestyle. From there, they can be directed to your website or YouTube page if they want to see more of your boats, service videos or check out what else your dealership has to offer.


6.     Share live video walkthroughs.
Some innovative dealers are using their smartphones to perform live video presentations and close deals while they have the prospect on the line! When a prospect calls to ask if a dealership has a boat in stock, salespeople will often respond in the affirmative and ask the prospect to come in for an appointment to take a closer look. Since the health-concerned marketplace set in, dealers have found that that they can keep that prospect on the phone and conduct a live video walkthrough using their cell phone. If you’re close to the boat, offer to do it on the spot. If not, offer to call the prospect back in a few minutes. And use our handy guide and action plan to effectively shoot boat walkthroughs.


7. Use video for quicker service authorizations.

For service writers, the dreaded voicemail can really hold up the service schedule when trying to get an OK from a customer to do the work. Instead of leaving a voicemail, record a video showing the problem while explaining the repair and the price and then text it to the customer. Remember, 98% of all text messages are opened and 95% are read within 3 minutes of receiving them!


8.     Invest in a video chat app.
To perform a live walkthrough or service video calls, you’ll need a video chat app on your smartphone. The iPhone’s integrated video chat app is FaceTime. If you have an Android or Windows smartphone, the best apps to use are Google Hangouts or Facebook Messenger. It’s a good idea to have several apps on your phone and to know how to use them all. That way, odds are good you will have a video chat app that is compatible with your customer. Ideally, at some point you will want to use texting applications such as Kenect or Co-Video that allows for numerous customer and dealer benefits. Check out this webinar MRAA hosted with Kenect.


9.     Boost your dealership’s Wi-Fi.
While it’s possible to do video chat calls using a cellular data plan, it’s not very reliable. Cell service can spotty and can lead to a less than ideal sales experience. To offer this type of service to your customers, your dealership will need an external Wi-Fi network that reaches to the inventory and shop. This is also a big help for salespeople out on the lot with customers to look up product information, message their manager or find the answer to any question using a mobile phone or tablet.


Video is a great way to engage customers and just maybe, get them excited enough about the boat to want to come in for a sea trial or help the seasonal boater to get back on the water quickly. It’s helpful to have a mixture of content, but video can tell a story in greater depth than text alone. Using these suggestions, your dealership can stand out in the sea of fiberglass and aluminum using video marketing.

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